WHO'S Hot WHO'S Not

September 30, 2007

WHO'S Hot

Chad Pennington
He's healing. The Jets QB rebounded from an ankle injury and shone in a win over Miami—throwing a touchdown pass for his ninth straight game. Never mind big-armed backup Kellen Clemens and any quarterback controversy; Chad's the man.

Miguel Batista
A prose pro. The Mariners starter is being honored by Latin Pride magazine for his 2006 crime novel The Avenger of Blood—not that he's quitting his day job. The $6 million-a-year righty shut down the Angels last Saturday for his 15th win.

Wofford
The Spartanburg, S.C., Division I-AA school has reason to woof: A 42--31 win over Appalachian State (yes, those very Wolverines slayers) ended the Mountaineers' 17-game winning streak. Afterward, a jacked-up Terriers crowd stormed the field.

Ruuds
Bucs linebacker Barrett Ruud (grid, page 30) picked one off to seal a win over the Rams (he also has an NFL-high 24 tackles), while little brother Bo did the same (and returned it for a TD) as Nebraska beat Ball State.

WHO'S Not

Josh McCown
He's hurting. The Raiders QB left Sunday's game with an ankle injury, then saw backup Daunte Culpepper shine in a win over Cleveland. With JaMarcus Russell now in Oakland's fold, McCown—five picks and seven fumbles this year—may be the odd QB out.

Milton Bradley
He's not playing games. After getting into a row with ump Mike Winters and being ejected on Sunday—Bradley says Winters baited him—the Padres outfielder suffered a torn ACL while being restrained by manager Bud Black.

St. Louis
Dog days. The Cardinals were continuing a late-summer free fall (they'd lost 14 of 18 through Sunday), the Rams dropped to 0--3 (QB Marc Bulger: "We're on our butt right now"), and the rebuilding Blues dropped three of four in the preseason.

Chuck Liddell
The Iceman sinketh. The Mohawked poster boy for ultimate fighting—he was champion until May and he gets acting gigs (Entourage)—has lost two straight bouts, leaving him to ponder retirement at 37.

SI PLAYERS MLB POLL

Which individual hitting statistic is the most meaningful?

Runs Batted In....... 41%

On-base percentage ....... 19%

Batting average.. 13%

On-base plus slugging ...... 11%

Runs ...... 6%

FAST FACTS
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (above left) led the majors, through Monday, with 147 RBIs.... The Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (above right) had a big-league best .436 on-base percentage.... Home runs (sixth, 3.6%) was the only other category to draw more than 2% of the vote.... With one week to go, Chipper Jones of the Braves (.341) and Matt Holliday of the Rockies (.337) were battling for the National League batting title.

[Based on a survey of 257 MLB nonpitchers] • For an expanded version of the poll, go to SI.com/players.

PHOTOAL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES (PENNINGTON) PHOTOJED JACOBSOHN/GETTY IMAGES (MCCOWN) PHOTOPHIL ELLSWORTH (BRADLEY) PHOTODAMIAN STROHMEYER (ORTIZ) PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (RODRIGUEZ) PHOTOKEVIN P. CASEY/AP (BATISTA)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)