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WHO'S Hot WHO'S Not

April 14, 2008
April 14, 2008

Table of Contents
April 14, 2008

SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
SI Players: LIFE ON AND OFF THE FIELD
2008 NCAA TOURNAMENT
NFL DRAFT
PRO BASKETBALL
  • The Denver Nuggets, the league's latest offensive juggernaut, are trying to shoot their way into the Western Conference's final playoff spot by putting up points at a breakneck pace

HOCKEY
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WHO'S Hot WHO'S Not

WHO'S Hot

This is an article from the April 14, 2008 issue

Brewers
Cheers in Milwaukee! As breweries across the U.S. celebrated the 75thanniversary of the post-Prohibition return of beer (April 7, 1933) baseball'sBrew Crew went 5--1. Ace Ben Sheets (above) threw 15 scoreless innings, andrecord crowds came out. The lure, says manager Ned Yost? "Good, aggressive,hard-played baseball." Plus, they sell beer.

Philadelphia
Good times on the hardwood (the 76ers are playoff-bound!) and on the ice (theFlyers grabbed a sixth seed). Sixer Andre Miller (left) on Philly's rallyingfrom an 18--30 record to get a berth: "I don't know how it happened, butit's been hard work."

Frank Thomas
No doubting this guy. The Toronto slugger undid a slow start (1 for his first9) by crushing the Red Sox for eight RBIs—including Sunday's grand salami—in athree-game sweep. At 39 he still puts the hurt on.

Jack Del Rio
What's a playoff win worth? Maybe five years and—yowsa!— $23.5 million. That'sthe deal landed by the Jaguars' coach, who's 45--35 over five seasons and 1--2in the playoffs after beating the Steelers in January. Said Del Rio (right) whoturned 45 the day of the press conference announcing his new fortune:"There is something very special taking place here in Jacksonville rightnow."

WHO'S Not

Tigers
What's happenin' in Detroit? The potent-on-paper Tigers had an AL-low 15 runsin an 0--6 start, and manager Jim Leyland grumbled about poor team chemistry.Ace Justin Verlander (above): "Everyone ... needs to do a littlesoul-searching." LSU's Lady Tigers were looking for answers too: The hoopsteam lost in the semis for the fifth straight year.

Carolina
Tough times on the hardwood (tournament fave UNC got bounced from the FinalFour) and on the ice (a Hurricanes loss cost them a playoff berth). Tar Heelsswingman Marcus Ginyard (left) on losing to Kansas: "Their will was justmore than ours."

Dioner Navarro
The Rays' catcher slipped in a Yankee Stadium dugout and sliced two fingers onsome protective netting. That led to 12 stitches and a spot on the 15-day DL.Manager Joe Maddon, "That's a really ugly cut."

Heat
Miami fans have long since been insulted—the Heat is, no typo, 5--44 sinceChristmas, and Pat Riley sometimes forsakes them for the scouting trail—and nowthe team is adding injury. Forward Shawn Marion's foot problems shelved himalongside five other regulars, including that Dwyane Wade fellow. Next year(well, the May 20 draft lottery, anyway) can't come soon enough.

SI PLAYERS NHL POLL

Who is the dirtiest player in the NHL?

Sean Avery, Rangers LW ..... 24%

Chris Pronger, Ducks D ...... 11%

Jarkko Ruutu, Penguins LW ...... 10%

Chris Simon, Wild LW ...... 10%

Jordin Tootoo, Predators RW .....9%

FAST FACTS
With left wing Ryan Hollweg drawing 6.8%, the Rangers had two of the top sixvote getters.... Avery's average of 2.8 penalty minutes per game issixth-highest in the NHL but the highest among those listed above.... All ofthe above players are on playoff teams.... Pronger recently served aneight-game ban for stomping on the leg of Canucks center Ryan Kesler as Keslerlay on the ice.

[Based on a survey of 365 NHL players] • For more onthe poll, and to comment on it, go to SI.com/players.

PHOTOMORRY GASH/AP (SHEETS)PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (VERLANDER)PHOTOAL TIELEMANS (MILLER)PHOTODAMIAN STROHMEYER (GINYARD)PHOTOSTEVE JACOBSON (DEL RIO)PHOTOROBERT LABERGE/GETTY IMAGES (PRONGER)PHOTOTIM SHAFFER/REUTERS (AVERY)