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WHO'S Hot WHO'S Not

May 26, 2008
May 26, 2008

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May 26, 2008

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WHO'S Hot WHO'S Not

WHO'S Hot

This is an article from the May 26, 2008 issue

Roaches
A lift for the family: Mama Melanie Roach (above) is headed to the Games inBeijing after a clean and jerk of 240 pounds at the U.S. weightlifting trials.At 33 the 5'2", 117-pound mother of three is after a medal she missed outon because of injury in 2000. Said seven-year-old Ethan, her eldest, "I'mreally proud of my mom."

Rafael Nadal
He closed the deal! Beating Roger Federer in Hamburg gave the world's No. 2 theonly major clay-court title he hadn't won. Next up: the French Open, whereNadal's, uh, had a little success. He's won all 21 matches he's played there inthe past three years.

Rollins
A well-healed man. Since coming off the DL on May 9 (ankle), Phillies shortstopJimmy Rollins was hitting .375 through Sunday (and .524 over his last fivegames). Does he think he's, like, MVP material or something?

Trinity
There's more than squash at the Hartford, Conn., school (SI, Feb. 11). TheDivision III baseballers are a record 41--0 (g'head, do a spit take) andgetting better, outscoring foes 82--24 since May 3. Are they pumped for theD-III World Series? Starter Chandler Barnard (right, he's 10--0, with a 2.77ERA) to The Hartford Courant: "We won't need any pep talks."

WHO'S Not

Tigers
What a downer. The World Series favorites from Detroit are showing that theirslow start (2--10) was no fluke, losing 12 of 15 to put a stranglehold on lastplace in the AL Central. They'd been shut out seven times through Sunday.Manager Jim Leyland (above) to Detroit's Free Press: "We have a lot ofissues.... Our offense has been blah."

RafaelBetancourt
He coulda been a closer! A few weeks after anointing the reliever to finishgames for his Indians, manager Eric Wedge stripped Betancourt of theresponsibility. The righthander's 7.31 ERA may have had something to do withit.

McLachlin
Leading at Sugarloaf with five holes to play, Parker McLachlin bogeyed three ofthem, missing out on his first PGA win. "You've got your nerves going,"said the 29-year-old, who wound up tied for fifth.

Vladdy
He likes to wear Superman T-shirts, but it turns out Angels outfielder VladimirGuerrero is in fact human. A 4-for-23 stretch had him batting a mortal .259through Sunday (his lowest average ever this late in a season) with just fourhome runs. Explained Guerrero to The Orange County Register earlier this month,"Sometimes you start bad.... I'm just in a slump."

SI Players MLB poll

Who is the toughest player in baseball?

Aaron Rowand, Giants CF 15%

Jason Varitek, Red Sox C 6%

Jason Kendall, Brewers C 5%

Ryan Freel, Reds OF 5%

David Eckstein, Blue Jays SS 5%

FAST FACTS
Yankees reliever Kyle Farnsworth (12th, 2.1%) was the one pitcher among the top20.... As a Phillie in 2006 the famously fearless Rowand, running full speed,caught a ball off the bat of Xavier Nady, smashed into the outfield fence andbroke his nose. He held on for the out.... Yanks Derek Jeter (sixth, 4.2%) andAlex Rodriguez (10th, 2.5%) were the only teammates in the top 10.

[Based on a survey of 495 MLB players] • For more onthe poll, and to comment on it, go to SI.com/players.

PHOTODAMIAN STROHMEYER (LEYLAND)PHOTOFABIAN BIMMER/AP (NADAL)PHOTOJONATHAN LESTER PHOTO (BARNARD)PHOTOKELLY KLINE/ICON SMI (ROACH)PHOTOBRAD MANGIN (ROWAND)PHOTOJIM MCISAAC/GETTY IMAGES (VARITEK)