This is an article from the June 16, 2008 issue
The Seminoles are back, finally. After going winless their last three appearances in the super regionals, Florida State is in the College World Series for the first time since 2000. Catcher Buster Posey (above) homered in the clinching win, but that wasn't even his sweetest moment of the week: He was drafted fifth by San Francisco.
It's pixie season! The 16-year-old gymnast, and a favorite to get a medal in Beijing, won the U.S. title for the second straight year. Next up—Johnson (an Iowan) and rival Nastia Liukin (a Texan) leave it all on the floor at the Olympic trials.
Trainer Nick Zito again played the giant killer at Belmont (page 48)—and check out Barry Zito the Giant (right). The lefty may be the worst free-agent signing ever, but on Sunday, he was a winner, beating Washington to go to 2--9. Explained Barry, "Wins are definitely a big thing for pitchers."
The Phillies' manager, who got a two-year extension before the season has a sizzling team (they'd won 12 of 14), and he's guiding it with a firm hand. When he benched Jimmy Rollins for not hustling, Rollins had his skipper's back. "It's my fault," said the reigning MVP. "I can't be mad at him."
Wow, the Titans are out. The boys from Fullerton went 0--2 in the super regionals for the first time in 30 visits, which means no World Series for them. Reliever Jason Dovel, who lost the elimination game, wasn't alone in his dismay. Coach Dave Serrano (above): "I'm disappointed.... That's why kids come to Cal State--Fullerton—to go to Omaha."
The gold medal sprinter (he won in 2004) has lost his appeal. Literally. Gatlin's plea to have his four-year doping ban ended early—he tested positive for testosterone in 2006—was denied, which means the Games will go on without him.
Dodgers reserve Mark Sweeney is just 2 for his last 21, but at least he's healthy. A's outfielder Ryan Sweeney has been in the minors rehabbing a bruised foot, and now his Oakland teammate DH Mike Sweeney is having his knee scoped and could be out for six weeks. "It breaks my heart," Mike said.
The Mariners' manager, who's been hearing rumors of his demise for weeks, has baseball's worst team (they were 22--41)—and a mouth. A postgame unleashing ("I'm tired of &*%$#& losing!") included numerous multiprofanity sentences and did little good: Seattle lost two of its next three.
SI PLAYERS MLB POLL
Among current major leaguers, which player would you pick to build a team around?
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees 3B 14%
Derek Jeter, Yankees SS 12%
Jose Reyes, Mets SS 8%
David Wright, Mets 3B 6%
Ryan Howard, Phillies 1B 5%
Players could not vote for a teammate.... Rodriguez won the AL MVP last season for the third time.... Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, the 2007 NL MVP, was 14th (2.0%).... Mets lefthander Johan Santana (10th, 4.3%) was the only pitcher—and the Dodgers' Russell Martin (16th, 1.7 %) was the only catcher—to receive more than 1% of the vote.
[Based on a survey of 495 MLB players] • For more on the poll, and to comment on it, go to SI.com/players.