This is an article from the Aug. 25, 2008 issue
On the day Craig Biggio had his number 7 retired at Minute Maid Park, Houstonrode career Astro Roy Oswalt to the team's ninth win in 11 games. Who else tothank? How about 10-year Houstonite Lance Berkman (above), hitting a healthy.331. Could the surge mean a spot in the playoff race? Well, said manager CecilCooper, "there's a little magic in the clubhouse."
Betcha wish you had a pocketful like Posey's. The former Florida State catcherand No. 5 overall draft pick got a record $6.2 million signing bonus from theGiants and may play A ball this year. What does the Golden Spikes winner thinkof his Midas touch? "I'm extremely excited."
As if a $32 million contract and having total control at Alabama weren'tenough, football coach Nick Saban now has another reason to be going up in hatsize: Forbes is calling him the most powerful coach in all sports, and they puthim on the cover.
A boost from Manny. The Dodgers' second baseman has hit .465 in 11 gamesbatting in front of newly imported cleanup hitter Manny Ramirez, raising Kent'sseason average to .279. Said L.A. manager Joe Torre, "It's helpedhim."
Tim Wakefield's out with a shoulder injury, so the Red Sox gave a start to hisputative heir, Charlie Zink (above). Kid knucksie's debut line? A real Zinker:4 1/3 innings, eight runs. In Seattle, yet another knuckleballer, R.A. Dickey,had a wild time on Sunday, tossing four errant pitches in an inning, thenoffering this revelation on his signature pitch: "It was hard tocontrol."
Forget Joe Gibbs Racing's fine season—they've been cheatin'! Two NationwideSeries cars had magnets under their gas pedals, distorting horsepower readingsin a NASCAR check. Awaiting sanctions, president J.D. Gibbs apologized, sayinghe and papa Joe were in the dark.
End of the line? With 305 career wins—but just two in 13 starts this season—theBraves' 42-year-old lefty went back on the disabled list with elbow trouble."I don't think I want my career to end this way," said Glavine. But ifhe needs surgery, it probably will.
Manny? Who needs Manny? The irascible Kent (left) bristled at talk that the bigguy's aided his game—even dissing the sacred Vin Scully. After the broadcastercited Kent's with-Manny stats, Kent told the L.A. Times, "Vin Scully talkstoo much."
SI PLAYERS MLB POLL
Which pitcher is the biggest headhunter inbaseball?
Vicente Padilla, Rangers 21%
Pedro Martinez, Mets 18%
Kyle Farnsworth, Tigers 10%
Carlos Zambrano, Cubs 7%
Daniel Cabrera, Orioles 7%
Braves reliever Julian Tavarez also got 7%; he and Farnsworth were the onlyrelievers among the top 10.... Cabrera leads the majors with 17 hit batsmenthis year; Padilla has hit 35 over the past three seasons.... Martinez has hit136 batters in his career, tied with San Diego's Greg Maddux for third amongactive pitchers, behind Arizona's Randy Johnson and Boston's Tim Wakefield.
[Based on a survey of 449 MLB players] • For more onthe poll, and to comment on it, go to SI.com/players.