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February 23, 2009

Breaking News • Real-time Scores • Daily Analysis

Combine Efforts

Having left USC a year early, Mark Sanchez will try to bolster his draft status at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. Check out SI.com for complete coverage, including Bucky Brooks's Top 10 prospects at each position and an exclusive draft diary from Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry. Plus ...

• Tony Pauline's Top 50 Big Board and analysis of player performances

• Daily Buzz and the latest news by Don Banks

FOR MORE COMMENTARY AND NEWS FROM AROUND THE NFL, GO TO SI.COM/NFL.

FEATURED WRITERS

STEWART MANDEL
Inside College Football
Ten story lines to keep a close eye on throughout the off-season
SI.com/mandel

SETH DAVIS
Inside College Basketball
An inside look at the NCAA tournament selection process
SI.com/davis

MICHAEL FARBER
Inside the NHL
My picks for the 2010 U.S. Olympic team
SI.com/farber

SPRING TRAINING

The Lowe Down
Does Derek Lowe have what it takes to help rebuild the Braves' dilapidated rotation? This week SI.com has your complete guide to spring training 2009 with the latest news and notes from around the game, previews of each of the 30 teams and analysis from Ben Reiter on the circus surrounding A-Rod's arrival in Tampa.

> Check out SI.com's photo galleries at SI.com/photos.

SI VAULT
YOUR LINK TO SPORTS HISTORY

FROM SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
MARCH 3, 1975

SI writer Ron Fimrite described the magic of spring training, a time when baseball returns to its roots for a brief idyllic instance in which the pace of the game is slower, the fans are closer to the action and the players are more accessible and less anxious.

THERE IS the sense that in spring training baseball is more the game it was meant to be. It is then that baseball is removed from all those coliseums with chemical playing fields and transported again into the snug wooden ball yards where it can move at its own resolute pace. Most of the new parks were also designed to accommodate football, a game of compulsive urgency; but intimacy, not urgency, is baseball's charm, and in those purposely colossal structures the game seems anomalous, a little like Parcheesi played on a crap table. Reflections such as these are considered blasphemous by the baseball Establishment. Nothing so unnerves a baseball person as the suggestion that his game is not fast enough to keep up with the times.

> Check out the latest classic SI story at SI.com/classic.

> For your favorite stories and covers, go to SI.com/vault.

Cover
PHOTOGRAPH BY WALTER IOOSS JR.

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SI Extra
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Please Recycle This Magazine Remove Inserts or Samples Before Recycling

PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (SANCHEZ)UNDER THE RADAR Sanchez looks to make waves in Indy. PHOTOMEL LEVINE (MANDEL) PHOTODAVID J. PHILLIP/AP (LOWE) PHOTOTONY TRIOLO (REDS) TWO PHOTOS

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)