This is an article from the March 30, 2009 issue
Pronounce it No-lasco, as in the seven innings of no-hit ball he threw againstthe Tigers on Sunday. After facing the minimum 21 hitters ("There wasn'tanything fluky about it," said Detroit manager Jim Leyland. "That guywas really good."), the Marlins ace was 3--1 with a 2.00 ERA this spring.Opening Day can't come soon enough.
On the short track at Bristol, Tenn., on Sunday, the tempestuous NASCAR driver(nickname: Rowdy) made short work of the competition, leading for more than 75%of the 503 laps, winning his second Sprint Cup race of the season and moving tofourth place in the standings. "An overall great day," said Buschafterward.
Their season seemed just about over a few weeks ago, but then Ottawa showed noquit in winning nine of 10 to close within seven points of a playoff spot with10 games to play. Could the unthinkable happen? Captain Daniel Alfredsson:"It's possible, but I'm not going to talk about it."
Whew, what a Retief. The South African held on to win by a stroke in PalmHarbor, Fla., his first Tour victory since 2005. "The greens gotscary," said Goosen, who two-putted from 25 feet to clinch the win and getinto the world's top 25.
Mariners fans have seen this before. The big righty gave up seven runs in 1 1/3innings, blowing Venezuela's WBC semifinal against Korea. This after a horrible2008 season: 4--15 with a 6.46 ERA in the first year of a four-year, $48million contract. Now there's a guy you won't see starting on Opening Day.
Embarrassing his team—and himself—the 23-year-old motorhead hurled profanitiesat his pit crew during a Nationwide Series race last Saturday (the guys hadmessed up a tire change), then left his car by the side of the track. A daylater he was calmer but still a Neanderthal. "I told the ladies toman-up," he said he warned his crew on Sunday.
Their season seemed over weeks ago, and Memphis has sure played that way inlosing 16 of 18 through Sunday. "We lost our focus," said interim coachLionel Hollins. He was referring to a 96--84 loss to the Hornets last week. Hecould have meant the whole season.
Sheesh, with friends like these ... the heavyweight faced his old sparringpartner, WBC champ Vitali Klitschko, who knocked him down twice and gouged himbefore the ref stopped the bout in the ninth. Gomez's now 44--2.
SI PLAYERS NBA POLL
Which opposing NBA player would you most like to haveon your team?
LeBron James, Cavaliers F 32%
Kobe Bryant, Lakers G 13%
Steve Nash, Suns G 8%
Kevin Garnett, Celtics F 7%
Chris Paul, Hornets G 7%
Suns center Shaquille O'Neal tied for seventh (3.9%), making Phoenix the onlyteam with multiple players in the top 10.... James, Paul and Magic centerDwight Howard (sixth, 5.6%) were the only players younger than 30 among the top11 vote-getters.... In a previous poll asking players which opponent they'dleast like on their team (SI, March 9), Bryant was tied for third with5.4%.
[Based on a survey of 190 NBA players] • For more onthe poll, and to comment on it, go to SI.com/bonus.