This is an article from the May 25, 2009 issue
Astros catcher Ivan Rodriguez smacked his 300th homer just where he wanted to—at Wrigley Field. "I knew they'd throw it back," he said of the ball. Pudge was hitting .529 over his last five games through Sunday and had history in sight: He was 20 games shy of Carlton (Pudge) Fisk's record of 2,226 games caught.
While you were blinking, the Jamaican sprinter was covering 150 meters in 14.35 seconds—eclipsing Donovan Bailey's 14.99 in a 1997 match race. After the dash, run on a track on a Manchester, England, street, the Olympic champ said, "Expect great things from me this year."
The free-agent signee has sparkled in L.A. from the start (hitting for the cycle on Opening Day). Hudson was up to .340 with 25 RBIs through Sunday, and so long as he's a regular at second base he'll hit plate-appearance incentives that will nearly triple his salary to $8 million.
He shot a course-record 60 last Saturday, he birdied a playoff hole on Sunday, and he left the Texas Open with the biggest winner's check ($1,098,000) in tournament history. As a bonus Johnson moved to the top of the FedEx point standings.
Where have all the good times gone? Ken Griffey Jr.'s celebrated return to Seattle (SI, April 27) hasn't been as big a smash as hoped. At week's end he was batting .207 and had one home run in his last 19 games. The M's had lost 10 of 12; might one of Seattle's young prospects serve the lineup better?
The D-Backs' naming him manager—though the former catcher and farm director had never managed, anywhere—drew harsh criticism from pitching coach Bryan Price, who quit in protest. Price's opinion may not matter. This does: The club was 2--6 in Hinch's first eight games.
The free-agent pickup hasn't found a groove in Oakland (hitting .231 with five extra-base hits, plus six errors at shortstop). Cabrera settled for a one-year, $4 million deal after earning $10 million with the ChiSox in '08; for the A's, even that may be money ill-spent.
The score was what? A 19--8 loss to Virginia in the NCAA quarterfinals was the lacrosse power's most lopsided loss in the 38-year history of the Division I playoffs. Like his team, Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala offered little defense. "We got what we deserved," he said.
SI PLAYERS NHL POLL
WHO IS THE BEST PLAYER IN HOCKEY?
Alex Ovechkin, Capitals LW 51%
Nicklas Lidstrom, Red Wings D 11%
Evegni Malkin, Penguins C 7%
Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings C 7%
Jarome Iginla, Flames RW 5%
Henrik Zetterberg, Red Wings C 5%
Poll was completed just before the playoffs; players could not vote for a teammate.... Penguins center Sidney Crosby (page 31), the playoff scoring leader through Sunday, tied for eighth (1.9%).... The Devils' Martin Brodeur (also 1.9%) was the only goalie among the 13 players who got multiple votes.
Based on a survey of 324 NHL players