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Who's Hot Who's Not

May 25, 2009
May 25, 2009

Table of Contents
May 25, 2009

LEADING OFF
GOLF PLUS
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
BASEBALL
PREAKNESS
  • Rachel Alexandra proved her jockey right by wiring the boys at the Preakness, but not without a scare from Mine That Bird, who validated his Derby victory

INDIANAPOLIS 500
SWIMMING
  • Putting behind him his out-of-the-pool controversies, his three-month suspension and his thoughts of leaving the sport for good, a motivated Michael Phelps returned to competition eager to test himself and build upon his legacy

NBA PLAYOFFS
  • It's been a rough few decades for Clevelanders—no mistake (by the lake) about it. But with LeBron James and the Cavaliers playing otherworldly basketball, long-suffering fans dare to imagine their first victory celebration since 1964

  • The Magic's outside touch gives them a shot at spoiling Cleveland's party

Departments

Who's Hot Who's Not

Who's Hot

This is an article from the May 25, 2009 issue

PUDGE
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.

USAIN BOLT
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."

ORLANDO HUDSON
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.

ZACH JOHNSON
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.

Who's Not

JUNIOR
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?

A.J. HINCH
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.

ORLANDO CABRERA
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.

JOHNS HOPKINS
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%

FAST FACTS
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

PHOTOROD MAR (GRIFFEY JR.)PHOTOJON SUPER/AP (BOLT)PHOTOTIM DEFRISCO (HUDSON)PHOTOMIKE EHRMANN (JOHNSON)PHOTOLOU CAPOZZOLA (OVECHKIN)PHOTODAVID E. KLUTHO (LIDSTROM)