Who's Hot Who's Not

August 22, 2010

Who's Hot

NEW NAMES

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov last week applied to change his team's name as it prepares to become the Brooklyn ... Whats? The Russian billionaire's not saying. (The Nyets maybe?) Also in the name game: A group has acquired the rights to Cosmos, the NASL team of Pelé (right), with an eye to an MLS rebirth.

RIVALRY

Blood boiled in the NL Central, where the Reds and Cards (right) brawled to the tune of three suspensions; in soccer, where Man City and Tottenham battled to a spectacular draw; and on TV, where good (East Dillon) and bad (West) went at it on the Friday Night Lights finale.

AMAZING GRACE

It's been a season of sportsmanship. First, the Tigers' Armando Galarraga reacted with class to his stolen perfect game. Then, on Sunday, Dustin Johnson stoically accepted the penalty that cost him a place in the PGA playoff (page 38). Kids: Do try this at home.

A-ROD

The Yankees' Alex Rodriguez (right) had a stretch during which he missed a team photo, lingered for 46 at bats on career HR number 599 and was hit by a ball in BP. Fuhgeddabout 'em! Last Saturday he blasted back with his fourth career three-HR day, MLB's seventh-most ever.

Who's Not

KING JAMES

The most hated man in Cleveland made no new friends by failing to mention the city in a full-page newspaper farewell ad. Meanwhile, an Akron company erected a billboard asking HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE A SIDEKICK? near James's Bath home, and locals heckled him while he shot treys at an area amusement park.

CHIVALRY

The Astros fan—nicknamed Bo the Bailer—who got caught on TV dodging a foul ball that hit his date got smacked in the metaphorical kisser anyway. On CBS's The Early Show, co-anchor Harry Smith questioned his manhood. The coup de gr√¢ce: The couple broke up.

TIGER'S PACE

After finishing T28 at Whistling Straits, Woods (left) took an 0-fer in this year's majors, slowing, in a big way, his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus's record 18. Meantime, a bunch of unintimidated rivals (including PGA winner Martin Kaymer, 25) have emerged. You're all right, Jack—for now.

REST OF THE RODS

Rich Rod (Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez) spent last Saturday defending himself against an NCAA compliance charge; K-Rod (the Mets' Francisco Rodriguez) faces assault charges (page 22); and the other A-Rod (Andy Roddick) is suffering from mono.

SI PLAYERS MLB POLL

WHICH PLAYER GETS THE MOST OUT OF HIS TALENT?

David Eckstein, Padres 2B 25%

Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox 2B 13%

Albert Pujols, Cardinals 1B 8%

Derek Jeter, Yankees SS 4%

Joe Mauer, Twins C 4%

FAST FACTS

Eckstein was drafted in 1997's 19th round by the Red Sox. In 10 big league seasons he has batted .282, twice has been an All-Star and was the 2006 World Series MVP with the Cardinals. ... The top 13 vote-getters include two pitchers: the Phillies' Roy Halladay and the Giants' Tim Lincecum. ... Three of the top six are under six feet: Eckstein (5'7"), Pedroia (5'9") and White Sox leftfielder Juan Pierre (5'11").

Based on 313 players who responded to SI's survey

PHOTOGEORGE TIEDEMANN/GT IMAGES (PELÉ) PHOTOTOM UHLMAN/AP (BRAWL) PHOTOKOHJIRO KINNO (WOODS) PHOTOJAMIE SQUIRE/GETTY IMAGES (RODRIGUEZ) PHOTOJOHN CORDES/ICON SMI (ECKSTEIN) PHOTOWINSLOW TOWNSON (PEDROIA)

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)