FRIEND OF POPES, LOVER OF PIGS, OFTEN-TAUNTED SYMBOL OF AN INCREASINGLY MULTIRACIAL EUROPE—MARIO BALOTELLI IS A LIGHTNING ROD FOR ATTENTION. AT 23, ITALY'S STAR FORWARD ALSO HAS TALENT THAT'S EVERY BIT AS ELECTRIC AS HIS PERSONALITY
PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY ERICK W. RASCO/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
Halos' Glow The Angels felt a ray of hope in an otherwise dismal season on Aug. 15 at Yankee Stadium, pounding out an 8--4 victory. Outfielder Josh Hamilton (near left), captured with an AT&T Nokia Lumia 1020, had an RBI single, and Anaheim third baseman Chris Nelson (not shown) lit up his former team with a pair of homers, including a grand slam.
FOURTY PHOTOSPHOTOGRAPHS BY ROBERT BECK/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
Boy Bands Faces of the Little League World Series. Top row, left to right: Ruben Cortez (Corpus Christi, Texas); Sam Petrillo (Urbandale, Iowa); Jintarou Shiina (Japan); James Mazzola (Grosse Pointe, Mich.); Jared Owens (Newark, Del.); Yamil Velazquez (Puerto Rico); Eric Ludman; Shih-Che Chou (Chinese Taipei); Second Row: Martin Svihalek (Czech Republic); Jacob Dahlstrom (Sammamish, Wash.); Tung-Jua Yeh; Edgardo Rosales (Panama); Grant Holman (Chula Vista, Calif.); Maverick Hamilton (Australia); Brenden Ball; Tomas Jurcik. Third Row: Gabriel Santiago; Juan Crisp; Brandon DeLeon; Harry Azadian (Westport, Conn.); Miguel Artajelo (Mexico); Daniel Fernandez; Oscar Hernandez; Kazuki Ishida. Fourth Row: Micah Pietila-Wiggs; Alex Reiner; Evan Zschering; Israel Velazquez; Michael Tovey; Jack Titus; Drew Rogers; Martin Gonàlez. Fifth Row: Danny Ivester; Jorge Romero; Joseph Davis; Dai Okada; Daniel Stoudek; Huai-Chien Lan; Chad Lorkowski; Patrick Archer.
TWO PHOTOSPHOTOGRAPHS BY JARED WICKERHAM/GETTY IMAGES
Lightning Rod Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez took a fastball in the ribs—after two inside pitches and one that went behind him from Red Sox righty Ryan Dempster—in the second inning on Sunday night at Fenway Park, drawing both teams onto the field and leading to the ejection of New York manager Joe Girardi. A-Rod got his revenge in the sixth (above), when he smoked a bomb to dead center off Dempster to touch off a four-run rally in what would become a 9--6 Yankees win.