by Jonah Keri

Also Receiving Votes

  • The Wrath of Eli: Giants quarterback rips Tiki Barber for causing distractions last season, says he totally wouldn't have overthrown all those wide-open receivers if he wasn't so vexed by all that early retirement talk.
  • Matt Murphy's Wacky IRS Adventure: Fan who caught Barry Bonds' 756th home run ball says he'll sell the ball to offset the gigantic tax hit from Uncle Sam. Sources say Murphy plans to use the money to finance one of those awesome subprime mortgages he's heard so much about lately.
  • Viking Quest: Ex-Packers wide receiver Robert Ferguson signs with Minnesota, already studying film to perfect Lambeau moonings.

Oddities

  • Odds on alternate theories Jose Offerman's lawyer will use to explain that his client actually missed when he charged the mound with a bat:
  • 8 to 1 Pregame stampede to get Offerman's autograph trampled him
  • 4 to 1 Vegas trip with teammate Pete Rose Jr. went horribly wrong
  • 2 to 1 Unfortunate victim of Bridgeport's "Throw Your Toaster Oven On The Field" promotion

Not In This Issue

  • Ninth-inning blast in nine-run loss No. 1 with a bullet in soon-to-be-released DVD "A-Rod's Most Meaningless Homers"
  • Nolan Richardson-coached Team Mexico to deploy 40 Minutes of Mild Annoyance defense in Tournament of the Americas
  • LaDainian Tomlinson hangnail triggers 700-point stock market plunge
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  • REJECTED NAMES FOR YOUR FANTASY FOOTBALL TEAM
  • 1 GARRET ANDERSON'S HOMEMADE HUMBLE PIE

    Struggling for most of the season, the Angels' cleanup man earned some harsh criticism from some know-it-all baseball columnist whose name rhymes with Zonah Zeri. A day later, Anderson laid waste to the Yankees' pitching staff, racking up four hits, two homers and 10 RBIs in an 18-9 blowout win. The performance helped preserve the Angels' two-game lead in the AL West over the streaking Mariners. It also reinforced what we already knew: Canadians should stick to what they know best. Starting today, I'm proud to announce that I'm leaving the baseball beat to become ESPN.com's new curling analyst.

  • 2 LJ'S ALBATROSS SURPRISE

    Chiefs running back Larry Johnson ended his long holdout, inking a five-year contract extension worth $43.2 million, with a hefty $19 million guaranteed. Johnson put up monster numbers last season, totaling 2,199 all-purpose yards and 19 touchdowns. He also set a single-season record with 416 carries, taking more punishment than any back in league history. Sure, running backs that run up a disproportionately large number of carries in one season tend to see a big drop off in future stats. But does Herm Edwards look worried? No way. Then again, LJ could pull a Najeh Davenport in the coach's closet and Edwards' expression still wouldn't change.

  • 3 JAIR JURRJENS' JAUNTY JUSTICE

    Making just his second big league start, the 21-year-old rookie held the Indians to just one run and one hit over 6.2 innings, leading the Tigers to a 2-1 win and vaulting Detroit to within a half-game of the AL Central lead. Jurrjens outdueled Fausto Carmona, avenging Jurrjens' hard-luck loss in his major league debut last week versus the Indians star. Tigers skipper Jim Leyland loves the rookie's moxie. Plus in an amazing coincidence, "Jurrjens" is the exact noise Leyland makes in between Marlboro puffs.

  • 4 RADOMSKI'S RAT SQUAD

    Facing up to 25 years in jail and a $500,000 fine for trafficking steroids and laundering money, former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski revealed the names of players who bought performance-enhancing drugs from him to baseball's chief steroids investigator, George Mitchell. Court documents showed that Radomski became a major source of PEDs for baseball players after federal investigators shut down the BALCO lab in the San Francisco Bay Area. Observers are now waiting anxiously to see if Mitchell will reveal names uncovered in his investigation. So far, the lone leak has been a user known only as "Jerry."

  • 5 DAYS OF THUNDER, WITH INTERMITTENT SHOWERS

    After two days of delays, Kurt Busch took the checkered flag at Michigan International Speedway, securing his second win in three races. The event marked the first time NASCAR's top circuit had run a race on a Tuesday during the modern era, which dates back to 1973. The win all but locked up the 12th and final Chase qualifier spot for Busch, slamming the door on Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt now trails by 163 points with three races left before the playoff field is set. On the plus side, two more pairs of jeans from Wrangler and Earnhardt will have a bitchin' denim sun shade for the No. 8 car.

  • 6 COLE HAMELS' SPAGHETTI ELBOW

    The Phillies ace has a strained elbow that will cost him at least two starts. Hamels missed a month of the 2004 season with elbow tendinitis, and has also missed time with other injuries in his professional career, including a broken hand suffered from punching a wall. Still, the Phillies have to be happy they stopped Hamels just in time from overreacting again. Dropping the "Macho Man" Randy Savage flying elbow on Ryan Howard from atop the dugout probably wouldn't have ended well.

Wednesday August 22

  • 1 Little League World Series: 7:30 PM, ESPN

    The team from Coon Rapids, Minn., battles the squad from Chandler, Ariz., as the LLWS rolls on toward Sunday's championship game. The new pitch count limits -- 85 for starters, 20 for relievers -- should hopefully help protect young pitchers from overuse. Beats the suggestion made by some overzealous Little League officials too. Rolling pitches up to home plate probably would've been a bit much.

  • 2 Saints at Bengals: 8 PM, NFL Network

    With just 15 days left until the start of the regular season, these two high-powered offenses meet in one of their last exhibition tune-ups. Having already beaten a horse in a foot race, Chad Johnson plans to step up his workout regimen and take the ultimate challenge: bench-press Gilbert Brown 20 times.

  • 3 Brewers at Diamondbacks: 9:30 PM, MLB Extra Innings

    Riding a 42-inning scoreless streak, Brandon Webb takes the hill against the Brewers. Webb needs two more complete-game shutouts to break former Dodger and current "Baseball Tonight" analyst Orel Hershiser's record of 59 straight scoreless frames. It's not that Hershiser's trying to put a hex on Webb or anything. He just likes wrapping his hands around his neck and yelling "Choke! Choke!" while offering his insight, that's all.

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