July 13, 2004
HR Derby champ
Miguel Tejada:

Added at the last minute, Tejada stole the show with a record 15 HR in the semis, then bashed past hometown fave Lance Berkman in the finals.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Da Senator? Mike Ditka is considering a run for U.S. Senate in Illinois this November as the GOP's fill-in candidate, according to reports out of Chicago. Heaven help us all.

"I'm just thinking about it."
Just thinking about it actually makes me shudder: It's our Era of Celebrity Politics gone totally berserk. Ditka makes Arnold look like FDR; he makes Jesse Ventura look like Adlai Stevenson; he makes Tom Osborne look like Tom Jefferson.

"I'm getting excited about it."
And that's what scares me. His celebrity alone will energize voters -- of any leaning. When a candidate's top qualification is "Won a Super Bowl," that's a losing proposition for constituents.

Plus, we all know he's in the pocket of the E.D. industry. Maybe it's time to bust out those outtakes from the photo shoot with Wedding Dress Ricky Williams.

"Ditka for Senate" would be among the greatest amusements in sports history, but be careful what you wish for -- a Saturday Night Live skit gone so wrong.

Unit on the Block?
Randy Johnson is wasted on the D-Backs. The best interests of baseball -- and baseball fans, not to mention Johnson himself -- is to get him on a contender, pitching in the playoffs, where he said he's willing to go if a team can meet Arizona's needs.

But say it all together now: "Anywhere but New York!" The only pitching in the Bronx he should be doing in the postseason is against the Yankees, starting Games 1 and 7 at the Stadium for the visiting team.

All-Star Storylines
Have you heard about this thing between Clemens and Piazza, the starting NL All-Star battery?

Beltran's flip-flop: So does Carlos Beltran get introduced as a member of the AL (for whom he was picked?) or the NL (for whom he will play?) Savvy-marketing alert: Why not both?

8 Yankees on AL roster: I argue it's only 7.5; Jason Giambi is half his old weight -- and talent.

"500 Club": Gathering of HR greats was the real thriller
Expos relocation: MLB reportedly eyes decision in August
Stan Van Gundy: New deal; ends that "Riley returns" rumor
BALCO: $772K fine seems to be least of their worries, no?
Baseball World Cup in '05: More likely, pushed to 2006
Master P: Rapper cut from Nuggets summer-league camp
NL's "Outfield of Dreams": Uh, make that two-thirds of a dream; Ken Griffey is limping (again).

Gagne's redemption: Not touting a crazy save streak anymore, but maybe he'll actually protect the lead this time.

"It Counts": Stop the whining already. The Marlins were really crippled having to play that W.S. Game 6 in New York last year.

MJ/Heat Rumor
Psst: Here's a scoop! Michael Jordan wants to own an NBA team. Stop the presses. Anytime a team is even rumored to be up for sale, MJ will be mentioned as in the mix. With the Diesel coming to town, current Heat owner Mickey Arison would be giving Shaq-loads of money away by selling even a tiny slice right now.

Suuure: You would return a 6-year/$60 million contract for a 1-year/$5 million version. So why should Carlos Boozer? Because he offends others' notions of decency? You can't eat decency. Or buy a couple of vacation houses with it.

Even if he could make more money down the road by taking the short money from the Cavs now (and repair that "image" problem -- a total media creation outside of Cleveland, by the way), doesn't he run the risk of injury? Or the Cavs screwing him next year? Promises buy even less than decency.

Adu the All-Star?
Anyone who complains about Freddy Adu being named to the MLS All-Star team despite lackluster stats doesn't understand what sports is about: Entertainment (No, wait: Money. Oh, sorry: Both.)

MLB at Midseason
To fulfill the preseason prophecy that this would be the best baseball season ever (following last fall's best postseason ever), at least a few things should happen in the second half:

Down-to-the-wire pennant races

Please: Pitch to Barry Bonds!

Big Unit: AL Cy Young winner

Expos moved: "D.C. Senators"

Cubs, Red Sox make playoffs

Grady Little:
Newsy for being the inspiration for the newest stadium-giveaway craze: "Bobble-arm" dolls (Brockton, Mass.), inspired by his ALCS snafu.
Today on ESPN.com
Page 2: Future 500 Club members
NFL: Offseason overviews
Stark: Big Unit trade rumors
Big Unit's Most "Contenderish" Destinations
Avoids Yankees until W.S.
Best chance to reach W.S.
Red Sox
Schill reunion; not New York
Warm locale; solid offense
Same division? No chance.

Is there anything more wasted in sports than pitchers hitting in All-Star Games played in National League parks? Useless! ...

Mark Mulder, the AL's All-Star starting pitcher, is severely slept on, buried beneath hometown hype (albeit worthy) for Clemens ...

As of midnight, NBA teams can sign free agents and trade players; look for a day of madness tomorrow, starting with Shaq ...

Then K-Mart: All signs point to this Nets and Nuggets sign-n-trade swap; NJ *should* hold out for Earl Boykins in the package ...

But whither Kobe? Lakers owner Jerry Buss wants a meeting, but somehow I think Kobe's going to make up his own mind ...

Condolences to family and fans of Isabel Sanford, who as "Weezie Jefferson," was one of the most memorable TV sit-com wives ...

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