October 29, 2004
Alonzo Mourning:
Has solid effort for Nets in first game following kidney transplant, scoring 12 pts in 19 minutes.
QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.

The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

They're still celebrating in Beantown, but there's no resting for the front office.

GM Theo Epstein must start looking at rebuilding his club -- re-signing free agent Jason Varitek will be No. 1 priority -- and any good GM will start with the top 5 free agents.

1. Carlos Beltran. Risk: Low.
27 y.o., 38 HR, 42 SB
Could stay in Houston, look for big offer from Cubs.

2. Adrian Beltre. Risk: Medium.
25 y.o., .334, 48 HR
Is he for real? Troy Glaus may be better 3B FA option (i.e.: cheaper).

3. Edgar Renteria. Risk: Low.
29 y.o., .287, 10 HR
Capable of much better numbers. Too expensive for St. Louis?

4. Carlos Delgado. Risk: Medium.
32 y.o., .269, 32 HR
Big second half. Seattle needs 1B, lefty power. Hmm.

5. Pedro Martinez. Risk: High.
33 y.o., 217 IP, 3.90 ERA
Career-high ERA, but 33 GS. Sleeper team: Giants.

Which team will be this year's Angels (surprise spenders)? Giants won't spend huge, but need to make push for title with Bonds. And the pressure is on the Cubs to end their curse.

NFL: Week 8
Top 5 NFL subplots this week:

NE (6-0) at PIT (5-1)
Always top plot until Pats lose. Prediction: not this week.

BAL (4-2) at PHI (6-0)
T.O. goes for 5th straight 100-yard game.

NYG (4-2) at MIN (5-1)
Critical NFC potential playoff preview game.

IND (4-2) at KC (2-4)
Can Chiefs match last week's total? Against Indy's D, maybe.

DET (4-2) at DAL (2-4)
Lions go for another road win; expect them to get it.

Boston Red Sox: And still World Series champions!
Bryan Randall: 368 total yards for Va Tech in 34-20 win
Frank Francisco: Chair-thrower faces lesser charge
Yao Ming: Misses game with hyperextended elbow
Jeff Kent: Astros decline option (try to re-sign?)
Mateen Cleaves: Former MSU star cut by Sonics
College Preview
At least one of the top-ranked undefeated teams is due to lose, since all play on the road.

Best bet? No. 2 Oklahoma plays No. 20 OSU, which has won previous two meetings.

Another potential upset looms with Florida playing at No. 7 Georgia? Will Gators rally behind lame-duck coach Ron Zook, with Spurrier rumors floating?

College Hoops: Top 25
Brought to you only as a public service, and not as a validation of preseason polls (although hoops polls don't have the damaging effect of football preseason polls).

Kansas tops ESPN/USA Today coaches poll, edging Wake Forest. In strong showing by ACC, North Carolina and Georgia Tech come in at No. 3 and 4.

Defending champ UConn, without Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon, checks in at No. 7.

Jazz: Good, Bad
Good news: ESPN.com's Chad Ford reports Jazz will lock up All-Star F Andrei Kirilenko to the maximum extension, through 2011.

Bad news: Point guard Carlos Arroyo sprains ankle in preseason game.

19 Days: Game 2
Between ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, there will be 19 straight days of football. Tonight, it's Hawaii at undefeated Boise State (8 ET, ESPN2.

Subplot: Hawaii QB Timmy Change just 251 yards away from passing Ty Detmer's career NCAA passing yards record of 15,031 yards. But Boise has won 23 straight on its blue turf.

--David Schoenfield
Plaxico Burress:
Complains that Pats DBs get breaks from refs; just worry about avoiding those dropped passes.
Today on ESPN.com
The Morning Quickie
NBA Preview
NFL Game of Week
Next 5 Best Free Agents
Magglio Ordonez
Still a stud, if healthy
Carl Pavano
Yanks, Red Sox in bidding war?
Brad Radke
Solid, underrated starter
Nomar Garciaparra
Reputation has declined
Mike Lowell
If declines player option

Astros pick up Craig Biggio's $3M option...

Clippers agree to play in Staples Center for 10 more years. Fans in L.A. can breathe now ...

Breeders' Cup this weekeed, but with no Smarty Jones, does anyone care? ...

WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw says she left Mystics last season with depression ...

Tour de France makes mountain stages less tough, shorten time trials for 2005. In other words: Give somebody besides Lance a shot ...

Ravens sign Jonathan Ogden to seven-year extension ...

Longtime Cubs broadcaster Steve Stone steps down, after criticizing team last month. He'll get a job somewhere ...

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