April 11, 2005
Red Sox Rings:
How soon before diehard Red Sox Nation fans can buy a replica of the World Series rings the team will get today before their game with the Yankees?
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Take that, doubters!

This was Tiger's finest Major title. Some marvel when he has made it look easy; appreciate this one even more because it wasn't.

During Tiger's Major drought, some might have forgotten what a uniquely must-see event he transforms golf into on a Sunday.

No other sport has an athlete who is single-handedly as much of a spectacle as Tiger is for golf.

But where I once thought that all golf needed was Tiger alone to succeed with mainstream fans; now I realize that he needs a foil.

But it doesn't have to be Phil or Vijay or Ernie. Just someone who won't fold in his presence -- someone to force him to make his biggest shots.

Like that birdie chip on 16, which was the most dramatic golf shot I've ever seen, given who shot it, when it happened...

...And HOW: Pausing on the lip for what felt like an hour, then dropping in.

Which reaction shot was best: Tiger's? DiMarco's?

How about those two fans on the left side of the wide TV shot, who jumped each other in celebration like two teens in a backseat?

Another big lesson: In case you'd forgotten (and so many had), it's Tiger's world, and we're only in the gallery.

Tragedy in Arena
Speed: What makes Arena Football so exciting is also what makes it even more dangerous. Al Lucas was a 300-pound lineman; size couldn't protect him.

Arena needs to reevaluate itself; a high-growth sports league built on high-flying action is now "that league where the player died."

A good place to start is canceling next week's games, out of respect for the player, his family and his friends.

Chris DiMarco: Vaults into next top tier, after wild Sunday
Jeff Gordon: Wins (again), on Martinsville's short track
Bulls: Back in playoffs for the first time in post-MJ Era
Vijay vs. Phil: They played together; even Phil downplayed
Roberto Clemente Jr: Admits he took 'roids (unknowingly)
Dissing Tiger's golf swing: Looked pretty good on 16, no?
Yankees at Red Sox
Nothing says "In your face!" like getting your World Series rings in front of the very rival you vanquished to earn them.

The Yankees insist that they won't be watching what happens on the field at Fenway today, but pretending it doesn't exist is a mistake.

The Boss should make them all sit on the dugout bench, eyes glued open. (Call it "Clockwork Pinstripes.")

If the rowdy, glorious scene at Fenway doesn't motivate them, nothing will. (3:05, ESPN)

Pistons d. Heat
Which team is worse off in the playoffs: The Heat without Shaq or the Spurs without Duncan?

Based on Miami's anemic showing on Sunday losing to the Pistons, Detroit is still the team to beat in the East, until Shaq can prove otherwise.

Meanwhile, the Spurs beat those streaking Warriors in 2OT, not just without Duncan, but without Ginobili and Nesterovic, too.

Smoltz-Pedro Showdown
Met expectations: Smoltz tied his Atlanta record with 15 Ks, but Pedro threw a complete-game two-hitter and Beltran hit a go-ahead HR to give the new Mets a new taste: Victory.

MLB Weekend
Johan Santana Watch: 11Ks over 7 IP in a Twins win over the White Sox.

Troy "R.O.I." Glaus: Hit a HR in his fourth straight game Sunday, leading the D'backs over the Dodgers.

Meanwhile, JD Drew finally got his first hit as a Dodger in that game.

Beckett is back: 11 Ks in a W over the Nats, plus he's working a 15-inning scoreless streak.

Pitchers pegged: Pavano gets drilled with a shot to the head; Lowe takes a line drive to the right arm. Are batters out for blood?

Bonds and Greg Anderson: Working out with his old, BALCO-tainted trainer?! What. Is. Barry. Thinking.

Scottish soccer fans:
Can expect a worldwide p.r. problem after booing the Pope during a moment of silence in his honor. (Makes Eagles fans look rational.)
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie live!
Masters Wrap
The Show: D. Stern
Chants at Fenway Today
"Yankees Suck!"
Can't get around it ...
"Thank you, Theo!"
Many tried, only Theo succeeded
"Or-tiz! Or-tiz!"
MLB's biggest Yankee killer
"Manny! Manny!
"Belllhorn!" doesn't work
"Yankees suck!"
Can they hear you?

If George Steinbrenner's horse wins the Kentucky Derby, will Red Sox owner John Henry go out and buy one to compete with him?

NBA Draft watch: Washington 5-9 dynamo Nate Robinson will announce his intention to go pro today. Outside chance at being a first-rounder.

MLB Monday: Andy Pettitte makes his return to New York to pitch against the Mets. Unlikely to find many Yankees fans out at Shea today.

Pitch-slapped: Early box-office returns on Fever Pitch were the equivalent of a dribbling single. $13 mil, but less than Sahara or Sin City.

Colorado watch: San Diego St AD to take CU job, which may qualify as the Worst Job in Sports. Enjoy those pending investigations.

Who needs the NHL's Avalanche? Denver wins another NCAA Frozen Four hockey title.

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