July 30, 2003
Red Sox 3B Bill Mueller:
First player to hit slams from both sides of the plate in the same game. Will give the average-sized guy the out-sized pub he deserves.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Jockeying like Red Pollard and George Woolfe on the backstretch at Santa Anita, the upstart Marlins have surged past the established D-Backs in the NL wild-card race (and remain just one behind the Phillies), after two straight low-scoring thrillers between the teams.

But that's just the set-up for tonight's Must-D TV (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2): No less than the most aesthetically fascinating pitching matchup of the year -- rookie phenom Dontrelle Willis vs. Hall of Famer Randy Johnson.

Here's the catch: Teams are starting to create the book on Dontrelle, and he's been merely average since the All-Star break. Meanwhile, Big Unit seems to have re-captured his sick form.

It's the biggest game ever for the rookie, and, for Johnson's team, as close to a must-win as you can get on July 30.

MLB Trade-o-Rama
If you think signing Mueller was a coup for Red Sox GM Theo "The Kid II" Epstein, what do you call his stealing Reds closer Scott Williamson for scraps? If Sox finish first in AL East, Epstein is Exec of the Year.

Wait, the Boss's foot is still lodged ... The Yankees booted Raul Mondesi to the D-Backs, almost as fast as he left Fenway Park mid-game Sunday in a huff after being replaced with a pinch-hitter.

Kobe in Court
Countdown: 1 week. Concerned about Kobe's made-for-TV Staples Center event two weeks ago publicity, his lawyers want the judge to rethink the decision to let cameras in the courtroom.

No, not freekobe.com (not frykobe.com, either): Betting here that the Colorado Judicial Branch's new Kobe-dedicated Web site won't have a real-time scoreboard, photo galleries or official merchandise on sale.

1 Marlins vs. D-Backs: Best pitching matchup of season
2 Astros at Braves: For fans who like offense, not P duels
3 More MLB trading: Reds' bargain bin open for business
1 Wizards on TV: But LeBron on nationally 13 times
2 Utah Jazz's relevancy: Clippers keep Maggette
3 Dan Wilkinson: Redskins cut Big Duddy
(Speaking of gambling, at least it won't be a tasteless futures market on sports jurisprudence.)

Anna K: Done?
Kournikova's agent alluded Tuesday to her future career being threatened by her chronic back problems (as opposed to, say, chronic losing). Her career in calendar-posing presumably remains safe.

Dodgers Sale
The hip look in L.A.? How about would-be Dodgers (and current Tampa Bay Bucs) owner Malcolm Glazer's "Abe Lincoln" facial hair?

For the Dodgers deal to happen, Glazer will likely have to sell the Bucs, but he'd get an option on SoCal's future (read: guaranteed) NFL team. The bigger issue is what's an appropriate name for a new team in L.A.? Xtreme? Express? Chargers? Bingo: L.A. Sucks.

Gators Goof
Florida football season-ticket holder/Quickie reader Suzy Miller

provides this primer for the genius in the UF athletic department who put a crocodile on the Gators' football media-guide cover: Gators, snub-snout; crocs, pointy-snout.

Hall of Fame Game
If it's in the Hall, it's in the Hall: Madden 2004 (released Aug. 14) will be displayed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, accurately reflecting the significant role video games play among NFL fandom.

Who else had Create-a-Player monsters whose stat totals crush Sunday's '03 HOF inductees? Full Hall consideration of my C-a-Ps expected when they are eligible.

Clippers owner Donald Sterling:
Forget losing Maggette: How 'bout that sexual harassment suit filed yesterday against Sterling by an ex-employee?
Today on ESPN.com
ESPN Radio: Bill Mueller on his big day  
P2: Critter crawl
IN: MLB Rumor Central
"Futures Market" Edition
"Players to be named later"
NFL training camp continues
Too early for '04 HOF lobbying?
Need sports version of HSX
Who predicted D-Train?

New name in Kobe case: Ingrid Bakke, head of Boulder County's sexual assault and domestic violence unit, on loan to Eagle County DA ...

Legacy of patronage in Chicago politics spreads to football; Bears sign Brian Urlacher's brother (who?) to 3-year deal ...

NFL Rookie Watch: Ravens sign rookie DE Terrell Suggs, whose contract is loaded with sack incentives, reports Len P ...

Soccer invasion of US continues today: FC Barcelona vs. AC Milan in DC ...

New Washington football coach Keith Gilbertson can make everyone forget the old guy by beating Ohio St. in season opener ...

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