Alex Rodriguez knows what you're thinking. Rodriguez has heard much of it, and realizes it's time to issue his rebuttal. "I know people think I'm nuts," he tells USA TODAY Sports, in his first extensive interview since last season. "I know most people wouldn't want the confrontation. Most people would say, 'Get me out of here. Trade me. Do anything.' But I'm the (expletive) crazy man who goes, 'I want to compete. I want to stay in New York. I refuse to quit.' Maybe it's stupidity, I don't know, but I'm wired to compete and give my best. I have a responsibility to be ready to play as soon as I can." Rodriguez, his exasperation now palpable, knows the haters are out there. (USA TODAY Sports) Comment
Soon, The Decision, DH Edition, will come. The teams in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes spent Independence Day in fairly agonizing fashion, left with no alternative but to wait and hope that a decision from the NBA's most coveted free agent indeed comes Friday. It was a particularly uncomfortable holiday for the Los Angeles Lakers, sources told ESPN.com, as fears mount within the organization that Howard's current employers could have fallen to as low as fourth in his pecking order. ... [There] were indications late Thursday that Lakers officials, already bracing for the worst, had begun to rethink their long-held position of ruling out sign-and-trade options in the event Howard decides to bolt to one of L.A.'s rivals. (ESPN Los Angeles) Comment
One of the more interesting camps to watch when it opens will be Philadelphia's, based on a new head coach and his stable of quarterbacks -- both old and new. While quarterbacks have been overdrafted the last few years, I felt they were underdrafted this year. There is no way [Matt Barkley] should have lasted until the 4th round. The Eagles traded up to get Barkley and Chip Kelly knows Barkley very well, having played against him for four years in the Pac-12. Michael Vick's best days as a player are behind him. He is not an instinctive player and turns the ball over way too much in the red zone. Barkley has the tools to be a top NFL quarterback and my feeling is that he will be the starter in Philly before the season is six games old. (National Football Post) Comment
Lorenzo Cain celebrates after hitting a grand slam against the Cleveland Indians on the Fourth of July. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)
Marion Bartoli beat Kirsten Flipkens yesterday to advance to her second ever Wimbledon finals. Bartoli is known for being a bit offbeat, and she reveals her quirks in this post-match interview yesterday.