These days, the Bronx Bombers, they are not. In dire need of a bat with thump and an indication the Yankees may believe that Alex Rodriguez isn't going to play this season, the toothless Bombers are close to acquiring Alfonso Soriano from the Cubs, The Post has learned. According to a person familiar with the talks, the Cubs will pay the bulk of what is left on Soriano's contract. He makes $18 million this year and the same for next season. Like they did in the Vernon Wells deal, whatever the Yankees pay will be laid out for the little more than the $6 million remaining Soriano's contract this season. That way the Yankees aren't on the hook for money next year when they want to get the payroll to $189 million. Soriano has a no-trade clause, but he would not block a deal to put him back in Pinstripes. (New York Post) Comment
On a day when Nick Foles said, "I'm not here to be a backup," Matt Barkley wanted to make sure he felt part of a three-man race. Barkley, the 22-year-old rookie from USC, reported to his first NFL training camp Monday at the NovaCare Complex and pronounced himself part of the Eagles'quarterback competition. Not a third-stringer. Not a backup. A contender to be the opening-day starter. "There is an open competition," Barkley said. "I absolutely feel like I've got to be a part of it. I've got to challenge myself, just like any other guy on the team." Although conventional wisdom says that Michael Vick and [Foles] are the main contenders to be the Eagles' starter against the Redskins on Sept. 9, Barkley isn't buying it. He's part of the equation, too. "Your mindset has to be that you're in the race to start," Barkley said. (CSN Philly) Comment
Coaches take all manner of preseason approaches, but few show up as blunt as Charlie Weis did for Big 12 Media Days. Here are three of Weis' beauties from his 20-minute Q and A with media ... For starters: "We're 1-11 and picked by everybody to finish last in the league, and that's justifiable. If I were you, I'd pick us in the same spot." ... The capper came when someone asked about Weis' [recruiting ]pitch, given the miserable state of the Jayhawks program. Weis hit on KU's academics, its facilities set-up and the lure of immediate playing time. He says he puts it this way to the typical high school recruit, referring to players already in the program: "Have you looked at that pile of crap out there? Have you taken a look at that? So if you don't think you can play here, where do you think you can play?" (Tulsa World) Comment
Troy Dumais and Michael Hixon of the U.S. competing at the world diving championships in Barcelona, Spain. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
SI's Stephen Cannella and Maggie Gray discuss the suspension of Brewers slugger Ryan Braun.