Los Angeles Dodgers
Plagued by injury ( J.D. Drew, below, Eric Gagne), they absorbed a painful insult last weekend, getting swept by their rivals in Anaheim to close out a 2-11 road trip. With Dodgers five games below .500 (35-40) for the first time since 1999, pitcher Derek Lowe said, "Thank God this road trip is over." But yikes: L.A.'s 19-17 home record is the NL's third worst.
Milwaukee native was fired as Bucks coach with the team about to make the first pick in the NBA draft. Despite a 30-52 record, Porter was taken aback by the firing ("I had no clue," he said), perhaps because at a press conference last month G.M. Larry Harris put an arm around Porter and said, "We're going to sink or swim together."
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
A crash on the third lap at Sonoma led to a 42nd-place finish and dropped him to 18th in the points race, badly wounding his chances to qualify for the season-ending title Chase. Says the driver, "I'm just frustrated that we put ourselves in this position."
Seven homers this season--19 fewer than he had this time last year--has him on pace for his lowest full-season output. While some fans clamor for first base prospect Ryan Howard (.378, 15 HRs at Triple A), Thome, 34, is a big reason Phillies (losers of 7 of 8) are falling in NL East.