Hernandez (Ramon, their catcher) was on the DL, but the Orioles were flying. They'd won 11 of 15 at week's end, stars Miguel Tejada (.338) and Melvin Mora (15 RBIs) were thriving, and, said manager Sam Perlozzo, "everything seems to be clicking." No wonder they were feeling so lovey-dovey. Infielder Chris Gomez to the Baltimore Sun: "Everyone looks forward to coming in the clubhouse, hanging out with each other."
The Brewers' young shortstop J.J. was healthy and solving pitchers as never before. Paced by his team-leading five home runs and 13 RBIs, Hardy's boys were in first place. "I'm happy," said J.J. "I'll take it."
Or Rudra, as he's known around the Ashram Yoga Farm. The running back is eligible for NFL reinstatement this week after a year's ban for substance abuse—and if the Dolphins (his old team) don't want him, the Rams might. "I'd fight for him," said St. Louis coach Scott Linehan.
Cubs lefty Rich Hill (right) was 3--0 with an 0.41 ERA—you're reading that right—which, in Chicago, was already grounds for Cy Young talk. Nationals starter Shawn Hill had a 2.92 ERA, and in Toronto, usually light-hitting Aaron Hill had three homers and a .303 average.
Hernandez (Felix, their ace) was nursing a strained right forearm, and the Mariners were floundering. They had lost six straight, stars Richie Sexson (.170) and Adrian Beltre (.241) were struggling, and, explained manager Mike Hargrove after getting swept by the Angels, "nothing we did this weekend worked." No wonder they weren't loving life at the ballpark. Said Beltre, "It's no fun."
The Diamondbacks' young shortstop Stephen (left) was in a slump that was a mystery to his manager. "Stephen's at bats haven't been too bad," said Bob Melvin—but his .209 average, with no pop, was a drag on Arizona.
He definitely won't be back in Miami. The Dolphins running backs coach and Nick Saban hire got a contract extension in January, but last week he became the latest assistant (that's five now) to leave under new coach Cam Cameron, who did not explain the dismissal.
What a week. The Islanders' getting routed in the playoffs was the least of defenseman Sean Hill's worries. He also became the first player suspended (20 games) under the NHL's policy against performance-enhancing drugs. Bad timing: Hill's about to be a 37-year-old free agent.