After a surprisingly fast start, they keep rollin'. Through Sunday first-place
Detroit had won nine of 10 and 22 of 30 since skipper Jim Leyland screamed at
them after a 10-2 loss on April 17. Buoyed by rookie starter Justin Verlander
(above) the big cats had the majors' best ERA: 3.26.
In 12 no doubt agonizing minutes, the 6'1", 230-pound San Jose State junior
(left) knocked back 50 hot dogs to set a U.S. record. His next big dog show?
The July 4th Nathan's contest at Coney Island, and a much-anticipated matchup
with world champ Takeru Kobayashi of Japan.
Garciaparra, a Dodgers off-season signee, was carrying the team with a .363
average and 29 RBIs, and looking good with the leather: The ex-shortstop was
errorless in his maiden turn at first. Said Nomar to the L.A. Times, "I'm
not thinking of it as being hot. I just do my best."
Righty Kris has been an ace for the Orioles (6-3, 3.86 ERA), and saucy wife
Anna (left) isn't crabby about living on Baltimore's waterfront. "It's a
place where we can be romantic," she said.
After a surprisingly fast start, they're fadin'. Cincy had lost seven of nine,
scored two runs or fewer eight times in May, and slugger Austin Kearns (right)
was 4 for his last 38. Said manager Jerry Narron, "A lot of people expect
us to fall off the face of the earth."
Second-round hero (a four-goal game!) was pointless as Ducks fell behind 0-2 to
Oilers in NHL semifinals. The real rub for the Edmonton native: According to
the Edmonton Sun, his grandpa (part owner of the Oilers) and brother
(16-year-old Oilers freak) are rooting for the opposition.
Ortiz, a Nationals off-season signee, has been a huge disappointment: 1-4, 6.15
ERA and a fielding terror with three errors. Before struggling through
five-plus innings to finally get a victory on May 18, Ortiz (right) observed,
"When we play good, no win. When we play bad, no win. I'm the same
The Phils shortstop retired at 33 ("It's been an excellent ride," he
said of his 13 seasons) frustrated that he was batting .111. The same-named Red
Sox shortstop wasn't doing much better at .197.