What the devil's going on? Tampa Bay's newly rechristened baseballers had won
six straight through Sunday and were off to the best start (14--11) in their
11-year history. One ace ( James Shields, above) two-hit Boston to complete a
sweep. Another ( Scott Kazmir, last year's AL strikeout king) could be back this
week, recovered from elbow trouble.
He's feeling wanted. The former U-Mass, former Nets and current Memphis
coach—he's gone 104--10 over his last three years there—signed a five-year
extension that averages $2.35 million and should keep him put: He gets a $5
million bonus if he stays to the end of the deal.
Danica's got company! Force became the first woman to win a Funny Car race,
beating papa John, among others, at the NHRA's Southern Nationals. After Ashley
did a quarter mile in 4.837 seconds in Atlanta, proud John evaluated: "She
did her job. She didn't do anything stupid at the starting line.... I love
Not a bad weekend for Mariners catcher Kenji Johjima. His batting average
didn't swell much (he was at .197 after a 1 for 4 on Sunday), but his wallet
did: Seattle gave him a three-year, $24 million extension.
A familiar scene in Texas: The Rangers (9--17 through Sunday) were dead last in
the AL West. Who to blame? Hitters like Ben Broussard (.173 batting average)?
Pitchers like Jason Jennings (above, 7.46 ERA)? Team president Nolan Ryan,
explaining a 2--8 slide: "[We] had a total breakdown in all aspects of our
The coach was axed by the Bobcats after just one season. Why did they shove
him? Let's count the ways: A 32--50 record didn't sit well, nor did Vincent's
ripping his team for not wanting to win, nor did his rankling of star players,
nor did his clashes with the front office....
His win in Saturday's Nationwide series was overshadowed by rumblings about his
wanting out of his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing, his losing the pole position
late during qualifying for the Sprint Cup race at Talladega and then this: a
crash and a 38th-place finish on Sunday that kept Stewart winless in his career
at 'Dega's main event.
A weekend to forget for Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz. After going 0
for 6 on Friday night, Ortiz—whose batting average slipped to .177—sat out the
next two games with a bruised knee.