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TABLE OF CONTENTS

March 31, 2003 | Volume 98, Issue 13

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George Steinbrenner Cover - Sports Illustrated March 31, 2003

March 31, 2003
Bluegrass BasketballHow can you recognize the masterful job done by Tubby Smith and never once mention that he should be the hands-down favorite for coach of the year (Tubby's Terrors, March 10)?...

March 31, 2003
LETTERS

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
Patience will be key as this former power takes the next step in rebuilding

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
Rightfielder Karim Garcia, who played in 53 games last season, led all major leaguers with 0.98 RBIs per game.

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
They've gone through the root canal (first losing season in nine years); now the recovery process can start. They're still in Transition, but at least they've I got a plan....

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
For a franchise coming off its worst season ever, a .500 record is a lot to hope for

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
Carlos Beltran, who drove in 105 runs last year, became the first player to lead the franchise in RBIs in consecutive seasons since John Mayberry in 1975 and '76.

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
This is a bad team, but maybe not as bad as people think....

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
Even for a team that lost 106 games last season, the worst may be yet to come

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
Last season the Tigers committed 142 errors, the most in the league since the Indians booted 148 balls in 1993.

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
They're awful, and if they hadn't made the Jeff Weaver trade, they'd be worse....

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Tom Verducci
World Series or bust! No excuses for a club that has stalled in the first playoff round

March 31, 2003 | Tom Verducci
Eric Chavez led the A's with eight stolen bases in 2002, the lowest total to lead the club since Russ Snyder had seven in 1960.

March 31, 2003 | Tom Verducci
There's not a better pitching staff out there, and I think Barry Zito is the best of the bunch. His curveball is paralyzing....

March 31, 2003 | Tom Verducci
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Tom Verducci
Why mess with success? The gritty world champions return intact and unspoiled

March 31, 2003 | Tom Verducci
Angels batters struck out a major-league-low 805 times last year, the fewest strikeouts by a team in a nonstrike season since 1992.

March 31, 2003 | Tom Verducci
This is a team that can do everything: manufacture runs, steal, hit-and-run, bunt. They'll do what they have to do to get a run early....

March 31, 2003 | Tom Verducci
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Tom Verducci
Aging players are moving closer to retirement than to an elusive World Series berth

March 31, 2003 | Tom Verducci
Bret Boone, John Olerud and Ichiro Suzuki each won a Gold Glove last season, making it 16 straight years that a Mariner has been so honored.

March 31, 2003 | Tom Verducci
Every time I see Ichiro Suzuki, he gets better. He can beat you in so many ways. You can't pitch to this guy. He's running out of the box as he's striking the ball. If he wanted to, he could hit...

March 31, 2003 | Tom Verducci
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Tom Verducci
Manager Buck Showalter can turn bad teams around. This one will be a real test

March 31, 2003 | Tom Verducci
The Rangers were involved in 21 games last year that ended with a walk-off hit, the most in the majors. They lost 14 of those games, also tops in baseball.

March 31, 2003 | Tom Verducci
New manager Buck Showalter is a good strategist, but he'd be a better fit for a young team. He's probably going to have a hard time getting Alex Rodriguez or Rafael Palmeiro to listen to him when...

March 31, 2003 | Tom Verducci
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
New faces and payroll restraint won't put an end to a long-running success story

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
Although he did not play in 27 games last season, rightfielder Gary Sheffield led the major leagues with 23 game-winning RBIs.

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
They will be a little better offensively with a healthy Javy Lopez and newcomer Robert Fick in the lineup. Lopez was in good shape and swinging the bat really well this spring. Those two need to...

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
The payoff to a rare off-season spending spree will be a wealth of runs and victories

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
Last season, as a member of the Indians, Jim Thome reached base by way of a hit or a walk in each of his final 55 games—the majors' longest active streak.

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
There's no question that the moves they made will pay off handsomely. Jim Thome isn't going to have any trouble adjusting to NL pitching, and I think he was a steal at [$14] million a year. He has...

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003
Our baseball lineup for this season features some new faces along with the sage veterans. Senior editor Larry Burke directs our coverage for the first time, though he's hardly new to the national...

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
Newcomers Art Howe and Tom Glavine will have a calming effect on a tortured clubhouse

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
Sixteen runners were thrown out trying to steal with Tom Glavine on the mound last year; 29 bases were stolen on Al Leiter. Both figures led the majors.

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
This is a club with too many question marks. If everything breaks right, it could be in the hunt; if not, it could be a miserable year....

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
More speed and improved defense may mean a better record, but not a playoff trip

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
Centerfielder Juan Pierre led the majors with 55 infield hits in 2002, and second baseman Luis Castillo was third with 46. (The Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki had 53.)

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
The No. 1 guy on this staff is A.J. Burnett. Before he got hurt last year, I thought he was the most dominating pitcher in baseball. Most people put Josh Beckett ahead of him, but I think Burnett...

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
The team without a country will play in Canada and Puerto Rico. And pray for help

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
By leading the league with 206 hits last season, Vladimir Guerrero became the only active player with 200 or more hits in two NL seasons.

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
The corners of the infield are glaring weaknesses. First baseman Jeff Liefer can hit an 86-mph fastball out of the park, but that's about it. In camp the Expos also used Wil Cordero at first—he...

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
Will Brett Tomko ever pitch to his potential? If he does, it will help his new team a lot

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
Tony La Russa needs 76 wins to become the eighth manager in history with 2,000 or more. The last man to reach that milestone was Sparky Anderson.

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
This is a strong club. Edgar Renteria is the best shortstop in the league. He catches everything and he always comes up with the clutch hit. With Renteria, Fernando Viña, Jim Edmonds and two...

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
Jeff Kent's big bat will more than justify the displacement of Craig Biggio

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
Last year Ricky Stone tied the NL rookie record for relief appearances (78), set in '85 by Tim Burke. Sean Runyan set the big league mark (88) with Detroit, in '98.

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
I'm not in lockstep with most observers who say this is the best team in the division. Yes, they've got marquee players—Jeff Bagwell and Jeff Kent will mash the ball—but those two better stay...

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
Everything could finally fall into place here if the pitchers throw the way they ought to

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
Sammy Sosa had 108 RBIs in 2002, the eighth straight year he drove in 100 or more runs. In doing so, he tied the NL record, held by Willie Mays (1959-66) and Mel Ott (1936-42).

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
People are high on the Cubs, but I don't see it....

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
In a rotation full of questions, is designated ace Ryan Dempster the answer?

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
Cincinnati's Jason LaRue led all catchers with 20 passed balls last season, and the Reds had a major-league-high 28.

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
Management is always foolishly optimistic, and there are a lot of concerns about this rotation. Danny Graves has good stuff, but how many innings can he work? Jimmy Haynes had a good year in 2002,...

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
Keep the faith in this gradually improving club. First baseman Randall Simon has

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
Righthander Josh Fogg made 33 starts in 2002, the most by a Pittsburgh rookie since Sam Leever started 39 games (and made 12 relief appearances) in 1899.

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
I don't look for this club to improve significantly. The lineup will be slightly better. Kenny Lofton can still get on base and steal bases. Reggie Sanders is streaky and strikes out a lot, but...

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
On a team desperate for leadership, a fit and willing vet, Royce Clayton, fills the void

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
Last season centerfielder Alex Sanchez was the first Brewer to receive a vote for Rookie of the Year since righthander Jeff D'Amico. in 1996.

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
This team may have the worst talent in the majors....

March 31, 2003 | Jeff Pearlman
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Phil Taylor
The best pitching combo in baseball is in shape for the long haul of another title run

March 31, 2003 | Phil Taylor
Randy Johnson led the big leagues in strikeouts for the fifth straight year in 2002, tying the record set from 1903 through 1907 by Rube Waddell of the Philadelphia A's.

March 31, 2003 | Phil Taylor
This team is the division favorite because of the two guys at the top of the rotation, Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling....

March 31, 2003 | Phil Taylor
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Phil Taylor
The key to the Giants' return to the postseason? Not Barry. A healthy Robb Nen

March 31, 2003 | Phil Taylor
Last October, Livan Hernandez became the first player to pitch in the World Series in the same season that he led his league in losses. He was tied with two other pitchers with 16 defeats.

March 31, 2003 | Phil Taylor
This club has a great baseball man in Felipe Alou, but he's not a great game manager. It'll be interesting to see how pitchers react, because he'll use a very I quick hook....

March 31, 2003 | Phil Taylor
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
Comebacks have to be the big story for a team with a dominant rotation—if healthy

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
Last season Kazuhisa Ishii (106) and Hideo Nomo (101) became the first pair of Dodgers to each walk 100 batters in a season since Joe Hatten (110) and Kirby Higbe (107) in 1946.

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
I really like their pitching, and with the offense they're going to run out there they're going to need it....

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Steve Rushin
The tournament ticker on ESPN referred you to the war ("Tune to ABC News for continuing coverage of the war with Iraq") and the war ticker on CBS referred you back to the tournament ("The NCAA...

March 31, 2003 | Phil Taylor
Plan D: Escape the cellar by relying on homegrown pitchers and the long ball

March 31, 2003 | Phil Taylor
With just one complete game pitched in 2002, Colorado tied a big league record set in 2001 by the Devil Rays. The only Rockie to go nine? Denny Neagle.

March 31, 2003 | Phil Taylor
This organization seems to be panic-stricken, always changing what they're doing. The team that went to the playoffs in 1995 banged the ball around, so they I must think that's the way to go again....

March 31, 2003 | Phil Taylor
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Phil Taylor
A snakebitten club short on depth and dough is staggered by the loss of its two stars

March 31, 2003 | Phil Taylor
The Padres set a major league record by using 37 pitchers last season, eclipsing the mark of 32 held by the 2000 Indians.

March 31, 2003 | Phil Taylor
This season could be a disaster. Not many clubs respond well after losing their closer and cleanup hitter, especially if they weren't contenders to begin with....

March 31, 2003 | Phil Taylor
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003
We ranked the position players In the major leagues from 1 (the best) to 425 and the pitchers from 1 to 400, based on our projections of their statistical production this season. The categories...

March 31, 2003 | Rick Reilly
To Master Sergeant Chris Calkins:

March 31, 2003 | Peter King
Bill Parcells is cracking the whip—and a few heads—to make America's team his team

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
The NHL's absurd attempt to teach its greatest actors a lesson

March 31, 2003 | Michael Farber
24Consecutive Division III men's swimming and diving championships won by Kenyon College, the longest NCAA championship streak in any sport.

March 31, 2003
ScrawledOn the ball that Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal shot to score his 20,000th NBA point Thursday in Sacramento, SHAQ IS AN A—HOLE. Lakers officials noticed the declarative shortly after the...

March 31, 2003 | Kelley King
Fled

March 31, 2003
Brooks Kieschnick, 30, is trying to make the Brewers as an outfielder and a pitcher. How's he doing? SI's Kieschometer tells all. "He was flat with his pitches but not with his bat," said manager...

March 31, 2003 | Bill Scheft
Good to be here. I don't know about you, but for me, nothing says March Madness like a Final Four in April.

March 31, 2003 | Richard Deitsch
At 92 the Wizard of Westwood—who won 10 national titles at UCLA—still has strong opinions on the game.

March 31, 2003
Last Thursday, for the first time since Michael Jordan filed suit against her, Karla Knafel, his former mistress, appeared in court. Wearing horn-rim glasses, very little makeup and a long sweater...

March 31, 2003
Long-hitting John Daly provides a shining example of a classic reverse-C follow-through. He was wearing reflective sensors so that his swing can be replicated for an EA Sports video game. The big...

March 31, 2003
The sports gambling site betonsports.com is setting odds and taking wagers on various developments in the war in Iraq.

March 31, 2003
KENYON MARTINNets forward, on why the numerous fines he incurred last season prompted him to temper his temper: "I lost almost $300,000. That's two cars."

March 31, 2003
MARCH 28-APRIL 3

March 31, 2003 | Richard Deitsch
Graphic Omission, Airwave Airhead, Debating Dick

March 31, 2003
To sign up for SI's free subscriber-only e-mail newsletter, go to sicustomerservice.com/siextra.

March 31, 2003
A diamond jubilee: Get complete MLB scores, schedules, rosters and stats, plus the latest news and analysis from Tom Verducci, at si.com/baseball.

March 31, 2003
Katie Mullinix, WESTMINSTER, MD.SoftballMullinix, a senior pitcher at Salisbury (Md.) University, opened the 2003 season with back-to-back no-hitters, the first two hit-less games of her career....

March 31, 2003 | Alexander Wolff
In an opening week filled with tight games, teams with muscle came through in force

March 31, 2003 | Alexander Wolff
As needed, these bruisers in the Sweet 16 will bump, grind and even deftly score

March 31, 2003 | Chris Ballard
Can the remade Bucks hold on to a berth and end George Karl's agony?

March 31, 2003 | Chris Ballard
Could they be spoilers? The lowly Nuggets face every team except Seattle that's battling for a postseason spot. Here's a look at what else lies ahead for the playoff contenders, with their odds of...

March 31, 2003
War, GamesA TV monitor in a box at the St. Pete Times Forum showed live coverage of the bombing of Baghdad last Friday while cheerleaders worked the crowd during a break in first-round action at...

March 31, 2003
Wrestling

March 31, 2003 | Mark Beech
While Oklahoma State won a record 31st NCAA team title, Iowa heavyweight Steve Mocco stole the show

March 31, 2003 | Mark Beech
The Sooner State dominated last weekend's NCAA championships, with Oklahoma State finishing first and Oklahoma third. Together those two schools won 32 of the first 38 NCAA team titles, but before...

March 31, 2003 | Tim Layden
Wide OpenAs the big Derby preps loom, only Empire Maker looks like a favorite

March 31, 2003 | Tim Layden
These races (all are 1⅛ miles) should help shake out the field for the 1¼-mile Derby.

March 31, 2003 | Kelley King
Transfer Brock Berlin is taking his shot at the Miami quarterback job

March 31, 2003 | Ian Thomsen
Joe Dumars's deft deal making has made Detroit a big winner

March 31, 2003 | Ian Thomsen
On 6'8", 220-pound Syracuse freshman Carmelo Anthony:

March 31, 2003 | Stephen Cannella
Quick FixA trade to Philly gave Tony Amonte and the Flyers' offense a needed lift

March 31, 2003 | Pierre McGuire
The tension between Panthers G.M. Rick Dudley and coach Mike Keenan is coming to a head. On March 6 Dudley fired Keenan's assistant coach Paul Baxter, replacing him with John Torchetti, a Dudley...

March 31, 2003 | Lars Anderson
Hard-drivingFor Kurt Busch there's no holding back in his run for the points lead

March 31, 2003 | Lars Anderson
Texas Motor Speedway, host of this Sunday's Winston Cup race, has been the site of numerous wreckfests. SI checked accident reports from 2001 through last weekend to determine which drivers were...

March 31, 2003 | Tom Verducci
It's the year of the pitcher. There's such a premium on good arms that teams like the Yankees are hoarding as many as they can afford

March 31, 2003 | Phil Taylor
If this is the year that the Athletics' three dominant (and cocky) starters put it all together at the same time, watch out

March 31, 2003 | Compiled by Gene Menez
We went to the supreme master of each type of pitch to answer this question: How do you do that?

March 31, 2003 | Tom Verducci
It's 120, the maximum pitch count for almost any starter under any circumstances. But does it really protect pitchers—or just managers?

March 31, 2003 | Tom Verducci
In perhaps the best World Series game ever played, the Twins' Jack Morris gave us one final glimpse of a dying breed a pitcher who was determined to finish whatever he started

March 31, 2003
How We Rank Them

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
Godzilla might be a monster, but the key addition is a soft-tossing middle reliever

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
Alfonso Soriano (128), Derek Jeter (124), Jason Giambi (120) and Bernie Williams (102) scored 100 runs last year, the most Yankees to reach that mark in one season since 1941.

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
I think George Steinbrenner has gotten into Derek Jeter's head because it seems as if something's bothering the shortstop. He's bobbling balls he doesn't usually mishandle. I saw him strike out on...

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
In the eyes of the new G.M., the supporting cast will star if it is patient at the plate

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
Derek Lowe and Pedro Martinez became the first Red Sox teammates to win 20 games in the same season since Mel Parnell (25) and Ellis Kinder (23) pulled off the feat in 1949.

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
They may have to out-thunder people to win. This is the AL, where good offensive teams can maul their way through the division....

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
With a young lineup that's loaded, this franchise is on the rise. Add a few arms and...

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
While pitching for the Devil Rays last season, Tanyon Sturtze became the first pitcher in AL history to lead the league in losses, runs allowed, hits allowed and walks in the same year.

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
There isn't much about this team that I don't like. Carlos Tosca has done a heck of a job getting his players to hustle. They run the bases well, and they're aggressive. This lineup is going to...

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
The health of a corps of promising young regulars will make or break this club

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
Reliever Buddy Groom set a major league record for pitchers last year by appearing in at least 70 games for the seventh straight season.

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
By no means do The Orioles have a fertile organization, but they've put together a strong bullpen that gives them a chance to win games late. Jorge Julio has a chance to be in the upper echelon of...

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
The hiring of Lou Piniella was a major upgrade, but the lineup's look is minor league

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
In 2002 the Devil Rays became the first team to claim sole possession of last place in their division five years in a row since the Blue Jays did it from 1977 through '81.

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
My advice to Lou Piniella: Go to church every morning before you go to the ballpark, because you'll need miracles to get this team to win....

March 31, 2003 | Daniel G. Habib
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
The defending division champs have all the pieces in place, but for how much longer?

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
The Twins' record has been over .500 every day since the start of the 2001 season—a span of 323 games. That's the longest current streak in the majors.

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
Much has been made of the White Sox' improvement, but the Twins have got to be the division favorite. General manager Terry Ryan has put together one of the most well-rounded and fundamentally...

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
By adding an ace and a flamethrowing closer, they're back in the playoff hunt

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
Closer Billy Koch converted 44 of 50 save opportunities for Oakland last season, and in five of those six blown chances he ended up with a victory.

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
Some people say they won themselves a pennant when they made their off-season moves, but with the 3. 4 and 5 starters they have, it's going to be tough....

March 31, 2003 | Albert Chen
BATTING ORDER

March 31, 2003 | E.M. Swift
Much has changed since the last U.S. troops pulled out of Saigon, including attitudes about golf

March 31, 2003 | Alan Shipnuck
As a thriller in Phoenix made clear, the LPGA is golf's hottest tour

March 31, 2003 | Alan Shipnuck
Nobody likes to see the country at war, but the invasion of Iraq has come at a felicitous time for Augusta National. Suddenly its male-only membership doesn't seem so important, and the various...

March 31, 2003 | Steve Bosdosh
The wildly hooked drive that triggered Ernie Els's weekend collapse was the result of a flaw that must be fixed if he is to challenge Tiger Woods

March 31, 2003 | Steve Bosdosh
Most golfers have too much hand and arm action and very little body rotation. But the most consistent path to solid contact is to swing primarily with your body, letting the pivot of your torso...

March 31, 2003
David Eger, the 51-year-old who won last month's MasterCard Classic in Mexico City, has taken a circuitous route to senior stardom. He spent most of the 1990s in administrative positions with the...

March 31, 2003 | Angela Stanford
Annika Sorenstam's quest at the Colonial puts the rest of us on the LPGA tour in a no-win situation

March 31, 2003
VOTE AT GOLFONLINE.COM

March 31, 2003 | Gary Van Sickle
Weakened by food poisoning, Tiger Woods made his strongest showing of the year, winning a fourth straight title at Bay Hill