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April 05, 2004 | Volume 100, Issue 14

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Kerry Wood Cover - Sports Illustrated April 05, 2004

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
The right mix of sharp veterans and eager Baby Backs signals a playoff return

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
Opponents had a .307 slugging percentage against rookie Brandon Webb last year, lowest in the majors.

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Diamondbacks

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
CF Finley2B AlomarLF Gonzalez1B SexsonSS Cintron3B HillenbrandRF BautistaC Hammock

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
In this one-star system the supporting players will make or break the season

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
Barry Bonds's OBP topped .500 for the third time, a feat only Ted Williams (three) and Babe Ruth (five) achieved.

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Giants

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
2B Durham1B SnowCF GrissomLF Bonds3B AlfonzoRF TuckerC PierzynskiSS Perez

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
Here's what's new: the ballpark and the staff ace, good ol' David Wells

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
David Wells's 0.85 walks per nine innings last season were the fewest since Greg Maddux averaged 0.77 in 1997

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Padres

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
3B Burroughs2B LorettaRF Giles1B NevinLF KleskoCF PaytonC HernandezSS Greene

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
With a new G.M. and a team in decline, rebuilding plans are in the works

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
The Dodgers' .368 slugging percentage last season was the lowest in the major leagues in 10 years.

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Dodgers

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
CF RobertsSS Izturis3B BeltreRF GreenC Lo DucaLF EncarnacionIB Ventura2B Cora

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
A converted starter fills the void at closer, but will he get leads to protect?

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
Last year Todd Helton was the first player since 2000 to have 200 hits and 100 walks. He also did it in 2000.

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Rockies

April 05, 2004 | Tom Verducci
2B MilesSS Clayton1B HeltonCF WilsonRF Walker3B CastillaLF BurnitzC Johnson

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
You have to go to the back of the rotation to find a question mark on this club

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
Jason Giambi fanned 140 times in '03, becoming the first Yankee to lead the AL since Mickey Mantle in 1960.

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Yankees

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
SS JeterDH Williams3B Rodriguez1B GiambiRF SheffieldLF MatsuiC Posada2B WilsonCF Lofton

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
All the pieces are in place, so the burden falls on nice guy Terry Francona

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
Pedro Martinez led the American League in ERA and opponents' batting average in each of the last two seasons.

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Red Sox

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
CF Damon3B MuellerLF RamirezSS GarciaparraDH Ortiz1B MillarRF NixonC Varitek2B Reese

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
Bargains or busts? A season rides on an overhauled pitching staff

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
Roy Halladay struck out 6.38 batters for every one he walked, the best rate among starting pitchers in '03.

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Blue Jays

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
RF JohnsonLF CatalanottoCF Wells1B DelgadoDH Phelps3B Hinske2B HudsonSS WoodwardC Cash

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
Javy Lopez adds punch with his bat, but it's how he handles this staff that's key

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
Last season Javy Lopez led the majors with a ratio of one home run per 11.5 plate appearances.

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Orioles

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
2B Roberts3B MoraSS Tejada1B PalmeiroC LopezRF GibbonsDH SurhoffLF BigbieCF Matos

April 05, 2004
The * EraIs Baseball in the Asterisk Era ? (March 15). Yes, when every athlete who takes steroids puts his "ass to risk" in a shortsighted chase of glory and cash. Henry Aaron is still my idea of...

April 05, 2004
LETTERS

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
A longtime doormat builds a formidable lineup, but it's not enough to move up

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
Last year Victor Zambrano became the first pitcher managed by Lou Piniella to walk 100 batters (106).

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Devil Rays

April 05, 2004 | Peter King
LF CrawfordSS LugoCF BaldelliDH HuffRF Cruz1B Martinez3B BlumC Hall2B Sanchez

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
Hopes for a division threepeat rest heavily on a new closer's right shoulder

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
Johan Santana held opponents to a .165 average with runners in scoring position, lowest for any AL pitcher in '03.

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Twins

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
LF Stewart2B Rivas1B MientkiewiczCF HunterRF Jones3B KoskieDH LeCroyC MauerSS Guzman

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
Two huge holes to plug: the top of the order and the top of the rotation

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
In 230 innings last year runners attempted only five steals against Mark Buehrle and succeeded once.

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
an opposing team's scout sizes up the White Sox

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
2B HarrisSS ValentinRF OrdoñezDH ThomasLF Lee1B Konerko3B CredeCF RowandC Olivo

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
Will Juan Gonzalez be able to put this mostly anonymous team over the top?

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
Juan Gonzalez was one of two players in 2003 with 10 more HRs (24) than walks (14). Javy Lopez (43, 33) was the other.

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Royals

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
SS BerroaCF BeltranDH SweeneyRF Gonzalez3B RandaC SantiagoLF Guiel1B Harvey2B Relaford

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
Self-made power hitter Jody Gerut puts some muscle in the rebuilding project

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
Switch-hitter Milton Bradley led the AL last season with a .500 on-base percentage versus lefties.

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Indians

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
LF LawtonSS VizquelRF GerutCF BradleyC MartinezDH Hafner3B Blake1B Broussard2B Belliard

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
The goal of an off-season spending spree? For now, mere respectability

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
Last year Detroit pitchers struck out 4.78 hitters per nine innings, the lowest rate in the majors since 1992.

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Tigers

April 05, 2004 | Daniel G. Habib
CF Sanchez2B ViñaC RodriguezDH YoungLF WhiteRF Higginson1B Peña3B MunsonSS Guillen

April 05, 2004 | Phil Taylor
Playoff aspirations could die on the vine if Jermaine Dye doesn't bounce back

April 05, 2004 | Phil Taylor
Oakland's 3.02 ERA at home last year was more than a half run lower than the AL's next best: Seattle's 3.54.

April 05, 2004 | Phil Taylor
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Athletics

April 05, 2004 | Phil Taylor
CF Kotsay2B Ellis3B ChavezRF DyeDH Durazo1B HattebergLF KieltyC MillerSS Crosby

April 05, 2004 | Phil Taylor
Jose Guillen looks like the bargain on the best team Arte Moreno could buy

April 05, 2004 | Phil Taylor
For the second straight season the Angels were the majors' toughest team to strike out (838 times last year).

April 05, 2004 | Phil Taylor
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Angels

April 05, 2004 | Phil Taylor
SS Eckstein1B ErstadRF GuerreroCF Anderson3B GlausLF GuillenDH SalmonC Molina2B Kennedy

April 05, 2004 | Phil Taylor
Can Freddy Garcia keep his focus and become the ace this staff needs?

April 05, 2004 | Phil Taylor
Ryan Franklin gave up 34 home runs in 212 innings last year, but he allowed only 59 other runners to score.

April 05, 2004 | Phil Taylor
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Mariners

April 05, 2004 | Phil Taylor
RF SuzukiCF Winn2B BooneLF IbañezDH Martinez3B Spiezio1B OlerudSS Auriliac Wilson

April 05, 2004 | Phil Taylor
Even if Alfonso Soriano hits like A-Rod, the pitching won't lift them out of last

April 05, 2004 | Phil Taylor
Texas relievers set a big league record with 601⅓ innings pitched, beating the old mark of 599⅓ by the '77 Mariners.

April 05, 2004 | Phil Taylor
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Rangers

April 05, 2004 | Phil Taylor
SS M. Young3B Blalock2B SorianoDH Fullmer1B TeixeiraRF JordanLF MenchCF NixC Laird

April 05, 2004
We ranked the position players in the major leagues from I (the best) to 425 and the pitchers from 1 to 400, based on our projections of their statistical production this season. The categories...

April 05, 2004
College Football

April 05, 2004 | Kelley King
The Bill Callahan era at Nebraska opens with a crash course in passing

April 05, 2004 | Kelley King
Sylvester Croom, Mississippi StateThe SEC's first black head football coach takes over a team that has finished last in the SEC West three years in a row.

April 05, 2004 | Steve Rushin
Enough Innuendo. Let's name names. It's time to embrace McCarthyism—Charlie McCarthyism—and expose those in baseball who are so unmuscled, so fungo-bat skinny, so ventriloquist's-dummy diminutive...

April 05, 2004 | Ian Thomsen
Maurice Cheeks is getting signals that the Blazers want him to leave

April 05, 2004 | Ian Thomsen
On the allure of NCAA tournament stars at draft time:

April 05, 2004 | Stephen Cannella
The improbable addition of center Petr Nedved has revived Edmonton

April 05, 2004 | Pierre McGuire
Referees are furious at union head Bob Goodenow for comments he made to The Toronto Sun, saying that players think the game is officiated too loosely and thus feel the need to police themselves....

April 05, 2004 | Rick Reilly
In Boston he is known as Aaron (F——-') Boone, cousin to Bucky (F——-') Dent.

April 05, 2004 | Alan Shipnuck
Martha Burk won't be protesting at Augusta National during next week's Masters. But one way or the other, she figures in Hootie Johnson's future

April 05, 2004
Ex-athlete with eating disorder successfully sues coach

April 05, 2004
While approximately half of Justin Miller's body is covered by tattoos—and he's vowed to fill the empty spaces—only a few small ones adorn his right arm. Nonetheless, after hitters complained that...

April 05, 2004 | Stephen Cannella
Todd Bertuzzi's banishment hasn't slowed down the mayhem in the NHL

April 05, 2004
DOES THIS STORY SOUND FAMILIAR?A runty racehorse has captured the imagination of a country that has fallen on economic hard times. Fans pack her races, and books and DVDs about her fly off the...

April 05, 2004 | Stephen Cannella
2,219Saves this season for Florida goalie Roberto Luongo, breaking the NHL single-season record held by Felix Potvin.

April 05, 2004
DiedOf injuries sustained in a car accident near Miami, Matthew Gribble, 41, an Olympic swimmer and former world-record holder in the 100-meter butterfly. In 1982 Gribble upset heavily favored...

April 05, 2004 | E.M. Swift
Won

April 05, 2004
Padres pitcher and rocket scientist Jason Szuminski, 25, is trying to become the majors' first MIT grad. How is he doing? SI's Szuminskimeter tells all.

April 05, 2004 | Bill Scheft
Before we begin, did you read where the Pope wants people to stop watching sports on Sunday? Sounds like somebody had Xavier only going one round....

April 05, 2004 | Richard Deitsch
The 92-year-old chairman of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo., offers some diamond thoughts.

April 05, 2004
It was a split decision in the Taylor household last weekend as March Madness met March Badness. On Saturday night in Little Rock, 25-year-old Jermaine (Bad Intentions) Taylor (20-0) scored a TKO...

April 05, 2004
No, it's not a deleted scene from the Clash of the Titans DVD. That's actress Thalia Prokopiou, dressed in the white robe of a high priestess, lighting the Olympic torch. Prokopiou used the sun's...