June 21, 2004
Retief Goosen:
Everyone appreciates an even keel on a course as brutal as Shinnecock, but Goosen won few fans with his emotion-free performance.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Rumor of the Day: You knew Shaq and T-Mac wanted to play together -- what if they ended up in... Dallas?!

That's the rumor McGrady himself is spreading, on top of the one that has him being shipped somewhere in a mega-deal over the next few days.

Hot destinations: Suns? Pacers? Clippers? But the juiciest remains this one involving the everything-is-bigger-here Mavs with his buddy Shaq.

Holy Cuban! The Mavs owner claims ignorance, but if you believe that, I'll bet he has some old dot-com stock to sell you.

The problem: Even though Dallas has the salaries required to complete a double-blockbuster, it presumes that the Magic and Lakers want the spotty goods that Dallas is hawking.

Dirk? Okay, maybe. But the rest? No thanks. But that's beside the point; thinking about T-Mac and Shaq lining up together -- for Mark Cuban's Mavs! -- is wild enough for a Monday.

U.S. Open Postscripts
P.S. 1: Shinnechoke
That national sound you heard was a collective groan when Phil Mickelson three-putt on 17 for an Open-losing double-bogey. Wasn't that the Lefty who was supposed to have been exorcised at Augusta?

P.S. 2: Whither Woods?
Between the ridiculous rap-style feud with his ex-swing coach and his caddy's propensity to get all Sean Penn on the gallery, Tiger Woods might almost make us forget he finished 17th.

P.S. 3: Course Correction
With a final-round average of 78.7(!), players are so ticked by the brutal course that the USGA may never hold an Open at Shinnecock again. (See DQ'ed, bottom right.)

Eric Gagne: Threw his 81st straight save, vs. NYY no less
Alan Webb: Miler sets record for best time ever run in US
Facial-Hair Watch: Goosen's caddy's landing-strip goatee
Roger Clemens: 2nd straight L this weekend; mojo vanished?
Fred McGriff: Next to reach 500? Says he has "ways to go"
Beltran-to-Yankees rumors: Does NY need pitching more?
Griffey: Finally 500
Griffey hits No. 500:
Even though he should have gotten to this point about three seasons ago (injuries limited him to only 234 games -- and 43 HR -- between '01 and '03), he's still the 6th-youngest player to reach the milestone. That's how sick he was in his early career.

Lakers Watch
Rudy, not Riley: Pat Riley's return to L.A. turns out to be nothing more than wishful thinking (he's renegotiating with the Heat, though it's hard to figure out exactly what value he adds for them.)

But Rudy T would be an inspired choice: He's got two rings to establish his cred; a less autocratic way than Phil of managing chemistry; and a better mastery of Xs and Os than Jax ever had.

Yes, but does Kobe like him?

D-Rays: Break 'Em Up!
Given Tampa's MLB-best 11-1 inter-league record, the D-Rays could be contenders... if they played in the NL, instead of the brutal AL East.

Despite an 11-game winning streak (also an '04 MLB best), the team is two games under .500 and more than 10 out of first place. They will never contend in their current division.

One idea: Why not "trade" them to the NL East for the Mets? New York has a payroll bloated enough to compete in the AL East (and to provide a wild rivalry with both the Yankees and Red Sox).

Wimbledon Opens
Three things need to happen to make this Wimbledon marketable to the waning U.S. tennis fan base:

All-Williams final:
Serena and Venus go as far as our attention span.

Chronicles of Roddick:
And eye-popping 150-mph serves from A-Rod wouldn't hurt.

Kristen Dunst sightings:
She's filming an eponymous movie about the tournament.

With Sunday's scores averaging around an awful 80, it's more than fair to blame the course rather than the players. No, let's blame the USGA.
Today on ESPN.com
Page 2
Golf: U.S. Open coverage
NBA Draft preview
Next 5 in Griffey's Sights
Eddie Murray
504: Could be by All-Star break
Mel Ott
511: Should happen this season
512: Eddie low-pro; Ernie not
521: Maybe by September?
Jimmie Fox
534: Maybe next year ...

Jason Schmidt is big-game clutch: He one-hit the AL-contending Red Sox on Sunday, after one-hitting the NL-contending Cubs earlier...

What if the Cubs' best pitcher isn't Prior or Wood, but Carlos Zambrano? Beat A's Sunday, lowered ERA to 2.25 (2nd in NL)...

Portland is dealing with NJ for their draft pick, nudging the Blazers closer to officially ruining Sebastian Telfair's career...

A trial date for Kobe could be set as early as today; keep your daybook handy to note when the national madness will really start...

Huge kudos to Mark Crummley, the 19-y.o. who caught Junior's 500, then promptly gave it back to him. What a great model for fans...

Coming tomorrow: Charlotte Bobcats Expansion Draft Madness...

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