June 30, 2003
Albert Pujols:
While the Cards and Royals paid tribute to the Negro Leagues with retro unis, he went 4-6 with 2 HR, raising his average to .391.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Assuming Miami bolts for the ACC today (and indications are that they will), it should quickly schedule a home-and-home with both BC and Syracuse to stanch widespread Northeast alumni hostility.

If UM prez Donna Shalala delivers a true Nor'easter and announces a return to the Big East, its members have kept its prize possession at a huge price, the ACC is a laughingstock, and it would turn out that those manipulative ACC-bound Hokies had been underestimated all along.

MJ Loses Bucks
If you were kind of a tool, telling your friends about courting the biggest hottie in the bar, and you tried to pass off an explanation like "I was impressed with ... their willingness to make every effort to date me," caveats don't change the obvious: they still won't agree go out with you. (Now sub "keep the team in Wisconsin" for "date me.")

Reading between (or into) the lines of Bucks owner Herb Kohl's statements, the make-or-break issue was clear: It's the relocation, stupid. MJ the wannabe owner couldn't give Kohl the civic loyalist necessary assurance he wouldn't move the team.

NBA Free Agency
Jason Kidd, in play at midnight tonight along with the other NBA free agents, may be worth big cash, but teams should skip overpaying for Arenas, Payton or Mailman and go for values like Speedy Claxton, Stephen Jackson or Earl Boykins.

Wiz Roll On
Is Wizards owner Abe Pollin getting the last laugh? The usually woeful franchise has actually strung together a series of effective management moves,

1 Miami announcement about ACC/Big East: 4 p.m. ET
2 Wimbledon: Serena, Venus, Roddick, Agassi, Henman
3 D-Backs at Rockies: Arizona goes for 12th straight win
1 MLB Interleague: Back to your regularly scheduled races
2 World Cup expansion: Sticks w/ 32; call it the anti-ACC
3 Jay Williams' health: Not Boozer's info to pass along
from hiring Eddie Jordan to presumably hiring Ernie Grunfeld from the Bucks to run basketball ops.

Wie Watch
Tied for 52nd in ShopRite: But a good tune-up for this week's U.S. Open, where 13-year-old Michelle will do a lot better (not to mention make this year's event must-watch).

Bucks/T-Wolves Trade
Minny: Just when Troy Hudson thought he had carved out some shots, along comes Sam Cassell.

Mil: Unclogs backcourt, but applies a ton of pressure on rookie PG T.J. Ford.

Patriot Games?
Do U.S. high-school players owe the national team an appearance? Sunday NYT story profiled studs who forego

summer "USA" jersey for Camp Nike and AAU models. Top players are just trying to boost NBA stock -- and practicing capitalism. Isn't that the ultimate tribute to America?

Sharapova, Kuznetsova, Myskina, Dementieva, Zvonareva: Reads like a directory of mail-order brides, but they are actually in Wimby's version of the Sweet 16 -- and the biggest Russian sensation since teen-pop duo t.A.T.u. this spring. Get a look now, because these five run into the American buzzsaw soon enough.

Michael Jordan:
The NBA's greatest ever -- unmatched as a player -- has now been smacked around by TWO relatively bumbling NBA owners.
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Bringing Up Baby
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Morning Glory
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Love Among the Ruins
Nets in trouble if Kidd bolts

Tigers back on track for worst ever: nine straight losses ...

Pens G Johan Hedberg said he thinks Super Mario will be back; but it could have also just been worthless golf-course banter ...

Miss this over the weekend? Davey Johnson named manager of Netherlands national team. Amsterdam? Just like late-'80s Mets ...

Strength of schedule upgrade? Penn State replaces 'Bama with Central Florida ...

After awkward performance at Indians BP Friday night, LeBron should keep his new day job ...

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