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SI View The Week in TV Sports



Cardinals at Reds
FX 1 PM The INS would like to remind moping Mariners fans that
it played no role in reuniting Ken Griffey Jr. with his dad.
Junior, who has returned to his hometown of Cincinnati to play
center for the Reds (for whom his father is bench coach), is
seeking asylum from a batting slump that had him hitting .217
with a below-par (for him) seven homers through Sunday. National
League Central leader St. Louis, on the other hand, set a major
league record for round-trippers in the season's first month
with an April shower of 55.

NBA Conference Semifinals
NBC SATURDAY 3:30 PM; SUNDAY 12:30 PM, 3 PM AND 5:30 PM Fair
Ball, Bob Costas's recently published treatise on the state of
baseball, not only may be the first literary work to cite both
Ayn Rand and Scrooge McDuck, but it also makes so much darn
sense that the bosses of baseball almost certainly won't
implement the changes Costas proposes. Air Ball, our
considerably more concise advice to the NBA, consists solely of
Somebody, anybody, move without the basketball! And would it
kill you to set a weakside pick? The Jazz and the Trail Blazers,
whose deft passing makes them NBAberrations and who at week's
end seemed headed for a collision in the semis, would be the
most edifying matchup of this round, which continues through the
rest of the week on, variously, TBS and TNT.

Kentucky Derby
ABC 4:30 PM This year's Triple Crown opener has a Guys and Doll
flavor, as Jenine Sahadi bids to become the first female to
train a Derby winner. True, her colt, The Deputy, lost in
March's San Felipe Stakes to prohibitive Derby favorite Fusaichi
Pegasus, but the defeat was by less than a length. Besides, no
prerace pick has won at Churchill Downs since Spectacular Bid in
1979. Sahadi's unorthodox methods--she mixes wine into The
Deputy's oats--and Pegasus' well-reported skittishness may lead
to a mild upset. Luck be a lady.

Devils at Maple Leafs, Game 5
ESPN2 7:30 PM Leafs aren't supposed to fall until autumn.
Toronto, Canada's lone remaining club in the NHL playoffs,
squandered home ice advantage to New Jersey by losing 1-0 last
Saturday at Air Canada Centre. Goalies Martin Brodeur of the
Devils and Curtis Joseph of the Maple Leafs have tended their
nets as if possessed, each averaging a mere 1.0 goals-against in
the first two games of this Eastern Conference semifinal. Games
6 and 7, if necessary, would be on Monday and Wednesday (network
to be announced, 7 p.m. each night).

Don't Miss

Saturday 5/6

On Hallowed Ground
TNT 10:05 PM "The way I see my life after basketball," says
Anthony (Biz) Heyward, star of the Puff Daddy-sponsored Rucker
League team Bad Boy, "is, I don't." Across the Harlem River from
Yankee Stadium, on the corner of 155th Street and Frederick
Douglass Boulevard, sits Holcombe Rucker Memorial Park (above),
playground zero for basketball, hip-hop style and urban
African-American culture. This absorbing 90-minute documentary
chronicles the history of the league, in which NBA immortals
Tiny Archibald and Julius Erving (among others) honed their
games, and it revisits the fancy flights of participants hoping
to make names for themselves in last summer's playoffs.



the zapper

In the early going the NBA's delay game--the stretching out of
the opening playoff series to a possible 14 days--shot a brick
with viewers. According to Nielsen, last weekend's ratings on
NBC were down 24% from the comparable weekend in 1999. Of
course, the absence of such injured marquee players as Tim
Duncan, Grant Hill and Jason Kidd didn't help. Now, with the
Raptors out, Vince Carter won't be around, either.... Two
gentlemen who whacked balls brilliantly for a living will be
profiled in 90-minute documentaries. PBS airs Joe DiMaggio: The
Hero's Life (check local listings) and The Golf Channel presents
Byron Nelson: A Texas Gentleman (Tuesday, 9 p.m.).