They're young(rookie rightfielder Jeff Francoeur, 21, is hitting .382 in 28 games); they'reold (Julio Franco, nearly 47, smacked a three-run homer in a win last week);and they've got the Joneses, homer-hitting Andruw (left) and back-from-the-DLChipper, leading the way to the NL East lead in runs scored.
Bob's realityshow, Knight School,tapes next month; Atlanta Hawks G.M. Billy is winninginternal battle with owner to land Joe Johnson; Memorial Cup--winning LondonKnights honored at hockey's Hall of Fame; and Sir Mick Jagger tapped to playNFL kickoff special.
It's onlypreseason, but they'll take it! After a 2-14 year and a sleazy off-season (theracy, racist in-house video), beating the rival Raiders is nice. Top pick QBAlex Smith (right) means optimism, and the absence of ex-Niner Terrell Owens issweeter with each TO tantrum.
A day afterOrioles rookie John Maine threw five scoreless innings for his first win,Little Leaguers from Westbrook reached the World Series--the first Maine teamto go to the 12-and-under dance in 34 years. That brought even more joy toPortland, whose Double AA Sea Dogs are in first place.
The team's 5.16ERA puts it in a league with lowly Kansas City and Tampa Bay--and things havebeen worse lately: Texas yielded 32 runs in four games with the Yanks and tieda big league record by scoring at least five runs in six straight losses.Outfielder David Dellucci to The Dallas Morning News: "It's like living ina place where it rains every day."
The sidelines canbe dangerous. Seattle third base coach Jeff Newman is out with a tornAchilles', and Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee got conked on the head by afoul ball--an indignity less acute than that suffered by Mets bench coach SandyAlomar, who was banned a game for sassing an ump.
It's onlypreseason, but sheesh. They traveled all the way to Tokyo (Edgerrin James wasnot pleased) to lose to the Falcons. Then the injury-plagued team sent out amakeshift lineup that disappointed the home crowd with a sloppy 17-10 loss tothe division-rival Bills.
Nationalsshortstop is hitting .190--which would be the lowest for a big league regularin 14 years--and is also stumbling in the field, where he's made five errorsthis month. The most painful development for the former All-Star? He missed agame with an oozing abscess in one of his molars.
REX BROWN/WIREIMAGE.COM (JONES)
TONY GUTIERREZ/AP (RANGERS' BENOIT)
PETER READ MILLER (SMITH)
NFLP/MICHAEL BURR/NFL PHOTOS (HELMET)