By Wladimir Klitschko, with a display of firepower that left Chris Byrdoverwhelmed, the IBF heavyweight championship. Klitschko (above, right) stoppedByrd in the seventh round of their fight in Berlin last Saturday to take thebelt Byrd won in 2002. The KO sent a message to critics of Klitschko, whose TKOlosses to Corrie Sanders in 2003 and Lamon Brewster in '04 left manyquestioning his heart. Against Byrd he was ferocious, flooring the champ in thefifth with a straight right and finishing him off with a right hook. "Heshould be proud," Klitschko said. "I have never seen anybody take thatmuch punishment and come back."
By Deena Kastor of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., the London Marathon. Kastor finishedin 2:19:35--making her just the eighth woman to break the 2:20 barrier. (Shelowered her own American marathon record by 1:41.) Kastor, 33, won by nearlytwo minutes; the only question was whether or not she'd beat 2:20. "I knewthe last 10K would be successful," she said. "I kept doing the math. Ikept looking at my watch at every mark and making sure I was going to get underit."
Of the most serious charges in the first of the Minnesota Vikings' "loveboat" trials, Moe Williams. A jury found the running back, 31, guilty of amisdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct stemming from a team cruise lastOctober but acquitted him of charges of indecent conduct and lewd andlascivious conduct. (Williams, who is no longer with the team, was accused offondling a topless dancer.) He was fined $300 and ordered to perform 30 hoursof community service. The trials of two other players, Fred Smoot and BryantMcKinnie, are scheduled for later this month.
On air that women have no place in the dugout, Mets broadcaster KeithHernandez. The former Mets and Cardinals first baseman, who has enjoyed areputation as a ladies' man, made the remarks during last Saturday's game atSan Diego after Mike Piazza high-fived the team's 33-year-old massagetherapist, Kelly Calabrese, in the Padres' dugout. "You have got to bekidding me," Hernandez said while covering the game for SportsNet New York."Only player personnel in the dugout." When he found out she was on theteam's staff, Hernandez said, "I won't say that women belong in thekitchen, but they don't belong in the dugout." Hernandez, 52, quicklylaughed and apologized, saying, "You know I am only teasing. I love yougals out there--always have." (He repeated his apology on the next day'sbroadcast.) Calabrese wasn't amused. "It is amazing that somebody can bethat ignorant to actually voice that opinion," she said after the game.
By a U.S. Fed Cup team devoid of its stars, the heavily favored Germans. WithSerena and Venus Williams, Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriati unavailable,Fed Cup captain Zina Garrison summoned little-known No. 39 Jill Craybas andlesser-known No. 75 Jamea Jackson (above) for last week's quarterfinal match inGermany. Though neither American had previously won a Fed Cup match, they ledthe U.S. to a 3--2 victory. Jackson, 19, won the decisive rubber againstMartina Mueller on Sunday. "I struggled a bit in the middle of the firstset, but I kept my head," said Jackson.
After being stricken by an undetermined illness, 3-year-old thoroughbred With aCity. The horse, who won the $500,000 Lane's End at Turfway Park on March 25,was expected to compete in the Kentucky Derby on May 6, but last Thursday hebecame ill. He was taken to the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington,Ky., on Friday, but doctors could not discover what was wrong with him."They just don't know," said Mike Maker, the horse's trainer."Hopefully, a necropsy will tell us more, but their feeling right now isthat they're not so sure that they're going to be able to tell."
At the behest of White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, the shaggy mane of catcherA.J. Pierzynski (below, before and after). Third baseman Joe Crede was alsotold to cut his long hair, which he grew out last year during a hot streak atthe plate. "Rules are rules," said Crede. "I'm going to have tofind a new superstition." Both players had their locks shorn last Thursdayin the studio of Chicago radio station WSCR-AM, which broadcast thehaircuts.
Of injuries suffered in a car accident, Oscar Acosta, 49, the manager of theYankees' Rookie League team and a former major league pitching coach. Acostaand Humberto Trejo, 38, New York's field coordinator in the Dominican Republic,were in a car that was struck by an SUV near Santo Domingo on April 19. Trejowas also killed. (The driver of the SUV suffered minor injuries.) They were inthe Dominican Republic scouting players. Acosta served as the pitching coachfor the Cubs (2000 and '01) and Rangers (2002) and spent 16 years in theYankees' system.
At age 85, College Football Hall of Famer Bob Dove. A defensive end at NotreDame, Dove won the Rockne Trophy as the nation's best lineman in 1942. After astint in the Marines, Dove spent eight seasons in the NFL, playing on theLions' championship teams in 1953 and '54. After he retired he was an NFL andcollege assistant coach for more than 30 years.
Consecutive years that Kaz Matsui of the Mets has homered in his first plateappearance of the season.
Age, in years and days, of Mets first baseman Julio Franco, who last Thursdaybecame the oldest big leaguer to homer.
Estimated value of the Yankees according to Forbes, making them the firstbaseball franchise to crack the $1 billion mark.
Estimated number of free-flight vouchers distributed by American Airlines atthe Mavericks' home finale at American Airlines Center on April 19.
First-quarter operating loss announced by American Airlines on April 19.
AFTER THE Knicks completed a dismal 23--59 season--thefourth-worst record in franchise history--guard Jalen Rose argued that the teamreally wasn't that bad. "I put together our roster on [the video game] NBALive, and we're pretty good," he told The New York Times. Intrigued by thatidea, SI simulated a full season on Xbox 360. The result? The computerizedKnicks still had plenty of time for a digital fishing trip in May; they missedthe playoffs. But their 36-46 record was a 57% improvement over their actualwin total. In another departure from reality, guard Stephon Marbury (19.2points per game on Live, 16.3 in real life) made the All-Star team and, becauseXbox doesn't yet simulate temper tantrums, peacefully coexisted with LarryBrown. As for the beleaguered coach, his virtual season was a whole lot betterthan the real thing: He finished the year on his feet.
On the Road with ... TIGER WOODS
ON AN extended break from golf to spend time with hisfather, Tiger snuck away to New Zealand for a few days to be the best man atthe wedding of his caddie, Steve Williams, last Friday. The two pals packed afair of amount of adventure into the trip. On Sunday they went bungee jumpingoff a cable-car platform 440 feet above the Nevis River outside of Queenstown.If that weren't enough to provide Tiger with an adrenaline fix, on Monday heraced in a celebrity stock car event organized by Williams, who is one of NewZealand's top drivers. "I've done other things," Woods said before hisracing debut. "I've thrown a baseball a few times.... This is a bit morephysical."
He was right. In the first 12-lap race at a smallquarter-mile dirt track in the rural mining town of Huntly, Woods's job was toblock for the other drivers on his five-man team. (The opposing team wascaptained by New Zealand rugby star Tana Umaga.) At one point Woods spun outand wound up in the middle of the track, pointed at oncoming traffic. In thesecond race Woods was the one being blocked for. He wove in and out oftraffic--at one point brushing up against the wall and sending sparksflying--before taking the checkered flag, to the delight of the 7,000spectators. Said the driver, "I'll feel a bit sore tomorrow."
The Lakers take the next step in the evolution of the NBA's minor leaguesystem
SINCE ITS inception in 2001, NBA commissioner DavidStern has told anyone who will listen that he wants the NBA Development Leagueto become basketball's version of Triple A baseball--a place in which playerscan get their act together before they're ready for the Show. "Once and forall," Stern told the St. Petersburg Times in November, "we hope thatthis will establish a solid minor league system for us."
Several NBA teams dipped into the D-League for talentthis season--more than 35 players, most notably Bulls center Luke Schenscher,were called up for NBA stints--and now one is taking the next step towardfulfilling Stern's vision. Last week the NBA's Board of Governors approved theLakers' purchase of an expansion developmental franchise, making them the firstNBA team to own a D-League entry. The team will begin its first season inNovember and will likely play at the Staples Center.
The Lakers won't be able to stock the team only withtheir prospects (each of the league's 15 teams next season will be linked to apair of NBA franchises), but they will hire the coaches, giving them controlover how players are groomed. "The Lakers are ahead of the curve onthis," says a front office executive from another NBA team. "This isthe future, and they'll be followed by more NBA teams." If nothing else,it's another step toward the minor league system of Stern's dreams.
STEPHEN BARKER/NZPA/AP (WOODS WAVING)
DEAN TREML/AFP/GETTY IMAGES (WOODS RACING)
RANDAL VANDERVEER/GLOBE PHOTOS (NELSON); GEORGE LANGE/CORBIS OUTLINE (KURALT); JEROME YULSMAN/GLOBE PHOTOS (KEROUAC); ROBERT BECK (WOODS GOLFING)
THOMAS LOHNES/AFP/GETTY IMAGES (KLITSCHKO)
NBA LIVE 06 (VIDEO GAME)
GARY DINEEN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (SCHENSCHER)
FARMHANDS Schenscher (left) made theNBA jump this year.
COURTESY OF WSCR-AM CHICAGO (PIERZYNSKI AFTER)
TOM PIDGEON/GETTY IMAGES (PIERZYNSKI BEFORE)
MICHAELA REHLE/REUTERS (JACKSON)