SI PICK OF THEWEEK
Houston, we haveliftoff. The Roger Clemens sweepstakes ended last month when he spurned offersfrom the Red Sox and the Yankees and returned to the Astros for a proratedone-year, $22 million contract. (He'll pocket about $12.3 million for threemonths of work.) After dazzling with 22 strikeouts in three minor leaguetune-ups, including a win for the Triple A Round Rock Express last Friday(above), the Rocket, 43, makes his debut at home against the Twins. He'll be awelcome sight for a staff that ranks 10th in the NL in ERA--and an unwelcomeone for the Twins, against whom he is 23--12 with a 3.01 ERA in hiscareer.
U.S. OutdoorTrack and Field Championships
After spending 11 months away from competition and several years denyingallegations that steroids helped her win five gold medals at the 2000 Olympics,Marion Jones might be returning to form. She's won all three 100-meter racesshe's entered this year, most recently at the Reebok Grand Prix in New YorkCity earlier this month (above). The next step? This event in Indianapolis,where Jones will face reigning 100-meter world champion Lauryn Williams. ESPN26 p.m.
The UltimateFighter 3
The 12-episode martial arts smackdown--imagine an American Idol in which theslaps aren't verbal--comes down to a brawl between two guys named Spider andShort Fuse. Middleweights Kendall (Spider) Grove and Ed (Short Fuse) Herman(below left) are the last men standing in what began as a field of 16 fighters.The winner tonight walks away with a contract to compete in the UltimateFighting Championship.
SPIKE TV 9 p.m.
Chasing theDream: A Quarterback's Story
Brett Elliott was Utah's starting quarterback in 2003--until he broke his wristand was replaced by Alex Smith, who went on to be the top pick in the 2005 NFLdraft. After he healed, Elliott (right) transferred and starred at Division IIILinfield. This documentary follows him as he trains for the '05 draft--hewasn't picked--and then tries to win a roster spot with the Chargers as a freeagent.
CSTV 8 p.m.
He grew up in Basel, Switzerland, but Roger Federer couldn't be more at home onthe grass courts of southwest London. Federer has won at the All England Clubfor the last three years and carries a streak of 41 consecutive victories ongrass--tying the record set by Bjorn Borg in 1981--into tennis's oldestchampionship, which begins today.
ESPN2 8 a.m.
All the futures will be bright and all the ceilings will be high when theleague gathers at Madison Square Garden. Among the names that commissionerDavid Stern is expected to call out early: Italian star Andrea Bargnani (page71), LSU forward Tyrus Thomas and Gonzaga forward Adam Morrison (left).
ESPN 7 p.m.
GARY HERSHORN/REUTERS (JONES)
JOSH HEDGES/UFC (HERMAN)
CHRISSY RAGULSKY/MCMINNVILLE (ORE.) NEWS-REGISTER (ELLIOTT)
HARRY CABLUCK/AP (CLEMENS)
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (MORRISON)