Striking gold in the Bay Area! In his first 46 at bats with the A's, formerPadres farmhand Jack Cust (above) had eight home runs (one of them a walk-offwinner) and was building a legend. Explained Cust, 28, "I can hit the ball,and this is what I want to do."
Texans defensive back Jason Simmons (left) wore number 30 until newly acquiredrunning back Ahman Green wanted it. It's yours, said Simmons, who's active incharity work, if you put a down payment on a home for a needy,as-yet-unspecified single parent. "Easy," said Green, who agreed,"he's... help[ing] them get their life started."
Texas's tepid offense (Hot Not, May 14) broke out for 14 runs to stomp Houstonon Sunday. And in Chandler, Ariz., Cowboys lineman Leonard Davis rescued ahorse named Ranger from a sinkhole, pulling it free with a tractor. Said Davis,"No big deal."
Despite the "black cloud" that Cincinnati first baseman Scott Hattebergsays is following the last-place Reds, second baseman Phillips (right) shines.He'd hit in 22 straight games through Sunday—the longest big league streak ofthe season—and had clubbed eight home runs.
Fool's gold in the Bay Area? Nine starts into his seven-year, bazillion-dollarcontract, Giants lefty Barry Zito (above) was 3--5 with a 5.13 ERA and hadgotten shellacked by his old team, the A's. Says Giants G.M. Brian Sabean, whosigned him, "There's a little concern."
Former Cowboys quarterback Quincy Carter (right) is in trouble again—he wassuspended by his minor league arena team (that's arenafootball2!) for missingtwo practices. The Nets' Vince Carter coughed up the ball late in Game 4, thenscored just 11 points during New Jersey's season-ending (and perhapsVince-era-ending) loss in Game 6.
Colorado (25th in the majors in runs scored) kept spinning in last place,losing two of three at home to the Royals. And Rocky himself got convicted:Sylvester Stallone, nabbed for importing human growth hormone into Australia,was ordered to pay a fine of more than $10,000.
On a first-place Brewers team sparkling with bright lights (like PrinceFielder, page 34) second baseman Weeks's star was dimmed. His. 232 battingaverage included one RBI in 15 games leading up to last week, when he wassidelined by a sore wrist.
SI PLAYERS NHL POLL
If you could play for any major league team other thanyour own, which one would it be?
San Diego Padres ... 10%
New York Yankees ... 10%
Atlanta Braves ... 10%
Boston Red Sox ... 8%
St. Louis Cardinals ... 7%
Poll taken just before the start of the season.... Every team received a voteexcept for the Washington Nationals.... The Detroit Tigers, last year's ALrepresentative in the World Series, received just one vote, the same as theKansas City Royals and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.... The Los Angeles Angels ofAnaheim (seventh, 5.5%) edged the L.A. Dodgers (eighth, 5.2%).... More than 18%of players 27 years old or younger voted for the Braves.
[Based on a survey of 464 MLB players] • For anexpanded version of the poll, go to SI.com/players.
BEN MARGOT/AP (CUST)
DOUG PENSINGER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES (ZITO)
TAMI CHAPPELL/REUTERS (CARTER)
STEVE NESIUS/REUTERS (PHILLIPS)
CMS PHOTO (BRONX BOOK)
COURTESY OF THE SAN DIEGO ZOO (ELEPHANT)