A lift for the family: Mama Melanie Roach (above) is headed to the Games inBeijing after a clean and jerk of 240 pounds at the U.S. weightlifting trials.At 33 the 5'2", 117-pound mother of three is after a medal she missed outon because of injury in 2000. Said seven-year-old Ethan, her eldest, "I'mreally proud of my mom."
He closed the deal! Beating Roger Federer in Hamburg gave the world's No. 2 theonly major clay-court title he hadn't won. Next up: the French Open, whereNadal's, uh, had a little success. He's won all 21 matches he's played there inthe past three years.
A well-healed man. Since coming off the DL on May 9 (ankle), Phillies shortstopJimmy Rollins was hitting .375 through Sunday (and .524 over his last fivegames). Does he think he's, like, MVP material or something?
There's more than squash at the Hartford, Conn., school (SI, Feb. 11). TheDivision III baseballers are a record 41--0 (g'head, do a spit take) andgetting better, outscoring foes 82--24 since May 3. Are they pumped for theD-III World Series? Starter Chandler Barnard (right, he's 10--0, with a 2.77ERA) to The Hartford Courant: "We won't need any pep talks."
What a downer. The World Series favorites from Detroit are showing that theirslow start (2--10) was no fluke, losing 12 of 15 to put a stranglehold on lastplace in the AL Central. They'd been shut out seven times through Sunday.Manager Jim Leyland (above) to Detroit's Free Press: "We have a lot ofissues.... Our offense has been blah."
He coulda been a closer! A few weeks after anointing the reliever to finishgames for his Indians, manager Eric Wedge stripped Betancourt of theresponsibility. The righthander's 7.31 ERA may have had something to do withit.
Leading at Sugarloaf with five holes to play, Parker McLachlin bogeyed three ofthem, missing out on his first PGA win. "You've got your nerves going,"said the 29-year-old, who wound up tied for fifth.
He likes to wear Superman T-shirts, but it turns out Angels outfielder VladimirGuerrero is in fact human. A 4-for-23 stretch had him batting a mortal .259through Sunday (his lowest average ever this late in a season) with just fourhome runs. Explained Guerrero to The Orange County Register earlier this month,"Sometimes you start bad.... I'm just in a slump."
SI Players MLB poll
Who is the toughest player in baseball?
Aaron Rowand, Giants CF 15%
Jason Varitek, Red Sox C 6%
Jason Kendall, Brewers C 5%
Ryan Freel, Reds OF 5%
David Eckstein, Blue Jays SS 5%
Yankees reliever Kyle Farnsworth (12th, 2.1%) was the one pitcher among the top20.... As a Phillie in 2006 the famously fearless Rowand, running full speed,caught a ball off the bat of Xavier Nady, smashed into the outfield fence andbroke his nose. He held on for the out.... Yanks Derek Jeter (sixth, 4.2%) andAlex Rodriguez (10th, 2.5%) were the only teammates in the top 10.
[Based on a survey of 495 MLB players] • For more onthe poll, and to comment on it, go to SI.com/players.
DAMIAN STROHMEYER (LEYLAND)
FABIAN BIMMER/AP (NADAL)
JONATHAN LESTER PHOTO (BARNARD)
KELLY KLINE/ICON SMI (ROACH)
BRAD MANGIN (ROWAND)
JIM MCISAAC/GETTY IMAGES (VARITEK)