What an entrance! The Reds phenom was batting .591—that is five ... ninety ... one—over his first six games, with a couple of homers. The home crowd cheers "Bruuuce" when he comes up, and ladies carry MARRY ME signs. Said Bruce, who's 21, to Cincy's Enquirer, "This is the place to be."
A three-run smash on Sunday was just the latest for second baseman Orlando Hudson (right), who'd been on base in 29 of 30 games for NL West--leading Arizona. First place feels good—just ask Hudson's fellow Gold Glover, Chisox shortstop Orlando Cabrera, hitting .343 over eight games.
Can she win? Yes! And make a statement for women, too. Hillary Will took the Top Fuel event in Topeka, Kans., becoming the third female driver in four weeks to win an NHRA race. Said Will, who'd run 54 winless races before Sunday, "I have dreamed of this day for so long."
The former street fighter's much anticipated mixed martial arts fight on CBS—the first MMA event broadcast on network TV—ended when he TKO'd a stumbling James Thompson in Round 3. Said Slice, the kindred soul to Clubber Lang, "I was waiting for the right time to explode."
Unhappy departure. The once-promising slugger—he clubbed 36 home runs as an Astro in 2005—was cut by the Yanks. The batting average (.203) was bad. The one extra-base hit in 74 at bats was worse. Manager Joe Girardi: "He worked his rear end off.... The numbers just didn't translate."
It's tough to take flight when you're in and out of the lineup. First injured (knee), now platooned (and disgruntled), Rangers outfielder Marlon Byrd was 3 for his last 19 and batting .200. Indians pitcher Paul Byrd also knows what it's like to fly low: He fell to 2--5 with a loss on Sunday.
Can she win? Apparently not. Two weeks after missing a last-hole putt that would've tied her for the lead, Sophie Gustafson coughed up a six-stroke advantage on the final day in Mount Pleasant, S.C. The double-bogeyman got her: She had a pair of two-overs on the back nine.
He won his network debut, but the judges were less than impressed: Underdog James Thompson took the first two rounds. Fellow ultimate fighters ripped Slice's lackluster showing, and some said the fight shouldn't have been stopped. Sigh. Guess this is the new boxing.
SI PLAYERS MLB POLL
Who is your alltime favorite player?
Nolan Ryan, Retired P 15%
Ken Griffey Jr., Reds OF 6%
Cal Ripken Jr., Retired SS 5%
Ozzie Smith, Retired SS 3%
Don Mattingly, Retired 1B 3%
Padres righty Greg Maddux, whose 1.5% tied Babe Ruth for 18th, was the only active player besides Griffey among the top 24 vote-getters.... Among pitchers, 27% chose Ryan, the alltime strikeout leader with 5,714.... Hit King Pete Rose (page 34) finished eighth at 2.6%.... Of the 61 players who got multiple votes, San Diego closer Trevor Hoffman (two votes) was the only reliever.
[Based on a survey of 495 MLB players] • For more on the poll, and to comment on it, go to SI.com/players.
JIM MCISAAC/GETTY IMAGES (ENSBERG)
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (HUDSON)
SCOTT SEWELL/CAL SPORT MEDIA (WILL)
TOM CASINO/ELITEXC (SLICE)
JOE ROBBINS/GETTY IMAGES (BRUCE)
FRANK FRANKLIN II/AP (GRIFFEY)
JERRY WACHTER (RYAN)