Are the Blue Jays for real?
Toronto had the AL's best record (22--12) through Sunday—but happy fans mightwant to keep the Labatt on ice for a few more weeks. Toronto has played onlythree games against East Division rivals, sweeping the lowly Orioles, but it'sback to reality this week: Beginning on Tuesday, the Jays play 12 of their next19 in-division, including series against the Red Sox and Yankees.
Michael Phelps back
So much for not fixing it if it ain't broke. Phelps swims competitively for thefirst time since the Beijing Olympics—and since his three-month USA Swimmingban—at the UltraSwim in Charlotte this weekend. (Universal Sports has it live.)Phelps will unveil a new straight-arm freestyle stroke. To which we say: Whytinker with perfection?
Halfway to Heaven
Former Denver Post writer Mark Obmascik woke up one day and realized he was"fat, forty-four, and in the market for a vasectomy." He decided torecharge his life, and his relationship with his oldest son, by trying to climball 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks in a year. The effort is recounted withwit and style in Halfway, a much easier read than climbing those mountains.
Bert Blyleven has tried for years to worm his way into the Hall of Fame. Thiswon't help, but it's entertaining: Last Saturday the Twins' TV analyst ate twonight crawlers on the air, to celebrate the start of fishing season and raisecash for Parkinson's research. (See it at FSN North's Facebook page.) Shouldworms be chewed or swallowed whole? Bert does both.
Celebrated filly Rachel Alexandra is likely to run (and may be the favorite) onSaturday at Pimlico (NBC). The debate on whether fillies should run againstcolts rages on, fueled by Eight Belles's fatal injury in last year's KentuckyDerby. The news isn't always bad when girls run against the boys, though. Threeof the 12 fillies who ran Triple Crown events since 1980 have won.
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With John Tesh
It was always a weird crossover: The new-age maestro became a '90s hoopscelebrity when his Roundball Rock was the theme for NBC's NBA coverage. Nowit's weirder. He's asking fans to submit videos of themselves rapping to thesong to Tesh.com, with $20,000 in prizes going to the best ones. See Tesh's ownroundball rap on the site. The contest entries can't be any worse.
The Pop CultureGrid
Athletes in the mix
An Eminem comeback means ...
Dish I'd like to cook with Gordon Ramsay
I can't believe ___ is dating ___
If I were king for a day, I'd ban ...
My coach reminds me of ...
BRYAN NAMOFF D.C. United D
8 Mile Part II?
Roast with Yorkshire pudding
Michael Phelps ... Carrie Prejean
An old Army drill sergeant
MATT GARZA Rays P
He's got new ideas
Cameron Diaz isn't dating Troy Percival
A college professor
CHAD DAWSON Boxer
The king is back
50 Cent ... Ciara
My father, Rick
KEVIN SLOWEY Twins P
Nothing to me
Rack of lamb
Jennifer Morrison ... someone besides me
Inside the Grid
Dawson, who successfully defended his IBF and IBO lightheavyweight titles last week, says his trainer "is always telling me when If— up, just like my dad." Slowey has a brighter view of his boss, RonGardenhire (above). It must be the Twins' manager's jolly personality; thereisn't much of a resemblance to Santa Claus.
ERIC MILLER/REUTERS (BLUE JAYS)
GAIL BURTON/AP (PHELPS)
FOX SPORTS NORTH (BLYLEVEN)
BILL FRAKES (MINE THAT BIRD)
WALTER MCBRIDE/RETNA LTD, USA (TESH)
FRED VUICH (GARDENHIRE)
KEVIN MAZUR/GETTY IMAGES (MORRISON)
BRUCE KLUCKHOHN/GETTY IMAGES (SLOWEY)
ISAAC BREKKEN/AP (DAWSON)
DAMIAN STROHMEYER (GARZA)
TONY QUINN/MLS/GETTY IMAGES (NAMOFF)
MARK LENNIHAN/AP (EMINEM)
C SQUARED STUDIOS/GETTY IMAGES (CROWN)