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LEADING OFF

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Photograph by Jed Jacobsohn

SPRING IN HIS STEP Giants ace Tim Lincecum threw himself into a sliding drill at his team's training facility in Scottsdale, Ariz., last Friday. The Freak, fresh off a 16--10 season with 231 strikeouts and a World Series ring, joined the hundreds of other pitchers, catchers and rookies who reported to camp last week, several of whom have the look of franchise-changers (page 34).

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Photograph by David Rogers/Getty Images

FULL STEAM AHEAD Joe Simpson of the London Wasps (far right) passed the ball out of a scrum during an Aviva Premiership (English first division) rugby match against the Leicester Tigers in Leicester last Saturday. The Tigers, who led the 12-team league through Sunday, defeated the eighth-place Wasps 21--12.

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Photograph by Kristyn D. Ulanday

WONDER BRED More than 2,500 champions, grand champions and other top dogs, from the luxuriantly maned to the almost hairless, gathered in New York City's Madison Square Garden on Feb. 14--15 to compete in the 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Eighty-six of them were named best in breed, and a 5-year-old bitch nicknamed Hickory, reared in Flint Hill, Va., became the first Scottish deerhound to win best-in-show at Westminster. Eli STANDARD POODLE

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Photograph by Kristyn D. Ulanday

[See caption above] Buddy SKYE TERRIER

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Photograph by Kristyn D. Ulanday

[See caption above] Disher DANDIE DINMONT TERRIER

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Photograph by Kristyn D. Ulanday

[See caption above] Mister BAGGINS BEARDED COLLIE

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Photograph by Kristyn D. Ulanday

[See caption above] Morgan YORKSHIRE TERRIER

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Photograph by Kristyn D. Ulanday

[See caption above] Major KOMONDOR

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Photograph by Kristyn D. Ulanday

[See caption above] Best in Show: Hickory SCOTTISH DEERHOUND

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Photograph by Kristyn D. Ulanday

[See caption above] Bru BULLMASTIFF

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Photograph by Kristyn D. Ulanday

[See caption above] Kaffi ICELANDIC SHEEPDOG

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Photograph by Kristyn D. Ulanday

[See caption above] Ciacho POLISH LOWLAND SHEEPDOG

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Photograph by Kristyn D. Ulanday

[See caption above] Spencer FIELD SPANIEL

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Photograph by Kristyn D. Ulanday

[See caption above] Gertie Boston Terrier

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Photograph by Kristyn D. Ulanday

[See caption above] Kate WHIPPET

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Photograph by Kristyn D. Ulanday

[See caption above] Mr. Miyagi SHIBA INU