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April 4, 2011 Table Of Contents

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LEADING OFF

LEADING OFF

NCAA TOURNAMENT: FINAL FOUR

Rocking The Chalk

By Tim Layden

BASEBALL PREVIEW

RADAR LOVE

Fascination with the fastball (a.k.a. smoke, cheese, cheddar, heat, gas) is as old as baseball itself. But now everyone—scouts, fans, Little League dads—is obsessed with differentiating between fast and faster. It's the golden age of speed freaks: one nation, under the gun

By Tom Verducci

BANGERS AND MASH

The Legion of Arms

By Gary Smith

SCOUTING REPORTS

AL EAST

This winter the Yanks were rejected and the Rays were rebuilt. But the Red Sox reloaded and are primed to be the beasts of the East

By Ben Reiter

1 BOSTON RED SOX

2 NEW YORK YANKEES

3 TAMPA BAY RAYS

4 BALTIMORE ORIOLES

5 TORONTO BLUE JAYS

AL CENTRAL

Remember the Comedy Central awash so long in mediocrity and midsized payrolls? It's now a high-rent district—and the Twins rule

By Albert Chen

1 MINNESOTA TWINS

2 DETROIT TIGERS

3 CHICAGO WHITE SOX

4 CLEVELAND INDIANS

5 KANSAS CITY ROYALS

AL WEST

The Rangers can score, but can they pitch? The A's can pitch, but can they score? They'll settle those questions in a tight race

By Ben Reiter

1 OAKLAND ATHLETICS

2 TEXAS RANGERS

3 LOS ANGELES ANGELS

4 SEATTLE MARINERS

NL EAST

Can anyone beat the Phab Phour? With an aging Philadelphia lineup and the Braves improving, the race will be closer than you think

By Ted Keith

1 PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

2 ATLANTA BRAVES

3 FLORIDA MARLINS

4 WASHINGTON NATIONALS

5 NEW YORK METS

NL CENTRAL

Something's brewing in Milwaukee and the Cards still have Albert, but the Reds, loaded with rising stars, are the class of the division—perhaps for years to come

By Joe Lemire

1 CINCINNATI REDS

2 MILWAUKEE BREWERS

3 CHICAGO CUBS

4 ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

5 PITTSBURGH PIRATES

6 HOUSTON ASTROS

NL WEST

Three things are certain in the wild West: Games will be taut, the race will be even tighter and the Giants have the pitching to repeat

By Matt Gagne

1 SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

2 COLORADO ROCKIES

3 LOS ANGELES DODGERS

4 SAN DIEGO PADRES

5 ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

It was All Just a Bad Dream

Bartman never interfered, Alou made the catch, and the Cubs won the National League pennant and went to the 2003 World Series

By Jeff Greenfield

Point After

Kickin' It With Ocho

By Joe Posnanski

Departments

Letters

A Head for Baseball

By Terry McDonell

A Bowl Full Of Trouble

A report on financial misconduct at the Fiesta Bowl reflects a broken BCS system

By Austin Murphy

Who's Hot Who's Not

Goin' Big Time

The U.S. soccer team is moving up—at least in the company it keeps

By Grant Wahl

For the Record

The Great Integrator

A newspaper icon breathes life into a classic MLB tale

By Ben Reiter

Just My Type

By Dan Patrick

Faces in the Crowd

Edited by Alexandra Fenwick

Making His Mark

Is Blade Runner back on an Olympic track?

By David Epstein