Atlanta's pitchers, led by Jair Jurrjens (8--2, 1.82 ERA), own the majors' best ERA (2.96) and have kept opponents' averages the lowest in baseball (.227). Through Sunday the team had won six in a row and moved the franchise's alltime mark over .500 (9,983--9,982) for the first time in 88 years.
UFC heavyweight Junior dos Santos crushed Shane Carwin last Saturday, earning a crack at champ Cain Velasquez. Meanwhile, Dante Bichette Jr. led a parade of athletes' sons (Ryan Garvey, Trevor Gretzky, Brandon Bonilla ...) taken in last week's MLB draft.
The 1976 Oscar winner has been turned into a musical by the Broadway librettist behind Annie. (It's a hard-knockout life?) The show will open in Germany in 2012 before a planned U.S. swing. In real life, Sly himself was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday.
Jeff Gordon drove the number 24 car to his fifth career victory at Pocono on Sunday, moving into a tie for third alltime in Cup wins (84). And in France, the 79th annual 24 Hours of Le Mans was magnifique, as Audi overcame two nasty wrecks to take the overall win.
So much for that 30--15 start. Since May 23, Cleveland is 4--14 with an MLB--low 52 runs and high ERA (5.90). Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (.302, 12 HRs) is still smashing, but the rest of the Tribe is crashing. The Indians have been outscored 50--17 in their last nine, leading 2B Orlando Cabrera to note, "It's very frustrating."
The Twins' Danny Valencia has seen his average plunge 93 points from .311 in his All-Rookie year; Cubs wunderkind SS Starlin Castro has just five extra-base hits in his last 16 games; and in Atlanta, Jason Heyward's nosedive corresponds to his frustrating absence due to injury.
A date in appellate court is looming, and "secret" NFL labor meetings have been going on for two weeks. Could no news be good news? Not with the usual start of training camps just a month off. Perhaps, fantasy players, it's time to start looking for a new hobby.
Gilbert (Agent Zero) Arenas got fined for inappropriate tweets last week, then followed up by poking fun at a blind date on Twitter. And Duke basketball recruit Austin Rivers showed zero respect, adopting the nickname Subzero, because, he tweeted, "my moves freeze people."
NOW ON SI.COM
JORDAN vs. WILT, RUSSELL vs. MAGIC
The 2011 NBA draft class is one of the thinnest in years (page 48). The same cannot be said of the talent available in SI.com's Ultimate Draft. For that basketball bonanza, 10 SI writers—including Chris Ballard, Lee Jenkins, Jack McCallum, Ian Thomsen and Alexander Wolff—selected 12-man teams from a pool of every player in NBA history. Since each platoon boasts its own Big 12, arguing about which fantasy squad would have been the most fantastic is fruitless. To get a less subjective answer, SI had Strat-O-Matic simulate a 72-game season and playoff tournament with the teams. You can find rosters and results online at SI.com/ultimate—and if you want to play with the ballers selected in the Ultimate Draft yourself, Strat-O-Matic is offering SI readers a special deal on its All-Time Greats: Hoops Top 120 game at strat-o-matic.com/products/si-offer.
JEFF GROSS/GETTY IMAGES (JURRJENS)
RICK OSENTOSKI/US PRESSWIRE (VALENCIA)
GEOFF BURKE/GETTY IMAGES FOR NASCAR (GORDON)
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SI IMAGING: GEORGE LONG (CHAIMBERLAIN); SCOTT CUNNINGHAM/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (JORDAN)