The defending AL champs are bringing a ray of light to Arlington following the horror of a 39-year-old fan's falling over a leftfield railing to his death on July 7. Josh Hamilton is back in form, hitting .301 with 11 HRs (after an early hiatus), and Texas has outscored opponents 53--22 in winning seven straight.
Mexico won the U-17 World Cup after Julio Gomez's semifinal bicycle kick in the 90th minute against Germany (YouTube it); while at the Tour de France, RadioShack rider Chris Horner shook off a broken nose and concussion to ride 22 miles and complete stage 7.
MLB's top All-Star vote-getter justified his record 7.4 million nods by hitting .371 and six home runs while slugging .914 in his last nine prebreak games. Bummer for the Blue Jays: Toronto's 45--47 and 11 behind Boston. Bigger bummer for Bautista: He's signed through 2015.
And now the story of one of MLB's best rookie classes in years: The Nats' Danny Espinosa entered the All-Star break with 16 HRs and 52 RBIs; the Braves' Freddie Freeman had 13 HRs while hitting .274; and the Angels' Mark Trumbo homered in four of his last five games for 17 total.
The woeful Orioles dropped their seventh straight on Sunday, giving them, at 36--52, the AL's fewest wins entering the break. What's gone wrong? Well, everything—but the pitching's particularly poor. Baltimore hurlers own the majors' worst ERA, 4.76, and claim a paltry 15 saves.
Remember when Latino ballplayers were going to boycott Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game in Arizona, where the controversial anti-immigration Senate Bill 1070 passed in April 2010? We do. A quick scan of the AL and NL rosters suggests that perhaps everyone else forgot.
Amazingly (and sadly), Jose Canseco has over 395,000 followers, poisoning the Twitterverse with some of the most inane and sexist tweets you'll find, including a recent rant against his 24-year-old former flame, whose phone number he posted for all to see.
Pacman Jones (left) was cited, again, for disorderly conduct at a Cincy bar while intoxicated—charges that he claimed "don't make no sense." More believable was Hines Ward: He was picked up for DUI, but his lawyer's claim that Ward wasn't drunk jibes with witnesses' accounts.
SI PLAYERS MLB POLL
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FICTIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER?
Roy Hobbs, The Natural 26%
Crash Davis, Bull Durham 13%
Nuke LaLoosh, Bull Durham 9%
Billy Chapel, For Love of the Game 8%
Ricky (Wild Thing) Vaughn, Major League 7%
Seven characters from the Major League films received votes, the most from any work of fiction: Vaughn, Willie Mays Hayes, Pedro Cerrano, Roger Dorn, Jack Parkman, Jake Taylor and Clu Haywood... . The Sandlot had four vote-getters... . Sidd Finch, the make-believe subject of a 1985 April Fool's profile in SI, received one vote.
Based on 285 MLB players who responded to SI's survey
Facebook Fan Picks
28% ROY HOBBS, THE NATURAL
19% RICKY VAUGHN, MAJOR LEAGUE
18% CRASH DAVIS, BULL DURHAM
THOMAS CAMPBELL/US PRESSWIRE (HAMILTON)
JORGE MARTINEZ/AFP/GETTY IMAGES (GOMEZ)
FRED THORNHILL (BAUTISTA)
HAMILTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE (JONES)
¬©TRISTAR PICTURES/EVERETT COLLECTION (HOBBS WITH BAT)
EVERETT COLLECTION (HOBBS)
JOYCE RUDOLPH/PARAMOUNT PICTURES/PHOTOFEST (VAUGHN)
¬©ORION PICTURES CORP/EVERETT COLLECTION (DAVIS)