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Original Issue

LEADING OFF

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Photograph by Patrick Semansky/AP

STEPHEN STRASBURG LOOMS LARGE In a March of big-name returns (Buster Posey, Johan Santana, even Manny Ramirez), none is more gripping than that of Strasburg, who is coming off Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. In his second start of the spring the Nationals righthander consistently hit between 94 and 98 mph on the gun, throwing 46 pitches in two innings against the Marlins.

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Photograph by Andrew Dieb/Southcreek/ZUMAPRESS.com

A ROLL OF THE ICE Mugged from the front and the side, Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi was unable to stop the Stars' Tomas Vincour from sliding in the game-tying goal with 75 seconds left in last Thursday's game in Dallas. The Stars would go on to win in a shootout 4--3.

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Photograph by Michael Probst/AP

SCREAM OF THE CROP Ashton Eaton of the U.S., with feeling, surmounted every barrier placed before him in the 60-meter-hurdle leg of the heptathlon at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul. Ukraine's Oleksiy Kasyanov? Not so much. Eaton not only won the gold but also for the third straight year set a world record.