Sunday, July 28, 2002

Enquirer Page Two Power rankings

Enquirer staff

        Thumbs up: 1. The Bengals. Yes, it's only July, but our men are on the move. Imagine, all six draft picks signed, sealed and in pads for the first workout of training camp. That's gotta help. (Well, we won't mention that the last time the first two picks were signed in time for camp — Big Daddy Wilkinson and Darnay Scott, in 1994 — the Bengals went 3-13!) Now, how about sorting out this quarterback competition?

        2. Ozzie Smith. The Wizard of Oz takes his rightful place today in baseball's Hall of Fame. No one was more graceful at shortstop, and he turned himself into a respectable threat with the bat. But boy, this guy can hold a grudge. Six years after he retired, he still will have nothing to do with the Cardinals organization as long as Tony LaRussa is manager. The reason? LaRussa replaced Ozzie at short with Royce Clayton when the Wizard felt he still should have been starting.

        3. Lance Armstrong. French officials have been investigating his U.S. Postal Service team since 2000 and found no evidence of drugs. Still, the French fans lining the Tour de France course heckle him “Dop-AY! Dop-AY!” (Doped, doped) incessantly.Undaunted, Armstrong has kicked some serious butt and will win his fourth Tour today. And he says he'll be back to win a fifth next year. Touche.

        4. The Metro softball tournament. They say this isn't a good baseball town anymore. Don't tell that to the 350 teams entered in the two-loss-and-out summer extravaganza.

        5. Bob Boone. Look, we've knocked the guy as much as the next second-guessing fan. But he has a team that has been outscored by its opponents and a carousel of a starting rotation on the cusp of a pennant race approaching August. He deserved having his option picked up for 2003. Besides, he works cheap.

       Thumbs down

        1. John Henry Williams. This fruitcake is out of control. Day after day he has managed to keep Ted Williams' name in the news — for nothing but silly reasons. Can we have this joker frozen — NOW?

        2. Major League Baseball negotiations. So now that they see fans are completely disgusted with both sides, they keep floating positive news. And now, this upcoming week, they're planning on meeting for five straight days! Imagine that.

        3. af2. You familiar with the saying, “Be careful what you wish for because you might just get it”? Well, Power Rankings kinda feels responsible for last week's item on arenafootball2. How did we know that only days later, Cincinnati would get a team? It was a joke!

        4. Men's tennis. Has there ever been a less interesting summer on the men's side? Here's hoping the men get it together for the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters here next month. Maybe Agassi and Sampras have a good run in them.

        5. Bass fishing, on television. It's fishing!


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Coming up this week
- Enquirer Page Two Power rankings

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John Fay's MLB power rankings
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AL roundup
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DAUGHERTY: Bengals have one believer anyhow
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