Sunday, March 2, 2003

Enquirer Page Two power rankings

By Mike Ball
Cincinnati Enquirer

The top five

1. Reds are on the radio. Marty and Joe were in top form for the spring opener. By the seventh inning - after about four innings of Nux trying to figure out who was on the field - they were discussing their dancing abilities. Ole!

2. The Portland Expos. Seems the Grand Ronde tribal chairwoman says she will help finance a stadium to lure the Expos. The catch? She wants the city to allow her to build the tribe's first casino off the reservation, somewhere in the Portland metro area. (Insert Pete Rose returning to manage joke here.)

3. Takeo Spikes. A quality player and by all accounts a swell guy. But look around. Linebackers are a lot easier to find than say, a left offensive tackle. Let him move on and use the dough to upgrade elsewhere.

4. Match-play golf. It's like the NCAA Tournament - and Tiger is late-'60s, early-'70s UCLA.

5. NASCAR. Last week's race was the highest rated in 28 races, non-Daytona 500.

The bottom five

1. Reds tickets. Let's get this straight. If you ordered tickets by phone or on the Internet, you had to pay a handling fee. Then you paid a 3 percent tax on the handling fee, to buy tickets for the stadium you paid for with your tax money. Nice.

2. NFL salary cap. Something's just plain wrong when teams have to cut four or five starters just to get below the cap. (Who'd the Bengals have to cut again?)

3. The NBA. Ron Artest suspended, needs anger management. Vin Baker suspended for substance abuse. Our own Tyrone Hill basically just pouts until the Cavaliers release him. Latrell Sprewell arrested for driving without a license. Referees battling Pat Riley and Nick Van Exel. And a 71-69 game to boot. Nice week.

4. Jim Harrick. A scandal? Imagine.

5. Augusta National. The Masters. Martha Burk. The KKK. Won't be any sappy prose from the snobby writers and commentators about those azaleas this year.

Huggins: Sweet 16 possible
Women: Saint Louis 69, UC 63

Waugh, Piipari put on Senior Day show
Xavier keeps winning the close ones
West, Boothe win awards

No. 2 Kentucky 74, No. 21 Georgia 66
St. John's 72, No. 6 Duke 71
Maryland's Williams gets No. 500
Hoosiers' tourney starts now
Hoosier fans still rooting for Bob Knight
Arizona wins another Pac-10 title for Olson

Reds 8, Pirates 3
Daugherty: Has Piniella traded away wins for lifestyle?
Haynes hopes to build on '02
Casey's debut a hit despite 0-for-2
Author Wells could face disciplinary action
Vaughn more comfortable as Met this season
Indoor baseball facility a hit in Louisville
Karros starting over with Cubs
Brown and Dreifort back on mound for Dodgers

Bengals' Lewis knows what Jermaine can do
Redskins busiest buyer early in free agency
Ambrose signs with Saints

Week ahead: Aiken eyes upset of Winton Woods
Prep hoops playoffs

Unmatched Woods adds another title
Lickliter holds on in second tour victory

Ducks streak snapped
After smacking Ruiz, Jones ponders future

Monday's sports on TV, radio