Sunday, April 20, 2003

Page Two power rankings

By Mike Ball
Cincinnati Enquirer

Thumbs up

1. Everything's fine. The Reds will come around. They have plenty of pitching, good hitting and a great defense. The Bengals will make the perfect No. 1 pick in the draft, and nine wins minimum are a certainty. Sincerely, Baghdad Bob, a font of misinformation.

2. Tubby Smith. A cool $2.5 million a season. Who said college sports aren't big business? Tubby even got his three assistants an extra $78,000 to divvy up.

3. The Swarm. We quote from the press release: "The Pickled Brothers (fire eating, bed of nails, etc.), stilt walkers, an Olympic trampoline jumper . . . and Bud girls in our end-zone hot tub." Sign us up.

4. Mark Cuban. The crazy Mavs owner has pledged to match up to $1 million of donations to help families of U.S. military personnel who were killed or seriously injured during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

5. Jocks to GIs. ESPN invited GIs stationed abroad to become pen pals with some of America's greatest pro athletes. Roger Clemens, Tiger Woods, Jennifer Capriati, Michael Vick and Lance Armstrong are among those participating.

6. Alex Sulfsted. The Mariemont High and Miami U. product was among five Washington Redskins to visit 13 soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

7. The Cyclones. That ECHL team won't die.

8. Softball. Imagine starting a season with 14 straight hits. (We did it.)

9. Michael Jordan. An amazing comeback when you get right down to it.

10. NBC. No major sports? Give 'em credit. Televising Saturday's $1 million match between cowboy Chris Shivers and 1,650-pound bull Little Yellow Jacket was pure genius.

Thumbs down

1. The Reds. A company will donate money to the local SPCA for each complete game pitched by a Red. Even the animals are suffering.

2. Jim Harrick/Georgia fans. Seems he received three standing ovations at the banquet - after he wrecked the program.

3. The Cavaliers. Nice season-ending win. Cost 'em 25 pingpong balls in the LeBron James lottery. (Guess it doesn't matter. The Knicks will win the lottery, conspiracy theorists say.)

4. LeBron. Why did he say he'd make his decision on entering the NBA draft by the end of the month? He's ineligible for college, anyhow, after playing in three all-star games.

5. The WNBA. David Stern induced labor unrest with a deadline for a new collective bargaining agreement.

6. Hector Macho Camacho. The former boxing champ, 40, has come out of retirement again. Roberto Duran can't be far behind.

7. NHL coaches. It's a tough gig. The Penguins' Rick Kehoe was the ninth to be fired this season.

8. The Yankees. Yep, struggling without Jeter.

9. Knuckleheads running onto the field from the stands.

10. Knuckleheads running onto the field in Reds uniforms.

Reds 7, Expos 5
Reds box, runs

Reds off course in the Caribbean
Career takes another left turn
Reds chatter
Reds Q&A
Down on the farm: Hamilton regroups
Reds notebook: Boone tinkers with lineup

Braves encounter unknown
Wrigley epitomizes what's best about baseball
MLB power rankings
NL: Benitez blows fourth save
AL: Yankees' starters now 12-0
Notes from Saturday's games
Players vow they'll defend their turf
Everett struck by fan's thrown cell phone
IL: Louisville 3, Durham 2

Last No. 1 pick didn't help Bengals
Daugherty: Pick Palmer, pray he doesn't play
Where are they now?
Bengals Q&A

Swarm put on show - and a game, too
Reading grad Wynn in running at Florida
All draft options have Rogers smiling
Getting to know: Zach Thomas
Early guide to the NFL draft

Ex-Bearcat held on weapons charges

Nets' Kidd shows up mentor
Three Bucks players surrender on assault charges
Wizards in need of major repairs

Stars finish off Oilers, eye Ducks

KHSAA considers change of FB venue
Neltner, Hanser will lead local All-Stars
Prep results

Kung wins first LPGA Tour event

Scrimshaw's victory sends Lukas to Derby

NASCAR's All-Star event to pay $1 million to winner
Formula One: Brothers qualify 1-2 in Italy

Athletes and sitcoms: Real shining moments
Page Two power rankings