Sunday, May 11, 2003

Page Two power rankings

By Mike Ball
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Thumbs up

1. Bob Boone. You don't have to like it, but he deserves some credit for the Reds' recent turnaround. Besides, criticizing a baseball manager is a lot like football fans calling for the backup quarterback. It's a no-brainer.

2. Barry Larkin. His game-winning, ninth-inning homer in his first at-bat back from the disabled list was arguably the turning point of the season. Let's hope he has some more big moments before it's over.

3. Reds' ticket program for the military. The club is offering free weekday tickets for active members of the armed forces. Nice gesture.

4. The Bengals. The Marvin Lewis magical PR tour is making believers by the day.

5. Tayshaun Prince. The UK product spent most of the regular season on the bench but has emerged a postseason star for the Detroit Pistons. Some hoops experts called for more playing time all season.

6. The Indianapolis 500. Those guys are flying around that track at 230 mph. That ought to make for some excitement, even if we can't name any of the drivers.

7. NASCAR. The good ol' boys take today off in honor of Mother's Day. (Funny, wonder why the LPGA Tour plays?)

8. Shaun Alexander. The Seattle Seahawks running back staged an event through his foundation to raise money to build a home in Northern Kentucky for people with mental retardation who have special medical needs.

9. Bernie Kosar. The former NFL quarterback has pledged $100,000 over five years to fund $2,500 scholarships at Akron schools.

10. Steve Flesch. The local lefty finally broke through and won his first PGA Tour tournament. Not that he was starving, mind you, with some $6 million in career earnings.

Thumbs down

1. Extra Innings callers. As soon as the Reds ran off three wins, the talk on the Reds postgame show began: "They're a better team without Ken Griffey Jr." Just silly.

2. Rey Sanchez. The New York Mets knucklehead got a haircut in the clubhouse during the game. Maybe Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash should try that.

3. UC basketball. Coincidence? Bad luck? The Bearcats just didn't need recruit Robert Whaley to have felony charges brought against him.

4. Alabama football. Doing some serious damage control. Does the name Shula make anyone else cringe?

5. The NCAA. There's just something wrong that this Michigan basketball team has to suffer probation for violations that occurred in the early 1990s.

6. Michael Jordan. Turns out his stint with Washington was, what, his third-best comeback?

7. The New Orleans Hornets. They fired Paul Silas after a 47-35 season and a playoff berth.

8. Bob Ryan. The Boston newspaper man/ESPN talking head got suspended for inappropriate comments about Jason Kidd's wife. It's good to see athletes and coaches don't have the market cornered on stupidity.

9. The Vikings. A $102 million contract extension with a $16 million signing bonus for Daunte Culpepper and his 23 interceptions?

10. Jack Nicholson. The acting legend/Lakers fan got a little wilder than usual Friday, leaping up and screaming at an official. He apparently got more aggressive than usual because he knew Dyan Cannon had his back.

Brewers 9, Reds 3
Hitter turns 2 as pitcher
Reds notebook: Roster decisions won't be easy
Mom equals MVP
Reds chatter
Reds Q&A
Down on the farm

NL: Going, going Gonzalez, again
AL: Rocket registers victory No. 298
Would Schilling rather be Phillie?
Boy struck by ball is doing fine
MLB power rankings
Sore toe boots Sosa to disabled list

Bengals Q&A

Swarm lose to Albany

Daugherty: It's time to cut the charity act

For some in ACC, bigger isn't better
Black Coaches Assn. Classic heading to Cintas
Sixers pound Pistons, still trail 2-1
Lakers' Jackson recovering from surgery

Busch is the victor in a 2-man race
Kentucky Speedway notebook
Dixon's blazing lap washed out at Indy
'Soft walls' have been slow in coming to NASCAR tracks

P-A-R-T-Y! More tales of men behaving badly
Page Two power rankings

Queen City a hit with Rome
Better late than never for XU golfers
Riverhawks shut out Pats

Schmidt: Kentucky insider
Tale of the tape: LeBron James vs. King James
Saturday's results

Chip-in eagle lands Toms in lead

Sykora scores, Giguere saves in 1-0 2OT win

Derby victory is being probed