Sunday, June 1, 2003

Page Two power rankings



By Mike Ball
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Thumbs up

1. The Bengals. Some observers have been slower than others to buy into the "everything's great now that we have Marvin Lewis" theory. But this week's cuts of several veterans, including Brock Gutierrez and Canute Curtis - and now Akili Smith - sends a message. Perform, or else.

2. Mount Everest. Still a prohibitive favorite.

3. Andre Agassi. The A-Train is a one-man nation, now that all the other Americans have flamed out of the French Open.

4. Tubby Smith. If he couldn't be lured by the Philadelphia 76ers job, then perhaps he is in for the long haul in Lexington.

5. Don Zimmer. Gotta love how our own beloved west-side cartoon character tore into Yankees owner George Steinbrenner after the Boss tore into manager Joe Torre.

6. Steinbrenner. It was classic George last week, ranting and raving in the press box - before the national TV cameras, no less - while Mariano Rivera was blowing a four-run ninth-inning lead, against the Red Sox. That guy. Spends like crazy, puts pressure on the manager, suggests player moves. Wants nothing more in this world than to win the World Series.

7. Steve Kerr. You didn't really know he was still in the NBA, did ya? But all the 37-year-old Spurs reserve did was hit three fourth-quarter 3-pointers - he was 4-for-4 in all - to help San Antonio finish off the Dallas Mavericks. He'll be going for his fifth NBA championship ring.

8. Bob Boone. Unlike last week, the Reds' skipper actually placed Ken Griffey Jr. in the lineup following a two-homer day.

9. The Memorial. Imagine, an interesting golf tournament - for the golf - without sideshows.

10. Byung-Hyun Kim for Shea Hillenbrand. A baseball trade with no mention of money. Amazing.

Thumbs down

1. Mike Tyson. There are stupid remarks, and there are Tyson's stupid remarks. He's scary.

2. The Shoe Monsters. Now a 3-year-old gets a commercial deal with Reebok because he can make a basket on an 8-foot hoop. And 13-year-old soccer prodigy Freddy Adu got a $1 million endorsement contract from Nike.

3. The Indy 500. It had the lowest ratings since 1987. Things just don't seem to be getting any better for the Great American Race.

4. Reds fans/talk show callers. Well, of course, we'll just move Austin Kearns to third base. Shoot, he played shortstop in high school, didn't he? Hmm. Come to think of it, if Kearns played shortstop, he'd have enough sense to cover second base on a groundball to first (unlike Felipe Lopez).

5. The Milwaukee Brewers. Someone in that dreadfully run franchise has decided on this - guaranteeing fans a foul ball or game-used baseball. For $36. Oh, the ballpark experience.

6. ESPN. They do it every year. But who really needs a speling be?

7. Iowa State. Larry Eustachy's old haunt looks to be a shoo-in for a top-5 finish in the best party schools of the year. The latest? Last year's leading rebounder, Jackson Vroman, has been suspended after being charged with marijuana possession.

8. John Rocker. He deserved much of what he got after making insensitive remarks about New Yorkers. But it's sad seeing him lose his livelihood. He signed another minor-league deal.

9. The NBA. Weather's bad, but there's still time to get a killer tan before this season ends.

10. The Coca-Cola 600. One of NASCAR's premier events can't get out of the way of the raindrops.




BENGALS
Smith packs as Matthews signs
Bengals Q&A

REDS
Marlins 3, Reds 2
Reds notebook: White move is the right move
Baseball fans can't resist the mystique
Draft preview: Future's at stake this week
Reds zero in on 14th overall pick
Worldwide draft would rob wealthy teams of monopoly
Reds chatter
Reds Q&A

MORE BASEBALL
NL: Pirates on top on streaky day
Struggling Sosa drives in winner
AL: Jays beat Red Sox to cap 21-8 May
This ol' left-hander isn't quite ready to head for home
MLB power rankings
Clemens tries again for 300th win

U.C. BEARCATS
C-USA scrapping two-division alignment

PREP SPORTS
Groeschen: Baseball all-star game is today
Schmidt: Odd pair to coach football all-stars
Division I baseball: Milford 16, Hamilton 1
Division I baseball: St. Xavier 14, Reynoldsburg 12
Division I softball: Northwest 3, Hamilton 0
Thomas, Compton put Cincy stamp on singles
Middletown lacks depth but still has individual strength
Turpin ignores cold to win regional title
St. Henry star Danks wins 3 titles
Brossart dynasty now over
St. X wins first state title in volleyball
Saturday's results
Tournament brackets

GOLF
Still Perry, Perry good
Daugherty: Don't hold breath for Singh to talk
Bad weather? Then it must be Jack's tourney
Q&A with Kevin Hall
Leader Sorenstam closes with 5 birdies

HORSE RACING
Funny Cide goes for sweep

BOXING
Siler eyes 3rd Golden Gloves title in a row

AUTO RACING
Dow: RCR leaves Green feeling unloved
Nemechek wins Busch series race from pole
Jourdain wins chilly CART night race

NBA
Duncan praises Martin's defense
Despite division wins, Pistons fire Carlisle

NHL
They're no longer sitting Ducks

TENNIS
Two-set leads evaporate in heat

TOP O' THE SECOND
Very special pen pals
Tale O' the Tape: ACC vs. AC/DC
Sollmann gets Irish up for NCAA Tournament
Page Two power rankings

ON THE AIR
This weekend's sports on TV, radio