Sunday, June 8, 2003

Top O' the Second Power rankings

By Mike Ball
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Thumbs up

1. Interleague play. Sure, you don't always get to see the Yankees or Carlos Delgado and Vernon Wells. Sure, there are some dreadful matchups (see Padres-Tigers). But sometimes the Bengals play the Cardinals and the Clippers play the Hawks in the other leagues.

2. Joe Morgan. It's a shame most people didn't get to hear him work with Marty Brennaman on ESPN on Wednesday. And the Yankees visit brought on some great Morgan flashbacks to his fabulous 1975 and '76 MVP seasons.

3. The Spurs. A bunch of nice guys, led by Tim Duncan and David Robinson, who won't finish last.

4. Funny Cide. For a couple of weeks, he put a little buzz back into horse racing. Too bad for him about that gelding thing.

5. Annika Sorenstam. She won her first tournament back after taking on the men and then had the good sense to gracefully decline journeyman/knucklehead John Riegger's challenge to player her an 18-hole match for $1 million.

6. Helen Darling. We're pretty sure she is about to do something never before in sports history. She is about to return to the WNBA's Cleveland Rockers after having triplets April 13!

7. John Smoltz. Final totals on his streak of appearing in 73 straight games the Braves won: 3-0, 60-for-62 in save opportunities and a .177 opponents batting average.

8. NBC. Spent a cool $2.201 billion for the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. Guess a network can't live by Arena Football alone.

9. Serena Williams. She didn't deserve to get booed by the French Open crowd. (But crying?)

10. St. Xavier, Milford and Purcell Marian. Prep baseball's alive and well.

Thumbs down

1. Sammy Sosa. Well, nobody accused him of using steroids this past week.

2. Rick Neuheisel. Alabama's Mike Price (strippers, golf), Iowa State's Larry Eustachy (drinking and co-eds) and now Washington's Neuheisel (gambling). Do you actually have to be a coach to attend those coaches conventions?

3. Rick Pitino. He did some serious backtracking after ripping Conference-USA - football, that is.

4. George Steinbrenner. The Boss whined that interleague play was unfair to the Yankees. Yes, George, things are really stacked against your club.

5. The USOC. In keeping with that true amateur athletic ideal, U.S. Swimming officials are planning to offer a $1 million bonus for a world record.

6. Friday night's umpires. Nice work. A 42-minute delay because it might rain.

7. The Pistons. Pretty weak running off Rick Carlisle after two successful seasons just to bring in nomad Larry Brown.

8. The French Open. Two words: Martin Verkerk. Whoooooooo?

9. The Big East. The Big East schools filed suit against Miami and Boston College for plotting to leave and harm the league. Which is fine, until Miami, BC and Syracuse leave, and then the Big East plunders other conferences.

10. Mike Milbury. The New York Islanders general manager has fired seven coaches in 7 1/2 seasons, including himself twice.

Reds 9, Blue Jays 8
Can we talk?
Dunn will keep leadoff spot for now
Reds notebook: Dempster's stats hide ability
Radel: Judges relish choosing mustard for ball park
Reds chatter
Reds Q&A
Reds happy to take 'worthwhile' gambles

Clemens hits snag in quest for 300
Home run derby helps Atlanta rally past Pirates
Ponson does O's, Browns proud
White Sox manager Manuel on way out?
Choi suffers concussion in collision
MLB power rankings
Stanford, South Carolina headed to CWS after wins

Mandatory minicamp begins Monday
Bengals Q&A

St. X, Purcell are state baseball champs
Bombers play it cool in taking state crown
Milford left to lament what could have been
A fitting ending as Cavaliers win
School's out, but Boone gets 'A'
Groeschen: Indian Hill's Compton, McCarthy share award
Schmidt: Scott's Poland walking on at Auburn
Elder, Middletown athletes strike gold
Mason pair, Mercy standout are champs
Saturday's results

From pickup games to local phenomenon
Dow: XU, UC connected to NBA Finals
Nets plot to get physical with Duncan

Mighty Ducks 5, Devils 2
Anaheim's Rucchin a study in perseverance

Empire strikes back
Tagg: 'I've had worse disappointments'
No popularity contest for Frankel

Johnson's strategy: Lead all the way
Dow: Green avoids bumps in road
Unser holds off Kanaan in Texas shootout

Verkerk looks to cap unlikely run
Henin-Hardenne's precision neutralizes Clijsters' power

Stadler penalized 2 strokes at Sr. PGA

Great things come in threes
Run TMC. Babe Ruth. No. 3 really is the tops!
Arturo Gatti vs. John Gotti
Top O' the Second Power rankings

Weekend sports on TV, radio