Sunday, June 29, 2003

Page Two power rankings



By Mike Ball
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Thumbs up

1. The NBA draft. Foreign players made up nine of the first-round picks and 21 overall. Maybe the message will get out to college players - not to mention those in high school - that they better learn how to shoot a jump shot and not just dunk the ball. Good for the NBA.

2. Bob Boone. Good for the Reds skipper for finally snapping back at the constant whining of Adam Dunn and Jose Guillen. If they'd look around, maybe they'd see the Reds have a few more problems than making sure they're happy with their playing time. Now, if only Boone would uncork a Lou Piniella-like tantrum, we'd get somewhere.

3. Women's tennis. Props to the organizers of the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters, who appear to have landed a tournament for the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason in August 2004. It won't be Venus and Serena - yet - but it's a great start.

4. Robert Whaley. He's on probation with the law and the UC basketball program. Let's hope he makes the most of his opportunity and we can start talking about his basketball skills again.

5. Lisa Guerrero. The new Monday Night Football sideline reporter is quite the looker. But execs say that's not the reason she was selected to replace Melissa Stark. The reason? An ABC exec says it's because 40 percent of the NNF viewership is female. Well, sure that's the reason.

6. Miami University. The new field turf is cool. And a further renovation of Yager Stadium is strong. But eventually getting permanent lights? Ouch. There's nothing finer than an afternoon football game in Oxford.

7. Andre Agassi. Just a pleasure to watch at Wimbledon.

Thumbs down

1. Tiger Woods. Funny, it never seems that anything is his fault. Now that other players have caught up with him - at least in terms of driving distance - he's making accusations about illegal drivers.

2. Bud Selig. Wait, how can this be? It's really something positive from the man. The commish has quietly put an end to the silly idea of the NL and AL having special uniforms in the All-Star game. Instead, AL players will wear their home uniforms since the White Sox are hosting.

3. Roy Tarpley. Banned for life from the NBA in 1995 for violating the league's substance abuse policy, he's trying to make a comeback. He's applied to the commissioner for reinstatement. Why does this sound familiar?

4. Dennis McKinley. The Arizona fullback apparently wasn't pulling in enough jack as a professional football player. So, he rented a warehouse to store marijuana to be shipped around the country. The police bust uncovered 1,500 pounds of marijuana. And they said Nate Newton's record would never be broken.

5. The Chicago Bears presented by Bank One. It's come to this. Well, why not? The kickoffs are sponsored, the baseball umpires are sponsored, the tipoff is sponsored. One thing: How did Mike Brown not come up with that first?

6. Donruss. The baseball card company purchased one of only three known Babe Ruth home jerseys, one from 1925. They paid close to $290,000. Will they show it off? Uh, no. They'll slice it up into tiny pieces to put on cards for their 2004 set.

7. Little League Baseball. Teams trying to reach the Little League World Series this year will need to carry proof of eligibility. What took so long?




REDS
Reds 5, Indians 4
Reds notebook: Mercker put on disabled list
Old-timer playing a changed game
Slick fielder seizing his opportunity
Reds chatter
Reds Q&A
Larson gets confidence, swing back

MORE BASEBALL
Daugherty: Browning continues fight for Freedom
Rockies 5, Pirates 4
Interleague: Lowell, Marlins overcome Red Sox
Expect a few All-Star flaws
MLB power rankings
Almonte puts 2001 scandal behind him
From bash to bars: Canseco awaits trial

U.C. BEARCATS
Levett is back at UC - as a student

TENNIS
Agassi adapts game to advance
Wild-card Russian teen wins again
Serena still waiting for a test at Wimbledon
Spots remain for Met tennis

GOLF
Lietzke eyes long-awaited major win

OTHER SPORTS HEADLINES
Missing Baylor player feared dead
IRL's Dixon leaves SunTrust field behind
Tour de France: Armstrong, opponents gearing up

ENQUIRER PAGE TWO
Big business is king of all things sports
Tale O' the Tape
Page Two power rankings

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