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TABLE OF CONTENTS

April 03, 2006 | Volume 104, Issue 14

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Albert Pujols Cover - Sports Illustrated April 03, 2006

April 03, 2006 | Bill Syken
D.C.'s club will go only as far as its two workhorses carry it

April 03, 2006 | Bill Syken
After yet another postchampionship purge, youth will be served up

April 03, 2006 | Daniel G. Habib
A title could be in the cards if Scott Rolen can shoulder the load

April 03, 2006 | Daniel G. Habib
The first winning season in 14 years? If the pitching holds up

April 03, 2006 | Daniel G. Habib
Versatile Preston Wilson adds some power to an anemic lineup

April 03, 2006 | Daniel G. Habib
A new set of outfielders is one step in the right direction

April 03, 2006 | Daniel G. Habib
Sean Casey returns home to help a club building for the future

April 03, 2006 | Daniel G. Habib
A new owner has big dreams, but old woes won't be easily fixed

April 03, 2006 | Albert Chen
A big bounce back to the top after the injury-filled calamity of '05

April 03, 2006 | Phil Taylor
Barry Bonds isn't the only player the club needs to return to form

April 03, 2006 | Phil Taylor
Mike Cameron provides a spark, but will that light a fire?

April 03, 2006 | Phil Taylor
Chad Tracy is on the brink of stardom; his team has a ways to go

April 03, 2006 | Phil Taylor
Escaping the cellar will depend on a young team's rate of maturity

April 03, 2006
The Week In Sports

April 03, 2006 | Lars Anderson
Bumped Up Though knocked out of a likely win at Bristol by Kurt Busch, former Cup champ Matt Kenseth grabbed the points lead

April 03, 2006 | Yi-Wyn Yen
Double Clutch Unstoppable in shootouts and unmatched in come-from-behind wins, Dallas is primed for the pressure of the playoffs

April 03, 2006 | Pierre McGuire
When Capitals coach Glen Hanlon briefly benched star Alexander Ovechkin (right) during a March 20 loss to Montreal for staying out too long on a power play, he sent a message to his players:...

April 03, 2006 | Ian Thomsen
Lost and Found Once headed nowhere, the Kings are closing in on a playoff spot--and that's a scary prospect for the West's top teams

April 03, 2006 | Ian Thomsen
THE HOTLINE

April 03, 2006 | Rick Reilly
THE POINT GUARD nearly drowned in his own house.

April 03, 2006 | Rick Reilly
Exclusively on Verizon Wireless V CAST and SI.com.

April 03, 2006
The Reaction

April 03, 2006 | Steve Rushin
Steve Randall is a small man making small money in small towns, a 5'6" high school basketball coach who climbed a short professional ladder from Turtle Lake to Montfort to Oshkosh, Wis. He drives...

April 03, 2006 | Farrell Evans
Eagerly playing the race card, a few unscrupulous black financial advisers are hurting athlete-clients and legit minority businesses

April 03, 2006 | Edited by Mark Bechtel and Stephen Cannella
WHO'S Hot

April 03, 2006 | Edited by Mark Bechtel and Stephen Cannella
Won By Kimmie Meissner (above), the gold medal at the World Figure Skating Championships in Calgary, in one of the biggest upsets in the event's history. The 16-year-old from Bel Air, Md., who...

April 03, 2006 | Edited by Mark Bechtel and Stephen Cannella
5 Times since the 2001-02 season that the Bulls' Tyson Chandler, who had 21 boards against the Hornets last Friday, has grabbed 20 rebounds in a game he did not start.

April 03, 2006 | Richard Deitsch
The 68-year-old Academy Award winner (Million Dollar Baby) costars in Lucky Number Slevin, which opens on April 7

April 03, 2006 | L. Jon Wertheim
When a fighter quickly packs on 20 pounds after the weigh-in, two people can get hurt

April 03, 2006 | Adam Duerson
It wasn't quite Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, but last week British rocker Pete Doherty, the former Libertines frontman, played an acoustic set for ex-con and former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson...

April 03, 2006 | Adam Duerson
Give that man a contract ... and throw in some ice to soothe those stinging palms. During the Sabres' loss to the Senators last Friday an unidentified fan--call him the Buffalo Saver--made the...

April 03, 2006 | Adam Duerson
LOEK VAN MIL,

April 03, 2006 | Adam Duerson
The Florida Department of Corrections gave an ex-minor leaguer a no-show job so he could help prison guards win a softball tournament.

April 03, 2006 | Chris Mannix
What to watch and watch for

April 03, 2006 | Edited by Mark Bechtel and Stephen Cannella
Isaiah Thomas

April 03, 2006 | GRANT WAHL
Taking March Madness to a new level, 11th-seeded George Mason reached the Final Four with the most improbable run in history. With no No. 1 seeds left and a trio of young players leading the other...

April 03, 2006 | Richard Deitsch
A PROGRAM ON THE RISE

April 03, 2006 | GRANT WAHL
Three precocious, ferocious post players have led their teams on surprise runs to the Final Four

April 03, 2006 | TOM VERDUCCI
Not all the reminders of the Steroid Era are gone yet, but the good news is that the new generation of hitters has a natural athleticism and a tough drug policy to help keep them--and their...

April 03, 2006 | TOM VERDUCCI
For Tom Verducci's weekly Internet column go to SI.com/baseball.

April 03, 2006
Everyone knows Big Papi and Ozzie and A-Rod and Barry and the Boss. They're the stars of the Show. But the fresh appeal of the coming season lies elsewhere, with those on and off the field who...

April 03, 2006 | Tom Verducci
Righthander Matsuzaka is 91-55 with a 3.07 ERA in seven seasons in Japan's Pacific League and was recently named the MVP of the World Baseball Classic with a 3-0 record. So what's next? "Major...

April 03, 2006 | Bill Syken
This march has been like last September for Howard: unusually hot. The Phillies first baseman, who hit a major-league-rookie-record 10 home runs in September, is still crushing the ball this...

April 03, 2006 | Albert Chen
Friends since they were kids growing up in the foothills of western Maryland, Mazzone and Sam Perlozzo made a pact two decades ago when they were both minor league coaches, Mazzone in the Braves'...

April 03, 2006 | Albert Chen
Is young, the Devil Rays' 20-year-old outfield sensation ready for the Show? "I thought I was ready when I was 18," says Delmon, the game's best five-tool prospect.

April 03, 2006 | Ben Reiter
At a time when front offices are infested with Ivy League-- educated sabermetricians, Williams, entering his sixth season as White Sox general manager, is an anomaly--make that an anomaly with a...

April 03, 2006 | Ben Reiter
After 17 years of providing candid play-by-play on radio, Cohen becomes the face of the Mets' new cable-TV network, SportsNet NY. Calling games as an employee of a team-owned network can be...

April 03, 2006 | Gene Menez
When reps for the players' union come to the table later this year for talks on a new collective bargaining agreement, one of the key figures across from them will again be Manfred, an MLB...

April 03, 2006 | Albert Chen
The yankees' $50 million rotation includes a five-time Cy Young winner (Randy Johnson), the sixth-winningest pitcher in the majors over the last decade (Mike Mussina) and two other All-Stars...

April 03, 2006 | Tom Verducci
Having worn out his welcome in Montreal, Cleveland and Los Angeles, the combustible but talented Bradley landed with the A's, who traded for the outfielder this winter. Still only 27 and three...

April 03, 2006 | Albert Chen
The president of the Dodgers is a bit tired of the rally towel. "Really, who needs another one of those?" says McCourt, whose husband, Frank, purchased the team from Rupert Murdoch for $430...

April 03, 2006 | Gene Menez
He can throw a fastball 99 mph, but Scherzer, Missouri's 21-year-old ace, says, "People always remember me because of my eyes."

April 03, 2006 | Albert Chen
When you saw the picture to the right, was the first word that came to your mind pioneer? Well, among baseball wives, that's how Benson sees herself. "We just sit there at games, and we're...

April 03, 2006 | Daniel G. Habib
Baseball operations analyst for the A's, Zaidi is the latest in general manager Billy Beane's coterie of quantitative thinkers with comparatively thin baseball résumés--and a future candidate for...

April 03, 2006 | Ben Reiter
As he enters his second full season as general manager of the Mets, Minaya would like to make it clear that he has not been given the combination to the Wilpon family vault. It just looks that...

April 03, 2006 | Albert Chen
In late november, Ryan was enjoying a few cold ones with childhood friends at a bar in his hometown of Bossier City, La., when the news broke: The crawl on a big-screen TV announced that the Blue...

April 03, 2006 | Albert Chen
First things first: What's up with the glasses? Aside from Who's going to be your closer? it's the question that Maddon--who wears thick black retro specs--gets the most now that he's the manager...

April 03, 2006 | Daniel G. Habib
Since its launch in 2000, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, MLB's interactive media and Internet arm, has evolved from a shoestring operation to one of the game's greatest assets. Its revenue...

April 03, 2006 | Phil Taylor
First base is not the best career path in the Rockies' organization, not as long as five-time All-Star Todd Helton, 32, who has a career .337 average and a contract that runs through 2011, is...

April 03, 2006 | Daniel G. Habib
A Los Angeles investment banker, whose group's $223 million purchase of the Brewers was approved in January 2005, Attanasio has been a boon for baseball in two ways: By buying out commissioner Bud...

April 03, 2006 | Tom Verducci
A rare gem at 20, he's already polished and must be handled with care

April 03, 2006
SI's RANKINGS

April 03, 2006
Scores, schedules and career stats on every player, plus the latest news and analysis from Tom Verducci at SI.com/baseball.

April 03, 2006 | Albert Chen
The ace knows what's expected--a title--and he aims to deliver

April 03, 2006 | Albert Chen
An icon is gone, but his replacement is ready for his close-up

April 03, 2006 | Albert Chen
What does $107 million buy in baseball's richest neighborhood?

April 03, 2006 | Albert Chen
A slender lefty provides--can you believe it?--a Ray of hope

April 03, 2006 | Albert Chen
Expecting another start like last year's is pure fantasy

April 03, 2006 | Peter King
The defending champs add some big hurt to their lineup

April 03, 2006 | Peter King
Strong up the middle, the Tribe is still rough around the edges

April 03, 2006 | Peter King
A team for the aged? Off-season pickups bring a lot of experience

April 03, 2006
Buffaloes' Spring Field

April 03, 2006 | Peter King
A change in the team's personality begins with a new skipper

April 03, 2006 | Peter King
Lots of changes were made, but not necessarily for the better

April 03, 2006 | Tom Verducci
A deep but young team rolls the dice on three discarded veterans

April 03, 2006 | Tom Verducci
How do you replace a Gold Glove catcher? Leave it to Mathis

April 03, 2006 | Tom Verducci
A beleaguered rotation gets a makeover, starting with a new ace

April 03, 2006 | Tom Verducci
A fun-loving Japanese import will liven up the season, at least

April 03, 2006 | Bill Syken
Young arms will decide whether a 15-peat (!) becomes a reality

April 03, 2006 | Bill Syken
Rising star David Wright spearheads a Shea resurgence

April 03, 2006 | Bill Syken
The off-season left some holes, but a big one got filled in center

April 03, 2006 | Mark Bechtel
Jimmy Conrad provides punch to the Wizards' backline--and punch lines in his Internet column

April 03, 2006 | Mark Bechtel
Last year the Galaxy finished fourth in the West yet took the title. Expect the unexpected again in '06: Wizards win. --Grant Wahl