The latest sign that mainstream sports have gone global: Ichiro Suzuki, the man about to break one of baseball’s longest-standing records, doesn’t speak English. When he’s inevitably asked how it feels to break George Sisler’s 1920 record for most hits in a season (257), Ichiro will have to answer through an interpreter. Nothing wrong with it, certainly, but it’s interesting. Going into Wednesday night’s game against Oakland, Ichiro needed three hits in his final five games to tie Sisler … Sticking in the American League (once again, “American” by name only), Venezuela native Johan Santana has shot to the top of the Cy Young conversation faster than one of his 95-mph heaters gets past bats. But I guess when you’re 13-0 with a 1.18 ERA since the All-Star Break, going from CY darkhorse to CY favorite should be expected. On the season, by the way, Santana is 20-6 with 260 strikeouts … Well whaddya know. After all the Kansas City-is-the-team-to-beat hype, the two teams tied at the top of the AFC West are perennial lovebirds Denver and Oakland (both are 2-1). While it’s doubtful the 0-3 Chiefs are going to continue playing like they have been, you’d probably get equally long odds on Oakland winning two of every three games for the rest of the year. Nice season to be a good team in that division (Denver?) … Speaking of surprising starts, perhaps even more unexpected than KC’s winless record has been the 3-0 beginning by Jacksonville. The Jags have scored only 35 points, but they’ve beaten three solid teams in Buffalo, Denver and Tennessee. To boot, all three were character-building victories that remained in doubt until the final whistle … The worst part about the Tyler Hamilton doping mystery? We still don’t know whom to believe. Either we have to go on rooting for him while running the risk of supporting a cheater, or we drop our allegiances – perhaps unjustly and certainly only because of rumors. Doesn’t doping stink?
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