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					SI Extra: The Red-Hot Rays, Track, Tennis and More Wednesday, July 2, 2008 By Mark Beech and David Sabino These Rays Are for Real The baseball season is now past the halfway mark and the Rays' lead in the AL East just keeps growing. Behind a strong performance from starting pitcher Matt Garza (seven innings, five hits, three strikeouts, no earned runs), as well as two RBIs from catcher Dioner Navarro, Tampa Bay beat the Red Sox 3-1 last night. The Rays (51-32) lead Boston (50-36) by 2½ games, though the Sox have played three more games. Obviously Tampa is for real, and SI's Albert Chen says that a postseason berth is very possible, with or without a division title. "Bad news for the Yankees," says Chen. "By season's end the young trio of Scott Kazmir, James Shields and Matt Garza will be considered one of the best pitching troikas in the game. Tampa has rolled to the best first-half record in baseball even as their biggest slugger, Carlos Pena, hasn't yet caught fire. They likely won't be able to hang with the Red Sox all season long in the AL East, but come September the Rays will be in the thick of the wild-card hunt with the Tigers and Twins." ref=sixtra_newsletter070208 • Verducci: Midseason awards index.html?eref=sixtra_newsletter070208 • How 'Tiny' Time became a pitching Giant ref=sixtra_newsletter070208 • Photos: Memorable first-half moments ments/content.1.html?eref=sixtra_newsletter070208 • Biggest surprises Inside SI: Panic Speed Racked with worry that he would blow his chance to make the U.S. team, Tyson Gay scorched the track with the fastest 100 meters ever at the Olympic trials. SI's Tim Layden was in Eugene, Ore., to see it happen, and his story on Gay appears in this week's issue. "Here's the amazing thing about Gay," says Layden. "I've known him for about three years now, as he's gone from a very good -- but very anonymous -- college sprinter, to one of the biggest names in U.S. track and field. But he's still basically a polite guy from Kentucky. If you ask him a question, he makes an effort to answer that question, instead of giving you something sloppy he heard somebody say once on SportsCenter." 3/index.htm?eref=sixtra_newsletter070208 • Layden: Andrew Wheating's amazing story ef=sixtra_newsletter070208 • Schnell: A minor sport? Don't tell these folks ra_newsletter070208 Wertheim: Clashes of Titans Between them Venus and Serena Williams have won six Wimbledon singles titles since 2000. On Saturday one of them is likely to make it seven, says SI's L. Jon Wertheim, who's in London covering tennis's midsummer classic. "It would be shocking if there wasn't an all-Williams final," says Wertheim. "Venus and Serena seem like they play only when they want, but when they play here, they both play pretty well." As for the men's draw, there's a good chance for a third battle in the finals between top-seeded Roger Federer and No. 2 Rafael Nadal. "It's what everybody has been looking forward to, and it looks like they're going to get it," says Wertheim. index.html?eref=sixtra_newsletter070208 • Wertheim: Tennis mailbag ?eref=sixtra_newsletter070208 • Photos: Wimbledon style .html?eref=sixtra_newsletter070208 SI Vault: A Wild Open Win Forty-five years ago an ultracool Julius Boros won the U.S. Open at the historic Country Club in Brookline, Mass., after prevailing in a threeway playoff against Arnold Palmer and young Jacky Culpit. "As the three players started down the first fairway, the landscape of Brookline was finally in a calm and beneficent mood after three days of violent winds that blew golf shots and golf scores every which way," wrote Alfred Wright in the July 1, 1963, issue of SI. "All week birdies had been as scarce as live redcoats on Bunker Hill, but that was just past history as far as phlegmatic Julie Boros was concerned." 6/index.htm SCORES CENTRAL • Baseball 208 • Wimbledon: Men | Women

• WNBA SI WRITERS • Anderson: Phelps is up to speed ref=sixtra_newsletter070208 • Mandel: 10 defining games x.html?eref=sixtra_newsletter070208 • Taylor: The color of money sixtra_newsletter070208 • Brooks: Rams look to McMichael ef=sixtra_newsletter070208 • Farber: Inside the NHL eref=sixtra_newsletter070208 MORE FROM SI.COM • Extra Mustard: Today's Hot Clicks • Spain No. 1 in FIFA; U.S. 30th sixtra_newsletter070208 • Davis close to deal with Clippers ef=sixtra_newsletter070208 • Paul near extension with Hornets newsletter070208 • Bonds's 756th HR lands in Hall =sixtra_newsletter070208 • Pats release DB after gun arrest ixtra_newsletter070208 • AC Milan won't renew Ronaldo's contract wsletter070208

• Ducks re-sign top scorer Perry ef=sixtra_newsletter070208 ALSO IN THIS WEEK'S SI Tom Verducci examines Tim Lincecum's success; Kelli Anderson reports from the U.S. Olympic swimming trials; and SI's NASCAR midseason report. ewsletter070208 DID YOU KNOW? Racing about 10 minutes apart, Natalie Coughlin and Aaron Peirsol broke their own marks in the 100-meter backstroke last night in another lightning-quick session at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in Omaha. Their records were the fifth and sixth of the meet -- with five days to go. Coughlin and Peirsol were wearing the Speedo LZR Racer, which upped its tally of world marks to 44 since debuting in mid-February. _newsletter070208 DAN PATRICK RADIO • Listen to the show • BLOG: Hottest topics • Dan's best interviews • Upcoming guests • Tom Verducci • Kobe Bryant • Paul Byrd

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