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Five Spot / Quick hitters on the light side

1. REACH OUT AND TOUCH

Mavericks' star Dirk Nowitzki (above) was picked to throw out the first pitch in Friday's Texas Rangers game. The 7-footer didn't actually hurl it; he simply reached from the pitcher's mound and handed the ball to the catcher at home plate.

2. ALL WE ARE SAYING...

Lakers' forward Ron Artest has announced that he is changing his name to Metta World Peace. If he gets benched at some point next season, at least fans can chant "Give Peace a chance."

3. DIY PROJECT

Boris Becker has had his holiday home confiscated because he didn't pay his gardening bill. So if you need a villa for a summer vacation, contact the Majorca, Spain, branch of Home Depot soon to get the best dates.

4. TAKE A DEEP BREATH

Galen Rupp won the 10,000 meters as the USA Track and Field Championships in Oregon while wearing a mask. Either he was worried about the high pollen count or he's planning a secondary career as a surgeon.

5. WHAT'S OLD IS NEW AGAIN

So there's an NHL franchise in Winnipeg named the Jets, and the Buffalo Sabres have a minor-league affiliate in Rochester. The NHL will further capitalize on Eighties nostalgia with the return of the Adams and Smythe Divisions any minute now.

-- Budd Bailey

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