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TV star of the day

Tiger Woods garnered more air time during ESPN and CBS's Masters coverage than any other golfer. Not that surprising considering he was playing in his first tournament since his scandal and was in contention for the entire weekend, but a little surprising considering he didn't actually win the tournament. (He finished tied for fourth.) According to Repucom, a brand-exposure firm that reviewed the coverage, Woods accounted for 19.1 percent of the coverage. Lee Westwood, who finished second, made up 17.5 percent of the coverage. Masters champion Phil Mickelson was 15.8 percent of the coverage.

Happy birthday

Rays relief pitcher J.P. Howell, currently on the disabled list, turns 28 today. He was born on April 25, 1983, in Modesto, Calif. Meantime, this will make you feel old: Meadowlark Lemon, above, the great former "Clown Prince" for the Harlem Globe­trotters, turns 78 today. Lemon, who was born in Wilmington, N.C., and played at Florida A&M, played more than 16,000 games for the Globetrotters and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983.

Three thumbs-up

1. Rays road warriors: On a recent 10-game trip, a 6-4 record would have been nice. Going 7-3 would have been great. But 9-1? Incredible.

2. Tim Tebow: After all the talk, all the hand-wringing, all the naysayers, the kid ended up going in the first round after all. Know what we say? Good for him.

3. Ben Zobrist: This is how it is supposed to work. Guy works his way from the bench into an All-Star and is rewarded with a new multi-year contract. And he was rewarded by the Rays, not the Yankees or Red Sox.

Three thumbs-down

1. Not a great year for Devils goalie Martin Brodeur: He was yanked by Canada during the Olympics in favor of Roberto Luongo and was in goal as the second-seeded Devils were upset by the Flyers in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

2. Red Sox catchers and pitchers: When the Red Sox play, it's a like a Little League game where catchers can't throw out basestealers. When knuckle­baller Tim Wakefield pitched last week, the Rangers stole nine bases in one game. The Rays stole 10 in four games.

3. Ben Roethlisberger: To quote Dean Wormer, right: "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

Just wondering

Hey, if you're an Oklahoma Sooners fan, aren't you scratching your head that three of the first four picks in the NFL draft went to Oklahoma and your team went 8-5 last season? Yeah, we know No. 1 pick and quarterback Sam Bradford missed most of the season, but still.

And speaking of the draft, how about the Big 12's showing in the first round? Five of the first six picks and nine in the first round came from the Big 12. The SEC had seven first-rounders. The ACC had four, the Big East and Big Ten had three each and the Pac-10 had two — both from Cal.

The poll

Which Rays reliever would you most like to see on the mound in a crucial situation?

51%

Rafael Soriano

14%

Dan Wheeler

13%

Lance Cormier

11%

Andy Sonnanstine

9%

Grant Balfour

2%

Randy Choate

1%

Mike Ekstrom

Total: 1,662 votes

Another poll

Former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow will:

28 percent : Become a Pro Bowl QB

26 percent: Become a serviceable QB

24 percent: Be a wildcat QB

22 percent: Never make it

Total: 494 votes

This week's question

What was the biggest surprise of the NFL draft?

Vote at sports. tampabay.com

Thumbs-up, thumbs-down 04/24/10 [Last modified: Saturday, April 24, 2010 8:48pm]

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