Another Grand Slam title for the Bryan brothers … so what’s next?


Camarillo’s Mike and Bob Bryan won their third Australian Open crown and seventh Grand Slam championship today with a win over third-seeded Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles 2-6, 7-5, 6-0 on Saturday night in Melbourne.

The Tennis Channel’s coverage of the match airs tonight at 7 p.m.

The 30-year-old twins are second, tied with Peter Fleming and John McEnroe, as well as John Newcombe and Tony Roche, for most Grand Slam doubles titles by one team. The record is 11 by Australians Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde.

“It’s fun to see all the hard work we put in at the Spanish Hills Country Club in late December and early January pay off. It’s still a long year and we’ve got to keep it going for 52 weeks,” Mike Bryan said.

The Bryans are back at No. 1 on the ATP Doubles Team rankings.

According to their father, Wayne, the Bryans get back to L.A. Monday morning at 11 a.m. and head over to the Santa Barbara Municipal Tennis Courts for a clinic.

Other events ahead on the Bryan’s schedule:

== Saturday, Feb. 7: An exhibition at the Avila Bay Tennis Club near San Luis Obispo (1 to 3 p.m.) (site linked here)
== Feb. 9-15: In San Jose for the SAP Open.
== Feb. 23-March 1: Delray Beach International Championships
== March 6-8: Davis Cup: In Birmingham, Ala., with Andy Roddick, James Blake and captain Patrick McEnroe, against Switzerland (official website linked here)
== March 12-21: An exhibition at Indian Wells.
== March 23-25: In Miami for the First Serve Pro Am gala.
== March 26-April 4: Masters Series at Key Biscayne, Fla.
== April 6-12: U.S. Clay Court Championships in Houston (website linked here)

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We always enjoy a good Barry Zito off-season workout story


By Janie McCauley
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Zito rushed from an appearance and autograph session with homeless children straight to the ballpark weight room. He was short on time and needed to fit in his second workout of the day.

The 30-year-old out of Pierce College and USC has committed himself to his fitness and offseason program like never before, eager to turn things around as he heads into his third season with the San Francisco Giants. The 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner, who received a $126 million, seven-year deal before the 2007 campaign, is a disappointing 21-30 in his two seasons with San Francisco.

“The workouts are awesome,” said Zito, who has been training all winter with fitness guru and fellow Giants pitcher Brian Wilson. “We’re working out six days a week, two-a-days.”

Wilson, the team’s closer who has been living with Zito in the Hollywood Hills, has witnessed his teammate take some major strides. When they started back on Nov. 1, Zito could do all of three pull-ups. Now he can do 16.

“You can see a good difference,” said Wilson, who adheres to the most intense workout regimen and strictest diet of anyone on the Giants. “As far as strength goes, I don’t think he’s done this kind of work before. The gains are tremendous.”

Zito thinks so, too. All of this from someone who once joked that you “can’t pull fat” to explain why his routine didn’t include weight training.

From band work to yoga, high-intensity karate and weight lifting, they have been doing it all. Their throwing program has consisted of playing catch across a canyon, a distance of more than 200 feet.

“We’ve had some expensive days losing balls,” Wilson said.

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Another Lenny Dykstra ‘cash call’ episode

This exclusive reported by those Woodwards and/or Levins at TMZ (linked here):


According to a lawsuit filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court, Lenny Dykstra has yet to fork over the cash he promised to pay four pilots in exchange for flying his private plane. Dykstra had until January 12 to pay up, the lawsuit says, but thus far he hasn’t.
What’s more, the four pilots claim Dykstra promised them a four-month gig, but didn’t deliver on that either.

We’re guessing his Westlake Village home is still for sale, the one he bought off Wayne Gretzky at Sherwood Country Club. The car wash … we’re hoping he’s got his assets in order before it really, really gets ugly.

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Wall Street Journal: Madden’s stock could use some correction


The Wall Street Journal did the math, and finally called John Madden out.

As the $4 mil-a-year NBC analyst prepares for his next Super Bowl broadcast — he’ll be the only person to call a NFL title game for all four major networks — the nation’s most respected business publication decided to give him the business in a story today (linked here) that really plays into its wheelhouse.

“In statements made during several recent NBC broadcasts, Mr. Madden, who is 72, has misjudged the number of times NFL teams execute running plays from the shotgun formation, attributed two offensive strategies to a team whose players deny using them and misstated how often the San Diego Chargers call pass plays.”

Matthew Futterman then gives the facts to back it up.

“Sandy Montag, Mr. Madden’s agent, says any broadcaster in any game makes misstatements. ‘It’s a live three-hour broadcast,’ he says. ‘You can’t be right 100% of the time.'”

How ’bout at least 50/50?

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No one wants to think about the Tampa homeless … it’ll spoil the party


By Paul Newberry
The Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. — They started lining up at the “Faith Cafe” before lunchtime — the unemployed and the homeless, the hungry and the hopeless.

They were just two miles from Raymond James Stadium, where workers were putting the finishing touches on the site of America’s biggest party, the Super Bowl.

It sure seemed a lot farther away to these folks, who waited outside a drab building where workers doled out sustenance to the desperate — a sandwich or two, some potatoes, maybe a doughnut. Come nightfall, they’ll spread out in search of a park bench or a patch of grass, some place to sleep away another lost day.

This week they’ve tried to make their voices heard in a city throwing a big party they’re not invited to, complete with stretch limousines, steak-and-lobster dinners, high-rise hotel suites and a $1,000-a ticket football game on Sunday.

“I just can’t get a job,” said Michael John Leinonen, pausing between each word.

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