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'It's kind of like when we got Michael Jordan, right? The opportunity was there.' - Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis on acquiring five-time NHL scoring champ Jaromir Jagr

Capitals land superstar

That Internet guy in Washington really knows how to land a big name.

A year after he got Michael Jordan to come to town and run the Wizards, Ted Leonsis worked his magic again Wednesday. The Washington Capitals owner and AOL Time Warner executive announced a trade for the type of hockey superstar the nation's capital has never had.

Pittsburgh Penguins star Jaromir Jagr, a seven-time All-Star, is headed to Washington in a trade for three minor-league prospects: Kris Beech, Michal Sivek, and Ross Lupaschuk. "I do hope it answers two questions," said Leonsis, who also owns part of the NBA's Wizards. "One, can we get great players to come to Washington, D.C.? Two, I hope it knocks the chip off of people's shoulders. We're as good a team as any others now, and I hope the attendance and ticket sales prove it."

Baseball's second half

Retiring superstar Cal Ripken's victory lap at Safeco Field gave baseball a great reason to smile. Now, it's time to get serious.

The second half of the season is starting. Let the races and trades begin! The Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs, and Philadelphia Phillies all are trying to hold onto their surprising first-place perches.

Barry Bonds and Luis Gonzalez are still chasing Mark McGwire's home run record, and the Boston Red Sox are hoping that Pedro Martinez and Nomar Garciaparra are soon healthy so they can make a run at the New York Yankees.

Only Ichiro Suzuki, Freddy Garcia, and the Seattle Mariners can relax. With a 19-game lead over Oakland in the AL West, they can start printing playoff tickets.

Drugs remain AN issue

At the Tour de France in Bar-Le-Duc, France, speculation about drugs is rarely far away, and two-time champion Lance Armstrong knows it. "Regardless of all the speculation and innuendo surrounding cycling, it's still a beautiful event. It's still fabulously popular, and the people respect it. That's always nice to see."

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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