In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday.
- The Dodgers are claiming that an usher was merely playing a joke when he took a foul ball away from a young boy on Wednesday. The fact that the ball ended up in Bud Selig's office, where the commissioner laughed maniacally and drank a glass of human tears, just shows how elaborate and well-planned the joke was, they said.
- In an interview with NFL.com, former Vikings coach Brad Childress said that acquiring Randy Moss in 2010 was a bad decision. "We had good guys," said Childress, "but he walked in the locker room and vomited on it." To be completely fair to Moss, though, that was some terrible catering.
- Johnny Cueto pitched seven shutout innings as the Reds topped the Rockies 2-1. The strong performance stands in contrast to his last start, when Cueto blamed bad chicken wings for an upset stomach that knocked him out in the fourth inning. This time, said Cueto, he had Reds infielder Paul Janish taste the chicken wings first to make sure they were safe.
- Justin Verlander notched his MLB-leading 17th win in a 4-3 Tiger victory over the Indians. It was also Verlander's 100th career win, a milestone he was desperately hoping not to have to celebrate in Cleveland.
- Steve Stricker's 63 was good enough for a first round lead at the PGA Championship. Tiger Woods finished fourteen shots behind him at +7, prompting many experts to wonder if, at this point, he was staging some kind of extended real-life performance of "King Lear." Their suspicions were confirmed when Woods held a five-minute dialogue with a pine cone.
- Robinson Cano's 7th-inning grand slam was enough to give the Yankees a 6-5 win against the Angels. It was not enough, unfortunately, to lift the spirits of A.J. Burnett, the troubled starter who was found Friday morning near the Brooklyn Bridge, dragging an old shovel and wearing a filthy tuxedo several sizes too small for him.
- A two-point conversion with 15 seconds remaining gave the Cowboys a 24-23 preseason win over the Broncos. Denver starting quarterback Kyle Orton was just 2-6 for 37 yards. After the game, he said he was distracted by the bright aura surrounding backup Tim Tebow, and also by the swarms of golden birds who kept attacking him whenever he dropped back to pass.
- The NCAA instituted a rule that prevents schools with poor academic records from participating in the postseason. If teams don't meet a certain four-year Academic Progress Rate score, they'll be barred from postseason tournaments and bowl games. "This is a huge step forward," the NCAA said in a statement. "The fake grades given to top athletes will now have to be higher than ever."
- Chris Young blasted a 3-run homer in bottom of the tenth as the Diamondbacks walked off against the Astros. Other entities who have walked off from the Astros this season include fans, advertisers, close family members, and, according to some, God himself.
- Albert Pujols went 4-for-4 with a home run to help the Cardinals avoid a sweep against the Brewers. In the eighth inning, the four umpires gathered and issued a warning to the Milwaukee bench for inappropriate comments made by one of their players. Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke apologized, admitting that bad things always happen when the club forgets to feed Prince Fielder.
- The web gem of last night goes to Oakland shortstop Cliff Pennington, whose glove work helped the A's beat the Blue Jays 10-3. After running the results of this game through a super computer, Grantland is sorry to report that it's mathematically impossible to make a joke about a game this boring.
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