In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Tuesday.
- NBA players and owners met with a federal mediator for over 10 hours Tuesday in an attempt to make progress on resolving the lockout dispute. Unfortunately, because they dealt with the federal government, China now owns the NBA.
- Red Sox employees told a Boston TV station that Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and John Lackey would drink beer in the dugout on nights when they weren't pitching. Their system was to fill plastic cups with beer in the clubhouse and drink in disguise. Clever. But like all criminals, they made one crucial mistake, which was to tell everyone that they were drinking beer.
- Tony La Russa announced that Chris Carpenter will be the Cardinals' starter for Game 1 of the World Series Wednesday night. "Oh crap!" said Carpenter, dropping his plastic cup of beer and trying to remember where he put his glove.
- The Big East is planning to expand the conference to 12 football schools, and will raise the conference exit fee from $5 million to $10 million when the plan goes through. "Yeah, that sounds cool and all," said every other team, "coming into a terrible situation and having the gate locked behind us, but, uh ... we've got a thing that year."
- In a speech at the University of Albany, Magic Johnson took a swipe at LeBron James, saying, "there's going to always be guys who win championships in the NBA, except LeBron." In a musty basement in Akron, LeBron reviewed the tape and clenched his fists in anger. "You've outwitted me again, Magic," he hissed. "But I think our little game is not yet up."
- According to a source, Theo Epstein's negotiations with the Cubs have reached a stalemate. And that's why you should never negotiate contracts by playing chess.
- Cincinnati running back Cedric Benson has received a reduced one-game ban from the NFL after appealing his initial three-game ban stemming from two separate misdemeanor assault arrests. Unfortunately, because he used a federal mediator in the appeal process, Benson will have to serve his suspension in China.
- U.S. senators wrote a letter to the MLB players' union asking them to ban chewing tobacco from the World Series. "When players use smokeless tobacco," they wrote, "they endanger not only their own health, but also the health of millions of children who follow their example." WELL HOWDY-DOO, READERS. LOOKS LIKE IT'S TIME FOR A RANT. In the time it took to write that letter, 3,000 Americans lost their jobs, 7,000 got sick from the pollutants of unregulated factories, and the nation's staggering debt grew by $1.2 billion. Did I make those numbers up? Yes I did. But they're based on real problems, unlike this hogwash. That's right, HOGWASH. I broke out an old-school word, because most senators are at least 90 years old and that's all they understand. Their idea of a wild night is to wear a leather jacket and give some guff to a greaser at a sock hop. But please, you grizzled lifetime crooks, focus on the use of chewing tobacco by baseball players. That's the main American problem. You nailed it. That's bigger than the fact that I have to pay so much for health insurance that it's literally cheaper to rent a sledgehammer and pay a drifter to break my arm. Just keep your eyes on the prize. Because God knows how much kids emulate baseball players. I still have fond memories of being a child and stuffing wads and wads of tobacco in my mouth because I saw Lenny Dykstra do it on television. You see, I didn't have a mind of my own. I just blindly aped whatever the players were doing. That's why I spit all the time and constantly scratched my groin and sprayed champagne all over my mom's new couch and had a new woman in every city. In fact, I still don't have a mind of my own. I'm still following Lenny Dykstra, which is why I blew all my money on weird things like launching a specialty magazine and renting jets. I live in a cardboard box now. Just me and my chewing tobacco. Now that I think about it, I wish I'd picked any other player besides Dykstra to emulate. Bad choice. I'll take the blame on that one. But seriously, senators, do you really think even one American child is still watching baseball? I love the sport, but I'm not so dim as to believe anybody below the age of 21 could even identify a baseball if presented with one on the street. They would think it was a football that had been painted white and squeezed into a perfect circle by a psychopath. And I don't blame them. What kind of person would paint a football? That's weird, right? If you see a dude painting a football, you're walking the other way. You're getting back on that bus. That's not a healthy scene. And if there is one kid out there still watching baseball, and he's not dissuaded by the fact that every game ends at 3 a.m., and his takeaway is that he should chew tobacco, then maybe we should let him. Because that's stupid. That's a stupid kid. And the only way that kid will get un-stupid is to chew tobacco and vomit and realize that none of his friends are watching baseball. GOD I HATE SENATORS.