Your morning roundup for April 8, the day the Associated Press union decided to stick it to The Man, with whom it's negotiating a new contract, by not promoting stories on Facebook and Twitter next week. Consequences will never be the same.
• Meanwhile, on the Citizens Bank Park field and in the clubhouse, closer Brad Lidge will remain shelved for a while longer than everybody thought. The Phillies are 5-1, against some bad teams. Cliff Lee starts on the road tonight against Atlanta, the best team they've faced with 3.7 percent of the season behind them. [Philadelphia Daily News]
• "Irish sensation" Rory McIlroy shot a 65 to become the youngest first-round leader in Masters history yesterday. He's tied with Spaniard Alvaro Quiros. [Daily Mail]
• George Lucas's daughter Amanda (aka Tyger, Adnama and Terr Taneel) will return to cage fighting after taking a year off to get married and earn her "purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu." She'll attempt to raise her record to 2-1 at the expense of Heather Martin of Jackson, Tenn. [MMA Fighting]
• The Chicago Bulls extended their lead in the Eastern Conference standings to four games with a 16-point win over the Boston Celtics. Derrick Rose had 30 points. The victory precluded the conference No. 1 seed from taking its benefits to South Beach. [Boston Herald]
• A friend of Bryan Stow said the Giants fan brutally beaten in a Dodger Stadium parking lot is responding to verbal cues. His surgeon says Stow's condition remains "guarded." The LAPD says they'll flood the stadium with uniformed officers to restore some semblance of peace. [Los Angeles Times]
• Six games into the season, the Baltimore Orioles have a five game lead on the Boston Red Sox in the AL East standings. [Baltimore Sun]
• A Brazilian volleyball player was apparently forced out of the closet publicly after fans of the other team deemed it acceptable to taunt him with the Portugese word for "faggot" during a match. [Volleywood]
This incident has prompted Michael to admit to the media that he's gay. "I'm gay. Everyone knows who I am. My team fully respects my sexuality. I have been playing for 10 years and everyone has treated me well and fair. I do not feel the need to let everyone know about my sexuality," says Michael.
• Karina Smirnoff, who is engaged to marry Detroit Tigers pitcher Brad Penny, has posed nude for the May issue of Playboy. After Hef tweeted about this, ABC got all worried that her bare titties might negatively impact Dancing With The Stars, on which her titties appear covered in skimpy clothing. [Fox Sports Detroit]
• After last night's 3-0 loss to Atlanta, the New York Rangers lead Carolina by two points for the final playoff spot in the East. The Rangers have one game left. The Hurricanes have two plus a tiebreaker advantage. [New York Daily News]
• Notre Dame wants to talk to the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration before paying a $77,500 fine for letting a kid die while filming football practice from a hydraulic lift during high winds. That seems exactly like what Jesus would do. [ESPN]
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