Your morning roundup for August 14, the day the New York Times trend piece hit a new low..
What we watched: We didn't watch much of anything yesterday—the preseason NFL games are too sloppy for our taste, especially the local one (Panthers-Giants) in our part of town. Want to watch a bunch of second-stringers whiff on tackles of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams? Want to watch Sage Rosenfels get his snaps in? Even Cam Newton couldn't save this dreck (although Armanti Edwards was fun returning punts). And we shouldn't even get started on baseball. There are no stakes left in the Yankees' season, nothing could strip them of their playoff spot. Even less is at stake with the Mets, who are limping around, Reyes-free, on an Arizona trip. Baseball Prospectus says the Yankees have a 98.7 percent chance of making the playoffs, the Mets a 0.1 percent chance. And we have six weeks of baseball left. Hey, isn't it about time for hockey training camps to open?
What we're watching: Gah, more baseball. A day of bad pitching matchups. No Sunday Night Football either. Little League, then? I'm afraid you're stuck with Little League. Day kicks off with Mid-Atlantic championship on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. Don't forget the orange slices, OK?
Free Carlos! "Carlos Zambrano has been placed on the disqualified list and will go 30 days without pay and without contact with his team, the Chicago Cubs announced Saturday. "His actions last night were totally intolerable," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. "This was the most stringent penalty we could enforce without a release."" [ESPN Chicago]
Plaschke gon' preach: "I have just seen a child brilliantly succeed, but under such a spotlight that he also weeps, then attempts to pull his shirt over his face to hide the tears. I have just seen an adult verbally insult the abilities of a child, and a child gesture and glare to insult an adult. You know what I want to see now? I want to see whoever decided to put Little League baseball on television be placed in a permanent timeout." [LA Times]
Bears balls: "One of the most controversial new rules of the 2011 season relates to the placement of the kickoff. With the NFL realizing that the kick-return play is one of the most dangerous in the game, the league has essentially tried to take bullets out of the gun, moving the kickoff point up five yards in order to engineer more touchbacks - and thus fewer returns. The Bears opposed the move, and on Saturday night they ignored it. Twice. According to Mike Pereira of FOX Sports, the Bears lined up their first and second kickoffs from Robbie Gould at the 30, not the 35. Per Pereira, NFL V.P. of officiating Carl Johnson (Pereira's successor) called Soldier Field and "put a stop to it."" [PFT]
Vintage sexist commercial interlude:
Hey, look, the PGA is happening: "Golf used to be a simple game, dominated by players we knew so well that we needed only to use their first names, most recently Tiger and Phil. But the names Brendan, Jason and Keegan have challenged even the most obsessive fans at the 93rd PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club. Who are these guys? Brendan Steele shot 66 and Jason Dufner carded a 68 to share the 54-hole lead at seven under par, followed closely by Keegan Bradley (69), who shook off an opening double-bogey and was one shot back." [Golf.com]
But what about the good folks at the NCAA: "While the SEC flexes its muscles and Texas A&M enjoys its stroll on the college sports catwalk, the entire enterprise of college sports has been shaken. Once again, tradition and common sense have given way to television money and ego. Once again, any incremental progress the N.C.A.A. attempts to make in regards to reform is overshadowed. And once again, it is painfully obvious that no one is looking out for what is best for all of college sports. And for all of college football's success and prosperity, that has many people wondering whether the sport is really headed in the right direction." [NYT]
We are all Dave McKenna CXCI: Here's your daily link to Dave McKenna's brilliant "Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder," which we'll be posting until Snyder's dumbass libel lawsuit gets puked up by a Georgetown frat boy.
Merch: Managing editor Tom Scocca and contributing editor Drew Magary have both written books. You can buy Scocca's Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future here, and Magary's The Postmortal here. Now do it.