Your morning roundup for Aug. 18, the day the kids and the dog prevented a dude from stealing our van. Photo via @kevinlove. Got any stories or photos for us? Tip your editors.
What we watched: Being a beat reporter covering a baseball team involves more hanging around and waiting for something to happen than most people realize. The baseball writers often get to the park hours before the first pitch to watch batting practice and to take advantage of whatever pre-game availability might be on offer. The purpose is to be there in case something happens. Frequently, not much does. But then, like yesterday in Philly, the job calls for getting an update on somebody's testicles.
Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz got hit in the nuts Tuesday, thus making his status for last night an issue in the hours before game time. The team wasn't forthcoming with much information right away, which meant Ruiz's balls were tough nuts to crack. Once the word finally came that Ruiz's jewels were tarnished, at least one beat reporter was especially testie about the whole ordeal. But eventually, everybody moved on, and the Phillies and Diamondbacks got down to playing with real balls.
/Choke gesture: "Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon has heeded Larry Bird's private and public proclamations that Bird is working his final year as the team's president, that his staying through the lockout had been a favor to his boss. As Simon investigates possible succession plans, there's one candidate emerging over everyone else: Pacers legend Reggie Miller." [Yahoo!]
Dong shots get their day: "Sports writers and pundits have long been guilty of god-making when it comes to the ways in which they talk and write about athletes, and every time a blundering sports writer exalts the "it" athlete of the day for being a shining paladin of humility, hard work, and leadership, it falls to sites like Deadspin to counteract those narratives. Publishing stories that cast athletes in a less-than-flattering light accomplish this goal. Not because they tarnish the reputations of specific athletes, but because they remind us that all athletes, even those who haven't texted pictures of their dicks to someone, are human beings above all else. They are flawed human beings who do stupid things just like the rest of us." [Good Men Project]
Big win for U.S. soccer? Big win for U.S. soccer: "Savor this MLS fans. Remember this victory. Next time someone tells you that it is somehow an unfair task for MLS to ask its teams to venture into Mexico for CONCACAF Champions League, make sure you point out that FC Dallas managed to pull out a 1-0 win against UNAM Pumas — the defending Mexican Primera champions who currently sit atop the standings — at Estadio Olimpico in a driving rain on Aug. 17, 2011. No matter the circumstances, we never again have to hear about MLS's 24-game winless streak in Mexico." [SB Nation]
Dog playing volleyball interlude:
Emeritus' Michael Vick story will probably be discussed in Cincinnati today: "What say you, Bengals fans? Are you irked?" [Cincinnati.com]
We are all Dave McKenna CXCV: Here's your daily link to Dave McKenna's brilliant "The Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder," which we'll be posting until Snyder's dumbass libel lawsuit gets strangled with a shoelace.
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.