Pennsylvania Catcher's Unzipped Fly Reminds Us That, Yes, These Are 12-Year-Olds Playing Baseball On ESPN

Your morning roundup for August 21, the day you poor suckers got all the RC Cola you wanted. Photo via tipster Connor.

Pennsylvania Catcher's Unzipped Fly Reminds Us That, Yes, These Are 12-Year-Olds Playing Baseball On ESPN

What we watched: Baseball's just the worst, isn't it? The other sports can't punch you in the stomach quite the same way, when you think you don't care anymore. For there were no playoff implications to yesterday afternoon's Mets-Brewers game—Milwaukee's running away with the NL Central, and New York's running away from Wild-Card-leading Atlanta. It still hurt. These Mets are a scrappy bunch, but by that we really mean they're not very good at baseball. They make plenty of mistakes and don't hit for power. They're likable, but that doesn't count for much.

So it was awfully unsurprising to find New York down 7-1 in the bottom of the 7th yesterday. But then they did what they occasionally do: singles for Paulino, Pagan, and Evans, doubles for Duda and Tejada, and it was 7-6. Next inning: Frankie Rodriguez, the former closer, in to hold a one-run lead. Two out. Tejada walks. Thole doubles off the glove of Jerry Hairston, Jr. Tie game. Pagan launches one into the right-field bleachers. Mets up, 9-7. Wow. Out of nowhere, something; out of the dog days, a growl. This is how out-of-contention August baseball sucks you in: you have the game on the radio while you're driving, then in the background while you're cooking, and, look there, a rally. So you take to the couch. And before too long you're on the edge of your couch, before leaping and pumping your fists as though this was not one meaningless game in a sea of meaningless games.

This being a Mets' meaningless game, I don't have to tell you how it ended. Because you know already. Jason Isringhausen, Frankie's older, cheaper closer replacement, walked the first two men to face him, allowed a single, and then walked in a run. Manny Acosta came in, gave up two tough-luck hits, and it was 11-9, Milwaukee. One, two, three against John Axford's mustache in the next inning. I slumped back into my sofa and focused on the strip steak I had cooked, and I vowed that tomorrow, I'd be stronger.

Pennsylvania Catcher's Unzipped Fly Reminds Us That, Yes, These Are 12-Year-Olds Playing Baseball On ESPN

What we're watching: Anything but the Mets! Actually, all the MLB games but Braves-Diamondbacks look terrible. Jets-Bengals (7 p.m., local TV) or Chargers-Cowboys (8 p.m., NBC), then? We've dearly missed Cris Collinsworth's neck skin.

Elsewhere

Up close and personal with "Spill" Nevin: "Nevin Shapiro grew up an anomaly in the big-money world of South Florida mansions and fast cars, one of a small number of neighborhood kids whose families lacked the trappings of wealth. He developed an early penchant for gambling and after college got a first-hand look at acquiring money illicitly, when his Broward County-based stepfather was pursued in a global manhunt and ultimately convicted of a multimillion-dollar loan scam." [Orlando Sentinel]

So much for Fitz-to-the-Vikings, for now: "Fitzgerald was accompanied to the press conference by his brother Marcus, family friend Jordin Sparks, and, of course, the cleats, which have diamond-shaped holes cut in the top. Financial terms were not released, but a source said the first five years of the deal will make Fitzgerald the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL. He will be under contract through the 2018 season." [AZCentral.com]

Beachy and Uggly winning it for Atlanta: "Dan Uggla did his part by hitting a two-run homer off Miley in the first inning on his way to a two-homer game, his second of this homestand. Uggla and Freddie Freeman hit back-to-back homers in the seventh to fuel the blowout. Beachy gave up four hits, struck out seven and walked one to move to 6-2 on the season. Beachy was the one giving the ovation at the end of his outing, though, acknowledging center fielder Michael Bourn, who slammed into the wall to save Beachy a run in the sixth inning with an Andruw Jones-like catch." [AJC]

Did Goodell's henchmen get to him, too? "Terrelle Pryor worked out for 17 N.F.L. teams Saturday, and said afterward he would not appeal his five-week suspension at the start of the N.F.L. season." [NYT]

Freestyle Nicolas Cage interlude:

Your Arsenal... is weak: "Until they fell completely to pieces in the last 20 minutes [and gave up both goals], Arsenal had traded blows with Liverpool in a broken, open game. It was frustrating stuff for the home support at times. Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey were subdued, early mistakes seeming to sap their confidence, while Andrei Arshavin showed only glimpses of his former excellence." [Telegraph]

The South can ball: "The Sooners debuted Saturday at No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 preseason poll for the 10th time, more than any other team in history. Oklahoma also was No. 1 in the USA Today coaches poll. However, the Sooners will have to hold off a herd of SEC teams, led by the No. 2 Crimson Tide of Alabama, one of a record eight SEC teams included. Georgia debuted at No. 19. The Bulldogs are No. 22 in the coaches poll." [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

We are all Dave McKenna CXCVIII: 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 becomes another wife of John Beck.

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.