What we watched: Jon Gruden doing a game in Tampa, which was too much to take—and not because he was seated so we could see his package just before kickoff.
Gruden's usual praise for so many of the players in games he calls went beyond annoying last night. Even as the Bucs offense struggled in the first half, he kept reminding us how wonderful a quarterback Josh Freeman is. The problem with such analysis had nothing to do with Freeman's talent—he has plenty—but with Gruden's way of telling us about it. And by the time Gruden described what went into the Bucs drafting Freeman in the first round as something like the best move the franchise has ever made, it was time to turn to Yankees-Tigers, which proved to be a much better game anyway.
Is it a bad sign that everyone is using eschatological metaphors to describe the NBA lockout?: "It's a mess, a basketball Armageddon that only Stern and his owners, and then Stern and Hunter — doing their last bargaining dance with jobs and legacies on the line — can forestall." [CBS Sports]
Yes, it probably is: "Without the framework of a deal, these next 24 hours could bring an Armageddon that will set back years of NBA momentum. The players have offered givebacks, and Stern and his owners sneered at them. The agents have wanted Stern on a level playing field for years, and they're determined to sue that smirk off his face. They don't care about the PR war, they care about winning. Billions of dollars are a stake, and, truth be told, the agents can spare the players the inevitable bad-guy role that the public invariably thrusts upon them in these labor disputes." [Yahoo]
It's up to A.J. for the Yankees: "A.J. Burnett's approach to tonight's Game 4 of the ALDS won't change after the Yankees were defeated 5-4 in Game 3 last night. ‘It's going to be important no matter what,' he said before the Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the series. Now, the Yankees' season rests on Burnett's right arm, and as squeamish as that may make fans, he wasn't showing any concern. Burnett referenced Game 2 of the 2009 World Series — a game in which there's no question he was superb. With the Yankees having lost Game 1 to the Phillies, Burnett fired seven innings of one-run ball, evening the series." [New York Post]
Colts' Foster to have surgery: Colts coach Jim Caldwell said the injury will require surgery. Colts owner Jim Irsay said in a Twitter message that Foster will be hospitalized for several days. ‘Eric is resting comfortably at Tampa hospital,n good spirits,he'll b home 2Indy n a couple days,' Irsay tweeted." [Indianapolis Star]
Your Incredible Yo-Yo Skills Interlude:
Kobe won't go full-tilt in Italy: "Bryant, 33, had a procedure on an arthritic joint in his right knee in Germany in the summer. If he plays in Italy, he will probably do so "fairly carefully," according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Translation: There probably won't be many blind crashes to the hoop or wild dunk attempts." [Los Angeles Times, via SLAM]
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.
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