Your morning roundup for July 19, the day we learned to stay out of the way when Real Madrid rides around in a golf cart. Got any stories or photos for us? Tip your editors.
What we watched: These are dark, sportless days, these dog days of summer, when only baseball sustains us. But perhaps there's a reason most sports take the summers off: it's so so hot. It was in the 90s in Chicago after sunset, with the humidity making Wrigley
Park Field as damp and odorous as the small of David Wells' back. And it got to Roy Halladay, forcing him to leave the game in the fifth inning of a 6-1 Cubs win.
In one of those pointless-yet-neat streaks, Halladay had not lasted less than six innings in a road start since 2007. (That's the most since a fellow named Walter Johnson, back in the days when even lefty specialist relievers were expected to go at least six innings.) Halladay was feeling "hot," "dizzy," "dehydrated" — but he's fine. He just needs to drink some water, or to gargle with Gatorade. In the meantime, the Cubs will take a W. Even if, in the most interesting division in baseball, they can only win a game via assisted heat stroke. (Barry Petchesky)
H/T to Tom L. for the photo
Jim McMahon in a limo accident: "Former NFL quarterback Jim McMahon and two others were injured Monday when a limousine crashed through a fence south of Reno, the Nevada Highway Patrol said. The Nevada Highway Patrol said the accident happened around 2 p.m. on U.S. 395. The limo was heading north when it left the four-lane highway, crashed through a wire fence, over a culvert and into a pasture, Edgell said." [NBC Chicago]
Relive the glories of the Roger Clemens prosecution: "A close look at the court transcript reveals some telling moments and snippets of confusion among the judge, the government and the defense. From the short stretch of time it took for Durham to introduce the clip — 'Why don't we take a look here at Government's Exhibit 3-B2, which has been admitted into evidence,' Durham said — to Walton's blunt, 'I will declare a mistrial,' the trial of the summer was over and the questions were just beginning." [NYDN]
Vaguely interesting tidbit that is probably not true: "The state recruiting strategy is rife with problems. Officials choose children from across the country based solely on how tall they are. 'If height were the determining factor, we would be the best team in the world,' said Li Nan, 32, who works for a Beijing advertising agency and plays basketball in his free time, noting that every member of the national team is 6-9 or taller." [NYT, Wikipedia]
Colson Whitehead at the WSOP: "I have a good poker face because I am half-dead inside. My particular combo of slack features, negligible affect, and soulless gaze had helped my game ever since I started playing 20 years ago, when I was ignorant of pot odds and M-Theory and three-betting, and it gave me a boost as I collected my trove of lore, game by game, hand by hand. It had not helped me human relationships-wise over the years, but surely I am not alone here - anyone whose peculiar mix of genetic material and formative experiences had resulted in a near-expressionless mask could relate. Nature giveth, taketh, etc. You make the best of the hand you're dealt." [Grantland]
E-4: "The way Brooks Conrad remembers it, and honestly it was all moving a little fast at the time, the vaguely familiar earrings were in his wife's hand, which was shaking from anger and fear and whatever else courses through a wife's nervous system when she's discovered another woman's earrings in her husband's travel bag." [ThePostGame]
Sherri Murrell is still the only openly gay coach in women's basketball: "Two years later, despite an expanding era of openly gay mayors, clergy, even an NBA team president, Murrell still stands alone. She is bemused by the notion that there is but one gay coach in a sport long known to have lesbian players and leaders, and saddened that no colleague has felt safe to follow her." [Oregonian]
The most excitement the Islanders have had in years: First-round pick Ryan Strome won the hearts and minds of Long Island with this shootout goal in a summer camp scrimmage. It's only down from here, kid. [Puck Daddy]
As far as SEC scandals go, yawn: "'We're under a gag order not to discuss anything specifically,' LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva said Friday during a break in the monthly LSU Board of Supervisors meeting. 'That means the NCAA is still looking at us and asking questions.' An NCAA official was on the LSU campus a week ago and interviewed unidentified members of the football coaching staff about LSU's relationship with Houston-based prospect scout/adviser Willie Lyles of Complete Scouting Services, according to an LSU release Thursday." [News Star]
Nolan Ryan's no angel: "The Angels' foolishly letting Ryan walk away in 1979 with 14 years left in his bionic arm still gnaws at me like Henry VIII on a turkey leg. My first thought when hearing Ryan was supposed to throw out Tuesday's first pitch: 'What, they couldn't find two 8-7 ceremonial hurlers?' That was General Manager Buzzie Bavasi's rationale, remember, for letting Ryan walk in 1979 after he finished 16-14." [LA Times]
Freestyle paintball shotgun interlude:
Help Awful Announcing replace Joe Morgan on the Mt. Rushmore of awful announcers: They're down to the Elite 8. Today, Chris Berman takes on Michael Irvin. Go vote! [Round 2 Results & Bracket, Berman-Irvin]