What we watched: Justin Verlander nearly threw a no-hitter, but that wasn't even the best part of yesterday's Tigers-Angels game. First, Jered Weaver thought Magglio Ordonez was showing him up by admiring a home run. Then, Carlos Guillen really did show up Weaver after belting a homer a bit later, after which Weaver got himself ejected by sailing his next pitch past Alex Avila's head. All the while, Verlander did not allow a hit until Maicer Izturis hit an RBI single in the eighth that followed a bunt by Erick Aybar, who had reached on an error. Aybar, to his credit, was still trying to win a game his team trailed by three runs rather than give in to some stupid unwritten rule about respecting no-hitters. Because no-hitters, by themselves, are so boring.
It's August. The trade deadline is over. And football and pennant races are with us now. Here goes.
The A's owner has some words for his Dodger counterpart: "'My hope is that the Dodgers will be sold to a party that will restart this great franchise, and that Frank and his family will benefit from a positive sale,' Wolff said. 'But to try and equate or compare what Bud Selig has done with the administration of the current Dodger franchise is unsupportable.'" [LA Times]
Set your Whitehurst watch to week 6: "Any head-to-head comparisons between Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst were headed off before they really got running, and instead of judging a winner Carroll was able to chalk it up to circumstance. 'In this situation, I think to make it the most competitive for our team, Tarvaris needs to be our starter right now,' Carroll said. Carroll left open the possibility of a competition between Whitehurst and Jackson later this season, but the coach was unequivocal that Jackson will be the starter." [Seattle Times]
Not a coincidence the Cubs were the punchline team: "It was well past the 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline, but that didn't occur to Leo Nunez. He had just recorded the third out in Sunday's 3-1 win over the Braves to tally his 30th save. Imagine Nunez's surprise when manager Jack McKeon summoned him into his office after the game, wished him luck, and told him he'd been traded to the Cubs. 'I said, "OK," then everybody was laughing and I realized it was a joke,' said Nunez." [Sun Sentinel]
Thanks for the memories, Versus: "Comcast's NBC Sports Group will announce Monday that it's jettisoning the Versus moniker and changing the name of the cable channel to NBC Sports Network. The makeover, including a new peacock logo, takes effect Jan. 2. 'This is more than just a name change for Versus,' NBC Sports Group boss Mark Lazarus said in a statement. 'It's a complete repositioning of the brand.'" [Versus]
Like Rick Ross, Serena Williams is not a star: "After blood clots in her lugs and two foot operations threatened her career for nearly a year, Williams captured her first tournament title since returning with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Marion Bartoli in the Bank of the West Classic final Sunday. 'Coming back and hearing the claps when I walk out there are moments that I truly missed,' Williams said. 'It's so awesome to be back and to be a part of those moments. Not everyone can be a sports, I don't know if 'star' sounds full of myself, but I've worked hard for that title. So, yes, I say it and I take pride in it.'" [AP]
Your freestyle epic surfing interlude:
We are all Dave McKenna CLXIII: Here's your daily link to Dave McKenna's brilliant "Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder," which we'll be posting every day until Snyder's dumbass libel lawsuit has to stay on the Padres.
Bye bye Birdies: "Always calm and collected, right-hander Koji Uehara breezed through his farewell press conference in the bowels of Yankee Stadium on Saturday night until he was asked which of his Orioles teammates he would miss the most now that he had been traded to the Texas Rangers for first baseman Chris Davis and pitcher Tommy Hunter. 'Everybody,' Uehara said through interpreter Jiwon Bang. And then, as reporters shook his hand and began walking away, tears filled Uehara's eyes and trickled down his cheeks." [Baltimore Sun]
Behold this incredible number from Adam Schefter, and then behold the incredible background to his Twitter page: "Here's one example of how chaotic the NFL world has been: Since Wednesday, the Arizona Cardinals have signed 51 players." [@AdamSchefter]