Your morning roundup for Nov. 17, the day we learned there are children in China who love school, a lot. Video courtesy Hoops Fix, via Cosby Sweaters. Got any stories or photos for us? Tip your editors.


What we watched: Enough already. Stop dunking on small children and play Kobe one-on-one, or something. There would be no fourth quarter in that one, so that's good, we suspect.


That's a lot of kidnappers, no?: "Venezuelan authorities formally charged eight suspects Wednesday in the kidnapping of Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos. The charges against include kidnapping, illegal possession of firearms, using a stolen vehicle and criminal association, prosecutors said in a statement. Those jailed include six men accused of directly participating in the abduction and a 59-year-old woman and 74-year-old man who are charged as accomplices for allegedly providing food to the group." [AP]


Someone's bitter: "Cuttino Mobley, whose N.B.A. career ended in 2008 because of concerns over a heart condition, is suing Madison Square Garden, claiming that the Knicks forced him to retire as a cost-saving measure. He is seeking unspecified damages. Mobley was acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 21, 2008. He retired three weeks later, without playing a game, after team physicians determined he had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a potentially fatal condition. At the time, Mobley credited the Knicks' medical staff for possibly saving his life. He has since concluded that the concerns were unwarranted and prematurely ended his career." [New York Times]

Apparently the Angels hate easy wins: "A national baseball writer tweeted Wednesday that ‘there is some opposition to [new Houston Owner Jim] Crane from American League West teams not wanting the Astros in the division.' To which another writer in the work room at the general managers/owners meetings responded, ‘What's not to like? You get to play the Astros 18 times.' When owners gather at the Pfister Hotel on Thursday, they are expected to approve Crane's $680-million purchase of the Astros from Drayton McLane. As part of that agreement, Houston will move from the National League Central to the American League West in 2013. The realignment will create three five-team divisions in each league and a more balanced schedule. Teams are expected to play 72 games—18 each—against division opponents, 60 against teams in their league's other two divisions and 30 interleague games." [Los Angeles Times]

Your Babies Fighting Interlude:

Ohhhhhh, so that's where Skip Bayless goes: "For the record, please understand what I'm advocating here and what I am not. I'm not going to go over the lunatic cliff with Skip Bayless and say Vick needs to be benched in favor of Young. I believe that Vick should get a week off and the right to reclaim the job the following week." [ESPN]


Can we give a guy some love?: "On Monday, we learned of a 12-page brochure supporting Juan Gonzalez's Hall of Fame candidacy that's currently making the rounds. As it turns out, the pitch for fellow two-time MVP Dale Murphy is a bit lighter. Longtime Braves GM John Schuerholz sent out a letter to voters appealing for Murphy that started with a personal note and followed with two pages of facts supporting his case. Murphy, who picked up 12.6 percent of the vote last year, is on his next-to-last year on the ballot. There's no chance at all that he'll be elected by the BBWAA before his 15 years are up in the next cycle, but there is a case for Murphy as a peak candidate. Mike Schmidt was the only National Leaguer more valuable than Murphy in a six-year span from 1982-87. Murphy led the NL in homers twice, RBI twice, slugging twice and OPS once. During his six-year peak, he played in 162 games four times and 160 and 159 games in the other seasons." [Hardball Talk]

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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