Your morning roundup for April 14, the day San Dimas High School football no longer rules in the eyes of the Chinese government.
• On the first day of the National Hockey League's playoff season, the Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins each won by three, the Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings by two and the Washington Capitals on an overtime goal by Alexander Semin.
• The playoffs start Saturday, with the Lakers, Mavs and Thunder sitting in the Western Conference's second, third and fourth seeds respectively. If all goes well, LeBron James's season will end in Philadelphia on Easter Sunday. [Metro]
• Roy Halladay threw a complete game to secure the first Phillies win of the season against the mighty Washington Nationals last night. A tipster thinks he overheard Halladay telling manager Charlie Manuel, "Charlie, if you take me out, I'm going to cut you." There's no reason to believe that was bluster. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
• Josh Johnson came within five outs of a no-hitter for the Marlins over the Braves last night. He did not pitch a complete game. Probably didn't threaten to cut anybody, either. [Miami Herald]
• John Steigerwald dusted off his gingerstash and attempted to explain what he was going for with that whole "if Bryan Stow wakes up from the coma" column. He wasn't exactly successful in doing so. [Just Watch The Game]
• A Dodgers blogger who took offense to Giants fans chanting "Beat L.A." followed-up with a post about all the mayhem in San Francisco at a game earlier this week. It's almost as if a Giants fan didn't get beaten into a coma outside Dodger Stadium two weeks ago. [Vin Scully is my Homeboy]
• Let's take a look at bad sportswriting insofar as it plays a role in the debate over Manny Ramirez's Hall of Fame bona fides. [Cleveland Frowns]
• Arizona's Derrick Williams declared himself eligible to be the No. 1 pick in the next NBA Draft, should there be a next NBA Draft. [Tucson Citizen]
• Some folks at Purdue found the new "Purdue Pete" mascot to be a "complete embarrassment" [The Exponent]. So, old "Purdue Pete" returns to power, resuming a three decade reign as the fan-favorite mascot in West Lafayette. [Indy Star]
• If someone told you a burglar got chased down by a community-college basketball coach, you'd instantly guess his name was Daniel T. Flamma-Sherman, right? [Wichita Eagle]
• On his podcast, Jason Whitlock talks to John Horne, aka the guy who accused Evander Holyfield of jumping around the ring like a bitch because he had a little nip taken out of his 'ead by Mike Tyson, who didn't complain or say nuthin' despite having a three-inch cut over his eye. [Real Talk]
• The UEFA Champions League semifinal matchups are set: Barcelona vs. Real Madrid and Manchester United vs. Schalke 04. First legs: April 26 and 27. Second legs: May 3 and 4. For a preview of the former, Barca travels to Madrid on Saturday for El Clasico. Joyous. [Sky Sports]
A few stories you might've missed.
Moving Pictures: Here's some slo-mo video of Tim Lincecum's freakish delivery.