Your morning roundup for Sept. 28, the day we learned firewater was real. Video, which is a parody of this, via Joe Sports Fan. Got any stories or photos for us? Tip your editors.
What we watched: Baseball, on the eve of the end of the season. Jonathan Papelbon needed 10 pitches to get Adam Jones out, and the Red Sox won by a run. The Rays turned a triple play to stop the Yankees. The Braves' free-fall continued. And the Cardinals ripped the Astros.
After 161 games, the wild-card races in both leagues involve two teams with identical records, which leaves us with four pretty important matchups tonight. Not bad.
That would be this guy, unfortunately: The United Arab Emirates winger Theyab Awana, who became an internet sensation when he scored a back-heeled penalty in the summer, has died following a car accident. The country's football federation confirmed that the 21-year-old, who also played for the UAE club Bani Yas, was killed while travelling back from training in Al Ain to Abu Dhabi. [Guardian]
Maybe the NHL should read Deadspin. We have the evidence right here: "The NHL chose not to discipline Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds for his alleged homophobic slur because it could not "substantiate" that Simmonds hurled the epithet toward New York Rangers winger Sean Avery. After a hearing with Simmonds on Tuesday, NHL senior vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell released a statement calling commentary about race, ethnicity and sexual orientation "absolutely unacceptable," but said there was not enough evidence to punish Simmonds." [ESPN]
Your Kazoo Championship Interlude:
The Mets sort of stand up to the Yankees: "The Yankees offered the Mets $250,000 last week in exchange for permission to temporarily relocate one of their minor-league teams to Newark, N.J., Yankees chief operating officer Lonn Trost said Tuesday. But he said negotiations broke down after the Mets demanded the right to permanently relocate one of their minor-league affiliates to either Long Island or Connecticut. The Yankees were looking to move their Triple-A team to Newark's Riverfront Stadium for one year while their home ballpark in Moosic, Pa., is being renovated. But under Major League Baseball rules, the Mets and Yankees share territorial rights to the region. No team can move a major-league franchise or minor-league affiliate into the area without both teams' consent. The Mets' decision to block the move left the Yankees searching for another home for their Triple-A team in 2012 and disappointed local New Jersey government officials." [Wall Street Journal]
A win and a loss for the Mets' owners: Judge Jed S. Rakoff of United States District Court let stand the trustee's claim that the team's owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, were willfully blind to warnings that Madoff was possibly engaged in a fraud during their many years of investing with him. The judge also seemed to clear the way for the trustee, Irving H. Picard, to force the men to return some of the profits they earned from their investments with Madoff. But as a consequence of Rakoff's ruling - a complex decision involving bankruptcy and securities law - the trustee at most could force Wilpon and Katz to turn over $300 million to $400 million. [New York Times]
That time Howard Stern's henchman pranked SportsCenter by pretending to be Steve Bartman (via Sports Grid):
It gets better: "The Warriors hired a gay man as their chief operating officer, and fans of the team will have some serious questions and concerns, such as:
— Can Rick Welts help us get a rebounder who is taller than 6-6?
— Will he recognize and exploit the genius of Jerry West?
— Can Welts save us from the $10 beer?
The part about Welts being an openly gay exec in a manly-man's manly sport is interesting and noteworthy, but is it big news? Only in that it's not big news." [San Francisco Chronicle]
Good questions: "But what about the collateral damage? What about the men who find themselves unemployed not because they didn't recruit at a high level or game-plan well enough, but because, in the case of Pearl's staff at Tennessee, they had a boss who hosted recruits at his home in violation of NCAA rules, got photographed doing it, then lied about it to NCAA investigators? What happens to them?" [CBS Sports]
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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