Your p.m. roundup for Sept. 14, the day we learned more than we ever wanted to know about Michael Chabon. H/T to Sportpost for the video from the Japanese K League. Got any stories or photos for us? Tip your editors.
What we're watching (all times EDT, unless noted): ESPN has Indians-Rangers at 7 and Yankees-Mariners at 10. And at 8, Fox Sports Net has a tape-delayed Champions League soccer match between Benefica and Manchester United.
The evolution of tennis grunting: "The terrain shifted in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as the Nick Bollettieri-schooled Monica Seles and Andre Agassi pumped up the volume. Ted Tinling once referred to Seles' grunt as sounding "like a Christmas goose being strangled to death." Others compared it to a ‘grunt right out of a pig sty' or ‘the wail of strangled bagpipes.' It wasn't just the press and Wimbledon officials who complained-Seles and Agassi drew increasing ire from their sonically terrorized opponents." [Slate]
Some quick links to a few items we posted earlier:
• Your Study Guide To The Atlantic's Massive, Withering Story About The Wretchedness Of The NCAA
• Skip Bayless Finally Faces Down Chris Bosh After A Year Of Calling Him "Bosh Spice"
• Inez Sainz Showed Up To Jets Practice Today In Four-Inch Heels And An Azure Cocktail Dress
• Here's Sarah Palin Reporting On Glen Rice's Michigan Team Three Months After They Allegedly Humped
• Read Braylon Edwards' $14 Million Slander Lawsuit Against The Busboys Who He Said Attacked Them
The long, sad decline of the Blue Jays and Orioles: "The teams met for three games last weekend at the complex now known as Rogers Centre. There used to be a Hard Rock Cafe above right field, but it did not renew its lease. Billboards now cover 66 windows of another empty restaurant above center field. Aaron Hill and John McDonald, infielders who were traded last month, still have giant banners in their honor on the side of the stadium. The city was buzzing last weekend, but not for baseball. Just down Bremner Boulevard, Air Canada Centre hosted an American Idols concert on Friday and a Keith Urban show on Saturday. Movie stars flocked to the Toronto Film Festival. The three baseball games drew only 45,895 fans, easily the lowest attendance for any series in the majors last weekend." [New York Times]
Congratulations, Eliezer: "Colorado catcher Eliezer Alfonzo has become the first player suspended twice under the Major League Baseball drug program and will serve a 100-game suspension. Alfonzo was penalized Wednesday by the commissioner's office for a second violation. He was suspended for 50 games in April 2008 while a member of the San Francisco Giants." [AP]
Your German Star Trek Commerical Interlude:
A lot of thought goes into that at-bat music: "Players select anywhere from one to five songs to play before their at bats, sometimes rotating with each turn at the plate. Most of the time, they are set at the beginning of the season and do not change much after that. But for those who like to mix things up-players like Reyes and Harris for the Mets, Russell Martin and Nick Swisher for the Yankees all have that reputation-the process is simple. They burn a CD with the relevant clips or write the song names on a scrap of paper and give it to a member of the public relations staff. From there, the change is run upstairs to the person in charge of the public address system and the change is made." [Wall Street Journal]
This could catch on here: "Mänland doesn't just feature imported Scandinavian diacriticals like the rest of Ikea. It also has Xbox consoles, free hot dogs, ‘footy,' and pinball machines. A thirty-minute timed buzzer alerts spouses, all of whom are presumed to be women, that they need to pick up their helpless charge. It's repeatedly referred to as a ‘creche,' which is Australian for daycare. In the video above, a woman interviews a female manager, and they joke about ‘whinging husbands' and guys getting a ‘reprieve.' The men interviewed there sound quite pleased, so clearly there is some market for this." [Jezebel]
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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