What we're watching (all times EDT, unless noted): Golf Channel has the second round of the Reno-Tahoe Open at 6:30 p.m. MLB Network has either Yankees-Red Sox or A's-Rays at 7. ESPN2 has a junior welterweight bout between Vernon Paris and Tim Coleman at 9, with tennis' Mercury Insurance Open quarterfinals to follow at 11.
This is a story about dummies: "At the convention, the puppets are a slim but boisterous majority. They crowd in around you. They critique you. They grope you. They chatter continuously. Being around them approximates what it would be like to read people's minds. It is a most unpleasant experience - a great deal more unsettling, of course, isn't what they say but that they say anything at all. All over the hotel, in conference rooms, in hallways, at the bar, ventriloquism is practiced in its purest form: not as a stage show, but as an ongoing, unscripted social interaction, a live conversation between humans and their golems. At a drunken party one night, in the hotel's "hospitality suite," I witness one dummy operating another dummy, as the human source of both voices sits silently nearby, pretending to compose a text message. The mini bar has lips, which cruelly insult anyone who walks by, the origin of its voice impossible to determine. Almost as soon as I join the party, I am molested by a busty lady puppet, a faded showgirl. She swoons onto my shoulder. "Godaaamn," she slurs. "Where have you been?" Her vent is a burly, unsmiling dude with a shaved head, a muscle shirt, and camo shorts. He smells strongly of whiskey." [Paris Review]
Aug. 5, 2008: Get Away From Me Rachel Nichols!
Because that Angels-Tigers game was so just like the debt-ceiling negotiations: "What a spectacle of undignified behavior, of hypocrisy, of extremism, of civility abandoned, of epic brattiness. Could a despoiled city possibly have proved itself more worthy of its tarnished reputation? I'm talking, of course, about last Sunday's Tigers-Angels game at Comerica Park in Detroit." [New York Times]
Some quick links to a few items we posted earlier:
• David Ortiz Wants His Fucking RBI
• Matt Stairs: Spectacularly, Just Good Enough
• These Deadbeat Parents Fell For The Old "Free Tickets To The Iron Bowl" Trick
• Welcome Back, JaMarcus: Russell Will Return To LSU In The Fall To Take Some Classes
• When Mays And Mantle Were Banned From Baseball: Putting A-Rod's Gambling "Problem" In Context
You're shocked Sean Avery is accused of shoving a cop, aren't you?: "Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Jorge Pardo tells City News Service that a neighbor's noise complaint sent police to the home at about 1 a.m. local time Friday. Pardo said Avery answered the front door, shoved an officer and slammed the door but cooperated when officers knocked a second time." [ESPN]
Who else can see the NFL totally stealing this idea?: Among others things, the coalition said, the rules include league controls on how and when news can be published online, and how news can be distributed to fans in Britain and overseas. They also require users of content to obtain and pay for permission from the leagues for their coverage." [Sports Illustrated]
Wanna bet? No, really: We're partnering with the crew at WhoBet, where we'll place bets with you in this space from time to time. There's no real money involved, but you might want to participate anyway, just for fun. And you could win a prize. The first bet, which we'll be repeating here every few days or so in the next week and a half, is below. Check it out.
The BBWAA will probably make Hurdle manager of the year anyway: "Let me reiterate exactly what happened tonight: the Pirates entered the eighth inning with a 6-4 lead. Jose Veras and Joel Hanrahan faced six batters and recorded six outs. The Pirates lost 7-6." [WHYGAVS]
Van Halen and the importance of no brown M&Ms:: "The band played in venues like New York's Madison Square Garden or Atlanta's The Omni without incident. But the band kept noticing errors (sometimes significant errors) in the stage setup in smaller cities. The band needed a way to know that their contract had been read fully. And this is where the "no brown M&Ms" came in. The band put a clause smack dab in the middle of the technical jargon of other riders: "Article 126: There will be no brown M&M's in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation". That way, the band could simply enter the arena and look for a bowl of M&Ms in the backstage area. No brown M&Ms? Someone read the contract fully, so there were probably no major mistakes with the equipment. A bowl of M&Ms with the brown candies? No bowl of M&Ms at all? Stop everyone and check every single thing, because someone didn't bother to read the contract." [Tywkiwdbi]
Portuguese cell phone commerical interlude:
Colbert's takeover of MLB's Twitter account has underwhelmed: "Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert took over control of MLB's Twitter feed last evening, and despite the trick leading to at least 300,000 new followers of @MLB, some people aren't finding it so funny. What follows is a sampling of complaints about Colbert's takeover." [SportsGrid]
So you think people don't undertand your job?: Tell The Atlantic all about it.
Slate's sports podcast wants you to pick up the phone and call: Here are the details
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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