In case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports on Thursday.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin said that his team will trade Zack Greinke before next Tuesday’s deadline. He called up his friend Billy Beane to ask if it sounded desperate, and Beane was like, “yeah a little desperate. Want me to take him off your hands to help you save face?” Melvin teared up. “Thank you. You’re such a good friend.”
- The New York Jets arrived at training camp in upstate New York, but Rex Ryan refused to speculate about whether or not Tim Tebow could earn the starting quarterback job from Mark Sanchez. Or maybe he did speculate about it, but it was impossible to hear him clearly through all the whipped cream and maple syrup.
- A federal judge who heard Jonathan Vilma’s arguments in a hearing related to the bounty scandal said that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s argument about his jurisdiction “borders on ridiculous,” but did not make an immediate ruling about the temporary restraining order Vilma’s attorneys requested. Now, I’m no lawyer, and I’ve had no legal training or even rudimentary experience, but this seems like a perfect time for Vilma to plead “Ex Corpos Mentis” — a Latin phrase which literally translates to “The body is now the mind” — in order to confuse the judge. Then she’ll rule in his favor since she’ll be afraid to admit that she doesn’t know what he’s talking about. (Now that I’m thinking about it, it might actually mean “The mind was once the body,” but in this case, I think it still works.)
- The 2013 NBA season will open in Miami, where the defending champion Heat will take on the Boston Celtics on October 30. In honor of Halloween the next night, the Celtics will be dressing up like really old men.
- Matt Harvey set a Mets record with 11 strikeouts in his major league debut, leading his team to a 3-1 win over the Diamondbacks. Harvey seemed to come out of nowhere, but his presence gives the Mets some hope at a playoff run. Fans at the game noted how stiffly Harvey moved when he walked to the dugout, and how his voice had a slight metallic ring to it in the postgame interview, and wondered if this had anything to do with “Mad” Fred Wilpon’s basement science experiments. But they shrugged it off, knowing the “robot pitcher” is just a silly myth.
- The Cardinals racked up a season-high 18 hits, three each from David Freese and Matt Carpenter, in a 7-4 win over the Dodgers. I tried to get a quote from Freese for this column, but we couldn’t agree on whether or not it was cool for me to call him “Pee-wee Freese.” (I said yes, it was.)
- Chris Tillman pitched six solid innings and the Orioles avoided a sweep, holding on to second place in the AL East with a 6-2 win over the Rays. “Can we break out the champagne now?” asked Tillman, who is really anxious to spray champagne on his teammates, but doesn’t understand when it’s appropriate. For the 99th straight game, he sat alone at his locker, quietly pouring a bottle over his own head.
- Edwin Encarnacion’s three-run homer propelled the Jays to a 10-4 win, ending Oakland’s seven-game win streak. When Brewers GM Doug Melvin heard about the loss, he felt so bad for Billy Beane that he dealt him Ryan Braun for a Coco Crisp bobblehead.
- Carlos Santana and Travis Hafner hit solo shots off Justin Verlander in what became a four-run seventh, and the Indians rallied to beat the Tigers 5-3. “See?” said Hafner, in the locker room after the game. “Verlander’s not so great.” He then saw a shadow around the corner, gasped in terror, and dove under the buffet table. “Dude,” said a teammate, “it’s the janitor, man. It’s not Verlander.” From beneath the buffet table, Hafner’s muffled voice could be heard: “I’m not getting out. I’ve said too much.” As the team left for home an hour later, they made one last attempt to get Hafner out from under the table. “I’m not leaving,” he said, “but here, take my uniform.” He then pushed his clothes — all of them — out through the tablecloth.