"We don't have a specific number in mind, but we're thinking somewhere between five and seven," stated Rizzo. "We feel like it's a fair number that allows us to be competitive without shortchanging the fans, Stephen, or ourselves."
"If we want a chance at the playoffs, we obviously need to keep Stephen healthy," he continued. "But more importantly, we need him to stop losing games."
Strasburg's four losses tie him for the league lead and place him just two shy of his career high set last season when he finished at 15-6, leading the Nationals to a 98-64 finish atop the NL East standings. Thus far through the 2013 season, the National are under .500 at 10-11, behind the Braves and Mets in third place.
"All these losses are starting to wear down and take their toll on our record, and obviously our record is very important to us," said manager Davey Johnson. "We care about it. We want it to be strong not just now, but in the future. So, naturally, limiting the number of losses was the logical choice."
According to several reports, the Kansas City Chiefs plan to trade down in the 2013 NFL Draft and give up the No. 1 overall pick.
"I don't know if this is the best thing for the team to do exactly," said head coach Andy Reid. "I mainly just want to take a big dump on all the idiots who have been doing mock drafts for months. What a bunch of losers, am I right?"
The Chiefs have yet to settle on the specific deal.
"We have a lot of teams who are interested in the trade because they obviously want to get in on making the draft prognosticators look like stupid assholes," said Reid. "We'll probably pick the deal that messes up the draft order the most. A five or six-team deal would be pretty awesome."
"Damn. I look good," Westbrook said while modeling the look in a locker room mirror. "Guys, don't I look good? You all are jealous, right?"
Westbrook's questions were met mostly with mumbles. Several teammates quickly exited the locker room to save themselves from having to answer. Nick Collison hid in his locker.
"Russell is obviously a huge part of this team and a lot of our success depends on him playing well and staying confident," teammate Kevin Durant said later. "So none of us want to tell him that he looks ridiculous. We just try to avoid the conversation."
"This has been the hardest few months of my life," said the former LSU defensive back. "Not getting arrested is exhausting. But if I can just make it through the weekend, I'll be the property of an NFL team and they'll pretty much be stuck with me."
Mathieu said he has kept himself on a sort of personal house arrest as the draft has approached, figuring it would be harder to get arrested if he stayed at home.
"But you don't realize how much trouble you can get in at your house," he said. "The Internet allows you to commit almost any crime from the comfort of your couch. Just today I ordered 300 pounds of weed from someone in Arizona. It's amazing. But I'm hoping nothing will be traced back to me until the draft is over."
"Guy, guys. Gather around and listen up," said D'Antoni, squatting down in front of his players while holding his iPhone. "'"Pau, get ur ass on the block and don't move till u get it.' Want to know who said that? Kobe. Kobe said it on Twitter. Now, Pau, get out there and do it, okay?"
D'Antoni then called his team back before player resumed.
"Oh, and guys?" he said. "I forgot. Hashtag: realtalk."
"We received word today that while the nation continues to support the people of Boston, sports fans will begin hating the Red Sox again very soon," said a Red Sox front office source. "While I wish that wasn't the case, I completely understand it. I mean, I supported New York after 9/11 and felt great compassion and heartbreak for everyone there, but I still loved it when they lost the 2001 World Series. The people of New York and what New York City represents is not the same as the Yankees baseball team. Screw the Yankees, right?"
Had the chase for the remaining suspect stretched on for several more days, Boston's teams would likely have received near-unanimous support well into next week, but Friday night's speedy resolution means that support will dissipate over the weekend.
"It's not surprising, especially with the playoffs starting," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "Right or wrong, people move on. Although the one thing we might have going for us is that we're playing the Knicks. A lot of fans hate them, too. We might be the least disagreeable option. At least for a series."
Patriots owner Robert Kraft says he has learned the Patriots were never viewed in a sympathetic light.
"Unlike the other three teams, we are not in season," said Kraft. "So no one ever felt the need to stop hating us. We remain universally loathed outside of New England. It's been business as usual around here."
News FBI: "We became suspicious of Jimmy Haslam when he showed interest in owning the Cleveland Browns"
"We had no knowledge of any wrongdoing by Mr. Haslam or his company," said an FBI source. "But, obviously, when someone willingly wants to own the Cleveland Browns, that raises a lot of warning flags. Why would anyone want to do that?"
Haslam's company, the Pilot Flying J truck stop chain, was raided by the FBI and IRS this week as part of a fraud investigation. Federal agents say Haslam knew of the fraud. He took ownership of the Cleveland Browns in October.
"He wasn't on our radar at all," confirmed another FBI official. "But when you look for suspicious behavior, purposely identifying with the Cleveland Browns is as suspicious as it gets. Our investigation began that very day. We weren't at all surprised to uncover illegal activity. His Browns move clearly indicated he was prone to doing stupid things."
"My man rg3 you do it i do it. It a bet dog," read part of Bryant's post, written just days after surgery to repair a torn Achilles. "My thrwing arm iz not hurt i just wil b more of a packet qb. never been mor motvated to win Supr bowel."
Bryant then went on to write several hundred barely lucid words about spiders that he claims are living inside his eyelids, saying eyelashes are "jus spider hands sticking out ur face. LOL. No lol: FEAR. I'd fight a bear b4 a damn spidr. Eylid spidrs!!! When u blink its them biting yor eyes."
Several minutes later, Bryant took to Twitter and tried to order a sandwich: "Hello. Turkey on rye plz .. no eyelid spiders on the side .., nEver them."
"You almost don't want to talk about it because you don't want to jinx it," said catcher Brian McCann. "But, yeah, with the start we've had, we have talked about it, sure. This team, the 2013 Braves we have a chance to have the biggest collapse in baseball history. It's exciting."
McCann and other Braves know they can't look ahead, however.
"It's only April. We have a lot of games left to win before we start thinking about falling apart," said first baseman Freddie Freeman. "But I promise this team won't let up trying to accomplish a historic letdown."
Those are the words Jim Nantz used to begin his call of the Masters on Sunday, the second day in a row he opened his broadcast with the crude alteration of his famed "hello, friends" line.
Nantz worked blue throughout Saturday's broadcast and into Sunday before CBS president Les Moonves pulled him off the air. Nantz's last comment before being removed was calling Tiger Woods' bogey on No. 7 "another bed-shitting by Tiger Woods. He's taking a big-ass dump on his scorecard."
CBS's statement on Nantz's removal offered no details as to why the announcer, who is regarded as one of the most conservative and straight-laced sports broadcasters and is therefore a staple at the staid and reverent Masters, suddenly filled his coverage with filthy language rarely heard outside of a naval ship or late-night comedy club.
But a source close to Nantz said he merely wanted to make the Masters more accessible to a younger audience. "The kids fkin' love this shit," Nantz reportedly told a colleague.