"I personally know of six columnists working on that story already," said a Yankees media relations staffer. "Three local guys and three national guys. They all asked me individually how Derek is single-handedly willing this team to victory and I told them that he isn't at all. That he isn't even around. That seemed to disappoint them. But I know the columns are still in the works. They'll just pull some stuff out of their asses like always. I bet it's something like 'the standard of excellence he demanded inspires the team even in his absence.'"
At the start of the season, when the Yankees were expected to be awful and then got off to a slow start columnists were racing to publish pieces that made the case that the Yankees simply could not win without Jeter in the lineup. As though his absence alone would bring down the historic franchise. But then they started winning, forcing a different angle.
"It doesn't matter if we went 0-162, 162-0 or 81-81, Derek was going to come out of this smelling like roses," said the media relations staffer. "That's just how it's been for 18 years and nothing will ever change that. I mean, the guy has been surrounded by top talent for the last 12 years, yet he got just one World Series title in that time. Still his 'leadership' and 'winner' credentials remain flawless in the eyes of the media. No doubt he's an all-time great, but this team hasn't missed a beat with Eduardo Nunez and Jayson Nix in his place. So, yeah. Derek's reputation is set for life and nothing will ever change that. Especially not when there are dozens of writers who always count on mailing in 'Derek Jeter is awesome' columns three or four times a season."
"Johnny kicked ass," said Ryan. "I'd play Halo with him any day. A-plus."
By successfully completing a Halo 4 mission, Manziel earns three credits from Texas A&M towards his 12-credit, learn-at-home spring course load. He previously completed his final exams in three other courses: NCAA Football 13, Papa John's Pizza Ordering and an independent research study on the effects of sleeping past 11 a.m. on the human body. His final bit of work for the spring semester is due tomorrow.
"I have to write a 140-character paper on how cool it is to meet famous people," said the quarterback. "I submit it by tweet."
But instead of panicking over the team's Cup dreams fading away, general manager Ray Shero has turned to Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University for help in creating a goalie via the school's 3D printer.
"I'm not willing to sit still and watch this team die," said Shero. "Not after the regular season we had and all the trades we made. Marc simply hasn't done the job and our backup, Tomas Vokoun, is almost 37. He can't be expected to play every game in the playoffs. So creating a real, functioning goalie with a 3D printer was the best option."
Carnegie Mellon engineering professor Dr. Emmett Moncrief handled the job for the Penguins.
"I have actually had the designs of a prototype since last year when Fleury let in every shot against the Flyers," he said. "I knew it would be the same this year. I wasn't surprised when Mr. Shero called."
"We're only into the first week of May and already Derrick has used all of his personal days for 2013," said Trigman. "I had him in my office today to inform him of this. Considering he does not have a doctor's note allowing him to not work, we consider his absences to be personal days. I also informed him of this in writing so it's in his file now."
Rose sustained a knee injury last year, but was cleared by doctors to return to work two months ago. Despite taking part in practices, he has not worked one game night.
"I don't know, I'm just going through some stuff mentally," said Rose. "I was hoping this was the kind of company that would want me to work at 100-percent. I made it clear to the HR lady that I am willing to work from home while I continue to recuperate mentally, but she said there is not a way to play basketball on the couch."
News Thousands to Get Drunk, Put on Stupid Hats and Yell at Little People Riding Around on Horses in Depraved Ritual
"It's as crazy as it sounds," says Debbie McClain, who lives near ground zero of the event, held at a place called Churchill Downs, in Louisville. Maybe craziest of all, a lot of them spend a fortune on it. They put the thing on TV, too, and pretend that it means something important as though they're not just all batshit insane. As though it's not just a bunch of drunk, mentally ill people screaming at midgets riding around on animals. I don't know if it's ever been officially categorized as a cult, but it definitely seems like one to me. Their building even has steeple things on it like a church. Nutjobs."
The strange gathering dates all the way back to 1875. Yet while modernity and societal progress has driven most American freak shows out of business, the "Kentucky Derby" as the attendees call it somehow continues on into the 21st Century.
"Those psychopaths even sacrifice the animals," said another nearby resident. "It's true. If one gets hurt, they blow its brains out. They don't even deny it. I don't know how the whole thing hasn't been shut down. These people are killing animals after riding around on them for their own pleasure. In 2013. I guess if you engage in this level of debauchery, but do it tucked away in a state like Kentucky, the authorities forget about you. It's my only theory."
"The guys have shown they can win without me," said Rose, who tore his ACL more than a year ago and was cleared by doctors to play two months ago. "But I think I can contribute under the right circumstances."
Rose says he talked to Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau this morning and assured him that he will return if the Brooklyn-Chicago series goes to a "Game 8" or if the Bulls reach the "gold medal round of the playoffs."
"I told him: 'Thanks so much, Derrick. Way to step up for the team,'" said Thibodeau. "'No one will think you're a pussy now.' Of course, these are things I have to keep saying publicly. I of course personally think he's being a pussy and don't know if I can ever trust him as a player again. But publicly: 'The Chicago Bulls continue to stand behind Derrick Rose's personal timeline for his return.' Make sure you quote me on that part."
News NBA Requests That All Insults of Carmelo Anthony's Wife be Submitted in Writing Prior to Tip-Off
"I get that opponents want to say horrible things about Carmelo's wife," said Stern. "They have made that abundantly clear. Insulting LaLa has become part of the fabric of this great game. I just request that it be taken care of before the game begins, so we don't have any incidents in the final minutes or postgame when players should be focusing more on basketball and not quite as much on good zingers about Mrs. Anthony."
The Boston Celtics expressed disappointment in Stern's mandate.
"I'll be honest: I know I have almost no shot of winning another ring with the Celtics," said Kevin Garnett. "The only reason I'm still playing is to say stuff to Carmelo about LaLa during games."
Yet minutes after Stern's announcement, the Celtics submitted 78 pages of cruel jokes about Carmelo's wife.
"We have a lot of material," said Celtics guard Jordan Crawford. "We would have sent more, but our printer ran out of ink."
"It's good conversation at parties or whatever to tell people that you live near a former pro athlete," said Rinaldi, who lives three houses away from Collins in Los Angeles. "But that's all ruined now."
Rinaldi said she mentioned to a friend yesterday that she lived near Jarron Collins and the friend replied: "Oh, wow? The gay athlete who came out?"
"No. No, not him," said Rinaldi. "That's Jason Collins. I live near Jarron Collins, his twin brother."
"Oh. Too bad," he friend said. "Well, maybe Jason will come visit sometime. He's really famous."
"Yeah," said Rinaldi.
It's the same for friends of the now much lesser-known Collins twin.
"Jarron is a great guy and I think the world of him," said lifelong friend Doug Mason. "But now I kind of feel like I'm friends with Steve Robinson, Jackie Robinson's brother. Or Jeff Armstrong, the brother of Neil Armstrong. You know what I mean? It would be cooler to know the guy who walked on the moon, not the guy who once shared a bedroom with the guy who walked on the moon."
"I wanted to do something that would really make the NHL seem fresh and innovative, and I think this is it," said Bettman, beaming. "The Stanley Cup served it's purpose for a long time, but these are new or refurbished 16-gig iPad 2s that the players will get to keep. We're probably even going to pay to engrave their names on the back."
Bettman's idea was immediately panned by the media members attending the press conference, with several becoming so enraged they yelled expletives at Bettman. One older reporter rushed the stage and tried to hit the commissioner with his notebook.
"I have to say, this was not the reaction I expected," a clearly disappointed Bettman said after order was restored. "The Stanley Cup was old. There was only one for all the players to share. They had to give it back. These are iPad 2s that they can keep! They even have 3G! We're not paying for the data, but the players can activate it if they want to. What is not to like here?"
Most of the hitting infections have occurred near Houston, Anaheim, San Diego, Toronto and Philadelphia, as pitchers in those cities have been found to have the type of slow fastballs and hanging curveballs on which the virus thrives.
According to the CDC's analysis, the virus has been active for years but started to spread actively several weeks ago when Astros pitcher Philip Humber repeatedly grooved fastballs to Cleveland Indians hitters in a 19-6 loss. A highly contagious form of hitting has spread ever since.
The CDC fears worries it will be difficult to control.
"Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay was spreading hitting to everyone in his first few starts of the season, but then it went into remission for a few weeks," said Phillies team physician Geoff Hartman. "We though it might be under control. Unfortunately, it flared up worse than ever Tuesday night, when he gave out eight runs on nine hits and three home runs in just three innings. I've never seen hitting become that contagious that fast. It's terrifying."