San Diego Padres interim manager Pat Murphy ignited a social media firestorm late in the team's matchup with the New York Mets on Wednesday night.

With the trade deadline quickly approaching, fans and media are keeping a watchful eye for players suddenly pulled from lineups. Oftentimes, this indicates that a trade is imminent.

When Murphy took Matt Kemp out in the sixth inning and did the same with Justin Upton in the eighth inning, Twitter went insane. Everyone, including the media, thought a trade was coming 'round the bend.



Kemp's removal was one thing. Then, it was Upton's turn -- and the speculation started up in full force.




Fans were already coming up with potential trade scenarios.


All of this panic for nothing, apparently. Neither player was traded before reporters got the chance to ask Murphy about it.

Murphy was ready for the questions, because, well, he started the whole thing in the first place.


It may have caused the Padres fans some unnecessary heart palpitations. But if you're looking for comfort, don't go to Murphy.

He's probably thrilled.

We know it's difficult for Republicans and Democrats to agree on anything these days. Bills have been delayed for months while the two parties make little effort solve their differences.

As it turns out, the Capitol isn't the only arena that partisan Congressmen prevent action. This time, it comes down to two of the most important people in the country, and their shared interest in the game of golf.

Speaker of the House John Boehner told the Golf Channel in an interview airing next Monday that he can't even play golf with the president. Republicans and Democrats apparently get paranoid about the meeting of Boehner and Obama.

Boehner said the pair, who have played together before, would love to tee off again.

"If I go down to see President Obama, the Right begins to wonder what I'm up to. The Left begins to wonder what the President is up to," he told the Golf Channel. "The President has suggested, 'Hey, do you think it is too much trouble to play golf again?' and I have to look at him and say, 'Yes,' because everybody gets bent out of shape worried about what we are up to, when all we are really want to do is just play golf."

It's uncertain whether Boehner and Obama will ever get the chance to play again. It's a shame. They've proved to be a great pair. A really great pair.

Let's just say Jonathan Papelbon is happy to be leaving Philadelphia.
The pitcher was traded to the Washington Nationals on Tuesday after expressing his desire to be moved.

With impressive season numbers of a 1.59 ERA and 17 saves, Papelbon wanted to be traded to a team that had a shot at the postseason.

The trade marks the end of a rough stint with the Philadelphia Phillies. Papelbon struggled at times, and the fans let him know they weren't happy.

One such example happened last season after Papelbon blew a 4-1 lead and eventually took the loss. Fans booed him off the field and he gave them a nice gesture as a parting gift.

Papelbon was suspended seven games for what he simply called an "adjustment."

This incident, among others, caused Phillies fans to turn on the closer. The Philadelphia Daily News apparently shared that sentiment.


Kids, let this be a lesson: What you do in front of thousands of fans, not to mention dozens of cameras, will probably not be forgotten.

But in fairness to Papelbon, he's never said he regretted what he did.

Virtue is often a matter of perspective. For example, Sepp Blatter is currently reviled around the soccer world as the smug criminal mind at the top of FIFA's fraudulent empire.

So what if he's been pressured to resign his post, with plans to do so early next year?

To Russian president Vladimir Putin, Blatter remains a good man -- one of the best, in fact, and deserving of recognition.

High recognition.

"I think people like Mr. Blatter or the heads of big international sporting federations, or the Olympic Games, deserve a special recognition," Putin said to a Swiss TV station, according to Reuters. "If there is anyone who deserves the Nobel prize, it's those people."

That quote wasn't a joke. It just sounds that way.

Then again, can you fault Putin for his stated feelings? This is the man, after all, who recently used the Winter Olympics in Sochi to elevate the global reputation of his country, effectively using the sporting event to announce Russia's return as a world power.

Meanwhile, Putin allegedly used some well-timed bribes to buy votes from the FIFA executive committee that awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia.

Putin has also been very critical of the U.S. investigation that brought down several key members of FIFA and disrupted the hierarchy of its current leadership. The U.S., Putin argued, is operating outside of its jurisdiction by involving itself in FIFA matters.

Putin reiterated that point to Swiss TV and lumped in England's leadership with the United States.

So it's important to remember: Blatter has been a valuable ally for Putin. Blatter's exit from FIFA leadership is a ding on Putin's efforts to build a trusted network of powerful connections, particularly, it seems, in the sporting world.

So if he sounds crazy when defending his beleaguered old buddy, just remember: Putin has millions of reasons to stand by Sepp.

Before Jerome Bettis was establishing himself as a Hall of Fame running back, he was scared and struggling as a young boy in Detroit.

Bettis grew up around crime, gangs and drug use, and he was well aware of his parents' struggles to provide for the family. That combination of elements, he told Graham Bensinger in a recent interview, led to his and his brother's decision to sell crack.

"The mind-set was, 'We're in the hood. Mom and Dad, they're working their butts off. There's no money around. We need to make some money,'" Bettis tells Bensinger. "So we said, 'You know what? Let's give it a shot.'

"And it was one of those moments that you regret, but at the moment, that was the only thing that was really available to us."

Bettis also said that his tough upbringing, and the pervasive dangers he faced, led him to use guns.

He now admits that when he was young, he shot at people -- a decision he thought was justified at the time.

"It's nothing that I ever wanted to glorify, because I know in retrospect that it was awful," Bettis says. "Here you are in a position to take someone's life, and that's never a good thing. ... It was the worst thing that I could've ever done.

"It was a bad decision, but it was the decision that I made and that I lived with at that moment."

Bettis will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame two weeks from now. His career features more than 10,000 rushing yards and six Pro Bowl appearances in 13 seasons.

When Bettis retired, he was the sixth-leading rusher in NFL history. The journey from his Detroit struggles to pro football success will surely be a focal point of his induction ceremony.

The Cincinnati Reds fan who sprinted across the field, then leaped back into the stands, ran onto the concourse and made it home scot-free has turned himself in to authorities.

Justin Buchanan was charged with trespassing by the Cincinnati Police Department, a first-degree misdemeanor.

According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, he turned himself in Thursday night.

"I'm waiting for this to be finished up before I speak any more about it," Buchanan told the Enquirer.

Buchanan is facing up to 180 days in jail or a fine up to $1,000, if he is found guilty. It's a surprising fate for the young man to face considering he had escaped the ball park without incident, presumably safe from any consequence.

But when he got home, Buchanan posted video of his adventure to social media, which made it easy for him to be tracked down. His decision to turn himself in to police only expedited a process that would have led the officers to his front door.

Allegedly, Buchanan had already looked up the consequences of sprinting onto an MLB field and had accepted that punishment before he executed his stunt, so he probably isn't too upset about the fallout he faces.

Here's two different views of his successful run:



It's hard to see Buchanan getting too stiff of a penalty, considering the harmless nature of his adventure. But there's always a risk of the judge making an example out of him -- particularly in such a high-profile case, and with the teenager making such a show of his violation.

Buchanan's friends have also started a GoFundMe account to cover his legal expenses, which seems unnecessary for a guy who willfully created this hardship on his own. The public seems to agree: so far, the account has only raised $45.

Last December, UFC and Dana White agreed to a sponsorship deal with Reebok, which forced fighters to exclusively wear Reebok attire in the octagon.

The deal that benefited the UFC, but individual fighters suffered, losing independent sponsorship deals that were used inside the octagon.

As a result, many in UFC were upset. Some, like legendary cutman Jacob "Stitch" Duran, spoke out. Duran expressed his displeasure to MMA blog Bloody Elbow, and his comments led to his firing on Tuesday.

"We told our concerns to our higher ups who brought them to their higher ups but we were informed it's a no-go," Duran tells Bloody Elbow. "We were told there's nothing left in the kitty for us so there wasn't much we could do."

That really got fans angry, some of which took to social media to criticize White. Let's just say White was having none of it.

White fired back, and MMA fans lashed out at the UFC President on Twitter. The verbal sparring was long, and at times, brutal.

There were the good comebacks:




And the bad:



Don't expect Dana White to quickly offer up apologies or admit to mistakes -- his hardheaded leadership is part of why UFC has risen to prominence so quickly.

Then again, White also famously proclaimed that a woman would never fight in UFC -- and Ronda Rousey proved him wrong by becoming arguably more famous than any of the males.

It starts like they all do: Justin Buchanan, a 19-year-old fan looking for the spotlight, dashes for the field at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park.

In most cases, trespassers are usually caught within seconds of touching down on the field. Sometimes, fans will evade police officers for a bit, maybe make their rounds with the players, only to be mobbed after igniting the crowd.

That was the best-case scenario for crowd-jumpers like Buchanan around the world. Until Wednesday night, anyway.


Buchanan hopped onto the field on the third base side and made a run to the center field fence. Cops made an effort to catch him, but he made it over the fence and back out onto the concourse.


Once Buchanan made it out onto the concourse, he was free. He eventually made it home without being caught, a feat unheard of in the hobby of field-jumping.

And get this: Buchanan was bold enough to take a video while running across the field. Talk about multi-tasking.

His entire adventure was executed flawlessly. Maybe that was because he planned it ahead time.

"I actually googled on the way to the game, consequences of getting caught," Buchanan told a local television station.

"... My mom, when I texted her about it, she asked if I was ready to be escorted out of the game," Buchanan said. "And I told her that it'd be fine. She actually told me if I got in trouble, my car money's for bail."

It's still unclear whether Buchanan will need to turn to his car money. Posting the video to social media made it easy for police to figure out who the loose field-runner was.

Even if he avoids any serious legal trouble, Buchanan could still be facing a trespassing fine. But given that he researched the risks, it's a consequence he's probably happy to take.

This is how the dominoes fall: Thanks to widespread corruption in a governing sports body based in Switzerland, some renters in the United States could be forced out of their homes.

What?

It sounds crazy, but it's true. Those properties in question are owned by FIFA executives implicated in a massive string that has already seized hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal bribes and kickbacks. Because their owners have been indicted, the properties are eligible to by seized by the U.S. government, according to The New York Times.

The NYT reports that 13 such properties have been identified by the feds, who plan to seize them in the near future. The properties range in value from $70,000 to $1 million.

Some of those properties were used as temporary residences for the authorities at the center of the sting. But others renters are just normal people who happened to rent a property owned by a criminal.

And now, they could be looking for a new home.

One expert in asset recovery told The NYT that the reasoning is simple: U.S. based assets, such as property, are much easier to seize than offshore bank accounts.

"It's very difficult for real property to evaporate," he explains. "It's not going to travel through electronic wires to different countries."

But that's still a tough break for some of the property tenants. Sandra Cardona, a physical therapist, lives with her 10-year-old son in one of the properties slated for seizure.

"I was watching the news one night and heard the name Rafael Esquivel," Cardona tells the NYT. "I was shocked. That's the name I write on my rent check."

It isn't clear what will happen to the tenants if and when the property is seized -- what kind of notice to vacate they might receive. Many seem to have heard about the situation through hearsay, meaning they haven't been directly contacted by U.S. authorities.

Says one resident: "My neighbors are Cuban and they like baseball, so I'm not sure they even know."

Sepp Blatter -- protector of soccer, champion of women's sports, patriarch of corruption -- has set a date for the election of the next FIFA president, meaning there is a timeline for his departure as the head of soccer's governing body.

Though he's 79, Blatter has no intention of retiring to the Swiss Alps and living a quiet life (hopefully, from his perspective) free of U.S. criminal indictments, or, heaven forbid, his capture by Swiss authorities related to the hundreds of millions of dollars fraudulently acquired under his FIFA stewardship. No, Blatter plans to stay busy and in the public eye -- or, at least, in the public ear.

At a press conference Monday, he made this revelation:


Through this tweet, we learn two things.

First, we understand that Blatter sees himself as someone with personal value, or possibly that he doesn't see his aspirations as a narcissistic drive for celebrity, power and influence.

Second, we have it on record that Blatter considers radio the most popular form of media in the world. This is exactly the perception you would hope for and expect when dealing with a misogynistic octogenarian from Switzerland who smugly grins at the rest of the world while slaves in Qatar build his soccer stadiums.

I will not be listening to Sepp Blatter's future radio show, but I'm thrilled to know he sees this career move as bringing him to the forefront of media innovation.

The Sepp Blatter character has always depended on projecting an image of progressive leadership while clinging to outdated attitudes and condescending to the non-rich elite. But it's satisfying to see where this path to power ultimately leads: Sepp Blatter is now out-of-work, facing legal trouble, and publicly campaigning for a job in talk radio while comedians throw fake money in his face.

It's the ending he deserves, but don't expect him to get the punchline.

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