Tuesday May 27th, 2014

King of the Grill

Vince Wilfork :: @mrs75/Instagram Vince Wilfork :: @mrs75/Instagram

Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and Patriots 325-pound lineman Vince Wilfork took advantage of the nice weather with a barbecue. He was feeling so good he decided to perform a BBQ Dance, which his wife, Bianca, was nice enough to post to Instagram. This may be the greatest Instagram video ever posted. On the plus side, at least his pants weren't jacked up too high, like they were in this outing. 

What $20 Buys at Your Ballpark

CNNMoney looks at how much $20 can buy at all 30 MLB ballparks. It's good to be a Reds or Diamondbacks fan.

The Craziest Owner In Sports?

SI's Chris Mannix has a great look inside the Grizzlies organization and reveals a few things about owner Robert Pera that would make Mark Cuban shudder. Before the season, he challenged Tony Allen to a game of 1-on-1 and wanted the media to cover it and the team's PR staff to issue a press release about the game. He wanted coach Dave Joerger to wear an NFL-style headset and take instructions on the sideline, lobbied for veteran Mike Miller to be a player-coach and held individual meetings with players to discuss their games.

Lovely Lady Of The Day

It's been just over a year since we featured Catalina Otavaro as a LLOD, which is way, way too long.

Who Stole Hunter Pence's Scooter?

Someone stole Hunter Pence's motorized scooter from a restaurant parking lot on Sunday and the Giants outfielder is offering a signed bobblehead of him riding the scooter as a reward for its safe return. And in true Twitter fashion, the #stolemyscooter hashtag has become all the rage in San Francisco.

Dumb Baseball Injury of the Day

Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis was put on the 15-day DL after injuring his ankle celebrating Josh Beckett's no-hitter on Sunday. This comes a day after Jesse Biddle, the Phillies’ No. 1 pitching prospect, was forced to miss a start after being struck in the head by an ice chip during a hail storm on Thursday. Think those two are bad? Here are 43 other bizarre baseball injuries.

From the SI Vault

Manny Ramirez and Chia Pet :: John Biever/SI Manny Ramirez and Chia Pet :: John Biever/SI

In the surprise move of the weekend, the Cubs signed 41-year-old Manny Ramirez  to serve as a player-coach with their Des Moines-based Triple-A affiliate. In July 2004, Charles Pierce profiled Ramirez for SI and discussed the ease in which he hits a baseball (below). And, of course, no mention of Manny would be complete without a link to his rare photos gallery.

Let's begin with the swing, then, because that's the heart of Manny Ramirez. The head stays down and the hands stay back, so he sees the ball "deeper," as the hitting coaches put it. And then the whip through the hitting zone and the high finish, the great flourish, even when he misses.

Professional hitters talk about the swing as though it's a living thing, something with which they're not completely familiar. "You see this guy's bat speed, and you know you can't teach that," says Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar. "You can't teach a guy like [ Philadelphia closer] Billy Wagner, who's all of 5'9", to throw 100 miles per hour, and you can't teach somebody to swing 150 miles per hour through the zone."

Ramirez's swing -- especially the great late explosion -- gets to rattling around in the heads of pitchers, making them wonder whether even his bad cuts have a purpose to them. "He'll go up there and swing at ball three just to get you to throw it again," says Red Sox reliever Alan Embree. Ramirez himself dismisses that notion as fanciful, however useful the tactic might be. "No, man, I don't waste swings," he says. "It is fast up there, so you got to make up your mind what to do. All I try to do is stay focused and stay relaxed. When I'm in the box, I don't even hear nothing."

Odds and Ends

Giancarlo Stanton wore a red, white & blue sleeve (and cranked a home run) during yesterday's Marlins-Nats game ... Bat Dog was the real MVP of this year's ACC Baseball Tournament ... This young fan of Chris "Birdman" Anderson stole the show at Monday's Heat-Pacers game ... Love this story of how Blazers veteran guard Mo Williams created a fake feud with Rockets rookie Troy Daniels ... UConn is hosting a women's Football 101 Clinic next month ... Bill Walton was a guest percussionist during a Gregg Allman concert last week.   Patrons in England threw beer at Macaulay Culkin during the performance of his pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band ... Congrats to the Honda Accord on being named the most stolen car in America for the fifth straight year.

Cheese Rolling Is Fun

Around 4,000 people visited Gloucestershire, England, on Sunday to watch people throw themselves down Cooper's Hill for the annual cheese rolling competition.

Nina Agdal: Intimate

SwimDaily collected some of the best "Intimate" videos to get you ready for summer. Here is Nina Agdal.

Novak Djokovic Makes A New Friend

Djokovic befriends a ball boy during a rain delay in his first-round match with Joao Sousa.

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