D.J. Cooper got a 24-month suspension, but why wasn't it nine?

Turns out the ex-Ohio U. star - banned last year by the International Basketball Federation - had used his girlfriend's urine when it came time to be drug-tested before joining the Bosnian national team. And he might have gotten away with it, too, if she hadn't been ... pregnant.

Which probably wasn't the next "and one" he had in mind.

___

Headlines

- At TheOnion.com: "Perfectionist Jon Gruden forces 'Hard Knocks' to film 78th take of scene where he cuts rookie."

- At Fark.com: "AB has cold feet about playing for Oakland."

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Spelling a profit

The individual letters that sat atop the rotunda of Seattle's since-rebranded Safeco Field - 11 feet tall, 5 feet wide and about 300 pounds apiece - are now on the auction block.

Given the Mariners' performance this season, bidding should be fierce for the L and two E's.

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Ruling the AL, DL

The Yankees - despite putting 25 different players on the Injured List this season - reached a whopping 36 games over .500 this month.

In other words, they're sore winners.

___

Picking up the flag

Sheepish authorities announced they won't pursue a possession case against Georgia Southern QB Shai Werts after police mistook some bird poop on the hood of his car for cocaine.

Dropping the charges? No kidding (but he's still on the hook for speeding).

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Paging Ray Liotta

The White Sox will play the Yankees at the "Field of Dreams" cornfield in 2020, MLB announced.

And there won't be a dry eye in the place when the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson walks in from left field to throw out the first pitch.

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Long and short of it

Two weeks after the LPGA Tour's Dow Great Lakes Invitational included a Anannarukarn-Thanapolboonyaras twosome, Im and An shot 62s to share the first-round lead at the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championship.

That, folks, is what you call an overcorrection.

___

Costume bawl

Argentina's women's basketball team was forced to forfeit its Pan American Games contest against Colombia for showing up in white uniforms instead of blue.

And you thought the NFL's fashion police were strict?

___

Wrong frozen tundra

Raiders WR Antonio Brown has been sidelined with severe frostbite on both feet - reportedly from going into a cryotherapy machine without proper footwear.

What, did he throw his good socks off his 14th-floor condo balcony along with the ottoman?

___

Read the fine print

Mariners infielder Tim Beckham drew an 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.

Considering he's been hitting .211 since April 7, here's hoping he kept the sales slip.

___

Talking the talk

- Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, via Twitter, on why baseball isn't fair: "(Brandon) Belt exit velocity and outcome tonight: 1. 99.8 (383 feet) - fly out ... 2. 104.1 - line out to first ... 3. 105.3 - ground out ... 4. 72.7 - single."

- Vikings QB Kirk Cousins, to reporters, on rookie center Garrett Bradbury's butt sweat making it difficult to grip a football after traditional snaps: "We might be in pistol and shotgun all year."

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Check that swing

The Orioles' Chris Davis had to be restrained when he and manager Brandon Hyde got into it in the dugout during a 14-2 pounding by the Yankees.

What, Hyde worry? He's seen Davis' slugging percentage.

___

Tweet of the Week

"MLB should also have the Angels and Mariners play one game every year at Dodger Stadium. The Naked Gun Classic. If the Queen isn't available, have the actor who played Dave Spiwack throw out the ceremonial first pitch." - @ericstephen

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Quote marks

- Phil Mushnick of the New York Post, on baseball's good old days: "I'm so old I recall ... when first-base coaches never congratulated a home-run hitter. He couldn't - the batter was already on his way to second."

- Brad Rock of Salt Lake City's Deseret News, on USA Today's "Usain Bolt is the most electric athlete in history" headline: "Is it reaching too far to say this isn't shocking news?"

- Torben Roffsen, on Vancouver, B.C.'s CKST Radio, on untouchable sports achievements: "No one will ever match the record of Lance Armstrong's seven consecutive stripped titles."

___

Locusts? You're up

The Colorado Rapids had to postpone their April 10 MLS opener because of severe weather, then scrapped their Aug. 3 postgame fireworks show because of a Bubonic Plague outbreak among nearby prairie dogs.

Freeze ... fleas ... what's next - bees?

___

Fire danger

Jacksonville's Doug Marrone and Washington's Jay Gruden, ahem, sit 1-2 in CBSsports.com's estimation of NFL coaches on the hot seat this season.

Jaguars apologists are blaming it on global warming.

___

One-In-A-Billion Dept.

A Florida diver attacked by a shark was rescued by a fishing boat full of nurses.

Pundits are calling it the most serendipitous encounter since Lloyd and Harry met up with the Swedish Bikini Team in "Dumb and Dumber."

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Quote, end quote

- Bob Molinaro in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, on Tom Brady and Drew Brees' touted training methods allowing them to play into their 40s: "They and others also owe their longevity to NFL rules that serve as virtual Bubble Wrap for quarterbacks. Passers from other eras - tough guys - took beatings that today's QBs couldn't imagine."

- Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg, on the U.S. women's national soccer team playing Ireland: "So you're either for us or a Guinness."

- Jim Barach of JokesByJim.blogspot.com, after the A's signed a 23-year-old who clocked 96 mph at a Rockies speed-pitch booth: "What's next, the Knicks signing a kid with the high score at an arcade Pop-A-Shot?"

Visit The Seattle Times at www.seattletimes.com

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