The National Football League (NFL) announced last month that it would fine Miami Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso for hitting Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco in the head as he started to slide. Flacco, on a third-and-10 play on the Dolphins’ 20-yard line, dropped back to throw before scrambling to his right past the line of scrimmage. Alonso, who had dropped back toward his team’s end zone to defend against the pass, charged in to stop Flacco before he reached a first down. Alonso lowered his shoulder right as Flacco started to slide, crashing into Flacco’s head and knocking off his helmet.

Japanese pitcher Shohei Otani announced this weekend that he is making himself available to Major League Baseball as an international free agent, beginning the most intriguing bidding contest in recent memory. Otani currently plays professionally in Japan for the Nippon-Ham Fighters, and before you laugh, remember that two MLB teams are named after sock colors.

Amid a monstrous home run tear in August, Marlins’ left fielder Giancarlo Stanton was asked what a “special number” of home runs would be. He needed little time to decide his answer: 62.

Last week, the Washington Nationals lost their fourth National League Division Series in the past six years, surrendering their early lead and serving up the Chicago Cubs’ third straight appearance in the National League Championship. As the Nationals choked away their chance for a D.C. team to make a conference final for the first time since 1998, an odd interpretation of an obscure rule helped them steal defeat from the jaws of victory. With two outs in the fifth inning and the Cubs leading by one, Javier Baez, as he is wont to do, swung and missed at an 0-2 slider in the dirt.