Aug. 3, 1987: That time Joe Niekro tried to hide evidence of cheating, then got busted

On this day in 1987, Twins knuckleballer Joe Niekro was ejected after umpires determined he was trying to scuff balls, presumably to give his signature pitch a bit more movement. That’s the short version. The long version is much more entertaining. Watch this.

Hmmm. Just casually tossing away an emery board, like, “Ho hum. Nothing to see here?” That’s, shall we say, compelling evidence. Not a good look for Mr. Niekro, but certainly compelling television.

It wasn’t the start Gray was looking for, but it demonstrated how valuable he can be. After New York’s first-inning troubles, Gray worked his way out of trouble all night long, getting out of two separate innings with two runners on to put zeroes on the board.

The Indians are clinging onto a two-game lead over the Royals — winners of nine straight games — in the American League Central. Despite the Indians’ recent flurry of wins, they’ve actually lost ground on the equally-hot Kansas City team.

In fact, this is the first time two teams from the same division have had simultaneous streaks of eight-plus wins after the All-Star Game since 2004, when the Cardinals and Astros — then in the National League — accomplished the feat.

A postseason berth will not be easy for either team in the tough AL, but Hot Cheap Jerseys Ramirez was a part of the Indians’ World Series runner-up team last year, and he just keeps getting better. The Indians once again look like a dangerous team at the right time.

Masahiro Tanaka, who led the Yankees to a 6-1 win over the Rays, lost his perfect Jerseys From China game with two outs in the fifth inning en route to allowing just one run in eight innings. The inconsistent hurler gave up just two hits with no walks while striking out 14 batters. Despite the gem, he is just 8-9 with a 5.09 ERA this season.

Jim Caldwell continues to be one of the most underrated and understated coaches in the league

Moon put up monster numbers in Houston and a few other stops during a productive 17-year career that amounted to 49,325 yards and 291 TDs. He also helped make the run-and-shoot offense with the Oilers fashionable in the 1990s.

Warner was the ringmaster of the “Greatest Show on Turf” and won two MVP awards. Warner won a Super Bowl XXXIV with the Rams and reached Super Bowl XLIII with the Cardinals.

Kelly mastered the K-Gun in Buffalo and led the Bills to four Super Bowl appearances, and that amounted to 35,467 yards and 237 TDs through a productive 11-year career.

Tittle is one of the NFL’s post-World War II icons, and he finished with 26,920 passing yards and 212 TDs. That also included seven Pro Bowl selections.

Aikman won three Super Bowls and earned Super Bowl MVP XXVII honors as part of the Cowboys’ dynasty in the 1990s. Aikman also was a six-time Pro Bowl selection.

A changed Matthew Stafford means another playoff berth won’t be out of the Honolulu Blue.

Defense has become their backbone again, stacked from the front to the secondary. But they will be stuck in near-NFC content if Eli Manning can’t find his passing mojo, even with Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram in the mix.

John Elway has to do it again with a new coach in Vance Joseph and a new/old offense with Mike McCoy. Bet on the boss to see things work out well again, starting with Paxton Lynch starting.

The Titans are the AFC’s Cowboys, with an elite offensive line and an unstoppable running Hot Cheap Jerseys game. They added just enough playmakers around Marcus Mariota and to the back of the defense to push Giants Cheap Jerseys into the playoffs.

The Chiefs seem a little worried about their ceiling with Alex Smith, as well as the course of their running game. Good thing they can always trust the consistent, deep defense.