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Swap Hernandez Jersey? How 'Bout No. 5?

Welcome to Hero, Nero, Zero, where we champion the triumphs, insanity and ineptitude of the sports world. Got a candidate for one of our life-altering labels? Email me at cdavidmartin@yahoo.com. This feature appears Mondays and Fridays.

HERO: A Patriot other than 81

In a savvy public relations move, the Patriots are allowing fans to exchange their Aaron Hernandez jerseys for a replacement of their choice. On July 6 and 7, fans who purchased a No. 81 jersey in the team’s online shop or at the stadium store in Foxborough can swap it out for a player who has a less-confined future.

Hernandez is in jail on murder and weapons charges in connection with the execution-style death of former Boston semipro football player Odin Lloyd, and he is also being investigated for his possible role in a 2012 double murder. As such, the Patriots assume that most people won’t want to advertise their allegiance to a potential serial killer. So whose jersey will fans take in trade? A percentage will undoubtedly opt for Tom Brady, while others will pick Tim Tebow, who had not been charged with any murders when we went to print.

NERO: The Cowboys’ general manager

Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent, who is out on bail after being charged with intoxication manslaughter resulting in the death of teammate Jerry Brown last year, has failed two court-ordered drug tests since the accident. I’m not sure what’s crazier – that Brent would continue smoking pot when he knows he’s going to be drug-tested, or that the Cowboys would still have him on their 90-man roster. Then again, the Cowboys are the only NFL team that thinks their owner has the wherewithal to be a general manager, so perhaps this is all of a piece.

ZERO: Days without interleague play this season

Remember when interleague play began around Memorial Day and maybe lasted until early July? Yeah, those days are over now that the Astros have joined the American League and there are an uneven number of teams in each league. Because of these factors, interleague games are going to be played every single day during the 2013 regular season – from the Reds, who opened the season hosting the Angels, to the Marlins, who end the season by hosting the Tigers. 

I like this schedule, as it offers a consistent opportunity for fans to see that pitchers suck at hitting. Justin Verlander? Yeah, he’s 0 for 24 in his career with 14 strikeouts. Did this keep him from bagging Kate Upton? No, it did not. Does that mean we should have to watch him flail at the plate like a blind drunk swinging at a piñata? No, it does not. 

Pitchers are a collective embarrassment at the plate. Sure, some of them can acquit themselves OK. But the majority of them are useless impediments to enjoyable games. Only a sport as back ass as baseball – which has been losing ground in popularity to every major sport not played on frozen water – would think it’s a good idea to keep offense down in the name of tradition. 

Cameron Martin has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, ESPN.com, Yahoo! Sports, and CBS Sports. Send your ideas to cdavidmartin@yahoo.com.

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