In case you missed it: August 15

In case you missed it, here were the top sports stories on FOX Sports Florida from Thursday, August 15.

* Mercifully, on this night, the time for questions had passed. The build-up to Alex Cobb’s return against the Seattle Mariners became an event in itself: The bullpen sessions, the live batting practice, the three rehab starts with Class A Charlotte, the recovery from a blister on his right index finger, two consecutive days of holding court with reporters earlier this week that included unguarded honesty. Cobb showed all that was in the past. Read More

* Alex Cobb had a successful return after being sidelined by a scary injury. Cobb pitched five strong innings in his first big league game since being hit in the head by a batted ball two months ago and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Seattle Mariners 7-1 on Thursday night. Read More

* Meet the latest guest to visit the Tampa Bay Rays clubhouse: A 20-foot, 115-pound reticulated python named Asia. Read More

* As first reported by Yahoo’s Prep Rally blog, Zach Hodskins, 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, has picked up a preferred walk-on offer from the University of Florida. What sets Hodskins apart from other talented players from around the country is that he was born with only one hand. His left arm ends just below his elbow. Read More

* Tampa Bay offensive guard Carl Nicks expects to play in his first game in 10 months when the Buccaneers face the New England Patriots in an exhibition game Friday night. Read More

* While Trenton Brown might not say much, the conversation has slowly turned toward the 6-foot-8, 361-pound mountain midway into the Florida Gators’ fall camp. Brown started off slow but has quickly moved into the rotation along the offensive line as a reserve at both left and right tackle. Read More

*Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig called the Tampa Bay Rays stadium situation “very, very discouraging” during the league meetings Thursday. Read More

* Calling it a historic moment, commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday that Major League Baseball plans to expand its video review process next season, giving managers a tool they’ve never had in an effort to dramatically reduce the number of incorrect calls made in games. Read More

* For more than 20 years, Larry Csonka has spent summers in Alaska. He’ll leave Sunday night to get to Washington for a ceremony with his former teammates Tuesday, when President Obama honors the only NFL team to achieve a perfect season. Read More

* With training camp now over, the Dolphins will shift into more of a regular-season-type mode next week. So here is a look at five Miami players who made big impressions in camp. Read More

* Former Miami Dolphins star Ricky Williams is the new running backs coach at the University of the Incarnate Word, bringing years of knowledge of the game to the small Catholic school looking to build its program. Read More

* Caleb Sturgis dreamed as a youngster about playing tight end in the NFL, then stopped growing when he reached 5-foot-9, so he’ll happily settle for a place-kicking job with the Miami Dolphins. Sturgis beat out incumbent Dan Carpenter and was the only place-kicker in training camp Thursday, but he wasn’t about to gloat. Read More

* Blaine Gabbert is getting another preseason start for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Coach Gus Bradley named Gabbert the starter Thursday, two days before the Jaguars play at the New York Jets. Read More

* Nick O’Leary also clicked on the video. He couldn’t help himself, even after he was able to walk away from the motorcycle accident in May. O’Leary watched the video and came away with the same conclusion as everyone else: “Lucky.” Read More

*Defensive end Antwan Applewhite has signed with the Miami Dolphins after he endured an injury-plagued 2012 season with the Carolina Panthers. Applewhite has appeared in 48 NFL games with the San Diego Chargers (2007-10) and Panthers (2011-12), starting 17. Read More