About Last Night: Battle of the Bay

In case you were busy parking your fleet of car-carrying trucks in LeBron James’s driveway while you asked him if you could take a leak in his foyer, here are the top five stories you missed in sports on Wednesday:

In old faces in new places:

Jason Hammel’s first game as an Oakland A was less than successful as he struggled through five innings in a 5-2 loss to Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants. “Can’t win them all,” said A’s general manager Billy Beane when asked about how Hammel looked in his first start. Beane then stared off into the distance and whispered, “Unless maybe … ” before shaking his head and saying, “No, no. Definitely can’t win them all.”

Brandon McCarthy was sharp in his Yankees debut as New York beat the Indians, 5-4, in 14 innings, but the team was dealt a massive blow in the form of an elbow injury to All-Star starter Masahiro Tanaka. “It’s tough, but we don’t yet know the severity of — hold on guys, I’m getting a call from a restricted number,” said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman during a postgame press briefing before answering and saying, “Hello? Hello? I hear breathing, who’s there?” Cashman then hung up his phone and asked an assistant to trace the call before saying, “We don’t yet know the severity, but it’s not like Dr. James Andrews is inside the clubhouse or anything — hold on guys, we have a location on that trace. Oh, god. It’s coming from inside the building.” Just then Cashman looked up and saw Dr. Andrews standing in the corner of his office, smiling ever so slightly as he waved at the stricken GM.

In a Cup runneth under:

Argentina and the Netherlands played to a stalemate in their World Cup semifinal showdown before Argentina booked its place in the final with a 0-0 (4-2) shootout win. And it is with a heavy heart that we bid adieu to the Dutch, who left us with so many memories from this World Cup. How will we ever forget that time that Arjen Robben fell over? Or the other time that Robben fell over? Or the time when it looked like Robben was going to fall over, but then he didn’t fall over? Or the time when it looked like Robben wasn’t going to fall over, but then he fell over anyway? But if you ask me for a single image that will stick with me from this World Cup, it will be the time that Robben fell over. No, not that one. No, not that one either. No, keep going. Keep going. Oh yeah! That one. Where he fell over really dramatically, even though he could have just fallen over regularly. That’s the one that will stick with me.

In the costs of free agency:

The bill from the Brooklyn Nets’ spending spree last offseason has come due, as the team has earned itself a record $90 million luxury tax. “In Soviet Russia, luxury taxes pay you!” joked Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov when asked about the penalty his team had to pay. “Seriously, when I was a boy, luxury taxes paid me.” When asked to clarify, Prokhorov replied, “My taxes were named Yuri, and they were very, very serious,” before falling silent and refusing to take any further questions.

Restricted free agent Chandler Parsons reportedly signed a three-year, $45 million offer sheet with the Dallas Mavericks that Houston will have the opportunity to match once the NBA free-agency period opens Thursday. The deal takes away Cleveland’s reported offseason LeBron James contingency plan, once again proving that Cleveland is the luckiest city in sports. I mean, can these guys stop catching breaks? Unbelievable!

Filed Under: About Last Night, Oakland A's, San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Masahiro Tanaka, Argentina, Brooklyn Nets, Netherlands, Chandler Parsons, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets

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Spike Friedman is a contributing writer for Grantland and makes theater with the Satori Group in Seattle, Washington.

Archive @ SpikeFriedman