About Last Night: Bonus Baseball in Tampa

In case you were unable to get to a TV after a butt pat gone awry, here’s what you missed in sports on Monday:

  • After giving up a six-run lead, the Boston Red Sox finally put away the Tampa Bay Rays, 10-8, behind a Daniel Nava 14th-inning RBI single. The game was not without its controversy, as John Lackey hit Matt Joyce with a pitch, leading to both benches clearing in the sixth inning. “Yeah, it was on purpose,” Lackey admitted after the game, “but it’s not what you think. A couple years ago, James Loney’s wife baked me these cookies when I went in for Tommy John surgery, and I needed the recipe, because I’ve been jonesing for these cookies something fierce, and I figured the easiest way to see him was to get the benches to clear. I mean, I was getting tired anyway. And sure enough, sea salt. That’s the secret ingredient. Sort of a sweet and savory thing.” When told Lackey’s explanation after the game, Joyce exclaimed, “Sea salt! Of course! A sweet and savory combination. Makes perfect sense.”
  • League sources are reporting that the New England Patriots will sign Tim Tebow to serve as the team’s third quarterback, reuniting Tebow with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who drafted Tebow when he was the head coach of the Broncos. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, when asked if he signed Tebow simply to gain access to the New York Jets playbook from last season, replied by staring directly at the reporter without blinking, before waving at the reporter to take a couple of steps back into a visibly out-of-place pile of long grass and discarded branches. When asked if the grass and branches were covering some sort of snare trap, Belichick groaned and said, “You win this round, but you’ll never know how I got the Jets playbook for sure, will you?”
  • Brandon League blew a save opportunity, giving up four ninth-inning runs, as the Arizona Diamondbacks stormed back to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-4, at Dodger Stadium. Despite his team’s loss, Yasiel Puig remains the biggest story in baseball, going 3-for-4 to raise his slash line to a stunning .500/.515/.938. “Flashbulbs follow me wherever I go, but when you’re on top, you’re only ever just about to be coming down,” Puig said plaintively to a woman he picked up after the game, as he sat in the back of a limo he paid to have driven back and forth down Mulholland Drive. Puig wasn’t sleeping well, waiting for dawn to grab some shut-eye. Something in his chest felt off, the ill effects of fame in a city of the famous. “You’re the king of L.A.,” the mysterious woman whispered in his ear before leaning in to kiss him, but he brushed her aside. “Look up, this city doesn’t have stars,” he told her. “Look down, the lights below, those are the stars.” He stifled a condescending laugh. The woman fidgeted in her too short skirt, and asked him, “Hey, shouldn’t you be happy?” Puig stared out the window. “Happy in L.A.? Why? Because I’m living someone’s idea of a dream half-forgotten? This city is pavement, smog, and stars on the ground; nothing here makes sense.” Puig sighed, and got out of the limo, turning back only to tell the driver to take the woman wherever it was she called home.
  • Lance Berkman hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the seventh inning as the Texas Rangers beat the Cleveland Indians at home, 6-3. The Indians have had trouble on the road all season, amassing a 12-21 record away from the friendly confines of Progressive Field. “It’s especially tough in Texas,” Indians manager Terry Francona explained. “At home it’s all carbon taxation and single-payer health care. Real progressive stuff. We come down here and we can’t even see eye to eye on immigration policy, much less taxes or defense. I feel like the only places we feel at home on the road are Fenway and Safeco; I thought things would be okay for us in Anaheim, but I brought up detainee rights, totally forgetting that Orange County has radically different demographics than Los Angeles, and things got real uncomfortable real quick.”
  • Despite a dense blanket of fog enveloping the city of Chicago, Adam Dunn went 4-for-4, hitting two home runs off of R.A. Dickey as the White Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 10-6. Rumors that the fog was some sort of “Time Fog” that allowed this season’s ineffective Adam Dunn to be replaced by the All-Star of years past was disputed by Dunn after the game, though he was suspiciously unashamed of the “Avril Lavigne ‘Sk8er Boi'” T-shirt he was wearing at his postgame interview.
  • Led by Hashim Amla, South Africa gutted out a critical 67-run win over Pakistan in Group B play at the ICC Champions Trophy ODI cricket event to keep its chances of winning the prestigious ICC Champions Trophy alive. South Africa’s bowlers kept a weak Pakistani lineup on their heels, but really, given the side that Pakistan brought to the ICC, it’s no surprise South Africa was able to press its bowling advantage in a way it couldn’t against India. AHH! I CAN’T KEEP IT UP! I know nothing about cricket! I have every reason to believe what I just wrote has meaning, but it may well be total gibberish. Oh, shame, I am your mistress!
  • The Baltimore Ravens are set to either trade or release fullback Vonta Leach as their post–Super Bowl roster purge continues. “Don’t care, don’t care at all,” said Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco from the deck of his gold-plated yacht named No Blind Side. “Who needs fullbacks anyway? I have everything I need forever right here on this yacht: all the money in the world and all of my mental faculties. What could possibly go wrong?”
  • New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter returned to the field, as his rehab from an ankle injury has progressed enough to allow him to field ground balls and swing a bat. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman insisted that Jeter remained on track to return to action after the All-Star break and that his shortstop would not be rushed back. “Enough sacrifices have been made,” Cashman said with an eerie seriousness. When told of his general manager’s comments, Jeter said, “It’s good to hear he said that, because … well … actually … this is going to sound weird, but a couple nights ago I dreamed that Brian was in my room, and he was sobbing uncontrollably. I normally would have freaked out, but I know how Brian has been a little less than stable these past couple of months, so I kept my cool in the dream, and I asked him what was going on. And he just kept saying, ‘If I could give you my ankles, I would.'” Jeter then paused before continuing, “You know how sometimes dreams aren’t really dreams? Like, what’s real and what’s imagined in the middle of the night merges into one thing in your memory? I guess what I’m saying is since that dream my ankles have felt way better, and Brian has been limping around a bit. Now, I don’t think he performed some sort of late-night ankle transplant on me. As far as I know, that’s not a thing. But … oh god I have Brian Cashman’s ankles don’t I?”

Filed Under: About Last Night, Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Ravens, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Derek Jeter, Los Angeles Dodgers, New England Patriots, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Tim Tebow, Toronto Blue Jays

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

Archive @ SpikeFriedman