About Last Night: Braves Don’t Clown Around

Harry E. Walker/MCT/Getty Images

In case you were busy getting weird on eBay with some Stanley Cup memorabilia, here’s what you missed in sports on Tuesday:

  • Another day, another win for Atlanta, as the Braves overcame an early Bryce Harper home run before topping the Washington Nationals, 2-1. The game was not without controversy as Harper was hit by the next pitch he saw, punishment for violating Statute 34.1.92 of the unwritten rulebook of baseball, which reads, “Thou Shalt Not Be Bryce Harper.” The rulebook, which exists only in the frozen brain of Ted Williams, cannot be changed or challenged except, ironically, by written authority of Major League Baseball and its partners.
  • The NBA schedule was announced on Monday, with the reigning champion Miami Heat opening the season at home against Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. From there every team will play 82 games, half at home, with its schedule distributed among other professional basketball teams and the Philadelphia 76ers, who have decided to field a team headlined by Kwame Brown and coached by no one. “We know that our fan base has the capacity to be patient while we retool and rebuild,” said Sixers GM Sam Hinkie while his pants were being set on fire by Philadelphia superfan Gene Fallows. “And we hope to see growth from our young, OW OW HOT HOT HOT MY LEG!”
  • The Cardinals managed to score two runs off Clayton Kershaw en route to snapping the Dodgers’ 15-game road winning streak, 5-1, at Busch Stadium. The loss comes on the same day that Don Mattingly publicly said he was not on the verge of being fired because of the team’s poor start. “It’s almost as if someone thinks my presence means we won’t win a World Series,” Mattingly said, “and that the second I leave they’ll go on a historic run that will make legends out of everyone on the team.”
  • Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said he has spoken to fellow Heisman winner Johnny Manziel a number of times this offseason about the struggles of spending your college career in the limelight. When asked what he told Manziel, Newton broke into a surprising falsetto and said, “The limelight man, circumstances, the big money. It’s a Rush, and sometimes you feel like Tom Sawyer painting fences, and sometimes you feel like you’re possessed by the spirit of the radio, and sometimes you sign so many things it’s just like ‘YYZ … next!’ Like you have no freewill. But if you can’t see the forest for the trees, you will be nobody’s hero.” Newton then made drum noises with his mouth for a couple of minutes before shaking his head and saying, “We all want to be the Neil Peart of this game, but sometimes the media loses sight of that.”
  • The Red Sox rallied from an early five-run deficit to top the Houston Astros in a wild 15-10 slugfest. The game featured a record four first-inning passed balls as Boston catcher Ryan Lavarnway struggled to handle knuckleballer Steven Wright. “Man, I wonder if the Red Sox could find someone able to catch this kid?” said WEEI Boston talk radio caller Mugg Deerabelly. “I wonder if they have anyone who’s sitting by his phone right now, glove in hand, old jersey draped over his shoulder ready to go. Wait, did you hear a call-waiting click? Hold on, let me check. Hello? Hello? Damn.”
  • Josh Harrison hit a walk-off solo home run as the Pittsburgh Pirates moved 24 games over .500 with a 4-3 win over the Miami Marlins. The win keeps the Pirates on course for their first playoff appearance since 1992, and the city has caught “’92 Fever” with residents awkwardly quoting lines from A Few Good Men to each other while self-consciously two-stepping Billy Ray Cyrus’s “Achy Breaky Heart.” “I thought I’d be happy to finally see a winning team, but this shit isn’t worth it,” said Pirates superfan Chet Thomas before grudgingly breaking out his impression of Dana Carvey’s impression of President George H. W. Bush.
  • The Toronto Blue Jays exploited Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners’ defense in a 7-2 win at Safeco Field. Seattle’s 41-year-old outfielder Raul Ibanez had a standout game in an otherwise poor outing for the M’s, as he continued to lay the groundwork for a post-baseball career as a professional cricket bowler.
  • In an interview with the Guardian, Liverpool striker Luis Suarez suggested he will pursue legal means, if necessary, to ensure he is transferred to a team that is competing in the UEFA Champions League before the summer transfer window closes. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers responded to Suarez’s statements by saying, “While we’re disappointed that Luis took this matter public, we’re grateful he plans to pursue legal means as opposed to the sort of means he has used when resolving every other conflict he has engaged in since he was at Ajax.” Rodgers then removed the American football helmet he had been wearing since Suarez’s return from Uruguayan national team duty “just in case things got weird.”

Filed Under: About Last Night, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Bryce Harper, Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bulls, Houston Astros, Liverpool, Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Heat, Miami Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals

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

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