About Last Night: Ciao, Giovani!

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In case you were busy doubling down on a profanity-laced tirade against your own fans, here’s what you missed in sports on Monday:

  • Rookie running back Giovani Bernard had two touchdowns as the Cincinnati Bengals dropped the Pittsburgh Steelers to 0-2 for the first time in the Mike Tomlin era with a 20-10 win. “The guy from The Other Sister! You gotta be kidding me,” Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said to Tomlin over his headset after Bernard’s first touchdown. A confused Tomlin asked LeBeau what he was talking about, to which the renowned defensive coordinator responded, “I thought it was crazy too! Why would Marvin Lewis bring him in? He was wooden in Avatar, and I hear his new show, Dads, is terrible. I mean he wasn’t bad in Saving Private Ryan, but he hardly struck me as an athlete, and that was long enough ago the Bengals still had Ickey Woods at the position. Guy’s gotta be pushing 40.” When Tomlin then asked LeBeau if he had confused rookie speedster Giovani Bernard with Boiler Room star Giovanni Ribisi, LeBeau went silent for 60 seconds before saying, “So, we might not have the schemes in place to stop this guy.”
  • After a weather delay postponed the final round of the BMW Championship, Zach Johnson fired a 65 to outpace Jim Furyk and Nick Watney, winning the tournament at 16-under. “Man, what a super tournament,” Johnson said after surging from behind to take the win. “Just a really sweet victory. And it’s my title at 16-under. My super, sweet, 16 … under … wait … that’s not on tape is it? Shit.”
  • Cliff Lee dominated with both his arm and his bat, striking out 14 and driving in four runs in the Philadelphia Phillies’ 12-2 win over the Miami Marlins. Of course, Lee’s bat is an inanimate object that relies on both his pitching arm and his other arm, so technically speaking he really dominated with both of his arms as well as his bat. But if you really want to get into it, the lower portion of the body is critical for both pitching and hitting, so Lee dominated with both of his arms, his bat, his core, and his legs. Lee did field his position as well, meaning that we really should credit his glove and upper torso’s role in his domination, so let’s just say that Lee dominated with both of his arms, his bat, his legs, his core, his upper torso, and his glove. Naturally though, baseball is itself a psychological battle as much as it is a physical one, so I guess that Lee would best be described to have dominated with both of his arms, both of his legs, the middle of his body, and his head, striking out 14, driving in four runs, activating all of his muscle groups, and outthinking the opposition in the Philadelphia Phillies’ 12-2 win over the Miami Marlins.
  • Liverpool dropped its first points of the Premier League season, but goals from Daniel Sturridge and Victor Moses made sure the Reds remained at the top of the table as they held on for a 2-2 draw at Swansea City. Sturridge now has 12 goals in his past 10 matches for Liverpool, or as former Chelsea teammate Fernando Torres described it, “That’s easy, you set me right up to compliment Daniel so let me say … um … uh … well that’s … I … hmmm … too much pressure!” Torres then went to turn away from the press, only to trip over his own feet.
  • Wil Myers had three RBIs as the Tampa Bay Rays handed Texas its seventh straight loss with a 6-2 win at Tropicana Field. The win gave the Rays sole possession of the first AL wild-card spot, and further proved that you never trade a young stud like Myers, as the Kansas City Royals did, even for a quality veteran like James Shields. It’s just the wrong choice every time.
  • James Shields struck out 10 as Kansas City took the first game of a key series with the Cleveland Indians with a 7-1 win at Kauffman Stadium. The win gave the Royals new life in the AL wild-card race, and further proved that sometimes trading a young stud like Wil Myers, as the Royals did, for a quality veteran like Shields is absolutely the right choice for a franchise on the verge of contention. It’s definitely not the wrong choice every time.
  • San Diego starter Andrew Cashner faced the minimum number of batters while dominating the Pittsburgh Pirates with a one-hitter as his Padres came out of PNC Park with a 2-0 win. “What do you mean do the Padres still exist? Of course we do, what the hell kind of question is that?” an incredulous Bud Black answered after the game. When asked if “he was really still managing the team, really?” Black shook his head, and said, “Yes, come on. You know that. I, Bud Black, exist, and still manage the Padres. Now does anyone have any questions about Andrew’s gem? That was an amazing performance against a great team.” Black was then asked if managing the Padres was an existential quest for him, an investigation into the nature of reality in relation to meaninglessness, or if he was just managing the team ironically, which led Black to storm out of his press conference and into the blackness of the inter-dimensional void in which he resides between Padres games.
  • The NCAA is standing firm that student-athletes remain unpaid, with NCAA president Mark Emmert saying there are “very few members and, virtually no university president, that thinks it’s a good idea to convert student-athletes into paid employees.” Emmert’s eyes then darted back and forth before he added, “So let’s just be cool, eh? You guys are cool, yeah? Right? Please. Just. Be. Cool.”

Filed Under: About Last Night, Cleveland Indians, Cliff Lee, Kansas City Royals, Liverpool, Miami Marlins, NCAA, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Steelers, Premier League, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers

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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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