About Last Night: Cleaning Out the Birdcage

Joe JohnsonIn case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports on Monday.

  • The Atlanta Hawks agreed in principle to trade Marvin Williams to the Utah Jazz for point guard Devin Harris, and sources report that they’ve also reached a handshake deal with the Nets that would send Joe Johnson to Brooklyn for several expiring contracts. “We’re cleaning house,” said new Hawks GM Danny Ferry, in his first week on the job. Ferry’s “blank-slate” philosophy is so extreme that he even traded his wife of 20 years to Dallas owner Mark Cuban in exchange for three used Macbooks and an aging housekeeper who will do “just about anything.”
  • League sources are reporting that Dwight Howard could still be traded to the Brooklyn Nets, even though that deal looked dead yesterday. Trade talks opened back up after Magic GM Rob Henninger woke up in bed to find a piece of paper with the word “plutonium” written in neon-green Magic Marker. On the reverse side, someone wrote, “next time it vill be real.” The note was signed “not Mikhail Prokhorov.”
  • In a rain-shortened day at Wimbledon, Maria Sharapova and Kim Clijsters were eliminated, while Roger Federer survived a four-set match against Xavier Malisse to advance. In keeping with tradition, the rain that fell on Centre Court was quickly mixed with Wite-Out by pompous officials to conform with the tournament’s strict dress code.
  • Jered Weaver allowed five hits in seven scoreless innings as the Angels beat the Indians 3-0. “Did you know my middle name is ‘Dream?’” Weaver said to a woman in the stands before the fifth inning, attempting to seduce her. “Don’t listen to him,” said Albert Pujols, running past, “his middle name is Bambi.” Weaver stared at his shoes for a moment before nodding and admitting that yes, his middle name is Bambi.
  • Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones had four hits each as the Pirates throttled the Astros 11-2. “You just wait till we finish whittling these bats!” the Astros shouted, before redoubling their whittling efforts.
  • Cameron Maybin hit a 485-foot home run, the longest of the major league season, to lead the Padres over the Diamondbacks 6-2. For this joke, we go back to Terrence the Grantland Robot, who is trying to take my job but who has not yet learned to write in lowercase letters: IRONICALLY, MAYBIN’S HOME RUN LEFT THE STADIUM AND KILLED AN ACTUAL DIAMONDBACK SNAKE. A DIAMONDBACK SNAKE, LATIN NAME CROTALUS ATRUX, IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MAJORITY OF SNAKEBITE FATALITIES IN NORTHERN MEXICO. Whoa, whoa, whoa … did Terrence just try to make an actual joke before getting robotic again? I don’t like this.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Eric Wright was arrested for “investigation of DUI” after crashing his car near the Staples Center in Los Angeles. “I don’t care what he was drinking!” shouted Rex Ryan, ripping up his newspaper in disgust after reading the story. “Tell me what he was eating! I want to know what he was EATING!
  • The family of Joe Paterno is requesting that the Attorney General’s office release all correspondence relating to the sexual abuse case, since those released so far have been selectively chosen to “smear” the former coach. “We’re pretty sure there’s another e-mail totally exonerating him,” said a family representative. “And then we’ll see it’s all just a hilarious misunderstanding, like in a Frasier episode, and we can share a good laugh.” He then went on to list several classic misunderstandings from past Frasier episodes, without notes, for 90 minutes.
  • U.S. swimming legend Dara Torres, age 45, finished fourth in the 50-meter freestyle, just missing her chance at a sixth Olympic Games. “There’s always a job for her here,” said Astros manager Brad Mills. “Provided she likes whittling, that is.”
  • Tony La Russa, coming out of retirement to manage the National League All-Star team, has angered the Brewers and Reds by snubbing players like Zack Greinke, Johnny Cueto, and Brandon Phillips. He also infuriated Nationals fans by excluding “Batsy Bonzini,” the 12-year-old who is widely considered the best batboy in the league, in favor of Cardinals batboy “Bat-Bat Batuski,” a goofball who always trips on the dugout steps.

Filed Under: About Last Night, Atlanta Hawks, Dwight Howard, Joe Paterno, Los Angeles Angels, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Wimbledon

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Shane Ryan is a contributing writer for Grantland. His book about the young stars of the PGA Tour will be published by Random House in early 2015.

Archive @ ShaneRyanHere