About Last Night: Cruz Control in Texas

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

  • Nelson Cruz hit the first walk-off grand slam in postseason history as the Rangers beat the Tigers 7-3 in 11 innings. The moment was so joyous that when Cruz crossed the plate, a camera caught Texas owner Nolan Ryan almost not scowling for the briefest of moments. Then he was definitely scowling again.

  • Albert Pujols went 4-5 with a home run and three doubles as the Cardinals trounced the Brewers 12-3 to even up the NLCS at one game apiece. The series now moves to St. Louis, where we’ll have to spend the next three games hearing about how knowledgeable Cardinals fans are. Hey, announcers, I’d be knowledgeable, too, if the city’s second-most exciting activity was daring my friends to poke a toe in East St. Louis before eating white bread underneath a useless arch.
  • The Lions have started a season 5-0 for the first time since 1956 with a 24-13 win over the Bears. In honor of the accomplishment, we’ll be running the “About Last Night” joke from the day after the ’56 team won more than five decades ago: “Detroit at 5-0?! That’ll show Uncle Joe and those Soviet bastards a thing or two about American know-how! There are no red commies at Grantland, no sir! Just true-blue Americans!” (Sorry, different era; McCarthy was giving us a pretty hard time that year after we called him McBarfy once.)
  • Broncos head coach John Fox told reporters he’s not ready to name a starting quarterback for Denver’s next game. The choice facing Fox, of course, is between Tim Tebow and eternal damnation.
  • Eagles coach Andy Reid said he’s feeling better about the season after watching film of his team’s recent losses. After describing the positives he took from the viewing session, though, it became clear that Reid hadn’t actually been watching game film, but rather a Facts of Life marathon on the USA network.
  • After a 1-5 start, Arizona coach Mike Stoops has been fired. This was Stoops’ eighth season as the Wildcats’ head coach, and his 28th season as “Mr. January” in the annual Sports Nepotism calendar.
  • The players and owners are no closer to a labor deal as talks resumed in New York, and the first two weeks of the regular season have now been canceled. As the reality of a whole season being washed away becomes more realistic, let me be the first to say that I am willing and able to cross the picket lines as a scab and play professional basketball for a nominal fee. The only team I won’t play for is the Clippers.
  • The Big East conference will look to add six football schools to bring the team total up to 12 for next season. If football schools aren’t available, they’ll settle for schools that might be willing to start a football program, or at least stage football games on a local high school field and report the scores to the NCAA.
  • Amber Miller, a woman who was 38 weeks pregnant, completed the Chicago Marathon and gave birth just hours later. After finishing the 26.2-mile race, Miller was disappointed when the underachieving child only managed to move a few inches before crying and falling asleep.
  • The Dallas Stars beat the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 in NHL action. Hey, editors, do we really have to cover hockey?
    I mean, I’m all for recapping the playoffs next summer, but do we seriously have to give the regular-season scores from now until June?
    Because if so, I quit.
    Whoa, I’m kidding! Why were you so quick to accept that? That’s disturbing.
    But how about we try to let it go for a few days and see if anyone complains? I can make something up to fill the space. I’ve got some old stand-up material about the difference between men and women that I think would kill.
    No?
    Fine.
  • The Blues beat the Flames 5-2.

Filed Under: About Last Night, Big East, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers, NBA Lockout, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers, Tim Tebow

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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