About Last Night: Don’t Count Out the Champs

In case you were busy concocting an elaborate theory in which the film The Faculty exists as a prequel within the Fast & Furious universe, here’s what you missed in sports on Wednesday:

  • LeBron James had a triple-double and scored the game-winning layup as time expired in overtime as the Miami Heat fought off a ferocious effort from the Indiana Pacers to win, 103-102, and take Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals. I may be in the minority here, but I think the question remains, when will James really prove his greatness? Here’s the supposed greatest player of all time, and he hasn’t even quit the NBA to pursue his dreams of playing professional baseball? Gimme a break! Michael Jordan made it all the way to Double-A; that’s two A’s, which is already the highest grade that you can get in college, which LeBron James didn’t even attend! No BA, no AA, no GOAT.
  • Bryce Harper scored both of his team’s runs and made a game-saving catch as the Washington Nationals beat the San Francisco Giant, 2-1, in 10 innings at AT&T Park. I may be in the minority here, but I think the question remains, when will Harper really prove his greatness? Here’s the supposed best young player on his team, and yet he has never once been rested in the postseason to avoid long-term injury ramifications? Gimme a break! He was left in this game even after reaggravating a minor knee injury? If Bryce Harper wants to show he’s the best young player on the Nationals, he needs to play less and rest more at the end of the year, when it really counts. No DL, no DNP, no GOAST (greatest on a specific team).
  • Behind four third-period goals, the Pittsburgh Penguins grabbed a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Ottawa Senators in the NHL Eastern Conference semifinals. Senators coach Paul MacLean was realistic about his team’s chances, saying, “It’s not good. Our best bet is that the Penguins all get disoriented and run toward the mountains.” When asked if that was a realistic possibility, MacLean added, “It happens. We just need to get Werner Herzog here to psych them out.”
  • Clay Buchholz ran his record to 7-0 as the Boston Red Sox beat the Chicago White Sox, 6-2, avoiding a series sweep. “It’s like I always say, White Sox are just Sox that aren’t yet Red,” Buchholz said after the game. When asked to elaborate on his comments, Buchholz said, “Well, I have a cat named Doc Sox, and he’s white, but every year for Halloween I dress up as Dilbert, and I dye Doc Sox red, and he goes as Catbert. I’m always like, ‘Oh, Catbert, you are the worst human resources manager,’ and he doesn’t talk, because he’s just a regular cat, but like, still, he’s just sitting there the rest of the year, waiting to get dyed red. Which is why I always say White Sox are just Sox that aren’t yet Red. I don’t see what’s complicated about any of this.”
  • Hiroki Kuroda gave up five runs and suffered a bruised calf in the New York Yankees’ 6-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. “It’s fine,” said a bedraggled Yankees general manager Brian Cashman after the game. “He’ll probably be ready to go next time through the rotation. And if not, I’ll just go out there and pitch myself. Put me in, coach! I’m ready to play. Ol’ Cashman still has a few bullets left in this arm.” Cashman then mimed throwing a baseball, only to come up grimacing in pain. “No, it looks like I don’t. Kuroda better be ready to go.”
  • After 13 seasons with the Chicago Bears, Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher has decided to retire. In a statement to the press, Urlacher attributed his success through the years to hard work, great coaching, and that time in sixth grade when Gary Houston called him “Crying Girl-acher” and he started lifting weights, pursuing a revenge that still has yet to come. Additionally, Urlacher said that he will spend his newly minted free time reconnecting with his family, devoting himself to charity work, and finally coming up with a really nasty play on the name Gary Houston.
  • San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree has reportedly undergone surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon, putting his 2013 season in doubt. After the injury, Crabtree was heard lamenting, “Cruel ironic fate. I never finished The Iliad; I thought it was called the Achilles tendon because of how invulnerable it is! Injured and spoilered? I must be cursed!” When asked if he had done anything to bring about such a curse, Crabtree further lamented, “Oh, I never should have dragged the jersey of Asante Samuel thrice around the Georgia Dome in triumph last January. This is why you always read to the end of any epic poem you start.”
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates moved 10 games over .500, but remain in third place in the ultra-competitive NL Central after a 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. Francisco Liriano threw seven innings of two-hit ball in the win, lowering his ERA on the season to 1.00, as he has finally once and for all fulfilled his promise. Mark my words, Francisco Liriano isn’t going anywhere, guys. Here’s a little fantasy baseball advice: Spend your entire free-agent budget on Liriano. I know I already have, and I surely shan’t regret it … hold on, sorry, guys, I just found an envelope in my desk drawer … it’s from me in the past … let me just read it and … oh. Oh no. What have I done??? Um, I mean, huh, this letter is totally unrelated to Liriano’s history, and is just a friendly how-dee-doo from past me to current me. Also, does anyone want to trade for Francisco Liriano? I mean, look at that ERA!

Filed Under: About Last Night, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Bryce Harper, Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Indiana Pacers, Lebron James, Miami Heat, New York Yankees, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco 49Ers, San Francisco Giants, 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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