About Last Night: Feel the Roar

In case you were busy getting taken aback by the presence of hockey news in your Twitter feed, here’s what you missed in sports on Wednesday:

  • Max Scherzer got his 21st win and the Detroit Tigers clinched the AL Central with a 1-0 win over the Minnesota Twins. “Fine, fine,” said every sabermetrician in the world in unison. “We get it. Scherzer is the Cy Young winner, fine, fine. Fine,” before adding a passive-aggressive “it’s not the worst decision you guys have made — he is leading in fWAR, which you probably haven’t even heard of” while throwing their arms up in the air all at once. Then every sabermetrician muttered under their breaths, “He might not even be the best pitcher on the Tigers, but hey, who are we to know things,” adding a derisive “as far as you know, we’re in our mothers’ basements” in one harmonic voice.
  • “Eliminated,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said, lying flat on his back, after New York’s 8-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. “I am no more. The Yankees are no more.” Cashman let his mind think back on the odyssey he had taken this season to arrive at this moment: the Jeter injury, the Rodriguez suspension, the retirement of Rivera, the consistent presence of Jayson Nix in his lineup, until of course Nix got hurt. Everyone had gotten hurt. Cashman balled his fists and yelled at his ceiling, “Who am I?” Suddenly, a great shaking took hold of his office, and the ceiling split before him, as the hand of God itself reached down to grab the balding, drunken GM. “You are the Cash-Man,” God intoned with a surprisingly feminine voice, as he was lifted into the air. “You are my Cash-Man. And to prove it—” Suddenly, God threw Cashman in the air, a flash of lightning showed Cashman he was falling back to his office floor amid a rain of American currency, and for just a second Cashman glimpsed the face of God. “Mrs. Steinbrenner?” A clap of thunder sounded, and all went black.
  • Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano has named Mike Glennon his starting quarterback, benching Josh Freeman, who has reportedly clashed with Schiano off the field while producing lackluster results on it. “No! My fantasy team! Josh was my only quarterback!” yelled the world’s saddest man, Gary Pittson, a sub-junior analyst at Telecommunications Systems Inc., before perking up and saying, “Well, at least I can still pick up Glennon.” Pittson was about to find out he couldn’t pick up Glennon, as league commissioner and noted “best local bassist in Delaware” Teddy Jackson had already stashed Glennon on his roster. After Jackson completed the transaction, he then went to make love to his wife, the lovely Sandra Carmone, whom Pittson had a crush on back when they were all classmates at West Wilmington High, though he never gathered the nerve to tell her how he felt.
  • Brewers starter Kyle Lohse pitched a two-hit shutout in the team’s 4-0 win over Atlanta, but was overshadowed by teammate Carlos Gomez, who instigated a brawl after admiring a home run hit off Braves starter Paul Maholm. “Hello, World Series champion Kyle Lohse here,” Lohse said to no one after the game. Lohse shook his head and asked himself, “Kyle, how does it feel to pitch a game like this late in the season for a team out of contention?” to which Lohse perked up and answered, “That’s a great question, Kyle. Well, I see the success my old teammates are having in St. Louis, and I’d be lying if I said I weren’t envious, but a start like this against a good team like Atlanta is a great way to end the season, and hopefully bring some momentum into next year. Any other questions?” But there weren’t any, and Lohse shook his head and fingered his championship ring.
  • The USA-Oracle team completed its stunning America’s Cup rally to win one of the oldest and most prestigious trophies in sports. The America’s Cup is of course a race between continents to reach their “ideal global location,” and billionaire Larry Ellison’s bold stroke to build flying sailboats to accelerate the tectonic process of subduction that was moving North America away from Europe proved to be the difference, as the U.S. finally eliminated pesky New Zealand, which had been exploiting its maneuverability to lead in the event for decades. “Pangea? No, Mangea!” Ellison was heard to shout in triumph upon securing victory in the picturesque San Francisco Bay. The next move for the Oracle team is to get the continental U.S. sitting directly on top of the island chain of Hawaii, which has taunted us with its big waves and laid-back culture for far too long.
  • Controversial Liverpool striker Luis Suarez returned from a 10-game suspension, but in a hard-fought match between bitter rivals, it was Javier Hernandez’s goal that proved the difference as Manchester United won 1-0 at Old Trafford to advance in League Cup play. Suarez, who hit the woodwork in the dying minutes of the match, was praised by manager Brendan Rodgers, who said, “Suarez puts that in, we go to extra time? Night game in Manchester between United and Liverpool? How many more people would have gotten stabbed? 15? 20? So next time you want to vilify Suarez, please remember the lives he saved.” Rodgers then put on his knifeproof vest and sprinted to the team bus.
  • Cashman awoke two days later to a splash of cold water on his face. Standing around him were Yankees president Randy Levine, manager Joe Girardi, legends Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte, a confused David Robertson, a number of security guards Cashman had tormented through the season, and beleaguered third baseman Alex Rodriguez, sulking topless in the corner of the room. “Wake up, Brian,” Levine shouted. “We have work to do.” Cashman squinted up at his team and smiled. “Oh, it was all just a dream. A horrible, horrible dream. And you were there,” Cashman said, pointing at Rivera, “and you,” pointing at Jeter, “and all of you! And God! Let me guess! It’s April 2014, and it’s time to play ball!” But the sick feeling in Cashman’s stomach told him it wasn’t April at all. And as Jeter held his head as he began to detox, he knew this would be the longest offseason yet. “Thank god for that money,” Cashman managed to say between heaves. Thank god, indeed.

Filed Under: About Last Night, Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers, Liverpool, Manchester United, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rays

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

Archive @ SpikeFriedman