About Last Night: Fernandez Mania in Miami

Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/MCT/Getty Images

In case you were out becoming more mosquito bite than man, here’s what you missed in sports on Monday:

  • Miami Marlins starter Jose Fernandez shut down fellow NL Rookie of the Year candidate Yasiel Puig and the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 6-2 victory. “Miami, so close to home yet a million miles away,” Puig said to himself after the game, as he took a limousine down the streets of South Beach. “Everybody here is dressed like they have something to prove. I guess I still have something to prove. I guess we all always have something to prove.” Puig looked down at himself and muttered, “How am I both underdressed and overdressed? It’s like I’m not at home anywhere,” before he yelled up to his driver, “Hey, does good pitching always beat good hitting?” When the driver shook his head and said, “Not you big Yas. You the man!” Puig had him stop the car. The Dodgers slugger then paid the driver and said, “It’s not kind to lie to a man’s face,” before disappearing into the Miami night.
  • Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers continue to look shaky, as they were beat by Rex Grossman and the Washington Redskins, 24-13, in a preseason clash. When asked about Grossman’s performance in relief of the injured Kirk Cousins and Robert Griffin III, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan scrunched up his face and said, “That doesn’t sound right. Grossman was Rex Grossman? Really? No. Unless I woke up on the wrong side of a time nap. What year is this?” When told it was 2013, Shanahan snapped his fingers and said, “Damn, I was really hoping time naps were a thing.”
  • In a reversal from a previous NCAA decision, former Marine Steven Rhodes will be eligible to play football for Middle Tennessee State this season after initially being ruled ineligible for participating in a rec league while serving in the military. Now you know that we here at About Last Night are all about promoting debate, and in that spirit I have to question the NCAA here: If we start making exceptions for Marines, where does it end? Will former Merchant Marines who played in rec leagues be allowed to play NCAA football? Former merchants? Anyone? The NCAA has lubricated itself a slippery slope of recreation: Once you allow anyone who has played in a rec league to participate in amateur sports, you will have eventually allowed everyone who has played in a rec league to participate in amateur sports. Is that the sort of depraved hellscape we want to live in? Is it?
  • Manchester City opened its Premier League campaign with a 4-0 win over Newcastle United. “We did it! We beat United!” said new City manager Manuel Pellegrini, holding a fist in the air in triumph. “Ultimate success in my first match, and it couldn’t have come more easily.” After an awkward moment passed, City goalkeeper Joe Hart approached his manager and said, “Um, this was a good win, but our rival is Manchester United.” Pelligrini’s hand dropped and he said, “Oh. Well that’s unfortunate; they’re quite good at soccer. This job appears to have gotten much more challenging.”
  • Brandon Moss’s walk-off home run off reliever Carter Capps gave Jarrod Parker and the Oakland A’s a 2-1 win over the Seattle Mariners. “I knew I should have been a cricketer,” a disheartened Capps said after the game. “After all, a rolling stone gathers no moss.” When asked about Australian cricketer Jonathan Moss, Capps said, “Fine, you got me, I should have gone into bricklaying.” Capps was then asked an immediate follow-up question about moss on bricks to which he responded, “Well, again, well played. Also, those are the only two professions outside of baseball I’m aware of. So I guess I should have gone on the dole.” When asked about Spanish moss, a plant related to the pineapple, which is famously sold by Dole, Capps shrugged and said, “No, you’re really reaching with that one.”
  • Angels slugger Albert Pujols has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a foot injury. I must say it is disappointing to see one of baseball’s greats decline ignominiously in his mid-30s. If Pujols had some outlet available to him such that he could maintain his power and recover more quickly from the nagging injuries that plague hitters as they get older, one might say it would behoove him to follow that path, especially given the quarter-billion-dollar contract he signed. That’s what a real competitor would do, before strutting shirtless through the biggest park in his home city and getting fed popcorn by his movie star girlfriend on national TV. Any player who would avoid finding any means possible to help his team when being paid that much money is a total fraud, and should be booed by both his home fans and baseball purists alike.
  • Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller is facing a six-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, as he reportedly spilled his urine sample before later providing a diluted urine sample that tested positive for a banned substance. “So yeah, I dropped a cup of urine. I don’t see why I’m being punished extra for being clumsy,” said Miller, who has proven himself to be among the most athletic defenders in NFL history over the course of his short career. “That’s just classic Von, two left feet over here,” added the man who ran a 4.53 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, before breaking the 60-yard shuttle record for linebackers. “I’m just an average big ol’ oaf.”
  • Eastake Little League of Sammamish, Washington, overcame a late rally from Urbandale Iowa Little League, winning 6-5 to keep its Little League World Series hopes alive. Urbandale manager Robert Ball said of his team’s loss, “Well, I guess these kids don’t have the mental toughness it takes to make it in society. Hopefully this experience will lead them to avoid facing challenges as they’ll almost certainly fail.” Ball then shook his head and said, “One more run and these kids might have turned out to be something.”

Filed Under: About Last Night, Albert Pujols, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Manchester City, Miami Marlins, Pittsburgh Steelers, Premier League, Seattle Mariners, Washington Redskins

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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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