About Last Night: Let’s Call It Even

In case you were busy camping out at Man of Steel so you could see the new Elysium trailer, here’s what you missed in sports on Thursday:

  • Dwyane Wade turned in a vintage performance as the Miami Heat evened the NBA Finals at two games apiece with a 109-93 win over the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs’ lackluster second-half effort was highlighted by the poor play of reserve guard Manu Ginobili, who was held to five overall points while the Spurs were outscored by 22 in his 26 minutes on the court. I think the performance raises the question: Can Manu win the big one? For a player of his skill level, Manu sure had a habit of disappearing last night. I say Ginobili’s me-first running and gunning has officially gone too far. When will Manu develop a consistent post game, to use his physique to dominate inside? If Manu Ginobili is the supposed best sixth man in the NBA, how come he can’t match Michael Jordan’s six rings? And let’s face it, sixth man? When will Ginobili put Spurs coach Gregg Popovich in his place and demand to be in the starting five? I think we can all agree: It’s time for Manu to Man-up.
  • Phil Mickelson began the U.S. Open with a 67, taking the clubhouse lead after a rain-shortened first round at Merion. “It’s exciting to be back out in front at the U.S. Open,” Mickelson said, grinning broadly, “and I just can’t wait until I finish second.” As Mickelson finished speaking his smile cracked, and his eyes started tracking back and forth quickly. His lips were moving, yet the words he was speaking were difficult to make out. Looking closely, it appeared that Mickelson was listing years and names: “1999, Payne Stewart; 2002, Tiger Woods; 2004, Retief Goosen; 2006, Geoff Ogilvy; 2009, Lucas Glover.” When he finished repeating his litany five times, his eyes snapped back into the center of his face and his smile returned. “Yup, second place at the U.S. Open. Again. Can’t wait.”
  • It took 18 innings, but the Oakland A’s got to Mariano Rivera, of all people, as they completed their sweep of the New York Yankees with a 3-2 win. The Yankees’ nos. 4-7 hitters — Mark Teixeira, Travis Hafner, Kevin Youkilis, and Vernon Wells — went a combined 0-for-28 with 12 strikeouts in the loss. “When their powers combine,” slurred a clearly inebriated Brian Cashman, “they form Captain Get Cashman Fired. What a Voltron of suck those guys are.” When told that it takes five people to form Voltron, Cashman shot back, “Duh, I’m counting Rodriguez. Man, don’t be an asshole, I obviously know how to form an, uh, oh boy, Voltron. Hey, does anybody know where the bathroom went?”
  • Rockies All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will be out four to six weeks after suffering a broken rib during Colorado’s 5-4 loss to the Washington Nationals. When asked how he would spend his time off, Tulowitzki said, “I’m in a lot of pain right now, please, this isn’t a good time to talk.” When asked if he had seen The Wire, Tulowitzki said, “No, I’m not a real big TV guy. Can we talk later, please? This really hurts.” When told The Wire is really good, and that he should consider using his time off to pound through the first couple of seasons, Tulowitzki said, “Great, whatever, are we done?” When told that no, they weren’t done, and they wouldn’t be done until Tulowitzki agreed to borrow the first two seasons on Blu-ray, the Rockies shortstop groaned in pain and said, “Fine, just bring them over. I’ll fucking watch The Wire.”
  • Chris Davis got the game-winning RBI as the Baltimore Orioles won a 13-inning battle of AL East rivals against the Boston Red Sox, 5-4. “Eh, the O’s still suck,” said Boston superfan Aaron Sullivan. “When’s the last time they won a series? Last century? I bet kids growing up in Baltimore are all like, ‘Man I’m gonna die before my team wins.’ Don’t care that they beat us today, they’re still a bunch of losers.” Sullivan then paused, as shock gripped his face. “What have I become?” he asked with a wavering voice. “I’m not even fit to chant ‘Yankees suck’ anymore. Even though they totally do.”
  • The Cubs’ 12-game home losing streak finally came to an end with a 14-inning win over the Cincinnati Reds, 6-5. Despite the duration of the game, Reds closer Aroldis Chapman was not used, a decision that Reds manager Dusty Baker explained by saying, “Oh shit! Aroldis! I knew there was someone I was forgetting about. That’s his name. I couldn’t remember. I kept thinking Aaron or Harold. Aroldis. Yeah, he’s great. What was the question?”
  • The iconic Howard’s Rock at Clemson was vandalized, with the prime suspects being fans of rival South Carolina and legendary prankster Dwight Howard, who when asked about the rock said, “That’s funny. Breaking stuff is hilarious. Classic prank. Like when I broke that fat kid’s bike in the ninth grade and then was like, ‘Man, he’s too fat for his bike, and it broke.’ Everyone laughed and I was a hero. I’m not saying I did it, but you know, it’s my rock. Get it? Do you get it? Howard’s Rock? My name is Dwight Howard. I totally did it. Boom! So classic. Why isn’t anyone laughing? You should be laughing! This is just like that time when I broke that fat kid’s bike in the ninth grade and then was like, ‘Man, he’s too fat for his bike, and it broke,’ and no one laughed and my mom told me to stop being an asshole. Well I showed her.”
  • The Denver Broncos cut running back Willis McGahee as the NFL’s new salary-cap structure claimed another veteran casualty. “This isn’t the worst day that’s happened in my career or anything,” McGahee said with a broad smile that quickly cracked. His eyes started scanning back and forth quickly. His lips were moving yet the words were difficult to make out. Looking closely, it appeared that McGahee was listing years and names: “2003, Maurice Clarett; 2003, Maurice Clarett; 2003, Maurice Clarett; 2003, Maurice Clarett; 2003, Maurice Clarett.” When he finished repeating his litany five times, his eyes snapped back into the center of his face, but his smile did not return. “That still wasn’t pass interference, and my knee still hurts.”

Filed Under: About Last Night, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Clemson, Colorado Rockies, Denver Broncos, Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat, NBA Finals, New York Yankees, Oakland A's, San Antonio Spurs, U.S. Open, 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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