About Last Night: No Way, Jose

In case you were busy getting bad news from Dr. James Andrews, because that guy has never once given good news in his life, here’s what you missed in sports on Wednesday:

  • Miami starter Jose Fernandez dominated with his arm and bat, throwing seven stellar innings and blasting his first career home run, as the Marlins beat the division-leading Braves, 5-2. Fernandez’s outing was not without controversy, however, as both benches cleared after Fernandez indulged himself by watching his home run. “I’m disappointed. He’s a great kid, but he let this whole city down,” said Marlins manager Mike Redmond after the game. “I mean, this is Miami. You can’t just stand around in Miami to check out something because it looks good. This is a city all about hard work and discipline, not about showing off and preening.”
  • New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter has been shut down for the remainder of the season, leaving new acquisition and defensive whiz Brendan Ryan as the Yankees presumptive starting shortstop for their playoff push. “Darn,” said Yankees starter Andy Pettitte as he high-fived fellow starter Hiroki Kuroda. “Man, that’s tough for Derek. I’m gutted. Just totally gutted. For him.” Pettitte then did a giddy shuffle and mimed a shortstop going confidently to his left for CC Sabathia’s benefit, before adding, “Don’t know how we’ll get by without the captain.”
  • Mike Carp’s pinch-hit grand slam gave the Red Sox a 7-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in 10 innings, tightening up the AL wild-card race in the process. “Well we can’t just buy a big win,” said Rays manager Joe Maddon after the game. “And trust me, we tried. I think some of our guys were banking on that, so I called every store in town. None of them sell big wins. Went to Big Lots. No big wins. We couldn’t even get the small wins of Aaron Harang.” Maddon remained confident despite the setback, adding, “But now we know that, and starting tomorrow we’ll try to earn the wins the old-fashioned way: bartering for big wins in bazaars.”
  • After the Rays’ loss, Kansas City is now knocking on the door of a wild-card bid after Alex Gordon powered the Royals to a 6-2 win over the Cleveland Indians. “Knock knock,” said the Royals as they approached the wild card’s home. “Who’s there?” asked the wild card. “Um, the Royals,” said the Royals, and the wild card doubled over in laughter. The Royals added, “No, seriously, the Royals,” and the wild card apologized for being rude, but told the Royals to wait on the porch, just to see how they handled an upcoming confrontation with a particularly offensive team of Tigers.
  • Mike Leake made sure things stayed close in the ultra-competitive NL Central, leading the Reds to a 6-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. “One of these days it’ll be our day,” said plucky Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts, as he wiped off his dirty page-boy cap on his soiled tweed trousers. “We’ll be up at the top like those big shots from Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and St. Louie. We may be from the streets, but that don’t mean that we can’t compete. Isn’t that right boys? And a one, a two, a one, two, three.” Rizzo then launched into a song he wrote called “Cubs Pluck,” much to the embarrassment of pitcher Jeff Samardzija, who refused to join in despite Rizzo’s coaxing.
  • The Pirates completed a three-game sweep of the Rangers with a 7-5 win in Texas. A.J. Burnett got the win for the Pirates with the platonic A.J. Burnett start, striking out five of the first six batters he faced, yet still finding a way to give up five earned runs in 6⅓ innings. For those who haven’t followed Burnett’s season, it’s exactly what you imagine: He missed a month with an injury, has an 8-10 record on a winning team, but is somehow sporting an xFIP of 2.85. Plus, he still has that lovable A.J. Burnett face, a blend of 37 percent Randy Johnson, 52 percent Jered Weaver, and 11 percent Corey Feldman. Never change, A.J. Burnett. Never change.
  • There was no race in the America’s Cup on Wednesday, as Larry Ellison’s Oracle team took the unusual step of postponing a race despite having a working boat after falling into a 4-0 hole in sailing’s most prestigious tournament. Ellison, one of the five wealthiest men in the world, was in psychological disarray over his team’s struggles, saying, “If all my money can only bring me the second-fastest sailboat in the world, which is unusable in any circumstance outside of a race that I literally made the rules for, then why even try to make money? Why not just be communists?” Ellison then tossed and turned in his “chair,” which is made out of a flock of living California condors trained to carry Ellison’s weight with their wings, let out a deep sigh, and wiped a tear off his cheek with a handkerchief made out of actual fibers from an original copy of the Declaration of Independence, before adding, “I just don’t see how it’s all been worth it.”
  • Yahoo is reporting that five SEC players including former Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker received impermissible benefits, which included five-figure paychecks from boosters representing prospective agents. It’s estimated that Fluker received more than $30,000 in benefits during the course of Alabama’s 2012 BCS title season, calling into question whether the NCAA will sanction the school. Alabama head coach Nick Saban furiously denied the report, calling the allegations “a whale’s tail” and “a real one-in-a-million situation,” and adding that the allegations made him “as sick as Steve Kerr with a stomach virus, a real Flu’ed Kerr. A real Flu’ed Kerr.” Saban then manipulated his face into a frown, before saying in the saddest voice he could muster, “Please don’t take our championships away.”
  • The Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners played baseball today. The game was started by pitchers named Brad and Brandon. Unfortunately, no other information is available for the game, as everyone who attempted to watch it immediately fell into a catatonic state, including all those in attendance at Seattle’s Safeco Field, so let’s just assume the Astros won and that fun was had by no one.

Filed Under: About Last Night, Alabama, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Derek Jeter, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins, New York Yankees, Nick Saban, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers

spikeheadshot

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

Archive @ SpikeFriedman