About Last Night: Rocket’s Redemption

ClemensIn case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports on Monday.

  • Roger Clemens was found not guilty on all six counts of lying to Congress and obstructing justice in his perjury trial. On the courthouse steps after the verdict, he vowed to spend the rest of his life searching for the real injectors. “Whoever they are,” he said, “whether they’re Andy Pettitte acting alone or Andy Pettitte in concert with others, I will bring these Andy Pettittes to justice, if it’s the last Andy Pettitte I do.”
  • NFL commissioner Roger Goodell held appeals hearings for four Saints players suspended in the bounty case, including Jonathan Vilma. As the first appellant, Vilma flounced into Goodell’s office holding an old apple peel in his hand. “A peel, a peel,” he began, smirking mischievously. “How shall we limn thy trim? ‘Tis but a shaving from the whole, aye, a mere skin flayed from the body entire. Wouldst thou say, Commissioner dear, that I have conveyed to thee a full apple? Nay! For if thou cravest the forbidden fruit, thou art now a poor Eve indeed, and I an indolent serpent. Was ever mankind so feebly tempted? Good Goodell, hast thou delighted in pretty books whose pages were ripped from the spine, widowing the lonely cover? Nay, ’tis the province of lunacy, and thou art surely in preserve of thy faculties. But alas, thou asketh of me this appeal, which I say to thee is but a peel, as the one thou see’st spiraling from the very tips of my fingers, and now descending to the begrim’ed earth. Thou makest me defend my honor, yet consider not the mealy flesh of the matter. I stand before thee a peel’ed man, appealed to thy mercy, but thou see’st no man at all, and can therefore judge me no more than thou may sample the ripe flesh of the flayed fruit. I bid thee adieu, I do.” Unfortunately for Vilma, Goodell really hates Shakespeare and suspended him for an extra year.
  • Sources report that the Charlotte Bobcats have hired St. John’s assistant Mike Dunlap to be the team’s next head coach. “We think he can really open up the New York City recruiting pipeline for us,” said team owner Michael Jordan, while his staff stood around smiling and nodding in the bellhop uniforms he makes them wear.
  • Ohio State star Jared Sullinger has been red-flagged by doctors, who advised teams not to draft him in the first round owing to back issues that may shorten his NBA career. “Buy high, sell low,” said Bobcats team owner Michael Jordan to his staff, lightly touching his nose in a gesture meant to indicate that he knew something.
  • R.A. Dickey pitched his second one-hitter in a row, striking out 13 over nine innings as the Mets topped the Orioles 5-0. After the game, Dickey descended into the bowels of the stadium, where he lives in his knuckle kingdom, a fourth-dimensional zone of darkness where objects spin at random, no movements can be predicted, and love is nothing but a cruel joke.
  • Aaron Hill became the fifth Diamondbacks player to hit for the cycle, leading his club to a 7-1 win over the Mariners. Oddly enough, the Mariners accomplished the “Mariners Cycle” for the fifth time this year, which includes two infield errors, three grown men crying, four players tripping on the dugout steps, and a relief pitcher using the bullpen phone to beg his wife not to leave him.
  • Spain advanced to the quarterfinals of Euro 2012 with an 88th-minute goal from Jesus Navas, while Italy went through with a 2-0 win over lowly Ireland. “Yay, Italy!” screamed Thunder star James Harden. You guessed it, folks: He likes them because they flop. Just like he does. And you know … the rest of the story. (Editor’s note: you can’t say that last part, it’s probably copyright infringement.) (Author’s note: I refuse to change it. It’s my masterpiece.) (Editor’s note: Can we not make this a huge difficult issue?) (Author’s note: I AM ARTIST!) (Editor’s note: Fine. Fuck.)
  • ACC commissioner John Swofford believes he and his colleagues will have a four-team playoff format to submit for consideration by next week. Most experts predict they’ll go with the standard single-elimination style, but others expect to see the rare triple-elim-sudden-death-dice-roll-resurrection-shortened-field-score-reversal-Baptist-Armageddon format.
  • In his first start after throwing a perfect game, Matt Cain persevered through five difficult innings as the Giants beat the Angels 5-3. “Was he as high-achieving and successful as 6/13?” asked Cain, who has a disturbing habit of describing each start as a male son. “No. And sure, 6/19 came with its struggles, its frustrations, its tears. It’s certainly not what I expected when I thought of pitcherhood as a younger man. But I have to tell you, the act of throwing it was one of the most enriching and joyous things I’ve ever experienced, and I wouldn’t trade 6/19 for anything in the world.”

Filed Under: About Last Night, Bountygate, Charlotte Bobcats, Euro 2012, Michael Jordan, NBA Draft, New York Mets, R.A. Dickey, Roger Goodell

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Shane Ryan is a contributing writer for Grantland. His book about the young stars of the PGA Tour will be published by Random House in early 2015.

Archive @ ShaneRyanHere