About Last Night: The Boys in Brazil
In case you were busy learning the hard way that you won’t be the next mayor of New York City, here’s what you missed in sports on Tuesday:
- Behind goals from Eddie Johnson and Landon Donovan, the United States men’s national team clinched a spot in the 2014 World Cup with a 2-0 win over Mexico in Columbus, Ohio. “Columbus is a fortress and we will defend it with our lives,” said U.S. captain Clint Dempsey before thinking it over and adding, “Well, the city as a whole isn’t a fortress; it’s just OK. The fans were great though. And we will do anything it takes to win for the fans. Well, probably we wouldn’t give up our lives. It’s just a game. And I mean, the fans don’t want us to die. That wouldn’t be good for them either. But, um, we really wanted to win the game today. And we did. So that’s cool.”
- Clay Buchholz was sharp in his first appearance since June, throwing five shutout innings in the Red Sox’s 2-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Even more impressive was the continued dominance of Boston closer Koji Uehara, who has now retired 31 consecutive batters. “Unbelievable. It’s the only word I can use to describe him,” Buchholz said of Uehara after the game. “But it has made things awkward with my old friend Jon. I mean, guy still comes over with a 10-piece bucket and a six-pack of Schlitz every off day. And yeah, I indulge him. But it’s not the same.” Buchholz then sighed and asked, “How do you tell a guy you grew up, and that’s not you anymore?”
- Argentina also qualified for the World Cup as did the 2010 runner-up, the Netherlands. The big question for the Netherlands is whether 53-year-old winger Arjen Robben will be able to compete at his advanced age in Brazil. The oldest player in World Cup history is Cameroon’s Roger Milla, who wait … wait … Arjen Robben is only 29? What? That changes everything. I guess the big question for the Netherlands is whether 29-year-old winger Arjen Robben is in fact aging backward in some sort of Benjamin Button scenario and will in fact be at his physical peak in 2014.
- Andrew McCutchen’s three RBIs proved the difference in the Pirates’ 5-4 win over the Texas Rangers. When asked what the difference was between this year’s Pirates teams and the recent vintages that have collapsed late in the season, McCutchen attributed the team’s fortitude to “our ‘Don’t Look Down’ mantra. See, I was watching Looney Tunes, ’cause that show is hilarious, and I was like, Man, if that coyote never looked down, he’d be fine. Same with us. If we never really think about what we’re doing …” McCutchen then paused, before yelling, “Oh no, what are we doing? We’re winning in Pittsburgh? Oh no! I’m looking down! Lord help me, I’m looking down.”
- Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh was fined a record $100,000 for a low hit on Vikings center John Sullivan during Detroit’s 34-24 win over Minnesota on Sunday. “It’s a lot of money, but it’s good to get in the record books,” Suh said of the fine before adding, “now I just have to keep hurting dudes, so I can snag the award for Player Most Likely to Be Called Dirty in a Scathing Think Piece on Violence in the Modern NFL over the always game James Harrison.”
- After starting running back David Wilson fumbled twice in the Giants’ Week 1 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, New York has signed a familiar face in Brandon Jacobs to add competition at the position. Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said of the move, “I work hard to make sure that none of my current players think I care for them, but in David’s case, I apparently had not made that clear enough.” Coughlin was later seen winking at former Giants running back Tiki Barber in front of Jacobs so that, in Coughlin’s words, “Brandon didn’t get the wrong idea, now that he’s here, about me liking him. My word, do I dislike my job.”