About Last Night: The Nation Strikes Back
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports on Wednesday.
- Jacoby Ellsbury’s sixth-inning home run helped the Red Sox even up their series against the Yankees with a 9-5 win. Ellsbury’s opposite-field shot went over the Green Monster, which marks the 34,245th straight day where the supposed “monster” just sat there and did nothing while people hit things at it.
- All remaining charges against Barry Bonds have been dropped after he was convicted of obstructing justice, in a process that’s lasted nearly a decade. Bonds will likely serve 15-21 months on the one conviction, but then again, there’s a lot of pressure on the jury to produce. Everyone knows the fans like to see long sentences; that’s what puts bodies in courthouse seats. Sure, extending Bonds’ jail time might be against the spirit — if not the letter — of judicial law, but wouldn’t it be amazing if they set the record for the longest obstruction sentence in history?
- Tennessee running back Chris Johnson railed against “fake fans” on Twitter yesterday, saying “I don’t have a regular job so don’t compare me to you and I can care less if uthink I’m greedy.” Unfortunately for Johnson, the fake fans turned out to be real English professors, and they were quick to point out that he meant he “could not care less.”
- Venus Williams withdrew from the U.S. Open due to a recently diagnosed autoimmune disease. Along with the straight set drubbing of the new John McEnroe, this means Grantland’s predictive tennis powers remain unmatched.
- It was a good night for the American men, too, as Andy Roddick and John Isner advanced in first-round action. Roddick’s win wasn’t pretty, but he attributed that to finding his flow. “A lot of people, when they’re coming back, do it on the side courts,” he said. “I just have an audience.” He then flipped a bright boa over his shoulder and sighed dramatically. “Alas, ’tis the blessing and curse of life ‘pon the stage!”
- Derek Lowe hit his first career home run on the same night that Chipper Jones hit his 450th, sparking a 3-1 Braves win against Washington. Now it’s time for: the sappy sportswriter monologue of the morning! Take it away, old timer.
“I know what you’re thinking, sitting in your office chairs out there in the real world: Derek Lowe will never catch Chipper Jones. Four hundred forty-nine home runs is too many to make up for an old pitcher. And you’re probably right. That’s what any sensible man would say. But you’re forgetting something very important: Derek Lowe wouldn’t be up at the plate if he were sensible. If he didn’t believe in miracles, he’d still be in tattered overalls, plowing those barren fields under an Oklahoma sun. And the more I watch him, the more I see myself changing. For better or worse, I believe in Derek Lowe. And maybe that’s just the kind of miracle he needs.”
- Madison Bumgarner struck out 11 in 8 shutout innings as the Giants avoided a sweep against the Cubs. “Won’t be needing this anymore!” said delighted San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy, as he burned a piece of paper whose only legible words were, “this is nobody’s fault.”
- Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher told reporters that he wishes Miami the best in their current precarious situation. “You don’t want that to happen to anybody,” he said, before lowering his voice to a whisper. “Except Miami.“ ”What?” asked everyone.”Hmmm? No. Nothing. I didn’t say anything,” said Fisher. ”Oh,” they said. ”I hate Miami,” he coughed.
- Cliff Lee fell one out short of a complete game, but did earn his fifth straight victory in a 3-0 Phillies win over the Reds. He failed to run out a routine ground ball, though, in the first stage of an irreversible process that will end up with Lee sipping a tiny latte at home plate and texting his friends during future at-bats.
- Miguel Montero’s three-run homer in the first was all the Diamondbacks needed for their ninth win in a row, 4-2 over the Rockies. “If only we’d known that when it happened,” said Montero, “we could have gone home early.” He then flipped a bright red boa over his shoulder and sighed dramatically. “Alas, ’tis the blessing and curse of life ‘pon the diamond!”
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