About Last Night: The O's Stay Alive

In case you were busy wishing you could just be a linebacker, and not the go-to name when someone gets tricked on the Internet, here’s what you missed in sports on Wednesday:

  • Chris Davis’s 12th-inning single gave the Orioles a 5-3 win over Boston, leaving the Red Sox’s magic number for clinching the AL East at three. “Yeah it is. Oh, three, is a magic number,” Red Sox manager John Farrell sang after the game before leading his team in a Schoolhouse Rock sing-along that both raised team morale and clarified for second baseman Dustin Pedroia exactly how a bill becomes a law.
  • Desmond Jennings’s walk-off single was the final blow in the Tampa Bay Rays’ back-and-forth extra-inning 4-3 win over the Texas Rangers. “Even if we have a lot of kids and other team’s rejects, we have a great team spirit that I think is going to bring us into the postseason,” said Rays manager Joe Maddon, who was dressed as Oscar the Grouch in a strange bit of morale-draining one-upmanship. “Because we here in Tampa love trash. We love it because it’s trash.”
  • In a rare early-season blockbuster trade, the Cleveland Browns traded former first-round pick Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2014 first-round pick. Unfortunately, Richardson missed his first practice with the Colts as he was “in no mood to get punked.” Richardson reportedly went on to tell his agent, “I know I’m stuck in Cleveland till my knee blows out, so don’t mess with me. I’m not going to the airport. I’m not getting on any plane. I am not in the mood.”
  • Lionel Messi fired in a hat trick as his Barcelona side easily beat Dutch champion Ajax, 4-0, in its first match in the Champions League group stage. “That was a pretty good hat trick today, but have you seen this?” Messi asked after the match before laying out a table with three hats on it. Messi then produced a foosball ball from his pocket and bet the crowd it couldn’t track the ball. A man who looked suspiciously like Messi stepped up and said, “I’ll play your game, good sir, whom I’ve never met before,” before winning €100. Despite the setup, Messi’s fairly obvious con failed to attract any takers on the day, and the Ballon d’Or winner was forced to console himself with his hundreds of millions of fairly earned dollars.
  • Bruce Chen threw five strong innings as the Kansas City Royals beat Cleveland to stay alive in the AL wild-card race with a 7-2 win. “When in doubt, go to Bruce Chen,” said Royals manager Ned Yost after the win. “I can’t remember a time when he wasn’t the sort of starter you can plug into your rotation and count on to get you a solid start.” Yost then furrowed his brow and added, “No, seriously, I can’t remember a time before Bruce Chen. Is Bruce Chen immortal? Or just really old? Or is my brain getting, um, what’s the word I’m looking for, not so good with the remembering?”
  • Pro Bowl left tackle Ryan Clady is out for the remainder of the season, after the Bronco suffered a Lisfranc joint tear in his left foot during Sunday’s win over the New York Giants. “I’m sad for Ryan, but I’m not worried as I’m always preparing myself for blindside attacks,” explained Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, before a strange man in a black turtleneck jumped on him from the ceiling. The two men scuffled on the ground as Manning yelled, “Not now, Eli! Not now!” before Peyton eventually fought the mysterious intruder off when he was distracted by a convenient telephone ring.
  • Adam Wainwright recorded his 17th win of the season as the Cardinals held off a late challenge from the Colorado Rockies to win 4-3. The game ended with Cardinals closer Edward Mujica striking out retiring Rockies legend Todd Helton with the bases loaded to preserve the win. “It was like that poem ‘Casey at the Bat,’ only instead of Casey it was me,” Helton said after the loss. “‘Todd at the Bat.'” Helton then shook his head and said, “Todd’s not the most poetic of names, is it?”
  • In the biggest upset of the first round of Champions League group stage play, reigning Europa league champion Chelsea fell at home to Swiss champion FC Basel, 2-1. “Ha,” laughed Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, while reading the scoreline later in the day. “That would never have happened were I in charge of Chelsea. No sir. A Mourinho-led Chelsea side does not lose a match like that at home. Not now, not ever.”
  • Former Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon praised the inside-out tandem of Dwight Howard and Jeremy Lin, saying the two are “very deadly.” Olajuwon then added, “Very deadly, indeed,” before he started cackling maniacally. Then he spun around in his chair to face his associates at his war-room table: Clyde “The Glide” Drexler, Robert “The Horror” Horry, Kenny “The Jet” Smith, Mario “Wario” Elie, Chucky “The Doll” Brown, Sam “Area 51” Cassell, and Vernon “Mad Max” Maxwell. “Yes, men, we have been forgotten for too long,” Olajuwon said to his former teammates. “But today, Houston will take back what is rightfully ours: the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.” As Olajuwon pulled up a digital schematic of the trophy on his monitor, the men began cackling in unison. What was the diabolical plan they had in mind? And who would have the guile to stop them?

Filed Under: About Last Night, Baltimore Orioles, Barcelona, Boston Red Sox, Champions League, Chelsea, Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Denver Broncos, Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets, Indianapolis Colts, Jeremy Lin, Kansas City Royals, Lionel Messi, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers

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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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