About Last Night: Tito’s Last Stand

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

  • On the eve of the MLB playoffs, Red Sox management planned to meet with manager Terry Francona to discuss his future with the club. “Welllllll,” said Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, “I’m not sure ‘future’ is exactly the right word.”

  • Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore will be making the second start of his major league career in Game 1 of the ALDS against Texas on Friday. “No big deal,” said Moore, who then announced that he’ll be conducting all pregame interviews in front of his favorite vomiting toilet.
  • Yankee manager Joe Girardi says A-Rod is healthy enough to play every day. The main concern, he said, is that it takes him such a long time in front of the mirror before he’s ready to leave the house.
  • Across Major League Baseball, offense hit a two-decade low, with teams averaging just 4.28 runs per game. When reached for comment, Seattle’s Chone Figgins tried for several minutes to come up with an explanation before grounding out weakly to short.
  • Ray Graham rushed for 226 yards as the Pittsburgh Panthers recovered from two straight losses with a 44-17 upset win over no. 16 South Florida. Hey, I wonder if anyone called that? Graham was moving into empty South Florida real estate all night, an act no other American has attempted since 2008.
  • Former Bears coach Mike Ditka called a new book on superstar Walter Payton “totally gutless.” When asked specifically what he objected to, Ditka was adamant. “I just told you! There’s no guts! There’s a few minor injuries, maybe, but mostly the whole thing’s about football. I like the real bloody shit.”
  • The Cleveland Indians have picked up a 2013 option on manager Manny Acta, who will now have some job security going into next season. “What’s that like?” asked everyone else in Cleveland.
  • Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart told reporters the SEC is “still expanding,” and could add more schools in the near future. But he reassured conference fans that any new universities who come into the fold will have to prove that football is their one and only priority.
  • Dallas quarterback Tony Romo may require more injections to dull the pain of his fractured rib before Sunday’s game against the Lions. Also, he’ll have to miss head coach Jason Garrett’s Saturday-evening puppet show since it hurts too much to laugh.
  • The NBA players union and owners will meet Friday in the league’s ongoing labor talks, and the start of the season will likely be canceled if progress isn’t made over the weekend. The tactic of the owners will be to wait the players out until they’ve irresponsibly spent all their money and are desperate for another paycheck, while the players plan to execute a classic misdirection by advocating for a five-point line near halfcourt.

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Filed Under: About Last Night, Alex Rodriguez, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Dallas Cowboys, NBA Lockout, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Tony Romo

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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