About Last Weekend: Lochte Gold, Phelps Phourth

Ryan LochteIn case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports on over the weekend.

  • In their first duel of the Olympics, Ryan Lochte dominated Michael Phelps to take gold in the 400-meter individual medley. “Sure, Ryan swam well,” said an irritated Phelps, defending his legacy, “but has he ever mated with a dolphin? Because I have. I mated with a damn dolphin, and she came on to me.”
  • A bloop single by Pedro Ciriaco gave the Red Sox a 3-2 extra innings win over the Yankees, and a much-needed series victory. Bobby Valentine was ejected in the 10th inning for what home-plate umpire Brian O’Nora called, “looking extra smug.”
  • Jimmie Johnson out-raced the field at the Brickyard 400 for the fourth time in his career, and completed the tradition of kissing the bricks at the finish line. As he bent over for the kiss, Johnson twisted up his face and was forced to stop. “Has Kyle Busch been here?” he asked. “It really smells like him on these bricks.”
  • In his Angels debut, Zack Greinke threw seven strong innings, but was out-dueled by Jeremy Hellickson and the Rays en route to a 2-0 loss. I don’t want to be pessimistic here, because I like Greinke, but I’ve seen a lot of people like him head to Los Angeles with big dreams of stardom, and you know what? Most of them end up as prostitutes or waiters. I just hope for Greinke’s sake he becomes a waiter, because anything else is a pipe dream.
  • Yannick Agnel swam an anchor leg under the current world record pace, and the French stunned the U.S. in the 4×100 freestyle finals, taking gold and getting revenge for the 2008 loss. Afterward, Agnel credited the victory to the fact that, unlike in 2008, the French chose not to wear their stereotypical berets or smoke cigarettes during the race. He then shouted, “Sacre bleu!” and did a hon-hon-hon type laugh. You know the one I’m talking about.
  • U.S. swimmer Dana Vollmer set a world record in the 100-meter butterfly, winning gold for the Americans. In a beautiful coincidence, a monarch butterfly landed on Vollmer’s nose during the medal ceremony — beautiful, that is, until it was discovered that the “butterfly” was actually a deadly poison-filled mechanical device operated by an assassin from Team China.
  • After qualification rounds, reigning gymnastics world champion Jordyn Wieber will not compete in the individual all-around after finishing third on her team. It was a close call, but in the end the judges were not impressed by the way she spells her first name.
  • The French national basketball team experienced a disastrous opening game in London, getting just 10 points from NBA star Tony Parker en route to a 98-71 loss to Team USA. Ali Traore led all scorers with 12 points, but the famously poor French defense let the team down again. Nicolas Batum and Ronny Turiaf were nearly absent on offense despite playing professionally in America, and the team shooting from beyond the arc was a dismal 1-11. Any hope of a medal for the French took a serious psychological hit with the loss, and an entire nation was left reeling.
  • Clayton Kershaw notched his fifth career complete game shutout, allowing five hits and striking out seven as the Dodgers won 4-0 and completed a crucial sweep of the Giants. To fill the significant void left by Terrence the Grantland Robot, we’ve hired Wicked William the Wild West Gunman to chime in on one item per day. Okay, William, it’s all yours: “Hrmmmm ‘ell iffen I ‘member it correckly, I once knew a feller name of Clayton what give me the Luce’fer eye in a Topeka saloon — cain’t rightly recall which’un — and so me an’ ‘iss drifter feller with a gimp foot who thought to earn hisself a dollar drug him to the prairie ‘n’ burred him neck-deep in the tall grass. Oh the utterances he made, but I never was a man of kindness and so we left him to his begging. I reckon he per’shed from this earth for Kansas in those times was not a land of miracles. Felt right meln’choly on the return, but granted m’self a rare smile by shootin’ that drifter in his good foot and reclaimin’ my dollar.” [Note to editors: Who thought this was a good idea???]
  • Roy Halladay struck out his 2,000th batter, but also gave up home runs to Chipper Jones and Jason Heyward as the Braves finished a sweep of the Phillies with a 6-2 win. Somewhere in an underground lair, Jones’s twin brother and arch-enemy Gloomy Jones pounded his fist on a table. “Damn him!” he shouted. “Damn him and his continued success!”

Filed Under: About Last Weekend, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, France, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Olympics, Philadelphia Phillies, Roy Halladay, Ryan Lochte, San Francisco Giants, Zack Greinke

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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