In case you were busy sitting on a 70 million pound war chest because it’s just too heavy to move, here’s what you missed in sports on Thursday:
- Matt Carpenter provided four hits and the game-winning run as the St. Louis Cardinals took the rubber match of their series against the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 in 12 innings. “We’re still getting used to playoff atmosphere baseball,” said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle. “Obviously I have some experience with it, but a lot of guys on the team were terrified. Pedro Alvarez begged me to keep him out of the game. But I insisted that he had to learn what it was like sometime. And yeah, we sort of threw the guys in the deep end by coming to St. Louis. But that’s the only way you learn. Not by dipping your toe into playoff baseball and then running back to the clubhouse like a child.”
- Quarterback Jay Cutler had a mixed outing, but the Bears’ first-team defense was dominant in Chicago’s 33-28 preseason win over the San Diego Chargers. Cutler, visibly pleased with his performance, said after the game, “This was perfect for me; I didn’t want to show defenses the full Cutty Sark.” When asked what he meant by that, Cutler said, “I mean the full Cutty Sark. The 19th-century British sailing vessel. What did you think I meant, you idiot? That thing has sails, and planks, and masts and stuff. That thing is a real boater’s boat. Much like I’m a real boater’s QB. But you gotta keep that bad boy in dry dock till the regular tea shipping season gets under way. Also, I’ve had a whiskey drink or two.”
- Alfonso Soriano’s four hits weren’t enough for the New York Yankees as they fell to the Los Angeles Angels 8-4. The Yankees also added another veteran bat for the lineup in former Indians slugger Mark Reynolds, who will play the role of “broken-down Richie Sexson,” as the Yankees continue their pursuit of perfectly replicating the 2008 Yankees, who were the only Yankees team to miss the playoffs in the wild-card era.
- The NFL players union is reportedly holding up a deal to institute HGH testing in the league due to the role that commissioner Roger Goodell would play in the process. NFLPA representative Jason Witten said of the report, “Well, he wants all the blood collected to be kept in a fridge in his office. Which is weird enough. But then he kept insisting that, ‘Goodell’s blood, stay away,’ be etched on the fridge, and then he asked Kyle Vanden Bosch if he would submit a ‘snackple,’ which I deduced was a combination of snack and sample.” Witten then shook his head and said, “If the guy needs to eat blood, that’s fine, we’re just trying to get drugs out of our league.”
- Major League Baseball will institute a new replay process starting in the 2014 season that will allow managers to challenge reviewable plays. The deal still requires the approval of umpires and the players association, which might take some time as the players were just ejected by the umpires for arguing the scoring at an impromptu bowling get-together. “They argued balls and strikes,” said umpire Joe West as fellow ump Angel Hernandez patted him on the back for a rule well enforced.
- English Premier League side Arsenal has suffered a preseason injury setback at the worst time as midfielder Mikel Arteta has been ruled out for the team’s opener and may miss as many as six weeks with a thigh injury. Manager Arsene Wenger plans to replace Arteta’s production with a combination of Welshman Aaron Ramsey, whatever he can find in the Craigslist “For Free” section in Lyon, and the sound of Dennis Bergkamp scoring against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup.
- The USTA announced that two of its venues at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center will have roofs atop them by the end of the decade. While this promise is all well and good, and will likely lead to new advancements in tennis roof engineering, does USTA executive director Gordon Smith really think this is going to distract the world of American tennis from the massive societal upheaval happening? This isn’t the Leave It to Beaver 2000s anymore, when order reigned and there was a clear sense of structure within the greater world of tennis. We now have voices emerging from all walks of tennis life, new voices, British voices. And yes, we’ll all remember where we were when we finally see roofs above the stadia in Flushing, but we’ll also remember where we were when we saw the best and brightest minds of an American tennis-playing generation drafted into a doubles tournament that none of us asked for.
- And finally, an unironically presented piece of sports news from this week that is awesome and might have otherwise slipped off the radar: At the Track and Field World Championships in Moscow, 31-year-old Kenyan steeplechaser Ezekiel Kemboi collected his third straight world championship in the 3,000-meter event, edging out his 18-year-old countryman Conseslus Kipruto by .26 seconds. Kemboi, who also has two Olympic gold medals, equalled countryman Moses Kiptanui’s hat trick of world championships with the win and has staked a claim, alongside Kenyan-born Qatari national Saif Saaeed Shaheen, as the greatest steeplechaser of all time.