About Last Night: Kings Defend Their Throne

Scott Strazzante/Chicago Tribune/MCT Corey Crawford

In case you were out living your own sports dreams by eating pretzels like Jason Alexander circa ’94, here’s what you missed in sports on Tuesday:

  • The Los Angeles Kings once again showed that Staples Center is a fortress, extending their unbeaten home playoff record with a 3-1 win over the Blackhawks to narrow Chicago’s Western Conference finals lead to 2-1. “Man, it’s harder to win there than it is at a Staples,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after the game. “I mean, you go in, and the prices are way higher than you’d find online, but it’s like, I need index cards today and where the hell else can you get index cards? Then you end up wandering down an aisle and remembering that your wife told you the router was on the fritz, so you go to pick up a new one, but all the models are weird and overpriced. Then you get up to the counter, and boom, Jonathan Quick rejects your credit card. So you go to shoplift some highlighters. Which, and trust me on this one, only makes things worse.”
  • Oklahoma avenged its defeat in last year’s Women’s College World Series by completing its sweep of the Tennessee Volunteers with a 4-0 series-clinching win. Oklahoma became the first WCWS champion to finish first in the nation in ERA and scoring, putting it in the conversation about the greatest women’s college softball teams of all time. Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops differed in his assessment, however, saying, “Last year’s model was definitely better; it’s always better when you make it to the finals and lose. Builds character. Shows true greatness.”
  • Outside the Lines is reporting that former MVPs Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez are among 20 Major League Baseball players facing 50-to-100-game suspensions for their connections to Tony Bosch and his Florida-based Biogenesis lab. Though the use of PEDs in baseball has to stop, to be fair to the players, who would ever imagine that going to an antiaging clinic in a Florida strip mall would lead to any sort of unsavory business? I mean, we are talking about an antiaging clinic in a Florida strip mall. Who has ever heard of any shady, under-the-table dealings taking place in a Florida strip mall? Especially one that keeps all of its records using pseudonyms in a handwritten ledger kept by its proprietor, a tan old man named Tony Bosch who wears aviator sunglasses? And what antiaging clinic doesn’t have a proven track record of staving of the horrors of death itself? These are two reputable situations that are only more reputable when put together, and any Major League Baseball player who would choose NOT to pursue the services of such a location, if they were to know of its existence, should be suspended from baseball for failing to take his career seriously. I mean, we’re talking about an antiaging clinic in a Florida strip mall.
  • Yasiel Puig hit two home runs in his second major league game, powering the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 9-7 win over the San Diego Padres. Although legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully projected his trademark calm demeanor as he called the first home run by saying, “Havana, Cuba, has arrived,” his intonation was missed by CIA operatives monitoring the broadcast, leading to a brief panic inside the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Fortunately, Scully’s call of Puig’s second home run, “We’re eyeball to eyeball, and I think the other fellow just blinked,” signaled an abatement of tensions, bringing us back from the brink of all-out Puig-related nuclear war.
  • Brian Shaw is rumored to be the top choice as the Los Angeles Clippers look to replace former head coach Vinnie Del Negro before NBA free agency begins. “It’s a no-brainer,” Clippers general manager Gary Sacks said of the move. “We were getting nowhere with an intelligent reserve guard who played in the league from 1988 into the early aughts, gained his most notable experience playing alongside a Hall of Fame center, and had little head coaching experience. I mean the guy was listed at 190 pounds! That’s why Brian is a perfect change of direction. We’re talking about an intelligent guard who played alongside a Hall of Fame center as a reserve. He entered the league in 1988 and played all the way into the early aughts. Sure, he lacks in head coaching experience, but the guy was listed at 190 pounds, so once again, no-brainer.”
  • No. 2 seed Roger Federer fell 7-5, 6-3, 6-3, to Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals of the French Open. The match lasted less than two hours, as Federer continues to manifest his obsession with efficiency despite his declining skills on the court. “No need to waste anyone’s time,” the Swiss legend said with a shrug as he consulted one of his many chronometers. “One hundred and eleven minutes was the rational amount of time for this match, which meant losing became the rational result.”
  • Pinch hitter John Mayberry Jr. hit a game-tying solo home run in the 10th, followed by a walk-off grand slam as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Miami Marlins, 7-3, in 11 innings. “I just wish Don Knotts were alive to see this,” a disoriented Mayberry said after the game. “Mayberry ain’t Mayberry without ol’ Barney Fife around to keep the peace.” Mayberry then whistled a mournful tune before being hit in the face with a number of shaving cream pies, an act that he later said “never would have happened on Fife’s watch.”
  • Mark Teixeira hit a three-run home run as the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians, 4-3, in a game notable for its strange ending, in which Indians shortstop Mike Aviles was ejected after the game for arguing a call from home plate umpire Tony Randazzo in what would prove to be the final out of the game. Afterward, Randazzo and Indians manager Tito Francona continued to have words, as Randazzo yelled repeatedly, “The call didn’t matter, your shortstop wasn’t going to get a hit off Rivera,” to which Francona kept replying, “Trust me, it happens sometimes, I have some damn experience with fluky hits off Mariano Rivera.”

Filed Under: About Last Night, Alex Rodriguez, Chicago Blackhawks, Cleveland Indians, French Open, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Kings, Miami Marlins, New York Yankees, Oklahoma, Philadelphia Phillies, Roger Federer, San Diego Padres