In case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports on Wednesday.
- Colts quarterback Peyton Manning will officially miss the first game of the NFL season as he recovers from neck surgery. This ends a streak of 227 consecutive starts, the longest in the league, that dates back to 1998. In what seemed like a really unnecessary move, Archie Manning released a statement saying that he now loves Eli the most.
- Justin Verlander earned his league-leading 22nd win as the Tigers beat the Indians 8-6. Uh-oh! It’s already time for: The hack sportswriter monologue of the morning!
- Before we get going, let me just say that I respect Justin Verlander’s talent. He’s been the best pitcher in the American League, and he’ll probably win the Cy Young. That’s all well and good. But I’m starting to think that when you look past the win parade, maybe he’s winning too many games. Hey, hey! Put down your pitchforks, folks! Hear me out. Sure, it’s nice for Detroit that he’s got 22 wins, and that he’s won all 14 starts after a loss. But at some point, shouldn’t the Justin Verlander Show end and the Detroit Tiger Show begin? If one guy is winning everything by himself, what does that say to his teammates? I’ll tell you what it says: It says they’re doomed in the playoffs, when they won’t have Verlander to count on every day. So far, the ace of the staff has done absolutely nothing to instill confidence in his teammates. He could have lost a key game or two to show everyone that yes, he’s on their level, and maybe they can all win this thing together. Instead, he spends every minute padding his own stats to the detriment of the club. I’m not going to deny that Verlander is the most accomplished pitcher in the American League. But guess what? He’s also the most selfish.
- Panthers quarterback Cam Newton received a phone call from Michael Vick, who proceeded to give Newton advice as he prepares to start the season. Vick’s words were inspiring, but Newton couldn’t help but wonder why Vick called him collect, and why there were so many sirens in the background.
- In an annual survey conducted by Forbes magazine, the Dallas Cowboys are the most valuable NFL franchise at $1.85 billion. To be fair, though, $1 billion of that figure is tied up in Jerry Jones’ facial surgery.
- Ross Gload’s walk-off single gave the Phillies a three-game sweep of the Braves. If you look at the National League in terms of a kingdom, the Phillies are the king, the Braves are the powerless prince, the Mets are the jester, and the Astros are the crappy baseball team in the south.
- Walk-off Wednesday continued when a tenth-inning home run by Desmond Jennings propelled the Rays over the Rangers 5-4. Overall, Walk-off Wednesday was way more exciting than its predecessor, the interminable Texas Leaguer Tuesday.
- Guillermo Moscoso took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and fell just one out short of a complete game as the Athletics topped the Royals 7-0. And whether this prompts an Oakland dance craze called the “Moscoso” or not, I think we can all agree that we hope it prompts an Oakland dance craze called the “Moscoso.”
- For the second straight day, rain canceled play at the U.S. Open. The players took the court briefly in wet conditions in the morning, leading Rafael Nadal to say he “didn’t feel protected” by the USTA. When reached for comment, a USTA official called Nadal “a big baby” and continued dumping his bag of marbles onto center court.
- Tim Wakefield’s try for his 200th win was spoiled when the Boston bullpen blew a lead and eventually lost to the Blue Jays in a wild finish. Wakefield threw a ball at the water cooler in anger, but his toss was so slow that the water cooler had time to get out of the way.
- A majority of Big 12 schools have refused to waive their right to litigate against Texas A&M, which could obstruct the team’s planned move to the SEC. Time for a new, temporary feature: the lifetime ban of the day. From now until the end of time, I will never write about Texas A&M again in About Last Night. I’m talking the whole school, not just the SEC transition. They’ve blown it. I’m sick of hearing about whether or not they’re switching conferences, and you must be, too. So it’s time for some quality control. With the tiny smidgen of power vested in me, I hereby ban Texas A&M from this page. Good riddance.
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