Hey, it looks like Brett Favre is not going to have surgery anytime soon, and…you know what, I’m not even going to pretend to give a crap about any of this anymore. So let’s talk about something else, like the Mets going full-on Chico’s Bail Bonds last night at Dodger Stadium.
Luckily for the Mets, the game ended so late last night that their incredible ineptitude wasn’t able to make it onto the back page of the morning papers (although the DAILY NEWS already has a “Follywood” story up online). In one of the stranger endings to a game I’ve seen, the Dodgers were handed no fewer than three gifts in the 11th inning, allowing them to take a 3-2 win and move to an MLB-best 27-13 on the season. Let’s recap the fateful 11th:
1) With two out in the top of the inning and the score tied 2-2, Angel Pagan tripled into deep right-center with Ryan Church on first base. But Church missed third base on his way home, and after he scored the Dodgers appealed at the base. Church was called out, Pagan’s hit was reduced to a single, and the inning was over.
1a) Angel Pagan’s playing? I hope they didn’t let him drive to the game. Pagan might be the first player ever with a suspended license to have four hits in a major league game (I don’t know if BASEBALL REFERENCE keeps that stat).
2) In the bottom of the inning, Pagan and Carlos Beltran has a communication breakdown on a routine fly ball to left center, resulting in Pagan diving out of the way at the last minute and Beltran dropping the ball.
3) After an intentional walk to Juan Pierre(!) to load the bases and a pop-out, and Beltran now playing as part of a five-man infield, Orlando Hudson hit a routine ground ball to Jeremy Reed. Reed went to home for the easy force out, but his throw was about 10 feet wide of Ramon Castro, who was already standing several feet away from home plate. Dodgers win. And, as if Reed needed anything else in his way, pitcher Brian Stokes decided it would be a great idea to run over and stand right in between Reed and Castro, ducking out of the way at the last minute to avoid being beaned in the head by Reed’s errant toss.
Seriously, the Mets have some defensive issues to work out. They made five errors last night, with two of them coming from Ramon Martinez, who was called up earlier in the day from AAA to play shortstop while Jose Reyes is sidelined. Reed, who is actually an outfielder, was only playing first because he pinch-hit for Fernando Tatis and somebody had to play the position. Carlos Delgado won’t be playing it for a while, as he’s having hip surgery tomorrow.
Speaking of the DL, Twins pitcher Glen Perkins is joining it after informing the team that he has tingling and discomfort in his pitching elbow. Of course, they probably would’ve rather he told them that before he gave up six runs in 2/3 of an inning at Yankee Stadium last night. Because then they might’ve been able to just start R.A. Dickey, who gave up no runs in the next 4 1/3. The Twins lost the game 7-6 — a totally fitting end to a four-game sweep that saw them lose the first three in walk-off fashion.
(”I gotta go on the DL, Gardy. I got a mean case of Chien-Ming Wang-itis.”)
Much like Dante in Clerks, Philippe Boucher wasn’t even supposed to be there last night. But the Penguins’ seventh defenseman scored the winning goal in a 3-2 victory over the Hurricanes in Game 1 of the NHL’s East finals. The ‘Canes almost rallied to tie the game late, but Marc-Andre Fleury denied Eric Staal on the doorstep with 30 seconds left to preserve the win and bring us one step closer to the same exact Stanley Cup finals matchup as last year (except this time Marian Hossa will be playing for the winning team). While the NHL playoffs have been great thus far, there’s a sense of impending dread that it will all be downhill from here since the Pens-Caps series will be nearly impossible to top.
• ESPN’s Ric Bucher wrote a great piece about ex-NBAer Brian Grant’s battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Grant found out in January that he has the disease, and has reached out to Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali, the two most famous victims of the degenerative condition.
• The Brewers got some bad news yesterday when they learned that Rickie Weeks is going to miss the rest of the season with a wrist injury. It did, however, allow them to recall top prospect Mat Gamel from AAA, who promptly homered in his first big-league start in an 8-4 win over the Cardinals. Gamel, however, might make Crew fans wish Ryan Braun was still playing third, as he made a mind-boggling 93 errors over the last 2+ seasons in the minors (and one last night, of course).
• PGA golfer Briny Baird and Padres GM Kevin Towers took turns bombing golf balls off the roof of a hotel in San Diego yesterday. It’s OK, P.F. Chang’s set it all up. In fact, because Baird was able to hit a target 268 yards away (and 340 feet below him) in Petco Park, America is now entitled to a free lettuce wrap at Chang’s. Go here to register for your free app.
• Why doesn’t anyone want to ride Mine That Bird? The horse than won the Kentucky Derby and would’ve won the Preakness if the race was about 20 feet longer is going to be on its third jockey in three races at the Belmont because the most recent rider has decided his time will be better spent riding a horse in a race that isn’t on national TV that day. Meanwhile, there is growing sentiment that Rachel Alexandra should skip the Belmont, considering she nearly ran out of gas in the shorter Preakness.
• Terrell Owens was given the key to Buffalo yesterday. Which is kind of a waste, since Buffalo’s going to have to spend a bunch of money to change its locks when T.O. wears out his welcome in October.
(”Is it OK if I make a copy for Rosenhaus?”)
• The Nationals’ ground crew is about as good at putting a tarp on the field as the team is at playing baseball (thanks to BAREKNUCKS):
• The NHL says that Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes can’t declare bankruptcy and sell the team to Jim Balsillie because Moyes gave Gary Bettman ownership of the team a few months ago in exchange for a financial bailout and thus doesn’t have the authority to make any decisions concerning the team’s future. It’s nice to see that Bettman is hell-bent on keeping the team in a place where it will continue to suffer instead of letting it go somewhere that will go crazy supporting it because he doesn’t want to be known as the guy who failed at bringing hockey to Arizona.
• The news isn’t all bad for the NHL, though. Sunday’s broadcast of the Red Wings-Blackhawks game drew the highest ratings ever for a non-Stanley Cup final or Winter Classic game on NBC, according to FANHOUSE. This despite the game being aired opposite the Lakers-Rockets Game 7 on ABC.
• RACIN NATION says Jeremy Mayfield was told exactly what he tested positive for, and it’s not Claritin, as Mayfield has contended. Stop denying it Mayfield, we all know you were drinking ayahuasca with a shaman in Peru.
• England kicked off a campaign to get the 2018 World Cup yesterday. And when they bring out the big guns like Lord Triesman for the launch party, no other country has a chance. Well, except that the TIMES is still convinced that the U.S. is going to end up with the Cup if Barack Obama decides he wants it here.