In a reversal of past failure, the Rays finally took down the team that has absolutely dominated them in the postseason (read: beat them two years in a row in 2010 and 2011 by narrow margins) to advance to the wild-card round. They weren't fazed by the return of Nelson Cruz, or the icy glare of Nolan Ryan behind home plate, or the intimidating towels waved by the Ranger fans who probably thought they were at a football game. As they move on to face the Indians on Wednesday in yet another do-or-die game, here are five quick thoughts to vault us into the actual postseason.
The Tampa Bay Rays signed Evan Longoria to a six-year, $100 million contract extension, a deal that locks up the All-Star third baseman through at least 2022 and offers a glimpse into the future of the Rays and the sport.
Longoria, 27, was signed for 2013 at $6 million, with club options for 2014, 2015, and 2016 at $7.5 million, $11 million, and $11.5 million. Those club options are now guaranteed, with Longoria slated to make $13 million in 2017, maxing out at $22 $19.5 million in 2022. The Rays also hold a club option on Longoria for 2023, the year he turns 38.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Wednesday.
Good morning. In today's installment of About Last Night, we're lucky enough to have renowned sports comedy critic Fenwick Vaughnagan on hand to analyze and critique every one of Ryan's jokes. Vaughnagan was born in Caerwys, Wales, and earned international fame for his controversial first book, "You Can't Joke About Rugby, Mate." He moved to America in 1985, and has worked for the Miami Standard-Tribune ever since. Last year, he won the Chloe Herbst Memorial Humour Award for his debut novel "Field of Screams: A Murderous Romp Through America's Ballparks."
Note: Due to space limitations, we weren't able to include Ryan's joke and Vaughnagan's critique, so the actual jokes have been omitted.
Bryce Harper hit two home runs and was ejected for spiking his helmet — both career firsts — as the Nationals ended a five-game losing streak with an 8-4 win over the Marlins. CRITIQUE: "Ryan starts out a bit weak here, it must be said, with a tenuous and rather offensive connection between Harper and former president Jimmy Carter that wouldn't have drawn a laugh even among the yokels at the 1980 Republican convention. And at the risk of sounding like a prude, was it really necessary to use the word f--- 18 times in one sentence?"
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Tuesday.
Kobe Bryant scored 38 points and Andrew Bynum contributed 27 points and nine boards as the Lakers took a 2-0 lead on the Nuggets, winning 104-100. In downtown Los Angeles, things turned a bit ugly during the second quarter when suspended forward Metta World Peace was found in a city dumpster viciously elbowing a pile of old chicken nuggets. Eyewitnesses described the act as "almost definitely intentional."
The Tampa Bay Rays just gave the Evan Longoria Contract to the guy who might become the pitching equivalent of Evan Longoria.
ESPN.com scoopmeister Jerry Crasnick reports the Rays have signed lefty pitching phenom Matt Moore to a five-year, $14 million contract. The deal includes three club options and various escalators which could max out Moore's earnings at eight years, $40 million, buying out his first two years of free agency in the process.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday.
At a hearing that lasted 80 minutes, Roger Goodell heard Terrelle Pryor's appeal of his five-game suspension. Pryor's appeal opened with a take-off on the Beach Boys' "Help Me Rhonda" called "Help me Roger," and it reportedly had Goodell dancing in the aisles. Later, he reduced the commissioner to tears with a passionate rendition of Beneatha Younger's "Me, I'm nothing" monologue from A Raisin in the Sun.