Shanoff's WUC: Braden Perfect, Suns Sweep, Rondo Rules, Tiger Quits, 'Stick It' Trends

↵Today's Calls: Dallas Braden vs. Perfection, A-Rod vs. "Stick It, A-Rod," Peggy Lindsey vs. Betty White, Steve Nash vs. the Ophthalmologist, Rajon Rondo vs. LeBron James, Tiger Woods vs. TPC, Yankees vs. Red Sox, Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Tyler Clippard, Brian Cushing vs. PED Scandal, Donovan McNabb vs. DeSean Jackson, FedEx vs. Reese's, Jamie Moyer vs. Methuselah and More. ↵

↵

↵Braden DallasThe Opening Pitch: "Stick it, A-Rod." ↵

↵

↵That's not Dallas Braden, although you would certainly not blame him for a bit of gloating following his perfect game. ↵

↵

↵No, that quote of the year comes from Braden's grandmother, which makes the entire thing infinitely more entertaining — arguably the story of the year in baseball this season. Let's break down the ways this was all kinds of awesome: ↵

↵

↵— He threw the perfect game on Mother's Day, with his grandma Peggy Lindsey — who raised him — in attendance. ↵

↵

↵— "Stick it, A-Rod" became a trending topic on Twitter. (How cool does his grandma sound? On a weekend where Betty White killed it on SNL, Peggy Lindsey gets the last word. Senior women FTW.) ↵

↵

↵— Braden pitched just the 19th perfect game ever. (And he had the fewest career wins of any pitcher to do it.) ↵

↵

↵— Only 12,000 people were there to see it — like seeing Bruce Springsteen at a tiny nightclub. ↵

↵

↵— Braden's nonchalant response to his grandma: "Let's go eat." ↵

↵

↵— Braden goes from the guy who talked smack to A-Rod — as recently as yesterday — to the guy who talked smack to A-Rod who pitched a perfect game, which gives him all sorts of new street cred to continue talking. ↵

↵

↵— And, amazingly, even A-Rod handled this deftly. His response to grandma's taunting? "Good for him. Even better that he beat the Rays." With virtually no margin for error, credit A-Rod for threading the P.R. needle. ↵

↵

↵This was the best moment of the year so far in baseball, because it was so much more than "just" a perfect game. Braden's grandma gave it the perfect postscript, too. ↵

↵

↵"Stick it, LeBron": It is hard to displace LeBron James as the best player on the court in any given game, but Rajon Rondo and his if-he-wasn't-a-superstar-before-he-is-now triple-double (29 pts, 18 reb, 13 ast) did that — AND, in a must-win, put the Celtics even with the Cavs. ↵

↵

↵"Stick it, Spurs": You might have thought Phoenix was going to beat San Antonio in this series, but you sure didn't call it as a sweep — arguably the most impressive playoff series performance by a team in years. And certainly not lacking for drama: "Los Suns" last week, then the Dragic explosion on Friday night. Then last night's freaky "Nash Eye" thing. PHX has major mo. ↵

↵

↵Tonight: More sweeping? The Magic have destroyed the Hawks, who wouldn't be blamed for folding tonight and getting it over with. Meanwhile, the Lakers could finish off the Jazz, who have been better in SLC than LA, but are still down 3-0 and have no chance of recovering. Magic-Cavs and Lakers-Suns as conference finals will be good. ↵

↵

↵"Stick it, Tiger": Is it fair to say that Tiger quit at The Players? "Quitter" is among the nastiest slurs in sports — particularly if it is injury-related. But if Tiger was in the lead, I guarantee you that his bulging disc wouldn't have kept him from playing through, no matter how much it hurt. (See the U.S. Open a few years back.) ↵

↵

↵The fact he wasn't even close to contention undoubtedly made the decision easier, even if the injury was the reason he wasn't near the front of the pack. (I'm skeptical that it didn't hurt him just as much on Thursday as Sunday, so why did he bother playing the tournament? His frustration after the tournament yesterday was obvious.) ↵

↵

↵Here's your money stat, literally: It is the first time in Tiger's career he has gone back-to-back tournaments without making any scratch. A month later, it is hard to explain his decent showing at the Masters, because Tiger looks like he is in trouble now. ↵

↵

↵More MLB Talking Points: "Stick it, Ubaldo" ↵

↵

↵— Ubaldo Watch: Loses? No! ↵

↵

↵— Well, Sox fans: At least you didn't get swept. ↵

↵

↵— HR History: A-Rod ties F-Rob ↵

↵

↵— Clip and Save: Clippard 6-0, Capps 13 SV's ↵

↵

↵— Bleeding stops temporarily for the Mariners. ↵

↵

↵"Stick it, Cushing": Brian Cushing's suspension for violating the NFL's drug policy may or may not have had anything to do with steroids, but Cushing is going to be marked by the suspension as a cheater for the rest of his career. The good news for him is that PED use in the NFL carries no stigma. In the NFL, PEDs aren't seriously considered cheating. ↵

↵

↵"Stick it, Sean Payton": It shouldn't surprise you that Sean Payton wouldn't — or, more accurately, couldn't — talk about the story. But nothing is less convincing than something to the effect of "My lawyer says not to say anything." ↵

↵

↵(On a more frivolous note, Payton said the Saints don't want JaMarcus Russell — that's kind of a shame, because the defending champs are exactly the winning, well-coached context that could allow Russell to develop.) ↵

↵

↵"Stick it, NBA": Of the players to decide to skip the NBA and return to college, the most notable were BYU scoring machine Jimmer Fredette, who should be first-team All-American; Alex Tyus, who begrudgingly gives Florida one of the deepest frontcourts in the nation; and the Purdue pair of E'Twuan Moore and JaJuan Johnson, who bring the Boilers back from the brink. ↵

↵

↵NBA Coaching Carousel: Bill Laimbeer deserves a shot at coaching an NBA team, after his success as a coach in the WNBA. What a great fit he would be for the 76ers; the fans in Philly would love him. ↵

↵

↵"Stick it, Kimbo": Is there an anyone in sports who gets more undeserved attention than Kimbo Slice? ↵

↵

↵Business: Per SN sibling SportsBusiness Journal, the Orange Bowl (nee FedEx Orange Bowl) has a new sponsor — Reese's, which is putting a ton of money into sports marketing (as anyone who watched the NCAA Tournament will remember). ↵

↵

↵Travel: I spent the weekend in Philly for an in-law family wedding. Being in town for the Jamie Moyer oldest-complete-game-shut-out-ever was pretty exciting. Alas, I didn't go to the game, but I think every fan should try to see the 47-year-old pitch before he retires (whenever that might be). Not sure you'll ever see a 47-year-old pitcher (certainly a non-knuckleballer) in MLB again. ↵

↵

↵The Last Word: "I don't think we lost anything."
↵— DeSean Jackson on Donovan McNabb. To his credit, McNabb wouldn't take the bait. Jackson will be a big factor in backing up his own confidence in Kevin Kolb. ↵

↵

↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.