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Case of the Mondays: Sonny shines, Government shuts down Whitner’s name change, Sewage strike across town

Oct 7, 2013, 9:06 AM PDT

Sonny Gray pitched like he was in the matrix. Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to A case of the Mondays. There’s always a lot going on during the weekend. If you weren’t lucky enough to spend the past two days on the couch, you can catch up on the top five sports items you may have missed here.

No. 1Sonny with a chance of strikeouts: The future is bright for Sonny Gray. Donning a gold jersey, the 23-year-old rookie lit up the Oakland Coliseum. With a national television audience watching, Gray carved up the Tigers’ lineup and out-dueled Justin Verlander.

“He pitched like Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling,” said Miguel Cabrera. “Man, he was good. He was great today.”

Prior to Saturday’s start, Gray said his biggest outing was in the college World Series. Apparently, he responds well to pressure. In his 11th big league start, he threw eight shutout innings and struck out nine batters.

Gray’s dominating effort kept the A’s in the game. In the ninth inning, Steven Vogt delivered the walk-off hit to win the game 1-0 and even the series with the Tigers.


No. 2 – The Incredible Coliseum conversion: While, the 48,292 in attendance were euphoric after Vogt’s walk-off single, no one was more stoked than the grounds crew. As soon as Yoenis Cespedes crossed home, they started ripping down the outfield walls. The A’s, Raiders, 49ers and Sharks all won this weekend, but the Oakland Coliseum grounds crew were the MVPs.

Check out this incredible video of them working through the night to get ready for the Raiders game.

Can you imagine how grumpy they would have been if the A’s had to play extra innings on Saturday night?

No. 3 – Sick at ‘The Stick’: With the citizens of the Bay Area bracing themselves for the potential backlash of three sell-out games at the Oakland Coliseum, it was Candlestick Park that suffered the sewage storm.

The pipe-clogging purveyor of poop was spotted at the Raiders game on Sunday night, but Charmin may have helped offset the load, as there were no incidents.

When sewage strikes at the Oakland Coliseum, it makes major headlines. The issues in S.F. seemed to leak without much media attention. It’s probably because Candlestick Park will be a thing of the past at this time next season.

No. 4 – The Government shutdown Whitner’s name change: There are several unfortunate consequences of the government shutdown. Government employees — that have nothing to do with the squabbling congressmen — aren’t being paid, the servicemen overseas can’t watch their teams play on the Armed Forces Network, and 49ers safety Donte Whitner can’t change his name.

“Hitner” will have to wait as his name change application is lost in the shutdown shuffle. Instead of debuting his new name and jersey on Sunday Night Football, Whitner instead showed off his defensive prowess. He forced a fumble as the 49ers defense shut down the Houston Texans in a 34-3 win.


Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

No. 5 – He fought the law and the law won (because the law used a taser): It wasn’t all unicorns and glitter at the Oakland Coliseum this weekend. While the A’s and Raiders had a phenomenal Saturday and Sunday, this guy was probably in the clink.

This sweater-clad middle-aged warrior probably would have been right at home in the Middle Ages, as he turned the front row of the field level into his own personal battleground on Friday night. After fighting off several security guards, evading a chokehold, and landing a punch on a police officer, he was tasered in the back — which only seemed to make him more angry.

Fortunately, his name isn’t Bruce Banner.

Three to see:

If you’ve made it this far, clearly you have some time on your hands. Here are three stories that you simply must see:

— Ah, the Olympic torch. A time honored divine symbol of purity in sport. This flame will be ceremoniously carried 65,000 kilometers through 80 regions of Russia. Wait until they behold Mother Russia in all her glory… We’ll show them we are still a superpower.  Wait… What? The flame went out?

A Nebraska football player relieved himself on the sidelines. Hopefully they don’t put anything of value in that Adidas crate. And what’s with the guy that has to hold the towel?

This cute little Seahawks fan was probably pretty upset on Sunday.

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