In case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports on Monday.
- Justin Verlander lasted eight innings and Jose Valverde backed up his victory guarantee with a difficult save as Detroit beat the Yankees 5-4 to go up 2-1 in the series. According to this normalized strike zone plot, home plate umpire Gerry Davis gave Detroit 11 bogus strikes to the Yankees’ four, and deprived Detroit of four legitimate strikes to the Yankees’ eight, for an incredible Tiger bias of +11. “Don’t come running to me,” said a perfectly capable robot, sipping a pina colada on an exotic beach. “Enjoy your human element.”
- With the season on the line today, the Yankees are depending on erratic starter A.J. Burnett to get an unlikely win on the road. Manager Joe Girardi has said that Burnett will be on “a very short leash.” If the commissioner’s office doesn’t approve the leash, which is made of buffalo hide leather, he hopes to have an electric dog fence installed that activates a collar around Burnett’s neck and gives him a shock if he tries to leave the dugout.
- Mike Napoli’s two-run homer launched a four-run seventh inning, and the Rangers held on for a 4-3 win in Tampa. Texas now leads the ALDS 2-1, and can clinch an ALCS berth with a win Tuesday. Luckily for Tampa, they’ll be playing Game 4 in the deafening lion’s den of the world’s most raucous venue, Tropicana Field. Unless I’m thinking of the Camp Nou soccer stadium in Barcelona, in which case they’re totally screwed.
- LeGarrette Blount’s 35-yard touchdown run gave the Buccaneers a 24-17 win over Indianapolis in the Monday Night Football game. The Colts, without Peyton Manning, now stand at 0-4. Actually, “stand” might not be the best word.
- ESPN has pulled Hank Williams Jr.’s iconic song from the Monday Night Football broadcast after Williams compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler on a news talk show. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he went on to compare Obama and Vice President Biden to the “Three Stooges,” an old-time comedy trio composed of Josef Stalin, Mussolini, and Jack the Ripper.
- Six powerful agents wrote a letter to their NBA player clients warning them not to concede to the owners’ demands as lockout negotiations go forward. In related news, six agents wrote a letter to David Stern proposing a new all-agent league to replace what they called the “stale tyranny of talent” in the NBA.
- Joe Namath went on Michael Kay’s radio show to rip Santonio Holmes for his postgame comments after the Jets’ blowout loss to the Ravens. “Perhaps I would be less critical,” said a coy Namath, “if he gave me a little smooch now and again. Just a little peck.”
- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters that he’s “watching” players who go outside the rules and commit illegal, violent hits. And not just on the football field, either. “You see that humorless man in the tree outside your window, munching on nuts and staring as you perform life’s intimate tasks?” Goodell asked. “That’s me. And I’ve got nowhere else to be.”
- Three more Ohio State Buckeyes have been suspended, including running back Dan Herron and receiver DeVier Posey. As a result of accepting too much money for summer job responsibilities they didn’t fulfill, the three won’t be allowed to play in this weekend’s game against Nebraska. Early reports indicate that the summer job in question was making sure Terrelle Pryor didn’t get any free tattoos.
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