In case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports on Thursday.
- Delmon Young hit two home runs and Justin Verlander lasted into the eighth as the Tigers avoided elimination with a 7-5 win over the Rangers in the ALCS. Texas will now have two chances to advance to the World Series at home, and won’t have to contend with Verlander. Unfortunately, they will have to contend with Nolan Ryan’s “fable hour,” where the Rangers owner forces the team to gather around and listen while he tells tall tales about his days in the majors. Tomorrow’s installment is about the time Ryan built a stadium by himself in a single day when the old one was wrecked by a storm, and opened it up by throwing a no-hitter that very night.
- The Brewers evened up the NLCS at two games apiece behind Ryan Braun’s two hits and Randy Wolf’s seven strong innings, beating the Cardinals 4-2. As of yesterday, wolves are now 18,034,349-1 against cardinals, and the one loss was a fluke choking accident.
- USC forced five turnovers, including three interceptions, to rout Cal on the road 30-9 and improve to 5-1. If they keep this up, the bowl the Trojans aren’t allowed to play in could be a BCS!
- David Stern said that if no labor agreement is in place by Tuesday, there will probably be no NBA games on Christmas Day. He then snarled, put on his green suit, and whipped Gavin Maloof until the Kings owner begrudgingly stepped into his harness and hauled Stern’s sled away.
- On Thursday, Theo Epstein was conducting business as usual in Boston despite the fact that sources have said he’s accepted the GM job with the Chicago Cubs. In totally unrelated news, the Red Sox picked up the final year of Carlos Zambrano’s contract, and will send Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia to the Cubs as compensation.
- LeBron James plans to attend the Liverpool-Manchester United match on Saturday. He should enjoy soccer — there’s no fourth quarter. Because, ladies and gentleman, LeBron James is a choker. Slow applause, someone nominates me for a Pulitzer.
- Lance Berkman and Jacoby Ellsbury have won the MLB comeback player of the year awards for their respective leagues. Kevin Youkilis congratulated Ellsbury by retreating to a darkened garage, whittling a piece of wood, and muttering bitterly under a single light bulb.
- The Big East is considering adding Boise St., but reports indicate that the conference still needs persuading. Particularly after this conversation:
Big East: Hey, are you guys big?
Big East: Are you east?
Big East: Son of a .
- Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall says he plans to play with so much emotion that he gets ejected in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Jets. If the emotion isn’t enough, Marshall will simply spray Rex Ryan with mace.
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