In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Wednesday.
- With 44 home runs, 139 RBI, and a .330 batting average, Miguel Cabrera became the first MLB player since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 to win the Triple Crown. And as a scholar of baseball history, let me just say that I'm thrilled and relieved that finally, finally, the last Soviet sports icon of the Cold War era has been unseated by an American.
- Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson each homered twice as the Yankees clinched the AL East and the top seed in the league with a 14-2 rout of Boston. But the big story of the game was the way Bobby Valentine sat in a dark corner of the dugout, holding Dustin Pedroia's glove against his chest, and cackling maniacally whenever Pedroia came over to ask if he could please use it in the field.
- After trailing 5-1, the Oakland A's scored 11 unanswered runs to beat the Rangers 12-5 and win an improbable AL West title. "Greatest day to be a meth addict ever!" said one longtime A's fan. "Why?" asked another. "I don't remember," said the first.
- With the regular season officially over, MLB's playoff schedule has been finalized. The action begins Friday when St. Louis plays Atlanta in the NL wild card game, and the Orioles take on the Rangers in the AL wild card game. And though he doesn't appear on the official schedule, Bobby Valentine flew to Detroit with Dustin Pedroia's glove late Wednesday night, muttering the name "Verlander" over and over.
- Clayton Kershaw took the mound on the final day of the season, leading the Dodgers to a 5-1 win over the Giants and finishing with the lowest ERA in the National League. "Why couldn't you be more like him?!" said Matt Kemp's aggravated hamstring to Matt Kemp. "Why?!"
- Despite plentiful rumors that Bobby Valentine will be fired as Red Sox manager, GM Ben Cherington said the decision has yet to be made. "Honestly, it's like watching a car accident," said Cherington. "You know it's wrong to be so enthralled, but, on some level, you just want things to keep getting worse."
- The NBA established new anti-flopping penalties for 2013 and may fine and suspend repeat offenders. When they heard the news, several European players had very dramatic panic attacks and writhed around on the ground hyperventilating. "Oh come on," said psychology fans. "Somebody's gotta do something about these guys. They don't even have basic anxiety symptoms!"
- The NFL granted permission to Sean Payton and other suspended Saints staff to attend Sunday's game against the Chargers as Drew Brees attempts to break Johnny Unitas's record for most consecutive games with a passing touchdown. Payton expressed relief at the announcement, and hoped Bobby Valentine would stop calling and asking if he wanted to borrow that disgusting fake mustache.
- Lakers coach Mike Brown gave Dwight Howard a vote of confidence after watching him practice, saying, "to me, he's back." When he heard the endorsement, Howard's face broadened into a wide, charming smile. "Mike Brown will know I'm back when he's on the street begging for a job," he said, his teeth sparkling with every word. "And here I'd like to give all praise to God for His many blessings. Mike Brown is doomed."