In case you were busy fumbling your way to victory in Iowa, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday:
Your newest NFL juggernaut is the Cleveland Browns, who have now won three straight after defeating the Buffalo Bills, 37-24, behind the play of reserve quarterback Brandon Weeden. "No! What happened to Brian Hoyer?" yelled world's saddest man Gary Pittson as he checked his fantasy team at 2 a.m. while finishing up an unpaid overtime shift of data entry at Telecommunications Systems Inc. Pittson then scanned the waiver wire looking for Weeden and moaned, "Poor Hoyer, he was all I had left in this world well, him, this job, and the hope of finding Brandon Weeden. Where is he? He has to be here!" Unfortunately for Pittson, longtime rival and world-class bassist Teddy Jackson's wife Sandra Carmone had already picked Weeden up because she thought he had a funny name. Also, he had been noticed by floor supervisor Whit Rickenbauer, who added a demerit for unauthorized Internet use to Pittson's permanent file with the company, putting his employment status in serious jeopardy.
Despite having less than his best command, Clayton Kershaw allowed only three hits, collected 12 strikeouts, and secured his first postseason win as the Los Angeles Dodgers easily defeated the Atlanta Braves, 6-1, to take the first game of their National League Division Series. Despite the loss, the Braves have to consider themselves lucky. Had Kershaw had his best stuff, he would have likely allowed no hits while getting two himself, collected 29 strikeouts, and secured three wins in the game, instantly eliminating Atlanta from the postseason, and advancing his Dodgers directly to the World Series where they would have played themselves reflected in a giant mirror.
On behalf of Yankees fans everywhere, I'd like to extend you a heartfelt goodbye. Sometimes these things don't work out. New York is a tough place; one minute you're the greatest Pie Chemist the city's ever seen, punctuating each walk-off win with a thrilling victory-splat, and the next a red-faced Frankie from Bayonne is wilding on you to Mike Francesa as thousands of listeners nod in agreement, silently assenting to the idea that you should be handcuffed to the back of a garbage truck and shame-paraded down the Canyon of Heroes. No one ever said being an eight-figure-per-season pitcher in New York was easy. Ask Randy Johnson. Or Kevin Brown. Or Javier Vazquez, twice.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports over the weekend.
Phil Mickelson out-dueled Tiger Woods by 11 shots in the final round to win the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. At the press conference, an angry Woods said that the only reason Mickelson beat him is that he was able to stabilize his putter by nestling it between his ample breasts.
The Yankees are in trade talks with the Pirates that may involve sending A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh. It turns out the Yankees are on the lookout for a DH and a few young prospects, while the Pirates need someone who can belch redneck anthems and get arrested for cooking meth in a motel bathtub.
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."