Because no one reads the newspaper, and SportsCenter's anchors are too perky for this early in the morning, Deadspin combs the best of the broadsheets and internets to bring you everything you need to know to start your day.
• Cliff Lee in three playoff starts: 24 innings, 34 strikeouts, one walk. He is a one-man Deadball Era. Rob Neyer says his postseason thus far "ranks among the best ever." Mike Vaccaro says yesterday's start was the equivalent of "'Born to Run' living up to and beyond the covers of Newsweek and Time." He was so good that Rangers fans nearly forgot to yell at Ron Washington for wasting Neftali Feliz on an eight-run lead. Nearly.
• Meanwhile, A.J. Burnett: "I haven't pitched in a long time, so I haven't struggled in a long time. I feel like I'm where I need to be. It's been a long time since I've been on the mound, but I'm sharp and I expect things to go as 'normal A.J.'"
• Maury Brown runs down the most cost-efficient teams in baseball this year. The Padres spent $642,495 per marginal win (compared with the Yankees' $4,205,461 per). I'm sure San Diego fans will find some consolation in the fact that their team at least efficiently choked away the NL West.
• The Mets pretend to be interested in someone other than Sandy Alderson.
• LaVar Arrington writes about the concussions he both suffered and inflicted over the years.
The second concussion was in a game many people remember. It was a game against the Panthers, in 2001. We were 0-5 going into this game. I remember hitting running back Tim Biakabutuka in the hole and I heard that racket ball court echo. I was quickly taken into the locker room where I laid myself down in a dark room until the start of the second half. Again, I answered the questions well enough to be cleared to play. Well, I'm glad because we were getting beaten pretty handily. Then a stroke of fate hit. I made an interception and returned it for a touchdown, a play that is still referred to as the play that changed that season; a play that may have never happened if I wasn't cleared to play the rest of the game.
• The NFL and the NFLPA have agreed to bring former players with Lou Gehrig's disease under the umbrella of their 88 Plan, which provides up to $88,000 a year in medical expenses for retirees with dementia or Alzheimer's. Players don't need to demonstrate that the condition was caused by playing in the NFL. Worth noting:
Asked whether the program implies a connection between football and the conditions, the league spokesman Greg Aiello said in an e-mail: "It does not address the issue."
• The NCAA has wrapped up its investigation of Binghamton's basketball program and found a couple secondary violations but none of that "big bad stuff that can get you sanctioned," according to the university's very interim president.
• Mo Williams is still working through his separation anxiety.
Screengrab courtesy Tom B.
* * * * *
Good morning, etc.