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.
• The San Francisco Giants (nee N.Y. Giants) advance to the World Series, which they will try to win for the first time since 1954. Ryan Howard, who signed an eighth-of-a-billion-dollar contract with Philadelphia in April, struck out looking. [Philly.com]
• Mizzou takes the No. 1 Sooners down. [Tulsa World]
• If NFL is serious about protecting players, why is it trying to add two more games? [Boston Herald]
• The Chicago Fire's Brian McBride scores in his final MLS game. Good for him. [L.A. Times]
• Joe Namath had some coherent things to say about the Dallas Cowboys this weekend.
"The Cowboys have not learned how to focus on the team in the locker room, and outside issues not interfering with their play. And that's what's happened. I really believe they all feel like they're big stars and they're not working as hard as they think they are." [Dallas Morning News]
• Some of you probably care about MMA, so here's a link to a story about some guy named Cain Velasquez. [YahooSports]
• Minnesota Wild fan who got grabbed and all by the Rick Rypien of the Vancouver Canucks earlier this week got a call, and offer of dinner and tickets, from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Because every fan counts. [St. Paul Pioneer Press]
• New Jersey Devil Ilya Kovalchuk was a healthy $100 million scratch last night. [NorthJersey.com]
• Golfer Adam Scott and tennis player Ana Ivanovic's love could not withstand the rigors of their professional-sports schedules. [Courier-Mail] (H/T Tomuban)
• Shades of reverse Favre-Sterger in Australian rugby ...
A female assistant was forced to apologise after sending a series of suggestive private messages to All Black winger Cory Jane through the social networking site Twitter. Jane's pregnant wife Amie was furious after finding a message in which the woman promised him "a special wee pressie".
Amie, 29, intercepted the messages this week only days before her husband was due to fly to Auckland where he was to meet the woman at a promotional event. [NZHerald]
• And, finally, from the "Hickey's Biased" coverage files … Even Delaware lost [News Journal].
Morning. I still think it was a ball. Always will, so save your little pitch-placement graphics. I also think Ryan should've swung the damn bat. But to answer the question, he's still worth the money they paid him. Just don't ask me to justify it.