Congratulations to long-frustrated Rangers fans, for their team's first-ever playoff series advancement. (I was partial to the Rays, but I can get behind that detail.)
So I guess that means that the Rangers are now America's team, because they stand in the way of the Yankees and an AL pennant.
Cliff Lee is awesome: Worth every penny the Rangers paid for him (and worth the tens of millions -- per year -- that he is going to command). Between Lee and Sabathia and Halladay and Lincecum, the LCS round doesn't lack for superstar pitching. What's the chance that all four end up in the Hall of Fame? (Good? Great?)
That must-read SI cover story on the agent revealing -- in wild detail -- that he paid players took over the newsday yesterday afternoon.
The person who -- in a mere cameo -- gets the worst of it? Mel Kiper. The problem for Kiper is that reality is kind of irrelevant; it is the mere appearance of impropriety that erodes his brand.
(Although it's fair to ask just how many people actually took Kiper's rankings seriously -- and by "people," I really mean "NFL execs.")
Favre Watch: The NFL says it is in fact-finding mode. I'm betting they find nothing they want to punish Favre for. (It all hinges on how active and public Jenn Sterger wants to be.)
Heat: So now LeBron is battling a hamstring injury? Let's review: With the Big Three intact, they are a title contender; with just LeBron and Bosh, they're good enough to be a top-seed in the East, but they wouldn't win the title. With just Bosh (LeBron and Wade sitting out), they are a warm-weather version of the Raptors (but probably good enough to make the playoff field). As always, the only thing that matters is that this team is healthy from April to June, but the past week certainly doesn't foreshadow an easy path to that result.
Wall: I'm obviously partial to John Wall, but I totally buy the argument that Blake Griffin (13 pts, 17 reb) is the instant front-runner for Rookie of the Year (with DeMarcus Cousins -- 20 and 8 last night -- as a strong alternative).
That coverage of the Chilean miners' rescue was intense, wasn't it?