White Sox beat Twins, will play Rays in ALDS

On the strength of a masterful pitching performance by John Danks and a towering home run by Jim Thome, the Chicago White Sox are AL Central Division Champions. The Chi Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 1-0 on Tuesday night and will now face the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS.

Jim ThomeThome broke a scoreless tie leading off the seventh with a booming 461-foot home run to center off of Nick Blackburn, who was just about as masterful as Danks on the mound. Thome pumped his fist as he rounded first base, following one of the biggest home runs among the 541 he has launched during his illustrious career.

That slim run total was enough for Danks, who allowed two hits over eight innings. Danks matched his longest outing of the year by going eight, striking out four and walking three. Danks threw 103 pitches working on three days’ rest, giving the White Sox a 3-1 record with their starters going on the short break, before giving way to Bobby Jenks.

The Sox haven’t looked good the past two weeks, but none of that matters now. Danks was absolutely incredible and playing at home on a chilly night in Chicago was the perfect remedy to quiet the Twins’ bats.

Looking ahead, it’ll be interesting to see if the Rays will show any rust after clinching a postseason berth over a week ago. While the Sox have a disadvantage having to start on the road, they almost have to feel like they’re playing with house money right now. Momentum is a dangerous thing. Game 1 will start at 2:30 PM ET Thursday at Tropicana Field.

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Al Davis talks about Lane Kiffin, Kiffin responds

Davis: “…what I would call propaganda, the lying that had been going on for weeks… and months… and a year… and time.”

Kiffin: “Does that mean I don’t get paid?”
Davis: “That’s what I’m saying to you.”

Lane Kiffin responds…

I’m still not clear how Davis can fire Kiffin without paying him the remainder of his contract. I smell a lawsuit.

Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 5

FOX Sports.com has the latest breakdown of this year’s Heisman Trophy candidates as college football heads into Week 6.

Javon Ringer4. Javon Ringer, RB, Michigan State
Ringer ran 44 times for 198 yards and a touchdown, and added two receptions for 20 yards in the win over Indiana.

3. Chase Daniel, QB, Missouri
Daniel completed 36 of 43 passes for 439 yards and two touchdowns in the 42-21 win over Buffalo. The Tigers play Nebraska this week.

2. Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Bradford completed 19 of 34 passes for a career-high 411 yards and four touchdowns in the win over TCU.

1. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
McCoy completed 17 of 19 passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns, and he ran nine times for 84 yards and two scores in the win over Arkansas.

All of these candidates have been fantastic so far, but none of them have faced very legitimate opponents. That quandary will be fixed for two of these players when Bradford’s Sooners host McCoy’s Longhorns in two weeks. And I can’t wait to see how Ringer stacks up against Ohio State’s defense on October 18, because he has absolutely shredded opponents to date. Daniel will get a decent test this week against Big 12 opponent Nebraska, although the matchup looks less sexy after the Huskers fell to VA Tech last Saturday.

Brian Cashman re-ups with Yankees

According to Newsday, Brian Cashman has agreed to a three-year deal to remain general manager of the New York Yankees.


“I know I’ve said it before, but it’s an incredible opportunity and honor to hold the title of general manager for the New York Yankees. With it comes a great responsibility to ownership, the people who wear the uniform and our fan base.

“I’ve got a job to finish here. That’s the bottom line.

“I consider coming off a season where we didn’t reach the playoffs for the first time since 1993 as a personal challenge. I’ve never been one to run from a challenge, and I look forward to having the chance to go after this thing again.”

And with this news, it’s pretty much a guarantee that the Yankees will target CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Manny Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero, Mark Teixeira, Francisco Rodriguez, Adam Dunn, Carl Crawford, Ben Sheets, Rafael Furcal, Milton Bradley and Pat Burrell this offseason. Wait – that was going to happen with or without the club re-signing Cashman.

Rams go back to Marc Bulger at quarterback

Jim HaslettScott Linehan is out as head coach of the St. Louis Rams and Jim Haslett is in. (At least on an interim basis.)

And in his first major move as interim head coach, Haslett has decided to hand the reigns of the Rams’ offense back to quarterback Marc Bulger.

Bulger took all the snaps with the first-string offense in practice — which was open to the media for the first time since the 2005 season — on Tuesday.

“Marc’s the starting quarterback, and he’ll be the starting quarterback the rest of the year unless something happens,’’ Haslett said. “I talk to Marc and Trent (Green) about it. It’s more a gut feeling on my part. I talked to the offensive coaches, and everybody involved, and I thought Marc would give us the best opportunity to win games for the next three months.’’

Well this should make Steven Jackson and Co. happy again. Although with the way this team has played over the first four weeks of the season, it won’t matter who’s under center.

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