Yankees win East, A’s win West, Cabrera wins Triple Crown, Cards/Rams, NBA Flop Rule, Pat LaFontaine + Free Play for Thursday, October 4, 2012

Yanks win East, A’s win West, Cabrera wins Triple Crown

The Yankees claimed their 13 AL East title in the L17 years after pounding the Boston Red Sox 14-2 in their regular season finale. The Bombers won the season series 13-5, their most wins vs the Red Sox since 2001. Boston closed the season losing eight straight and 26 of their final 33.

Evan Longoria homered three times in the Rays 4-1 win over Baltimore sending the Orioles to a Friday wild card matchup with the Texas. The Rangers were getting pounded at Oakland 12-5, losing the AL West to the A’s by a game. Oakland will play Detroit in one playoff matchup starting on Saturday. The Yankees will host the Baltimore/Texas winner starting Sunday.

Miguel Cabrera beacme baseball’s first Triple Crown winner since 1967 leading the American League in average, homers, and RBIs. Cabrera basically clinched the milestone when Josh Hamilton failed to homer in the Texas matinee. Cabrera went 0-for-2 in a token appearance in the Tigers final regular season game, a 1-0 win at Kansas City. The Motown third-baseman finished the regular season hitting .330 with 44 homers and 139 RBIs.

The National League playoffs start Friday with St Louis traveling to Atlanta for a win or go home wildcard game. The winner will face the Washington Nats on Sunday. In the other NL matchup, the San Francisco Giants meet the Cincinnati Reds for Game One on Saturday.

Cards/Rams open NFL Week V

Week Five of the NFL starts with a key division game out of the NFL West as the 4-0 Arizona Cardinals travel to St Louis to take on the 2-2 Rams. The game opened Arizona -1 with the total 38 1/2. The number climbed to Cardinals -2.5 but a mid-week flux of St Louis money has brought the line back down to Arizona -1 1/2. The high/low has edged up to it’s current level of 39 1/2. The Cardinals, arguably the surprise team in the NFL, they’ve won 10 of the last 11 in the series including the L7 here. The Rams are much improved under Jeff Fisher and 2-0 at home. The average total in the last four games of the series is just 32 1/2. The game will be played indoors so weather will not be a factor.

Georgia loses top WR for the year

Georgia’s leading wide receiver, Michael Bennett, has been lost for the year with a torn ACL. Through five games, the redshirt sophomore wideout had collected 24 catches, 345 receiving yards, and four touchdowns ….. all team highs. The injury couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time as the Dawgs prepare for Saturday’s SEC East showdown with South Carolina.

NBA adopts new flop rule

The NBA has announced new rules aimed to stop flopping in the league. From the official press release …..

The NBA will adopt an anti-flopping rule beginning with the 2012-13 season, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations Stu Jackson announced today.

“Flops have no place in our game – they either fool referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into thinking the referees missed a foul call,” Jackson said. “Accordingly, both the Board of Governors and the Competition Committee felt strongly that any player who the league determines, following video review, to have committed a flop should – after a warning – be given an automatic penalty.”

“Flopping” will be defined as any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player. The primary factor in determining whether a player committed a flop is whether his physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force or direction of the contact.

Physical acts that constitute legitimate basketball plays (such as moving to a spot in order to draw an offensive foul) and minor physical reactions to contact will not be treated as flops.

Any player who is determined to have committed a flop during the regular season will be subject to the following:

Violation 1: Warning
Violation 2: $5,000 fine
Violation 3: $10,000 fine
Violation 4: $15,000 fine
Violation 5: $30,000 fine

If a player violates the anti-flopping rule six times or more, he will be subject to discipline that is reasonable under the circumstances, including an increased fine and/or suspension.

The league will announce at a later date a separate set of penalties for flopping that will apply during the playoffs.

Will Pat LaFontaine buy the Islanders ???

Ex-Islander great Pat LaFontaine is looking into joining a group of European investors that would but the team from current owner Charles Wang and keep it in Long Island. The Islanders lease at the ancient Nassau Coliseum runs out in 2015 and Wang has stated that the team will not play there after that. Efforts to build a new arena have all failed.

Quicken Loan ups Ryan Newman sponsorship

Quicken Loans will become Ryan Newman’s primary sponsor for 2013 increasing their commitment to the No.39 car from nine to 18 races. Additionally, Quicken Loans will remain as an associate sponsor on the No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet driven by three-time and reigning Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart throughout the 2013 season.

Free Play

(Sat) Boise State/Southern Miss Under 47 (12:00 PM EST)