Wakeup Call: Babe, Reggie . . . and Pablo?

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Wakeup Call: Babe, Reggie . . . and Pablo?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Thursday, October 25:

BASEBALL
One down, three to go for the Giants. (CSN Bay Area)

But when the details of San Francisco's 8-3 victory have long been forgotten, Pablo Sandoval's three homers will live on. (CSN Bay Area)

Of the eight players who've hit three homers in a postseason game, Sandoval's the most unlikely. And his achievement is probably the most impressive. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Don't blame the long layoff for the Tigers' flat performance; blame Justin Verlander. (Hardball Talk)

There was a Jose Valverde sighting Wednesday night and, in Jim Leyland's words, he "wasn't terrible. He just wasn't good." In Valverde World, that's progress. (AP)

It's called AT&T Park, and the magic it sparks for the Giants makes you rethink possible. (CSN Bay Area)

All's right with the world: Hunter Pence has his bat back. And it's a pretty good deal for the fan who returned it. (CSN Bay Area)

Yeah, he benched him for the most important games of the year. Still, Joe Girardi says he expects Alex Rodriguez to be his everyday third baseman in 2013. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
What's this? They're playing games already? (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
You can get rid of Derek Dooley, Tennessee fans. But it'll cost you. (NBC's College Football Talk)

And you Ohio State fans, don't worry. Braxton Miller says he's fine. (AP)

HOCKEY
Gary Bettman sheds some more crocodile tears as he admits a full 82-game season probably isn't going to happen. (AP)

Don't worry what the rest of us think about you, Gary. They love you in Rochester. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

That being the case, Jeremy Roenick proves he's not from Rochester. (CSN Washington)

The Capitals' Jason Chimera can't figure out exactly what it is Bettman and the owners are doing. Join the crowd, Jason. (CSN Washington)

Brooklyn's becoming quite the pro sports mecca these days. (AP)

To no one's surprise, John Davidson's the new boss in Columbus. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
Looks like the Sixers are going to start the season without Andrew Bynum. (CSN Philly)

PRO FOOTBALL
Um, Reggie Bush? Rex Ryan wants you to say you're sorry. (AP)

Good thing Ndamukong Suh doesn't care what people think about him. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Asante Samuel is finally going to get the chance to back up everything he's been saying about the Eagles this week when the Falcons visit Philadelphia. (CSN Philly)

Tom Brady's BFF, Richard Sherman, is running his mouth again, this time at 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh. (CSN Bay Area)

It's the time of year when NFL casualties begin to mount. This week, it's Sean Lee, Scott Fujita and Jon Beason. (AP)

But there's still hope that surgery will enable Mario Williams to salvage something from what's been a lost season. (AP)

And in good -- nee, great -- news on the medical front, it looks like Browns guard Jason Pinkston has recovered from life-threatening blood clots in his lungs. (AP)

Unlike his mentor, Warren Moon, Cam Newton doesn't believe there are racist overtones to the considerable amount of criticism he's been taking recently. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Bountygate has become a lawyers' employment service. (AP)

Me, I vote for Photoshop. (Pro Football Talk)

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – The Bruins simply weren’t ready to play on Thursday night when the puck was dropped against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

They fell down quickly by a 2-0 score, had a couple of completely inept power plays in the first period that sucked all the game’s momentum away from them and received some subpar goaltending from Anton Khudobin on the way to a 4-2 loss to the lowly Avs. About the only B’s person above reproach in this one was David Pastrnak after scoring a pair of goals in the second period to get Boston back into the game, but it all fell short in a very frustrating, lackadaisical loss to a Western Conference team that isn’t very good. 

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Needless to say B’s coach Claude Julien wasn’t too happy after a loss where the Bruins might have had more success with a smarter approach to holding the puck. 

“There were a lot of problematic things [in the loss]. No doubt that the power play could have helped us in the first period, and failed to do that. They’ve got to be better,” said Julien. “We needed some saves tonight, and we didn’t get them. [Anton Khudobin] has got to be better. 

“A lot of things here that we can be better at, and take responsibility [for]. But at the same time, you got to move on here.  It’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, we would have had a chance.”

Clearly it was about a lacking group effort when dissecting the loss, and the minus-3 for David Krejci on Thursday night marked back-to-back negative performances from the playmaking Czech center in big spots. The goaltending was shoddy with Anton Khudobin allowing four goals on 22 shots for Colorado, and unable to make plays on a couple of Colorado shots from outside the painted area that built up the Avs lead in the first place. 

But it was also very much about the inability of the Bruins to generate consistent offense outside of David Pastrnak’s offensive burst in the second period, and the complete breakdown of the Boston power play in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins struggled to enter the zone in their first PP possession of the game, and then allowed a Nathan MacKinnon shorthanded goal after Torey Krug futilely dove at the blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone. 

The Krug misplay at the offensive blue line gave MacKinnon a clear path the net, and he buried a wrist shot past Khudobin to get the one-sided loss rolling. Beyond the costly mistakes that ended up in the back of the net, the Bruins looked sloppy and slow-reacting in their breakouts and more than willing to settle for outside perimeter shots.

That doesn’t exactly make for a winning combo even when it comes against a flawed, underachieving team like Colorado, and especially when it comes less than 24 hours after a hard-fought road game in Washington DC. 

“I think we were still sleeping there early in the game and they were able to capitalize on their opportunities. We couldn’t claw our way back,” said Brad Marchand, who picked up an assist on David Pastrnak’s second goal of the night on a perfect dish for the one-timer. “I think it was definitely a mental [block]. You’re able to battle through that physical fatigue. It was more the mental mistakes and not being prepared right off the hop of the start of the game. Again, that’s kind of where we lost it.”

The sleepwalking Bruins lost Thursday night’s valuable two points as soon as the opening puck was dropped against the Avalanche, of course, and the Bruins never got out of lollygag mode at a time when intensity should have been automatic. 

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs top Raiders 21-13, take AFC West lead

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs top Raiders 21-13, take AFC West lead

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tyreek Hill had touchdowns receiving and on a punt return, Kansas City's defense made life miserable for Oakland quarterback Derek Carr, and the Chiefs beat the Raiders 21-13 on a frigid Thursday night to take control of the AFC West.

Charcandrick West also had a touchdown run for the Chiefs (10-3). They moved into a first-place tie with Oakland (10-3) but holds the tiebreaker with two wins over their longtime divisional rival.

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