Wakeup Call: Even the president's disgusted with the NHL

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Wakeup Call: Even the president's disgusted with the NHL

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, December 14:

BASEBALL
The Theo Epstein Era now truly begins, as the Cubs close in on their first big-ticket item of free agency: Anibal Sanchez. (CSN Chicago)

Sanchez' imminent signing, and the landings of Zack Greinke and Ryan Dempster, is opening up the market for the likes of Edwin Jackson. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Been quite the offseason for those poor Rangers, hasn't it? (AP)

The Yankees, continuing their quest to reassemble the 2005 All-Star Team, are nearing agreement on a two-year deal with Ichiro. (AP)

Mariano Rivera fully expects to be ready on Opening Day. (Hardball Talk)

From the outhouse to the penthouse: Andres Torres jumps from the Mets to the Giants. (AP)

Hey, Greg, congratulations on your new gig! Oh, wait, wrong Dickerson . . . (CSN Baltimore)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Cry all you want over the dissolution of the Big East, but the fact is that the league we all knew -- and most of us loved -- has been dead for some time now. And what emerges from the rubble might actually be pretty good. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

A three-game suspension for inappropriate behavior and language? Yeah, we've seen that in college sports before. But for a coach? (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Wisconsin's not fooling around in its search for Bret Bielema's replacement. (NBC's College Football Talk)

GOLF
So why'd the U.S. pick Tom Watson as captain? "We are just really tired of losing the Ryder Cup," said PGA of America president Ted Bishop. (AP)

HOCKEY
Even President Obama is disgusted. (CSN Washington)

Need a break from all this? How about Russ Courtnall selling his house to Britney Spears? (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
The Knicks continue to climb and the Lakers continue to plummet. (AP)

And it sure looks like rock bottom for L.A. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

It could be worse, Lakers; you could be the Bobcats. (AP)

The Warriors are making folks in San Francisco sit up and take notice. (CSN Bay Area)

Remember the big games J.D. Drew always used to have in Philadelphia in response to the savage treatment he received from Phillies fans? Well, the Philly hordes have turned another opposing player -- Joakim Noah -- into Superman. (CSN Chicago)

Brandon Roy's not thinking retirement . . . yet. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
The Bengals, in the midst of a playoff run, needed to beat the Eagles last night, but that's not such a big trick these days. (AP)

Hmm. This Bears-Packers thing is getting interesting. (CSN Chicago)

As for Brian Urlacher, he's laughing it all off . . . although he got in a little shot of his own at Jermichael Finley. (CSN Chicago)

Jay Cutler's sure limping to the finish line, isn't he? (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Joe Vitt has a four-letter description of Saints accuser Gregg Williams: L-I-A-R. (AP)

And Dez Bryant has a two-word answer to those who ask about his availability Sunday: I'm playing. (AP)

Prince Amukamara, on the other hand, isn't so sure. (AP)

How about RGIII? Will he, or won't he? Mike Shanahan isn't saying. (CSN Washington)

Football players play football, Bill Parcells used to say. So when they act like citizens and involve themselves in real-world issues, the way Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has, teams don't like it. (AP)

No wildcat for Tim Tebow, not as long as his ribs ache. (AP)