Wakeup Call: His grandmother isn't a car, so there's no NHL deal

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Wakeup Call: His grandmother isn't a car, so there's no NHL deal

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, December 11:

BASEBALL
Apparently, the Red Sox really like Sandy Rosario. (CSN Bay Area)

No wonder the Tigers shifted Gene Lamont from third base to the dugout. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

The new Dodger ownership isn't just spending its money on players. (Hardball Talk)

BOXING
Mitt Romney's classic line -- "Hello, Manny. I ran for president. I lost." -- is being preserved forever in a Taiwanese animation of the Pacquiao-Marquez fight. (NBC's Off The Bench)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
No changes at the top of the AP Top 25 poll, to Indiana's and Duke's delight. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
He's baaaccckk! (AP)

After being rejected by its first choice, Butch Jones, Colorado named San Jose State's Mike MacIntyre as its new coach. (AP)

Even though Marcus Lattimore is still recuperating from a devastating knee injury, sources say he's planning to leave South Carolina and enter the NFL draft. (AP)

Also going pro: Ohio State defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins. (AP)

Oregon State suspends three players arrested in a bar fight over the weekend, and probably won't let any of them play in the Alamo Bowl. (AP)

With Tommy Tuberville headed for Cincinnati, Chris Thomsen will coach Texas Tech in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. (AP)

GOLF
More hardware for Rory McIlroy. (AP)

Disney's no longer a magical place for the PGA. (AP)

HOCKEY
The Blackhawks' Jamal Mayers reiterates what a lot of people have been pointing out: The NHL and NHLPA aren't that far from a deal. (CSN Chicago)

But, sniffs professional wet blanket Bill Daly, saying they're close is like saying that "if my grandmother had wheels, she would be a car". Oh. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Manny Malhotra sounds like he'd like to rev up Daly's grandmother and run down Daly, and Gary Bettman, and Jeremy Jacobs, and . . . (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
Now that's the Jeremy Lin the Rockets hoped they were getting! (CSN Houston)

Don't worry, Sixers fans; Andrew Bynum's sure he'll play sometime this season. Just can't tell you when, is all. (CSN Philly)

Steve Nash, on the other hand, at least has an idea how long he'll be out: Two more weeks, minimum. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Amir Johnson's going to be sitting for a while, too; the NBA will decide how long. (Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
Yeah, I'd say that firing your offensive coordinator with three games to go in the season when you're 9-4 and in the race for a first-round bye is "bucking conventional wisdom". (CSN Baltimore)

It's a risky move, and John Harbaugh owns it. (CSN Baltimore)

Of course, if Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs return this week -- as the Ravens are hoping -- then all this may soon be forgotten. (CSN Baltimore)

The official word on RGIII: A mild strain of the LCL. And, yes, the Redskins are hoping he can play Sunday. (CSN Washington)

The Cowboys are hoping the same thing for Dez Bryant, who has an injury to his left index finger, but they may not be so lucky. (AP)

But Jay Cutler? He's playing. (AP)

Not Fred Jackson; he's done for the year. (AP)

What's the old story of asking the snake why it bit you, and the response being, "Because I'm a snake"? Why is that popping to mind now? (CSN Bay Area)

The 49ers and Seahawks have been flexed. (CSN Bay Area)

And on and on and on and on we go . . . (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

An eye-witness to the accident in which the Cowboys' Jerry Brown was killed and teammate Josh Brent was charged with intoxication manslaughter says Brent had to be talked into helping Brown, who was calling for help, out of the burning car. (Pro Football Talk)

Cassidy, Pandolfo brought on board as Bruins assistant coaches

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Cassidy, Pandolfo brought on board as Bruins assistant coaches

The Bruins came to a decision on their coaching staff more than a month after opting to retain head coach Claude Julien, and there will be new faces for next season. Both Doug Houda and Doug Jarvis won’t be returning to the Black and Gold, and will be replaced by Providence Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy and former Bruins winger Jay Pandolfo.

Houda was largely in charge of the defensemen group, and was fired in the days following the end of the season after a rough season for an overmatched blue line group. Jarvis did not have his contract renewed after replacing Craig Ramsay prior to the 2010-11 season, and working largely with the center and the penalty kill units.

The affable Houda has since been hired by the Detroit Red Wings to be an assistant coach for Jeff Blashill. That leaves Joe Sacco and Bob Essensa as the only two members of Julien’s staff from last season that will return again next year.

Cassidy moves on to Boston after a solid run with the P-Bruins over the last five years as head coach and eight years altogether, and Pandolfo moves to the NHL coaching from his role as Director of Player Development. So what does this mean for Julien?

Clearly, Cassidy is being brought on board to work with some of the younger NHL players he successfully developed in Providence, and whose growth hasn’t been quite as expansive in Boston under Julien over the years.

Those players developed by Cassidy are mentioned prominently in the press release from the Bruins:  Noel Acciari, Tommy Cross, Brian Ferlin, Seth Griffith, Alexander Khokhlachev, Torey Krug, Colin Miller, Kevan Miller, Joe Morrow, David Pastrnak, Tyler Randell, Ryan Spooner, Malcolm Subban, Zach Trotman and Frank Vatrano.

The sense in hockey circles is that Cassidy is eventually looking for another shot as an NHL head coach after leading the Washington Capitals to a 39-29-8-6 record from 2002-2004, and that he would probably be the choice as “interim coach” in Boston if things don’t work out with Julien next season. Some of Cassidy’s coaching strengths counterbalance some of the weaker points in Julien’s coaching style, so perhaps it’s a group that can find chemistry behind the bench for the Black and Gold.

But this feels very much like moves are being made by the Bruins front office just in case things continue down the same frustrating path that they’ve ended in during each of the last two seasons.

Red Sox bullpen takes a blow: Smith to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Red Sox bullpen takes a blow: Smith to undergo Tommy John surgery

The Boston Red Sox' worst fears with Carson Smith have been realized: The reliever needs Tommy John surgery and will miss the rest of the season.

The Sox announced this morning that Smith will undergo the procedure today in New York.

Smith injured his elbow during spring training and was able to pitch in only three regular-season games after being activated on May 3. His loss will probably step up the team's efforts to acquire more bullpen help, as Smith was expected to reduce the workload on Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara as set-ups for closer Craig Kimbrel. In the short term, Matt Barnes and Heath Hembree will probably help in that role.

Patriots may get help from Foster . . . but not the one you think

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Patriots may get help from Foster . . . but not the one you think

As Patriots fans across New England worked themselves into a fine lather at the sight of Arian Foster in Boston over the weekend, another running back of the same last name prepared himself for his first-ever week of OTAs. 

D.J. Foster may not have the resume that Arian Foster has racked up over the course of his seven-year career, but the undrafted rookie running back's skill set is intriguing nonetheless. And he's healthy, whereas the former Texans Pro Bowler is coming off of a season-ending Achilles ailment and hasn't played a full season since 2012. 

Foster could be considered one of the players on the Patriots roster who stands the most to gain from this phase of the team's offseason program. Not only will he be taught to put into practice that which he's learned during his brief time in Foxboro this far, but there could be valuable reps available to him as Dion Lewis works his way back from a season-ending ACL injury suffered last fall. 

Foster, who played receiver during his final collegiate season at Arizona State, may slot in behind veteran sub backs James White and Donald Brown, but he'll still have an opportunity to show what he can do this spring. This is considered a "teaching camp" by the Patriots, not a "competition camp," meaning the lines between first, second and third string are a bit more blurry than they might be during training camp. Everyone gets a shake. 

At 5-foot-10 and 193 pounds Foster may be considered slight to run between the tackles, but his quickness could help him make defenders miss in the hole. He ran a 6.75-second three-cone drill at this year's combine, which was fourth among wideouts. Had he been considered a back, he would've topped the list at that position for that drill. 

Foster worked primarily with running backs coach Ivan Fears when he first arrived at Gillette Stadium, making it sound as though he'll be in the mix as one of the team's pass-catching backs. But knowing the Patriots, they'll be open to splitting him out wide as well. 

Wherever he's used, Foster will have his work cut out for him as he learns the offense and tries to develop an on-the-field rapport with his quarterbacks. Slow going as his development may be, his ceiling is exciting. 

One thing's for certain: At this point, he's of more use to the club than a veteran back coming off of a major injury who isn't quite ready to pass a physical.