Wakeup Call: Ichiro wants to come back . . . but not Mo?

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Wakeup Call: Ichiro wants to come back . . . but not Mo?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, October 26:

BASEBALL
Ray Ratto says the details the separated victory from defeat for the Giants in their Game 2 win over the Tigers last night "were subtle to the point of undetectable". (CSN Bay Area)

It helps that Bruce Bochy is having a near-perfect postseason. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

And speaking of perfect, it was a perfect relay . . . helped by the fact that Prince Fielder was the runner. (CSN Bay Area)

Or maybe it was just perfectly bad baserunning. (Hardball Talk)

The line drive Doug Fister took off the head conjured frightening memories of Brandon McCarthy being hit above the right ear in a game across the bay last month. But not only was Fister okay, he stayed in the game . . . and was dominant. (CSN Bay Area)

Sometimes you just have to give credit to the other guy. (CSN Bay Area)

Remember Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was brutally beaten at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day 2011? He and his family attended Game 2 last night as guests of the Giants. (AP)

Mike Matheny still can't help looking at the Giants and thinking, "That could be us." (AP)

Mariano Rivera -- after vowing "I ain't going down like this" when he suffered his knee injury last spring -- is apparently now pondering retirement. Who can blame him, after watching the Yankees in the postseason? (Hardball Talk)

Ichiro, though, wants to come back to the Bronx. (Hardball Talk)

When CC Sabathia returns next year, it'll be without that bone spur in his left elbow. (AP)

Looking for a 16-game winner? It appears Kyle Loshe will be available. (AP)

Our own Sean McAdam reported that the Orioles' director of pitching development, Rick Peterson, is considered a "longshot" to be named John Farrell's pitching coach. And sure enough, Peterson says the Red Sox haven't contacted him. (CSN Baltimore)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Well, here's good news: The NCAA says graduation rates are improving. (AP)

Except at UConn. (AP)

Geno Auriemma's suggestion that they lower the rims in the women's game has folks talking, that's for sure. (AP)

If you think Kentucky is the team to beat this year, John Calipari thinks you need "to be drug-tested". (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
If Manti Te'o really wants to win the Heisman Trophy, he'd better play well Saturday at Oklahoma. (CSN Chicago)

It was a record-breaking night for Clemson's Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins. (AP)

Tyrann Mathieu's troubles continue -- actually, they mount -- with an arrest for possession of marijuana. (AP)

HOCKEY
At last, the owners are beginning to see the cracks they've been waiting for: Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle isn't absolving the NHLPA from blame for the current stalemate, saying, "It's supposed to be a negotiation, and I think right now both sides feel like it's their way or the highway." (CSN Bay Area)

In the meantime, the owners are expected to take their offer off the table today. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Since no games mean no pay for them, too, some NHL linesmen are sending out resumes. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
The sad saga of Delonte West continues, and this latest episode is shrouded in secrecy. (AP)

Relax, says Kurt Helin. An 0-8 exhibition record isn't any reason to freak out. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Dwight Howard sure isn't. He still thinks going to the Lakers instead of the Nets was "a blessing in disguise", "an unbelievable experience", "a dream come true". (Pro Basketball Talk)

But if you want something to freak out about, Lakers Nation, here it is. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Anyone see this coming? (AP)

Be proud, Jets fans: Your two quarterbacks are Nos. 1 and 2 in the NFL players' "most overrated" poll. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Nothing overrated about Jets-Dolphins trash talk, though. (AP)

London Fletcher's 231-consecutive-game streak is in doubt, as he visits a doctor about a possible head injury. (CSN Washington)

Another streak in jeopardy: Bart Scott's 119 straight games, because of a hyperextended big toe. (AP)

Tracy Porter -- who suffered seizure-like symptoms like week - is also seeing a doctor, hoping to get clearance to play in the Broncos' game Sunday night against the Saints. (AP)

Saying he's got "nothing but love for ya'all," Asante Samuel jokingly -- we think -- tells Eagles fans that they "better cheer for me" when the Falcons come to Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday "or we're going to have a problem . . . " (CSN Philly)

Celtics are living by the 3-pointer at a historic level

Celtics are living by the 3-pointer at a historic level

BOSTON – It has been well-established that the Celtics are a three-point shooting, bombs away kind of team and nothing seems like it’ll deter them from continuing along that path.
 
But as we prepare for the second half of the season, beginning tonight against the New York Knicks, we come to realize Boston’s launching of 3-pointers isn’t just unusually high.
 
This group of Celtics rank among the league's all-time leaders in 3-point attempts by the halfway mark of the season.

And when you look at the company they’re keeping when it comes to 3-point shooting, it speaks to how important it has become in this NBA to have as many long-range shooting threats on the floor as possible if you're trying to win at a high level.
 
Boston’s 494 3-point attempts thus far this season ranks fourth all-time by the halfway point of a season. But this season, that’s just good enough to be third behind Houston and Golden State with 617 and 505 three-point attempts, respectively.
 
The other team in the top four all-time is last season's Golden State squad, which took 519 three-pointers by the midway point of the season.
 
And all those 3’s by the Celtics have included an NBA-record six straight games in which they made at least 15 3-pointers.
 
That has allowed the Celtics to score at least 100 points in 15 consecutive games, the franchise’s longest such streak since they reached the 100-point plateau in 19 straight games in 1991.
 
Of course Isaiah Thomas’ 3-point shooting stands out, particularly when you see how dominant he has been this season in the fourth quarter with a league-best 10.1 points per game.
 
But his offense, while potent, is aided heavily by the shot-making snipers coach Brad Stevens surrounds him with on a nightly basis.
 
That’s why you didn’t see Stevens or president of basketball operations Danny Ainge freak out earlier this season when the Celtics were struggling.
 
Kelly Olynyk, who shot better than 40 percent on 3’s a year ago, was still on the mend after offseason shoulder surgery.
 
Jae Crowder, whose 3-point shooting has steadily improved throughout his career, had some minor injuries that set him back and maybe more important, didn’t allow him to get into the kind of shooting rhythm we see now which has allowed him to shoot a team-best 42.6 percent on 3’s.
 
Al Horford, Thomas, Amir Johnson … they all missed some time due to injuries this season, which has impacted the team’s chemistry and timing.
 
But the past couple of weeks have seen the Celtics healthier than they’ve been most of this season, and it has allowed them to play with the kind of space they want which has allowed Thomas and his cohorts to take lots of lightly contested to open 3’s most of this season.
 
“We’ve got pretty good shooters on this team where you’ve got to pick your poison,” Thomas said. “We’re shooting at a high level, and I got to say, you just have to pick your poison who you want to stop and my job is just to make the right play each and every time down.”
 

Mitchell (knee) 'feeling well' as he prepares for AFC title game

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Mitchell (knee) 'feeling well' as he prepares for AFC title game

FOXBORO -- Malcolm Mitchell indicated before Wednesday's practice that he's feeling pretty good despite missing last weekend's Divisional Round matchup with the Texans due to a knee injury. 

"I'm feeling well," he said. "Just taking it day by day. Preparing. I just go from there."

Mitchell suffered the injury in a Week 16 win over the Jets at Gillette Stadium. He missed the regular-season finale and has been limited in practice in recent weeks. 

Mitchell was present for Wednesday's fully-padded practice outdoors, and he said it was crucial for him to prepare as though he will play even if he's unsure as to whether or not he'll be called upon. 

"That's the most important thing," he said. "Be ready for any opportunities that could come about."

He added: "As a competitor, no one wants to miss a game. What's important is the team going out theere and competing whether I was out there or not."

Should Mitchell be at all limited moving forward, the Patriots would likely continue to lean upon Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan as their top options. Both Danny Amendola and Michael Floyd were in uniform for last weekend's playoff matchup with Houston as well. 

Hogan suffered a thigh injury that knocked him from the Texans game, but he said on Tuesday that he was progressing well, and he was also on the field for Wednesday's practice. 

Mitchell said there is a sense of confidence in the receivers room that because of their depth, they'll be good to go as a group even if one or two members of the unit are at less than 100 percent. 

"We know there's some things we can't control," he said, "but our coach does a good job of getting everybody ready."