Wakeup Call: At last, we hear from "Lennay"!


Wakeup Call: At last, we hear from "Lennay"!

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

Everybody's pretty excited about Justin Upton joining his brother B.J. in Atlanta. (AP)

Good thing the Orioles didn't trade Adam Jones for Jair Jurrjens last winter, as was rumored. By waiting a year, they got him for nothing. Of course, what they're getting is a matter for debate. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Remember Zack Stewart, whom the Red Sox acquired in the Kevin Youkilis trade and who pitched for them with varying degress of ineffectiveness? Traded to Pittsburgh in November, he's now back with the White Sox. (AP)

I've heard of weird injuries before, but rupturing your spleen when you fall while shoveling snow? Well, that will certainly dry up the free-agent market for Carl Pavano, don't you think? (Hardball Talk)

Pat White failed at baseball with the Royals, and failed at football with the Dolphins. So, naturally, the Marlins want him. (Hardball Talk)

You can go home again: Yorvit Torrealba's returning to the Rockies. (Hardball Talk)

Nyjer Morgan, meanwhile, is traveling far from home as he heads to Japan. (CSN Washington)

The good folks of St. Louis pay their respects -- and respect it is -- to Stan Musial. (AP)

So which is it? Should we be impressed with UCLA or worried about Arizona after the Bruins' upset of the Wildcats? (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

What with Duke certain to tumble out of the top spot in the rankings after its one-sided loss to Miami, Michigan started staking its claim for No. 1 with a workmanlike victory over Purdue. (AP)

She speaks! Manti Te'o plays three voicemails he says were left for him by "Lennay Kekua" -- the girlfriend who died who never existed -- during his TV interview with Katie Couric, in which "Lennay" tells Te'o that she loves him. And if the voice actually belongs to Ronaiah Tuisasosopo, the alleged mastermind of this mess, he imitates women pretty well. (AP)

Meanwhile, Tuisasosopo supposedly confessed his guilt in the hoax to Diane O'Meara, the woman whose picture was stolen off Facebook and used as "Lennay's" portrait. (AP)

Rare that a head coach with a 10-40 record after four seasons gets to walk away by choice. But DeWayne Walker's doing just that, leaving New Mexico State to become an assistant on the Jacksonville Jaguars. (AP)

The exodus off Jimbo Fisher's Florida State staff continues, as offensive coordinator James Coley heads to Miami to take the same job. (AP)

Dennard Robinson's liking this wide-receiver stuff. (AP)

Your first-round leaders at Torrey Pines: K.J. Choi and Brandt Snedeker. (AP)

Tiger's not in bad position after one round. (golfchannel.com)

Your second-round leaders in Doha, Qatar: Martin Kaymer, Sergio Garcia, Ricardo Santos and Marcus Fraser. (AP)

Wayne Gretzky says this talk of his becoming president of the Maple Leafs is "news to me". (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

The Flyers finally win their first, and a big one it is: A 2-1 victory over the arch-rival Rangers. (CSN Philly)

One man's ceiling is another man's floor: Mike Knuble's back in the NHL with the Flyers because Scott Harnell's out 4-6 weeks. (CSN Philly)

"Embarrassing" and "pathetic" are two of the words the Capitals are using to describe themselves this morning, as they sit as the only Eastern Conference team without a point after a somnolent 4-1 home loss to the Canadiens. (CSN Washington)

Bet they're saying the same thing in Los Angeles, where the Kings continue to stumble around with a Stanley Cup hangover. (AP)

But the Blackhawks? They just keep on rolling. (CSN Chicago)

As do the Sharks. (CSN Bay Area)

And the Senators. (AP)

The Stars bring All-Star center Jamie Benn, a restricted free agent, back into the fold with a five-year, 26.25 million contract. (AP)

You could probably win the All-Star Game with the players who were snubbed. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

And you could probably win it with thiis year's reserves, too. (Pro Basketball Talk)

The Clippers' cry: Come back, Chris Paul! (AP)

Since the present is so bad, let's look to the Lakers' future. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Ricky Rubio's not so warm and cuddly now that his playing time's been cut as he struggles to return from knee surgery. (AP)

It's official: The Hornets become the Pelicans, starting next year. (AP)

All Ma and Pa Harbaugh know about the Super Bowl is that they're going to experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat on the same day. (CSN Chicago)

It's the Super Bowl, after all, so Ray Lewis says he isn't thinking about the fact that he's about to play his last game. (CSN Baltimore)

It won't be Ed Reed's last game . . . though it might be his last as a Raven. (CSN Baltimore)

Brandon Jacobs and the 49ers didn't part on the best of terms, but he says he's rooting for them against Baltimore. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Steve Spagnuolo, who concocted the defensive plan that helped the Giants upset the Patriots in the 2007 Super Bowl, is out of work again. (AP)

Worried about the potential for cold, snow and generally nasty conditions at next year's Super Bowl in New Jersey? Hah! Bring it on, says Roger Goodell. (AP)

Congratulations, John Idzik. And good luck. You'll need it. (AP)

Unlike many -- most? all? -- of his peers, Andrew Luck's all business at the Pro Bowl. (AP)

Sloane Stephens' strong showing in the Australian Open will lift her up in the player rankings. (AP)

We have our first Australian Open champions: Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in women's doubles. (AP)

Chara probable vs. Panthers, Beleskey misses morning skate

Chara probable vs. Panthers, Beleskey misses morning skate

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- There were both expected and unexpected absences from Bruins morning skate on Monday morning at Warrior Ice Arena ahead of tonight’s game at TD Garden against the Florida Panthers. Matt Beleskey was the expected absence after getting knocked out of Saturday’s game with a lower body injury caused by a Tyler Fedun check to his right leg, and Torey Krug was also missing from the ice after pulling workhorse duty over the last handful of games in the absence of Zdeno Chara.

Following practice Claude Julien confirmed that Chara was “probable” to return for tonight’s game vs. the Florida Panthers after missing the last six games, and that Krug is expected to play after succumbing to the same illness that felled Patrice Bergeron over the weekend. Beleskey was being checked by doctors on Monday, and it sounds like his absence might be a bit longer term than simply a “day-to-day” lower body injury. 

Noel Acciari took part in practice, and it appears they both could be closing in on a return to the lineup. Frank Vatrano also shot the puck around a bit at the very beginning of Monday’s skate, but came off the ice as the team began their preparations for tonight’s game. 

Here are the Bruins projected line combos and D-pairings vs. Florida based on the morning skate with Beleskey and Krug both absent:







K. Miller-C. Miller



Belichick on keeping Brady in: 'Seen those double-digit leads evaporate'


Belichick on keeping Brady in: 'Seen those double-digit leads evaporate'

With 5:52 remaining in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game between the Patriots and Rams, and with the hosts up 26-3, quarterback Tom Brady was back on the field to lead the Patriots offense. 

It was a decision that had some scratching their heads. Why risk the health of your Hall of Fame quarterback in a game that's essentially been decided? Particularly at this point in the year? Particularly just days after the team lost it's most dynamic offensive weapon to season-ending back surgery?

"Well, after the game turns out, it's easy to go back and make those suggestions," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said on a conference call Monday. "I've seen a few games in this league. Seen those double-digit leads evaporate in a minute or two. I know that's not a big concern when it does happen and then when it does happen it's a major crisis and [there's] a lot of second-guessing about what should've been done or what shouldn't have been done. Trying to win the game."

The Patriots held the ball for a little over two minutes before punting it back to the Rams. By the time the Patriots got the ball back for the final time with 1:15 remaining, Brady was on the field to take two kneeldowns and wipe out the clock. 

He told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show on Monday morning that he wasn't looking for an early hook. The Rams have been accused of dirty plays in the past, and their coaching staff has a reputation for encouraging a reckless style, but Brady explained why he wanted to remain in the game late.

"All these games are close. I know yesterday, 26-3 at one point, but we’re playing for a lot here," he said. "i don’t think it’s ever right to take your foot off the gas pedal. We could use as many reps as possible, all the guys out there. There are different situations that come up in every game. You only get 16 weeks a year to try them out. You try them in practice, but there’s not the speed. There’s not the urgency. It’s not the decision-making because it’s unscripted.

"In practice you go and talk about these are the plays you’re going to run, these are the defenses you can get. Then you go into the game and they it’s all about decision-making really under pressure with everything on the line, so the more reps you can get with Malcolm [Mitchell] and [Chris] Hogan and Martellus [Bennett], guys that I haven’t played with, the better it gets."

Brady escaped his late-game reps no worse for the wear -- he completed three of four passes for 14 yards on his team's second-to-last drive -- but he did take one shot earlier in the game that had him ticked. Rams safety TJ McDonald got into the Patriots backfield untouched and drove Brady into the ground during a second-quarter drive. Brady got the ball away, but he was walloped, and when he got up he sought out McDonald for a few words.

"I think it was pretty emotional," Brady told Kirk and Callahan. "I didn’t see the replay yet, but he made a good clean hit. They were blitzing us. I knew we didn’t have him picked up and he put a little extra something on.”

Asked if the threat of a play like that late in a lopsided game bothered him, Brady said no.

"I said to my wife as I was driving home, she was like, ‘What was that?’ She wants to know about all these things and I was like, ‘I think it is all fair on the football field.’ You put yourself out there," Brady explained. "You’re up 20, you’re down 20. Everyone is playing hard and whatever happens out there is on the football field. I don’t think it was a dirty play.

"Guys love going in there and hitting the quarterback. They’ve been trained to hit the quarterback their entire careers, especially on defense. They get paid more hitting the quarterback. Their team is 4-8 so they are going to play hard 'til the end no matter what. They haven’t been in a lot of games this year so they are going to play hard to try and set them up for next year. I had no problem with that hit. I thought it was a real clean play. I was pretty pissed off for the most part yesterday because we weren’t executing as well as we could and that probably had something to do with it as well."