Wakeup Call: LeBron's quest to be the best (of all time) resumes

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Wakeup Call: LeBron's quest to be the best (of all time) resumes

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, October 30:

BASEBALL
Buster Posey made sure there'd be no Doug Mientkiewicz-like controversy over the final-out ball from this World Series. (CSN Bay Area)

The Giants' sweep of the Tigers didn't rate with the nation's TV viewers. (AP)

Josh Reddick? A finalist for the Gold Glove? What happened to the guy who used to stumble around in right field for the Red Sox? (CSN Bay Area)

The Angels are sprinting into the offseason, trying to find takers for Dan Haren and Ervin Santana before they have to pick up their contract options on Wednesday. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Meanwhile, the Yankees began their offseason by exercising options on Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson. (AP)

There's another Drew available if you're interested. (AP)

Also on the market: Old friend Alex Gonzalez. (AP)

BOXING
Sugar Ray Leonard, an abuse survivor himself, says he hopes Jerry Sandusky's victims can learn from his story and "speak up, speak out" to help prevent it from happening to someone else. (CSN Philly)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Marcus Lattimore vows: I'll be back. (AP)

It'll be redemption time for the LSU Tigers -- they hope -- on Saturday when Alabama comes to town. (AP)

At least Joker Phillips is maintaining his sense of humor as questions about his job security at Kentucky mount. (AP)

Doesn't sound like Purdue AD Morgan Burke has much of one, though. (AP)

GOLF
Score after their first mano-a-mano match: Rory 1, Tiger 0. (AP)

HOCKEY
Wayne Simmonds is finding there are racists in the stands everywhere. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
At the dawn of a new season, LeBron James' goal remains simple (and humble): "I want to be the best of all time." (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Kurt Helin lists four teams who could stop LeBron and the Heat . . . and, yup, the Celtics are one of them. (Pro Basketball Talk)

There's a new sheriff in town, and the Rockets can feel his energy. (CSN Houston)

And J.J. Watt, for one, can't wait to see him in action. (CSN Houston)

A friend says James Harden was "devastated" at the prospect of leaving Oklahoma City, but Helin can think of 25,000,000 reasons he'll get over it. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Don't expect to see Amar'e Stoudemire for six to eight weeks. (Pro Basketball Talk)

But Kobe on Opening Night? It's allegedly a game-time decision, but who really thinks he won't play? (Pro Basketball Talk)

Okay, floppers: Starting tonight, your time is up. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
The Cardinals dared Alex Smith to beat them. So he did. (CSN Bay Area)

You can get those T-shirts and hats ready for the 49ers, because it's clear no one in the NFC West can stop them. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Michael Vick is still the Eagles quarterback . . . for now. (CSN Philly)

But whether he continues to start or heads to the bench, it's clear this will be Vick's last season in Philadelphia. (Pro Football Talk)

In for a dime, in for a dollar: Rex Ryan doubles down on Mark Sanchez. (Pro Football Talk)

No quarterback issues in Denver, though, where Peyton Manning is even lucky on the injury front these days. (AP)

Being a QB in KC, meanwhile, apparently raises your concussion risk. (AP)

Going under the knife has made Mario Williams feel so much better. (AP)

The Colts got a surprise visit from Chuck Pagano on Monday. (AP)

Ten wins in their last 16 games, dating back to last year, have the Dolphins talking loud and proud. (AP)

That's four straight games the Panthers have led in the fourth quarter, and four straight games they've blown. But Ron Rivera says he's not worried about his job. (AP)

Remember when Bill Belichick listed Tom Brady on the injury report for, like, six straight years with a bum shoulder? Be prepared for the same kind of snit from John Harbaugh now that the NFL has come down on the Ravens for the way they've been filling out their reports. (CSN Baltimore)

OFFSEASON

Durant leads U.S. to second exhibition rout, 106-57 over China

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Durant leads U.S. to second exhibition rout, 106-57 over China

LOS ANGELES - Just two games into the U.S. basketball team's pre-Olympic tour, coach Mike Krzyzewski already sees the start of something big.

Kevin Durant scored 19 points, Klay Thompson added 17 and the Americans rolled to a second straight blowout exhibition victory, 106-57 over China on Sunday night.

DeMar DeRozan scored 13 points in his hometown, and DeMarcus Cousins had 12 points and seven rebounds in the second stop on the five-city tour leading the Americans to Rio de Janeiro. The victory over an overmatched opponent was impressive, but Krzyzewski liked it more for the composed, cohesive manner in which the new teammates worked together.

"We should have won, but the way we won was excellent," Krzyzewski said. "We're really growing together as a group."

After opening their showcase tour by trouncing Argentina in Las Vegas on Friday night, the U.S. team posted another rout at a packed Staples Center. Krzyzewski is finding it difficult to disguise his early optimism, praising his team's work in their brief practice time together.

And while they're still learning their teammates' tendencies and solidifying player rotations, the U.S. team looked remarkably connected for long stretches against China, which has no current NBA players.

Durant noticed it, as did Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, who kicked off the festivities by blocking a shot on China's first possession and throwing down an alley-oop dunk on the Americans' first possession.

"We've only been together a week, but it seems like we've been teammates for years," Jordan said.

Jordan scored 12 points and led a strong defensive effort with three blocks for the Americans, who held the Chinese to 30.9 percent shooting. Krzyzewski believes the American team will excel at defensive switching because of its abundance of versatile players.

"I think we're learning more about one another, and our defense was there pretty much the whole game," Krzyzewski said.

The Americans haven't lost a game since the 2006 world championships, winning 65 straight games. They're 47-1 in exhibitions since NBA stars took over the roster in 1992, going undefeated since 2004.

While LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kawhi Leonard all declined the chance to play in Rio, the Americans who accepted the opportunity appear to be serious about winning without some of the nation's top stars.

"We're young, but we've got a bunch of seasoned pros," said Kyrie Irving, who had 10 points and four assists. "We've been on a lot of journeys, and we've crossed paths before, but now we're all coming together at the right time."

Anthony was the only holdover in the Americans' starting lineup from Las Vegas while Krzyzewski works on chemistry and coordination. He put Paul George in with the starters alongside Anthony, Jordan, Kyle Lowry and DeRozan, whose family watched from courtside.

Both teams had early shooting struggles, but the Americans took charge with impressive speed late in the first quarter.

Durant, one of the two returning American gold medalists from London, heard boos from the LA crowd during pregame introductions. He quickly found his outside stroke with 14 points and four assists in the first half, and Cousins overpowered the Chinese down low for 12 first-half points on the way to a 55-29 halftime lead.

The Chinese team's most recognizable name to North Americans is Yi Jianlian, the Milwaukee Bucks' choice with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2007 draft. He spent five seasons with four NBA teams before heading back to the Guangdong Southern Tigers.

Yi led the Chinese with 18 points. Zhou Qi, the 7-foot-2 center drafted by the Houston Rockets in the second round last month, scored two points on 1-for-6 shooting. Exciting guard Zhao Jiwei scored 14 points.

The teams meet again Tuesday in Oakland, where Durant will play in front of his new home fans for the first time since defecting from Oklahoma City to the Golden State Warriors earlier this month.

They'll also meet Aug. 6 in the opening game of Olympic competition in Brazil.

White Sox suspend Chris Sale over uniform flap

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White Sox suspend Chris Sale over uniform flap

CHICAGO - The Chicago White Sox were set to wear throwback uniforms. Chris Sale had other ideas.

The White Sox suspended their ace five days without pay for destroying collared throwback uniforms the team was scheduled to wear.

The team announced the punishment on Sunday after Sale was scratched from his scheduled start and sent home the previous night.

The suspension comes to $250,000 of his $9.15 million salary. He was also fined about $12,700 - the cost of the destroyed jerseys - according to a person familiar with the penalty. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.

"Obviously we're all extremely disappointed that we have to deal with this issue at this time both from the standpoint of the club as well as Chris' perspective," general manager Rick Hahn said. "It's unfortunate that it has become this level of an issue and potential distraction taking away from what we're trying to accomplish on the field."

Sale was not expected at the ballpark on Sunday. He is eligible to return Thursday against the crosstown Cubs at Wrigley Field, though Hahn would not say if the left-hander would start that game.

The Major League Baseball Players Association declined comment, spokesman Greg Bouris said. Sale could ask the union to file a grievance.

FanRag Sports first reported Sale was protesting the 1976-style jerseys, which were navy and sported unusual collars on a hot and humid night.

Sale then cut up an unknown number of jerseys before the game and was told to leave the stadium. With not enough usable 1976 jerseys available, the White Sox wore white throwback uniforms from the 1983 season.

The incident comes with the White Sox in a tailspin after a 23-10 start and Sale's name circulating in trade rumors.

"The actions or behaviors of the last 24 hours does not change in any aspect, any respect, our belief that Chris Sale can help this club win a championship and win multiple championships," Hahn said. "It does not move the needle one iota in terms of his value to this club, his value to any other club that may be interested in his services or the likelihood of him being moved or kept whatsoever. None of that stuff is impacted at all by these events."

The incident does raise some questions in general about throwback uniforms, how players feel about them and whether they should be forced to wear jerseys that aren't comfortable - particularly starting pitchers.

"If I'm playing with Chris Sale I want him to pitch," Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said. "If he wants to play with no shirt, we play with no shirt. I just want him to pitch."

New York Yankees pitcher Chasen Shreve said: "Pitchers like their stuff. Me, it doesn't bother me, but for him, obviously it does. It's crazy. I don't think I'm that bad."

White Sox pitcher James Shields wouldn't comment on whether players should be made to wear throwback jerseys. But he did say: "I don't really mind the throwbacks. I haven't had any issues with that."

Manager Robin Ventura said players occasionally wearing uniforms they don't like comes with the job.

"But you wear it," he said. "If you want to rip it after, you can rip it up after. I've seen guys rip it up after."

Hahn said throwback uniforms the White Sox wore last season were a bit baggy so the team took measurements in spring training so they would fit the players better. He also mentioned the money the uniforms generate.

"Part of the element of being in position to win a championship is the revenue side of the operation and respect for their reasonable requests to increase revenue," Hahn said.

This wasn't the first flare-up involving the 27-year-old Sale, who is known for his competitive streak and strict training regimen.

He was openly critical of team executive Ken Williams during spring training when he said Drake LaRoche, the son of teammate Adam LaRoche, would no longer be allowed in the clubhouse. Adam LaRoche retired as a result, and Sale hung the LaRoches' jerseys in his locker.

He was also suspended five games by Major League Baseball last season for his role in a brawl at Kansas City that started with a flare-up between teammate Adam Eaton and the Royals' Yordano Ventura. Sale went to the Royals clubhouse after he got tossed and was seen pounding on the door.

Hahn said the punishment was unrelated to previous incidents. He also said the two had a "very candid" meeting in his office with Sale after the pitcher had some exchanges with staff members in the clubhouse and that both "expressed remorse." They spoke again on Sunday.

"At that point last night Chris stood by his actions," Hahn said. "Part of what makes Chris great, part of what makes him elite, is his passion and commitment. We've seen that sometimes spill out from between the white lines. Yesterday was one of those instances and it unfortunately led to events that required discipline."