Wakeup Call: Make us an offer, someone, anyone!

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Wakeup Call: Make us an offer, someone, anyone!

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, November 2:

AUTO RACING
Danica Patrick discovers that being a hit man -- or woman -- isn't as easy as it seems. (AP)

BASEBALL
Maybe if they stick him on the curb, someone will take him away. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Goodbye Nick Swisher and hello Torii Hunter in the Bronx? (Hardball Talk)

If the Yankees make a one-year qualifying offer to Hiroki Kuroda, he just might accept it. (Hardball Talk)

Good thing Bruce Bochy wasn't this unprepared during the postseason. (NBC's Off The Bench)

The statheads are at odds with the managerscoaches who vote for the Gold Gloves over who's the best defensive shortstop in the American League. Yes, yes, I know it's an annual brouhaha, but this time -- believe it or not -- Derek Jeter's not involved. (CSN Baltimore)

Even the folks in Baltimore realize the Orioles' string of good fortune in one-runextra-inning games, the main reason for their stunning rise this season, isn't likely to repeat itself in 2013. (CSN Baltimore)

From celebrity manager to rookie skipper: The Marlins pick Mike Redmond to be Ozzie Guillen's successor. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Nice start to the Kevin Ollie Era at UConn, if you consider a 15-point victory over AIC nice. (AP)

No. 1 Indiana probably feels better after beating its cupcake by 29. (AP)

And defending national champ Kentucky may feel even better than that, since it won by 32. (AP)

Hey, Wildcats: Syracuse will see your 32 and raise you 36. (AP)

Pat Summitt was in the front row behind the bench as her replacement, Holly Warlick, won her exhibition debut as the Lady Vols' coach, 104-44 over Carson-Newman. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Miami has a clear path to the ACC Coastal Division championship after last night's 30-12 rout of Virginia Tech. (AP)

No one's happier about the prospect of Notre Dame participating in a BCS bowl game than the BCS itself. (AP)

It looks like Patrick Peterson's family is taking in Honey Badger. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The Sandusky scandal reaches two more Penn State officials. (AP)

GOLF
That's a World Golf Championship record for Louis Oosthuizen. (AP)

HOCKEY
What's this? The NHL and NHLPA might resume negotiations? Geez, what's the rush? (CSN Bay Area)

And who needs a federal mediator, anyway? (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Meanwhile, word is the players are encouraging their negotiating committee to get back to the bargaining table. (CSN Philly)

But what's the point? If Don Cherry was a betting man, he'd wager they're not playing this year. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
What a week for the Thunder. First they lose James Harden, then the Spurs beat them at the buzzer. (AP)

Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, the Knicks didn't get to open the season in Brooklyn last night. Instead, they start at home tonight against LeBron and the Heat. (AP)

Oh, and that Nets-Knicks game? Mark it down on your calendars for Monday, Nov. 26. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel and Matt Cassel and the rest of Patriots Midwest can't be too happy today. (AP)

Chargers to Norv Turner detractors: Take that! (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Andy Reid has no idea, none whatsoever, where anyone got the notion he was thinking of benching Michael Vick. (CSN Philly)

The Eagles' woes prompted one of those dreaded players-only meetings. (CSN Philly)

Another bad sign in Philadelphia: Players ripping the fans. (CSN Philly)

Good news for the Redskins: It looks like DeAngelo Hall will be fined, but not suspended, for his dustup with the referees last week. (CSN Washington)

49ers linebacker Aldon Smith appears to have been involved in . . . well, something outside a Mexican restaurant and bar in Columbia, Missouri. Just what, though, ain't exactly clear. (CSN Bay Area)

Hurricane Sandy has turned the Steelers' road game against the Giants Sunday into a day trip. (AP)

In the old days, the team would release a statement saying the operation was a success. Now the player himself informs us that "surgery went well tweeps!!" (AP)

TENNIS
It isn't often a 69th-ranked qualifier escapes match point and beats Andy Murray, but you'd have seen just that if you were in Paris yesterday. (AP)

Kraft on Brady: Patriots 'will continue to have Tom's back'

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Kraft on Brady: Patriots 'will continue to have Tom's back'

Patriots owner Robert Kraft said the organization "will continue to have Tom's back" in reference to Tom Brady's four-game Deflategate suspension being reinstated.

Here's an excerpt of what Kraft, speaking Friday night at the Patriots draft party in a video on the team website, Patriots.com, told fans: 

“Number one, there is no finer ambassador for the game of football, and the New England Patriots, than Tom Brady. We always have had and will continue to have Tom’s back, especially when he’s being treated unfairly and he knows that.”

"All the decisions that this organization and I personally have made throughout this ordeal have been focused on putting Tom in the best possible position for success.

“Number two, I have been in constant communication with Tom over the past 16 months and we’ve had numerous conversations this past week. We are both on the same page and he knows exactly where my allegiances, and the total team’s [allegiances] are, relative to the extremely unfair discipline that he has been subjected to.

“I share in our fans’ anger and frustration with the penalties the league has levied, and the entire process and how it was conducted. But please trust that I am always trying to do what I believe is best for this franchise, and pledge that I will always continue to do that.”

After the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision reinstated Brady's four-game suspension imposed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, it appears Brady is preparing to continue his legal fight against the penalty. 

Former Patriots players appear to have Brady's back, as well. 

 

Valentine will be plunked down in heart of D-line

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Valentine will be plunked down in heart of D-line

FOXBORO – The Patriots used the 96th overall pick – a compensatory pick that came to the Patriots after losing Darrelle Revis – on a very large man. Vincent Valentine, a 6-3, 329-pound defensive tackle from Nebraska who is more space-eater than penetrator.

Though Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio said Valentine has played all over the defensive line including 5-technique (outside shoulder of the tackle), he’ll likely be an early-down, middle of the defensive line player for the Patriots at the outset. How does the team go about getting him on the field?

Currently, they are pretty well-stocked with big bodies. Last year’s first rounder, Malcom Brown, is going to play a lot for a long time. Terrance Knighton, added as a free agent, figures to be a major component of the defensive line. And aging Alan Branch showed in 2015 that he’s still got plenty of plays left in him.

The other 300-plus pound linemen in the mix are Marcus Kuhn, a free agent brought over from the Giants, and Joe Vellano, who’s been with the team for four seasons as an end of the roster player.

Valentine had an injury-plagued final season with the Cornhuskers and will need to tune up his body and conditioning for the NFL. He’s not a project but neither is he a plug-and-play type who can be expected to walk in and make immediate contributions. With the 31-year-old Branch nearing the end, it’s reasonable to expect Valentine to be the successor to him in the Patriots interior rotation when they go heavy on early downs and in short-yardage and goal-line.