Wakeup Call: Musburger's ogling creates a Webb sensation

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Wakeup Call: Musburger's ogling creates a Webb sensation

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, January 9:

BASEBALL
Today's the day we get a thumb's up or a thumb's down on the stars of the Steroid Era: The Hall of Fame balloting will be announced this afternoon. (AP)

Whatever names are called out at 2 p.m., no one expects Sammy Sosa's to be among them. (CSN Chicago)

Adam LaRoche's going back to the Nationals for the two years they offered, not the three years he wanted. (CSN Washington)

The latest on A-Rod: Hip surgery on Jan. 16, return after the All-Star break. (AP)

R.A. Dickey sounds pretty happy to have escaped the Mets. (AP)

Hard to believe Scott Kazmir's only 28, isn't it? But he is, and now the washed-up lefty's going to camp with the Indians. (AP)

MLB is rethinking possible. Oh, wait, that's AT&T's line . . . (AP)

Janet Marie Smith, the guiding force behind the renovations at Fenway Park, has brought her talents to Los Angeles. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
One of Georgetown's last memories of the disintegrating Big East won't be very fond. (CSN Washington)

Missouri may have lost Laurence Bowers again. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Brent Musburger's coast-to-coast ogling has made a celebrity out of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron's girlfriend, Katherine Webb. (AP)

And she has Brent to thank for the number of her Twitter followers ballooning from 2,300 to 146,551. (NBC's Off The Bench)

After cleaning up the drool in the broadcast booth, ESPN apologized for Musburger's leering. (Yahoo! Sports)

Scott Shafer takes the big seat at Syracuse. (AP)

Today's list of college players heading to the NFL draft: Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel, Colorado's David Bakhitiari and Cal's Steve Williams. (AP)

Not Will Sutton, though; he's going back to Arizona State. (AP)

The first semifinal-round games in the new college football playoff system will be held in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2015. (AP)

The Pac-12 clears Washington State coach Mike Leach of allegations of physical or mental abuse of his players. (AP)

If the Big East had a nickel for every school that wants out . . . (AP)

GOLF
Annika Sorenstam really ought to hire a chef. (golfchannel.com)

Dustin Johnson is the PGA's first winner of 2013. (AP)

Those Rory McIlroy-to-Nike rumors just got stronger. (AP)

David Duval wants back in, and he's willing to do anything -- even play on the Web.com Tour -- to get there. (AP)

Welcome to the NBC Sports Group family, Notah Begay. (AP)

HOCKEY
Bobby Orr is finally telling his life story. (AP)

Forget the Bruins-at-Montreal opener everyone's been expecting; according to a leaked report, the Canadiens will play their first game against the Maple Leafs. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Don Cherry apparently thinks that if you bring a bomb into a building, hold everyone hostage, and then, at the end, decide not to detonate it, you should be lauded as a hero for saving a bunch of lives. (Pro Hockey Talk)

The players aren't the only ones who have to get ready for the season. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Some NHLers who went to Russia want to stay there for the rest of the season, and the Russians say they'll help in any legal fight the NHL may pick. (Pro Hockey Talk)

But the Devils aren't worried that Ilya Kovalchuk is one of them. (AP)

Alex Ovechkin? He's already back. (AP)

Katie Moore, the wife of free agent forward Dominic Moore, died Monday after a nine-month battle with liver cancer. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
The Lakers turn a 14-point first-half lead into a 13-point loss at Houston, stretching their losing streak to four. (AP)

And now you start to wonder: Are these guys even going to make the playoffs? (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

So where's Kobe Bryant as all this is unraveling? Nowhere . . . which is why he'll never be like Mike. (nbcsports.com)

Don't expect Phil Jackson to come riding back in to save the day, in L.A. or anywhere else. (Pro Basketball Talk)

There may be a John Wall sighting this weekend. (CSN Washington)

But -- amazingly, considering they said he'd only miss a couple of games when he first got hurt -- we may have seen the last of Anderson Varejao this year. (AP)

That'll be another 50,000 to the NBA, Mr. Cuban. (AP)

The Pacers hold the Heat to a season-low 77 points. (AP)

Nets forward Andray Blachte is being questioned in a sexual assault investigation in Philadelphia. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
The final verdict on RGIII: Torn anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments, recovery time of 6-8 months. (CSN Washington)

The Denver Post's Mark Kiszla goes all Shaughnessy on the Ravens. (CSN Baltimore)

And Cary Williams was ticked off even before that. (CSN Baltimore)

Rex saved his job, but not Rob. (AP)

Nor did Tony Sparano. (AP)

Now that the Jaguars finally have a new general manager, the fate of coach Mike Mularkey can be decided. (AP)

After interviewing a bunch of assistants, the Eagles are talking to Lovie Smith about their head coaching job. (CSN Philly)

Even though he's been in the CBS studios for the last six years, Bill Cowher says he'll probably coach again sometime. (AP)

Jay Gruden's name has popped up in a bunch of places, but he says he's staying in Cincinnati. (CSN Philly)

Has the troubled tale of Rolando McClain reached its final chapter, at least in Oakland? (CSN Bay Area)

First impressions: Red Sox get to Yankees bullpen

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First impressions: Red Sox get to Yankees bullpen

First Impressions from the Red Sox' 8-7 victory over the Yankees.

 

All of a sudden, David Price is having issues at Fenway.

When the Sox signed Price last December, they cited his past

success in their home ballpark (1.95 ERA) as evidence that he could thrive here. But six starts into his Red Sox career, his three worst starts have come here. He's pitched 22 2/3 innings and allowed 21 earned runs.

Even stranger is that so much damage was done by Alex Rodriguez, who previously had compiled a .237 career average against Price with just one homer in 57 at-bats.

 

It's highly unusual for John Farrell to go to the mound and not take the starting pitcher out.

But that's what happened in the top of the seventh. David Price was in the mid-90s with his pitch count and Rodriguez -- who had homered and doubled off Price in his previous two at-bats -- was due. It seemed obvious that Price was coming out of the game.

Instead, Price was left in and grounded out to second to end the inning. It says something about Farrell's trust in Price - or Price's powers of persuasion -- that the lefty stayed in the game.

 

Credit Travis Shaw with making some in-game adjustments.

In his first two at-bats against New York starter Nathan Eovaldi, Shaw struck out twice. Both times, Eovaldi started him off with a curve ball.

But when Eovaldi tried it again in the fifth, Shaw hammered the pitch deep into the right field seats for a two-run homer.

 

The Red Sox bullpen far outshone that of the Yankees in this series.

In the three games just played, Boston relievers tossed seven shutout innings in the series, while Yankees' righthander Dellin Betances twice yielded two-run homers to cost the Yanks both games.

 

Dustin Pedroia insists he's not focusing on hitting the ball the other way, but the results suggest otherwise.

Pedroia banged out three singles Sunday night and all three were hit to right. On the current homestand, Pedroia has a total of eight hits; five were hit to right field.

 

Funeral for ex-Patriot Ron Brace scheduled for Monday

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Funeral for ex-Patriot Ron Brace scheduled for Monday

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Former New England Patriots defensive lineman Ron Brace is being laid to rest in his home town.

A celebration of his life will be held at St. John's Congregational Church in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Monday morning followed by a noontime funeral service. Burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery.

Brace died at his family's home April 24. He was 29.

Police say his death was not suspicious and appears to be have been caused by a medical condition.

Brace grew up in Springfield and attended Burncoat High School in Worcester, Massachusetts. After a standout career at Boston College, he was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2009 draft and played four years with the team.

He is survived by his parents and six siblings.

Farrell on Sox rotation: 'We've got to get Clay going'

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Farrell on Sox rotation: 'We've got to get Clay going'

BOSTON - Maybe it wasn't a warning shot, but more of an idle observation. Maybe it wasn't a challenge at all.

But what John Farrell had to say Sunday afternoon about Clay Buchholz was, if nothing else, noteworthy.

In assessing his team's play in the just-completed first month of the season, Farrell noted that the starting rotation, after a particularly rough beginning, had stabilized of late.

With one exception, that is.

"We've got to get Clay going, particularly," Farrell said. "He's an important part of our rotation, an important part of this team. We've got to get him on track." Buchholz is winless in his five starts, with an 0-3 mark and an inflated ERA of 6.51. He's given up a minimum of five earned runs in each start and has yet to pitch through the seventh inning.

Farrell noted that the issue has been less about quality of stuff and more about his aggressiveness - or lack thereof.

"There are times,'' Farrell said, "when we've seen Clay execute pitches with, I think, a greater conviction to the pitch. There are other times where maybe he's pitched away from contact a little bit too much and not attacked the strike zone. To me, there comes an attitude on the mound that's got to be prevailing."

The Sox aren't far from welcoming back to starters. Eduardo Rodriguez, who tweaked his knee in early March, is set to make his second rehab start for Pawtucket Tuesday and could conceivably return five days after that. At most, Rodriguez will be ready with one more additional outing.

Next up is Joe Kelly, who is on the DL with a shoulder impingement. Kelly has thrown some bullpen sessions and could begin a rehab assignment later in the week.

That will lead to the Sox making some tough decisions in the coming weeks. It had been widely assumed that knuckleballer Steven Wright would be he most vulnerable starter, but Wright is 2-2 with a 1.37 ERA in four outings.

Asked to assess where the Sox within the context of the division, Farrell said: "We're probably searching to shore up areas that are in need, and that first starts with making the necessary adjustments with the guys that are on our roster now. Not that we're going to make wholesale changes. Like I said, we've got to get Clay going. That's a big improvement that we could make."