Wakeup Call: Orphans in Kenya re-live 'The Steal'

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Wakeup Call: Orphans in Kenya re-live 'The Steal'

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, November 23:

AUTO RACING
Their TV ratings plummeted in 2012, so NASCAR plans to do something about it. (AP)

BASEBALL
A friend of Andy Pettitte's says Pettitte will decide whether to return to the Yankees in 2013 by the end of next week. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Mark Buehrle's not leaving Miami with a smile on his lips and a song in his heart, that's for sure (AP)

Even though yesterday wasn't Thanksgiving in Canada, the Canadians received something to be thankful for. I mean, who wouldn't be thankful for a daily dose of Kevin Millar? (Hardball Talk)

Players have heard President Obama's talk of letting the Bush tax cuts expire for people earning over 200,000 -- which is everyone who wears an MLB uniform -- so a lot of them are trying to quickly sign front-loaded deals, in which they'd get a lot of their money in 2012 before the changes go into effect. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Sure sounds like if UConn had its way, it would be joining former Big East partners BC, Syracuse and Pittsburgh in the ACC. (AP)

Sorry, Sean Woods. This is 2012. The days when coaches can go all Bobby Knight on players are over. (AP)

Louisville didn't look like the No. 2 team in the country against Northern Iowa. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
TCU made its first Thanksgiving appearance since 1928 a good one, much to Texas' chagrin. (AP)

The NCAA gets taken to the woodshed by a Los Angeles judge over what he calls a "malicious" investigation of a USC assistant coach in the Reggie Bush scandal. (AP)

Let's see if it can be less malicious as it pokes around at Auburn. (AP)

HOCKEY
It's gotten so ugly in the NHL labor talks that Sabres goalie Ryan Miller thinks it's time for the union to roll out its nuclear weapon: Decertification. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

On the other hand, public cracks on both sides of the wall could be a signal that pressure is building on Messers Fehr and Bettman to make a deal. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
From the Life Is Stranger Than Fiction file: An orphanage in Kenya has made a video re-living the famous Larry Bird-to-Dennis Johnson steal in Game 5 of the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals in an attempt to raise money. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk) So which of the orphans gets to play Bill Laimbeer planted like an oak tree under the basket, forcing Isiah Thomas to loft the pass that gets plucked by Bird, and which of them gets to play Dennis Rodman dancing with his back to the play at center court, giving Thomas one less target to throw to?

Mike D'Antoni's Era of Good Feeling sure didn't last long. (AP)

It's no consolation to the Raptors, I'm sure, but the NBA admits that the referees missed a shooting foul by Charlotte's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with 2.4 seconds left in Toronto's one-point loss to the Bobcats on Wednesday. (AP)

Apparently no one was more shocked about Kevin Love's surprise return than his Timberwolves teammates, who basically stood around and let him carry the load as Minnesota lost to the Nuggets. (AP)

Ladies and gentlemen, our first flopping fine! (AP)

Uh, oh. The players are beginning to publicly question old friend Lawrence Frank in Detroit. (Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
Thanks to a call described (correctly) as "as bad as anything we saw from the replacement refs" -- and compounded by a ridiculous NFL rule that prevented the play from being reviewed -- Houston escaped with a Thanksgiving Day win over Detroit that keeps the Texans ahead of Baltimore and New England and in the No. 1 spot in the AFC. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

After watching a furious Jim Schwartz impulsively toss the challenge flag -- when he said afterwards he knew full well that doing so would negate the chance for a review -- the question of why the undisciplined Lions so often play like a bunch of clowns becomes a little less mysterious. (AP)

And the biggest clown of all, Ndamukong Suh, was at it again yesterday. (AP)

As for the Texans? They'll take it. (CSN Houston)

Wow. All of a sudden, the Redskins are players in the NFC East race. (CSN Washington)

This is a recording: Mark Sanchez is our quarterback. This is a recording. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Last night he had to be, because it turns out Tim Tebow has a couple of broken ribs. (AP)

Hold on, hold on; now the 49ers are saying there's a chance Alex Smith will play against the Saints on Sunday. (CSN Bay Area)

The key to Peyton Manning's success in Denver? That he knows, and accepts, he's not a kid anymore, and has adjusted his game accordingly . . . in a way that Broncos coach John Fox describes as "freaking historical". (Pro Football Talk)

Ben Roethlisberger's a new father. (AP)

Quotes, notes and stars: Buchholz's first inning 'part of the game'

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Quotes, notes and stars: Buchholz's first inning 'part of the game'

Quotes, notes and stars from the Boston Red Sox’ 6-2 loss to the Texas Rangers:

 

QUOTES

 

“In the first inning there really weren’t a whole lot of balls that were really hit hard. They were just hit where we weren’t . . . Regardless of it being a mistake, its balls that just seemed to find some holes. They put some good at-bats together, and, yeah, that’s part of the game.”Clay Buchholz on what happened in his 3-run first inning.

“Yeah, he’s tired. He needs a day. There’s no other way to put it.”John Farrell on Xander Bogaerts’ struggling in the series.

“We get a little momentum after the [Bryce] Brentz homerun and then unfortunately give it right back.”Farrell said about Boston losing momentum in the sixth inning with Prince Fielder’s two-run homerun off of Buchholz.

“It’s a matter of settling in and commanding the baseball to quality locations.”Farrell said on Buchholz have immense trouble in the first inning through his last two starts.

“Based on this series it’s a struggle. We get 12+ innings out of a rotation . . . we’re finding ourselves in some holes. That’s not the script you’re trying to draw up.”Farrell on the state of the Red Sox rotation following the series in Texas.

“It’s always special. One thing you’ll never forget.” - Bryce Brentz on his first Major League homerun.

 

NOTES

* Xander Bogaerts finished the series 1-12, and has seen his average drop to .344, falling behind Houston’s José Altuve.

* The Red Sox are now four games behind the Orioles in second place and only lead the Blue Jays by one game. That’s the farthest back the Red Sox have been since the seventh game of the season.

* Clay Buchholz’s less than spectacular outing was his longest since May 26th – his last start before being pulled from the starting rotation. 

* Prince Fielder hit two homeruns off Boston pitching in the series for his sixth and seventh of the year. Those are his first home runs since 6/11. The series against the Red Sox was his first in which he launched more than one homerun in the series.

 

 

STARS

1) Martin Perez

Perez kept Boston off balance all day, scattering six hits and two walks in his six-inning start. The lefty only had two punch-outs, but he kept the ball on the ground -- which is what he does best.

2) Prince Fielder

With Texas talking about sitting him in the series Fielder launched his second homerun of the series in his 2-3 performance. The two-run long ball was the different in the game being a close contest down the stretch.

3) Adrian Beltre

The ex-Red Sox third baseman had another strong game, lacing two RBI singles in the game. His first RBI base hit came in Texas’ three-run onslaught in the first frame.

First impressions: Red Sox happy to get out of Texas

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First impressions: Red Sox happy to get out of Texas

First impressions of the Red Sox 6-2 loss to Texas

 

Clay Buchholz needs to figure out his first inning struggles.

He put together another decent outing -- but they’ve both been all for not thanks to terrible first innings.

Buchholz had the same issue prior to his sentence to the bullpen. But he needs to make an adjustment. David Price, Steven Wright and Rick Porcello have all had to deal with some level of adversity and handled it in some capacity -- so it’s time for Buchholz to do the same.

If he minimizes the damage to one run -- never mind a scoreless first frame -- Boston has a decent chance to win his starts once in a while.

No matter what, Buchholz needs to put out max effort in the first inning of his next start -- no excuses.

 

Don’t look now, but Buchholz was the best Boston starting pitcher of the Texas series.

That’s not saying much with the way Wright and Price’s nights wound up, but he was the best starter.

Obviously five runs (four earned) in 5.1 innings isn’t a good outing, but the bullpen at least had a chance to catch its breath -- compared to Friday and Saturday’s games.

Buchholz still has to do much better for Boston if he wants to remain the fifth starter.

 

Xander Bogaerts’ defense is slipping a bit.

The shortstop has had errors in consecutive games for the first time in 2016 -- both leading to Texas runs.

The 23-year-old shortstop has only sat out one game this year, so it’s fair to assume fatigue is setting in.

Even if that’s not the case, John Farrell should consider giving Bogaerts a day off soon to move past his fielding problems.

 

Buchholz took away the little momentum Boston found in the fourth.

Although Bogaerts didn’t help with the error, Buchholz almost instantly gave back the run Boston scored in the top of the sixth. Which is something Rick Porcello, Steven Wright and David Price have all dealt with -- and overcome.

Just another reason Dave Dombrowski needs to keep working for a fifth starter.

Because there’s no way coming out of any series Boston should have its best effort from a starting pitcher be a five-inning five-run (one unearned) outing.

Other starters have to pick up the slack when Wright has an occasional subpar outing. While Price has been on late and Porcello is reliable, Boston hasn’t had that from anyone else.