Wakeup Call: Pete's not pumped and jacked about this


Wakeup Call: Pete's not pumped and jacked about this

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, January 14:

Call it confidence, or call it whistling in the dark. Either way, Adrian Beltre thinks the talent-ravaged Rangers can still compete in the A.L. West. (AP)

Losing isn't all that loveable, is it, Theo? (AP)

Rafael Palmeiro says he "made a mistake" at the end of his career that "basically wiped out everything I did for 20 years". The mistake? Accepting what he says was a tainted B-12 supplement from teammate Miguel Tejada that, he says, caused him to test positive for steroids. And here you thought it was wagging his finger at a bunch of Congressmen, right? (CSN Baltimore)

It's not a surprise, but it's still sad. (AP)

Not bad enough that Michigan lost its first game of the year. It also happened on the same weekend Duke lost, which will probably prevent the Wolverines from moving up to No. 1 in the polls. (AP)

In today's installment of Declaring For the NFL Draft, we have Texas' Brandon Moore and three players from Alabama. (AP)

Speaking of Alabama, Nick Saban received a congratulatory phone call from President Obama for the Crimson Tide's national championship. (AP)

Now that Ohio State is eligible to compete for the national title again, Urban Meyer would like you to curb your enthusiasm. (AP)

Your weekend winners: Russell Henley (in his PGA Tour debut, no less) at the Sony Open . . . (golfchannel.com)

. . . and Louis Oosthuizen at the Volvo Champions. (AP)

The Masters folks like Ryo Ishikawa so much, they keep inviting him back. (AP)

Brian Boucher is proving you can go home again. And again and again and again . . . (CSN Philly)

Ilya Kovalchuk is coming home, too -- well, he's leaving his home in Russia to come back to the Devils, but you know what I mean -- and Lou Lamoriello never doubted it for a second. (AP)

It's only been a day, but new Capitals coach Adam Oates has a big fan in Alex Ovechkin. (CSN Washington)

They're not big fans of Scott Gomez in Montreal, though. (AP)

And now for a little familial self-promotion: The NBC Sports Group will air 70 NHL games on NBC and the NBC Sports Network during the shortened regular season. (nbcsports.com)

Dwight Howard returns, and so do the Lakers' winning ways. (AP)

That's 12 in a row at home for the Spurs. (AP)

And six in a row overall for the Nets. (AP)

But the Blazers' winning streak is over at nine, thanks to Kevin Durant and the Thunder. (AP)

Don't go counting on a new team just yet, Seattle. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

You may not be crazy about Mark Cuban, Dirk, but he likes you. (Pro Basketball Talk)

How in the world can a pro athlete go on a 15-day fast during his or her season? And I bet you expected me to make some Honey Nut Cheerios crack, right? (Pro Basketball Talk)

Come on now, Bulls, sing with me: You've got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative . . . (Pro Basketball Talk)

When the Falcons finally win a playoff game, they give you quite the bang for your buck, don't they? (AP)

Even though his Seahawks lost, the legend of Russell Wilson continues to grow. (AP)

To me, the icing-the-kicker stunt does nothing more than give a professional kicker two chances to make one kick . . . which is why Atlanta is moving on and Seattle is going home. But Pete Carroll says Matt Bryant shouldn't have been allowed to take the first kick, the one he missed, and that's why he was so mad. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The Ravens' Super Bowl win? The Colts beating the Giants in overtime in '58? Sorry; when it comes to great Baltimore football victories, everything takes a back seat to what happened Saturday in Denver. At least in Ray Frager's mind. (CSN Baltimore)

But to the Broncos, it's "like a bad dream that keeps playing over and over". (AP)

That's General Flacco to you, pal. (Pro Football Talk)

After getting beat pretty soundly Saturday night in San Francisco, there could be big changes coming for the Packers. (AP)

Brian Billick, Eagles? Really? (CSN Philly)

Venus Williams cruises in her first match at the Australian Open. (AP)

As does Maria Sharapova. (AP)

ESPN’s Mortensen: Deflategate coverage led to death threats


ESPN’s Mortensen: Deflategate coverage led to death threats

In an expansive profile on The Ringer.com, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen says he and his wife were subjected to death threats because of Mortensen’s Deflategate coverage.

After the Patriots’ AFC Championship Game victory in January 2015, Mortensen tweeted information he said he received from a source that has long since been proven incorrect. The info - that 11 of 12 Patriots footballs in the game were underinflated by 2 pounds - remained uncorrected on Twitter and in an ESPN.com story for more than six months.  

The controversy over Mortensen’s reporting drew the ire of Patriots fans, many of whom blamed the tweet and his story for fanning the flames of what eventually led to a four-game suspension for Tom Brady and a $1 million fine and loss of draft picks for the Patriots. 

Mortensen, who has subsequently undergone treatment for cancer, told The Ringer’s Bryan Curtis that the threats led him to tell his wife Micki that he didn’t want her traveling with him from their home in Arkansas to Bristol, Connecticut when he did studio work for ESPN. 

“What bothered me is we’re in an era where if your wife goes onto social media, she basically reads that they want you to die,” Mortensen said. “Even after I got cancer, I got some death wishes.”

More from the Ringer story:

“My job is to protect her,” he said. When Mort himself came to Bristol, he behaved like someone who was living under a public threat. He went straight from the ESPN studio to his home, avoiding restaurants and rarely appearing in public.

Mortensen said after his initial tweet, a second source, with whom he had a better relationship, told him to used a broader description of the footballs, i.e. call them “significantly underinflated.”  Mortensen now acknowledges that information should have given him pause.

“That should have raised the journalist in me to a higher level,” he told the Ringer. “I’ve got to ask some more questions here. What are we talking about, 2 pounds under? But, no, I got to get on TV.”

Pregame Number: Perimeter pain for the Bulls


Pregame Number: Perimeter pain for the Bulls

Tonight’s pregame number is 133. That’s the total number of made 3-point field goals made last season by the players starting for the Bulls tonight. Whatever the Bulls reasons for signing Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade were this offseason, floor spacing was not one of them.

Wade’s career mark of 28.4 percent from distance is the third-worst percentage among active players with 600+ career attempts, while Rondo’s 28.9 career 3-pt FG% is seventh worst. And, for what it’s worth, the new-look Bulls shot 31.8 percent from beyond the arc (21st in the NBA) this preseason, while hitting 7.7 3-pointers per game. 

Despite allowing 15 3’s last night vs the Nets, perimeter defense should once again be a strength for the Celtics. Last season, the Celtics were fourth in the NBA with an opponent 3-pt FG% of 33.6. They were 38-15 when holding opponents to eight or fewer 3’s. 

With the NBA continuing to trend towards more 3-point shooting, it will be interesting to see how Fred Hoiberg’s offense looks this season, and especially tonight vs the Celtics.