Wakeup Call: The Philadelphia Story ends for Andy Reid

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Wakeup Call: The Philadelphia Story ends for Andy Reid

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, December 31.

BASEBALL
Odds are that Torii Hunter has had a gay teammate or two over his 16-year career. But he'd like them to stay in the closet, if you don't mind. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
It sure didn't take Kevin Ollie long to impress the powers-that-be at UConn. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
The game is still a week away, but Notre Dame is all business as it prepares for its BCS Championship showdown with Alabama. (AP)

After playing Oklahoma Friday in the Cotton Bowl, Texas A&M's Damontre Moore is headed to the NFL. (AP)

Back in August, no one thought USC's season would be ending with a New Year's Eve appearance in the Sun Bowl. But -- to quote a great coach -- it is what it is, and the Trojans will try to make the best of it today. (AP)

GOLF
A skiing accident will sideline Miguel Angel Jiminez for five months. (AP)

Was that a ring on Caroline Wozniacki's finger? Sorry, she and Rory McIlroy aren't saying. (AP)

HOCKEY
The league is offering 100 million reasons for the NHLPA to agree to a new CBA by Thursday. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

So are they close to a deal? Bill Daly says we'll find out today. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Looking for a team that might have the edge in a shortened season? How about the Oilers? (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
December was a perfect month for the Clippers. (AP)

Phil Jackson? Stan Van Gundy? Jerry Sloan? Fuhgeddabout it. The Nets say P.J. Carlesimo's their guy. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Derrick Rose is getting closer to a return. (Pro Basketball Talk)

The troubled saga of Royce White and the Rockets continues, as he refuses an assignment to the D-League. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
For whatever reason, the Eagles won't say they're firing Andy Reid. But they are. (CSN Philly)

As coach, anyway. However, he might not be going anywhere. (CSN Philly)

There's no lack of potential replacements, that's for sure. (CSN Philly)

It's not drawing nearly the same amount of attention, but it looks like Pat Shurmur -- and GM Tom Heckert -- are out in Cleveland, too. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

And so's Tony Sparano in New York. (Pro Football Talk)

What a run for the Redskins: Seven straight wins, a victory over Dallas in a winner-take-all matchup for the NFC East title. And when it was over, RGIII was "at a loss for words" to explain how he felt. (CSN Washington)

The Tony Romo Experience reaches new heights. (CSN Washington)

Adrian Peterson finishes nine yards shy of Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record, but his 199 yards were enough to help the Vikings beat the Packers and get into the playoffs. (AP)

The 49ers were happy -- delirious, actually -- because Minnesota's win helped them secure a first-round bye. (AP)

Playoffs, schmayoffs. No matter what time of year it is, the 'Niners sound like they're about to change kickers. (CSN Bay Area)

Now they cheer him. (CSN Bay Area)

Not exactly the way you want to be playing heading into the postseason, is it, Texans? (CSN Houston)

Many teams try to motivate themselves with an "everybody's-against-us" mindset. But when the Ravens play Chuck Armstrong's Colts next Sunday, they might be right. (CSN Baltimore)

Not this time, Giants. (AP)

Quotes, notes and stars: Buchholz in 'attack mode'

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Quotes, notes and stars: Buchholz in 'attack mode'

CHICAGO -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 5-2 win over the White Sox:

 

QUOTES

"I think the most encouraging thing was after a couple of hard-hit balls early on, he was still in attack mode.'' - John Farrell on Clay Buchholz.

"The biggest thing centers around his fastball. First inning, he might have been up a little bit. But after that, he was down in the zone and the curveball was a good compliment to that.'' - Farrell.

"Man, I tell you what -- he does it in such big moments.'' - Farrell on David Ortiz.

"If you could paint a picture, I think tonight would be just about what everybody would want to do.'' - Buchholz on his outing.

"I think everybody would be lying if they said they didn't see your numbers; you see them every day. (Being) 0-3 with a six-something (ERA) is obviously not where you want to be.'' - Buchholz.

"Hopefully, this is the start of something good coming out of him.'' - Ortiz on Buchholz.

"You feel like the luckiest man on planet earth - finally hitting the ball where no one's at!'' - Ortiz on beating the shift with a single through the shortstop hole in the seventh

 

NOTES

* When the Red Sox homer, they're 11-6.

* Clay Buchholz's win was his first since last July 10.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

* Mookie Betts has scored at least one run in 10 of his last 14 games.

* David Ortiz is now one homer from tying Carl Yastrzemski for second-most homers in franchise history at 452.

* Ortiz tied Gary Sheffield for 25th place all-time in homers with 509.

 

STARS

1) Clay Buchholz

After five straight poor outings, Buchholz turned in a gem, giving up two runs in the first, then nothing else for the next six innings.

2) David Ortiz

As he so often does, Ortiz delivered when the Red Sox needed him most, clocking a two-run homer in the fifth to turn a one-run deficit into a two-run lead.

3) Jose Abreu

The White Sox slugger belted a two-run homer in the first to give him five RBI in the two games in this series.

 

First impressions: Buchholz finishes strong vs. White Sox

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First impressions: Buchholz finishes strong vs. White Sox

CHICAGO - First impressions from the Red Sox' 5-2 win over the White Sox.

 

If this was some sort of must-win proposition for Clay Buchholz, he passed his test.

Buchholz found himself behind 2-0 just three batters in when he allowed a two-run homer to Jose Abreu, but he righted himself nicely after that.

Buchholz pitched seven innings and didn't allow another run. In fact, Buchholz only yielded two more hits after the first - both singles.

John Farrell said he wanted to see Buchholz attack the strike zone with his fastball, pitch with a quicker tempo and not rely so much on his secondary stuff. To varying degrees, Buchholz accomplished all three and finished strong - retiring the last 10 hitters in a row and 16 of the last 17.

 

Josh Rutledge had a nice night off the bench.

Rutledge was a last-minute addition to the lineup when Hanley Ramirez was scratched with the flu and Travis Shaw was shifted from third base to first base.

Rutledge reached base three times with two singles and a walk. One of the singles drove in the fourth run, scoring Chris Young with an important insurance run.

 

David Ortiz broke out of his U.S. Cellular slump in a big way.

Coming into the game, Ortiz was hitless here in his last 19 at-bats and when he hit into a double play in the first and flied to center in the third, that stretched to 0-for-21. Since the start of 2014, those first two at-bats made Ortiz 1-for-26.

But in the fifth, Ortiz hammered a pitch from Carlos Rodon into the seats in right for a two-run homer, giving the Red Sox their first lead of the series.

For all the talk about Ortiz's difficulty hitting lefties, he's now third among lefty batters in homers off lefthanded pitchers since last July 2.

 

The home run power continues to be in short supply beyond Ortiz.

Last season, the Red Sox didn't have anyone hit 20 homers other than the (then) 39-year-old Ortiz.

Might the same thing happen again this year?

Ortiz hit his sixth homer last night, again leading the club. Mookie Betts is the only other hitter on the Sox with more than three homers -- and he hasn't hit one in his last 58 at-bats, dating back a week and a half.