Wakeup Call: Red Sox seeking relief from Hanrahan?

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Wakeup Call: Red Sox seeking relief from Hanrahan?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Thursday, December 20:

BASEBALL
Joel Hanrahan to Boston? Guess a failed attempt with one small-market closer hasn't scared off the Red Sox from pursuing another. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Mark Schlereth's son Daniel is now an Oriole. (CSN Baltimore)

And Kendry Morales is now a Mariner. (AP)

Steve Sax is back, as an Arizona coach. (AP)

Someone really ought to explain to Gregg Zaun that a) he's 41 years old, so b) women young enough to be his daughter probably aren't going to dazzled by his bar banter. (CSN Baltimore)

BOXING
Justin Bieber may have closed out the Philippine market for himself by mocking Manny Pacquiao for his loss to Juan Manuel Marquez. (NBC's Off The Bench)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
I can't imagine the news that the Big East is reaching out to Fresno State and UNLV prompted any "Gee, maybe we ought to rethink this leaving thing" musings from the Catholic 7. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Rick Barnes won't comment about it, so there's probably fire behind that the-NCAA-is-about-to-suspend-Myck Kabongo smoke. (AP)

The first coaching matchup between Rick Pitino and his son, Richard, ended up in a 24-point victory for Papa. (AP)

Would you believe Duke led Cornell by just 28-26 late in the first half? Not if you only saw the 88-47 final, you wouldn't. (AP)

Things were a lot quieter this year as Cincinnati beat Xavier. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Hmm. Now the Chip Kelly-might-leave-Oregon whispers start to make some sense. (NBC's College Football Talk)

But Browns running back Trent Richardson -- who played for Nick Saban at Alabama -- says the Saban-to-Cleveland whispers don't. Make sense, that is. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Notre Dame's undefeated season earned Brian Kelly some hardware. (AP)

New Boston College coach Steve Addazio chooses his coordinators. (College Football Talk)

Two of the accused plead out in the assault case against Wisconsin running back Montee Ball, and avoid jail time as a result. (AP)

GOLF
Colin Montgomerie and Ken Schofield are the newest members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. (AP)

HOCKEY
Donald Fehr says the players would love to be negotiating, but the owners don't want to. (AP)

But despite the fact that his side seems to have no interest in ever going back to the table, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly thinks there'll still be a season. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

How's that supposed to happen, Bill, if the two sides aren't talking to each other? (CSN Chicago)

So we're with you, Chuck Gormley, when you say you just don't get it. (CSN Washington)

Meanwhile, Evander Kane is the latest NHLPA member to make an idiot of himself on Twitter, as the players do all they can to melt whatever public support they have. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
Big Baby hurts his shoulder in the Magic's win over the Wizards. They'll find out today how bad it is, but J.J. Redick said Davis looked "worried" as he left the locker room. (AP)

'Melo and the Knicks show the Nets who's boss. (AP)

When a team struggles people tend to heap blame on the star, under the "He's supposed to be so good but we're still losing, so he must not be that good" justification. But is Kobe Bryant really the Lakers' problem? (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

The winning continues in Oklahoma City -- actually in Atlanta, which is where they played last night -- as the Thunder made it 12 in a row. (AP)

And in Los Angeles, where the Clippers' 11th straight victory actually prompted a "Hip, hip hooray!" chant in the locker room from owner Donald Sterling. (AP)

Dirk Nowitzki participated in his first full practice since undergoing knee surgery and hopes to return to the Mavs "after Christmas". (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Now that the Jets have decided to bench Mark Sanchez, what do they do with him? Well, they're not quite sure. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

And what to do with Tim Tebow, who says he's "disappointed" that Rex Ryan turned to Greg McElroy instead of him as Sanchez' replacement? (AP)

Their NFC West showdown is still days away, but old antagonists Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll are at it again. (CSN Bay Area)

Hey, at least they're both saving a stamp this holiday season. (CSN Bay Area)

RGIII's back at practice . . (CSN Washington)

. . . but he's 10,000 lighter, thanks to his postgame attire last Sunday. (CSN Washington)

Looking for someone to blame for the Ravens' recent slide? Joe Flacco points to himself. (CSN Baltimore)

But Bernard Pollard's not buying it. He thinks everyone's at fault. (CSN Baltimore)

Still, Ray Rice thinks the 2011 version of the team the Ravens are playing Sunday -- the Giants -- should serve as their inspiration here in 2012. (CSN Baltimore)

Brandon Marshall's the latest to play the "What I meant was . . . " game. (CSN Chicago)

Ben Roethlisberger, meanwhile, is playing the "If I didn't have anything nice to say, I shouldn't have said anything at all" version. (AP)

Arian Foster says "thank you" to the offensive linemen who block for him by giving each of them a Segway. (CSN Houston)

Patrick Peterson gives himself a pretty good scouting report. (Pro Football Talk)

The Colts hope to have Chuck Pagano back on the sideline for their Dec. 30 season finale against the Texans. (AP)

And the Saints -- or at least Drew Brees -- are confident they'll have Sean Payton back on the sidelines next year, even though the Cowboys may come calling. (AP)

No one expects Norv Turner to be back on the Chargers' sidelines in 2013, and he says he'll be content to be some someone's coordinator if he gets the axe. (AP)

Eric Wood speaks for many of the Bills when he calls their "home" games in Toronto "a joke" . . . though there was nothing funny about Buffalo's 50-17 loss to the Seahawks last Sunday at the Rogers Centre. (AP)

Gronkowski after surgery: 'Dance floor tomorrow night... here I come'

Gronkowski after surgery: 'Dance floor tomorrow night... here I come'

After undergoing back surgery earlier in the day on Friday, Rob Gronkowski is back on his feet and cracking jokes.

The injured Patriots tight end posted a video of himself on his feet with the assistance of a walker captioned "Rehab day 1! "Can't nobody hold me down... Oo no I got to keep on movin"

MORE: 

In the video, Gronk takes a few steps and says, “Dance floor tomorrow night. . . here I come.”

Watch the video below [NSFW language from Gronk's dad]

Rehab day 1! "Can't nobody hold me down... Oo no I got to keep on movin"

A video posted by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on

Al Horford's strong play propels Celtics to 97-92 win over Kings

Al Horford's strong play propels Celtics to 97-92 win over Kings

BOSTON – You knew Boston’s dominance over the Sacramento Kings at the TD Garden was going to come to an end someday. 

Well that day won’t come around for at least another season as the Celtics’ forgotten man just a couple nights ago, Al Horford, came up with big plays at both ends of the floor that helped propel Boston to a 97-92 win. 

With Boston ahead 95-92 with less than 10 seconds to play, the Kings had one chance to tie the game with a 3-pointer. 

They got the ball to their best player DeMarcus Cousins who tried to draw a foul against his defender, Al Horford. 

Cousins’ attempt to sell there being contact behind the 3-point line was not being bought by the officials. 

After his missed shot, Sacramento’s Garrett Temple fouled Horford with 4.8 seconds to play. 

Horford, who finished with a season-high 26 points, went to the line and made both of the free throws to seal the victory. 

The Celtics (11-8) have now won five of their last seven games overall as they hit the road where they’ve won four in a row away from the TD Garden.

Meanwhile the Kings (7-12) have now lost nine straight at the TD Garden.

Sacramento had swung the game’s momentum in their favor at the end of the third and early in the fourth, but the Celtics refused to go down without a fight. 

A shot by Horford tied the game at 76. And on the ensuing Kings possession, Horford came up with a blocked shot that ultimately led to lay-up for Jonas Jerebko to put Boston up 78-76.

Cousins suffered a cut above his right eye in the fourth quarter and finished with 28 points, nine rebounds and three assists. 

After a Sacramento time-out following Jerebko’s basket, the Celtics came up with another turnover – their 15thforced turnover of the night – that led to a lay-up by Kelly Olynyk.

On the ensuing Olynyk basket, Cousins took a blow to the head on the play that forced him to leave with 7:08to play. 

With no Cousins on the floor, the Celtics tightened up their perimeter defense and made a point of attacking the Sacramento interior immediately.

Isaiah Thomas, who finished with 20 points, converted a three-point play at the 6:33 mark - 35 seconds after Cousins left the game.

The close finish was in stark contrast to how the game begin. 

In Boston’s 121-114 loss to Detroit on Wednesday, Horford only took five shots from the field. 

After the game, head coach Brad Stevens said that should have never happened. 

Jae Crowder called it “unacceptable.”

Well it didn’t take Horford long to get five shot attempts – about five minutes actually. 

And the four-time all-star hit most of them as he helped the Celtics lead by as many as 13 points in the first quarter before the Kings closed out the quarter with a 10-0 run to tie the game at 29. 

Horford led four double figure scorers for Boston which included Thomas, Jae Crowder (16 points) and Avery Bradley (15 points).