Wakeup Call: 'Roll Tribe!' is the new rallying cry

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Wakeup Call: 'Roll Tribe!' is the new rallying cry

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, January 4:

AUTO RACING
Yes, that's the same Travis Pastrana who won all those gold medals in the X Games. (AP)

BASEBALL
It's just a lovefest between the Indians and their newest outfielder, Ohio native Nick Swisher . . . who may have coined a new rallying cry ("Roll Tribe!") at his introductory press conference. (AP)

Need an outfielder? Looks like Justin Upton's available. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

So why are big names like Michael Bourn, Rafael Soriano, Kyle Loshe and Adam LaRoche still on the market? Let Theo Epstein explain. (CSN Chicago)

Yeah, yeah, he signed a contract and all that. But Darren Oliver says he won't return to the Blue Jays unless they give him a raise. (Hardball Talk)

The best part of Sergio Romo's arrest? His promise "to conduct myself in the future in the 'San Francisco Giants Way'." (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Arizona's still unbeaten . . . (AP)

. . . thanks to the refs, who -- according to College Basketball Talk's Rob Dauster -- blew a last-second call that should have given Colorado the upset. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
There was a brief time this fall when it looked like an Oregon-Kansas State bowl matchup would decide the national championship. Unfortunately for the Ducks, their 35-17 victory over the Wildcats last night only got them a Fiesta Bowl trophy. (AP)

Was Oregon's win Chip Kelly's going-away party? (NBC's College Football Talk)

If it was, expect boyhood friends Jeffrey Lurie and Joe Banner -- a.k.a., owner of the Eagles and CEO of the Browns -- to be squaring off over who gets to hire him. (College Football Talk)

Looks like Oregon's already chosen Kelly's replacement. (College Football Talk)

We lead off today's college-to-NFL exodus with Florida State's Bjoern Werner, regarded as a potential Top 10 pick. (College Football Talk)

Next up: Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell (with Dion Sims about to follow). (College Football Talk)

Pitt lineman Arthur Doakes has been suspended for the BBVA Compass Bowl -- never heard of it, but it's the third straight year the Panthers have played in it -- because of a violation of team rules. (College Football Talk)

Ron Turner, who's been out of college coaching since being fired by Illinois in 2004, is leaving the NFL to become head man at Florida International. (AP)

GOLF
Don't expect to see much of Steve Stricker on the PGA Tour this year. (AP)

HOCKEY
If you're still interested . . . (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

As nightmarish as it is for the rest of us, the NHL lockout's been a dream come true for this kid. (CSN Washington)

Kimmo Timonen is worried how his 37-year-old body, coming off back surgery, will respond to a condensed 48-game schedule. (Pro Hockey Talk)

The Penguins think they'll respond quite well, thank you. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
Phil Jackson's finally taking Jeanie Buss to the altar, 13 years after their first date. (AP)

The Knicks snapped the Spurs' seven-game winning streak in pretty convincing fashion. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Elbow, schmelbow. Justin Smith says he's playing when the 49ers host their NFC semifinal-round game on Jan. 12. (CSN Bay Area)

So that explains it! (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

If last year's coin toss is any indication, Sunday's Seahawks-Redskins game could be pretty interesting. (Pro Football Talk)

And Brandon Browner, back from his four-game suspension, is lookng forward to it. (AP)

That's six career Offensive Player of the Month awards for Peyton Manning, yet another NFL record. (AP)

Didn't take long for Ray Lewis to line up his next gig. (CSN Baltimore)

Count John Madden among those who thinks Chuck Pagano's experiences in Baltimore give him an edge as he prepares the Colts for Sunday's game against the Ravens. (CSN Baltimore)

Speaking of Colts' coaches -- assistants, anyway -- Indianapolis has given the Bears permission to interview Bruce Arians. (AP)

Guess there really were no hard feelings: Andy Reid's set to hire Juan Castillo, whom he -- or at least the Eagles -- fired as defensive coordinator in October, on his next staff. (CSN Philly)

And it looks like that reunion will take place in Kansas City. (AP)

The Cardinals, thought to be the odds-on favorite in the Reid Sweepstakes earlier this week, have moved on; now they're getting ready to interview ex-Chiefs coach and current Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley . . . who, incidentally, was also Arizona's offensive coordinator during its 2008 Super Bowl run. (AP)

The Eagles head West in their search for a new coach. (CSN Philly)

Lovie Smith to Buffalo? Maybe. (Pro Football Talk)

Josh Brent was drunk when he got into the accident that killed Cowboys teammate Jerry Brown Jr., but the Medical Examiner's Office says Brown was sober when he died. (AP)

Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'a pitch or two from finishing the job' vs. Rays

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Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'a pitch or two from finishing the job' vs. Rays

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay Rays:

QUOTES:

"Part of that job is, when you miss, you have to miss to the extreme.'' - John Farrell on the role of eighth-inning reliever Clay Buchholz, who mislocated a fastball to Evan Longoria.

"We're putting ourselves in position to close games out and yet we've found ourselves a pitch or two from finishing the job.'' - Farrell on the team's bullpen woes.

"Fastball. I was trying to throw it up-and-away, and I pulled it, more inner-third. That's a spot where he hits the ball a long way.'' - Clay Buchholz on the game-winning homer by Longoria.

 

NOTES:

* The Rays and Sox have played 21 one-run games in the lasr four seasons and four in the last week.

* David Ortiz's sacrifice fly in the sixth was his 26th go-ahead RBI, fourth-best in the A.L.

* Xander Bogaerts collected his 500th career hit, and became the fifth Red Sox player to reach that milestone before turning 24.

* Brock Holt's double in the fifth lifted his average to .337 with two outs.

* Hanley Ramirez's home run was his first against Tampa Bay since May 21, 2011 when he was with the Marlins.

* Ramirez has 19 extra-base hits in the last 27 home games.

* Dustin Pedroia was 1-for-3 and and is now 15-for-his-last-19 at Fenway.

* The Sox dropped to 7-37 when they score three runs or fewer.

* Brad Ziegler was unavailable, suffering from the flu.

 

STARS:

1) Evan Longoria

It wouldn't be a Rays win over the Red Sox without the third baseman doing some damage. Sure enough, he smoked a tape-measure shot over everything in left in the eighth to provide the winning margin for the visitors.

2) Luke Maile

Drew Pomeranz struck him out twice, but Maile more than got revenge in the seventh with a two-run homer into the Monster Seats to tie the game.

3) Hanley Ramirez

The first baseman had a three-hit night, including a solo homer and a run-scoring single, accounting for two of the three Red Sox runs.

 

First impressions: Longoria makes Buchholz pay in Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Rays

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First impressions: Longoria makes Buchholz pay in Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Rays

BOSTON - First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay:

* There's a steep learning curve for a set-up man, as Clay Buchholz discovered.

Although he's pitched out of the bullpen for the last couple of months, most of those appearances weren't of the high leverage variety. More often than not, the Sox had a sizeable lead, or Buchholz was brought in earlier in the game. Or they were behind and he was mopping up.

But Tuesday was different. The Rays had battled back to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh, and after Matt Barnes got the final out in that inning, Buchholz came in to start the eighth.

After getting Kevin Kiermaier on a groundout to lead off the inning, Buchholz threw a four-seamer to Evan Longoria that the Tampa Bay third baseman launched toward the Charles River, clearing everything and putting the Rays up by a run.

It was a reminder that in late innings of close games, one pitch, with missed location, can really hurt.

 

* Hanley Ramirez knocked in two runs. He was sort of lucky.

In the fifth inning, Ramirez hit a twisting opposite-field fly ball down the right field line. It landed just past the Pesky Pole in right, measured at 307 feet, the shortest homer in baseball this season, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

Then, an inning later, Ramirez hit a pop fly that drifted into shallow right. Three Rays defenders converged -- first baseman, second baseman and right fielder -- and somehow the ball dropped in between all three for a run-scoring single.

Two cheap hits, two RBI.

At times, you'll see hitters mash the ball, only to have it hit right at someone for an out. Rotten luck, and all.

Tuesday night, Ramirez got to experience the flip side of that.

 

* Drew Pomeranz had an excellent outing -- until his final pitch of the night.

Through 6 2/3 innings, Pomeranz had allowed a single run on four hits while walking two and striking out eight.

He had retired 10 of the previous 11 hitters he had faced, and while he was approaching his 100th pitch, showed no evidence of tiring.

Then, Pomernaz hung a curveball to No. 9 hitter Luke Maile -- with two strikes, no less -- and Maile hit into the Monster Seats for a game-tying, two-run homer.

It was the first homer on a curveball allowed by Pomeranz in 153 innings this season, and all of a sudden, the outing wasn't so special.

 

Gronkowski presented with 2016 Ron Burton Community Service Award

Gronkowski presented with 2016 Ron Burton Community Service Award

At Tuesday night’s Patriots Premiere event, tight end Rob Gronkowski was presented with the 2016 Ron Burton Community Service Award.

Gronkowski is the 14th player to have received the award that is named for the late Ron Burton. The first player the Patriots organization ever drafted, Burton was well-known for his charitable work.

“Ever since I’ve been here, following the Krafts, the whole Kraft family, from Myra Kraft, Mr. Kraft, all his sons, seeing everyone lead by example, how they give back to the community every single week was just an honor to see,” said Gronkowski, “I just wanted to be a part of it and give back to the community in a positive way.”

Those who have received the award in the past include Nate Solder (2015), Devin McCourty (2014), Matthew Slater (2013), Zoltan Mesko (2012), Jerod Mayo (2011), Vince Wilfork (2010), Kevin Faulk (2009), Larry Izzo (2008), Ty Warren (2007), Jarvis Green (2006), Matt Light (2005), Troy Brown (2004) and Joe Andruzzi (2003).

"Rob is just as fun to watch at a community event as he is on the game field," said Kraft. "Giving back to the community is a big part of being ‘Gronk.' He is engaging with fans of all ages. His gregarious personality makes him one of our greatest ambassadors, especially when spreading cheer to children at local hospitals or schools. We love the devotion and enthusiasm that he shows in the community and are proud to present him with this year's Ron Burton Community Service Award."

Gronk, never shy about cracking a joke, entertained the crowd like only he can.

“Who would have ever thought five years ago when I was on ESPN every weekend drunk that I’d be accepting this award?”