Wakeup Call: Sanchez crashes the Jets . . . and perhaps himself

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Wakeup Call: Sanchez crashes the Jets . . . and perhaps himself

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, December 18:

BASEBALL
The Blue Jays' blitzkrieg winter continues, as they officially acquire R.A. Dickey from the Mets. (AP)

There's been a lot of offseason action in the A.L. East, none of it involving the Orioles. And O's fans, the glow from last season's surprising success wearing off, are starting to get antsy. (CSN Baltimore)

It didn't take long for the A's to replace Stephen Drew: Hours after word leaked that he'd agreed to a contract with the Red Sox, Oakland signed Japanese import Hiroyuki Nakajima. (CSN Bay Area)

The Astros' move to the American League means they're going to need a DH, and yesterday they signed one: Carlos Pena. (CSN Houston)

In an effort to reduce head injuries caused by line drives back to the mound, MLB is testing out a new padded hat. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Santiago Casilla is staying put. (CSN Bay Area)

R.I.P., Frank Pastore. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Normally they don't celebrate four-point, non-conference home victories -- over Detroit, no less -- at Syracuse, but they do when they're Jim Boeheim's 900th career win. (AP)

Indiana's weekend loss means Duke is now No. 1 in the weekly poll. (AP)

If the new 'Catholic 7' league comes calling, Butler will listen. (AP)

Payback's a you-know-what: Notre Dame, waiting at the station for the train to take it to the ACC in 2015, is a little nervous about the disarray it helped cause in the Conference Formerly Known As The Big East. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Notre Dame picked up its first two wins of 2013 as offensive lineman Zack Martin and defensive tackle Louis Nix announced they're staying in school. (CSN Chicago)

Nick Saban insists he's staying at Alabama. He also insisted he was staying with the Dolphins. And, though I can't remember him doing so, probably insisted he was staying at LSU. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Western Michigan now has the youngest coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision: 32-year-old P.J. Fleck, who was an assistant at both Rutgers and Tampa Bay to Greg Schiano. (AP)

Latest to declare for the NFL draft: West Virginia wide receiver Stedman Bailey. (AP)

Quarterback Brendan Kay's been given another year of eligibility at Cincinnati. (AP)

The University of North Alabama has kicked a walk-on player off the team for making a racist Tweet about President Obama. (AP, via nbcsports.com)

HOCKEY
Well, at least they're talking about talking . . . though not to each other. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Adrian Aucoin moved his family -- wife and five kids, no less -- to Columbus after signing as a free agent with the Blue Jackets. And now he admits he may never get to play there. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
It was Linsanity all over again at Madison Square Garden, and when it settled down the Knicks had suffered their first home loss of the year. (AP)

And don't think he didn't enjoy it. (CSN Houston)

That's 11 in a row for the Thunder. (AP)

And 10 in a row for the Clippers. (AP)

John Wall's taking baby steps in his recuperation from a left knee injury. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
The Jets' playoff hopes, and perhaps the Mark Sanchez Era, went up in flames last night, as Sanchez threw four picks in a 14-10 loss to the Titans that eliminated New York from postseason contention. (AP)

Signs of delusion: Sanchez is still talking about learning from his mistakes and playing better in the future to help the team win. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Titans running back Chris Johnson wrote the names of all 26 Sandy Hook victims on his shoes for last night's game. (NBC's Off The Bench)

The 49ers' win in Foxboro didn't come without a price: Justin Smith -- whose departure from the game because of an elbow injury coincided with the Patriots' 28-point explosion -- had an MRI yesterday, and the Niners don't know when he'll be available again. (CSN Bay Area)

Tales of struggling kickers: The 49ers say they're sticking with David Akers. (CSN Bay Area)

Ditto the Packers with Mason Crosby. (AP)

Just what the Ravens need: Another linebacker gone for the season. (CSN Baltimore)

When will RGIII play again? When the doctors say he can. (CSN Washington)

All those folks who bought his jersey -- and there's millions of them -- hope that's soon. (AP)

London Fletcher says the problem his family had in the stands in Cleveland was caused by the Browns' stadium security personnel. (Pro Football Talk)

Redskins offensive lineman Jordan Black is suspended four games for PED use . . . (CSN Washington)

. . . and his fellow Hogs -- do they still use that term in D.C.? -- are irate. (realredskins.com, via CSN Washington)

Speaking of PED use, Richard Sherman's appeal will be held Friday. He better hope he wins it; otherwise, the Seahawks will be without him in the playoffs. (Pro Football Talk)

Michael Vick returns to practice as a man without a starting job, but he has an it-is-what-it-is serenity about the whole thing. (CSN Philly)

The Eagles are disavowing any knowledge of the steroids that authorities found in Garrett Reid's training camp dorm room after his death. (CSN Philly)

Mike Patterson says the contract nastiness that erupted between him and the Eagles last week -- which has since been settled with a renegotiation -- was business, not personal. (CSN Philly)

Josh Brent -- charged with intoxication manslaughter in the death of teammate Jerry Brown -- surprised the Cowboys by showing up on the sidelines for Sunday's game against the Steelers, but they didn't seem to have a problem with it. (Pro Football Talk)

TENNIS
ATP to the U.S. Open on its schedule change: Not so fast. (AP)

Stevens: Bradley, Zeller, Jerebko out vs. Trail Blazers

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Stevens: Bradley, Zeller, Jerebko out vs. Trail Blazers

BOSTON – Before Brad Stevens addressed the media before the Celtics faced the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday afternoon, he had to take a moment to make sure he wouldn’t forget anyone who wasn’t able to play.
 
Yeah, the list was a pretty long one.
 
Tyler Zeller, Demetrius Jackson and Jonas Jerebko will not play tonight due to sickness. And Avery Bradley (right Achilles strain) will also be out with a timetable that’s starting to feel like it’ll be longer than anyone would want.
 
“I don’t anticipate Avery this week at all,” Stevens said. “He still has some soreness. Obviously we’re concerned about the long-term impact of a sore Achilles; what it means on that foot but also what it means when you compensate off it. But he’ll be back when he’s ready but I think he’s still a little bit away.”
 
Bradley, the team’s top on-the-ball defender and No. 2 scorer this season at 17.7 points per game, will be out for the sixth time in the Celtics’ last seven games because of the Achilles injury.
 
Replacing him in the starting lineup will be Marcus Smart whose status for tonight’s game wasn’t a sure thing.
 
On the Celtics’ pregame notes package, Smart was listed as probable with a sore right ankle injury. I asked Stevens about Smart’s status a few minutes ago, and he said the 6-foot-4 Smart will play tonight.
 
In his 15 starts this season, Smart has averaged 10.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists while shooting 38.4 percent from the field and 31.7 percent on 3's - all of which are better than what he produces when coming off the bench. 
 

Sale: “Time for both sides to do something different, I guess”

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Sale: “Time for both sides to do something different, I guess”

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.

Chris Sale.

The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.

But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.

“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.

“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”

He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.

He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.

But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.

“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”