Wakeup Call: Stern's about to put the Heat on San Antonio

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Wakeup Call: Stern's about to put the Heat on San Antonio

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, November 30.

AUTO RACING
For the 10th straight year, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is voted NASCAR's Most Popular Driver. (AP)

BASEBALL
So the Nationals finally snag their long-sought-after center fielderleadoff hitter. (CSN Washington)

Next question: What do they do at first base? And does yesterday's trade pave the way for Adam LaRoche to find his way to Boston? (CSN Washington)

While you were sleeping, the Mets and David Wright agreed to an eight-year, 138 million contract. (AP)

Don't know exactly what happened to stop the Wilton Lopez-to-Philadephia trade, but something did. (CSN Philly)

Looking for a young, once-promising pitcher? If you can overlook the 6.89 ERA, Jair Jurrjens should be available in less than 24 hours. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

For the first time since the 1960 World Series -- or thereabouts -- the Pirates got the best of the Yankees. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Kentucky learns, yet again, that it's a new year, courtesy of Notre Dame this time. (AP)

Just a bad day all around for Connecticut. First the Huskies are snubbed once more by the ACC, then they almost lose to New Hampshire. (AP)

Suspended Missouri guard Michael Dixon leaves the team after two sexual-assualt charges against him become public. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Honey Badger's days at LSU are over. Next stop -- he hopes -- is the NFL. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Monte Kiffen decides to stay one step ahead of the posse and leave his son's coaching staff at USC. (AP)

Looks like Georgia Tech is headed to a bowl game, win or lose Saturday. (College Football Talk)

Louisville beats Rutgers, earning a berth in a BCS bowl, in a battle of lame-duck Big East programs. (AP)

HOCKEY
There are one million reasons -- exactly -- why NHL owners a) aren't saying anything about the lockout and b) emphatically deny anything attributed to them that strays from JacobsBettmanDaly-speak (CSN Bay Area)

PRO BASKETBALL
So San Antonio sends four starters -- Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli and Danny Green -- home to rest while the rest of the team goes to Miami for a nationally televised game against the defending NBA champions. The fact that the Spurs kept it close before falling to the Heat, 105-100, hasn't stopped waves of integrity-of-the-game criticisms from crashing down on coach Gregg Popovich. (AP)

And something else is about to fall on them, too: David Stern's disciplinary hammer. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

There was a double ceremony at the buzzer last night in Oakland. But when the dust settled, the Warriors', not the Nuggets', was the one that counted. (AP)

Now this is how replay is supposed to work! (Pro Basketball Talk)

Brook Lopez sprained his right foot in the Nets' win over the Celtics and will miss a couple of games. (AP)

Andrew Bogut, meanwhile, won't even begin to guess when he'll play again. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Who was that guy wearing No. 9 for the Saints last night against the Falcons, and what did he do with Drew Brees? (AP)

Joe Flacco admits what everyone else has been thinking from the moment the play ended: He would have looked like "a big-time idiot" for dumping off a five-yard pass to Ray Rice on fourth-and-29 had Rice -- and the Chargers' matador defense -- not bailed him out Sunday. (CSN Baltimore)

According to Jason Babin, his new team, 2-9 Jacksonville, is "about to blossom" while the team he just left, 3-8 Philadelphia, may "ultimately get worse before they get better". (CSN Philly) Lucky thing the Eagles dumped you then, eh, Jason?

Even the Eagles players are recommending replacements for Andy Reid. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Amidst all the controversy in Philadelphia, Michael Vick continues to fail concussion tests. (AP)

Alex Smith goes all Drew Bledsoe in his first public comments since it was announced Colin Kaepernick has his old job. (CSN Bay Area)

So now we know why Titus Young is a non-person in Detroit. And it sure makes sense. (Pro Football Talk)

Apparently, Ndamukong Suh could have saved 10 grand by merely kicking Matt Schaub in the head. (Pro Football Talk)

Yeah, I guess Viagra is a PED. But on the football field? (AP)

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

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Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.