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

908731.jpg

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)

Felger: Crazy can be good, but Sale needs to harness it

Felger: Crazy can be good, but Sale needs to harness it

Chris Sale brings with him to Boston some attitude. He also brings a measure of defiance and, perhaps, a little bit of crazy.

All of which the Red Sox starting staff just may need. And if Sale pitches as he has for much of the past five years, he'll probably be celebrated for it.

I still wonder how it will all play here, especially if he underachieves.

What would we do to him locally if he refused to pitch because he didn't like a certain kind of uniform variation the team was going with? What would we say if he not only refused to pitch, but took a knife to his teammates' uniforms and the team had to scrap the promotion? Sale did exactly that in Chicago last year, after which he threw his manager under the bus for not standing by his players and attacked the team for putting business ahead of winning.

All because he didn't want to wear an untucked jersey?

"(The White Sox throwback uniforms) are uncomfortable and unorthodox,'' said Sale at the time. "I didn't want to go out there and not be at the top of my game in every aspect that I need to be in. Not only that, but I didn't want anything to alter my mechanics. ... There's a lot of different things that went into it.''

Wearing a throwback jersey would alter his mechanics? Was that a joke? It's hard to imagine he would get away with that in Boston.

Ditto for his support of Adam LaRoche and his involvement of that goofy story last March.
 
LaRoche, you'll remember, retired when the White Sox had the nerve to tell him that his 14-year-old son could not spend as much time around the team as he had grown accustomed to. Sale responded by pitching a fit.

“We got bald-face lied to by someone we’re supposed to be able to trust,'' said Sale of team president Kenny Williams. ``You can’t come tell the players it was the coaches and then tell the coaches it was the players, and then come in and say something completely different. If we’re all here to win a championship, this kind of stuff doesn’t happen.”

On what planet does allowing a 14-year-old kid in a clubhouse have anything to do with winning a title? In what universe does a throwback jersey have anything to do with mechanics? If David Price had said things that stupid last year, he'd still be hearing about it. And it won't be any different for Sale.

Thankfully, Sale's defiance and feistiness extends to the mound. Sale isn't afraid to pitch inside and protect his teammates, leading the American League in hit batsmen each of the last two years. He doesn't back down and loves a fight. And while that makes him sound a little goofy off the field, it should play well on it.

In the meantime, the Sox better hope he likes those red alternate jerseys they wear on Fridays.

E-mail Felger at mfelger@comcastsportsnet.com. Listen to Felger and Mazz weekdays, 2-6 p.m. on 98.5 FM. The simulcast appears daily on CSN.