Wakeup Call: Unhappy New Year for the Clippers

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Wakeup Call: Unhappy New Year for the Clippers

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, January 2:

AUTO RACING
R.I.P., Salt Walther. (AP)

BASEBALL
Winning the Cy Young Award was worth 10 million to David Price. (AP)

Miguel Tejada? Back in the majors? Really? (AP)

From the "Probably Never Going To Happen, But It Was Reported So We'll Pass It Along" file . . . (NBC's Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Tough times in Storrs. As the Big East collapses around them, UConn loses to Marquette. (AP)

If you're Iowa State, you really can't be happy that you had to rally to beat Yale. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
For the record, here are your winners in the Rose Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Outback Bowl, the Gator Bowl, the Capital One Bowl and the Heart of Dallas (huh??) Bowl. (AP)

Northern Illinois shouldn't be too downcast over its 31-14 loss to Florida State in the Orange Bowl. NIU took big strides in 2012, and the best may be yet to come. (CSN Chicago)

The state of Pennsylvania is bringing the NCAA to court over the stiff sanctions it slapped on Penn State over the Sandusky scandal. (AP)

GOLF
Is it already time for the golf season to start? (AP)

HOCKEY
Now they're trading "comprehensive" counterproposals. Better than nothing, which is what they've been doing for the last three weeks. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Come back quick, boys. Jordan Eberle's wasting his talents in the AHL. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Apropos of nothing (probably), many of the boys are coming back. (CSN Washington)

Alex Ovechkin and tennis' Maria Kirilenko are engaged. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
The Clippers, who didn't lose a game in the last five weeks of 2012, were probably sorry to see the old year depart. Because they sure didn't start the new year off very well. (AP)

For those of you scoring at home, this makes the Knicks 31-41 in games when Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire are on the court together. Even though 'Melo scored 45 last night. (AP)

The Sixers beat the Lakers in L.A., which must have been sweet revenge for Andrew Bynum. Oh, wait . . . (CSN Philly)

Back in the 1960s, the AFL put the Houston Oilers in the Eastern Division. The present-day Rockets wish the NBA had that same skewed sense of geography. (CSN Houston)

PRO FOOTBALL
Well, that didn't take long. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The Eagles, meanwhile, say they're going to take their time to find Andy Reid's replacement. (AP)

And one of the places they're looking is State College. (CSN Philly)

How "stupid" was the Bears' firing of Lovie Smith? Very, says Mike Ditka. (Pro Football Talk)

Yeah, well, if he'd made the playoffs once in a while, he'd probably still be on the job. (AP)

Jon Gruden was able to push a talented team over the top in Tampa Bay years ago. So, asks Jim Miller, why not Chicago? (CSN Chicago)

The Bills' search for a new coach is taking them to Arizona, a fertile ground for present and former Cardinals staff members. (AP)

No, no. Nick Saban says he's not leaving Alabama. Just like he wasn't leaving the Dolphins. Just like . . . (Pro Football Talk)

The Packers will have Charles Woodson back in the lineup when they host the Vikings Saturday night. (AP)

Forget the last four games. And the mixed metaphor. The Texans say they're "flipping the mentality" to get back to how they were playing when they were 11-1. (CSN Houston)

Here's five things they're going to need to change if they want that mentality to flip. (CSN Houston)

Chuck Pagano spent four years with the Ravens as secondary coach and defensive coordinator, and Bruce Arians was the offensive coordinator for the Steelers, who played Baltimore twice a year, from 2007-11. So do the Colts have an advantage in preparation for this weekend's game? Absolutely . . . and even Pagano admits it. (CSN Baltimore)

Um, 49ers? You think this guy's an upgrade? Can I show you a tape of last year's AFC Championship Game? (CSN Bay Area)

TENNIS
Maria Sharapova doesn't want to miss the Australian Open, so she and her injured collarbone withdraw from the Brisbane International. (AP)

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

NEW YORK -- It had the potential to be the most awkward celebration ever.

In the top of the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium, before their game was complete, the Red Sox became American League East champions, by virtue of one other division rival -- Baltimore -- coming back to beat another -- Toronto -- in the ninth inning.

That eliminated the Blue Jays from the division race, and made the Sox division champs.

But that ninth inning reversal of fortune was about to visit the Red Sox, too.

Craig Kimbrel faced four hitters and allowed a single and three straight walks, leading to a run. When, after 28 pitches, he couldn't get an out, he was lifted for Joe Kelly, who recorded one out, then yielded a walk-off grand slam to Mark Teixeira.

The Yankees celebrated wildly on the field, while the Red Sox trudged into the dugout, beset with mixed emotions.

Yes, they had just lost a game that seemed theirs. But they also had accomplished something that had taken 158 games.

What to do?

The Sox decided to drown their temporary sorrows in champagne.

"As soon as we got in here,'' said Jackie Bradley Jr., "we quickly got over it.''

From the top of the eighth until the start of the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox seemed headed in a conventional celebration.

A two-run, bases-loaded double by Mookie Betts and a wild pitch -- the latter enabling David Ortiz to slide into home and dislodge the ball from former teammate Tommy Layne's glove --- had given the Sox a 3-0 lead.

Koji Uehara worked around a walk to post a scoreless walk and after the top of the ninth, the Sox called on Craig Kimbrel, who had successfully closed out all but two save opportunities all season.

But Kimbrel quickly allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner and then began pitching as though he forgot how to throw strikes. Three straight walks resulted in a run in and the bases loaded.

Joe Kelly got an out, but then Teixeira, for the second time this week, produced a game-winning homer in the ninth. On Monday, he had homered in Toronto to turn a Blue Jays win into a loss, and now, here he was again.

It may have been a rather meaningless victory for the Yankees -- who remain barely alive for the wild card -- but it did prevent them the indignity of watching the Red Sox celebrate on their lawn.

Instead, the Sox wore the shame of the walk-off -- at least until they reached their clubhouse, where the partying began in earnest.

It had taken clubhouse attendants less than five minutes to cover the floor and lockers with plastic protective sheets. In a matter of a few more minutes, the air was filled with a mix of beer and bubbly.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wore a goggles and only socks on his feet.

As the spray reached every inch of the clubhouse, David Ortiz exclaimed: "I'm going to drown in this man.''

Defeat? What defeat?