Wakeup Call: Youth will be served as Youk heads to Yankees

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Wakeup Call: Youth will be served as Youk heads to Yankees

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, December 12:

BASEBALL
It's nice that Kevin Youkilis is getting 12 million and all, but a) he's got a lifetime .233 average at the new Yankee Stadium, b) he's been Webster's definition of a hitter on the decline for the last few years, and c) he looks pretty awful without his goatee. Plus he's probably just joined the DamonClemens pantheon of villains hereabouts. On the other hand, he is getting 12 million. And, as someone pointed out on Twitter yesterday, at age 34 he represents a infusion of youth for the Yankees. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Now that Youk walked away from the White Sox, is A.J. Pierzynski next? If he doesn't agree to their terms, he will be. (CSN Chicago)

One 2012 Yankee who won't be around when Youk puts on pinstripes: Andruw Jones, who's taking his .197 average and 14 homers to Japan. (AP)

It isn't the Justin Upton blockbuster we were hearing about last week, but it's still a pretty big trade . . . one which gets Shin-Soo Choo to the Reds, old friend Lars Anderson to the Diamondbacks, and Matt Albers reunited with Terry Francona. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

And the D'backs landed Brandon McCarthy yesterday, too. (AP)

The Phillies aren't talking about their interest in Josh Hamilton, which usually means interest is there. (CSN Philly)

Hamilton-to-the-Phils might change some minds in Vegas, where the Nationals are the early favorites to make the World Series. (CSN Washington)

Jim Thome says he's not retired, but it might not be his choice. (CSN Philly)

R.A. Dickey says if he and the Mets don't reach a contract agreement before he hits free agency at the end of the 2013 season, he probably won't return to Queens . . . and that, he feels, "would be disappointing". (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
The latest assistant to take the reins for a bowl game after the head coach departs for greener pastures: Kent Baer, who'll lead San Jose State in the Military Bowl. (AP)

What's this? Loyalty from a college football coach? Stop the presses! (AP)

GOLF
Everything's a made-for-TV extravaganza these days, even the announcement of the next Ryder Cup captain. But on the 'Today Show'? (AP)

R.I.P. Colleen Walker, a nine-time winner on the LPGA Tour. (AP)

HOCKEY
When negotiations resume today, the federal mediators will be back. (AP)

Dan Cleary thinks it's Jan. 15 or bust if there's to be an NHL season. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Will the lockout -- or, more specifically, non-support of the union -- pit teammate against teammate when this whole mess is over? The Flyers' Scott Hartnell thinks that might be the case with the Capitals and Roman Hamrlik. (CSN Philly)

The Sharks' Justin Braun suffered a broken hand while playing in Finland, and -- if he doesn't want to be suspended without pay -- he better hope it heals before the lockout ends. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Good thing Arthur Griffiths doesn't own the Canucks anymore, because his fellow owners would be pretty sore about his anti-Bettmananti-Jacobs view of things. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
The hits just keep on coming for the Lakers. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

He may be busy, as Dodger owner, throwing money at every baseball player on the planet, but that hasn't stopped Magic Johnson from offering advice to his reeling former team. (AP)

On the other side of town, things are going swimmingly for the Clippers. (AP)

That KnicksNets rivalry? It's on. (AP)

Even though Andrew Bynum has yet to step on the court -- and God knows when he will -- the Sixers still have the best record of all the teams involved in last summer's megatrade. (CSN Philly)

It's never good when your star player and your owner are feuding. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Only a one-game suspension for throwing your mouthpiece at a referee? You got off easy, Amir Johnson. (Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
As one team licks its wounds after failing to meet the challenge of playing the Patriots at Gillette . . . (CSN Houston)

. . . another is licking its chops at the chance of knocking off BradyBelichicket al at The Razor. (CSN Bay Area)

Monday's faceplant in Foxboro wasn't the first time Matt Schaub failed to rise to an occasion. (CSN Houston)

Idiots don't look so bad when you're unemployed, eh, Braylon? (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Whoa. Olindo Mare is back in the league? (AP)

No matter what happens from here on in, it's unlikely the Bears will part ways with Lovie Smith at season's end. (CSN Chicago)

Rashard Mendenhall's downward spiral continues: He's been suspended by the Steelers for conduct detrimental to the team after a season in which his play's been detrimental to the team. (AP)

The players have been dragging their feet on the implementation of HGH testing, so Congress is stepping in. (AP)

TENNIS
At last, Rafael Nadal is getting back on the court. (AP)

With Thomas drawing attention, Stevens turns to Rozier in big moment

With Thomas drawing attention, Stevens turns to Rozier in big moment

BOSTON – Prior to Saturday’s game, Terry Rozier talked to CSNNE.com about the importance of staying ready always, because “you never know when your name or number is going to be called.”

Like when trailing by three points in the fourth quarter with less than 10 seconds to play?

Yes, Rozier was on the floor in that scenario and the second-year guard delivered when his team needed it.

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But Rozier’s fourth quarter heroics which forced overtime against Portland, did not provide that much-needed jolt that Boston needed as the Blazers managed to fend off the Celtics in overtime, 127-123.

For Rozier’s part, he had 15 points on 6-for-13 shooting.

The 15 points scored for Rozier was the most for him since he tallied 16 in a 30-point Celtics win at Orlando on Dec. 7.

But more than the points, the decision by head coach Brad Stevens to draw up a play for him in that moment, a time when most of what Boston does revolves around the shooting of Isaiah Thomas who has been among the top-3 scorers in the fourth quarter most of this season, was surprising to many.

And at that point in the game, Thomas already had 13 fourth-quarter points.

Stevens confirmed after the game that the last shot in the fourth was indeed for Rozier, but Thomas’ presence on the floor was important to its execution.

“He (Thomas) also draws a lot of attention,” Stevens said. “So I think you just weigh kind of … what kind of shot you’re going to get, depending on who it is.”

Rozier had initially screened for Thomas, and Thomas came back and screened for him.

“I was open as soon as I caught … and I let it fly,” Rozier said. “Coach drew up a play for me and it felt good to see the ball go in.”

Being on the floor at that time, win or lose, was a victory of sorts for Rozier.

He has seen first-hand how quickly the tide can change in the NBA for a young player.

After a strong summer league showing and a solid training camp, Rozier had earned himself a firm spot in the team’s regular rotation.

But a series of not-so-great games coupled with Gerald Green’s breakout night on Christmas Day, led to his playing time since then becoming more sporadic.

Rozier, in an interview with CSNNE.com, acknowledged it hasn’t been easy going from playing regular minutes to not being sure how much court time, if any, he would receive.

But he says the veterans on the team have been good about keeping his spirits up, and one in particular – Avery Bradley – has been especially helpful.

Like Rozier, Bradley’s first couple of years saw his playing time go from non-existent to inconsistent. But Bradley stayed the course and listened to the team’s veterans who continued to tell him that his hard work would pay off sooner or later.

Those same words of wisdom Bradley received in his early days, he passes on to Rozier.

“It’s big,” Rozier told CSNNE.com. “He (Bradley) tells me things like that. I felt I was ready for this (inconsistent minutes) after all that he told me. It’s big to have a guy like him that has been through it all with a championship team, been around this organization for a while; have him talk to you is big. It’s always good. That’s why I stay positive, and be ready.”

Which is part of the reason why Stevens didn’t hesitate to call up a play for the second-year guard despite him being a 33.3 percent shooter from 3-point range this season – that ranks eighth on this team, mind you.

“He’s a really good shooter,” Stevens said of Rozier. “I think with more opportunity that will show itself true, but he made some big ones in the fourth quarter. We went to him a few different times out of time-outs, and felt good about him making that one.”

And to know that Stevens will turn to him not just to spell Thomas or one of the team’s other guards, but to actually make a game-altering play in the final seconds … that’s major.

“It helps tremendously,” said Rozier who added that his confidence is through “the roof. It makes me want to do everything. You know defense, all of that. It’s great, especially to have a guy like Brad trust you."