Wakeup call: Cubs beat the buzzer with Dempster deal; is Sept. 15 magic?

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Wakeup call: Cubs beat the buzzer with Dempster deal; is Sept. 15 magic?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, August 1:

BASEBALL
The Cubs were finally able to trade Ryan Dempster, and without much time to spare. (CSN Chicago)

When the dust settled, the Cubs emerged from the deadline with five prospects for two rotation starters, a former Rookie of the Year and a valuable bench player. A little different than feeding the monster, eh, Theo? (CSN Chicago)

They're not feeding the monster any more in Philadelphia, either, though they hope to start doing it again next year . . . and feel that the moves they made at the deadline will help. (CSN Philly)

Psst: That's 9 losses in 12 games for the Yankees. (AP)

And adding insult to injury: A.J. Burnett, once the bane of Yankee fans' existence, nearly pitched a no-hitter last night and is now 13-3 with a 3.27 ERA. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

At least the Yanks have Joba back. (Hardball Talk)

Which is more than the Rays can say about Evan Longoria. (Hardball Talk)

It may only be August 1, but the season's over for John Danks. (CSN Chicago)

BASKETBALL
Retiring? Who's retiring? Certainly not Brandon Roy. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Say what you will about Notre Dame, but it punishes behavior that wouldn't raise an eyebrow elsewhere. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Penn State's loss is USC's gain. (AP) And it could be a big one.

Now that the Penn State case is closed, the NCAA turned its attention to Central Florida. (AP)

HOCKEY
Worried about an NHL lockout? Well, Donald Fehr says there's no reason negotiations can't continue past the Sept. 15 deadline with the players still at work "unless someone wants to make" Sept. 15 "a magic date". (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk) If I know the NHL owners and commissioner Gary Bettman -- men who traditionally never use a feather when a sledgehammer's available -- I think it's magic to them.

Meanwhile, labor negotiations continue. (AP) Click the link if you're interested in expansion of revenue sharing, team financial reports, proposed limitations on contract lengths, and . . . yawn . . . sorry, what was I saying?

If they ever settle this, the Senators' Daniel Alfredsson will be back on the ice. (AP)

Patrick Kaleta is staying in Buffalo. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Nice to see Jerry Jones has made up with Dez Bryant . . . sort of. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The Bengals have given Marvin Lewis a two-year extension. (AP)

Braylon Edwards has landed in Seattle, the latest stop in his troubled career. (AP)

The NFL suspends the Giants' Tyler Sash. (AP)

And the Packers' Erik Walden. (AP)

You won't be seeing Jeff Otah on the Jets this year. (AP)

Bryan Holaday: David Price 'takes a lot of pride in what he does'

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Bryan Holaday: David Price 'takes a lot of pride in what he does'

BOSTON -- There have been a significant amount of question marks surrounding David Price throughout his inaugural season with the Boston Red Sox.

Is he an ace? Is he mentally tough enough? Can he handle Boston?

Just to name a few.

Much like any player imported to Boston, the claim “He can’t handle the pressure in Boston” arises every so often.

And Price hasn’t always been his own best friend, frequently relying on the line “It’s me going out there and making pitches,” in addition to the claim that he’s never satisfied.

Price’s mellow demeanor isn’t something Boston fans are accustomed to -- they prefer Rick Porcello snarling at opponents.

Sometimes it might have seemed as if he lacked a killer instinct or didn’t have a sense of urgency, but Bryan Holaday, who played with Price in Detroit, has seen that’s not the case.

‘I’m sure he [pressing], it’s the nature of this game,” Holaday said about Price’s struggles earlier in the season. “Everybody wants to be at their best all the time and it’s not easy to do.”

However, he says that knowing full well that Price won’t display those emotions -- to anyone.

“He does such a good job on the mental side of things that even if he was, you wouldn’t be able to tell,” Holaday said before Price’s start Saturday night. “He’s never going to express anything like that. If he was [pressing], it’s nothing that anyone would be able to notice.”

There’s a lot to be said for that, too. Although baseball is driven on analytics, there’s no question that mental game is crucial, especially in the clubhouse. And a fly on the wall can easily see that Price’s presence is not only respected, but enjoyed by his teammates in the clubhouse.

“Everyday he gets up he wants to get better and that’s what makes him so good,” Holaday said. “He has that drive to be better everyday and come out and do his job. He takes a lot of pride in what he does and works his ass off. That’s why he is who he is. Any pitcher at that level, you don’t get that way by luck.”

Price may never be Boston’s favorite pitcher.

He may never be the “ace” in everyone’s eyes.

But based on Holday’s interpretations from his time in Detroit and Boston, Price will work hard to turn his first few months with the Red Sox into a minor footnote of his career.

Saturday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Young in LF, Hill at 3B vs. KC lefty Duffy

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Saturday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Young in LF, Hill at 3B vs. KC lefty Duffy

The Red Sox look to end their three-game losing streak tonight when the play the middle game of their three-game series with the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park.

Against Royals' left-hander Danny Duffy (11-1, 2.66 ERA), the Red Sox start right-handed hitters Chris Young in left field and Aaron Hill at third base. Duffy has won his past 10 decisions and came into Saturday with the fifth-best ERA in the American League. He joined the rotation from the bullpen on June 1.

Left-hander David Price (12-8, 4.00) gets the start for the Red Sox. Price has won his past three decisions, going eight, six and eight innings and not allowing more than three runs in each start. 

The Royals won the series opener 6-3 Friday night.

The lineups:

ROYALS
Paulo Orlando CF
Cheslor Cuthbert 3B
Lorenzo Cain RF
Eric Hosmer 1B
Kendrys Morales DH
Salvador Perez C
Alex Gordon LF
Alcides Escobar SS
Christian Colon 2B
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Danny Duffy LHP

RED SOX
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Sandy Leon C
Chris Young LF
Aaron Hill 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
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David Price LHP