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)

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis. 

Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time. 

The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.

Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball. 

 

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team." 

Would he be interested?

"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.