Wakeup call: Even Obama and Romney agree on the refs

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Wakeup call: Even Obama and Romney agree on the refs

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, September 26:

AUTO RACING
If the Republican nominee for President can't win the NASCAR vote, let's face it, he probably can't win. (NBC's Off The Bench)

BASEBALL
It turns out Dusty Baker had a mini-stroke last week, and -- though he's expected to make a full recovery -- it'll be a few more days before he can rejoin the Reds. (AP)

The bigger they are, the more eccentric they can be. Right, Ichiro? (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Panic? Who's panicking? Not the three-losses-in-four-games-with-the-season-on-the-line Orioles. (CSN Baltimore)

Tie in the Central, as the Tigers win (AP) and the White Sox lose (CSN Chicago).

Yes, that was old friend George Kottaras playing hero for the A's. (CSN Bay Area)

The Braves make the playoffs in dramatic fashion. (AP)

And, you know, the idea of their catching the Nationals for the N.L. East title suddenly doesn't seem quite so crazy. (CSN Washington)

Everyone's talking about how the Angels became the first team to record 20 strikeouts in a game using multiple pitchers. (Hardball Talk) Me, I prefer to note that the Mariners became the first team to strike out 20 times in a game twice.

The Melkman won't be delivering for the Giants in the playoffs. (AP)

And because we just can't get enough of Frank and Jamie McCourt . . . (AP via NBC)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
The medical news for Roy Williams is good. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
A casualty of Notre Dame's move to the ACC: The Irish's rivalry against Michigan, at least for a while. (AP)

The 'Ol Ball Coach is talking again. And people in Kentucky probably aren't liking what he's saying. (AP)

File this under "Things they don't teach in Marketing 101": Jimbo Fisher's Heisman campaign for EJ Manuel involves comparing him to a dog. (AP)

You know, some people just have way too much time on their hands. (NBC's College Football Talk)

GOLF
Seve Ballesteros won't be forgotten at this weekend's Ryder Cup matches. (AP)

HOCKEY
All that Oilers-to-Seattle talk couldn't have been just a craven attempt to browbeat Edmonton into building a new arena, could it? (AP)

Wayne Gretzky can't even go to a football game without sparking where-are-the-Coyotes-moving-to? hysteria. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
Laverne and Rodman! And, no, not in the way you think. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
You'd think that after the utter disaster that was last weekend, the NFL owners would be looking for the end game in their tong war against the regular referees. Well, in the words of the immortal Griff Tannen: You thought wrong, dude. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Um, owners? Aaron Rodgers speaks for all of us. (AP)

Even President Obama and Mitt Romney agree on this. (AP)

This is nothing, Kyle. Wait until you see how much they take from Bill Belichick. (Pro Football Talk)

And speaking of money: Las Vegas oddsmakers say the ending of Monday night's game caused 300 million to change hands. (AP)

The NFL fines and suspends Broncos' linebacker Joe Mays for the hit on Matt Schaub that took off a piece of the quarterback's ear. (AP)

Brian Moorman's time in Buffalo is over after 12 years (AP)

Reggie Bush sees poetic justice in Darrelle Revis' season-ending knee injury. (Pro Football Talk)

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.