Wakeup call: 'Little tear' for Ben; 'Farewell, my dear badminton'

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Wakeup call: 'Little tear' for Ben; 'Farewell, my dear badminton'

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

BASEBALL
Shane Victorino says "Mahalo Philadelphia" with a full-page ad in both the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. (CSN Philly)

The trade deadline has come and gone and Matt Garza is still in Chicago. So what now? (CSN Chicago)

Ryan Dempster's catching some heat from Cubs Nation for refusing what seemed like a good deal (for the Cubs) to Atlanta, but Theo Epstein tells the critics to back off. (CSN Chicago)

Bryce Harper has lost that sweet spot at the plate, hitting just .214 in his last 40 games (and .171 since the All-Star break). So now he's just "trying to find some mellowness". (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Now that's how you win a game against your biggest division rival. (AP)

Josh Hamilton is not only slumping offensively, but he's making some cryptic, and disconcerting, comments. (Hardball Talk)

Temper, temper! (NBC's Off The Bench)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Jerry Sandusky, while continuing to maintain his innocence, says through his lawyer that the NCAA sanctions on Penn State are "unjust" and that it's "ridiculous" to think school officials would engage in a cover up. (AP)

Wisconsin running back Montee Ball is hospitalized after being attacked by five men near campus early Wednesday morning. (AP)

A veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has made the Clemson football team as a walk-on. (NBC's College Football Talk)

OLYMPICS
"Farewell my dear badminton." And with those words -- on Twitter, of course -- Yu Yang, one of the Chinese stars disqualified for throwing a match in an attempt to get an easier opponent later in the tournament, announces her retirement. (NBC)

Boxing referees are under fire in London. (NBC)

PRO FOOTBALL
Uh, Ben? Having "a little torn rotator cuff" is kind of like being "a little pregnant". (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

That didn't take long: Discord resurfaces in Jets camp. (AP)

Ed Reed says he wants to stay with the Ravens. (CSN Baltimore)

The Giants aren't nibbling at Jerry Jones' bait. (AP) Well, maybe they're nibbling a little.

Damn media. A guy can't even say no one trusts the NFL commissioner without it being blown all out proportion these days. Isn't that right, Drew Brees? (Pro Football Talk)

Speaking of the commissioner, he's fine with the replacement refs. (AP)

Look out, Eagles: Asante Samuel will show you. (CSN Philly)

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.