Wakeup call: No loss of Hope; Phils become sellers

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Wakeup call: No loss of Hope; Phils become sellers

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, July 30:

BASEBALL
The Red Sox may have decided to become buyers at the trade deadline thanks to their successful weekend in New York. The Phillies had a disastrous three days in Atlanta, so it looks like they'll be sellers. (CSN Philly)

If Bob Lobel were still on Channel 4, you'd have heard an awful lot of "Why can't WE get players like that??!?" over the next decade or so. (CSN Chicago)

What do they say about being careful what you wish for, because it might come true? Marty Brennaman should have thought of that. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

If the Mets can't get Kelly Shoppach, they may settle for Geovany Soto. (Hardball Talk)

Not a bad Angels debut for Zack Greinke. (AP) All that was missing was a victory.

One play, three arguments in yesterday's Brewers-Nationals game. (Hardball Talk)

Yes, yes, that's the same Lew Ford who was in the Red Sox farm system in the late '90s. (CSN Baltimore)

Looks like Huston Street is staying put. (AP)

Ditto Chase Headley. (Hardball Talk)

That'll teach John Axford to compare Tim Tebow to Kim Kardashian. (NBC's Off The Bench)

BASKETBALL
The Timberwolves must be happy that their newest acquisition, Andrei Kirilenko, is "running like a young deer" in the Olympics. (AP) Just beware that's a self-assessment; real deer hunters have yet to be heard from.

FOOTBALL
Jeremy Shockey takes to Twitter to blast that "no it all Rog goodell" for -- in his opinion -- lying to players about the health effects of concussions. (NBC's Pro Football Talk) If Shockey, who's still a free agent, were a "no it all", he'd no (or know) that publicly wading into the radioactive legal area of concussions is probably going to vaporize any interest any team might have had in him.

Here we go again: Andre Johnson will be out for about a week because of a groin problem. (AP) At least it's not the hamstring (which cost him nine games last season) or the knee (which was operated on in the spring).

When Darrelle Revis sat out practice Sunday, speculation immediately arose that it was related to his contract. But no, he says it's just a "minor" hamstring thing. (AP)

New season, new approach for Ndamukong Suh. (AP)

It's the same old, same old for his coach, however. (Pro Football Talk)

Four more years for Chris Long. (AP)

And so begins the Andrew Luck Era in Indy. (AP)

Bill Belichick isn't the only NFL coach with disdain for the media. (CSN Bay Area)

HOCKEY
Goodbye, Columbus: Looks like other NHL players were urging Rick Nash to leave the Blue Jackets. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

OLYMPICS
Magic Johnson weighs in on the never-ending '92-vs.-'12 debate, saying Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and (maybe) Kevin Durant could have made the Dream Team. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk) Hey, at least it's not Dwightmare.

Let's hear it for free speech: Hope Solo won't be disciplined for her Twitter rant against Brandi Chastain. (NBC)

Market for Encarnacion is shrinking, yet Red Sox still don't seem interested

Market for Encarnacion is shrinking, yet Red Sox still don't seem interested

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- As the annual winter meetings get underway today, the market for arguably the best free-agent hitter may be -- against all logic -- lessening.

Edwin Encarnacion, who has averaged 39 homers a year over the last five seasons, should be a player in demand.

But in quick succession, the Houston Astros and New York Yankees, two teams thought to be in the market for Encarnacion, opted to go with older hitters who required shorter deals -- Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday.

Further, the Toronto Blue Jays' signing of Steve Pearce to a two-year deal Monday, coupled with their earlier acquisition of Kendrys Morales, closes the door on a potential return to Toronto for Encarnacion.

Seemingly, all of that would position the Red Sox, in search of a DH to replace the retired David Ortiz, to swoop in and land Encarnacion for far less than they could have imagined only weeks ago.

And yet, it appears as though things would have to change considerably for the Red Sox to reach agreement with Encarnacion.

While the first baseman-DH is known to be Ortiz's first choice as his replacement, for now, the economics don't work for the Sox -- even as Enacarnacion's leverage drops.

Encarnacion is expecting a deal of at least four years, with an average annual value around $20 million.

The Red Sox, industry sources indicate, are very much mindful of the luxury tax threshold. The Sox have, however modestly, gone over the threshold in each of the last two seasons, and even with a bump due to last week's new CBA, the Sox are dangerously close to the 2018 limit of $195 million.

Should the Sox go over for a third straight year, their tax would similarly ratchet up.

That, and the fact that Encarnacion would cost the Sox their first-round pick next June -- for this offseason, compensation for players given a qualifying offer comes under the old CBA rules -- represents two huge disincentives.

It's far more likely that the Sox will seek a cheaper option at DH from among a group that includes Pedro Alvarez and Mike Napoli. Neither is in Encarnacion's class, but then again, neither would cost a draft pick in return, or the long-term investment that Encarnacion is said to be seeking.

Boomer Esiason witnessed Pete Rose hire people to sign autographs

Boomer Esiason witnessed Pete Rose hire people to sign autographs

Boomer Esiason tells Toucher & Rich a story from his early days in Cincinnati when he witnessed Pete Rose overseeing five guys he paid to sign a stack of photographs for fans.