Wakeup call: Theo speaks; Howard loves L.A.; protecting the statue

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Wakeup call: Theo speaks; Howard loves L.A.; protecting the statue

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Thursday, July 19:

BASEBALL
Theo Epstein has a message for Cubs Nation: Lower your expectations, at least for the near future. (CSN Chicago)

Jerry Seinfeld live Tweeted the Mets-Nationals game -- and made a Steve Bartman reference to boot -- during Wednesday night's ESPN telecast. (CSN Washington)

Melky Cabrera the ballplayer is having quite the renaissance this year, but not so much Melky Cabrera the person. At least that's how Chipper Jones and the Atlanta fans see it. (CSN Bay Area)

Ever wonder how to throw a pie in a postgame celebration? Watch Josh Reddick tell you how. (CSN Bay Area)

BASKETBALL
Now Dwight Howard says yes, he will sign with the Lakers. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Kobe Bryant doesn't think much of David Stern's push for an under-23 basketball tournament in the Olympics. And that's putting it mildly. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

All things considered, Jeremy Lin would rather be in New York. Bet the Rockets are thrilled to hear that after writing him a 25 million check. (AP)

COLLEGE SPORTS
After a plane flew over the Penn State campus carrying a banner that read "Take the statue down or we will," a group of students began a "Oh no you won't" vigil around the Joe Paterno statue. (AP via CSN Philly)

Pitt pays the Big East 7.5 million, and the Big East says, okay, you can leave after the 2013 season. (AP)

FOOTBALL
With each day comes word of another former NFL player dying young. Today it's Cleveland Elam, a member of the 49ers' "Gold Rush" front four of the 1970s, at age 60. (CSN Bay Area)

RGIII is (finally) a Redskin. (CSN Washington) But how long did it take for you to figure out what HTTR meant?

One of the reasons the injury problem -- specifically, the concussion problem -- is so pervasive is that players won't come clean when they're hurt. Troy Polamalu is the latest, telling Dan Patrick he's lied about concussions to get back in a game and that "any football player . . . records at least maybe 50 to 100 concussions a year". (CSN Baltimore)

A dynasty in Philadelphia? Michael Vick thinks so. (CSN Philly)

The referees say the NFL planned to lock them out all along. The NFL is shocked, shocked, to hear such a thing. (AP)

HOCKEY
They're talking, and it's "cordial". Can't say there's any progress, however, betwen the owners and players. (AP)

If some of the owners' demands have a "Save us from ourselves!" ring, here's why: The Flyers signed Shea Weber to a 14-year, 100 million offer sheet. (CSN Phllly) The Predators have a week to match it.

The Kings' Drew Doughty won't be charged with date rape. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

-- Hail to the Redskins

Bruins taking a chance on Clarke in the fifth round

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Bruins taking a chance on Clarke in the fifth round

The Lone Star Brahmas aren’t exactly a household name in the junior hockey world, but NAHL team did produce a player worth of a Bruins draft pick last weekend. A 20-year-old defenseman named Cameron Clarke showed his offensive skills and playmaking en route to nine goals and 50 points in 59 games last season for the Brahmas, and continued to add strength to a wiry 6-foot-1, 170-pound frame that still needs to be developed as he heads off to Ferris State University.

The Tecumseh, Michigan native was floored at the prospect of being drafted by the Bruins after he was selected in the fifth round (136th overall) at last weekend’s draft in Buffalo, and excited to see some results for all of his hard work over the last few years.

“It’s a feeling like no other. I was just sitting in there with my family and when it happened, it was just pure excitement, and to go to Boston, they’re an Original Six organization,” said Clarke, who described himself as a good-skating defenseman and a good puck-mover that models his game after Capitals D-man John Carlson. “It’s just — it’s something you dream of growing up and it’s a great feeling.

“I talked to Mr. Sullivan [Bruins Scout Keith Sullivan] I believe it was in December and I knew that they had come watch me play a couple of times so I knew that they were interested. I knew that they were a team that could be a possibility that could be picking me and I’ve always watched hockey and my dad used to be a Bruins fan growing up when he was little [he grew up in Ottawa and was a big Bobby Orr fan], so it’s a great feeling. Boston’s an Original Six franchise. It’s very special, for sure.”

Clarke will obviously take a big step in his development headed to the Ferris State hockey program next season, and the Bruins hope to continue seeing improvements in the size and strength department during his college hockey years.

“We knew there were teams that were there [ready to take him], and our guys really liked him,” said Bruins Director of Scouting Keith Gretzky. “He’s gained a lot of weight in a year-and-a-half, but we know he’s going to take some time. We’re good with that. Our guys really liked him, so we took him.”

The Clarke pick is a pretty low risk/high reward selection that was off the beaten path of the normal OHL/European junior league paths, but it remains to be seen if it will pay dividends later for selecting the over-age player. 

OFFSEASON

Welsh: Hearing Durant will meet with Celtics on July 4th in The Hamptons

Welsh: Hearing Durant will meet with Celtics on July 4th in The Hamptons

On CSN's Sports Tonight, Tim Welsh says he is hearing the Boston Celtics will be meeting with Kevin Durant on Monday, July 4th in The Hamptons.

The free agent superstar reportedly set to meet with the Thunder on Thursday, Warriors on Friday and the Spurs on Saturday.

The dates are currently unknown for his upcoming meetings with the Heat and Clippers.

Watch the video above for Welsh's appearance on Sports Tonight.

Buckley: ‘How can you not rip [Farrell] after this?’

Buckley: ‘How can you not rip [Farrell] after this?’

Steve Buckley says the Boston Red Sox aren’t playing with the ‘type of abandon’ manager John Farrell thinks they’re playing with