Wakeup call: A turning point for the U.S.?; 'no deal' between Vilma, NFL

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Wakeup call: A turning point for the U.S.?; 'no deal' between Vilma, NFL

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, August 7:

BASEBALL
If he'd been this honest and approachable during his career, people might actually like Barry Bonds. (CSN Bay Area)

Just a little too much Justin Verlander for the Yankees last night. (AP)

The O'Malleys are back in baseball: Peter O'Malley and golfer Phil Mickelson head a group that's reached agreement to buy the Padres. (AP)

Long time no see, Evan Longoria. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
A little thing like a hip fracture won't keep Jim Calhoun off UConn's bench. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Penn State has lost nine players since the NCAA announced its sanctions against the program, but Bill O'Brien thinks that'll be it. (AP)

Meanwhile, one of the school's trustees is appealing the penalty. (AP)

All those years that his father hung with Bill Belichick apparently rubbed off on Hud Mellancamp, who's trying to make the Duke team as a walk-on. (AP)

HOCKEY
Deadline? What deadline? Donald Fehr says there's plenty of time for the NHL and NHLPA to reach a labor agreement. (AP)

Looks like Manny Malhotra and Jason Garrison won't be spotted in any Vancouver Chick-Fil-A's anytime soon. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

OLYMPICS
The "Regime Team" found its stride in the second half against Argentina -- turning a 60-59 halftime lead into a 126-97 rout -- and Jack McCallum thinks we may look back on this as the turning point. (NBC)

Pro Soccer Talk's Jenna Pei explains why Alex Morgan's game-winning goal Monday, which lifted the U.S. women into the gold-medal game, was just another case of "Alex being Alex". (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)

Mystery solved: We know, at last, the identity of Michael Phelps' girlfriend. (NBC's Off The Bench)

And because contrived controversies aren't limited to politics in Fox Land . . . (Off The Bench)

PRO BASKETBALL
Relax, Bulls fans. Luol Deng says he's fine. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
As everyone feared, the family confirmed Monday that the death of Garrett Reid, son of Eagles coach Andy Reid, was drug related. (CSN Philly)

Rumors are flying of a "settlement" between the NFL and Jonathan Vilma, in which the Saints' lineman will have his season-long suspension for his participation in Bountygate reduced in return for his dropping his lawsuit against commissioner Roger Goodell. The league, however, calls the reports "completely inaccurate". (AP)

The Ravens' Bryant McKinnie a) apparently borrowed 4.5 million from a lending agency during last year's lockout, and b) then didn't pay it back. So the Ravens will pay it for him by withholding half his salary and sending it to a company called Pro Player Funding. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Another thing you'd probably never have seen if the NFL hadn't locked out the officials: A woman will serve as line judge in Thursday's Packers-Chargers exhibition. (AP)

"Congratulations, Seahawks fans. Or, as the case may be, condolences." Mike Florio said it better than anything I might come up with. (Pro Football Talk)

First impressions: Red Sox implode in 6th inning, lose to Royals, 10-4

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First impressions: Red Sox implode in 6th inning, lose to Royals, 10-4

BOSTON -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 10-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals:

 

Boston’s bullpen continues to be a roll of the dice every night.

This time Matt Barnes was the latest reliever to suffer from the plague that’s filled this bullpen all season.

Part of it was bad luck on two perfectly placed balls, the other part was Raul Mondesi lacing a triple, and Lorenzo Cain smacking a single.

Robbie Ross was better, but not by much.

No lead seems safe in the hands of any Boston reliever.

 

David Ortiz keeps putting himself in the same breath as legendary Hall of Famers.

This time it was former Red Sox great Jimmie Foxx, who Ortiz is now tied with at 534 home runs, 18th all time.

Early in the season he’d match a legendary player every so often, it was impressive. Now it’s almost to be expected every night he plays.

Next on the all-time home run list is Yankee Legend Mickey Mantle with 536.

 

The bottom of the order continues to play an important role in Boston’s run production.

Chris Young got things started in the fifth, then Sandy Leon and Jackie Bradley Jr. kept it rolling so both Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts could cash in all three runners.

Moving JBJ back to ninth Saturday proved to be a good move, and moving Leon back down with his recent scuffles seems to be the best move, too.

Not only can they knock each other in any given instance, but they also put Dustin Pedroia (or Holt) and Bogaerts in run-producing situations, as opposed to just setting the table.

 

Chris Young’s hamstring shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

He was able to leg out the soft grounder to third base in the first inning.

Young has lost a step or two with age, but it seemed like he opened it up on the play.

Hopefully that’s a sign of the end of the injuries in left field this season.

 

Junichi Tazawa looked strong.

That’s more so an observation of his fastball reaching 94 mph.

Tazawa has a long way to go before he’s back to where he was, but the righty took a step in the right direction Sunday night. He retired Kansas City’s 2-3-4 hitters in his first inning and working past a leadoff single in his second inning of work.