Wakeup Call: Another rejection slip for T.O.

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Wakeup Call: Another rejection slip for T.O.

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, October 10:

AUTO RACING
Drivers are going public with their anger about the current NASCAR rule package used at restrictor-plate tracks, which results in pack racing . . . and plenty of accidents. (AP)

BASEBALL
The A's amazing season remains alive, thanks to Brett Anderson. (AP)

Not for nothing, but that's eight runs in three games for the supposedly powerful Tigers. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Hunter Pence speaks -- or yells -- and the Giants listen. (CSN Bay Area)

Winning a playoff game against the Yankees is nice, but repelling the horde of Yankee fans who traditionally commandeer Camden Yards when the Yanks are in town? Priceless. (CSN Baltimore)

A-Rod says he feels fine at the plate. The Yankees and their fans don't feel fine when he's up there. (AP)

The last time there was a postseason baseball game in the nation's capital, you might have spotted President Roosevelt in the stands. It'll be a different crowd today. (CSN Washington)

The Cardinals will have to go the rest of the way without Jaime Garcia. (AP)

Seven guys who played in at least 147 games. Five who played in at least 156. And now the lightbulb has gone on over Ron Washington's head that, hmm, that might have had something to do with the Rangers' late-season collapse. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
The good times appear to be over at Harvard, but Tommy Amaker understands that life isn't all sunshine and blue skies. (AP)

You won't have to worry about Texas Southern busting your bracket next March. (AP)

There'll soon be another Billy Donovan at Florida. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
TCU quarterback Casey Pachall is leaving school for the rest of the semester to enter rehab. (AP)

A freshman wide receiver at Auburn calls out the upperclassmen for lack of leadership, which just thrills the coach and said upperclassmen. (AP)

Iowa's Micah Hyde apologizes for getting arrested. (AP)

As does UConn's Lyle McCombs. (AP)

Derek Dooley isn't going to let a little thing like a fractured hip keep him from coaching Tennessee this week against Mississippi State. (AP)

GOLF
Hope you didn't fly all the way to Turkey for a Rory McIlroy-Tiger Woods matchup. (AP)

Tiger may not be No. 1 anymore, but -- after 16 years of competing against two generations of golfers -- he's happy to still be in the conversation about who's best. (AP)

HOCKEY
Man, they sure don't sound like guys looking to make a deal. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

R.J. Umberger's come up with a plan to keep busy during the lockout. (AP)

Guess the market for 47-year-old retired goalies isn't as robust as Dominik Hasek thought. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
Royce White has arrived at Rockets' camp after spending a week developing a long-term plan for dealing with his anxiety issues. (AP)

Derrick Rose says if he needs to take off the whole year to get healthy, then he'll take off the whole year. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
Is the injury rush that derailed the Texans' season last year starting anew? That fear is unavoidable with the news that Brian Cushing is out until 2013 because a torn ACL. (AP)

From the Someone Probably Wrote This For Him file: Will Smith says he "remains frustrated with the continued unilateral rulings by this commissioner as he continues to disregard the facts and assault my character". (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

He passed his tests and, as a reward, RGIII will return to practice. (CSN Washington)

When he gets there, he won't find Billy Cundiff. (AP)

The Bills have given up 97 points in their last two games, leaving their GM "puzzled". (AP)

Mark Sanchez is still Rex Ryan's guy. (AP)

Jets to T.O.: Thanks, but no thanks. (Pro Football Talk)

New MLB labor deal: All-Star Game no longer determines home field in World Series

New MLB labor deal: All-Star Game no longer determines home field in World Series

IRVING, Texas -- Baseball players and owners reached a tentative agreement on a five-year labor contract Wednesday night, a deal that will extend the sport's industrial peace to 26 years since the ruinous fights in the first two decades of free agency.

After days of near round-the-clock talks, negotiators reached a verbal agreement about 3 1/2 hours before the expiration of the current pact. Then they worked to draft a memorandum of understanding, which must be ratified by both sides.

"It's great! Another five years of uninterrupted baseball," Oakland catcher Stephen Vogt said in a text message.

In announcing the agreement, Major League Baseball and the players' association said they will make specific terms available when drafting is complete.

"Happy it's done, and baseball is back on," Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy said.

As part of the deal, the experiment of having the All-Star Game determine which league gets home-field advantage in the World Series will end after 14 years, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been signed.

Instead, the pennant winner with the better regular-season record will open the Series at home.

Another important change: The minimum time for a stint on the disabled list will be reduced from 15 days to 10.

The luxury tax threshold rises from $189 million to $195 million next year, $197 million in 2018, $206 million in 2019, $209 million in 2020 and $210 million in 2021.

Tax rates increase from 17.5 percent to 20 percent for first offenders, remain at 30 percent for second offenders and rise from 40 percent to 50 percent for third offenders. There is a new surtax of 12 percent for teams $20 million to $40 million above the threshold, 42.5 percent for first offenders more than $40 million above the threshold and 45 percent for subsequent offenders more than $40 million above.

Union head Tony Clark, presiding over a negotiation for the first time, said in a statement the deal "will benefit all involved in the game and leaves the game better for those who follow."

Key changes involve the qualifying offers clubs can make to their former players after they become free agents - the figure was $17.2 million this year. If a player turns down the offer and signs elsewhere, his new team forfeits an amateur draft pick, which usually had been in the first round under the old deal.

Under the new rules, a player can receive a qualifying offer only once in his career and will have 10 days to consider it instead of seven. A club signing a player who declined a qualifying offer would lose its third-highest amateur draft pick if it is a revenue-sharing receiver, its second- and fifth-highest picks (plus a loss of $1 million in its international draft pool) if it pays luxury tax for the just-ended season, and its second-highest pick (plus $500,000 in the international draft pool) if it is any other team.

A club losing a free agent who passed up a qualifying offer would receive an extra selection after the first round of the next draft if the player signed a contract for $50 million or more and after competitive balance round B if under $50 million. However, if that team pays luxury tax, the extra draft pick would drop to after the fourth round.

Among other details:

-For a team $40 million or more in excess of the luxury tax threshold, its highest selection in the next amateur draft will drop 10 places.

-While management failed to obtain an international draft of amateurs residing outside the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada, it did get a hard cap on each team's annual bonus pool for those players starting at $4.75 million for the signing period that begins next July 2.

-There is no change to limits on active rosters, which remain at 25 for most of the season and 40 from Sept. 1 on.

-Smokeless tobacco will be banned for all new players, those who currently do not have at least one day of major league service.

-The regular season will expand from 183 days to 187 starting in 2018, creating four more scheduled off days. There are additional limitations on the start times of night games on getaway days.

-The minimum salary rises from $507,500 to $535,000 next year, $545,000 in 2018 and $555,000 in 2019, with cost-of-living increases the following two years; the minor league minimum for a player appearing on the 40-man roster for at least the second time goes up from $82,700 to $86,500 next year, $88,000 in 2018 and $89,500 in 2019, followed by cost-of-living raises.

-The drop-off in slot values in the first round of the amateur draft will be lessened.

-Oakland's revenue-sharing funds will be cut to 75 percent next year, 50 percent in 2018, 25 percent in 2019 and then phased out.

-As part of the drug agreement, there will be increased testing, players will not be credited with major league service time during suspensions, and biomarker testing for HGH will begin next year.

Negotiators met through most of Tuesday night in an effort to increase momentum in the talks, which began during spring training. This is the third straight time the sides reached a new agreement before the old contract expired, but a deal was struck eight weeks in advance in 2006 and three weeks ahead of expiration in 2011.

Talks took place at a hotel outside Dallas where the players' association held its annual executive board meeting.

Clark, the first former player to serve as executive director of the union, and others set up in a meeting room within earshot of a children's choir practicing Christmas carols. A man dressed as Santa Claus waited nearby.

Baseball had eight work stoppages from 1972-95, the last a 7 1/2-month strike in 1994-95 that led to the first cancellation of the World Series in 90 years. The 2002 agreement was reached after players authorized a strike and about 3 1/2 hours before the first game that would have been impacted by a walkout.

The peace in baseball is in contrast to the recent labor histories of other major sports. The NFL had a preseason lockout in 2011, the NBA lost 240 games to a lockout that same year and the NHL lost 510 games to a lockout in 2012-13.