Wakeup call: Beckett can't run from his haters


Wakeup call: Beckett can't run from his haters

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, September 14:

Thirteenth straight extra-inning win? Check. First non-losing season since 1997? Check. Stay tied for first place? Check. The Orioles just continue to knock items off their to-do list. (CSN Baltimore)

The A's finally lost. (CSN Bay Area)

So did the Phillies. (CSN Philly)

Thank God pitchers don't bat in the American League, because if this had ever happened when Josh Beckett was in Boston . . . well, suffice to say Michael Felger would have gone on the disabled list with strained vocal cords. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Roy Oswalt continues to demonstrate -- to the Red Sox, especially -- that sometimes the best moves are the ones you don't make. (AP)

Marco Scutaro says he's found a home in San Francisco. (CSN Bay Area)

The good, the bad and the ugly of Jim Calhoun. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

Calhoun's old pal George Blaney isn't following him into retirement. (AP)

For those of you keeping score at home, it's Media 1, Lane Kiffin 0. (NBC's College Football Talk)

I can't say I'd ever heard of Dan Sileo before, but I'll never forget him now. Nor will you after listening to this sports-radio rant for the ages in which, among other things, he advocates pulling a knife on the opposing quarterback. (College Football Talk)

Arkansas may have to try and bounce back from its loss to Louisiana-Monroe without quarterback Tyler Wilson. (AP)

Cue the violins: Gary Bettman says he feels "terrible" about the lockout he and the NHL owners are about to impose. (CSN Washington)

Not as terrible as Donald Fehr feels about their latest offer. (CSN Washington)

Some of the Sharks plan to head to Europe if -- if? whaddya mean, if? -- the lockout comes to pass. (CSN Bay Area)

Not Bobby Ryan, though. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk) And for a rather altruistic reason.

Derrick Rose is feeling better. (AP)

And after all that, Dwight Howard won't be ready for the start of training camp. (AP)

You didn't really expect the Packers to lose two straight at home to start the season, did you? (AP)

Remember those heady days before the game, when Jay Cutler was trash-talking the Packers? Four interceptions later, he's subtly turning his wrath on his own teammates. (CSN Chicago)

I thought social media was supposed to lead to more information being shared, not less. (CSN Philly)

Memo to all washed-up wide receivers: No need to go job-hunting in Oakland. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Darrelle Revis says he's out of the "fog" and hopes to play Sunday. (AP)

Just when the Jets thought they were out (of the circus, that is), Tim Tebow -- or at least a New York Daily News columnist -- drags them back in. (Pro Football Talk)

Red Sox exec Amiel Sawdaye follows Hazen to Arizona


Red Sox exec Amiel Sawdaye follows Hazen to Arizona

The Red Sox lost another key member of their front office Monday, when vice-president of amateur and international scouting Amiel Sawdaye followed former general manager Mike Hazen to Arizona.

Sawdaye will be the Diamondbacks' assistant GM. As stated by Rotoworld, he had been instrumental in building up the Red Sox' young big league talent and farm system.

The Boston Globe reported today that the Red Sox may not fill the GM vacancy created when Hazen left, instead using "other staffers to take on Hazen’s administrative duties". President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski handles many of the duties traditionally associated with the general manager's position, leaving the actual GM's job in Boston as "essentially an assistant [position] with a lofty title but little power".

The Red Sox have also lost two other front-office members this offseason: Senior baseball analyst Tom Tippett, who had been with the organization for eight years, and director of sports medicine services Dan Dyrek, who had been with the Sox for five years.

McAdam: World Series win could clear path to Cooperstown for Epstein or Francona

McAdam: World Series win could clear path to Cooperstown for Epstein or Francona

Sometime over the next 10 or so days, either the Chicago Cubs or Cleveland Indians will win the 2016 World Series.

Naturally, that will mean one of baseball's two longest-suffering franchises will end their championship drought. Either the Cubs will win their first title since 1908, or the Indians will win for the first time since 1948.

That alone should make for an epic World Series.

But there's another bit of history at stake, too - one of legacies.

In addition to the great discomfort felt by Red Sox ownership -- which fired the manager of one participating team and was seemingly happy to hold the door open for the exit of an executive now running the other - it will also almost certainly result, eventually, in either Terry Francona or Theo Epstein being enshrined into the Hall of Fame.

Epstein would go down as the architect who helped two star-crossed franchises win titles - the Red Sox in 2004, and the Cubs this fall.

The Red Sox went 86 years between championships; the Cubs would be ending a run of futility that stretched across 108 seasons.

That would provide Epstein with an unmatched resume when it comes to degree of difficulty. It's one thing to win it all; it's another altogether to do so with the Sox and Cubs, two clubs, until Epstein's arrival, linked in ignominy.

Epstein could become only the fourth GM in modern history win a World Series in both leagues. Frank Cashen (Orioles and Mets); John Schuerholz (Royals and Braves) and Pat Gillick (Blue Jays and Phillies).

He would also join a short list of executives who have won three rings, a list that includes contemporaries Brian Cashman and Brian Sabean.

Of course, Epstein can't claim to have constructed the entire Cubs roster, no more than he could have done when the Red Sox won in '04.

In Boston, Epstein inherited key players such as Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek. Similarly, Javier Baez and Willson Contreras pre-date Epstein's arrival on the North Side.

But Epstein is responsible for nearly the remainder of the roster, and hiring manager Joe Maddon, the coaching staff and most of the Baseball Operations staff, including GM Jed Hoyer and scouting director Jason McLeod.

Francona's influence on the Indians is just as obvious.

Hired in late 2012 after spending a year in the ESPN broadcast booth, he inherited a team which had suffered through four straight losing seasons. In the five previous years before Francona's hiring, the Indians averaged just over 72 wins per season.

Since his arrival, the Indians have posted four straight winning seasons, with two playoff appearances, while averaging 88 wins per season.

It hasn't seemed to matter to the Indians that they've been without two of their three best starters (Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco) this postseason or arguably, their best offensive player for all but 11 games this season (Michael Brantley).

The Indians don't make excuses for injuries, or bemoan their modest payroll. Under Francona, they just win.

This postseason, he's made up for the absences in the rotation by masterfully utilizing reliever Andrew Miller anywhere from the fifth to the ninth inning.

A third World Series would put Francona in similarly rare company. Only 10 managers have won three or more World Series and just six have done so since World War 2 - Walter Alston, Joe Torre, Tony La Russa, Bruce Bochy Sparky Anderson and Casey Stengel.

The individual accomplishments of Epstein and Francona won't take center stage this week and next -- that attention will, rightly, go to their respective beleaguered franchises.

But the subtext shouldn't be overlooked. Once the partying and the parades come to an end, a path to Cooperstown for either the winning manager or winning president of baseball operations can be cleared.