Wakeup Call: Blame not the O's; they're pawns in MLB/NFL battle

Wakeup Call: Blame not the O's; they're pawns in MLB/NFL battle
March 21, 2013, 5:45 am
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Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Thursday, March 21:


-- The Orioles are catching a lot of heat in Baltimore for the controversy surrounding their conflict with the Ravens' home opener on Sept. 5. But they appear to be pawns in a bigger war, hamstrung by rigid rescheduling rules with the players' union and being pressured by MLB not to move the game because baseball is "tired of being pushed around by the NFL." Which is all well and good, except the O's will infuriate, and become pariahs with, their fan base if they don't allow the Ravens to celebrate their Super Bowl championship in the traditional way. Not that either MLB or the MLBPA care about that . . . but the Orioles, who have to live and sell their product in the community, should. (CSN Baltimore)

-- The Cubs and Dodgers play a benefit game today for the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation in honor of the 9-year-old granddaughter of ex-big league player/manager/executive Dallas Green, who was killed in the Tucson shootings of 2011 that wounded former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. And for old friend Darnell McDonald, now with the Cubs, the game has a special meeting. (CSN Chicago)

-- The Dodgers may be without Hanley Ramirez for two weeks, or two months, because of a thumb injury he suffered in the WBC. (AP)

-- Zack Greinke, though, appears to be on the mend. (AP)


-- Waiting until the last minute to fill out your bracket? Here are five teams not to pick to win it all. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

-- And, to avoid those bracket busters, here are five potential upsets. (College Basketball Talk)

-- Last night's First Four winners: James Madison . . . (AP)

-- . . . and La Salle. (AP)

-- President Obama picks a women's bracket, too. (AP)


-- Health problems are forcing Alabama AD Mal Moore to step down. (AP)

-- Michigan suffers a big loss early, as linebacker Jake Ryan tears his ACL during spring practice. (AP)

-- Can't stand to miss a Boise State home game? ESPN is coming to your rescue. (AP)


-- If you're wondering why Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn went public with their relationship, it was to deny "the 'stalkarazzi' and . . . sleazy websites" -- Woods' words -- the chance to break the news to the world and make money off the couple. (AP)

-- Tom Watson gives back a captain's pick for the Ryder Cup, saying he'd rather have players earn their way onto the roster. (AP)

-- Looks like Yani Tseng will be investing in an alarm clock: She overslept, missed her tee time for the Kia Classic pro-am, and was subsequently dropped from the tournament, which she won last year. (AP)

-- A 12-year-old Chinese boy finishes third in a regional qualifier and will become the youngest player ever to compete in a European Tour event. (AP)


-- The Ducks beat the previously unbeatable Blackhawks, run their team-record home winning streak to 13, and are now just three points behind Chicago in the overall NHL standings. (AP)

-- The Sabres are showing signs of life under interim coach Ron Rolston . . . (AP)

-- . . . but that improvement may have to continue without leading scorer Thomas Vanek, at least for a bit. (AP)

-- Mandatory visors grabbed all the headlines, but NHL GMs also discuss reducing the size of goalie equipment and increasing video review. (AP)


-- You think what the Heat did in Boston Monday night was impressive? Last night they fell behind by 27 in Cleveland -- in the third quarter -- and still rallied for a 98-95 victory that runs their winning streak to 24. (AP)

-- 'Melo returns, and so do the Knicks' winning ways. (AP)

-- If Brittney Griner, as expected, leads Baylor to the NCAA women's title, can she then do something even bigger: Save the fading WNBA? (AP)


-- When the NFL voted to modify the tuck rule yesterday, Patriots owner Robert Kraft was one of the two abstentions. The other? Redskins GM Bruce Allen, who was GM of the Raiders in 2001 . . . which means that representatives of both teams in the most famous tuck-rule game of all decided not to vote on its abolition. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

-- Charles Woodson, who forced the Tom Brady fumble that was erased by the tuck rule, is happy it's gone. (Pro Football Talk)

-- The league also has a new rule preventing ball carriers from leading with their head when out of the tackle box, and the Browns' Trent Richardson thinks it's all his fault. (Pro Football Talk)

-- Brian Urlacher's time with the Bears is over. (CSN Chicago)

-- And Urlacher says it's because the team made an "insulting", take-it-or-leave-it offer that gave him no choice but to walk away . . . which may sound familiar if you've been listening to certain agents in the Welker-v-Patriots saga. (CSN Chicago)

-- Looks like Ed Reed's joining the Texans, which has them happy in Texas . . . (CSN Houston)

-- . . . but not so much in Maryland, where they've watched the Ravens lose six starters from their Super Bowl championship defense. (CSN Baltimore)

-- Eli Manning says he's willing to restructure his contract if it'll help the Giants keep Victor Cruz. Careful there, Eli; when Tom Brady re-did his deal, I'm sure he thought it would help the Pats keep Wes Welker. (AP)

-- Mike Shanahan says that when RGIII starts playing again, he's going to need to learn how to avoid contact. (AP)

-- 'Skins linebacker Rob Jackson is suspended four games for violating the NFL's substance policy. Reportedly, the drug in question was an unprescribed pain medication. (CSN Washington)

-- Chip Kelly explains why the Eagles are following the lead of many, many other teams and holding training camp at their regular facilities. (CSN Philly)


--The strange journey of Freddy Adu is now taking him to Brazil. (CSN Philly)

-- Eleven players, and 11 other "sources close to the team," gave anonymous quotes to The Sporting News critical of Jurgen Klinsmann, head coach of the U.S. National Team, and Michael Bradley isn't happy about it. At all. (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)

-- With Carlos Bocanegra absent, the U.S. names Clint Dempsey as captain for its World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico. (Pro Soccer Talk)