Wakeup call: Dickie V. issues a warning about . . . Amanda Bynes??

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Wakeup call: Dickie V. issues a warning about . . . Amanda Bynes??

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

BASEBALL
No one can accuse the Orioles of coasting back into a first-place tie with the Yankees. Not after 18 innings. Or 5 hours and 44 minutes. (AP)

If you're thinking Dusty Baker would love for the Reds to clinch the N.L. Central at Wrigley Field, considering that the Cubs fired him way back when, think again. (CSN Chicago)

However, since their magic number is down to four, it's possible. (AP)

It may be a badge of honor in some circles, but Ike Davis doesn't like the insinuation that he's a party animal. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Yunel Escobar says he wasn't trying to offend anyone, and he wasn't aiming it at anybody in particular, and he didn't see it as anything bad "at the time". With all that out of the way, he apologized -- and accepted a three-game suspension -- for the homophobic slur he painted on his eye black last week. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Raise your hand if you never thought you'd see the names Dick Vitale and Amanda Bynes in the same sentence. (NBC's Off The Bench) Raise both hands if you never thought you'd see Dickie V. issuing a general warning about her.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Brian Kelly is a Boston native and he loves the Red Sox, but he doesn't sound too enthused about the prospect of Notre Dame playing a game at Fenway Park. (CSN Chicago)

LSU will have to take on Auburn -- and the next few opponents on its schedule -- without starting running back Alfred Blue. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Can you imagine Bill Belichick beseeching local reporters to smile? (College Football Talk) Me, neither.

Injured Tulane safety Devon Walker has been moved to a rehabilitation center. (AP)

HOCKEY
Good news at last for the locked-out players: The NHLPA is restoring their insurance coverage after the league canceled it. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

If you're looking for more good news, you're going to have to look pretty hard. (CSN Philly)

And if they don't start negotiating again soon . . . well, look out below. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Yet another casualty of the lockout: The Summit Series anniversary game. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
They're just gobbling up tickets to see Austin Rivers in New Orleans. Oh, and maybe Anthony Davis, too. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Linsanity begins in Houston. (AP)

President Obama (finally!) salutes the Minnesota Lynx. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
We'll withhold comment on the irony of Jon Gruden calling Michael Turner "road rage" during the Falcons' win over the Broncos Monday night, and Turner then being arrested for DUI a few hours after the game. (AP)

The NFL and its locked-out referees continue to talk at, and not to, each other. (NBC's Pro Football Talk) That's not how you get it done, boys.

26 million later, Vince Young is broke. (AP) And jobless.

L.A.'s hopes for an NFL franchise may have taken a hit. (Pro Football Talk)

Okay, okay; Jay Cutler admits he shouldn't have shoved J'Marcus Webb. He'll defend to the death, though, his right to yell at him. (AP)

And Jeff Ireland admits he shouldn't have sworn at that fan who told him to fire himself as Dolphins GM. (AP) But at least Ireland didn't shove anybody.

Sox hope to bring David Ortiz back to Boston for new role

Sox hope to bring David Ortiz back to Boston for new role

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- David Oritz’s time in Boston as a player is over. He continues to say there’s no Brett Favre-type comeback, no matter how many people ask him.

However, that doesn’t mean his time with the Red Sox is over.

Sam Kennedy, Tom Werner and Dave Dombrowski are heading down to the Dominican Republic to tour the team’s academy on the island to see what changes, if any, need to be made.

Ortiz will join them on those tours.

“He’s just a good guy to go to the Dominican with,” Kennedy said. “We thought it’d be great to catch up. Haven’t seen him since before the holidays.”

But the front office members intend to exchange more than just pleasantries and stories from the holiday season. One goal on the trip is to bring Ortiz back to the organization as an employee.

“Yeah that’s something on the agenda,” Kennedy said. “We’re gonna talk about what he may or may not want to do. He did say after the season let’s just talk in January. He was so overwhelmed and tired so it’s a good time to start those conversations.

“I know he has a lot of plans, broadcasting, a lot of businesses he’s involved with and we’ll see what he’s up to. But we hope to cement something so he’s a part of the organization.”

What role that is yet to be determined. Assuming he doesn’t pursue a broadcasting career.

“I truly don’t know what’s on his mind,” Kennedy said. “He’ll obviously be good at whatever he decides to do, but I would hope that we could create a role where he has influence in the baseball operations side, he has influence in marketing, as an ambassador. A lot of our alums we’ve found really enjoy working with young players. Pedro [Martinez] is a perfect example of that.

“So we’ll see what he’s interested in doing, but I have heard him talk about broadcasting in the past and I think he’d be great at it if he decides to do it.”

Swihart, Wright fully recovered for Red Sox' spring training

Swihart, Wright fully recovered for Red Sox' spring training

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- Dave Dombrowski told reporters at the Red Sox Winter Weekend at Foxwoods both Steven Wright and Blake Swihart are ready to go for spring training.

Wright suffered a shoulder injury from sliding back into second as a pinch runner against the Dodgers in August, ending his All-Star season far too soon. The knuckleballer went 13-6 with a 3.33 ERA in 24 starts last season.

“His shoulder has been feeling good,” Dombrowski said of Wright, who was not at the event due to a prior engagement. “He’s out there throwing, so he feels good.”

Swihart saw his season end even sooner than Wright, after spraining his left ankle June 4 tracking down a foul ball in left field near the wall at Fenway Park. He played in only 19 games last season. 

“[Swihart] said he feels great,” Dombrowski said. “He’s going right from here down to Florida and he said he’s ready to go.”

Swihart will move back to the catcher position for spring training, with his goal of winning the job over Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez. The ankle might’ve been a cause for concern had the Red Sox handled the situation differently, but by all accounts he’s OK to catch again.

“They tell me [there’s no reason for concern],” Dombrowski said. “I guess I’m really not knowledgeable to say that, but the doctors and trainers have told me no.

"That’s why they went and had the surgery because they felt the way the tendon kept slipping that [there was a] possibility it would bother him more. But after the surgery now, they feel there will not be any problems in that regard.”