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.

Sounds like Moncada will join Red Sox on Thursday

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Sounds like Moncada will join Red Sox on Thursday

BOSTON - Without saying so directly, John Farrell broadly hinted that the Red Sox appear ready to call up Yoan Moncada as rosters expand from the current 25-man limit Thursday.

Farrell first noted that the Red Sox "need better production'' at third base, where both Travis Shaw and Aaron Hill have struggled mightily at the position.

Moncada, a natural second baseman, was shifted to third base earlier this month at Double A Portland. Moncada has a slash line of .285/.388/.547 with 11 homers and 27 RBI in 44 games.

Asked specifically about the chances of a call-up for Moncada, Farrell said: "We've talked about Yoan. And not just as a pinch-runner. It's an exciting young player, an extremely talented guy. There's all positive reviews and evaluations of him.

"When that major league experience is going to initiate, time will tell that. But in terms of playing the position of third base [in the big leagues], that conversation has been had.''

Previously, the Red Sox had resisted bringing Moncada to the big leagues, worried that he wouldn't be in the lineup often enough to continue his development. The Sox didn't want him to miss out on additional experience in the minors by playing only part-time in the majors.

But now that the minor league seasons are about to end -- Portland finishes Labor Day -- there's nothing in the minors for Moncada to miss.

"This is a different scenario than if it were July or early August,'' said Farrell. "The minor league season ends [soon], so is there benefit to him just being here? The answer to that is yes. Do you weigh playing 'X' number of games per week versus what he could be doing at Portland or Pawtucket? Well, that goes away [with the minor league regular seasons end].

"So, again, by all accounts, there's nothing but positives that could come out of experience here -- if that were to happen.''

 Moncada's promotion would be similar to the one experience by Xander Bogaerts in 2013, who was brought up in the final week of August 2013 and remained with the club all the way through the end of the team's World Series run that fall, taking playing time from struggling third baseman Will Middlebrooks.

 "For those who have been around this team for a number of years,'' said Farrell, "teams that have had success have always had an injection of young players late in the season that have helped carry the team through the postseason. I think Yoan would be in a similar category to when Pedey [Dustin Pedroia], when Jake [Jacoby Ellsbury] came into the picture. And Andrew (Benintendi) is already here, so I wouldn't separate [Moncada] out from that at all.

"In fact, he's a direct comparison [to those cases].’’

Farrell agreed that the arrival of a young, highly-touted player can inject some energy into a team in the throes of a pennant race.

"Absolutely, there is,'' said Farrell. "You've got a newness element. You've got, likely, above-average speed. You've got athleticism. You've got the unknown across the field on how does a given [opposing] team attack a given guy.

"In the cases we've talked about, it has been beneficial to us for the young player to come up. They find a way to contribute in a meaningful role. 

Without saying that [Moncada's promotion] is a definite, there's a lot [of positives]going for it.''

Farrell also acknowledged that the Sox have already held internal discussions about how Moncada would be utilized, given that the switch-hitter has been far more productive from the left side of the plate.

"We've talked about what's strong side, how do you look to best ease him in, so to speak,'' said Farrell. "We thought that with Benintendi, how do we best ease him in. Well, he blew the doors off of that one [with his early success]. So, if it happens, and if begins here soon, you'll all be aware.''

Farrell said the reports of Moncada's transition to third base have been encouraging despite three errors in his first nine games there.

"He's shown good range, an above-average arm,'' said Farrell. "Where there will be ongoing work and continued development, just as there was at second base, is the ball hit straight at him. That's just pure technique and fundamental positioning with hands and feet.

"But as far as range to his glove side, moving to third base, that seemingly has not been that big of a challenge for him.''

Wednesday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Wright, Sox try to salvage 3-3 homestand

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Wednesday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: Wright, Sox try to salvage 3-3 homestand

The Red Sox try to end their short homestand at 3-3 and take two of three from the last-place Tampa Bay Rays in the series finale this afternoon at Fenway Park.

Steven Wright (13-6, 3.18 ERA), who allowed five first-inning runs to the Kansas Royals in his last start - his first since coming off the disabled list - is on the mound for the Red Sox. Left-hander Drew Smyly (6-11, 4.80) starts for the Rays.

The Red Sox begin a nine-game road trip to Oakland, San Diego and Toronto on Friday night. 

The lineups:

RAYS

Logan Forsythe 2B

Kevin Kiermaier 2B

Evan Longoria 3B

Brad Miller DH

Nick Franklin RF

Logan Morrison 1B

Tim Beckham SS

Corey Dickerson LF

Bobby Wilson C

Drew Smyly LHP

 

RED SOX

Dustin Pedroia 2B

Xander Bogaerts SS

David Ortiz DH

Mookie Betts RF

Hanley Ramirez 1B

Sandy Leon C

Chris Young LF

Aaron Hill 3B

Jackie Bradley Jr. CF