Wakeup Call: Don't call us, boys, we'll call you


Wakeup Call: Don't call us, boys, we'll call you

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, October 17:

Dale Earnhardt Jr. visits a concussion specialist as he works to get back on the track. (AP)

NASCAR makes some rules changes that it calls "a big win for our fans." (AP)

When Joe Girardi benches you, you stay benched . . . no matter what. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Marco Scutaro's laughing about his takeout by Matt Holliday, which has to be a good sign. (CSN Bay Area)

Word to the wise, Matt: Be loose up there tonight. (Hardball Talk)

So what's Stephen Strasburg been doing since the Nationals shut him down? Pretty much what you'd expect any 24-year-old to be doing. (CSN Washington)

R.I.P. Eddie Yost, who was the Red Sox' third-base coach in the late '70s and early '80s. (Hardball Talk)

Ozzie Smith -- apparently taking a page from the Bobby Knight book -- is putting his 13 Gold Gloves and two World Series rings up for auction. (AP)

Steve Lavin is fully recovered from prostate cancer surgery and back on the bench at St. John's. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

Holly Warlick says she's embracing the challenge of replacing Pat Summitt. (AP)

Geno Auriemma's setting bar pretty high at Connecticut. (AP)

Charlie Weis has decided -- 125 years of evidence to the contrary be damned -- that two quarterbacks are better than one. (NBC's College Football Talk)

The referees who decided that Stepfan Taylor never made it to the end zone Saturday, giving Notre Dame a victory over Stanford, were backed up Tuesday by their boss. (AP)

Not yet, Everett. Not yet. (AP)

The Sandusky scandal will cost Penn State AD Tim Curley his job. (AP)

Now it appears Tyrann Mathieu could be in trouble with the NCAA. (AP)

Sorry, North Carolina. You're too good for Minnesota. (AP)

Like me, the players are taking back all those nasty things they've been saying about Gary Bettman. At least a little. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

If it makes you feel any better about the Celtics, the Lakers are 0-4 and questions about their depth are surfacing. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Well, that didn't work out so well, did it, Mike? (AP)

What's the reason for Juan Castillo's firing in Philadelphia? Here are five of them. (CSN Philly)

Aaron Rodgers' big night in San Diego didn't come without a cost. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The 49ers will have a new stadium by 2016 and they'd love to celebrate by hosting that year's Super Bowl, a.k.a. Super Bowl L. (CSN Bay Area)

Looks like they've got a shot at it, too. (Pro Football Talk)

Excuse me? Patrick Willis? When you answer criticism by pulling out the old "What does he know? He never played the game?" card, you really should find out first a) whether or not the guy actually did play the game, and b) whether or not he played it better than you. (Pro Football Talk)

There are some things Troy Polamalu just won't do . . even for a Super Bowl championship. (Pro Football Talk)

And there are some behaviors the Steelers just won't tolerate, as rookie nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu discovered. (AP)

James Harrison says his new padded helmet is protecting him from concussion-like symptoms. (AP)

Speaking of concussions, Matt Cassel's been cleared for non-contact practice. (AP)

The hits never stop for Kevin Kolb. (AP)

The NFL's decided to make not one, but two trips to London next year. (AP)

At last! Someone younger than 50 will perform a Super Bowl halftime show. (NBC's Off The Bench)

With its 3-1 win over Guatemala, the U.S. is one step closer toward its seventh consecutive World Cup berth. (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner


Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.

Offseason just like any other for Bogaerts

Offseason just like any other for Bogaerts

BOSTON -- At first, 2016 seemed like the “Year of Xander.” It turned out to be the “Year of Mookie,” with Bogaerts dropping off a little as the season progressed.

The Red Sox shortstop saw his average peak at .359 on June 12. At that point he’d played in 61 games, hit eight home runs, 20 doubles and knocked in 44 runs. Although Mookie Betts had six more home runs and three more RBI in that same span, Bogaerts had six more doubles and was hitting 69 points higher.

The two were already locks for the All-Star Game and Bogaerts still had the edge in early MVP talk.

Then things took a turn after the very day Bogaerts saw his average peak.

Over the next 61 games, Bogaerts still managed seven homers, but only had six doubles and 27 RBI, watching his average drop to .307 by the end of that stretch. At first glance, .307 doesn’t seem like an issue, but he dropped 52 points after hitting .253 in that span.

And in his remaining 35 games, Bogaerts only hit .248 -- although he did have six homers.

But throughout it all, Bogaerts never seemed fazed by it. With pitchers and catchers reporting in less than a month, Bogaerts still isn’t worried about the peaks and valleys.

“You go through it as a player, the only one’s who don’t go through that are the ones not playing,” Bogaerts told CSNNE.com before the Boston baseball writers' dinner Thursday. “I just gotta know you’re going to be playing good for sometime, you’re going to be playing bad for sometime.

“Just try to a lot more better times than bad times. It’s just a matter of trusting yourself, trusting your abilities and never doubting yourself. Obviously, you get a lot of doubts when you’re playing bad, but you just be even keeled with whatever situation is presented.”

Bogaerts level head is something often noted by coaches and his teammates, carrying through the days he finds himself lunging left and right for pitches. That’s also carried him through the offseason while maintaining the same preparation from past seasons -- along with putting on some weight.

“I don’t know how much I put on, but I feel strong,” Bogaerts said to CSNNE.com “I mean, I look strong in the mirror.

“Hopefully, I’m in a good position when the season comes because I know I’ll lose [the weight].”