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

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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:

AUTO RACING
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)

BASEBALL
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)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
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)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
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)

HOCKEY
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)

PRO BASKETBALL
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)

PRO FOOTBALL
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)

SOCCER
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)

Top Red Sox prospect Sam Travis out for year with torn ACL

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Top Red Sox prospect Sam Travis out for year with torn ACL

As good as things have gone for the Red Sox so far in 2016, their 2017 prospects took a bit of a blow over the weekend.

Sam Travis -- one of the organization's top prospects, and someone who opened a lot of eyes with an impressive spring-training showing this year -- suffered a torn ACL on Sunday while playing for the Pawtucket Red Sox and will be lost for the rest of the season. He was hurt while playing first base, collapsing as he chased down an opposition baserunner during a rundown play. He had to be helped off the field, and the extent of the injury was announced on Monday.

With David Ortiz retiring at the end of this season and Hanley Ramirez expected to replace him as the full-time designated hitter, the door was open for Travis to become the Red Sox' first baseman next year. Playing at Triple-A for the first time, the 22-year-old Travis -- honored by the Red Sox as their Minor League Offensive Player of the the Year in 2015 -- was hitting .272/.332/.434 with 10 doubles, 6 home runs and 29 RBI in 47 games.

Now, however, it's almost a complete certainty Travis won't be able to start next season in Boston. And depending on what the Red Sox do in the offseason to replace Ortiz, such as a signing a free agent to a multiyear contract, Travis' path upward in the Sox organization may become less wide open . . . if not blocked.