Wakeup Call: Kobe has A-Rod's back

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Wakeup Call: Kobe has A-Rod's back

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Thursday, October 11:

BASEBALL
Are these A's a great story, or what? (CSN Bay Area)

They're even overshadowing the Giants, and that's not easy. (CSN Bay Area)

But this great story may be coming to an end. (CSN Washington)

This one, too. (CSN Baltimore)

So how about it, Joe Girardi? You're not still thinking of keeping A-Rod in the No. 3 spot, are you? (NBC's Hardball Talk)

You'd better, if you don't want Kobe Bryant mad at you. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

It may be the 167th -- and potentially final -- game, but NBC's Hardball Talk's Matthew Pouliot says it's time for the Tigers to change closers. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
The NCAA is knocking on Myck Kabongo's door down at Texas, and that's never a good thing. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Speaking of the NCAA, its standing by its sanctions against Boise State. (AP)

Jerry Sandusky's lawyer says the state of Pennsylvania has no legal grounds for revoking his client's pension, and he believes "they are just going through the motions to try to throw some red meat to the public". (AP)

GOLF
Tiger Woods channels his inner NHL skater and looks to play in Europe. (AP) He'd still stay on the PGA Tour, though.

HOCKEY
But it looks like some of the hockey players who went over -- or at least the Russians -- may stay there all year, even if the lockout ends. (CSN Washington)

Apparently, the NHLPA -- at the urging of the league -- is working on a new proposal. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk) What, so the owners can say "no" again and then cry the players are being unreasonable? Or put their own laughably one-sided offer back on the table and claim they made a "legitimate counteroffer"? Sorry to be so cynical; just can't get the phrase "past actions are the best indicator of future performance" out of my mind.

And why does the phrase "crocodile tears" leap into my head at this one? (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
Looks like the Warriors are going to have to start the year without Andrew Bogut. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Judging by last night, the Lakers better hope they don't have to start it without Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard. (AP)

Cross David Stern at your peril. Just ask Stan Van Gundy. (Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
R.I.P., Alex Karras. (AP)

Using capital letters to make sure everyone gets the point, the done-for-the-year Brian Cushing assures his Facebook friends -- and Texans fans, I would imagine -- that "WE are STILL winning THIS year's Super Bowl". (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The NFL is reviewing Matt Slauson's hit on Cushing, though nothing's expected to come of it. (Pro Football Talk)

Rex Ryan's support for Mark Sanchez is getting a little weaker. (AP)

The NFL says former Vikings defensive lineman Jimmy Kennedy was the original whistle-blower on BountyGate. Kennedy, ah, denies it. Strongly. (Pro Football Talk)

Don't invite Scott Fujita to a party with Roger Goodell. (AP)

Hasn't been much of a year for Ryan Kalil. First there was the Super Bowl guarantee, then the Panthers' 1-4 start, and now he's out for the season. (AP)

To paraphrase Gordon Gecko (sort of), Jim Harbaugh says paranoia is good. (CSN Bay Area)

Terry Bradshaw continues to audition for the lead role in Grumpy Old Men III. (Pro Football Talk)

Brady Quinn's getting ready, since it looks like Matt Cassel's a no-go for Sunday. (AP)

Old friend Mark Anderson's out indefinitely in Buffalo. (AP)

T.O. won't take 'no' for an answer from the Jets. (Pro Football Talk)

TENNIS
Roger Federer says he forgot all about those death threats once the match started. (AP)

Quotes, notes and stars: 'Unfortunate situation at a key moment'

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Quotes, notes and stars: 'Unfortunate situation at a key moment'

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 10-9 loss to the Blue Jays:
 
QUOTES
*“We’ve seen Hanley [Ramirez] catch that ball multiple times...An unfortunate situation at a key moment.” John Farrell said of the final play of the game.
 
*As soon as I let it go I thought he was out...I feel like that game kind of slipped away from us.” -Travis Shaw said of his throw in the final play of the game.
 
*“Everybody was so excited on the bench. We’d lost the lead and to have him come through in that situation . . . It was huge.” -Hanley Ramirez on David Ortiz’s go-ahead homerun in the ninth inning.
 
*“We’re a strike away on a number of occasions . . . you watch the attack plan all day long right-handers with curveballs were having success against [Justin] Smoak.” -Farrell said of the bullpen’s performance and Smoak’s ninth inning hit off Craig Kimbrel.
 
*“If he makes an accurate throw he’s out.” -Farrell on Christian Vazquez’s errant throw in the ninth inning.
 
*“In some key spots we gave an extra 90 feet when otherwise we have not of late.” -Farrell said about Boston’s inability to execute late in the game.

NOTES
*Xander Bogaerts has hit safely in his last 21 games, extending his streak with a home run to lead off the fourth inning. He’s hitting .402 with five home runs during the streak. Bogaerts logged his ninth three-hit game of 2016.
 
* Dustin Pedroia extended his hitting streak to five games with his first-inning double. Pedroia has also hit safely in his past 22 games against Toronto. He’s hitting .444 during the short streak.
 
*David Ortiz extended his own hitting streak to six games with a double in the fourth. He's hitting .520 over that span.
 
* Russell Martin logged his fifth multi-hit game of the season -- and first three-hit game -- smacking a double and a home run. Martin entered the game batting .179 with three extra-base hits.
 
 
STARS
1) Russell Martin

Not only did he score the winning run, but he also tied the score in the ninth and launched a home run earlier in the game.
 
2) Xander Bogaerts
Another threre-hit performance, extending his hitting streak to 21 games, Bogaerts keeps creating headaches for opposing pitchers.
 
3) Rick Porcello
On a day where pitchers from both side scuffled, Porcello’s 6 2/3-inning effort gave Boston more than enough of a chance to win. 

First impressions: Big trouble for Red Sox bullpen

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First impressions: Big trouble for Red Sox bullpen

First impressions of the Red Sox' 10-9 loss in Toronto:
 
Rick Porcello was back in top form.

Despite the matchup at the Rogers Center being less than favorable for Porcello, and the righty not at his best of late, he held a streaking, dangerous offense at bay for 6 2/3 innings (four runs, seven hits) before the bullpen coughed up two leads. 

While Porcello hasn’t performed poorly of late, there’s no question he hasn’t been at his best -- so it’s good to see him have a consistent feel for his pitches.

The bullpen might be in trouble Sunday.

With Junichi Tazawa struggling, Craig Kimbrel throwing a season high 39 pitches and Matt Barnes pitching in both games this series, the bullpen won’t be at it’s best for the final game in Toronto. So, if there were ever a time for David Price to throw like a true ace, Sunday would be it.

Tommy Layne proves again that he’s not trustworthy.

With a four-run lead, and only needing to get two batters out, Layne couldn't get an out in the eighth, allowing two runs on two hits and starting something not even Kimbrel (who gave up leads in the eighth and ninth after being called on for a five-out save) could stop. The lefty specialist may have entered the game with an ERA below 3.00, but his results are inconsistent.
 
Umpire Mike DiMuro’s injury changed the tone of the game.

The home plate umpire took a hard foul ball off the center of the mask, delaying the game for several minutes and forcing Brian Gorman to call the game behind the plate.

And with that came an inconsistent strike zone. Both sides were frustrated by his inconsistency with his zone. Porcello had two pitches stopped due to late timeout calls. Marcus Stroman was almost allowed to quick pitch Hanley Ramirez twice in the same at-bat.

The crew got it right removing DiMuro from the game, but Gorman was bad in relief.
 
David Ortiz getting doubled up in the fourth inning can’t happen.

Darwin Barney showed some range, getting to Jackie Bradley, Jr.’s soft line drive up the middle, flipping the ball to second quickly after to get Ortiz. This comes a night after Hanley Ramirez got double up off a screaming line drive.

There’s a difference between the two though. Ramirez had no time to react. Ortiz had all the time in the world. Even though Papi’s speed hasn’t become enhanced in his old age -- unlike his power -- that was a rally-killing play he could’ve prevented.
 
Don’t sleep on Dustin Pedroia.

Between Ortiz’s farewell tour and the youth rising, Dustin Pedroia continues to perform well under the radar.

He went 2-for-4, lacing two doubles off Toronto’s ace, Marcus Stroman. Pedroia is hitting .309. He’s not the only player being overlooked, but he’s definitely received the least amount of attention in Boston’s power-packed lineup.