Wakeup Call: Not so fast on trading A-Rod

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Wakeup Call: Not so fast on trading A-Rod

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, October 19.

BASEBALL
Time for The Blame Game in New York. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

And no one's getting more of it than A-Rod . . . though trading him might not be such a good idea. (Hardball Talk)

If only he'd listened to Kobe. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Maybe it was just because they played the Yankees, but the Tigers sure look good heading into the World Series. (nbcsports.com)

The Freak was The Dud for the Giants, who are now in a big hole to the Cardinals. (AP)

Bo Porter says he's "all in" as the new manager of the Astros. (CSN Houston)

BOXING
Gay boxer Orlando Cruz is scheduled to fight Friday night for the first time since coming out. (AP via nbcsports.com)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
No. 2 Oregon passed its first true road test of the year with flying colors. (AP)

That was a nice little offensive night for SMU, eh? (AP)

Looks like Vanderbilt is a Big Ten-free Zone. (AP)

Notre Dame says Everett Golson's availability Saturday will be a game-time decision. (AP)

As expected, South Carolina suspended defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles for Saturday's game at Florida. However, he wasn't expected to play anyway because of a shoulder injury. (AP)

Jerry Sandusky's still fighting. (AP)

HOCKEY
Didn't look that way to us either, Sidney. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

But no, Shane, we wouldn't go that far. (Pro Hockey Talk)

What do the players want in the end? They want their contracts honored. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
LeBron James to the Lakers (eventually)? Kurt Helin says it's unlikely, both now "and a couple of NBA lifetimes from now." (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Dwyane Wade looks fine. (AP)

Well, well. Look who's finally ready to play. (Pro Basketball Talk)

And we have Gangnam-style dancing to thank. (Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
The 49ers win ugly over the Seahawks. (AP)

Yeah, I was wondering this myself. (CSN Bay Area)

The NFLPA wants to know -- in court -- why the NFL is so worked up over Bountygate when it didn't seem to have any problem with Reggie White's "smash-for-cash" program in 1996. (AP)

Once Dean Pees escaped Fort Belichick and was allowed to speak freely, we discovered he could say some pretty interesting things. (CSN Baltimore)

An autopsy report confirms that Garrett Reid, son of Eagles coach Andy Reid, died of an accidental heroin overdose. (CSN Philly)

Jason Pierre-Paul warns that RGIII better not run on his side Sunday. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Terrell Suggs says, yeah, he just might play this week. (AP)

Come on, Nate. You know they wouldn't have hit you for 10 grand if it was a Super Soaker. (Pro Football Talk)

TENNIS
Tommy Haas? 500 career wins? Really? (AP)

Market for Encarnacion is shrinking, yet Red Sox still don't seem interested

Market for Encarnacion is shrinking, yet Red Sox still don't seem interested

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- As the annual winter meetings get underway today, the market for arguably the best free-agent hitter may be -- against all logic -- lessening.

Edwin Encarnacion, who has averaged 39 homers a year over the last five seasons, should be a player in demand.

But in quick succession, the Houston Astros and New York Yankees, two teams thought to be in the market for Encarnacion, opted to go with older hitters who required shorter deals -- Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday.

Further, the Toronto Blue Jays' signing of Steve Pearce to a two-year deal Monday, coupled with their earlier acquisition of Kendrys Morales, closes the door on a potential return to Toronto for Encarnacion.

Seemingly, all of that would position the Red Sox, in search of a DH to replace the retired David Ortiz, to swoop in and land Encarnacion for far less than they could have imagined only weeks ago.

And yet, it appears as though things would have to change considerably for the Red Sox to reach agreement with Encarnacion.

While the first baseman-DH is known to be Ortiz's first choice as his replacement, for now, the economics don't work for the Sox -- even as Enacarnacion's leverage drops.

Encarnacion is expecting a deal of at least four years, with an average annual value around $20 million.

The Red Sox, industry sources indicate, are very much mindful of the luxury tax threshold. The Sox have, however modestly, gone over the threshold in each of the last two seasons, and even with a bump due to last week's new CBA, the Sox are dangerously close to the 2018 limit of $195 million.

Should the Sox go over for a third straight year, their tax would similarly ratchet up.

That, and the fact that Encarnacion would cost the Sox their first-round pick next June -- for this offseason, compensation for players given a qualifying offer comes under the old CBA rules -- represents two huge disincentives.

It's far more likely that the Sox will seek a cheaper option at DH from among a group that includes Pedro Alvarez and Mike Napoli. Neither is in Encarnacion's class, but then again, neither would cost a draft pick in return, or the long-term investment that Encarnacion is said to be seeking.

Boomer Esiason witnessed Pete Rose hire people to sign autographs

Boomer Esiason witnessed Pete Rose hire people to sign autographs

Boomer Esiason tells Toucher & Rich a story from his early days in Cincinnati when he witnessed Pete Rose overseeing five guys he paid to sign a stack of photographs for fans.