Wakeup call: Reggie skips Cooperstown; T.O. avoids the slammer

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Wakeup call: Reggie skips Cooperstown; T.O. avoids the slammer

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, July 20:

BASEBALL
Nick Swisher apparently still doesn't understand that most people hate the Yankees. (CSN Bay Area)

Not a surprise that after naming -- and, we assume, insulting and infuriating -- all those he deemed not worthy to be enshrined with Himself, Reggie Jackson is skipping the Hall of Fame ceremonies this weekend and is instead with the Yankees in Oakland. But if you want to know how he feels about the whole thing, he ain't talkin'. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

And speaking of the Yankees, Brett Gardner's done for the year. (NBC's Hardball Talk) Very little surprise there; he hasn't played since April 17.

The Ryan Dempster Watch is on. (CSN Chicago) He claims it's "business as usual," though how often do trade rumors swirl around you 247?

BASKETBALL
Dennis Rodman's father skipped out on him 42 years ago, but the other day they had a brief meeting. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk) You know the old saying about the apple not falling far from the tree . . . ?

Wonder if Chico's Bail Bonds ("Let Freedom Ring") is still looking to advertise? (AP)

COLLEGE
The latest on Joe Paterno: Ex-Georgetown coach John Thompson calls him "a damn good man" (NBC's College Basketball Talk), while Grambling -- the college where Eddie Robinson won 408 games, a total that was passed by Paterno less than two weeks before he was fired in the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal -- wants at least some of JoePa's victories vacated and their man returned to the top of the NCAA record book. (AP)

FOOTBALL
It wasn't a Leviathan ego that brought Brett Favre back for his disastrous 2010 swan song. It was the money. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The joy in Baltimore over Ed Reed deciding not to hold out has been tempered by his decision to hit free agency at the end of the year. (CSN Baltimore)

When Luis Castillo was a free agent this spring, he visited both the Patriots and the Chiefs before re-signing with San Diego. Yesterday, the Chargers released him. (AP)

The NFL hit Bears defensive tackle Nate Collins with a one-game suspension for a violation of the league's substance-abuse program. (AP) Don't ask what substance, because they didn't say.

What a relief: T.O.'s not going to jail. (AP)

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while everybody in New England is in mourning over the latest Gronk booboo. 

*A pretty neat sharpshooting video with Jonathan Toews and that young whippersnapper Auston Matthews squaring off against each other. 

*Craig Custance looks a little deeper into the situation with the Florida Panthers and how things are stabilizing after the rough firing of Gerard Gallant last week. 

*Now. let’s get to the real important stuff: the San Jose Sharks website has put together their Movember rankings for the player’s mustaches. 

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bruce Garrioch says that the plans for an outdoor game in Ottawa are again back on the NHL’s agenda. 

*Erik Erlendsson has put together a “Lightning Insider” website where you can find all the latest news about the Tampa Bay franchise. Check it out. 

*As guys such as Anton Khudobin prove when they’re thrust into the starting spot, backup goalies matter in today’s NHL. 

*For something completely different: a mash-up of Kylo Ren and “Girls” from the mad mind of Adam Driver is exactly just that. 

 

Chara ‘feels better’ as he closes in on return, but won’t play in Buffalo

Chara ‘feels better’ as he closes in on return, but won’t play in Buffalo

BRIGHTON, Mass. – Zdeno Chara said he is “feeling better” after going through a full practice with the Bruins, but the captain won’t be making the one game road trip to Buffalo for Saturday afternoon’s matinee game vs. the Sabres. 

Chara was going through line rushes and battle drills with the rest of his teammates while practicing for the second day in a row, but made it clear that his lower body injury hasn’t been cleared for game action yet. 

“It’s day-to-day. It feels better…yeah. But it’s still day-to-day,” said a rather laconic Chara when it came to questions about his injury. “It would feel much better [to play] than it feels [not playing].”

Claude Julien said his 39-year-old defenseman has moved into true “day-to-day” status as he nears a return after missing what will be his sixth game in a row on Saturday afternoon, but that he isn’t quite ready to go just yet.

“[Chara] and [Noel] Acciari won’t be on the trip,” said Julien. “I think [Chara] is getting pretty close. When you see him at practice things are going pretty well for him. I think that the term day-to-day is fitting for him right now. A lot of times when we say day-to-day we don’t know whether it’s going to be two days, three days or even a week. But in his case I would say that day-to-day is really day-to-day now with him.” 

One thing the Bruins can be heartened by is that they’ve managed to survive without Chara: the B’s have gone 2-2-1 and allowed just nine goals in the five games since their No. 1 defenseman went down. They have been able to continue collecting points in sometimes ugly, workmanlike fashion. 

That gives the Bruins the luxury of not rushing their D-man along before he’s ready and gives some of their other defensemen added confidence that they can effectively do the job with or without their 6-foot-9 stopper.