Wakeup Call: RGIII makes a Giant impression, even in defeat

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Wakeup Call: RGIII makes a Giant impression, even in defeat

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, October 22:

BASEBALL
Is this starting to look like the Giants' year, or what? (CSN Bay Area)

Game 7 against the Cardinals certainly seems to be tilting in their favor. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Still, it's not like the Cards haven't been here before. (AP)

Whichever one of them gets to the World Series, Jose Valverde will be ready. (AP)

And the hits just keep on coming for the Yankees: Now CC Sabathia's going to have his elbow examined by Dr. James Andrews. (AP)

The Marlins' dismantling continues, as they dispatch Heath Bell to Arizona. (AP)

With old friend John Farrell headed to Boston, old friend DeMarlo Hale could be headed to Toronto to replace him. (CSN Baltimore)

Ramiro Mendoza? Pitching in the World Baseball Classic? There's hope for Rich Garces yet! (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Some changes in the BCS standings. (AP)

Not in the AP Top 25 poll, though. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
I can see Rick Pitino punishing Chane Behanan by making him sitting out a game. But banning him from talking to the media? (AP)

The son of Minnesota coach Tubby Smith, assistant coach Saul Smith, is on indefinite unpaid leave after a DUI arrest. (AP)

HOCKEY
They're talking. Just not negotiating. (AP)

And why should they? The NHL has basically said we're not moving off our last offer. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

With the season in limbo, some NHL players are starting to get in a little trouble. (CSN Bay Area)

PRO BASKETBALL
Dwight Howard "actually shed a couple of tears" in the moments before his Laker debut. It was Laker fans who were crying afterwards, as Howard's 19-point, 12-rebound performance couldn't stop L.A. from dropping to 0-6 in the exhibition season. (AP)

A ruptured benign cyst in his left knee will keep Amare Stoudemire out of the Knicks' lineup for two to three weeks. (AP)

Stephen Curry, meanwhile, is sidelined with a routine old ankle sprain. (AP)

Tamika Catchings can finally add a WNBA title to her list of achievenments, as she and her Indiana teammates defeated Minnesota for the championship. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
One man's treasure . . . (CSN Houston)

. . . is another man's trash. (CSN Baltimore)

RGIII made a believer out of the Giants, even in defeat. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The Steelers didn't have a lot, but they had enough to beat the Bengals. (AP)

Even though Jonathan Vilma's return didn't do much for the Saints' defense, Drew Brees was, well, Drew Brees in New Orleans' victory over the Bucs. (AP)

And as Bountygate drags on and on, now the NFLPA is just saying no to Paul Tagliabue, too. (AP)

Chuck Armstrong's out of the hospital, and he watched the Colts' win over the Browns at home (Pro Football Talk)

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].”

Sandoval’s offseason transformation doesn't guarantee he's Sox starting third baseman

Sandoval’s offseason transformation doesn't guarantee he's Sox starting third baseman

BOSTON - The weight room, as much as Instagram, has been Pablo Sandoval’s home in the offseason leading up to the 2017 season.

His change in diet and routine have clearly led to visible results, at least in terms of appearance. His play is yet to be determined. But his manager and teammates have taken notice.

“Compliments to Pablo,” John Farrell told reporters before Thursday’s BBWAA dinner. “He’s done a great job with the work that he’s put in, the commitment he’s made. He’s reshaped himself, that’s apparent. He knows there’s work to be done to regain an everyday job at third base. So, we’ll see how that unfolds. We’re not looking for him to be someone he’s not been in the past. Return to that level of performance.”

Farrell noted that Brock Holt and Josh Rutledge are the other two players in contention for time at third base and while others, such as prospect Rafael Devers, may get time there in the spring, those are the only three expected to compete for the job.

“The beauty of last spring is that there’s a note of competition in camp,” Farrell said. “And that was born out of third base last year [when Travis Shaw beat out Sandoval at the third base]. That won’t change.”

Sandoval's 2016 season ended after shoulder surgery in April. 

While the manager has to be cautiously optimistic, Sandoval’s teammates can afford to get their hopes up.

“Pablo is definitely going to bounce back,” Xander Bogaerts told CSNNE.com “Especially with the weight he’s lost and the motivation he has to prove a lot of people wrong, to prove the fans wrong.

“He’s been a great player for his whole career. He’s not a bad player based on one year. Playing in Boston the first year is tough, so, hopefully this year he’ll be better.”

Prior to Sandoval’s abysmal 2015, his first season in Boston, when he hit .245 with 47 RBI in 126 games, the 2012 World Series MVP was a career .294 hitter who averaged 15 home runs and 66 RBI a year.

If Bogaerts is right and Sandoval can be that player again, that will be a huge lift in filling in the gap David Ortiz left in Boston’s offense.