Wakeup Call: Why can't WE get players like that??

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Wakeup Call: Why can't WE get players like that??

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, October 23:

BASEBALL
Cue Russ Hodges: The Giants win the pennant!! The Giants win the pennant!! (AP)

And cue Bob Lobel: Why can't WE get players like that??!?! (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Marco Scutaro's MVP performance reminded Will Clark of . . . well, himself. (CSN Bay Area)

Hard to believe this was the first Game 7 victory in Giants history. (CSN Bay Area)

You know how the losers all vow "We'll be back" (and usually never are) after playoff elimination? In the Cardinals' case, that might be true. (Hardball Talk)

Enjoy it while you can, Giants, because nbcsports.com's Tony DeMarco says the party's over once you get into the ring against the Tigers.

Ever wonder how they pull Andre Dawson out of the Wrigley Field ivy in that commercial? Take a look behind the scenes at how it all happened. (CSN Chicago)

Tom Brunansky's back in the bigs. (AP)

How far has Curtis Granderson's star fallen in New York? Some in the media are calling for the Yankees to trade him to the Phillies for a positionless 26-year-old in Double-A. (www.beerleaguer.com)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Geno Auriemma wants to speed up the women's game, and he's got some ideas -- like lowering the rims -- to make it happen. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

Over in the men's game, Kentucky's favored to repeat as SEC champion. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Mack Brown isn't a fan of the Longhorn Network. (NBC's College Football Talk)

For the second straight year, Florida State's Chris Thompson has suffered a season-ending injury. (AP)

Oklahoma reinstates suspended defensive tackle Stacy McGee for its Saturday night showdown against Notre Dame. (AP)

That postgame snit of Wyoming coach Dave Christensen two weeks ago costs him 50,000 and a one-game suspension. (AP)

HOCKEY
CSN Washington's Chuck Gormley has an idea to break the stalemate in the NHL labor war.

And make no mistake: It is war. Right, Alex Ovechkin? (CSN Washington)

PRO BASKETBALL
Austin Rivers doesn't think his ankle sprain is "nothing too serious". (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Kobe Bryant's foot is hurting, too. (AP)

There's a lot of enthusiasm building in Philadelphia for the Sixers. But it isn't shared by the league's GMs. (the700level.com)

Now Kevin Durant . . . he's someone the GMs are excited about. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Not to mention LeBron and the Heat. (AP)

Kevin McHale's dumbing things down for the Rockets. (CSN Houston)

Jeff Van Gundy confirms it was David Stern and the NBA who had his brother Stan kicked off ESPN. (Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
They're the talk of the AFC, these Texans are. (CSN Houston)

Winning ugly doesn't bother the Bears, and they did just that Monday night against the Lions. (CSN Chicago)

The price of victory, however, was Jay Cutler's ribs. (CSN Chicago)

Brandon Marshall to Ndamukong Suh: "What u did to Jay wasn't cool." (CSN Chicago)

John Harbaugh says the egg the Ravens laid in Houston Sunday is on him. (CSN Baltimore)

If the Chargers did cheat, says Shaun Phillips, they aren't the first. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

That sideline spat Sunday between Tom Coughlin and Ahmad Bradshaw? No biggie, they insist. (CSN Philly)

The Panthers' 1-5 start cost GM Marty Hurney his job. (AP)

And the Chiefs' 1-5 start cost Matt Cassel his. (AP)

Bills defensive end Chris Kelsay says he has teammates who "aren't playing hard every snap, and that's unacceptable." (Pro Football Talk)

A broken collarbone will sideline the Packers' Charles Woodson for six weeks. (AP)

But there's no timetable on when Maurice Jones-Drew might return. (AP)

Nate Burleson? He's out for the year. (AP)

The Pro Bowl is still on Roger Goodell's chopping block, and it sounds like the players are going to have to put on quite a show this year to save it. (Pro Football Talk)

McAdam: Price not exactly hitting stride with postseason on horizon

McAdam: Price not exactly hitting stride with postseason on horizon

NEW YORK -- The division title was there for the taking Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. When you've won 11 straight and steamrolled every other team in the division, what's one more?

One too many, apparently.

The Red Sox' 6-4 defeat to the New York Yankees postponed the Champagne party for at least one night. In and of itself, that's not a huge concern. The Sox' magic number remains one with five games to play and the club's epic hot streak had to come to an end eventually.

A better night by either David -- Ortiz or Price -- might have resulted in corks popping and on-field celebrations.

Ortiz was 0-for-5 and stranded a total of seven baserunners. When he came to the plate in the top of the ninth against Tyler Clippard with two outs and two on, it almost seemed scripted.

Here was Ortiz in his final Yankee Stadium series, about to inflict one final bit of misery on the rival Yankees with a three-run homer in the top of the ninth.

Talk about drama. Talk about one more famous, final scene.

Alas, Ortiz took some feeble swings and swung through strike three for the final out. Not even Ortiz, for all his clutch performances, can conjure a game-winner on-demand every time.

A far bigger concern was the work of Price. Perhaps the best thing than can be said of him for now is that he almost certainly will not have to face the Yankees again this season, against whom he's compiled a gaudy 7.89 ERA this season.

More troubling, though, is that Price is not exactly hitting his stride as the postseason appears on the near horizon. In his last three starts combined, Price has pitched 19 1/3 innings and allowed 27 hits and 14 runs.

That isn't the line of someone at peak form at the right time. To the contrary, after a run of outings in which it again appeared Price had figured everything out, he's regressed in his last three.

Most troubling Tuesday was a repeated inability to turn back the Yankees after his team had pulled close on the scoreboard.

Price spotted the Yankees a 3-0 lead, and the Sox finally scored twice in the top of the 6th to close within one at 3-2. But Price quickly gave anther run back in the bottom of the inning.

Then the Sox scored two more times in the seventh to tie things at 4-4. . . but Price gave the two runs right back in the bottom of the inning.

"Very frustrating,'' sighed Price. "It's something I talk about all the time. It's a very big deal. And it's something I feel like I've struggled with this entire year. Whenever you're going good, it's something you're doing very well. And whenever you're going bad...you get a lead, give it right back. . . that's tough.''

It also doesn't portend well for the postseason, where Price, as you may have heard, has a spotty track record.

With some strong starts in the final few weeks, he could have reached the playoffs with both momentum and confidence.

Instead, he's got one more start -- Sunday -- to straighten things out.

Ortiz? His postseason bona fides are set.

Price, meanwhile, has no such reservoir of success upon which to draw. And starts like Tuesday's only reinforce the doubts.

 

Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz goes 0-for-5 in loss to Yankees

Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz goes 0-for-5 in loss to Yankees

NEW YORK -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 6-4 loss to the Yankees:

 

QUOTES:

"I went 0-for-5 today, so I ain't got (anything) to talk about.'' - David Ortiz after turning around and seeing a small army of reporters waiting for him in front of his locker.

"To have a chance to clinch the division for us here (and come up sort), it's not acceptable. If my offense scores me four runs, I feel like I should be able to go out there and win.'' - David Price.

"The bottom line story to this one was (Price) mislocating within the strike zone.'' - John Farrell.

 

NOTES:

* Boston's season-best 11-game win streak was snapped with the loss.

* David Price took his first loss since Aug. 7.

* Price is 1-3 with a 7.89 ERA against the Yankees this season.

* Aaron Hill contributed his first pinch-hit homer in his career.

* Mookie Betts saw his streak of reaching base in 38 straight road games stopped.

* Dustin Pedroia posted his third straight multi-hit game.

* For the 20th time this season, Xander Bogaerts enjoyed a three-hit game.

* In his last 12 games, Andrew Benintendi has eight extra-base hits.

* Hill's pinch-hit homer was the third by the Red Sox this month.

 

STARS:

1) Tyler Austin

The rookie first baseman snapped a 4-4 tie in the seventh with a two-run homer and also added two more hits in three at-bats.

2) Gary Sanchez

The first-year catcher continues to amaze, hitting his 20th homer in only his 51st game, sending the Yanks out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning.

3) Luis Cessa

Cessa took a big step forward from his last start against the Red Sox by keeping them scoreless through the first five innings before allowing two runs in the sixth.