Wakeup Call: Lightning fans get a 'Dear John' letter

Wakeup Call: Lightning fans get a 'Dear John' letter
March 6, 2014, 9:00 am
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(USA Today Sports Images)

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Thursday, March 6:

BASEBALL

You may not have been paying attention -- hardly anyone was -- to that lawsuit filed a few weeks ago by three minor-leaguers over what they call unfair labor practices by MLB. But now a whole bunch of teams, including the Red Sox, have been added to the suit, and ex-lawyer Craig Calcaterra says if the suit is "successful — or if it even leads to a settlement of some kind — it could mean major changes to the way baseball does business." (NBC's Hardball Talk)

There was a nice ceremony prior to yesterday's Phillies-Braves game for the late Jim Fregosi. (Hardball Talk)

Ryan Braun's sure making up for the lost time of his 50-game suspension, isn't he? (AP)

The Royals are talking about bravely about Luke Hochevar's elbow injury, but he'll be out for two months at least. (AP)

The Orioles still hope Manny Machado -- who suffered that ghastly knee injury against the Red Sox last September -- will be ready for the start of the season. And yesterday, he did his first lateral fielding work since the surgery. (Hardball Talk)

The strange career of Rick Ankiel is over. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

No. 4 Duke's upset loss at Wake Forest . . . (AP)

. . . makes Coach K sick. (AP)

No. 3 Arizona tunes up for the Pac 12 Tournament by beating Oregon State. (AP)

Now that's a perfect Senior Night. (AP)

This one wasn't quite as perfect, but it was just as successful. (AP)

No. 10 San Diego State is nearing, or setting, all kinds of school records this year. (AP)

No. 11 Louisville hands No. 18 SMU its first home defeat of the season. (AP)

And it looks like the defending national champions are peaking at the right time. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

Coach Jim Crews attempts to make chicken salad out of No. 17 Saint Louis' third consecutive loss. (AP)

No. 21 New Mexico wins and stays tied for first place in Mountain West. (AP)

Saddest story of the day: Dean Smith's health continues to deteriorate as he battles dementia. (College Basketball Talk)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Speed wins again: The NCAA tables the proposal to penalize offenses that snap the ball before 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock have elapsed. (AP)

Former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston sues the NCAA and five major conferences, saying they violated antitrust laws by agreeing to cap the value of an athletic scholarship at less than the actual cost of attending school. (AP)

Nice work if you can get it. (AP)

GOLF

Tiger Woods' back feels better and he's playing at Doral. (AP)

HOCKEY

The biggest name to change jerseys on a busy trade-deadline day yesterday is Martin St. Louis, who forced the Lightning to trade him to New York . . . and who made plenty of enemies in Tampa when he did. So on his way out of town, Marty writes an "I'm sorry" letter to the fans. Yeah, that oughta mollify 'em. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Say what you will about the NHL, but it delivers excitement at the trade deadline. Here are yesterday's winners and losers. (Yahoo! Sports)

The glass is half empty: The Rangers acquire St. Louis from the Lightning, but lose in overtime to the Maple Leafs. (AP)

The glass is completely full: The Canadiens acquire Thomas Vanek from the Islanders and beat the Ducks in a six-round shootout. (AP)

The glass is overflowing: The Flyers acquire Andrew MacDonald from the Islanders and beat the Capitals for their seventh win in eight games. (AP)

Vanek-to-the-Canadiens, by the way, was probably the biggest shock of the day. (Yahoo! Sports)

Especially in Long Island, where the return for Vanek -- prospect Sebastian Collberg and a conditional second-round pick -- seems particularly underwhelming. But Isles GM Garth Snow says, hey, that was the best offer we got. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

In Vancouver, GM Mike Gillis says he got no worthwhile proposals for Ryan Kesler. As a result, Kesler remains a Canuck. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Speaking of the Canucks, Bobby Loo's agent says his client would still be with them if Torts hadn't benched him for the Heritage Classic. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Far under the radar, the Kings got the sniper they needed by nabbing Marian Gaborik from the Blue Jackets. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Steven Stamkos finally gets the green light to return. (AP)

On a day most contenders added to their lineups, the Red Wings shut down Pavel Datsyuk for three weeks. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Tim Bozon, a Canadiens prospect and star in the Western Hockey League, is in critical condition after being diagnosed with meningitis. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL

Looks like the Lakers are going to keep their free-agent powder dry this offseason, which means no LeBron, no 'Melo . . . and probably no winning next year, either. (Yahoo! Sports)

Old friend Al Jefferson has quite the night as the Bobcats hand the Pacers their second straight loss, only the second time this year Indiana has lost two in a row. (AP)

Sticks and stones may break his bones, but jeering from the Orlando crowd will never stop Dwight Howard from leading his team to victory over the Magic, no matter who he's playing for. (AP)

Kyle Korver's NBA-record streak of 127 consecutive games with a 3-pointer is snapped in the Hawks' loss to the Blazers. (AP)

I'm sure the Nets never thought it would take them until the first week of March to get over .500. Considering their 5-14 start, though, it's not bad. (AP)

The Knicks will never get above .500 this year -- not unless they win their last 20 in a row -- but at least they broke their seven-game losing streak last night. (AP)

That's hardly consolation for some Knicks fans, who plan to show their anger with a protest at Madison Square Garden on March 19. (Yahoo! Sports)

Against all odds, Royce White is getting another shot in the NBA. (Yahoo! Sports)

Say this for Gregg Popovich: When he's in the mood -- which, granted, isn't often -- he can be downright enlightening in an interview. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL

Champ Bailey won't get that elusive Super Bowl ring with the Broncos: He's being released by Denver. (AP)

Nor will Devin Hester with the Bears. And now that Chicago radio guy's going to have to come up with some other forced, signature catch phrase to replace, "Devin Hester, you are ridiculous!" (AP)

Will DeSean Jackson with the Eagles? More and more, it's not looking that way. (CSN Philly)

Brandon Browner left out one little detail in his "I've been reinstated!" hosanna the other day: He's still suspended for the first four games of the 2014 season, no matter who he signs with. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Troy Polamalu and Heath Miller restructure their contracts as the Steelers try to escape from cap jail. (AP)

if you're looking for an agitating, cheap-shot, injury-prone cornerback, Cortland Finnegan's available. (Yahoo! Sports)

The Portland Raiders?? (Pro Football Talk)

According to Jim Harbaugh, Ray Rice and his fiancee are in couples therapy. (CSN Baltimore)

It's official: The Bills are putting their yearly visit to Toronto -- which has been spectacularly unsuccessful artistically, considering they've lost five of the six games they've played there -- on hold. (AP)

Now it's Chicago that wants to host the Super Bowl. (Pro Football Talk)

SOCCER

Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey look lost in the U.S.'s lackluster defeat to Ukraine. (Yahoo! Sports)