Wakeup Call: They're Kings of the playoffs

Wakeup Call: They're Kings of the playoffs
May 27, 2014, 7:15 am
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Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, May 27:

AUTO RACING

At last, Jimmie Johnson's off the schneid. (NBC's Motor Sports Talk)

So is Matt Kenseth next? (Motor Sports Talk)

BASEBALL

Just because Manny Ramirez is now a Cub doesn't mean they'll be bringing back Sammy Sosa any time soon. (CSN Chicago)

It was nice while it lasted: Old friend Ryan Kalish's magic has run out, so he's headed back to Triple-A. (CSN Chicago)

Can you imagine throwing a perfect game on the day after a teammate pitched a no-hitter? Well, Hyun-Jin Ryu comes within six ours of doing just that. (Yahoo! Sports)

A.J. Ellis is headed back to the disabled list because he sprained his ankle while celebrating Beckett's no-hitter. And, yes, you read that right. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

What's the world coming to? (AP)

But Hunter Pence is so anxious to get that scooter back that he's offering a reward. (CSN Bay Area)

There's been a setback in Dillon Gee's rehab. (Hardball Talk)

And in Josh Hamilton's, too. (Hardball Talk)

Cliff Lee never started what could be called a rehab; he still has soreness and discomfort in his elbow and hasn't resumed throwing. (CSN Philly)

Royals manager Ned Yost claims he's "not concerned" about the elbow pain that forced phenom Yordano Ventura out of last night's start against the Astros in the third inning. Well, that's one of you in Royals Nation, Ned. (AP)

That'll teach Jose Valverde to blow a game. But why'd they dump the hitting coach, too? (AP)

Edwin Encarnacion and the Blue Jays are proving that what they did at Fenway last week was no fluke. (AP)

And Astros rookie sensation George Springer is proving he's no fluke, either. (CSN Houston)

Jeff Samardzija gets to the winners' circle . . . finally. (CSN Chicago)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Don't quite know why, but Michigan forward Jordan Morgan gets a congratulatory letter from President Obama upon his graduation. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

Mr. Obama won't be succeeded in office by John Calipari, who -- after finding himself with Nick Saban, Bill Belichick, Tiger Woods, Donald Sterling, Alex Rodriguez, Richie Incognito and Michael Vick on a list of the most disliked people in sports -- says he probably won't be running for public office in the future. (College Basketball Talk)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Minnesota coach Jerry Kill shows off his "Happy" dance at graduation. (NBC's College Football Talk)

GOLF

Ireland's Shane Lowry's in, but countryman Padraig Harrington's out, of the U.S. Open. (AP)

Guess Rory McIlroy should have broken up with Caroline Wozniacki a long time ago. (AP)

HOCKEY

The Kings were on the verge of elimination in both of their first two series during these Stanley Cup playoffs. Now, after last night's tidy Game 4 dispatch of the Blackhawks, they look like they'll never lose again. (Yahoo! Sports)

Sort of reminds you a little bit of 2012, doesn't it? (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Still, the Blackhawks are talking bravely . . . though I don't know what else you'd expect them to do. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Brad Richards is showing some respect to the Canadiens, which should make Michel and the boys happy. (Pro Hockey Talk)

At least it'll get their minds off their powerless power play. (Pro Hockey Talk)

The sight of Carey Price skating around before practice gets Habs hearts a-pounding, but unless he can score with the man advantage . . .  (AP)

Another Whaler bites the dust: Jean-Sebastian Giguere is set to retire. (Pro Hockey Talk)

The Caps have a new leadership team: Barry Trotz as coach and Brian MacLellan as GM. (CSN Washington)

Shawn Simpson was fired as the Capitals' director of hockey operations in 2004 and replaced by MacLellan. So take it for what it's worth when Simpson, now a radio analyst in Toronto, says he's "never met a lazier/less passionate hockey man" than MacLellan. (Pro Hockey Talk)  

Nicolas Deslauriers is staying in Buffalo. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL

The Heat's season-long, "save-our-energy-for-the-end-when-it-counts" strategy appears to be paying off, as they beat the Pacers again and are now one victory away from their fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals. (Yahoo! Sports)

And you can take Chris Bosh's picture off that milk carton now. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Who knew Gregg Popovich was such a jokester? (Yahoo! Sports)

The joke's on you, Gregg: Serge Ibaka says his calf is fine and he plans to play again in Game 4. (AP)

How did Ibaka go from being out for the entire postseason to being fine? "God & ice." (Pro Basketball Talk)

Shelly Sterling says she already has six serious bidders for the Clippers. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Speaking of the Sterlings, the NBA has retained the services of Dr. Richard Lapchick, an authority on race relations and diversity, for help with the fallout from Donald Sterling's racist remarks that were captured on an audio recording. (AP)

The Lakers are going to interview Alvin Gentry for their coaching position, after all. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Grizzlies owner Robert Pera sounds like a real piece of work. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Even so, it appears Zach Randolph wants to stay in Memphis. (Yahoo! Sports)

And Dave Joerger's already decided to remain the Grizzlies' coach. (Yahoo! Sports)

With Joerger out of the running for the Timberwolves' job, Minnesota's apparently turning to Sam Mitchell. (Pro Basketball Talk)

The Blazers' Mo Williams says the "feud" he concocted with Houston's Troy Daniels in the opening round of the playoffs was just a ploy to throw Daniels off his game. Always thinkin', these guys . . . (Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL

Mike Holmgren, of all people, has added his voice to the change-the-Redskins-name chorus. (NBC's Football Talk)

Daniel Snyder's sharing the pain of defending the indefensible, as he gives GM Bruce Allen the added title of Redskins president. (Pro Football Talk)

Sounds like the folks in L.A. are resigning themselves to the fact that they may never have an NFL team again. (Pro Football Talk)

Peyton Manning got his "Omaha" nonsense from two of his former coaches on the Colts, Jim Caldwell and Jim Bob Cooter. Now that they're in Detroit, you might start hearing it from Lions quarterback Matt Stafford. (Pro Football Talk)

TENNIS

Stan Wawrinka's first Grand Slam match since winning the Australian Open doesn't go so good. (AP)

Maria Sharapova has no such problems. (AP via nbcsports.com)

Nor does Rafael Nadal. (AP via nbcsports.com)

Nor Novak Djokovic. (AP via nbcsports.com)

So that's Roger Federer's weak spot . . . (AP)

TRACK AND FIELD

The smack talk between Carl Lewis and the Jamaican sprinters resumes. (NBC's Olympic Talk)