Wakeup Call: The Whale reunites in Chicago

Wakeup Call: The Whale reunites in Chicago
July 15, 2014, 8:15 am
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Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, July 15:

BASEBALL

A-Rod's apparently stiffing his lawyers . . . though, considering the disastrous strategy they devised in their unsuccessful bid to overturn MLB's year-long suspension, can you blame him? (AP)

Can you believe Yasiel Puig didn't hit a single home run in last night's Derby? (Yahoo! Sports)

Giancarlo Stanton may not have won, but he had the blast of the night: A 510-foot smash into the upper deck. (Yahoo! Sports)

During the rain delay prior to the Derby, Minnesota fans watched their old hero Harmon Killebrew beat Mickey Mantle in a tape of the original Home Run Derby, the 1960s TV show that spawned the current pre-All-Star Game "extravaganza". (Yahoo! Sports)

I put "extravaganza" in quotation marks because, basically, it's what Craig Calcaterra says it is: Three hours of batting practice, and it's pretty boring. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Derek Jeter's keeping a level head in his final All-Star appearance. (AP)

Unlike Jonathan Papelbon, A.J. Burnett wants to stay in Philadelphia. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

As does Chase Utley. (AP)

Don't know what Cliff Lee's preference is, but we know the Phillies want him out of town since they consider him to be their top trade chip. But after getting shelled last night by the Palm Beach Cardinals -- putting his ERA for his three rehab starts for Class A Clearwater at 5.06 -- nobody may want him. (CSN Philly)

The Mets are shopping Bartolo Colon, though that $11 million price tag for 2015 may scare off some buyers. (Hardball Talk)

Pete Rose hopes PED users start getting elected to the Hall of Fame, because he figures that'll increase his chances of getting in. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

If Bill Self knew LeBron James was coming to town, maybe he'd have left Kansas for the Cavaliers. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

Emmanuel Mudiay, the nation's top high school guard last year, is spurning SMU to play professionally overseas because, says Mustangs coach Larry Brown, his family needs the money.  But, writes Adrian Wojnarowski, "little evidence supports the Hall of Fame coach's assertion on Mudiay's reason for leaving SMU." (Yahoo! Sports)

Well, at least SMU has Virginia Tech transfer Ben Emelogu. (College Basketball Talk)

Yesterday we told you Georgia's Brandon Morris had been arrested for possession of marijuana with intention to distribute. Today we tell you the Bulldogs have kicked him off the team. (College Basketball Talk)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

SEC commissioner Mike Slive is confident the "Big Five" will get the autonomy from the NCAA that it's been seeking. (AP)

If so, wonder if Mark Emmert will continue to make $1.707 million per year. (AP)

New playoff system, new name, new trophy. (AP)

Whatever you had planned for Dec. 7, cancel it. (AP)

Taking a cue from the guy who buried a David Ortiz jersey in the concrete during the building of the new Yankee Stadium, some weisenheimer flies an Alabama flag in the midst of the Texas A&M stadium renovation. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Looks like missing SEC Media Day isn't going to be Nick Marshall's only punishment for his marijuana-possession arrest. (College Football Talk)

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has more headaches than just Marshall: Defensive lineman Carl Lawson may be sidelined all year because of a torn ACL. (College Football Talk)

Florida coach Will Muschamp has his own headaches, coming off a 4-8 season, but he says he's not worried about his job. (AP)

Wes Lunt = Tom Brady? Hah? (CSN Chicago)

CYCLING

Two-time champion Alberto Contador drops out of the Tour de France after crashing during Stage 10, blowing this year's race wide open. (AP via nbcsports.com)

GOLF

Tiger Woods will be in a threesome with Angel Cabrera and Henrik Stenson when he tees off Thursday morning in the British Open. (AP)

Both the course and the golfer are different as Tiger returns to Holyake, the place he dominated in winning the British Open in 2006. (golfchannel.com)

Tom Watson wants Tiger on the Ryder Cup team, but reiterates he'll have to play his way on. (AP)

HOCKEY

The Whale Connection strikes again: Ex-Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen is back in the NHL, as an assistant with the Blackhawks . . . where ex-Hartford teammate Joel Quenneville is head coach. (AP)

Tony Granato, who lost his job as an assistant in Pittsburgh when Dan Bylsma was canned, is hired as an assistant by the Red Wings. And he was never even a teammate of Mike Babcock's. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Better be prepared to move again, though, Tony: Babcock doesn't sound like a guy who wants to stay in Detroit. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Mike Ribeiro -- bought out by the Coyotes because of what GM Don Maloney said were "behavioral issues" -- is being wooed by two unnamed teams, one from the Eastern Conference and one from the West. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Shayne Gostisbehere = Bobby Orr? No one's saying that, but the Flyers rookie hopes he someday plays like his long-time idol. (CSN Philly)

PRO BASKETBALL

Old friend Paul Pierce was a victim of budget cuts in Brooklyn. (CSN Washington)

Even without him, however, the Nets are on pace to have a league-high $128,164,804 payroll next year now that Alan Anderson's back on board. Call me crazy, but I don't think they're going to get their money's worth. (Pro Basketball Talk)

In any case, Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr., are delighted Pierce is with them in Washington. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose and Kevin Love head the 19-player U.S. National Team that will compete in the World Cup of Basketball in Spain late next month. (AP)

It's estimated that LeBron James' return to Cleveland will result in a $500 million-a-year impact on the local economy. Wow. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Chris Bosh is "excited for the challenge" of keeping the LeBron-less Heat in contention. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Having Luol Deng on board should help. Just ask Luol Deng's agent. (Pro Basketball Talk)

He lost out on Bosh, he lost Chandler Parsons to the Mavs . . . Rockets GM Daryl Morey admits "[it] was a tough weekend." (CSN Houston)

A tough offseason, you mean. (Yahoo! Sports)

In more ways than one: Morey offended Parsons with his talk of needing a third star to pair with Dwight Howard and James Harden, since that's what Parsons thought he was. (Yahoo! Sports)

The Bulls pare their roster to clear salary-cap space for Pau Gasol. (AP)

Age is just a number. So says the newest Grizzlie, 37-year-old Vince Carter. (AP)

No wonder the Cavaliers say they won't trade Andrew Wiggins. (Yahoo! Sports)

Mike Miller has narrowed his free-agent choices to the Cavs, Mavs, Rockets and Nuggets. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Red Klotz, long-time player/coach of the Washington Generals -- foils of the Harlem Globetrotters for decades -- dies at age 93. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL

Old friend Matt Cassel gets dissed pretty good by Ron Jaworski. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Whenever the NFL has played a game in London, it's been at Wembley Stadium. But the contract between league and venue expires in 2016 and the NFL -- consistent with the way it does business over here -- is looking for a better deal. (Pro Football Talk)

If these are high standards, John, I'd hate to see what you consider to be low standards. (Pro Football Talk)

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam may escape prosecution after his truck-stop company agrees to pay a $92 million penalty for cheating customers out of promised rebates and discounts. (AP)

Jimmy Graham and the Saints have until 4 p.m. today to reach agreement on a long-term deal. Otherwise, he can only sign a one-year contract. (Pro Football Talk)

Fox is shifting sideline reporter Pam Oliver to its No. 2 broadcasting crew -- Erin Andrews is taking her place on the No. 1 team with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman -- and she's decided this will be her final year on the sidelines. (Pro Football Talk)

Mike Pouncey won't face any punishment in the Dolphins' bullying scandal, which may finally put the whole smelly episode to bed. (Pro Football Talk)

Cowboys guard Ronald Leary gets probation and a fine after pleading guilty to DUI. (Pro Football Talk)

Another felony arrest for the troubled Titus Young. (Yahoo! Sports)

SOCCER

The Germans hope this World Cup victory is the beginning of a dynasty. (Yahoo! Sports)

It was a record-breaking tournament, and here are the records that were broken. (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)

Even so, FIFA president Seth Blatter would only rate it a "9.25 out of 10" because "perfection does not exist in football." (Pro Soccer Talk)

Diego Maradona says he would give "heaven and earth" to Lionel Messi . . . but he wouldn't have given him the Golden Ball as the best player in the World Cup. (Pro Soccer Talk)

You can watch the "Football at Fenway" friendly between John Henry's Liverpool team and AS Roma on the motherhip's NBC Sports Network. (Pro Soccer Talk)