Wakeup Call: Who can respect back-to-back home losses?

Wakeup Call: Who can respect back-to-back home losses?
May 20, 2014, 8:45 am
(USA Today Sports Images)

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, May 20:

AUTO RACING

Kurt Busch is okay after crashing during a practice run at the Indianapolis 500. But if his car needs to be replaced, he'll start at the back of the 33-entrant field. (AP)

Mark Cuban -- yes, that Mark Cuban -- will be waving the green flag at Indy on Sunday. (AP)

BASEBALL

CC Sabathia will be out until at least July -- and maybe a whole lot longer -- after having a stem-cell injection in his injured knee. So what now, Yankees? (NBC's Hardball Talk)

I know spelling's a lost art these days, as a glance at the comments section of virtually any story on any Web site will starkly demonstrate. But you'd think the Rangers would get their own town right. (Hardball Talk)

Miguel Tejada's 105-game PED suspension is nearing its end, so he's been signed by the Marlins and will be eligible to play for them on June 10. (AP)

After that Little League thing blew up real good, Mitch Williams decides to take a leave of absence from the MLB Network. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

See? Kevin Ollie was telling the truth when he said he wanted to stay at UConn. (Yahoo! Sports)

Just like Chris Mack wanted to stay at Xavier. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

Louisville's Russ Smith sent the jersey he wore in the 2013 national championship game to his father in Brooklyn . . . and FedEx lost it. (College Basketball Talk)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Sadly, I know people crazy, er, who love the Irish enough to spend $149.95 on a 2-foot-by-5-foot section of grass from Notre Dame Stadium. (AP)

Florida says, yeah, it'll play Miami again . . . but only at a neutral site. (NBC's College Football Talk)

GOLF

Tiger Woods wondered for a while whether he'd ever be able to "get out of bed, and go out there and play with my kids," let alone ever compete at the highest level of professional golf again. But the back surgery he had on March 31 eased much of his pain and now -- even though he still doesn't know when -- he's confident he'll be back on the links. (AP)

After a mere 61-year absence, Iowa State is heading back to the NCAA golf tournament. (AP)

How can you call it the Women's Open if there'll be an 11-year-old playing in it? (AP)

HOCKEY

Hey, Habs: You're all about "respect," right? Well, no one respects the fact that you lost the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals at home. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Oh, I'm sorry, you didn't lose last night: King Henrik "stole" the game from you. Well, no one respects excuse-making, either. (Pro Hockey Talk)

In the other goal -- much to the chagrin of season-long backup Peter Budaj, I'm sure -- was rookie Dustin Tokarski, in place of the injured Carey Price. Canadiens coach Michael Therrien used the phrase "he did well" three times in a span of three sentences . . . almost as if he were trying to convince himself as much as he was trying to convince the media. (CSN Washington)

I have to say, Michael, I didn't think he did too well on this one. And I have no idea why Ed Olcyzk thought Tokarski had "no chance" on the goal, since the rookie was in position and the shot caromed into the net off his arm. (Yahoo! Sports)

Now that the season is over for all but four teams, the personnel moves are beginning. Some the players are making themselves, like Radek Bonk calling it a career. (Pro Hockey Talk)

And Harri Sateri bolting the Sharks for the KHL. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Some the teams are making, like the Blues saying goodbye to Ryan Miller and signing backup goalie Brian Elliott to a three-year contract. (AP)

And some require a little thought, like Saku Koivu needing a couple of weeks to decide whether or not he's going to keep playing. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Miller, incidentally, shouldn't be out of work long; here are five potential landing spots. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Miller-to-the-Sharks certainly makes sense. (CSN Bay Area)

The moves aren't limited to players, either. The Ducks give GM Bob Murray a four-year extension. (AP)

Pat Brisson -- better known as Sidney Crosby's agent -- removes his name from the field of candidates for the Penguins' GM job. (Yahoo! Sports)

Man, this was one tough season for Kris Letang. (Pro Hockey Talk)

The Caps are "confident" that Alex Ovechkin's knee injury isn't serious and that he'll be "completely healthy" by the start of training camp. (CSN Washington)

HORSE RACING

Let the quest for the Triple Crown resume: California Chrome can wear the nasal strip at Belmont. (AP via Yahoo! Sports)

PRO BASKETBALL

Round One of the Western Conference Finals goes to the Spurs. (AP)

That's 110 playoff wins for San Antonio's Big Three of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. And -- just to prove there's no record so obscure that someone won't count it -- that ties them with Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Cooper for most playoff wins by a "group of three" in NBA history. More than Bird, McHale and Parish? (Yahoo! Sports)

Oklahoma City certainly missed Serge Ibaka last night, and he's determined to get back on the court . . . even though it would be a medical miracle. (Yahoo! Sports) 

In the meantime, coach Scott Brooks has to find a way to make up for Ibaka's absence. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Derek Fisher says he "literally [has] not given any thought" to the idea of coaching the Knicks next year, so focused is he on the Thunder's playoff series against the Spurs. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Don't expect this Kevin Love-to-the-Celtics thing, if it happens at all, to happen easily. Now the big boys -- the Knicks and Lakers -- are getting involved. (Pro Basketball Talk)

No matter what, the Timberwolves say nothing will go down with Love before the draft. (Pro Basketball Talk)

The NBA's showdown with Donald Sterling is set for June 3. (AP)

Old friend Chris Wallace is temporarily in charge of the Grizzlies' basketball operations after Memphis fires CEO Jason Levien and director of player personnel Stu Lash, and after a 50-32 season, no less. Old friend Tony Allen's reaction on Twitter? "Wow." (AP)

John Wall makes the case that he and Bradley Beal make up the best backcourt in the NBA. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Mark Cuban -- yes, that Mark Cuban -- reportedly hired a former FBI agent to investigate the league and the referees when calls weren't going the Mavs' way in the 2006 Finals against the Heat. (Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL

Robert Mathis' agent is firing away at the NFL over his client's PED suspension . . . which prompts the league, which normally never comments on drug penalties, to issue a strongly-worded statement saying Mathis violated a "crystal-clear" policy. (Both stories NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Apparently, the league has decided it doesn't need the union's permission to expand the playoff field. (Pro Football Talk)

The NFLPA's response: Not so fast. (Pro Football Talk)

Old friend Kyle Love signs on with the Chiefs. (Pro Football Talk)

The Dolphins reinstate Don Jones, who must have completed the "educational training" that was mandated after the anti-Michael Sam Tweet that got him suspended. (Pro Football Talk)

Having dodged the Sam reality show on the Oprah Winfield Network, the Rams are hoping for similar luck in avoiding having to appear on HBO's Hard Knocks. (AP)

The Browns are happy with Johnny Football's performance at their rookie minicamp. (AP)

So happy that now they're actually going to let reporters in to see him. (Pro Football Talk)

Guess the Bears are happy with Brandon Marshall, too; they've given him a three-year, $30 million extension. (CSN Chicago)

Another happy guy: Raiders coach Dennis Allen, who sends a letter to the team's season-ticket holders telling them why he's optimistic about the 2014 season. (CSN Bay Area)

Former Jaguars guard Will Rackley signs with the Ravens. (CSN Baltimore)

Malcolm Floyd, who suffered a career-threatening neck injury last September, says he's ready to return to the Chargers. (Pro Football Talk)

Sorry, Adrian Peterson: LeSean McCoy says "I feel I'm the best" running back in the NFL. (CSN Philly)

SOCCER

Will Landon Donovan make the U.S. World Cup roster? It's still up in the air. (Yahoo! Sports)

The Premier League has its own Sterling-like scandal -- over sexist, rather than racist, comments -- but in the end, chief executive Richard Scudamore will keep his job after the league's teams decide "no further disciplinary action is required or justified" over leaked private e-mails in which he made derogatory comments about women. (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)

A player in the Indonesian Premier League dies six days after being cleted in the chest by an opposing goaltender. (Pro Soccer Talk)