Wakeup Call: Derrick Rose is back, and he's 'special'

Wakeup Call: Derrick Rose is back, and he's 'special'
July 29, 2014, 8:15 am

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, July 29:

AUTO RACING

A pair of NASCAR team-chartered planes -- one from Joe Gibbs Racing and the other from Stewart-Haas Racing -- collided on the airport taxiway after the Brickyard 400 late Sunday night. Thankfully, no one was hurt. (Yahoo! Sports)

Jeff Gordon's "Drive For Five" stalled 13 years ago. Now, however, that elusive fifth NASCAR championship may be within reach. (AP)

BASEBALL

Old friend Justin Masterson's not having much of a walk year -- 5.51 ERA, DL time because of a bad knee -- and the Indians are accepting offers. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Yu Darvish can joke about it because he and the Rangers won the game, but he says he blames "the parents of Brett Gardner . . . for creating a great hitter" after Gardner hits two more home runs off him, upping his career total against the Japanese right-hander to four. (Yahoo! Sports)

The sleeping Yankee fan goes on The Today Show to try and explain why he was humiliated that ESPN showed him sleeping during a Yankee-Red Sox game . . . though, in the end, it's still hard to figure. He also hints that he's probably going to drop his lawsuit against the Worldwide Leader. (Hardball Talk)

After watching Dan Uggla Sunday night, I thought it was the Giants, and not the Dodgers, who needed a second baseman. But it's Los Angeles that picks up Darwin Barney from the Cubs. (CSN Chicago)

If Jason Heyward's back problem is serious, the Braves may be in need of a right fielder. (Hardball Talk)

Alex Rios, perhaps? (Hardball Talk)

Remember when Jason Lane was a 26-homer-a-year outfielder for the pennant-winning Astros in 2005? Whoever would have thought that, nine years later, he'd be a starting pitcher for the Padres? And a pretty good one, at that? (Hardball Talk)

This may be the end of the line at last for Erik Bedard. (Hardball Talk)

A.J. Burnett doesn't exactly raise his trade value in his last start before the deadline. (CSN Philly)

Why didn't Dmitri Young do this when he was playing? (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald thinks his players' push to unionize in the offseason has made the Wildcats the most "unified football program in the country" . . . if you'll forgive the unintentional pun. (AP)

Jimbo Fisher likes the fact that Jameis Winston plays baseball as well as football at Florida State, because baseball "is a much greater game of failure" than football and it "teaches you is how to overcome adversity." (NBC's College Football Talk)

Injuries have ended the career of Rutgers wide receiver Tejay Johnson. (College Football Talk)

An Ann Arbor jury acquits a man in the robbery-slaying of Eastern Michigan wide receiver Demarius Reed. (AP)

HOCKEY

Bobby Loo thinks the woebegone Panthers have always had good young talent. And now that they've brought in some veterans -- like Shawn Thornton -- to show them the way, Luongo is confident Florida will "be in the mix" for a playoff spot. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Yes, that's Patrick Kane in the new Gatorade commercial. (CSN Chicago)

Whatever problems James Reimer had with the Maple Leafs are in the past, and he's looking forward to competing for the starting goaltender's job this year. (Pro Hockey Talk)

OLYMPICS

Neymar's broken vertebra was one of the reasons Brazil failed to win the World Cup this year, but he should be fully recovered in time for the 2016 Olympics . . . and the Brazilian coach, Alexandre Gallo, wants him to participate in the Rio de Janeiro Games. (NBC's Olympic Talk) 

PRO BASKETBALL

The perennially injured Derrick Rose gets back on the court with Team USA, and declares that he's still "a special player." (Yahoo! Sports)

And Coach K agrees. (AP)

That talk about Blake Griffin withdrawing from Team USA so he could prepare for the upcoming NBA season was apparently a ruse; now we're hearing he has a small fracture in his back. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

The Spurs are forbidding Manu Ginobili from playing for Spain in the 2014 World Cup because they say he needs to recover from a stress fracture in his leg. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Sorry, Kobe, but LeBron James has supplanted you as Dwyane Wade's favorite opponent to play against. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Michael Jordan says he's "cool with" LeBron going back to No. 23 -- which James wore during his first stint with Cavs as an homage to Jordan -- in Cleveland. (Pro Basketball Talk)

The Lakers finally announce that Byron Scott is their new coach, days after Scott told the world the same news. (AP)

The Timberwolves apparently have decided who they'd like as Kevin Love's replacement: Thaddeus Young. Question is, will the Sixers deal him to Minnesota? (Pro Basketball Talk)

Mo Williams isn't a replacement for Love, but he's joining the Timberwolves anyway. (AP)

Eric Bledsoe knows his standoff with the Suns is strictly business, but that doesn't mean he has to like it. (Yahoo! Sports)

The Suns have another problem to deal with: P.J. Tucker's DUI arrest, in which his blood alcohol level -- remember, .08 means you're legally drunk -- was an astounding .222. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Michele Roberts is elected executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, the first woman ever chosen to head a pro sports players union. (Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL

During his six years in the NFL -- during which time he's played for the Jaguars, Raiders, Cardinals and Browns -- linebacker Quentin Groves has never been on a team that finished a season with a winning record. So he jumped at the chance to sign with the Texans, because with ex-New Englanders Bill O'Brien, Romeo Crennel and Mike Vrabel on the coaching staff he sees them as "the Patriots of the South" and wants a taste of "that winning pedigree." (CSN Houston)

The NFL's first attempt at spin control regarding Ray Rice's light suspension fails miserably. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Rice is cheered by the Baltimore fans during his first practice session with the Ravens. (Pro Football Talk)

More braggadocio from the Jets, who are doing some championship-caliber gum flapping this year. Shame they never back it up on the field. (Pro Football Talk)

Broncos defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson -- who missed the Super Bowl because of a dislocated hip he suffered in the November game in Foxboro against the Patriots -- has had just about enough of the mouthy Seahawks. The two teams meet in an exhibition game in August and a regular-season meeting in September, so getcha popcorn ready. (Pro Football Talk)

Demaryius Thomas is back with the Broncos after going home because of the death of his grandmother, who raised him. (AP)

Peyton Manning celebrates the news with a little dance. (AP)

Ndamukong Suh says he want to stay with the Lions. The Lions say they want to keep him. Even so, the two sides are postponing contract talks until after the season. (AP)

Johnny Football came this close to being a Cowboy. (Yahoo! Sports)

You get the feeling there's a dart board with Mike Shanahan's picture on it at Redskins camp? Team president Bruce Allen is the latest to take aim at the ex-coach -- without mentioning him by name, of course -- when he says that rushing the rehabbing RGIII into action in Week 1 last year was "almost a little disrespectful to the game of football." (Pro Football Talk) 

Does anyone on the Giants know Eli Manning's career completion percentage is 58.5, and he's never completed more than 62.9 percent of his passes in a single season? In light of that, expecting him to complete 70 percent this year -- which is what quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf is saying -- is, ah, probably a little unrealistic. (Pro Football Talk)

I'm with you, Chip. (CSN Philly)

Another day, another fight at Eagles camp. (CSN Philly)

So who are you going to believe about those Philadelphia fans: Mark Sanchez or DeSean Jackson? (Pro Football Talk)

The Vikings may keep Adrian Peterson, and their new offense, under wraps in the exhibition season. (Pro Football Talk)

Running back Chris Rainey is cut by the Colts' for "conduct-related" issues, less than two days after coach Chuck Pagano raved about how much he liked him. Indy won't say what those conduct-related issues are, but the Steelers released Rainey in 2012 after he was arrested on a charge of battery against his girlfriend. (Pro Football Talk)

John Abraham has been missing from Cardinals camp for "personal reasons," and now comes word that he was arrested for DUI in Georgia last month. (Pro Football Talk)

SOCCER

Manchester United's good idea: Hosting a Twitter chat for one its forwards, Jesus Navas. Manchester United's bad idea: Using the hashtag #askjesus to promote it. As a result, poor Navas fielded questions like “How did you turn Water into Wine?”, “What is it like to be the son of God?” and “With book sales gently declining over the past decade, is there any chance of a New New Testament?” (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)

Lionel Messi may have to pawn the Golden Ball to pay his tax bill. (Pro Soccer Talk)

TENNIS

Recovered at last from a debilitating viral infection that flattened her at Wimbledon and had her bedridden for a spell, Serena Williams says she's ready to get back on the court. (AP)

Sixteen-year-old Francis Tiafoe loses his ATP tour debut, but couldn't be more upbeat about the experience. (AP)