Wakeup Call: Everything's coming up roses

Wakeup Call: Everything's coming up roses
March 20, 2014, 9:00 am
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Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Thursday, March 20:

AUTO RACING

Everything's bigger in Texas. Like Big Hoss TV. (AP)

BASEBALL

Pitchers getting hit in the head by line drives and having to be carried off the field has become a common occurrence in recent years, and it happened again yesterday. This time it was Reds fireballer Aroldis Chapman, who suffered broken bones above his left eye and his nose when he was hit by the Royals' Salvador Perez in the bottom of the sixth inning. The game was called at that point. (AP)

More bad news for Stephen Drew: The Cardinals are shopping Pete Kozma to teams in need of a shortstop. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

The newest Mariner, Corey Hart, is disappointed more of his ex-Brewer teammates didn't urge him to stay in Milwaukee when he became a free agent. (Yahoo! Sports)

Erik Bedard says if he doesn't make the Rays, he'll use the opt-out clause in his contract rather than go to Triple-A and will just sit home and wait for some pitcher somewhere to get injured. Don't vultures do that, too? (Hardball Talk)

The polar vortex turned ballparks into iceboxes this winter, and now grounds crew are rushing to get them ready for Opening Day. (AP)

No surprise here, except for how long it took them to make the annoucement: Stephen Strasburg will start the opener for the Nationals. (CSN Washington)

The entire galaxy, Jayson? Really, how would you know? (Hardball Talk)

Jimmy Rollins may not be a favorite of new manager Ryne Sandberg, but he says it doesn't matter: He's got a no-trade clause and he's not letting the Phillies trade him. Period. (Hardball Talk)

Which may be why GM Ruben Amaro Jr. called talk of a potential Rollins trade to be nothing but "silliness." (CSN Philly)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

The field of 64 is complete, as Tennessee and Cal Poly win the last two games of the First Four. (AP)

Too many games today? Here's what to watch, and what you can skip. (Yahoo! Sports)

Rick Pitino is facing off against his former ballboy, Manhattan coach Steve Masiello -- who also played for Pitino at Kentucky and later served as one of his assistant coaches -- in Louisville's first-round game, and he's not happy with the Selection Committee for pitting the Wildcats against Masiello's Jaspers. "Maybe they're a bunch of soccer ADs, I don't know," Pitino mused of the committee members. (AP)

You've seen plenty of guides to the men's tournament, right? Well, here's one for the women's. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

I don't see how, but his baseball gig will only force Jameis Winston to miss one of Florida State's spring practices. (AP)

In more Florida State news, redshirt freshman Ira Denson is kicked off the team after being arrested for stealing, and using, teammate Mario Pender's debit card. (AP)

GOLF

It's been a long time since Phil Mickelson's played the Texas Open -- 22 years, to be exact -- but he's decided to give it another try. (AP)

Arnold Palmer thinks age isn't Tiger Woods' only obstacle as he tries to break Jack Nicklaus' record for major championships. (AP)

Lydia Ko is setting up shop in Orlando as she prepares to tackle an LPGA schedule. (golfchannel.com)

HOCKEY

Bad news for the Blackhawks: It looks likes they've lost Patrick Kane -- who injured his left leg in last night's 4-0 win over the Blues -- for about three weeks. (CSN Chicago)

And Kane's not the only one headed to the sidelines as the season heads down the stretch. The Ducks will be without high-scoring defenseman Cam Fowler for three to five weeks because of a sprained ligament in his left knee . . . (AP)

. . . the Red Wings lose defenseman Jonathan Ericsson for four to six weeks because of a broken finger . . .

. . . and the Maple Leafs may be without defenseman Paul Ranger for a while after he crashed head-first into the boards and had to carried off the ice on a stretcher in last night's loss to the Lightning. (AP)

Ranger's injury overshadowed the continuing comeback saga of Steven Stamkos, who scored a natural hat trick in Tampa Bay's 5-3 win. (AP)

Old friend Blake Wheeler scores the game-winner in overtime as the Wild takes down the Avalanche. (AP)

Who needs Bobby Loo? (AP)

OLYMPICS

Oscar Pistorius demonstrates near-perfect "blah blah blah, I'm not listening" form as more damning evidence is introduced in his murder trial. (Yahoo! Sports)

PRO BASKETBALL

Things are certainly looking up in New York, aren't they? (AP)

The Madison Square Garden hordes certainly think so, as they welcome the Zen Master with open arms. (Yahoo! Sports)

The Knicks aren't the only ones on a roll. The Spurs have now won 11 straight . . . (AP)

. . . the Nets have won 10 straight at home . . . (AP)

. . . and the Grizzlies' home winning streak is at eight. (AP)

And then there are the Sixers. (AP)

The Raptors' Terrence Ross has a compliment -- I think -- for KG. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Look at it this way, Pacers: The guy played two more games for you than he did for Philadelphia all of last year. That's something, right? (Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL

Eric Winston is elected president of the NFLPA. Now all the free agent offensive lineman has to do is find a team to play for. (AP)

His first proclamation as prez: There'll be no 18-game schedule on my watch. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The Los Angeles Raiders redux? It's looking more and more like a possibility. (CSN Bay Area)

The drive to add two extra playoff teams, perhaps by as early as 2015, is gaining momentum. (AP)

Unlike Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles impresses the scouts at his pro day. (AP)

Another analyst predicts professional doom for Johnny Football. (CSN Houston)

Michael Vick and the New York tabloids would be a match made in heaven, wouldn't you say? (Pro Football Talk)

Lovie Smith says the Bucs are in "the fourth quarter" of free agency, and he wants to finish strong. (Pro Football Talk)

You say goodbye . . . (AP)

. . . and I say hello. (AP)

I say hello, too. (CSN Bay Area)

Richie Incognito would love to say hello again to the Dolphins. Whether the Dolphins want to say hello back is another question entirely. (Pro Football Talk)

Jim Irsay is trying to get his life back in order, which is more than commendable, but that doesn't mean Roger Goodell won't make an example of him anyway. (Pro Football Talk)

TENNIS

Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl have nothing but nice things to say about each other, but Murray's still firing Lendl as his coach. (AP)

The Sony Open is played near Serena Williams' south Florida home, which is why she loves it so much . . . and maybe why she almost always seems to win it. Her bid for a seventh title starts Thuesday. (AP)