Wakeup Call: LeBron apologizes with cupcakes

Wakeup Call: LeBron apologizes with cupcakes
July 24, 2014, 8:00 am
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Here's the rest of your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for  Thursday, July 24:


Hard to say who enjoyed Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Graham Rahal's visit to Camp Atterbury, where the Indiana National Guard is training, more: The drivers or the soldiers. (AP)


Only the conspiracy theorists among us would think that the Yankee Stadium grounds crew's abysmal job at covering the field -- it took 13 minutes and three tries to get the tarp across the infield as a torrential rain soaked the surface, and they needed the help of bat boys, clubhouse attendants and security guards to finally complete the job -- was intentional, since it occurred in the bottom of the fifth, moments after the game had become official with the Yanks holding a 2-1 lead. The tropical drenching made the field unplayable, the game was called, the Yanks were declared the winner, and Texas manager Ron Washington was left fuming: "What made me complain was because of them not being able to get the tarp on the field. This game shouldn't come to us losing it. It should have been suspended." (AP)

How in the world did the Cardinals -- defending N.L. champions and winners of two World Series titles in the last eight years -- get an extra first-round draft pick in the Competitive Balance Lottery?? (NBC's Hardball Talk)

That's what Theo Epstein wants to know. (CSN Chicago) 

The trade deadline is a week from today, and the trading has begun: The Tigers attempt to fill the gaping hole at the back of their bullpen by acquiring Joakim Soria from the Rangers. (AP)

The rumors have begun, too. The Marlins are said to be interested in Jim Johnson, who I'm sure the A's would love to dump. (Hardball Talk)

But his struggles continue, making you wonder if, in the end, anyone will take him. (CSN Bay Area)

The Phillies are getting lots of calls on Antonio Bastardo. (CSN Philly)

They wish they were getting calls on Ryan Howard, because it appears they're ready to release him at the end of the season. (CSN Philly)

Their phone's not ringing on Jonathan Papelbon, either -- not only did the Tigers solve their closer problem last night, but the Angels picked up Huston Street last week -- and his second straight rough outing means that silence will probably continue. (CSN Philly)

Similarly, the Twins are hoping to get calls on Kendrys Morales, though that, too, seems unlikely. (Hardball Talk)

Injuries? We have injuries. Ryan Zimmerman is placed on the 15-day DL by the Nationals because of a strained right hamstring . . . (AP)

. . . and George Springer is put on the DL by the Astros because of a strained right quadricep . . . (Hardball Talk)

. . . and Kelly Johnson by the Yankees because of a strained groin. (Hardball Talk)

The A's Yoenis Cespedes isn't on the disabled list -- yet -- but, after hitting two homers and driving in five runs, he had to leave last night's game because of a sprained right thumb. (AP)

But there is good injury news. Carlos Ruiz is back with the Phillies after missing the last month because of a concussion. (Hardball Talk)

The Padres' Cameron Maybin says it was ADD medication taken improperly that caused him to test positive for amphetamine use, which earned him a 25-game suspension from MLB. (AP)

The red-hot Rays continue to roll. (AP)

Jeff Francoeur switched to pitching with the Padres' Triple-A team, and didn't do badly. Now San Diego's calling him up . . . but will probably use him as an outfielder. (Hardball Talk)


Louisville and Minnesota are negotiating to begin a home-and-home series. Ho hum, you say? Well, it's a big deal in the Pitino family, I guarantee you. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)


Alabama lost to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl last year, and on Tuesday Nick Saban said it was difficult to get the Tide emotionally ready "to try to play a consolation game.” Sooners coach Bob Stoops isn't taking too kindly to that. (Yahoo! Sports)

The NCAA enforcement director fires back at Bob Bowlsby. (AP)

Former NFL and college head coach Dave Wannstedt, last seen as an assistant with the Tampa Bay Bucs, is going Hollywood. He's joining Fox Sports as a college football analyst and will also co-host a weekly show on the Big Ten Network. (NBC's College Football Talk)


There are lots of folks in Ontario hoping for a LeBron James-like homecoming for Steven Stamkos when his Lightning contract runs out in 2016 -- they want him to take his talents back home to Toronto -- but he says he's just "focused on what I have to do to win in Tampa." (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Last year's Lady Byng winner, the Avalanche's Ryan O'Reilly, agrees to a two-year deal with Colorado. (AP)

And, says Joe Sakic, that proves there was never any animosity between O'Reilly and the Avs. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Don't know if there was any animosity between Chris Kreider and the Rangers, but they agree to a two-year deal, too. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Free-agent defenseman Cory Sarich, who played last year in Colorado, is in stable condition in a Calgary hospital after being hit by a car while riding his bike. The extent, or nature, of his injuries aren't being made public, but they're said to be non-life threatening. (AP)


Nothing says "I'm sorry" like some cupcakes. Right, LeBron? (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

The Bulls reportedly are dangling Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic as part of package for Kevin Love. (Pro Basketball Talk)

The Sixers are said to have "strong interest" in the Cavs' Dion Waiters. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Roy Hibbert starts working out with Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in an attempt to turn his career around. (Yahoo! Sports)

Raymond Felton, traded by the Knicks to the Mavs last month, pleads guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm in a New York gun case from last winter, but will avoid jail time as part of the plea deal. (AP)

As rumored, the Mavs are voiding Rashard Lewis' free-agent contract because of the knee problem that popped up in his Dallas physical. (Yahoo! Sports)

But they're ready to sign Jameer Nelson. (Pro Basketball Talk)


Um, Tony Dungy? Jeff Fisher says Michael Sam's been no distraction at all. (Yahoo! Sports)

Reggie Wayne arrives at Colts camp in style. (NBC's Motor Sports Talk)

Jamaal Charles' expected holdout never materializes; instead, he and the Chiefs agree on a two-year contract extension that makes him the second highest-paid running back in the NFL behind Adrian Peterson. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

No new contract yet for Vernon Davis, but he shows up at 49ers' camp after boycotting the offseason program and mandatory minicamp. (AP)

Not Alex Boone, though. (Pro Football Talk)

San Francisco had said it wouldn't negotiate with players who were holding out, so, now that Davis is present, talks can presumably begin. (Pro Football Talk)

A tearful John Elway says it "will never be the same" in Denver without owner Pat Bowlen, who's giving up control of the team because of Alzheimer's Disease. (Pro Football Talk)

Terrell Suggs thinks Joe Flacco has been passive-aggressive in his leadership of the Ravens, and he wants him to be aggressive-aggressive. (Pro Football Talk)

After an injury-filled career in which he suffered several concussions, Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice announces his retirement at age 27. (AP)

Honey Badger's still recovering from last December's knee injury, so he'll miss at least the beginning of Cardinals camp. (AP)

Fire Jason Garrett? Hell, Jerry Jones sounds like he wants to adopt him. (Pro Football Talk)

After making a lot of noise about suing the Vikings because he was unhappy with the team's resolution of his complaint against special teams coordinator Mike Priefer for alleged anti-gay slurs, former Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe backs off the threat of litigation . . . for now. (AP)

Jim Brown isn't backing away from litigation: He's suing to stop the sale of his 1964 NFL championship ring. (Pro Football Talk)


Some German politicians raise the possibility of stripping Russia of the right to host the 2018 World Cup because of the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17, and one of them says either Germany or France would be happy to take over as host. (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)

European soccer’s governing body has ruled that two of the biggest teams in Ukraine, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and Shakhtar Donetsk, must play outside their home cities because of the unrest in the country. (Pro Soccer Talk)

DaMarcus Beasley, the first American man to play in four World Cups, is back in Major League Soccer, signing with the Houston Dynamo. (nbcsports.com)

Manchester United's new manager, Louis van Gaal, isn't crazy about Man U's American tour. (Pro Soccer Talk)