Wakeup Call: Nets putting the heat on Miami

Wakeup Call: Nets putting the heat on Miami
April 9, 2014, 8:45 am
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(AP Photo)

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, April 9:

BASEBALL

Bud Selig uses the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron's 715th home run, which broke Babe Ruth's record, as another opportunity to take a passive-aggressive shot at Barry Bonds. (AP)

Aaron dealt with never-ending racism during his quest to break Ruth's mark. He says racism still exists in this country, only "back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.” (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Batkid returned to throw out the first pitch at the Giants' home opener. (Yahoo! Sports)

The Giants and free-agent-to-be Pablo Sandoval break off contract talks, and it sure doesn't sound like they're going to be resumed any time soon. If at all. (CSN Bay Area)

The boos in Boston didn't motivate him to do much more than go 2-for-9 over the weekend. But Ryan Braun says the boos in Philadelphia were "very motivating," to the tune of a 3-homer, 7-RBI performance as the Brewers rained on the Phillies' home-opener parade. (CSN Philly)

The most interesting part of this story about the Orioles' 14-5 rout of the Yankees? "After Nick Markakis led off the game with a single, [Delmon] Young followed with a bouncer up the middle. Many shortstops in the majors could've turned it into a double play, but 39-year-old Derek Jeter couldn't quite get to it and the ball skipped under his glove for a single." Interesting because Jeter's lack of range, which polite society has been ignoring for about a decade, is finally seeping into the public consciousness. (AP)

Some fans ran on the field during the O's victory, and Adam Jones wishes authorities would "let us have a shot to kick them with our metal spikes on because it’s stupid. You look like a jackass when you run on the field . . . Anybody who does it, I wish the cops tase the living [crap] out of them. I wish that.” As someone who's been advocating that very thing for years, let me just say: Yes! You're the man, Adam!  (CSN Baltimore)

A sprained jaw? I didn't think you could sprain your jaw. (AP)

But I know you can get your knee operated on, and that'll keep A.J. Ellis sidelined for four to six weeks. (AP)

And I know that going to see Dr. Andrews is never a good sign. Sorry, Matt Moore. (AP)

I also know that elbow inflammation is never a good sign. Sorry, Mat Latos. (Hardball Talk)

A mascot by any other name -- like "unique performance character," which is what the Dodgers are calling theirs -- is still a mascot. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

How dominant are the UConn women? Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw says there were times last night when she thought her team -- which came into the championship game undefeated, mind you -- was "playing the Miami Heat" as the Lady Huskies rolled to a 21-point win, another unbeaten season, and their ninth national championship. "LeBron was the only thing they were missing," she said. (AP)

And for the second time in a decade, Connecticut wins both the men's and women's crowns in the same season. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

The fans in Storrs were a little more well-behaved last night than they were on Monday. (AP)

Before the game, a group of stakeholders in women's basketball met to discuss some worrisome trends from the last decade and how they can be reversed. (AP)

In today's installment of Declaring For The NBA Draft, we have North Carolina State forward T.J. Warren. (AP)

But Oregon guard Joseph Young is staying in school. (AP)

And in today's installment of I'm Transferring . . . Somewhere, we have Kyle Meyer and Darius Stokes of Iowa . . . (AP)

. . . Shaquille Cleare, Nick Faust and Roddy Peters of Maryland . . . (AP)

. . . and Xavier Pollard of Maine, the Black Bears' leading scorer. (College Basketball Talk)

Kellen Sampson joins his father's coaching staff. (CSN Houston)

Dayton forward/center Davon Scott is charged with domestic violence and assault. (AP)

Royce Waltman, a one-time Bobby Knight assistant at Indiana who later had success as a head coach at DePauw, Indianapolis and Indiana State, dies at 72. (AP)

GOLF

With Tiger Woods out, just about anybody can win the Masters this week. (AP)

Phil Mickelson's pretty confident, though. (golfchannel.com)

So's Rory McIlroy. (golfchannel.com)

No matter what, the Tiger-less Masters will still be awesome. Here are 10 reasons why. (Yahoo! Sports)

HOCKEY

Mike Gillis has been subtly blaming Torts for the Canucks' woes, but Vancouver's ownership blamed him. So he's out of a job. (AP) 

Want to know why they blamed him? Here are some of the mistakes Gillis made during his tenure as GM. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

How do both teams lose on the same night? Well, the Maple Leafs are eliminated from playoff contention in their 3-0 loss to the Lightning, but Tampa Bay's top goalie, Ben Bishop, has to leave the game because of that dreaded upper-body thing. (AP)

The Predators were the only losers in Dallas, as their 3-2 shootout loss to the Stars ousted them from the playoff hunt. (AP)

The Stanley Cup news is better elsewhere. The Flyers are in after beating the Panthers. (CSN Philly)

The Red Wings are almost in after beating the Sabres. (AP)

As are the Blue Jackets after beating the Coyotes. (AP)

The Avalanche win and solidify their position near the top of the Western Conference standings. (AP)

And the Rangers are closing in on home ice for the first round of the playoffs. (AP)

Ho hum. Another 50-goal season for Alex Ovechkin. (CSN Washington)

OLYMPICS

He's cried and he's vomited while listening to testimony during his murder trial. Now, while on the stand himself, Oscar Pistorius starts wailing and howling, to the point that the judge has to call a halt to the proceedings for the day. (AP via Yahoo! Sports)

PRO BASKETBALL

The Nets complete a four-game season sweep of the Heat, which makes you wonder if the upcoming Eastern Conference playoffs will wind up being the Miami Invitational after all. (AP)

Kevin Durant is delighted the Thunder won, and even more delighted that his streak of games with 25 or more points is over. (AP)

Tip of the hat to Dirk Nowitzki, who's now the 10th-leading scorer in NBA history. (AP)

The Lakers get blown out -- again -- for their franchise-record-tying 53rd loss of the season . . . (AP)

. . . and yet GM Mitch Kupchak gets a multiyear contract extension. Go figure. (AP)

Mike D'Antoni says "it's not for me to decide" if Laker management will extend that largesse to the coaching position. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

The eighth and final playoff spot in the East is theirs for the taking, but the Hawks seem determined not to take it. (AP)

Eric Gordon's done for the season, but there's only five games left of it for the Pelicans. (AP)

Dante Cunningham releases his first statement after his two recent arrests. He sort-of apologizes to his teammates and the organization, then hides under the I-cannot-comment-further-while-legal-proceedings-are-ongoing blanket. (AP)

And then he plays 15 minutes in the Wolves' victory over the Spurs. (AP)

Nerlens Noel admits that "4-4-14" business was, in fact, the day he hoped to be playing for the SIxers. But the doctors said no, so he continues rehabbing toward the day he finally gets back on the court. (CSN Philly) 

PRO FOOTBALL

The Mariners' home opener is another opportunity for Seattle to celebrate the Seahawks' Super Bowl championship. (AP)

Zach Miller was part of the festivities, and he says he accepted a pay cut this offseason because "I wanted to be here." (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Talk about owning your mistakes: The Vikings' Erin Henderson says he "cannot be more grateful" for his two recent DUI arrests, because they got him into rehab and turned around his life. (Pro Football Talk)

The NFL and NFLPA begin discussing "workplace standards" in the aftermath of the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin fiasco. (AP)

The Falcons add Dwight Lowery and Josh Wilson to their defensive backfield. (AP)

Sounds like Browns owner Jimmy Haslam will match whatever offer Alex Mack gets on the open market. (Pro Football Talk)

And the Cleveland players sure hope he does. (Pro Football Talk)

PRO WRESTLING

R.I.P., Ultimate Warrior. (Yahoo! Sports)

TENNIS

Roger Federer's never had much luck in the Monte Carlo Masters, but he's going to try it again this year. (AP)