Wakeup Call: Ray Allen plays a round with the president

Wakeup Call: Ray Allen plays a round with the president
August 12, 2014, 8:30 am
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Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, August 12:

AUTO RACING

The investigation begins into the Tony Stewart/Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy and officials are looking into everything from the dim lighting on a portion of the track to how muddy it was, as well as if Ward's dark firesuit played a role in his death. (AP)

Racing in sprint cars has long been a passion of Stewart's, but you wonder if that will change after last Saturday. (AP)

Still no word as to whether or not Stewart will compete in this weekend's NASCAR race. (NBC's Motor Sports Talk)

BASEBALL

This is why you bring your glove to the park . . . even if you're 65 and sitting in the last row of the Wrigley Field bleachers. (CSN Chicago)

The Tigers' four-aces rotation takes a hit, as shoulder pain forces Justin Verlander out of last night's start against the Pirates after just one inning. At least now, though, there's an explanation for his season-long struggles; he'll undergo an MRI today. (AP)

The Verlander-less Tigers wind up losing the game, 11-6, and that enables the streaking Royals -- who win their eighth straight -- to take over first place in the A.L. Central. (AP)

With the stretch drive looming, Kansas City picks up Josh Willingham from the Twins. (AP)

Manny Machado's knee injury dampens the excitement -- in Orioles Nation, at least -- of the O's 11-3 rout of the Yankees. (CSN Baltimore)

Nearly four months after last taking the mound for them -- first he had that pine-tar suspension, then he was hit with back and shoulder problems -- Michael Pineda returns to the Yankees on Wednesday. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

David Price couldn't have done it any better for the Rays. (AP)

This may really be it for Jeff Francoeur. (Hardball Talk)

One day after saying he was making "remarkable" progress in his recuperation from a rib injury, the Pirates place Andrew McCutcheon on the DL. (Hardball Talk)

The late Robin Williams, who grew up in the San Francisco area, was a big Giants fan, and the team mourns his passing. (CSN Bay Area)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Even though the Big East that sparked the creation of Big Monday is no more, there are so many ex-Big East teams appearing on this year's Big Monday broadcasts that no one will know the difference. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

Bad news for Bradley: One of its centers, Xzavier Taylor, suffers a stress fracture in his foot . . . (College Basketball Talk)

. . . and another member of its frontcourt, Auston Barnes, is arrested on a domestic battery charge. (College Basketball Talk)

The rivalry lives on: Even though Bobby Cremins -- now retired and a member of the NCAA’s committee on infractions -- hasn't coached at Georgia Tech since 2000, Georgia asks that he be recused from an investigation into the Bulldogs' swimming program because of "concern that Georgia athletics supporters may perceive a conflict and a less partial review of the University’s case." The plea proves to be unnecessary; Cremins recuses himself because he knows the Georgia swimming coach. (College Basketball Talk)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Jalen Ramsey returns to practice at Florida State, one day after coach Jimbo Fisher angrily -- and publicly -- kicked him off the field and then spoke ominously about his future to reporters. Fisher's explanation? "He got upset. I got upset. That's ball and we move on." (AP)

Injuries are ball, too. The latest players out for the season: Oregon's starting left tackle, Tyler Johnstone . . . (NBC's College Football Talk)

. . . USC linebacker Tyler Ruffin . . . (College Football Talk)

 . . . and Texas quarterback Miles Onyegblue. (College Football Talk)

In addition, Penn State tight end Adam Breneman is out indefinitely. (College Football Talk)

As is one of Nebraska's reserve running backs, Adam Taylor. (AP)

And Duke linebacker Kelby Brown. (College Football Talk)

And Ohio State linebacker Kyle Berger. (College Football Talk)

Oklahoma's leading tackler last year, linebacker Frank Shannon, has been suspended for the season for what the school is calling a violation of its Title IX policy, which covers sexual misconduct. Shannon has the right to appeal the decision. (AP)

GOLF

Rory McIlroy's drastic improvement since his breakup from Caroline Wozniacki is, he says, no coincidence. Without her around, he says all he does is "go to the golf course, I go to the gym, and it’s just my life at the minute." (Yahoo! Sports)

Tom Watson's still not ready to rule Tiger Woods out of the Ryder Cup. (AP)

HOCKEY

Teemu Selanne's NHL career is definitely over . . . but, he admits, he's tempted by a $10 million offer to play in the KHL. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

The Kings plan to retire Rob Blake's No. 4 during a ceremony in January, two months after his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. (AP)

The refs are working on a new labor deal with the NHL. (Pro Hockey Talk)

The Blackhawks are among the millions participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge. (CSN Chicago)

Islanders owner Charles Wang is being sued for allegedly backing out of an agreement to sell the team for $420 million. (Pro Hockey Talk)

For once, Hockey Canada should listen to Don Cherry. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL

Ray Allen plays a round of golf with President Obama. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Drake's playful please-come-to-Toronto plea to Kevin Durant is going to cost the Raptors $25,000, since he has an official connection to their organization. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Attention, LeBron: If you're happy, David Stern is happy. Which, judging by the way the NBA treated its stars during Stern's reign as commissioner, doesn't come as a complete surprise. (Pro Basketball Talk)

'Melo's slimming down. (Pro Basketball Talk)

And he doesn't expect to get fat on the court with the Knicks. (Yahoo! Sports)

Nets rookie Markel Brown will be sidelined four to six weeks after breaking his hand during a workout yesterday. (AP)

Greg Oden is formally charged with battery after allegedly punching his ex-girlfriend in the face. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL

Jerry Jones admits yes, that's him in those suggestive photos with a young woman. But he says the photos are five years old, that someone "has misrepresented [them] for their own purposes" and that he's not going to talk about it. (Yahoo! Sports)

More bad news for Jones' Boys: Cornerback Orlando Scandrick is hit with a four-game suspension after testing positive for PEDs. (AP)

Rex Ryan says the multiple injuries in the Jets' defensive backfield isn't "a panic situation, it's an opportunity." Opportunity for what? (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Old friend Bill O'Brien keeps the Texans' 32-0 loss in their exhibition opener in perspective. (CSN Houston)

Houston becomes the latest team to dump Andre Brown. (Pro Football Talk)

Those Mannings are quite the cards. (Yahoo! Sports)

According to Donte Whitner, the Browns locker room is split 50-50 in the Johnny Football/Brian Hoyer battle. But, he insists, it's a good-natured competition. (Pro Football Talk)

As for Hoyer, he thinks the job is his to lose. (AP)

Nobody seems to be paying much attention to Blake Bortles, but he had a nice debut for the Jaguars. (rotoworld.com)

Jay Gruden says RGIII wants to score a touchdown on every play . . . and sometimes, that's not such a good thing. (Pro Football Talk)

Dolphins fans booed seven years ago when the team bypassed Brady Quinn on draft day and instead selected Ted Ginn Jr. Ginn, of course, is long gone and now the fans finally get their wish as Quinn signs with the 'Fins, the seventh stop on his peripatetic career. (AP)

So why isn't Tim Tebow in camp with anybody? Well, one of the reasons is, he's such a bad practice player that he's scared off many teams. (Pro Football Talk)

Marvin Jones will be lost to the Bengals for "a few weeks" after he suffers a broken bone in his foot. (Pro Football Talk)

Jon Bon Jovi has made it to the final round of the Bills' sale. (Pro Football Talk)

Marshawn Lynch is being investigated by Bellevue, Wash., police after an “allegation of an assault and personal property damage,” but a department spokesman says that, although the alleged victim is female, "no domestic violence or sexual assault was involved in the allegation.” (Pro Football Talk)