Wakeup Call: A spectacularly bad idea

Wakeup Call: A spectacularly bad idea
March 11, 2014, 9:15 am
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Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, March 11:

AUTO RACING

NASCAR's new "knockout" qualifying format, while exciting, has an element of danger that veteran drivers warn could result in catastrophe. (AP) 

BASEBALL

Who is this smiling, affable guy? And what did he do with Barry Bonds? (AP)

The Giants never really turned their backs on Bonds. Not so with the Cubs and another PED pariah, Sammy Sosa . . . and don't expect that to change anytime soon. (CSN Chicago)

Manny Machado isn't yet eligible for arbitration, so the Orioles are only legally obligated to pay him the major-league minimum salary of $500,000. But they're actually paying him $519,000, plus they gave him a $100,000 bonus for winning the Platimum Glove Award. Still, he's disappointed. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Another day, another injury to a Braves pitcher: This time it's Brian Beachy. (AP)

Happy to be done with his root canal, Robinson Cano celebrates his return to the field by going 3-for-3. (AP)

Matt Cain's in midseason form. (AP)

So's Miguel Cabrera. (AP)

Cole Hamels will try getting back on the horse tomorrow. (Hardball Talk)

The Yankees are peddling Francisco Cervelli. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

A second diagnosis confirms that No. 10 Kansas' Joel Embiid has a stress fracture in his back, and he'll miss both this weekend's Big 12 tournament and the beginning of the NCAAs next week . . . at least. (AP)

Headed to the dance: Delaware from the Colonial Athletic Association . . . (AP)

. . . Manhattan from the MAAC . . . (AP)

. . . and Wofford from the Southern Conference. (AP)

Delaware made it by overcoming a six-point deficit in the final 80 seconds, adding to William & Mary's star-crossed history. (Yahoo! Sports)

Even though they were on the receiving end of that "inappropriate verbal communication as it relates to the well-being of our student-athletes" -- South Carolina's gobbledygook statement explaining Frank Martin's one-game suspension -- the Gamecocks have their coach's back. (AP) 

Like I said the other day: When it comes to the women's game, it's UConn's world and we're just living in it. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Oklahoma State will hold an "Orange Blitz" -- a 90-minute practice open to the public -- instead of a spring game this year. And Mike Gundy says if you don't like it, the complaint department's on the roof. (AP)

Miami offensive lineman Hunter Knighton is out of the hospital after falling ill during a workout last month. Still no word on what's wrong, as his family has asked for privacy, though Knighton issued a statement thanking people for their support. (AP)

HOCKEY

Thoughts and best wishes to old friend Rich Peverley, whose collapse on the Dallas bench last night was one of the most frightening things we've seen in sports in a long, long time. But he's a hockey player to the end: As soon as he regained consciousness, he wanted to get back in the game. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Two nights ago, the Bruins grabbed the top spot in the Eastern Conference from the idle Penguins. Last night, Pittsburgh grabbed it back. (AP)

Randy Carlyle makes a successful return to Anaheim . . . and, more importantly, that win over the Ducks moves the Maple Leafs past the Canadiens into second place in the Atlantic Division. (AP)

Remember the big debate in Vancouver about whether or not the Canucks had hit rock bottom? Well, debate no longer: They give up seven goals in the third period and lose to the Islanders, 7-4. (AP)

Torts -- accurately -- calls it "a kick in the teeth." (Pro Hockey Talk)

Make it eight straight wins for the Kings. (AP)

L.A. may be the league's hottest team, but no player is as hot as Adam Henrique of the Devils. (AP)

The Avs may be without P.A. Parenteau for the rest of the season. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Overtime, shootouts, expanded replay, goalie interference . . . all that and more was on the agenda during the first day of the GM meetings in Boca Raton. (AP) 

OLYMPICS

Testimony in Oscar Pistorius' murder trial gets so graphic that he throws up. In court. Three times. (AP via Yahoo! Sports)

PRO BASKETBALL

'Melo sounds miffed that no one's talked to him about this Zen Master stuff. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

And maybe that means it's not going to happen. Which Adrian Wojnarowski thinks is good, because he believes Phil Jackson-to-the-Knicks is a spectacularly horrible idea. (Yahoo! Sports)

According to the Wizards' Marcin Gortat, allowing fighting in the NBA, like they have in the NHL, would be "cool." (Yahoo! Sports)

This is what Doc was dreaming about when he signed on with the Clippers. (AP)

Blake Griffin leads the way with 37 points -- 22 in the first quarter -- and rips his jersey Superman-style for good measure. (Pro Basketball Talk)

The Sixers' losing streak reaches 17. (AP)

And their season's going to get just a bit more interesting Friday, when Andrew Bynum comes back to town. I'm sure there'll be lots of love in Philly for the big guy, don't you? (Pro Basketball Talk)

Anthony Bennett's lost rookie season gets a little worse, as he'll be sidelined for three weeks because of a bum knee. (AP)

Look out, Raptors: Here come the Nets. (AP)

The Heat break their three-game losing streak and clinch a playoff spot, to boot. (AP)

It took him a while -- including an embarrassing double-down on the original Tweet -- but that Republican legislator from Minnesota finally wakes up and apologizes. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL

Well, that Michael Bennett-to-Chicago talk was just that: Talk. He's headed back to Seattle, instead. (AP)

You hate any interruption in the sterling way the team that has been run these last 50 years, so it's good to know that William Clay Ford's widow. Martha, is now in charge of the Lions. (AP)

Free agency begins today at 4 p.m., and some teams are making room on their shelves by getting rid of old items. Like the Steelers with LaMarr Woodley. (AP)

And the Bears with Michael Bush. (AP)

Chicago is also trying to find a taker for Julius Peppers. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The Bears already dumped Devin Hester. Which he says is a mistake, since he classifies himself --with all due modesty -- as the best all-around player in the NFL. (Pro Football Talk)

Jason Babin bolts from the Jaguars instead of the other way around. (AP)

Ike Taylor agrees to a $4.25 million pay cut to stay in Pittsburgh. (Pro Football Talk)

Looks like Branden Albert's taking his talents to South Beach. (Pro Football Talk)

Is Karlos Dansby taking his to a less attractive climate . . . both on and off the field? (Pro Football Talk)

Dansby may be on his way into Cleveland, but Alex Mack's agent is pretty confident he can spring his client out. We shall see. (Pro Football Talk)

And why would he want to leave? Well, this may explain it. The Browns need a quarterback, desperately, and so they're thinking of bringing in -- wait for it -- Matt Schaub. Need we say more? (Pro Football Talk)

Johnny Football has one fan out there: Fran Tarkenton, who says Manziel "plays like I did more than anybody else." (Pro Football Talk)

TENNIS

Bet the organizers at Indian Wells are just thrilled that Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova -- the two defending champs, by the way -- are out in the first round. (AP)