Wakeup Call: Spurs go small, win big

Wakeup Call: Spurs go small, win big
May 30, 2014, 9:15 am
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(AP Photo)

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Friday, May 30.

BASEBALL

Joe Mauer's getting booed in Minnesota? And I thought I'd seen everything. (Yahoo! Sports)

Old friend Dale Sveum becomes the punchless Royals' fifth hitting coach in the last three years. At some point, do you begin to think it's not the coach? (AP)

For one night at least, though, it worked: Kansas City scores eight runs and beats the Blue Jays in 10, snapping Toronto's nine-game winning streak. (AP)

At long last, there's a reason to pay attention to the Astros. And that reason is named George Springer. (AP)

But as good as Springer's been in May, he's no Edwin Encarnacion. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Carlos Beltran's ailing elbow feels better. (AP)

Old friend Frank Viola, who underwent open-heart surgery in April, is feeling better, too, and he's ready to resume his duties as the Mets' Triple-A pitching coach in Las Vegas. (Hardball Talk)

Johan Santana has a June 1 opt-out clause in his contract with the Orioles, but the O's -- who don't think he's ready to pitch in the major leagues just yet, but will be soon -- hope he doesn't use it. (Hardball Talk)

Here's the contract between the Cubs and the owners of the nearby rooftops that's holding up the Wrigley Field renovations. (CSN Chicago)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

The Red Sox are among the teams willing to let Pat Connaughton return for his senior basketball season at Notre Dame if they select, and sign, him in next week's MLB draft. The 6-foot-5 Connaughton -- who wants to play hoops next year -- is also a pretty good pitcher for the Irish, and was, in fact, drafted by the Padres in the 38th round out of high school. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

Manhattan coach Steve Masiello completes work on his undergraduate degree at Kentucky, the lack of which cost him the head coaching job at South Florida. (College Basketball Talk)

We may be seeing more of Marv Albert on college games next year. (College Basketball Talk)

Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger says guard Isaiah Cousins is expected to recover -- and, in fact, should participate when the team begins summer activities next month -- after he was accidentally struck in the shoulder by a stray bullet in his hometown of Mount Vernon, N.Y. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

A number of SEC coaches -- who didn't like him much to begin with, stemming from his days at Vanderbilt -- aren't too happy with James Franklin planting a recruiting flag for Penn State in their territory. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Jimbo Fisher walks back what many people took as an insult to Auburn. (College Football Talk)

The commissioner of the Big 12, one of the conferences looking to wrest power away from the NCAA, says it's time to bring recruiting into the 21st century. (AP)

College coaching positions becoming endowed? Talk about moving into the 21st century. (College Football Talk)

There's been a little improvement in the condition of Issac Kolstad, who suffered severe brain injuries in an assault that allegedly included former Minnesota and Rutgers quarterback Phillip Nelson. (College Football Talk) 

GOLF

You know, all kidding aside, it looks like breaking up with Caroline Wozniacki was the best thing Rory McIlroy ever did. At least for his golf game. (AP)

Keegan Bradley dumps the belly putter because his mother told him to. (AP)

HOCKEY

The last five times the Rangers had a chance to close out a series before Game 7, they were torpedoed by vomit-inducing performances from Henrik Lundqvist: 0-4 with one no-decision, a 5.53 GAA, and a .808 save percentage. But King Henrik rose to the occasion last night, and the Blueshirts are headed to the Stanley Cup Finals after their 1-0, Game 6 win over Montreal. (Yahoo! Sports)

Which just goes to show what determination can do for you. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Michel Therrien thinks it was more than just Lundqvist; he says the Rangers played "a perfect defensive game." (Pro Hockey Talk)

They had to, because unknown goalie Dustin Tokarski wound up making a name for himself as Carey Price's replacement. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Technically, it's only a must-win for the Blackhawks. But the Kings' Drew Doughty says Game 6 "has to be ours." (Pro Hockey Talk)

Flyers chairman Ed Snider is expected to be fine after completing treatment for an undisclosed cancer. (CSN Philly)

Brooks Orpik's agent is thinking big. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL

The Spurs go small -- and win big -- in Game 5 against the Thunder, and now hold a 3-2 series lead. (Yahoo! Sports)

LeBron James is getting tired of Lance Stephenson's clown act . . . and the Pacers are, too. (Yahoo! Sports)

Larry Bird's certainly sick of it, which could mean the end of Stephenson's time in Indiana. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

If the Pacers don't want Stephenson, maybe the Bulls will take him. (CSN Chicago)

Um, Stephen? The Warriors fired Mark Jackson more than three weeks ago. Now you speak up for him? (AP)

Joel Embiid is getting a clean bill of health from just about everybody. (Pro Basketball Talk)

The Celtics avoid having to go to either Mexico City or London for a regular-season game next year. (AP) 

Now Vinny Del Negro's name is popping up in the Timberwolves' coaching search. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Those Kevin Love trade talks? There haven't been any yet, if Minnesota GM Milt Newton's to be believed. (Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL

When prompted to pump Eric Decker's tires, Rex Ryan instead uses the opportunity to take a shot at Tim Tebow. (Yahoo! Sports)

You may have forgotten that new Texans coach Bill O'Brien was once a Bill Belichick assistant in New England, but his new players haven't. They've been watching Patriots film in, says quarterback T.J. Yates, an attempt "to mimic them right now." (CSN Houston)

You know how lawyers say you should never ask a question to which you don't know the answer? The Redskins should have heeded that advice when they launched an e-mail and Twitter campaign to get fans behind their effort to keep their nickname . . . because the effort, in the words of Sen. Harry Reid's office, "was so massively a failure." (NBC's Pro Football Talk) 

DeMaurice Smith to Roger Goodell: You want expanded playoffs, you gotta talk to me. (Pro Football Talk)

Little by little, the Seahawks are taking care of all the guys who helped them win the Super Bowl last year. (AP)

So when are the 49ers going to take care of Vernon Davis? (Yahoo! Sports)

Eli Manning's back practicing with the Giants, less than two months after ankle surgery. (AP)

Mark Sanchez says he's "just entering the prime of my career," which is too bad because it looks like he'll be spending it as Nick Foles' backup. (Pro Football Talk)

Tanard Jackson, reinstated after his third drug suspension, is getting his fourth -- and probably final -- chance to stay in the NFL, this time with the Redskins. (AP)

The newest Raven, Steve Smith, is baking a little "humble pie" for everyone who thinks he's lost a step. Especially the media. (Pro Football Talk)

Speaking of the Ravens, John Harbaugh's sick of all the off-field incidents involving his players and has laid down the law to them. (CSN Baltimore)

Did the Saints know Jairus Byrd needed neck surgery when they signed him? (AP)

Jaguars assistant George Yarno, a long-time offensive lineman in the NFL, has been diagnosed with cancer. (Pro Football Talk)

The odd couple: Johnny Football and LeBron James. (Pro Football Talk)

So. Calvin Johnson's girlfriend allegedly threatens the mother of Johnson's 6-month-old daughter with a "molly wop." Ah, life in modern America. (Pro Football Talk)

SOCCER

Breathe easy, everyone: Clint Dempsey's okay and will play in this weekend's friendly against Turkey. (AP via Yahoo! Sports)

TENNIS

Rafael Nadal gets downright introspective -- or, since it was about the game of tennis, maybe it was outrospective -- after his second-round win in the French Open. (AP)