Wakeup Call: Suns set in the West

Wakeup Call: Suns set in the West
April 15, 2014, 9:15 am
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(AP Photo)

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, April 15:

AUTO RACING

I thought winning was supposed to be the most important thing in NASCAR's new system? (AP)

BASEBALL

If you think the new replay system had a bad weekend in New York -- and it sure did -- it's nothing compared to the confusion the new "transfer" rule is causing. Maybe, hopes Yahoo!'s Tim Brown, "MLB will recognize the literal interpretation of its rule is nullifying the actual point of playing defense, which is to catch the baseball." (Yahoo! Sports)

Replay didn't have a good weekend in Philadelphia, either. (CSN Philly)

The red-hot Brewers meet their match in Lance Lynn and the Cardinals. (AP)

Even though Jedd Gyroko has just begun his second season, he's impressed the Padres so much that they're giving him a five-year, $35 million deal. (AP)

Matt Moore succumbs to the inevitable and decides to have Tommy John surgery. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

But A.J. Burnett isn't letting a little thing like a hernia keep him off the mound. (CSN Philly)

Jeff Samardzija admits "it's looking like" he'll be traded by the Cubs . . . which may not be a bad thing for him, since he says his "number-one goal" is winning. (CSN Chicago)

Like Koji Uehara, Braves closer Craig Kimbrel has shoulder soreness that the team says -- hopes? -- is minor. (Hardball Talk)

It could be worse, Braves. You could have the Phillies' bullpen. (CSN Philly)

Nothing, though, could be worse than what these Phils fans went through. First they have a grand old time taunting Dan Uggla, then have to watch in horror as Uggla hits the game-winning grand slam. (Hardball Talk)

The previously untold story of Yasiel Puig's defection from Cuba is a dark tale, indeed, and may provide just a little insight into the behavior that drives purists so crazy. (Yahoo! Sports)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Willie Cauley-Stein coming back for a third season at Kentucky? Coach Cal ought to spring for a gold watch for many years of service, or something. (Yahoo! Sports)

Just as surprising: Montrezl Harrell returning to Louisville. (Yahoo! Sports)

But we did have our regularly scheduled installment of Declaring For The NBA Draft, and this one features Michigan State guard Gary Harris. (AP)

He may soon be joined by Arizona's Aaron Gordon. (Yahoo! Sports)

Meanwhile, Jabari Parker says he'll announce Wednesday whether or not he's turning pro. (AP)

Jerami Grant's decision to leave, coupled with Tyler Ennis jumping ship earlier, means Syracuse has some big holes to fill. (Yahoo! Sports)

Gary Woodward is fired by Maine after a 6-23 season, completing a 10-year stint as head coach and 18 years total at the school. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Jim Kelly's nephew, expected to compete for the starting QB job at Clemson, gets kicked off the team because of -- in coach Dabo Swinney's words -- "a pattern of behavior that is not consistent with the values of our program." (AP)

What? Touchdown Jesus will be now be looking down on artificial turf?? (AP)

GOLF

Well, where else but Waffle House would you celebrate a Masters championship? (golfchannel.com)

HOCKEY

Brian Burke's just about had enough of John Tortorella. (AP)

Lightning coach Jon Cooper has a new idea for home-ice advantage that involves the higher-seeded team playing Game 1 and Game 7 on the road. Chances of implementation are probably on par with Burkie hiring Torts. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Forget those eight straight losses at Madison Square Garden: Here are two reasons for the Flyers to be confident heading into their series against the Rangers. (CSN Philly)

The Blackhawks are ready to get physical against the Blues as they open defense of their Stanley Cup championship. (CSN Chicago)

The Sharks' Tomas Hertl missed most of his rookie season because of a knee injury suffered in a game against the Kings in December. Now he's back, and he's looking forward to a chance to exact some revenge against L.A. in the first round. (CSN Bay Area)

The Predators miss the playoffs for the second straight season, so Barry Trotz gets the axe after 15 years as coach. Nashville offers him a front-office job, but he says no thanks; he wants to keep coaching. "I love Nashville," he says, "but now I'm going to have to beat you." (AP)

Nobody's been fired -- yet -- in Phoenix, but Don Maloney says they have to figure out what went wrong this year. (Pro Hockey Talk)

And meanwhile, Capitals Nation sits and waits to see what will happen to Adam Oates and George McPhee. (CSN Washington)

OLYMPICS

Michael Phelps' coach says the former Olympic champ is going to "test the waters" -- chortle, chortle -- in a meet in Mesa, Ariz., later this month to see if he wants to try and qualify for the 2016 Games. (AP via Yahoo! Sports)

PRO BASKETBALL

The Grizzlies beat Phoenix and lock up the final playoff spot in the West. (Yahoo! Sports)

The Suns can console themselves in the knowledge that they're the fifth team in history to win as many as 47 games and not make the playoffs. And grit their teeth in the knowledge they'd have finished no worse than sixth -- and could even have been as high as fourth -- in the East. (AP)

If the Heat are going to three-peat, they'll have to do it as the second seed in the conference. Not that they seem to mind, judging by their postgame demeanor after a 21-point loss in Washington. (AP) 

The Rockets defeat the Spurs and clinch home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. (CSN Houston)

That's 50 wins and a six seed for the Warriors. (CSN Bay Area)

But the news isn't all good: Andrew Bogut may have a rib fracture. (CSN Bay Area)

The Zen Master always liked Lamar Odom, and now he many have a job for him in New York. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL

Jadeveon Clowney has this message for prospective NFL employers: Enough. You've seen me play, you've seen me at the Combine; I'm not doing private workouts for you. (Yahoo! Sports)

Civil? Productive? This is Ndamukong Suh we're talking about, right? (AP)

This Chris Johnson/Jets flirtation is getting serious. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Looks like DeSean Jackson's back from vacation. (AP)

This is the usually the week the NFL releases its schedule . . . but not this year. (CSN Washington)

If buying the Bills gets Donald Trump off the national political stage, I'm all for it. (Pro Football Talk)

Von Miller's hoping to be back in time for the Broncos' opener. (AP)

If you can somehow accurately predict the Rams' 2014 schedule -- order of games, the days of the games, and the bye week -- they'll pay you $100,000. (Pro Football Talk)

SOCCER

Some folks are mobilizing against David Beckham's plan to build a soccer-specific waterfront stadium in Miami. (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)