Wakeup Call: Tanking? Who's tanking? Not our teams!

Wakeup Call: Tanking? Who's tanking? Not our teams!
February 18, 2014, 9:15 am
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Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, February 18:

BASEBALL

Jonathan Papelbon's not going to be a Debbie Downer this year, no sir. (CSN Philly)

His new manager, though, would rather see more life on Papelbon's fastball than more smiles on Papelbon's face. (CSN Philly)

Here's hoping you get through your physical, Ubaldo. Those Orioles physicians can be pretty tough. (CSN Baltimore)

Looks like Suk-min Yoon passed. (CSN Baltimore)

And it looks like Tyler Colvin -- who didn't -- may wind up in Baltimore, anyway. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Yes, he's 41. But not only is LaTroy Hawkins still pitching, the Rockies plan to use him as their closer this year. (AP)

Joe Girardi on Brian Roberts: "I know he hasn't played a full season in the last few years and he's obviously a guy that has some age on him, too, but my plan is to run him out there almost every day." Well, that should work out just fine, don't you think? (AP)

These Dodgers impress Sandy Koufax. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Unbeaten Syracuse is still No. 1, but after the Orange barely pulled out a couple of narrow victories last week, Florida is inching closer to the top in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll. (AP)

San Diego State coach Steve Fisher is relieved the Aztecs only dropped one spot, to No. 6, after having their 20-game winning streak snapped. (AP)

The last time Saint Louis was in the Top 10, they were sharing headlines in their city with Bob Gibson and Lou Brock and Tim McCarver. Bet a lot of you didn't know McCarver had a life before becoming Joe Buck's sidekick, eh? (AP)

Where have you gone, Marcus Smart? Cowboy Nation turns its lonely eyes to you. (AP)

Smart spent part of his three-game suspension acting as a self-appointed ombudsman to an Oklahoma State blog. (Yahoo! Sports)

No coach in ACC history reached 300 conference wins faster than Roy Williams, who achieved the milestone last night in North Carolina's 81-75 victory at Florida State. (AP)

Back at full strength is a hockey term, but it applies to No. 8 Kansas: Joel Embiid, who's been dealing with back pain and the lingering effects of a sprained knee, and Brannen Greene, who was benched one game for disciplinary reasons, will be available tonight when the Jayhawks play Texas Tech. (AP) 

After a brief absence -- don't ask me why they didn't write it up last week -- here are five things to know about the latest women's poll. (AP)

And a sixth thing to know: Duke is dropping in the women's UPS Performance Index. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Maybe the Colorado Rockies are just using LaTroy Hawkins as a placeholder in hopes that Jameis Winston will soon be their closer. (AP)

Ole Miss suspends linebackers Denzel Nkemdiche and Serdeius Bryant after both were arrested in a separate, misdemeanor incidents over the weekend. Nkemdiche was charged with disordering conduct and disturbing the peace, and Bryant with public drunkenness and disturbing the peace. (AP)

East Carolina defensive end Terrell Stanley, critically injured in an auto accident last week, is now reported to be in good condition in a Greenville, N.C., hospital. (AP)

GOLF

Damn polar vortex . . . (AP)

HOCKEY

Gary Bettman continues to dodge and weave around the question of whether or not the NHL will allow its players to participate in the 2018 Olympics. (AP)

It's going to be Carey Price in goal for Team Canada tomorrow. So there. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Those surprising Slovenians are making history. (Pro Hockey Talk)

OLYMPICS

If you stepped away from the TV to celebrate President's Day, here's what you missed at Sochi. (Yahoo! Sports)

The ice-dancing capital of the world is . . . Detroit? (Yahoo! Sports)

Well, that's where gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White are from, right? Or at least it's where they train. (AP via Yahoo! Sports)

The silver medalists, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada, share the same coach -- Marina Zoueva -- as Davis and White, and they're not too happy with how she divided her time between the two teams. (nbcolympics.com)

PRO BASKETBALL

Tanking? Who's tanking? Not any of your boys, right Adam Silver? (Yahoo! Sports)

If you're hoping that free agent-to-be LeBron James will soon be taking his talents to your city, alas: Right now, he says he can't see leaving Miami. Of course, his vision may clear up by July. (AP)

The Cavs, who are hoping -- probably beyond hope -- that the prodigal son will return, aren't worried about that right now. Their focus is on making the playoffs. (AP)

Ditto the Mavs. (AP)

And the Wizards. (CSN Washington)

The Nuggets, though, are worried about missing them. (AP)

Tony Allen may be part of a deal between the Grizzlies and Timberwolves centered around Chase Budinger and J.J. Barea. (Yahoo! Sports)

There may not be much more that that at this trade deadline, unfortunately. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

I've heard of strange injuries before. But bad reaction to a cortisone shot? (CSN Bay Area)

Lamar Odom's comeback attempt is beginning in Spain. (AP)

Welcome back, Russell Westbrook. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL

The Ravens say they want to get all the facts before publicly commenting on Ray Rice's arrest on simple assault charges against his fiancee. She was also charged with the same offense after police report that an argument between the two in an Atlantic City casino turned physical. (AP)

And while they were gathering those facts, they were also busy restructuring Terrell Suggs' contract so that -- his words -- "Sizzle will be a Raven for life." (CSN Baltimore)

No such luck, though, in restructuring Dennis Pitta's deal. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

So what can the NFL do to discipline Richie Incognito? Not much, it appears. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Meanwhile, Incognito's back on Twitter, only this time he's apologizing to everybody in sight. "Sh-t got cray cray," he mused philosophically. (Pro Football Talk)

Sources close to Mike Pouncey say he's "distraught" over being outed as a locker-room bully in the Ted Wells report. Still, says that source, he plans to use it as "a learning opportunity." For what? Something you should have learned in kindergarten? (Pro Football Talk)

Roger Goodell is meeting with players for their input as he tries to institute behavior policies to make NFL locker rooms a more professional place. (Yahoo! Sports)

Just to show that offseason arrests aren't limited to the college ranks, Falcons wide receiver Roddy White is nabbed for failure to appear in court on a traffic citation. (Pro Football Talk)

SOCCER

David Beckham aims to bring Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to Miami to play for his new MLS franchise in 2017. (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)

TENNIS

Serena Williams says the boredom of her recovery from a back injury led her to request a wildcard into the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. (AP)