Wakeup Call: Zen Master's heading to New York

Wakeup Call: Zen Master's heading to New York
March 12, 2014, 8:00 am
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Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, March 12:


You complain, we listen: NASCAR will now allow drivers to hook up cooling units to their engines through hood flaps so they won't need cooling laps after their qualifying rounds, which drivers -- who had to navigate the track slowly while other cars, still attempting to qualify, raced past -- said was among the dangerous things they'd ever done. (AP)


Bet a lot of us have dreamed of paying parking tickets this way: When Ron Washington was fined $200 by MLB for not leaving the bench during a spring-training game a few years ago, he paid it by mailing 20,000 pennies to New York. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Artists always suffer for their art, eh, Ryan Braun?   (Hardball Talk)

The last time Kris Medlen injured a ligament in his pitching elbow, he was sidelined for 13 months. Well, doctors say he's hurt a ligament again . . . but the Braves aren't yet prepared to say how long he'll be out this time. (AP) 

The injury news is quite a bit better for the Nationals' Doug Fister. (CSN Washington)

Yesterday was quite the day for aces and would-be aces in the American League. First you had David Price striking out eight in five innings for the Rays . . .  (AP)

. . . and Justin Verlander pitching four one-hit, shutout innings for the Tigers just two months after surgery . . . (AP)

. . . and Masahiro Tanaka striking out nine in four innings in a simulated game for the Yankees. (AP)

Even the ailing Matt Harrison had a good day, as he got back on the mound -- granted just for an inning, and in a 'B' game to boot -- for the Rangers. (AP)

As for the ailing Bronson Arroyo, he says his bad back is "driving me nuts". (Hardball Talk)

Tito thinks it's not only an honor for Justin Masterson to be named the Indians' Opening Day starter, but "it's an honor for us to tell him." (AP)

Ed, Ed . . . using the steroid scandal to buttress your argument about global warming? Really? (Hardball Talk)

There hasn't been much to cheer about in Cubs Nation since Theo arrived, but it's looking like Javier Baez may change that. (AP)

And he's not the only one. (CSN Chicago)

Brandon League may be a $17 million swallow for the Dodgers. (Hardball Talk)

Well, that didn't last long. (Hardball Talk)


Gonzaga is headed to the dance for the 16th straight year, thanks to another West Coast Conference championship. (AP)

Others who had their tickets punched last night: Mount St. Mary's -- a .500 team -- from the Northeast Conference . . . (AP) 

. . . Milwaukee from the Horizon League . . . (AP)

. . . and North Dakota State from the Summit League. (AP)

A double whammy for BYU: Not only did the title-game loss to Gonzaga severely damage, or perhaps completely torpedo, the Cougars' NCAA hopes, but they may be without starting guard Kyle Collinsworth even if they get there. (Yahoo! Sports)

The "new" Big East invades Madison Square Garden for its first tournament this week, and now we'll see if it generates the same midtown buzz as its Syracuse/Connecticut/Louisville-powered predecessor. (AP)

As all the conference tournaments begin, here are five bubble teams who could benefit from a long run. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

Far from the tournament lights, the coaching carnage picks up steam. Yesterday it was Bowling Green letting go of Louis Orr. (AP)

Couldn't you wait until this season ends before announcing matchups in the next one? (AP)

With Connecticut out of the picture, DePaul wins the Big East women's championship. (AP)


Surprised it took this long, but the first lawsuit over the high-intensity workout that hospitalized 13 Iowa football players in 2011 has been filed. (AP)


The U.S. Open may be headed back to Torrey Pines, eventually. (AP)

If you're interested in reading more about Tiger's back, have at it. (AP)


With Rich Peverley in the hospital undergoing tests for the heart condition that caused him to collapse Monday, the Stars still manage to regroup and pull out a win in St. Louis. (AP)

The fast treatment Peverley received Monday night in Dallas demonstrates how medical staffing has changed at NHL games over the year. (Yahoo! Sports)

Teammate Alex Chaisson was so distraught over the incident that he was briefly hospitalized himself, and didn't travel with the Stars last night. (Yahoo! Sports)

Marc-Andre Fleury records the shutout as the Penguins win their eighth straight over the Capitals. (AP)

Take heart, Caps: The Hurricanes had lost 10 straight to the Rangers before beating New York last night. (AP)

Jaromir Jagr scores again -- that's 21 goals this season, if you're counting -- and lifts the Devils over the Flyers. (AP)

The Flyers, though, weren't talking about Jagr as much as they were talking about the referees afterwards. And the talk wasn't too complimentary. (CSN Philly)

The media have turned on Torts in Vancouver. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)


Oscar Pistorius has a history with guns. (NBC's Olympics Talk)


Looks like Zen Master-to-New York is going to happen. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

When he gets there, Andrea Bargnani will be well-rested. (Pro Basketball Talk)

They're not even at the altar yet, but George Karl, for one, thinks the marriage between Phil Jackson and 'Melo can't be saved. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Hey, Kobe. Father Time's a pretty tough opponent, isn't he? (Pro Basketball Talk)

The Hawks' Jeff Teague says he had so much wax in his left ear that he was functionally deaf during Atlanta's losses to the Warriors and Clippers last weekend, as the tragedy of cotton swabs continues. (Yahoo! Sports)

Joakim Noah to Bulls fans: It's not about MVP Awards. It's about rings. So, please, knock it off, will ya? (Yahoo! Sports)

We talk about the Heat and the Thunder and the Clippers and the Pacers and God knows who else, but it's the Spurs -- yes, the Spurs -- who continue to roll along with the NBA's best record. (AP)

But we talk about some of those other teams for a reason. Like the Warriors, who beat the Mavs last night for their fifth straight win. (AP)

And the Thunder, who won a mini-showdown against the Rockets. (AP)

At the other end of the spectrum, the once-hot Blazers have now lost three straight. (AP)

For elbowing Blake Griffin in the chin, the Suns' P.J. Tucker will sit out tonight's game against the Cavs. (AP)


Darrelle Revis' declaration that he would "love" to the return to the Jets may have Machiavellian overtones, thinks Mike Florio. Says Florio: Revis knows damn well owner Woody Johnson doesn't want him back, so "if/when Revis ends up with the Patriots," it will "[twist] the knife . . . a little more." (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

We talk a lot about the "Brady window" here in New England, but the "Manning window" in Denver is even smaller. And that explains why the Broncos are throwing caution to the wind in free agency. (Yahoo! Sports)

Will DeMarcus Ware be John Elway's next target? (Yahoo! Sports)

Ware's release forces owner Jerry Jones to defend/explain the mistakes of general manager Jerry Jones. (AP)

But both owner and GM sound hopeful that Ware will return. (Pro Football Talk)

The Bears, however, don't sound like they have any interest in bringing back Julius Peppers. (AP)

Nor do the Texans in Owen Daniels, who was pretty much begging to stay. (CSN Houston)

Think anybody wants old friend Patrick Chung? (CSN Philly)

The Dolphins may need to rebuild their entire offensive line, but they've started with a good building block: Branden Albert. (Pro Football Talk)

And right after they signed Albert, the 'Fins started the deconstruction of that line by trading Jonathan Martin to the 49ers. (AP)

If you think Martin will be a distraction in San Francisco, think again. (CSN Bay Area)

Blaine Gabbert was a bust in Jacksonville. Now he's Colin Kaepernick's backup in San Francisco. (AP)

Donte Whitner is "coming home" to Cleveland, which is the only way going from the penthouse 49ers to the outhouse Browns qualifies as "a dream come true." (Pro Football Talk)

And he's being joined there by Karlos Dansby. (AP)

Does this indicate a change in fortune for one of the NFL's laughingstocks? (Yahoo! Sports)

Hmm. Not so fast on that Tony Gonzalez retirement business . . . (Pro Football Talk)

Doors in Denver and Cleveland closed for Jairus Byrd, but one opened in New Orleans. (Pro Football Talk)

Here are your Day One Of Free Agency Winners and Losers. (Yahoo! Sports)