Wakeup Call: Beckett's got a feel for baseball again

Wakeup Call: Beckett's got a feel for baseball again
February 11, 2014, 8:00 am
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Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, February 11:

AUTO RACING

If Richard Petty were Cedric Maxwell, he'd have told Danica Patrick to go into the kitchen and make him some bacon and eggs. (awfulannouncing.com) Instead, he gives the NASCAR version of the same sentiment. (AP)

BASEBALL

Old friend Josh Beckett says the numbness and tingling in his arm are gone after last summer's surgery and he'll be ready for Opening Day. The Dodgers, though, are being a tad more cautious. (AP)

The ink on Masahiro Tanaka's Yankee contact isn't dry, and already he's acting like a big-leaguer. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Enough A-Rod talk: Derek Jeter declares it's time for the Yanks to move on. (AP)

Twins GM Terry Ryan is diagnosed with cancer in his neck, but the prognosis is good. (AP)

The Phillies have popped up as a name in the A.J. Burnett Sweepstakes. (Hardball Talk)

Astros pitcher Jarred Cosart says the anti-gay slur he used on Twitter to describe Justin Bieber was "a very poor choice of words" -- and a very poor choice of timing, what with Michael Sam and all -- and he apologizes. (AP)

The Jack Clark/Albert Pujols brouhaha ends the way it should have ended months and months ago: With Clark apologizing for saying he had "knowledge" that Pujols took PEDs -- a far more accurate statement would have been "I've heard rumors that no one could ever prove legally" -- and Pujols accepting the apology and dropping his lawsuit. Well, at least the lawyers were happy. (Hardball Talk)

Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Larkin are doing a little baseball diplomacy in Cuba. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Kansas moves up a spot to No. 7 in the weekly AP poll . . . (AP)

. . . and then immediately jeopardizes the ranking by being upset at Kansas State. (AP)

It was a bad day to be in the Top 25, as No. 11 Iowa State also loses to an unranked opponent. By a wide margin, too. (AP)

But West Virginia's takedown of the Cyclones is overshadowed by some ugliness at the end. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

No. 17 Virginia upholds the honor of the poll by winning its eight straight. (AP)

At the other end of the success spectrum, Grambling State snaps a 45-game losing streak against Division I opponents. (AP)

DePaul makes a clean break with star forward Cleveland Melvin, who was suspended last month for a violation of team rules, by announcing he's no longer enrolled in school. (AP)

Even though Stanford and Louisville lost last week, the women's UPS Index remains relatively unchanged. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Yet another sign that they take college football waaayyy too seriously down South. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Old friend Charlie Weis continues to tinker with his Kansas coaching staff in the aftermath of last year's disastrous 3-9 season. (AP)

HOCKEY

David Poile's planned trip to Sochi -- where he was to serve as GM of the U.S. men's hockey team -- was scratched when he was hit in the face by a puck during a morning skate while on his day job as Nashville Predators' GM. The injury required surgery, and he'll be watching the Games from home. (AP)

The Red Wings' Pavel Datsyuk says the knee injury that's hampered him for the last two months is better, and he'll be playing for Russia when the hockey competition begins. (AP)

And Max Pacioretty, playing for the U.S. team, is none the worse for wear after crashing into a post in Carolina on Saturday. (Yahoo! Sports)

P.K. Subban doesn't know what all those complaints about the hellish conditions in Russia are about: He thinks Sochi is heaven on Earth. (Yahoo! Sports)

OLYMPICS

Hindsight is always 20-20, Bode . . . which is what your vision would have been if you'd had the surgery you needed. (nbcolympics.com)

Danny Davis calls the halfpipe at the Sochi Games "garbage." I couldn't agree more, Danny, Oh, wait . . . you're talking about the condition of the course? (Yahoo! Sports)

At last, the Russians get their chance for a little "Miracle On Ice" revenge. And make no mistake: The pressure's on. (Yahoo! Sports)

Jonathan Toews, who'll be playing for Canada, agrees. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL

The Sixers prove their 45-point loss to the Clippers on Sunday was no fluke, as they go to Oakland and lose to the Warriors by 43. (AP)

Instead of reveling in the victory, Golden State coach Mark Jackson spends his postgame trying to unravel a mini-controversy over an injury to Andrew Bogut. (CSN Bay Area)

It's tough beating the Pacers this year under the best of conditions. When you go up against them shorthanded, as the Nuggets did last night, you got no shot. (AP)

John Loyer's first game as interim coach of the Pistons goes well, as Detroit knocks off the Spurs. (AP)

As if things aren't bad enough in Milwaukee: Larry Sanders suffers a fracture in the orbital bone near his right eye after being elbowed by the Rockets' James Harden during a rebounding battle, and is out indefinitely. (AP)

Harden, none the worse for wear, scores 19 as the Rockets win their sixth in a row. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL

NFL teams are saying all the right things about Michael Sam. But you know what speaks louder than words. (Yahoo! Sports)

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith has some loud words for those unnamed GMs who anonymously trashed Sam. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

This Sam case is interesting if for no other reason that it finds President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice-President Biden . . . (Yahoo! Sports)

. . . on the same side of an issue as Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. (Yahoo! Sports)

Former NBA player Jason Collins, the first athlete in one of the major U.S. pro sports to come out as gay, met with Sam for two days in Los Angeles before Sam made his announcement. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Ex-NFL player Wade Davis, who came out as gay after his career was over, also met with Sam. (CSN Chicago)

Now we know why there was such a crunch at the train station after the Super Bowl: 15,000 fans who had bought tickets to take the bus, and 6,000 who had bought parking passes so they could drive, decided to go by train, instead. (Pro Football Talk)

The city of Secaucus is seeking $25,000 from the NFL for what it says is breach of contract; according to the city officials, the league backed out of an agreement to lease two parking lots at the high school and use city busses to ferry halftime-show workers to and from MetLife Stadium. The league says it has nothing to do with it, since the contract was with a production company in charge of the halftime show . . . and, besides, the company informed Secaucus nine days before the game that it had found other arrangements. A little mind-numbing, perhaps, but, ah, those lawyers are loving it again. (Pro Football Talk)

Tony Sparano Sr.'s failures as the Jets' offensive coordinator in 2012 don't stop the team from hiring Tony Sparano Jr. as an offensive assistant. (AP)

SOCCER

Former MLS MVP David Ferreira is headed back to play in his native Colombia after Dallas FC declines his 2014 option and no one else picks him up. (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)