Wakeup Call: Even some players say it's boring

Wakeup Call: Even some players say it's boring
July 18, 2014, 8:30 am
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(USA Today Sports Images)

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for  Friday, July 18:

BASEBALL

Hoo boy: Nationals infielder Anthony Rendon, a .287 hitter with an .834 OPS as a 24-year-old, apparently feels baseball is an okay way to make a living. But he says he never watches any games when his team isn't playing because the sport is "too long and boring." (NBC''s Hardball Talk)

The Mariners and Rays are said to be discussing a deal that would send David Price and Ben Zobrist to Seattle. Can you imagine Price and King Felix in the same rotation? (Hardball Talk)

With four-fifths of the Yankees' season-opening starting rotation on the DL, yeah, I'd say Brian Cashman's focus at the trade deadline will be pitching. (Hardball Talk)

Now we'll see how much Jonathan Papelbon actually wants to leave Philadelphia to play for a contender: The Dodgers may be willing to bring him on board as a setup man. (Hardball Talk)

Matt Kemp says he'd like to get back to center field at some point, but he's down with anything the Dodgers want him to do . . . as long as he remains an everyday player. If not, well, he wouldn't say no to a trade. (Hardball Talk)

Jean Segura is back with the Brewers -- accompanied by his wife, his mother, an uncle and a friend -- after a week at home in the Dominican Republic following the sudden death of his infant son. (AP)

You have to believe this is the end of the line for Luke Scott: He's released by his Korean team after calling his coach a coward and a liar. (Hardball Talk)

Carlos Pena's on-again/off-again MLB career is off again; he's DFA'd by the Rangers. (Hardball Talk)

Tracy McGrady stops tilting at that baseball windmill. (Hardball Talk)

I had no use for Mel Hall, as a player or as a person, during his time in MLB, but never did I suspect what a psychopathic monster he is. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

John Adams, the head of college basketball officiating since 2007, is retiring at age 65. (AP)

Today's Brandon Austin update: The talented forward, who was accused of sexual assault at both Providence College and Oregon in a span of five months, won't be attending Hutchinson Community College, after all. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

They found the worker who hung the Alabama flag at Texas A&M's Kyle Field and fired him, but not for that: He was canned for claiming he deliberately sabotaged reconstruction of the stadium by "putting iron in backwards" and "wrong holing everything” and making "2 very 'questionable' welds!!” Inspectors say a third-party firm went over the work and found no structural damage or concerns. (NBC's College Football Talk)

That report yesterday that Texas offered Nick Saban more than $100 million to leave Alabama? He says it never happened. (Yahoo! Sports)

Speaking of the Crimson Tide, they've suspended running back Kenyan Drake and defensive end Jarran Reed after their arrests in separate, unrelated incidents. (College Football Talk)

Sorry, Auburn, but your defending championship is so 2013: Alabama is the overwhelming preseason favorite in the SEC. (College Football Talk)

In the Big 12, the pundits like Oklahoma. (College Football Talk)

No living in the past in Louisville: Running back Michael Dyer calls dibs on Teddy Bridgewater's uniform number 5. (AP)

Ever think you'd see the day when college football conferences -- and big ones, like the SEC and Big 12 -- would be studying MLS for tips on how to retain, and grow, in-stadium attendance? (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)

Taylor Lewan may be gone from Michigan, but the offensive lineman -- now a rookie with the Titans -- will still have to stand trial this fall for punching an Ohio State fan. (AP)

Jerry Sandusky's son says listening to testimony from one of his father's sexual-assault victims brought back memories of his own abuse. (AP via Yahoo! Sports)

GOLF

Five birdies in six holes? An opening-round 69? Maybe we'd better hold off on those Tiger Woods obituaries. (AP)

Ernie Ells' first round went a lot tougher than Tiger's. (AP)

HOCKEY

Jonas Hiller, hoping to restart his career with the Flames after a disappointing stint in Anaheim, is hospitalized for appendicitis in Switzerland. The procedure, however, was said to be minor and he expects to make a speedy recovery. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Thomas Steen, former NHL star with the original Winnipeg Jets and father of the Blues' Alex Steen, spends a night in a Winnipeg jail after "communicating with a woman he was previously accused of assaulting." He still faces trial on the assault charge. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL

Man, they really are Miami North: Mike Miller, one of three ex-Heat players now on the Cavs, is urging Ray Allen to come to Cleveland. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

But it's a feel-good story, as evidenced by the fact that LeBron James' return to Ohio makes him the most popular athlete in America for the first time. (Yahoo! Sports)

New Cavs coach David Blatt sees no need to discuss the Andrew Wiggins-for-Kevin Love trade rumors with Wiggins. His reasoning? "Rumors are rumors. That's why they call them rumors." Oh, well, since you put it that way . . . (AP)

Lionel Hollins may not have meant to -- he gave it the obligatory "that’s not a knock on Memphis" -- but he probably burned some bridges to Tennessee when he said that, compared to New York (where he's now coaching the Nets), Memphis is "like back in the stone age." (Pro Basketball Talk)

Those Kevin Durant-to-Washington (eventually) whispers get louder as -- for some reason -- the Wizards hire Durant's high school coach as an assistant. (Pro Basketball Talk)

They've already made a bunch of Durant-friendly moves this offseason. (CSN Washington)

The Kings and Pistons are once again talking about a Josh Smith trade. (Pro Basketball Talk) 

In other Smith trade news, J.R. says he wouldn't have blamed the Knicks if they'd dealt him off last year because "I was playing like a person who didn't want to be there." (Pro Basketball Talk)

Restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe never got a max offer from anyone because it was assumed Phoenix would simply match it. But negotiations between Bledsoe and the Suns are going nowhere, and now many teams don't have the cap space to make him a max offer. (Pro Basketball Talk)

The Suns have already lost Phoenix native Channing Frye, who signed as a free agent with the Magic. And he says the notion that he, or anyone, should ever give any team a hometown discount is "absolutely ridiculous." (Pro Basketball Talk)

The Lakers win the bidding for Carlos Boozer . . . if you call adding a soon-to-be 33-year-old who'll make you a little, but not a lot, better "winning". (Pro Basketball Talk)

Arron Afflalo is setting the bar unrealistically -- nee, impossibly -- high for his new coach, Brian Shaw, and his new team, the Nuggets. (Pro Basketball Talk)

In her second season with the Phoenix Mercury, Brittney Griner is blossoming into the player people thought she'd be when she left Baylor. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL

Goodbye, New York: After 49 years in the Big Apple, the NFL Draft is moving to either Chicago or Los Angeles. (AP)

Maybe next it'll go across the pond, since Roger Goodell claims to see "tremendous demand for NFL football in London, in the UK in general, and frankly in Europe." (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus -- who, in a piece of information I never knew, is the son of legendary broadcaster Jim McKay -- says his announcers will be given the option to refrain from using the name "Redskins" when calling Washington games this year. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

After last year's rosy prediction fell flat, Giants owner John Mara is keeping his optimism to himself this season. (Pro Football Talk)

The 49ers officially open their new $1.2 billion stadium. (AP)

And they'll probably use some of the revenue they generate from their new home to pay Joe Staley. (AP)

Maybe the 'Niners will have a tenant: Goodell suggests the Raiders could play there, too. (Pro Football Talk)

Why would they do that? Because this Raiders-A's fight over The Stadium Formerly Known As The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is getting interesting. (CSN Bay Area)

SOCCER

Of the 10 most valuable franchises in professional sports, the top three are European soccer teams. The only local entrant: The Patriots, ranked eighth with a worth of $1.8 billion. (Yahoo! Sports)

Even though the United States made it to the round of 16 and pushed Belgium to extra time before being eliminated in the World Cup, the Americans drop two spots, to 15th, in FIFA's latest world rankings. (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)

TENNIS

Kevin McEnroe, the 27-year-old son of John McEnroe and Tatum O'Neal, is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance after being arrested with cocaine and prescription medication in New York's East Village on Tuesday night. (AP)

Italy's Fabio Fognini apologizes for using an ethnic slur toward Serbian opponent Filip Krajinovic during a second-round loss at the Hamburg Open. (AP)