Wakeup Call: Forget those Big Papi-to-Baltimore rumors

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Wakeup Call: Forget those Big Papi-to-Baltimore rumors

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, October 16:

AUTO RACING
Plan for at least eight more years of NASCAR on FOX. (AP)

BASEBALL
Those Big Papi-to-Baltimore whispers? Rich Dubroff says to forget 'em. (CSN Baltimore)

The Giants aren't real happy with Matt Holliday's injury-causing takeout slide on old friend Marco Scutaro. (CSN Bay Area)

Holliday says his slide may have been late -- and he's sorry for that -- but it wasn't dirty. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Bull, responds ex-Giants pitcher and current team announcer Mike Krukow. (CSN Bay Area)

Beware, Cards: Former Giant, and all-the-time intensity machine, Will Clark says there are 'ways to get even'. (CSN Bay Area)

Down 0-2 and still reeling from the loss of Derek Jeter, the Yankees need a break, wouldn't you say? But facing Justin Verlander tonight probably ain't it. (AP)

Joe Girardi left the Yanks for a day to attend his father's funeral. (AP)

Dusty Baker's staying in Cincinnati for at least two more years. (AP)

Despite four exciting matchups, all of which went the full five games, ratings for the Division Series were down 11 percent from last year. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Sgt. Krzyzewski, reporting for duty. (AP)

Looking for a college championship ring, or an Olympic gold medal? Has Bobby Knight got a deal for you! (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Texas Tech's 49-14 rout of No. 5 West Virginia was especially sweet for the Red Raiders' Cody Davis, who called the Mountaineers "by FAR the cockiest and most selfish team I have ever seen." (NBC's College Football Talk)

And the good news just keeps on coming in Lubbock: Linebacker Daniel Cobb has been cleared of a felony burglary charge. (AP)

Uh, Mack? A few more like last week, and the choice to retire won't be yours. (AP)

Just like it's not John L. Smith's up in Arkansas. (College Football Talk)

And it won't be Dave Christensen's at Wyoming if he continues the "provocative postgame conduct" that got him reprimanded by the Mountain West Conference. (AP)

GOLF
While you were taking a comfort break and refilling your snack plate at halftime last night, Phil Mickelson was raising 50,000 for charity. (AP)

HOCKEY
Like every other aspect of his labor "strategy", it appears Gary Bettman's attempts to divide the players has backfired. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Meanwhile, another set of certain-to-be-productive negotiations are scheduled for today. (AP)

A tip of the hat to Lou Lamoriello, Mike Modano and Ed Olczyk, the newest members of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
For the first time in 55 years, there was a major-league sporting event in Brooklyn Monday night. And the Nets made it a happy occasion for all concerned . . . except maybe the Wizards. And the folks they left behind in New Jersey. (AP)

Dirk Nowitzski is hoping to avoid knee surgery, but he may have no choice. (AP)

The selling of arena naming rights reaches a new low in Sacramento. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Olympic gold medal winner Seimone Augustus of the Minnesota Lynx, who plans to wed her longtime partner soon, speaks out against Minnesota's proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
A tale of two halves: Peyton Manning soared . . . (AP)

. . . and Philip Rivers stumbled as the Broncos overcame a 24-0 halftime deficit for a 35-24 win over the Chargers. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

If Ray Lewis' career -- as well as his season -- really is over, he leaves with the respect of his peers. (CSN Baltimore)

Another Texan bites the dust: Tim Jamison is out for the year. (CSN Houston)

Jonathan Vilma's taking his Bountygate grievances to court. (AP)

And in the meantime, he prepares for a possible return to the field. (AP)

Another of the Bountygate principles, Scott Fujita, has bigger worries: He may have a career-ending neck injury. (AP)

If you're not one of the 'Boys, Dez Bryant doesn't care what you think. (Pro Football Talk)

Rick Porcello starts, Drew Pomeranz relieves in Red Sox' 5-3 loss to Twins

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Rick Porcello starts, Drew Pomeranz relieves in Red Sox' 5-3 loss to Twins

Rick Porcello and Drew Pomeranz combined to allow all five of the Red Sox' runs in Boston's 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Porcello finished his start by fanning four, allowing four hits and earning two runs over four innings. Pomeranz followed in the next four innings with four strikeouts, five hits allowed and three earned runs. Pomeranz allowed ByungHo Park's eighth-inning, two-run homer, which ended up being the game-winner.

Porcello, however, was optimistic after the loss.

"The buildup was good," Porcello told reporters, via RedSox.com. "Today I felt as good as I've felt all spring. At this point, I'm ready to go. I'm looking forward to the start of the season."

While the Sox offense was able to get three runs off Ervin Santana in his 4 2/3 innings, they struggled against the Twins' next five pitchers. Xander Bogaerts (2 of 3) and Pablo Sandoval (1 of 3) managed homers. Hanley (3 of 3) Ramirez had a double, and Dustin Pedroia (2 of 3) had two singles.

Kyle Kendrick will start Thursday in the Sox' final Spring Training series against the Washington Nationals. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Who's on first for Red Sox? It may be not someone you'd expect

Who's on first for Red Sox? It may be not someone you'd expect

Who’s on first? A middle infielder, maybe.

Hanley Ramirez, Josh Rutledge and Mitch Moreland aren't fully healthy. So the 25th man on the Red Sox has become a matter of corner-infield triage.

Rutledge was gearing up to play some first base with Ramirez restricted to DH because of his throwing shoulder. But Rutledge is hurt now too, likely headed to the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, Sox manager John Farrell said Wednesday morning in Florida.

Here’s the easiest way to think about who takes Rutledge's place: Who would the Red Sox like to see less against left handed pitching, third baseman Pablo Sandoval or first baseman Mitch Moreland? 

If it’s Sandoval, then you carry Marco Hernandez, who can play third base.

“He’s a very strong candidate,” manager John Farrell told reporters in Florida on Wednesday. “He’s one of a few that are being considered strongly right now.” 

If it’s Moreland, than you carry Steve Selsky, who has a history playing first base.

“He’s a guy we’re having discussions on,” Farrell said. “Any guy in our camp that we feel is going to make us a more complete or balanced roster, Deven Marrero, they’re all in consideration.”

The additional wrench here is that Moreland has the flu. If he's not available at all for a few days to begin the season, then the Sox probably have to carry Hernandez.

Why? Because Brock Holt can play some first base if Moreland is out. But then, you’d need another back-up middle infielder, and Hernandez gives you that. 

Hernandez is also hitting .379 in 58 at-bats this spring entering Wednesday.

Moreland isn’t the only one who has the flu.

"It’s running through our clubhouse," Sox manager John Farrell told reporters in Florida on Wednesday, including the Providence Journal’s Tim Britton. "Probably be held out for three days for a quarantine.” (LINK:http://www.providencejournal.com/sports/20170329/with-josh-rutledge-and-mitch-moreland-ailing-first-base-depth-compromised-for-red-sox)

That means the Red Sox won't have Moreland for their exhibitions against the Nationals on Friday and Saturday in Washington D.C. and Annapolis, Md. Moreland could still be ready for the regular season, but would likely be at less than full strength.

Having Ramirez available would sure make things a lot simpler for the Sox.

Both Sandoval at third base and Moreland could use right-handed bats to complement them. Or more specifically, they could use people who can hit left-handed pitching to complement them.

Hernandez is a left-handed hitter who might actually be able to hit lefties. But the Sox haven't used him at first base, and there's no indication they will.

“As we look at the upcoming games, there is the potential for two left-handed starters in Detroit,” Farrell said. “So there’s a number of things being factored right now.”

Early in spring training, Farrell was asked what player had started to catch his eye.

The guy he mentioned was Selsky, an outfielder and first baseman the Red Sox feel fortunate to have picked up off waivers because he still has minor league options remaining.

Now Selsky, who has already technically been cut from major league spring training, has a chance at making the opening day roster. He's 27 and hit .356 in 45 Grapefruit League at-bats.

Chris Young isn't going to have an easy time finding at-bats as it stands now, but the Sox aren't considering moving him to first base.