Wakeup Call: Lackey and A.J., together again

Wakeup Call: Lackey and A.J., together again
August 4, 2014, 8:15 am
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Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Monday, August 4.


Dale Earnhardt Jr. completes a three-race season sweep at Pocono and now holds the No. 1 seed in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. (AP)


Having A.J. Pierzynski behind the plate made John Lackey's first start with the Cardinals seem a little routine. (Yahoo! Sports)

Since the Orioles moved to Baltimore in 1954, they'd never won a 1-0 game in which the only run scored on a leadoff homer. But now they have. (AP)

That's the Stephen Strasburg the Nationals have been hoping for. (AP)

Anibal Sanchez is sort of flying under the radar this season in Detroit, but his 12-strikeout performance in the Tigers' 4-0 win over the Rockies, which completes a weekend sweep, shows that Oakland won't be the only team with a four-deep rotation this October. (AP)

Don't count out the Indians yet. (AP)

Come on, Blue Jays. You want us to consider you as serious contenders and then you lose three out of four in Houston? (AP)

Not that they're going anywhere anyway, but the Diamondbacks' season just took a sharp turn for the worse with news that their best hitter, Paul Goldschmidt, is out for the season because of a broken left hand suffered when he was hit by a pitch two days ago. (AP)

The Brewers are going somewhere -- or at least they have a chance to -- so Matt Garza's oblique strain is even worse news for them. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

The Phillies bring back Tony Gwynn Jr. (CSN Philly)


"Full of baloney"? That may be an old-school phrase from an old-school coach, but Larry Brown hits the nail on the head regarding the NCAA, especially when he says the organization is "only interested in money." (NBC's College Basketball Talk)


In case you were wondering who's in charge in Texas, new coach Charlie Strong makes that crystal clear: Wide receivers Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander, who were suspended in July after being arrested on rape charges, are kicked off the team and won't be allowed to return regardless of how their legal cases turn out, and offensive lineman Desmond Harris, wide receiver Daje Johnson and safety Josh Turner are all suspended for at least one game -- and maybe more -- because of rules violations. (AP)

Don't know who's been in charge at Air Force, judging by some of the disturbing findings in an investigative report by The Gazette. (NBC's College Football Talk)

At Michigan, coach Brady Hoke suspends wide receiver Csont'e York for failing to meet "team standards." (AP)

With issues popping up all over professional and collegiate sports, Nick Saban is bringing someone in to speak to his Alabama players about domestic violence. (College Football Talk)

Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock will be out for at least a couple of weeks after having surgery for an undisclosed medical problem last week. (AP)

The 'Ol Ball Coach takes a shot at the Big Ten. (CSN Washington)


Rory McIlroy wipes out a three-stroke deficit on the final three holes and wins the Bridgestone Invitational, enabling him to reclaim the No. 1 spot in the world rankings. (AP)

But that was only the second-biggest headline yesterday. The first? Tiger Woods' future is in doubt again. (golfchannel.com)

The PGA Tour denies a report that it suspended Dustin Johnson for failing a drug test. Johnson announced last week he was taking a leave of absence to deal with "personal challenges." (AP)

It's home sweet home for Kenny Perry on the Champions Tour. (AP)


Old friend Jarome Iginla is named the best player in Flames' history in voting conducted by NBC Sports' social-media team. Me, I might have gone with Lanny McDonald. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Another old friend, Phil Kessel, vows the Maple Leafs won't ever collapse again the way they did at the end of last season. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper wants everyone to stop pumping the Lightning's tires. (Pro Hockey Talk)


If the Cavaliers don't want Andrew Wiggins, he doesn't want them. So there. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

And if you need even more clues that Wiggins is about to be traded from Cleveland to Minnesota in a package for Kevin Love: LeBron James has yet to speak to him. If they were actually going to play together next year, you'd think LeBron would have reached out by now. (Pro Basketball Talk)

LeBron Mania reaches new heights, as an Ohio lawmaker proposes the state start issuing commemorative "LeBron James Witness 2.0" license plates. And, no, I have no idea what that "Witness 2.0" business means, either. (AP)

Paul George's gruesome -- and possibly career-altering -- leg injury could be a game-changer for international basketball. As one NBA GM put it: "We're not paying our guys 50 percent of the [league's basketball-related income] so our stars can be exposed to injuries just to let the league [convince itself] that they're going to expand into European markets." (Yahoo! Sports)

Looks like Mike Scott turned down the Russians and is returning to the Hawks. (Yahoo! Sports)

Former NBA center Vlade Divac undergoes emergency, but non-life-threatening, stomach surgery in Serbia. (AP)

Michael Cooper's back on the Atlanta Dream sidelines after undergoing surgery for tongue cancer, but the New York Liberty spoil his return. (AP)


After calling the Patriots "cheaters," Cary Williams sits out the Eagles' next practice for reasons so flimsy it begs the question: Was it a benching by Belichick buddy Chip Kelly? They say no, but . . . (CSN Philly)

The Packers and Brett Favre have kissed and made up at last, though they're going to wait until 2015 to really make it official. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

So have Cam Newton and Peter King. (Pro Football Talk)

Like so many of us, Doug Morrone had computer problems at work in the Bills' Hall of Fame game loss to the Giants last night. (Pro Football Talk)

Al Michaels says Donald Trump's "a little miffed" that his $1 billion, cash-on-the-barrelhead offer to buy the Bills wasn't immediately accepted. (Pro Football Talk)

Don't look back, Brian Hoyer. Johnny Football's gaining on you. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Hey, Niners: Jim Harbaugh's not kidding when he tells you to take it easy on your teammates in practice. (CSN Bay Area)

Bet some of the Ravens wish Harbaugh's brother would tell that to Steve Smith. (Pro Football Talk)

Draft bust Jon Baldwin is cut loose by San Francisco. (CSN Bay Area)

Doesn't sound like the Giants are counting on seeing David Wilson in big blue again. (Pro Football Talk)


Former Palestinian National Team midfielder and current sports broadcaster Ahed Zaqout is killed when an Israeli bomb hits his apartment in Gaza. (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)

The Red Bulls vehemently deny that Ronaldinho is joining their team. (Pro Soccer Talk)


And here I thought she was sick: Serena Williams wins the Bank of the West Classic for her fourth WTA championship of the season. (AP)