Wakeup call: Time to end the charade with the replacement refs

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Wakeup call: Time to end the charade with the replacement refs

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, September 18:

BASEBALL
Now that they've escaped Oakland, the Orioles are resuming their winning ways. (AP)

The lead is back to three for the White Sox in the A.L. Central (CSN Chicago)

And it's up to eight for the Giants in the N.L. West (CSN Bay Area)

I guess no one told Yunel Escobar that cameras have telephoto lenses and can pick up the smallest things . . . like homophobic slurs written on eye black. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Clayton Kershaw may miss more than just this week's start. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
He's under investigation by his athletic director, so "avoiding any stress for 30 days" is going to be a tall order for Billy Gillispie. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
The rumored Orange Bowl deal demonstrates that, come 2014, the sport's upper crust is going to consist of five conferences and Notre Dame. (NBC's College Football Talk) And, no, the Big East isn't one of those conferences.

Bo Pelini says he's "as healthy as can be". (AP)

The bomb threat at LSU forced the Tigers to cancel practice. (AP)

Three University of Wisconsin students have been charged in the Aug. 1 attack on Badgers running back Montee Ball. (AP)

HOCKEY
Those crickets you hear are from the labor negotiations. (AP)

Joe Thornton's going back to his special lockout place. (CSN Bay Area)

And some front-office staff may be going to a not-so-special lockout place: The unemployment line. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

One man's floor is another man's ceiling: These could be boom times for the AHL. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
Ron Artest -- excuse me, Metta World Peace -- is playing the role of Rasheed Wallace 2010 and talking 73 wins. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Apparently, this woman in Orlando didn't read the back of her ticket. (Pro Basketball Ticket)

PRO FOOTBALL
That sure didn't look like Peyton Manning, did it? (AP)

Can we -- for the love of God -- stop with the talk that the replacement refs are, you know, doing all right? No? Well, then, allow me to show you the tape from the first quarter of last night's game. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Or from any number of games over the weekend. (AP)

That's a wrap for the Redskins' Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker. At least for 2012. (CSN Washington)

Darrelle Revis' status for Sunday's game at Miami is still up in the air. (AP)

Bountygate update: Looks like Gregg Williams threw Jonathan Vilma under the bus. (Pro Football Talk)

The timing of said throwing, though, raises a few questions. (Pro Football Talk)

If it worked at Rutgers, why not Tampa Bay? (Pro Football Talk)

David Ortiz re-enacts Boston movie scenes as part of charity video

David Ortiz re-enacts Boston movie scenes as part of charity video

As part of a charity promotion with Omaze, David Ortiz has made a video re-enacting scenes from Boston-set movies. 

The movies range from a classic -- "Good Will Hunting" -- to very good crime movies -- "The Departed, The Town" — to the just plain bad "Fever Pitch," but all of the scenes are entertaining. Ortiz plays every part in each scene, often playing to characters interacting with one another. 

At the end of the video, a link is given to Omaze.com/papi, which gives fans the opportunity to enter a drawing to attend his jersey retirement ceremony by donating. Proceeds go to the David Ortiz Children’s Fund and the Red Sox Foundation. 

The David Ortiz Children Fund aims to help children in New England and the Dominican Republic who are born with congenital heart failure. 
 

Drellich: When will Red Sox players hold themselves accountable?

Drellich: When will Red Sox players hold themselves accountable?

BOSTON -- Whether John Farrell is managing the Red Sox next week or next month, keep an eye on player accountability.

Five years ago, Bobby Valentine was supposed to be the disciplinarian that stopped babying the clubhouse. Disaster followed, largely because Valentine was a terrible fit for this group, his approach extreme and dated.

But this year’s team makes you wonder whether a distilled sense of Red Sox entitlement lingers.

At Fenway Park, is the message from the veteran voices one that includes a sense of public accountability for not just the manager, but the players as well?

In FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal’s piece on Farrell, Rosenthal noted “some players, but not all, believe that [Farrell] does not stand up for them strongly enough to the media.”

Those unnamed players Rosenthal cites need a mirror, badly. Or at least a glance around the room.

Where’s the guy in the clubhouse standing up to the media with any consistency? There’s no voice that regularly shields the younger, less experienced guys from tough but expected questions after losses.

Dustin Pedroia gets dressed and leaves the clubhouse faster than Chris Sale will get the ball back and throw it Wednesday. 

Pedroia mentioned something about whale poop in Oakland over the weekend. He can be very funny, but he’s not exactly keen to deliver calming, state-of-the-union addresses — not with frequency, anyway.

Farrell, of course, has been criticized for doing the opposite of what the FOX Sports story noted. The manager was mobbed on social media last year for saying David Price had good stuff on a day Price himself said the opposite.

The premise here is amusing, if you think about it.

Follow: Players are upset that the manager does not do a better job lying about their performance. And this, in turn, affects how players play?

Get a grip.

The public isn’t dumb. If you’re bad, you’re bad, and you’re going to hear about it in Boston. No manager changes that.

Whichever Sox player seeks more protection from Farrell really needs a reminder from a teammate to play better.

Too often, some of the most famous, prominent athletes can be sensitive, and over-sensitive. Look at how LeBron James handled a question about what led to his poor performance in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.

It is true that some players question Farrell’s leadership, as Rosenthal reported. But it can also be difficult to separate questions of leadership from whining and grumbling that a manager isn’t providing said player more chances, more opportunities, even if undeserved.

How can Drew Pomeranz's unfounded dugout complaints be Farrell's fault?

The situation and player that make Farrell look the worst this year is Hanley Ramirez. The idea of him playing first base is gone, his shoulders apparently too screwed up to make that viable. 

Somehow, Ramirez made 133 starts at first base last year. One has to wonder how all of a sudden Ramirez can barely play a single game. 

If he’s hurt, he’s hurt. But the Sox didn’t come out of the gate in spring training and say, first base is out of the picture because of his health. They kept saying there was hope he'd be able to play in the field.

If Ramirez is being obstinate, he’s in turn making Farrell look weak. And, more importantly, hurting his team.

What would Ramirez be doing if David Ortiz hadn't retired? Spending the year on the disabled list?

Farrell can pack up his bags today, tomorrow or after the next full moon. The players would still need to take it upon themselves to do what’s best for their team: to focus on what matters.

If they’ve forgotten, that’s about performing up to their abilities and being accountable for themselves -- publicly and privately -- when they don’t.

A manager’s quote in the media doesn’t change whether you’re playing bad baseball.