Wakeup Call: No place like home, eh, Matt?

Wakeup Call: No place like home, eh, Matt?
April 17, 2014, 8:30 am
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Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Thursday, April 17:

BASEBALL

He's baaaaccckk! (AP)

It was just the Cubs, but how can the Yankees not be impressed by the performances of Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda in their doubleheader sweep? (AP)

Or the Braves by Julio Teheran's as he outduels none other than Cliff Lee for a 1-0 victory? (AP)

Before the games, the Yanks unveiled a plaque for Nelson Mandela in Monument Park. (AP)

You couldn't possibly have two franchises farther apart on the Success Scale than the Yankees and Cubs; the Yanks have won 27 World Series titles since the Cubs' last championship, which was 105 years ago. And having spent his career relentlessly chasing, and sometimes winning, World Series trophies, Derek Jeter says "it's kind of hard to relate" to the Cubbies' situation. (CSN Chicago)

Alfonso Soriano, who's played for both teams, can relate perfectly. That's why he wanted out of Wrigley to go back to the Bronx. (CSN Chicago)

Once burned, twice cautious: Even though he's pitched well in his last three games, Bob Melvin isn't ready to give the A's closer's job back to Jim Johnson. (CSN Bay Area)

Dontrelle Willis may finally be at the end of the line, as the Giants release him from their Triple-A farm team after he apparently suffered a serious arm injury in his last appearance. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

The future is now in Houston: The Astros recall top prospect George Springer. (CSN Houston)

Now if only they knew how to spell his name. Gerorge? (Yahoo! Sports)

It seems kind of early to be handing out votes of confidence. Then again, the Diamondbacks are 4-14. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Entitled? Delusional? These are all words used to describe the fan base at Tennessee, but athletic director Dave Hart disagrees. He says the Vols' coaching job, which Cuonzo Martin seemingly couldn't wait to sprint away from, is "extremely attractive." (AP)

In today's edition of Declaring For The NBA Draft, we have Kyle Anderson and Zach LaVine of UCLA . . .(AP)

. . . and Jahii Carson of Arizona State. (AP)

The UConn women finally lose one: Top prospect A'ja Wilson announces she's going to South Carolina and not Storrs. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

No one comes off looking very good -- least of all Tallahassee police -- in the New York Times investigation of the Jameis Winston rape allegations. (Yahoo! Sports)

That crazy Todd Hoffner/Mankato State story we told you about yesterday just gets crazier: Now the Mankato State players refuse to practice for Hoffner, saying they want interim coach Aaron Keen to keep the job. (AP)

Kentucky quarterback Jalen Whitlow, who's started 15 games in the last two seasons, is transferring. (AP)

Chad Kelly, the nephew of Jim Kelly, apologizes for the string of choochery that led Clemson to kick him off the team. Coach Dabo Swinney is glad to hear it, but gives no indication he's going to take Kelly back. (AP)

Swinney has other problems: The Freedom From Religion Foundation says it has "several serious constitutional concerns" over how "Christian worship seems interwoven into the Clemson football program" and wants Swinney -- a public employee -- fired if he doesn't stop doing things like directly hiring the team chaplain and busing all the players to a local Baptist church for "Church Day" activities. (Yahoo! Sports)

If you're not playing in a bowl in Orlando next December, you're just not trying. (AP)

GOLF

A thumb injury will sideline Jason Day until The Players Championship in three weeks. (AP)

And when he gets there, he -- and all the other golfers -- will find a new format. (AP)

HOCKEY

Uh, oh. NHL '14 predicts the Bruins will win the Stanley Cup . . . which, if history is any guide, means it won't happen. (Yahoo! Sports) 

One of the anticipated stumbling blocks in the B's road to the Cup -- the Montreal Canadiens, who may be Boston's second-round opponent -- begin the playoffs with an overtime win at Tampa Bay. (AP)

But Lightning coach Jon Cooper doesn't think the Habs won it as much as his team gave it away. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Another Eastern power, the Penguins, also win their postseason opener. (AP)

And Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards feels the same as Cooper. Only in his case, he's laying the loss on one play: A goal that got past Sergei Bobrovsky, which he says is the type of shot Bobrovsky has stopped "a thousand times" in the past. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Out West, the top-seeded Ducks get past the Stars in Game 1. No word if Lindy Ruff is similarly disinclined to give Anaheim any credit. (AP)

Some teams that miss the playoffs, like the Hurricanes, leave their coaches hanging. (AP)

But others, like the Jets, reward them with four-year contracts. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL

The Thunder rally from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit and defeat the Pistons to secure the No. 2 seed in the West on the final day of play in the NBA's regular season. (AP)

Even though the Raptors fall to the Knicks, they still get the No. 3 seed in the East. (AP)

And that's because the Bulls lose to the Bobcats and stay at 4. Charlotte, after going a combined 28-120 over the last two seasons, makes the playoffs as the No. 7 seed and gets a first-round playoff date with the Heat as its reward. (AP)

Don't even try to ask Florida product Joakim Noah a question while wearing a Florida State hat. (CSN Chicago)

The Nets rest everybody and lose to the Cavs -- rather handily, too -- as they drop to the sixth seed. (AP)

Here's the schedules of, and a quick look at, all the first-round matchups. (Yahoo! Sports)

Remember how everybody laughed when a computer predicted the Knicks, a 54-win team a year ago, would go 37-45? Well, check the record. (Yahoo! Sports)

France, eh? Well, that was about as close as Kobe Bryant wanted to be to these Lakers as they completed a disaster of a season. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Which they did by beating the Spurs in San Antonio. (AP)

They successfully achieved their first part of their mission, which was to tank the season. But now the Sixers have no control over the second part, which involves the ping-pong balls bouncing their way to get the first overall pick, and coach Brett Brown admits he's nervous about that. (CSN Philly)

After 30 years, Herb Kohl is selling the Bucks. And with the team an NBA-worst 15-67, you can't say he's going out on top. (AP)

But at least the new owners say they'll keep the team in Milwaukee. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Blake Griffin figured out a way to get a night off: Get hit with 16 technical fouls. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL

Matt Flynn decides there's no place like home. (AP)

And Chris Johnson decides there's no place like New York, Green Division. (Yahoo! Sports)

Over in the Blue Division, Josh Freeman comes on board. (Yahoo! Sports)

The Raiders are looking to move Terrelle Pryor, if you need a quarterback. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Do you recall Tony Romo hobbling around with a bad back at the end of last year? Troy Aikman's still worried about it. (Pro Football Talk)

Peyton Manning is hanging onto the disappointment of the Broncos' Super Bowl disaster and using it as motivation for 2014. (AP)

Brian Cushing tells the world, via Twitter, he's been cleared by his doctors to resume football activities after his latest knee injury. (CSN Houston)

Good thing DeSean Jackson signed that big contract with the Redskins, because an arbitrator is making him write a $516,415 check to former agent Drew Rosenhaus. (Pro Football Talk)

A federal judge in Philadelphia again declines to approve deals for some of the retired players suing the NFL over concussions. (AP)

SOCCER

The MLS will expand into Atlanta in 2017. (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)

TENNIS

Remember the talk-radio outrage that flared when the Mets' Daniel Murphy missed Opening Day to be with his wife at the birth of their baby? What will the professional yakkers say when they hear Roger Federer may skip the French Open for the same reason? (AP)