Wakeup Call: Even the president's disgusted with the NHL

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Wakeup Call: Even the president's disgusted with the NHL

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, December 14:

BASEBALL
The Theo Epstein Era now truly begins, as the Cubs close in on their first big-ticket item of free agency: Anibal Sanchez. (CSN Chicago)

Sanchez' imminent signing, and the landings of Zack Greinke and Ryan Dempster, is opening up the market for the likes of Edwin Jackson. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Been quite the offseason for those poor Rangers, hasn't it? (AP)

The Yankees, continuing their quest to reassemble the 2005 All-Star Team, are nearing agreement on a two-year deal with Ichiro. (AP)

Mariano Rivera fully expects to be ready on Opening Day. (Hardball Talk)

From the outhouse to the penthouse: Andres Torres jumps from the Mets to the Giants. (AP)

Hey, Greg, congratulations on your new gig! Oh, wait, wrong Dickerson . . . (CSN Baltimore)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Cry all you want over the dissolution of the Big East, but the fact is that the league we all knew -- and most of us loved -- has been dead for some time now. And what emerges from the rubble might actually be pretty good. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

A three-game suspension for inappropriate behavior and language? Yeah, we've seen that in college sports before. But for a coach? (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Wisconsin's not fooling around in its search for Bret Bielema's replacement. (NBC's College Football Talk)

GOLF
So why'd the U.S. pick Tom Watson as captain? "We are just really tired of losing the Ryder Cup," said PGA of America president Ted Bishop. (AP)

HOCKEY
Even President Obama is disgusted. (CSN Washington)

Need a break from all this? How about Russ Courtnall selling his house to Britney Spears? (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
The Knicks continue to climb and the Lakers continue to plummet. (AP)

And it sure looks like rock bottom for L.A. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

It could be worse, Lakers; you could be the Bobcats. (AP)

The Warriors are making folks in San Francisco sit up and take notice. (CSN Bay Area)

Remember the big games J.D. Drew always used to have in Philadelphia in response to the savage treatment he received from Phillies fans? Well, the Philly hordes have turned another opposing player -- Joakim Noah -- into Superman. (CSN Chicago)

Brandon Roy's not thinking retirement . . . yet. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
The Bengals, in the midst of a playoff run, needed to beat the Eagles last night, but that's not such a big trick these days. (AP)

Hmm. This Bears-Packers thing is getting interesting. (CSN Chicago)

As for Brian Urlacher, he's laughing it all off . . . although he got in a little shot of his own at Jermichael Finley. (CSN Chicago)

Jay Cutler's sure limping to the finish line, isn't he? (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Joe Vitt has a four-letter description of Saints accuser Gregg Williams: L-I-A-R. (AP)

And Dez Bryant has a two-word answer to those who ask about his availability Sunday: I'm playing. (AP)

Prince Amukamara, on the other hand, isn't so sure. (AP)

How about RGIII? Will he, or won't he? Mike Shanahan isn't saying. (CSN Washington)

Football players play football, Bill Parcells used to say. So when they act like citizens and involve themselves in real-world issues, the way Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has, teams don't like it. (AP)

No wildcat for Tim Tebow, not as long as his ribs ache. (AP)

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Rough start for Al Horford

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Rough start for Al Horford

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of tonight’s game between the Boston Celtics and the Detroit Pistons in which the Celtics lead 54-50.

 

STARS

Isaiah Thomas

At the half he led all scorers with 16 points coming on 6-for-10 shooting from the field.

Reggie Jackson

The former Boston College star has been a main cog in the Pistons’ offense tonight, leading them with 15 points on 5-for-9 shooting with five assists.

 

STUDS

Marcus Morris

He was relatively quiet most of the first half, but came up with a last-second 3-pointer that sent the Pistons into the half with some momentum to cap off a 15-9 run to end the quarter.

Jaylen Brown

Boston is looking for a steady No. 2 scorer to compliment Isaiah Thomas, and Brown was that guy throughout most of the first half. He finished with nine points on 4-for-5 shooting to go with three rebounds.

Amir Johnson

The former Piston looked very much at home around the rim in the first half, scoring just four points but grabbing seven rebounds in addition to dishing out two assists.

Andre Drummond

He had six points and six rebounds in the first half, but didn’t really dominate the way you would expect from the best big man in the building. Boston didn’t give him too many looks at the basket, and when they did they fouled him. He went to the line for five free throws in the half, and missed all of them.

 

DUDS

Al Horford

Boston has made getting him the ball tonight a priority, and the four-time All-Star is simply not finishing off plays. Credit Detroit’s defense which has contested most of Horford’s shot attempts. That said, he has to deliver more offensively than the two points he scored while missing eight of his nine field goal attempts.

Talking points: Patrice Bergeron is best player on ice in Bruins' win

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Talking points: Patrice Bergeron is best player on ice in Bruins' win

Here are the talking points from the Boston Bruins' 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars where Patrice Bergeron scored two goals.