Wakeup Call: Ichiro wants to come back . . . but not Mo?


Wakeup Call: Ichiro wants to come back . . . but not Mo?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, October 26:

Ray Ratto says the details the separated victory from defeat for the Giants in their Game 2 win over the Tigers last night "were subtle to the point of undetectable". (CSN Bay Area)

It helps that Bruce Bochy is having a near-perfect postseason. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

And speaking of perfect, it was a perfect relay . . . helped by the fact that Prince Fielder was the runner. (CSN Bay Area)

Or maybe it was just perfectly bad baserunning. (Hardball Talk)

The line drive Doug Fister took off the head conjured frightening memories of Brandon McCarthy being hit above the right ear in a game across the bay last month. But not only was Fister okay, he stayed in the game . . . and was dominant. (CSN Bay Area)

Sometimes you just have to give credit to the other guy. (CSN Bay Area)

Remember Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was brutally beaten at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day 2011? He and his family attended Game 2 last night as guests of the Giants. (AP)

Mike Matheny still can't help looking at the Giants and thinking, "That could be us." (AP)

Mariano Rivera -- after vowing "I ain't going down like this" when he suffered his knee injury last spring -- is apparently now pondering retirement. Who can blame him, after watching the Yankees in the postseason? (Hardball Talk)

Ichiro, though, wants to come back to the Bronx. (Hardball Talk)

When CC Sabathia returns next year, it'll be without that bone spur in his left elbow. (AP)

Looking for a 16-game winner? It appears Kyle Loshe will be available. (AP)

Our own Sean McAdam reported that the Orioles' director of pitching development, Rick Peterson, is considered a "longshot" to be named John Farrell's pitching coach. And sure enough, Peterson says the Red Sox haven't contacted him. (CSN Baltimore)

Well, here's good news: The NCAA says graduation rates are improving. (AP)

Except at UConn. (AP)

Geno Auriemma's suggestion that they lower the rims in the women's game has folks talking, that's for sure. (AP)

If you think Kentucky is the team to beat this year, John Calipari thinks you need "to be drug-tested". (AP)

If Manti Te'o really wants to win the Heisman Trophy, he'd better play well Saturday at Oklahoma. (CSN Chicago)

It was a record-breaking night for Clemson's Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins. (AP)

Tyrann Mathieu's troubles continue -- actually, they mount -- with an arrest for possession of marijuana. (AP)

At last, the owners are beginning to see the cracks they've been waiting for: Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle isn't absolving the NHLPA from blame for the current stalemate, saying, "It's supposed to be a negotiation, and I think right now both sides feel like it's their way or the highway." (CSN Bay Area)

In the meantime, the owners are expected to take their offer off the table today. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Since no games mean no pay for them, too, some NHL linesmen are sending out resumes. (Pro Hockey Talk)

The sad saga of Delonte West continues, and this latest episode is shrouded in secrecy. (AP)

Relax, says Kurt Helin. An 0-8 exhibition record isn't any reason to freak out. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Dwight Howard sure isn't. He still thinks going to the Lakers instead of the Nets was "a blessing in disguise", "an unbelievable experience", "a dream come true". (Pro Basketball Talk)

But if you want something to freak out about, Lakers Nation, here it is. (AP)

Anyone see this coming? (AP)

Be proud, Jets fans: Your two quarterbacks are Nos. 1 and 2 in the NFL players' "most overrated" poll. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Nothing overrated about Jets-Dolphins trash talk, though. (AP)

London Fletcher's 231-consecutive-game streak is in doubt, as he visits a doctor about a possible head injury. (CSN Washington)

Another streak in jeopardy: Bart Scott's 119 straight games, because of a hyperextended big toe. (AP)

Tracy Porter -- who suffered seizure-like symptoms like week - is also seeing a doctor, hoping to get clearance to play in the Broncos' game Sunday night against the Saints. (AP)

Saying he's got "nothing but love for ya'all," Asante Samuel jokingly -- we think -- tells Eagles fans that they "better cheer for me" when the Falcons come to Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday "or we're going to have a problem . . . " (CSN Philly)

STANLEY CUP FINALS: Guentzel's goal lifts Penguins by Predators 5-3 in Game 1


STANLEY CUP FINALS: Guentzel's goal lifts Penguins by Predators 5-3 in Game 1

PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh rookie Jake Guentzel beat Nashville's Pekka Rinne with 3:17 left in regulation to put the Penguins ahead to stay in a 5-3 victory in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.

Guentzel snapped an eight-game goalless drought to help the defending champions escape after blowing a three-goal lead.

Nick Bonino scored twice for the Penguins. Conor Sheary scored his first of the playoffs and Evgeni Malkin scored his eighth. The Penguins won despite putting just 12 shots on goal. Murray finished with 23 saves for the Penguins, who used the first coach's challenge in finals history to wipe out an early Nashville goal and held on despite going an astonishing 37:09 at one point without a shot.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

Ryan Ellis, Colton Sissons and Frederick Gaudreau scored for the Predators. Rinne stopped just seven shots.

The Penguins had all of three days to get ready for the final following a draining slog through the Eastern Conference that included a pair of Game 7 victories, the second a double-overtime thriller against Ottawa last Thursday.

Pittsburgh downplayed the notion it was fatigued, figuring adrenaline and a shot at making history would make up for any lack of jump while playing their 108th game in the last calendar year.

Maybe, but the Penguins looked a step behind at the outset. The Predators, who crashed the NHL's biggest stage for the first time behind Rinne and a group of talented defenseman, were hardly intimidated by the stakes, the crowd or the defending champions.

All the guys from the place dubbed "Smashville" have to show for it is their first deficit of the playoffs on a night a fan threw a catfish onto the ice to try and give the Predators a taste of home.

The Penguins, who led the league in scoring, stressed before Game 1 that the best way to keep the Predators at bay was by taking the puck and spending copious amounts of time around Rinne. It didn't happen, mostly because Nashville's forecheck pinned the Penguins in their own end. Clearing attempts were knocked down or outright swiped, tilting the ice heavily in front of Murray.

Yet Pittsburgh managed to build a quick 3-0 lead anyway thanks to a fortunate bounce and some quick thinking by Penguins video coordinator Andy Saucier. Part of his job title is to alert coach Mike Sullivan when to challenge a call. The moment came 12:47 into the first when P.K. Subban sent a slap shot by Murray that appeared to give the Predators the lead.

Sullivan used his coach's challenge, arguing Nashville forward Filip Forsberg was offside. A lengthy review indicated Forsberg's right skate was in the air as he brought the puck into a zone, a no-no.

It temporarily deflated Nashville and gave the Penguins all the wiggle room they needed to take charge.

Malkin scored on a 5-on-3 15:32 into the first, Sheary made it 2-0 just 65 seconds later and when Nick Bonino's innocent centering pass smacked off Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm's left knee and by Rinne just 17 seconds before the end of the period, Pittsburgh was in full command.

It looked like a repeat of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against Ottawa, when the Penguins poured in four goals in the first period of a 7-0 rout.

Nashville, unlike the Senators, didn't bail. Instead they rallied.

Ellis scored the first goal by a Predator in a Stanley Cup Final 8:21 into the second. Though Nashville didn't get another one by Murray, they also kept Rinne downright bored at the other end. Pittsburgh didn't manage a shot on net in the second period, the first time it's happened in a playoff game in franchise history.

Nashville kept coming. Sissons beat Murray 10:06 into the third and Gaudreau tied it just after a fruitless Pittsburgh power play.

No matter. The Penguins have become chameleons under Sullivan. They can win with both firepower and precision.

Guentzel slipped one by Rinne with 3:17 to go in regulation and Bonino added an empty netter to give Pittsburgh early control of the series.

Harper, Strickland throw punches in Nationals-Giants brawl


Harper, Strickland throw punches in Nationals-Giants brawl

SAN FRANCISCO - An enraged Bryce Harper charged the mound, fired his helmet and traded punches to the head with San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland after getting hit by a fastball, setting off a wild brawl Monday during the Washington Nationals' 3-0 win over the Giants.

Drilled in the right hip by a 98 mph heater on Strickland's first pitch in the eighth inning with two outs, none on and Washington ahead 2-0, Harper didn't hesitate. The slugger pointed his bat at Strickland, yelled at him and took off.

No one got in Harper's way as he rushed the mound. His eyes were wide as he flung his helmet - it sailed way wide of Strickland, it might've slipped - and they started swinging away. The 6-foot-4 Strickland hit Harper in the face, then they broke apart for a moment before squaring off again. Harper punched Strickland in the head as the benches and bullpen emptied.

Giants teammates Michael Morse and Jeff Samardzija collided hard as they tried to get between the two fighters. Three Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the pack all the way into the dugout, while a teammate held back Harper.

Harper and Strickland were both ejected. They have some history between them - in the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland, and the All-Star outfielder glared at the reliever as he rounded the bases after the second shot in Game 4.