Wakeup Call: It'll be 48 games, starting soon

976825.jpg

Wakeup Call: It'll be 48 games, starting soon

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, January 7:

BASEBALL
First the Yankees make a qualifying offer to Rafael Soriano, forcing any team that signs him in free agency to forfeit a draft choice . . . which, effectively, eliminates any interest in him. And now that he has nowhere else to go, they say they don't want him. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
The only question I have about this is: Why in the world was Florida playing at Yale?? (AP)

Undefeated Michigan is a win away from tying the school record for best start to a season. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
If Alabama comes through, as expected, against Notre Dame tonight, it'll be three BCS titles in four years for the Crimson Tide. (nbcsports.com)

What better way to get ready for the Tide and the Irish than by watching Arkansas State beat Kent State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl? (AP)

Surprise of the weekend: Chip Kelly's staying put. (CSN Philly)

Second-biggest surprise of the weekend: So's Aaron Murray. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Meanwhile, Nick Saban and Brian Kelly continue to insist they're going nowhere. (AP)

GOLF
Are they ever going to get the PGA Tour season underway? (AP)

Whenever they do get to play, J.J. Henry will be honoring the victims of the Connecticut school shooting. (AP)

Since Rory McIlroy can't decide whether to play for Britain or Ireland in the 2016 Olympics, he may just skip it altogether. (AP)

HOCKEY
Looks like it's going to be a 48-game schedule that starts on Jan. 19. (CSN Philly)

And the players are thrilled. (AP)

You may never have heard of Scot Beckenbaugh, but he's probably the reason there'll be a hockey season. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
How bad is it for the Lakers? The Nuggets beat them -- in L.A., no less -- and then say, well, what's the big deal? (AP)

You knew this was coming in the sad Royce WhiteRockets saga. (CSN Houston)

PRO FOOTBALL
Russell Wilson wins the Battle of the Rookie Quarterbacks as the Seahawks eliminate the Redskins. (AP)

After Robert Griffin III reinjured his knee in the first quarter, he completed 4 of 10 pass attempts for 16 yards with no touchdowns and an interception -- a quarterback rating of 8.3 -- and the Redskins went from a 14-0 lead to a 24-14 loss. But he insists he was "fine" and would have refused to come out of the game if coach Mike Shanahan had tried to lift him. (CSN Washington)

Ah, those classy Seahawks. (CSN Washington)

Sometimes, though, their yappy defensive backs pay the price for that incessant preening and trash talking. (CSN Washington)

It wasn't all preening and trash talking for Pete Carroll's boys. They may have lost sack leader Chris Clemons for the rest of the playoffs. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

And speaking of preening . . . (CSN Baltimore)

What was he dancing and screaming about? A Ravens victory over Indianapolis that earns them a trip to Denver. (AP)

Sunday's loss ended an emotional season for Chuck Pagano and the Colts. (CSN Baltimore)

Gruden to Arizona? Before you get excited, though, it's Jay, not Jon. And it's not a done deal. (AP)

More coaching news: The Bears interview Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. (AP)

So do the Eagles. (CSN Philly)

The Browns are telling folks they turned down Chip Kelly, not the other way around. (AP)

TENNIS
Andy Murray wins the Brisbane International, makes a point during his post-match press conference to publicly dedicate the victory to "one of my best friends . . . who is going to get through" something, then refuses to identify either the friend or what he's going through. (AP)

Moreland not worried about filling Ortiz's shoes because 'there's no replacing him'

Moreland not worried about filling Ortiz's shoes because 'there's no replacing him'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mitch Moreland knows he's likely the only new player in Boston's lineup since David Ortiz retired at the end of last season.

He's just not listening to those who say he needs to replace Big Papi's lofty production.

"I try not to hear it because there's no replacing that guy," said the 31-year-old first baseman, who signed a one-year, $5.5-million deal with the Red Sox during the offseason.

"I think it's going to be more of a team effort," he said. "Obviously we picked up two big arms as well, and it's a very balanced club."

After playing his first six-plus seasons in the majors with the Texas Rangers, Moreland is with a new organization for the first time in his career. So far, he said, the move has been smooth.

"They welcomed me from Day One," he said. "Handshakes and hugs right off the bat. It's going to be a lot of fun. You can see why they had so much success last year."

Coming off a subpar 2016 with a .233 batting average, 22 homers and 60 RBI, Moreland tested free agency. He wanted to go to a team that had a good chance at competing for a championship -- like he felt with the Rangers.

"Something that was at the top of my list as a player," he said. "If I was going to be on a team, I wanted a team that had a chance to win. It makes it that much more fun to come to the park every day when something's on the line and you're fighting for a chance to play in the playoffs, fighting to win the division and fighting to win a World Series."

A first-time Gold Glove winner last season, Moreland knows the defending A.L. East champion Red Sox wanted his defensive skills at first to allow Hanley Ramirez to shift to Ortiz's vacated DH spot.

"It gives you a little more confidence," Moreland said. "I take pride in that. That's going to be my main goal, to go out and show what they saw."

A left-handed batter like Ortiz, Moreland knows some people will expect him to fill the void offensively because of which side of the plate he bats from.

"I think it'll be a group effort picking up what will be missing," he said. "There's no replacing that guy."

Manager John Farrell also said the club needs to move on from Ortiz so Moreland and everyone else can relax and focus on their own game.

"David's effect on the lineup was felt by a number of people. We know opponents would game plan for David," Farrell said. "I think it's important for our guys - as we put David out of our mind, in a good way - that it's still a focus on what their strengths are in the strike zone."

The transition may be easy for Moreland so far, but one thing has certainly changed: spending spring training in Florida instead of Arizona.

"Fishing's a lot different than Arizona, so that's nice," he said.

NOTES: "We're getting a firsthand look to why he's been so successful and an elite pitcher," Farrell said after left-hander Chris Sale pitched batting practice. The Red Sox acquired Sale from the Chicago White Sox in an offseason trade for four prospects. They also acquired right-handed, hard-throwing setup man Tyler Thornburg from Milwaukee . . . Farrell said righty Steven Wright, who missed the final two months of the season with a shoulder injury, "was unrestricted in his throwing." . . . The Red Sox will have a shorter workout Tuesday with the players association set to talk to the team and the organization's annual charity golf tournament in the afternoon.

Report from the Fort: Trenni and Lou discuss pitching

Report from the Fort: Trenni and Lou discuss pitching

Trenni Kusnierek and Lou Merloni comment on Tyler Thornburg's, Steven Wright's and Drew Pomeranz's work at Red Sox training camp on Monday.