Wakeup Call: The market for Youk is heating up

818218.jpg

Wakeup Call: The market for Youk is heating up

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, December 3:

BASEBALL
The Kevin Youkilis market appears to be heating up. (CSN Chicago)

Sounds like Ichiro -- or at least his agent -- is irritated with the Yankees. (CSN Baltimore)

Brian Wilson may have wanted to stick it to the Giants by joining their archrivals in Los Angeles, but the Dodgers apparently don't want any part of it. (CSN Bay Area)

From the "Succumbing To The Obvious" file, Brad Lidge has decided to retire. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

What? Edgardo Alfonzo was still playing?? (AP)

Forget the 519,203 someone spent for Ozzie Smith's Gold Gloves. I want to know who'd lay out 75,205 for a 70-plus-year-old bat that belonged to Lou Gehrig. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Saint Louis dedicated Sunday's win over Valparaiso to former coach Rick Majerus, who died of heart failure on Saturday. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Here are some storylines to help you while away the time before Notre Dame and Alabama collide 35 days from now. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Just like we anticipated a few weeks ago, Oregon and Kansas State are going to play each other. Just not for the national title is all. (AP)

C'mon, Louisiana Tech. Haven't you ever heard that old saying about a bird in the hand? (AP)

The Skip Holtz Era at South Florida is over. (AP)

HOCKEY
Donald Fehr's enthusiasm for the players-owners-only meeting on Tuesday may be tempered once he finds out Jeremy Jacobs is one of the owners who'll be attending. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
The Magic stunned the Lakers in the teams' first meeting since Dwight Howard jumped from Orlando to Los Angeles, and Howard responded with the type of class and dignity we've come to expect. (AP)

A kinder, gentler 'Sheed? Yeah, right. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

But ball don't lie; the Knicks won anyway and remain undefeated at home. (AP)

It's a rip -- in the foot -- for Rip. (CSN Chicago)

PRO FOOTBALL
It was an emotional day in Kansas City, as the Chiefs beat the Panthers slightly more than 24 hours after the murdersuicide involving linebacker Jovan Belcher. (AP)

Romeo Crennel -- understandably -- won't talk about witnessing Belcher commit suicide Saturday morning, but he told SI.com's Peter King that "I wasn't able to reach the young man" as he attempted to prevent Belcher from shooting himself. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Um . . . this Andrew Luck guy is pretty good. (AP)

The AFC North race, and the battle for AFC playoff seeding, got jumbled as Charlie Batch and the Steelers beat Baltimore. (AP)

The real problem for the Ravens is that Flacco was a very ordinary Joe yesterday. (CSN Baltimore)

Uh, oh; Terrell Suggs may be hurt again. (Pro Football Talk)

On the other side of the field, so's Ike Taylor. (Pro Football Talk)

The Colin Kaepernick-to-Canton bus went off the road in St. Louis, though Jim Harbaugh did his best to put the blame on himself. (CSN Bay Area)

So did David Akers . . . and he may have had a point. (CSN Bay Area)

Tony Romo's in the record books, and Dallas is in the win column. (AP)

Whaddya know? The recording -- "Mark Sanchez is our quarterback. This is a recording." -- finally stopped yesterday, and, as a result, the Jets got a win. (Pro Football Talk)

Celtics-Heat preview: Do C's need to bounce back from a win?

Celtics-Heat preview: Do C's need to bounce back from a win?

BOSTON – The final score on the Jumbotron Friday night said the Celtics beat the Phoenix Suns 130-120.
 
But there was a clear and undeniable sense of loss on the part of the Celtics, even if Friday’s victory was their third in a row and sixth in the past seven games.
 
The Celtics (47-26) hope to continue on their winning ways tonight against a Miami Heat team currently among a handful fighting for one of the last playoff slots, but are doing so without Dion Waiters (ankle) who has been instrumental in their surge after an 11-30 start to the season.
 
Beating the Heat (35-37) will require Boston to play better than they did against the Suns, a game Boston won, but in many ways had the feeling of defeat.
 
Yes, Devin Booker’s career-high 70 points was very much a blow – a huge blow – to the pride of a team that takes tremendous pride in its defense.
 
But the sense of a loss came in the form of purpose while playing as close to their potential as possible.
 
The Celtics fell short on both fronts Friday night.
 
Being just one game behind Cleveland (47-24) for the best record in the East, the Celtics understand getting as many wins as possible is the mindset right now.
 
But coach Brad Stevens knows that while winning is important, how the team plays is even more valuable.
 
“Like I’ve said before, I’m surprised at where we are record-wise because we’ve got to play at a higher level for 48 minutes,” Stevens said. “We just don’t do it.”
 
Is this Stevens’ way of trying to motivate his players after a not-so-great performance?
 
Or is he seriously concerned that his team isn’t as good as their record?
 
The Celtics, by their own standards, and to those of us on the outside looking in, know they are a better team than the one we saw on Friday night.
 
Not having Avery Bradley (sick) certainly hurt Boston’s efforts defensively.
 
Still, a Friday night’s game wore on, Booker’s confidence only grew and the Celtics’ desire to shut him down or at least slow him down, began to dissipate like an ice cube in hell.
 
And that’s a problem - a big problem - for a team that has to be connected at both ends of the floor for an extended period of time in order to play at the level their capable of and, most important, give them the best shot at emerging victorious in the postseason.
 
That’s why Stevens isn’t too caught up in the team’s chances of catching Cleveland, or whether they go into the playoffs riding a fat winning streak.
 
“I’m not going to get caught up in winning a couple of games in a row and all that stuff,” Stevens said. “I want to get caught up in playing well. We’ve shown ourselves capable of playing well, we have not sustained it throughout a game. And it’s been pretty consistent.”
 

Win vs. Islanders 'a nice building block' for Bruins

bruins_islanders_riley_nash_2_032517.jpg

Win vs. Islanders 'a nice building block' for Bruins

BROOKLYN, NY – It wasn’t particularly entertaining and it won’t be all that memorable down the ride aside from the timing and importance of the meeting between the Bruins and Islanders. But it was a solid 2-1 team win for the Bruins over the Islanders at the Barclays Center on Saturday night with the B’s grinding all the way down to the end while protecting a one-goal lead through much of the third period.

Nearly everybody across Boston’s roster contributed in the major victory over the team trying to bypass them in the wild card standings, and it was a beautiful thing. Anton Khudobin stepped up when Tuukka Rask couldn’t start Saturday night’s showdown with a lower body issue, and Riley Nash supplied both Boston goals from a fourth line that’s played some of their best hockey lately.

It was unlikely heroes all around for the Black and Gold in the tightly-wound contest, but that diversity of talent and production can be a very good thing for a team looking to make that playoff push.

“You have to stay with it. You have to stay in the moment and stay with the game no matter what’s happening during the game. That’s how you get results, and that’s how you find ways to persevere through adversity,” said Patrice Bergeron. “We just got back to playing stingy, especially in the neutral zone. We got away from it the last few games, and it was nice tonight to be back playing a low-scoring game like what we’re used to playing.”

When it was all said and done the Bruins only allowed 19 shots on net and also killed off six penalties in the kind of grinding defensive showdown that you haven’t seen all that much out of the Black and Gold lately. It was exactly what Cassidy was looking for to snap the four-game losing streak, and once again start pushing the Bruins upward into the playoff chase.

“That’s the type of win that goes a long way in the room when your goaltender is battling hard and fighting that hard to see pucks and find pucks and your D are blocking shots. And you kill that many penalties. It was a nice building block for us,” said Cassidy. “From the goalie on out, everybody was in there [in the win]. It was a tough game. It was a nice Bruins win. We had been doing it with offense earlier, and we’ve got to be able to do it both ways. You need to be able to win 2-1 hockey games, and it had been awhile.”

Now it’s simply up to the Bruins to be feeling good about their latest win while going back to basics, and looking for more next time around after ending their worst losing streak of the season.