Wakeup Call: One computer didn't watch the BCS title game . . .

943739.jpg

Wakeup Call: One computer didn't watch the BCS title game . . .

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, January 11:

AUTO RACING
Danica Patrick wants to focus her attention on her first full season in NASCAR, so she's skipping the Indy 500 this year. I wish she'd skip those insufferable godaddy.com Super Bowl ads, but that's just me. (AP)

BASEBALL
Justin Upton says thanks, but no thanks, to a trade from Arizona to Seattle. (AP)

Pete Rose may be banned from baseball and forbidden from being elected into the Hall of Fame and all, but that doesn't stop him from getting on the moral high horse about steroids use. (AP)

Kerry Wood believes everyone -- including himself -- who played in the Steroids Era is under suspicion, so he isn't the least bit surprised that former teammate Sammy Sosa didn't get elected into the Hall of Fame. (CSN Chicago)

Craig Biggio "cracked jokes and waxed philosophic" about falling 39 votes short of induction. (CSN Houston)

Most everybody takes to Twitter these days to get their message across. Not Mike Piazza; he's writing a book that will tell everyone he never took steroids. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

The Phillies insist Cole Hamels' shoulder soreness isn't "an issue at all". (CSN Philly)

Theo gives another chance to old friend Darnell McDonald. (Hardball Talk)

Kosuke Fukudome's heading home to Japan. (AP)

The Pirates' deal with Francisco Liriano is on hold because of an issue with his right -- i.e., non-throwing -- arm. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
You can take Arizona off your list of unbeatens, thanks to Oregon. (AP)

Remember the kid from Grinnell who scored 138 points in a game in November? He's out for the season after breaking his wrist. (AP)

Sign of the armageddon: Miami beating North Carolina in Chapel Hill. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Take heart, Notre Dame: At least one computer still thinks you're the best. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Brian Kelly's sudden interest in the NFL makes sense. (CSN Chicago)

So does the Bears' interest in him. (CSN Chicago)

In today's installmant of Declaring For the NFL Draft, we have Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins, Oklahoma State's Joseph Randle and Georgia's Kwame Geathers. (AP)

Johnny Football's learning about life in the spotlight. (AP)

Jerry Sandusky won't give up. (AP)

HOCKEY
At last, the Kings get to focus on defending the Stanley Cup. (AP)

Some unfinished business for Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk: Playing in the KHL All-Star Game on Sunday before returning to the NHL. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
We've been ragging -- and delightfully so -- on the Lakers, but Miami isn't doing so hot, either. (AP)

Take away 'Melo, and the Knicks stop scoring. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Rob who? (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

And that makes eight: The Jaguars finally fire Mike Mularkey, the eighth NFL coach dismissed since the end of the season. (Pro Football Talk)

Lovie Smith is a perfect fit for the Eagles. At least that's what Tony Dungy thinks. (CSN Philly)

Monte Kiffin may have been a big disappointment on his son Lane's staff at USC, but Jerry Jones still wants him in Dallas. (Pro Football Talk)

On Wednesday, Jay Gruden said he would remain an assistant at Cincinnati. On Thursday, he interviewed for the head job in Arizona. And next week, he may interview in Philadelphia. (AP)

The 49ers are sticking with David Akers. For now. (AP)

The Steelers release running back Chris Rainey after the latest in a series of off-field incidents. (AP)

TENNIS
Looking forward to a Victoria Azarenka-Serena Williams final in the Australian Open? Sorry; they're in the same draw. (AP)

Drellich: MLB could explain umpire rulings more often

Drellich: MLB could explain umpire rulings more often

BOSTON — We know that Red Sox manager John Farrell did something wrong. In the absence of any sort of formal announcement otherwise, we’re left to assume the umpires did everything properly — but there’s room for MLB to make that clearer.

If the NBA can put out Last 2 Minute reports, why can’t MLB provide more regular explanations or reviews of contested calls?

Farrell on Tuesday said he’d like to see more public accountability in the umpiring realm, hours before the manager was to sit out Game No. 77. Farrell was suspended one game for making contact with crew chief Bill Miller on Saturday night as manager and umpire rained spittle on each other over a balk call that went against the Sox.

Well, was it a balk or not? Did Miller do anything wrong as well?

“I don’t know if there was anything levied on the other side,” Farrell said. “I don’t know that.”

But would he like such matters to always be public?

“I think there have been strides made in that way,” Farrell said. “I guess I would. I think everyone in uniform would prefer that to be made public. Whether or not that happens, I don’t know, but that would be a choice I would make.”

The league has a thorough internal review system. But it is just that: internal. Most of the time, any way.

On most every night at Fenway Park, there is someone on hand watching just the umpires and reviewing them.

MLB, to its credit, has announced suspensions for umpires in the past. The league has made public acknowledgments when calls have been made incorrectly. More of that seems viable — even if it’s an announcement to reaffirm that the call was made and handled properly, and here are the reasons why.

“I haven’t received any further determination or review of what transpired,” Farrell said. “My position, my stance, remains steadfast. I still firmly believe that time was called [before the balk call was made]. I wasn’t arguing the balk. I was arguing the timing of it. As I reiterated today to those that I spoke with, I still stand by my side of the argument. Unfortunately, there was contact made.”