Wakeup Call: Scottie Pippen kept Obama on his game yesterday

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Wakeup Call: Scottie Pippen kept Obama on his game yesterday

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

BASEBALL
Yu Darvish says he'll pass on the World Baseball Classic . . . a decision that probably won't go over too well in Japan. (AP)

The Cubs are talking the talk about how to approach free agency. But as Theo and crew demonstrated during their later years in Boston, walking the walk can be tougher. (CSN Chicago)

The Red Sox missed out on Lew Ford all those years ago. But now, if they want, they can make up for that mistake. (CSN Baltimore)

Come on, Lucas. You guys make all that money. You couldn't hire a mover? (AP)

Um, Blue Jays? As we can tell you from last year's sad experience, dragging out the search process doesn't necessarily result in you getting a great -- or even good -- manager. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
It can get windy on an aircraft carrier, so Syracuse and San Diego State are going to play on Sunday afternoon instead of Friday night. (AP)

It won't be so windy on Georgetown's boat, so they're still on for Friday night. And since they're playing on a military venue, Georgetown plans to dress for the occasion. (CSN Washington)

Some AAU irregularities will cost two Indiana freshmen the first nine games of their college careers. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
When it comes to joining in the BCS debate, Brian Kelly says he'd just as soon sit this one out, thanks. (CSN Chicago)

They're still going to call it the Sugar Bowl, anyway. (AP)

First, Jim Mora wanted to send Twitter imposters to jail. Then he had a better idea. (NBC's College Football Talk)

GOLF
A trip to Disney is no vacation for some golfers, since it's their last chance to break into the top 125 on the money list and keep their Tour cards for 2013. (AP)

And if Davis Love III makes it, it'll be the 26th straight year he's been in the top 125 . . . a distinction some of the greatest golfers in history (Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods) can't claim. (AP)

HOCKEY
Ready to leave your Fourth of July picnic to get to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals? You might have to, if one of the NHL Governors gets his way. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
Now we know: Scottie Pippen's part of President Obama's posse. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

If this kind of flip-flopping is any indication, we can see politics in Kobe Bryant's future. (Pro Basketball talk)

That'll teach Monty Williams to keep his mouth shut. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Kudos to the Giants for their 500,000 donation towards the Hurricane Sandy recovery effort. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

It's never too early to try and smoke out the playoff picture. (nbcsports.com)

The Steelers' injury bug has spread to the wide-receiver corps. (AP)

You knew this was coming, right? (CSN Philly)

Adam Vinatieri sure looks strange with a shaved head, but it's a great gesture by him and his Colts teammates. (Pro Football Talk)

Mickey Loomis is back on the job in New Orleans. (AP)

Brandon Jacobs, solid citizen? What are they putting in the water out there in San Francisco? (CSN Bay Area)

Somehow, Skip Bayless made Terrell Suggs look rational and reasonable. (CSN Baltimore)

Unconventional NFL draft grades

Unconventional NFL draft grades

Miss the draft because you were watching other sports (or literally doing anything else)? We've got you covered. 

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Bruins will add assistant coach, tap Bradley to run draft board

Bruins will add assistant coach, tap Bradley to run draft board

While the Bruins technically operated, and operated well, short one coach once assistant coach Bruce Cassidy replaced Claude Julien behind the Boston bench, that’s not expected to continue for the upcoming season.

Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed this week that the B’s will be retaining the current assistant coach group of Joe Sacco, Jay Pandolfo and Bob Essensa to work under Cassidy as full-time head coach, and that they’ll be looking to add one more person to his staff.

“I think our staff did a very good job jumping in and picking up, because we didn’t add to it at the time [of Cassidy’s promotion] when we subtracted from the group. It will stay as is,” said Sweeney. “We will also be looking to add to it to complement that group. Bruce and I have already spoken briefly about it, but we haven’t identified yet and we’ve already received some people that would have some interest. We’ll pursue that accordingly.”

Sacco handled the defensemen and the penalty kill in the final few months of the season, and Pandolfo worked with the forwards in his very first season as an NHL assistant coach following a stint in player development. Essensa, of course, worked with the goaltenders and as the “eye in the sky” from the press box once Pandolfo moved to the bench following the coaching change. So the natural assumption would be that the Bruins would hire another former defenseman to work with the D-men given the backgrounds of Sacco and Pandolfo as forwards.

“We haven’t gotten too far out in front of it. But, Joe Sacco moved from the front of the bench to the D, and did a terrific job [while playing a] big part of the penalty kill all year. Jay [Pandolfo] came down from the press box, worked with the forwards, which he had worked with all year. But now he’s in the heat of the battle. They were terrific. We were a true staff,” said Cassidy. “Goalie Bob [Essensa] became a little bit more of an eye in the sky for us up there. We had Kim [Brandvold], who was our skating coach, helped a lot with the practices, with the pace we were trying to establish. I can’t thank them enough.

“Going forward, we’re going to meet and decide what’s the best fit for us [as an assistant hire]. Obviously those two have a forward background, I have a defense background, so maybe that’s an area we have to look at, what’s the best complement. But we’d be getting ahead of ourselves if I said today that we’re pinpointing an exact thing. We’ve got to look at it and say, ‘OK, who’s the best fit. What makes us the most successful?’ We’ll go from there with the candidates we get.”

The situation automatically leads one to wonder if P-Bruins head coach Kevin Dean would be a possible candidate as a longtime Cassidy assistant at the AHL level, or if Dean wants to continue on his track as a head coach. If not Dean then perhaps Providence Bruins assistant coach and former Bruins D-man Jay Leach might also be a strong candidate after his first season working with the young P-Bruins at the AHL level.

While it’s clear the Bruins still have some discussions before potentially making a move on hiring an NHL assistant for Cassidy’s staff, they have made a determination about their scouting staff. The B’s never replaced the head of amateur scouting position when Keith Gretzky was hired as an assistant general manager with the Edmonton Oilers, and it will instead be Bruins assistant GM Scott Bradley that will run Boston’s draft board in June.

“Scotty Bradley has stepped back into that role, which he’s very comfortable doing. He holds the title of Assistant General Manager and he’ll oversee the draft. We’re very comfortable with the people he’s worked with in recent years that have been a big, big part of our recent drafts. Our meetings went well,” said Sweeney. “They were just at the U-18s and had other subsequent meetings, so there will be some banter in the upcoming [scouting] meetings, in terms of where we end up finalizing our list. Scotty will oversee that.”

It’s not exactly foreign territory for Bradley, who previously held the head scouting position with the Black and Gold and played an instrumental role in drafting players like Milan Lucic, Phil Kessel, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. But there’s also some question as to how big a role Gretzky played in drafting the massive wave of talented prospects now pushing their way through Boston’s system, and how much his presence will be missed at NHL Draft weekend moving forward.