Wakeup call: Theo speaks; Howard loves L.A.; protecting the statue

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Wakeup call: Theo speaks; Howard loves L.A.; protecting the statue

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Thursday, July 19:

BASEBALL
Theo Epstein has a message for Cubs Nation: Lower your expectations, at least for the near future. (CSN Chicago)

Jerry Seinfeld live Tweeted the Mets-Nationals game -- and made a Steve Bartman reference to boot -- during Wednesday night's ESPN telecast. (CSN Washington)

Melky Cabrera the ballplayer is having quite the renaissance this year, but not so much Melky Cabrera the person. At least that's how Chipper Jones and the Atlanta fans see it. (CSN Bay Area)

Ever wonder how to throw a pie in a postgame celebration? Watch Josh Reddick tell you how. (CSN Bay Area)

BASKETBALL
Now Dwight Howard says yes, he will sign with the Lakers. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Kobe Bryant doesn't think much of David Stern's push for an under-23 basketball tournament in the Olympics. And that's putting it mildly. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

All things considered, Jeremy Lin would rather be in New York. Bet the Rockets are thrilled to hear that after writing him a 25 million check. (AP)

COLLEGE SPORTS
After a plane flew over the Penn State campus carrying a banner that read "Take the statue down or we will," a group of students began a "Oh no you won't" vigil around the Joe Paterno statue. (AP via CSN Philly)

Pitt pays the Big East 7.5 million, and the Big East says, okay, you can leave after the 2013 season. (AP)

FOOTBALL
With each day comes word of another former NFL player dying young. Today it's Cleveland Elam, a member of the 49ers' "Gold Rush" front four of the 1970s, at age 60. (CSN Bay Area)

RGIII is (finally) a Redskin. (CSN Washington) But how long did it take for you to figure out what HTTR meant?

One of the reasons the injury problem -- specifically, the concussion problem -- is so pervasive is that players won't come clean when they're hurt. Troy Polamalu is the latest, telling Dan Patrick he's lied about concussions to get back in a game and that "any football player . . . records at least maybe 50 to 100 concussions a year". (CSN Baltimore)

A dynasty in Philadelphia? Michael Vick thinks so. (CSN Philly)

The referees say the NFL planned to lock them out all along. The NFL is shocked, shocked, to hear such a thing. (AP)

HOCKEY
They're talking, and it's "cordial". Can't say there's any progress, however, betwen the owners and players. (AP)

If some of the owners' demands have a "Save us from ourselves!" ring, here's why: The Flyers signed Shea Weber to a 14-year, 100 million offer sheet. (CSN Phllly) The Predators have a week to match it.

The Kings' Drew Doughty won't be charged with date rape. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

-- Hail to the Redskins

Price struggles in third inning, but otherwise shines in first start

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Price struggles in third inning, but otherwise shines in first start

CHICAGO -- Everything was going smoothly until the No. 9 hitter.

Protecting a 1-0 lead in the third inning Monday in his first start of 2017, David Price walked two straight batters with none on and one out in the third inning. Ninth-place hitter Adam Engel walked, as did leadoff man Tim Anderson -- who had drawn just four walks in 181 plate appearances entering the game.

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Price, whose command was in question coming off just two rehab starts for Triple-A Pawtucket, immediately paid for the consecutive free passes.

Melky Cabrera jumped on Price's first pitch, a middle-in fastball, for a three-run homer and a 3-1 lead.

The Sox got Price two runs back in the top of the fourth inning, giving him something of a fresh slate with a tie game at 3-3. He took advantage of the second chance, striking out two of the three batters he faced in the bottom of the inning and keeping the game tied, and was rewarded when Mookie Betts homered to lead off the fifth and put the Red Sox back on top, 4-3.

He immediately put himself back in hot water by hitting the first two batters in the bottom of the fifth. But two groundballs to the left side -- the second of which, hit by Cabrera, was turned into an inning-ending double play -- got Price and the Sox out of the inning with their lead intact.

Back from an elbow injury, Price was impressive out of the gate in his first major league game since last year's playoffs. He struck out Anderson to begin his season and needed just 14 pitches in a 1-2-3 first inning.

The lefty touched 96 mph on the final pitch of the first inning, which produced an easy groundout to shortstop from first baseman Jose Abreu.

Price was staked to a 1-0 lead before he threw a pitch.

Betts' leadoff double against Chicago's David Holmberg gave way to a run thanks to some great Betts base running. He took third base on Dustin Pedroia's ground out and then scored on a foul pop up that Abreu, the first baseman, snagged in foul territory with a basket catch — a rare sacrifice fly to the first baseman.

Home runs were a big problem for Price last year. So too was the third inning, when he had a 6.03 ERA.

Pedroia lifted in second inning after hurting wrist in collision

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Pedroia lifted in second inning after hurting wrist in collision

CHICAGO -- Injury scares are finding Dustin Pedroia in all the wrong places.

The Red Sox second baseman was pulled in the second inning Monday afternoon against the White Sox because of a left wrist sprain, an injury he seemed to suffer on a collision running to first base in the top of the first inning.

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He and White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu converged on the bag at the same time on a grounder to Abreu, and Pedroia tumbled over Abreu

Pedroia had season-ending surgery on the wrist in September 2014, addressing a tendon issue. Pedroia had surgery on his left knee this year, and missed time after Manny Machado's slide caught him in that leg in April.

Pedroia during the last homestand was pulled as a precaution because of concern for that leg.

Josh Rutledge took over for Pedroia at second base.