Wakeup Call: Is there a bearded closer in the Red Sox' future?


Wakeup Call: Is there a bearded closer in the Red Sox' future?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, December 4.

Is there a bearded closer in our future? CSN Bay Area's Andrew Baggarly says newly minted free agent Brian Wilson, a New Hampshire native, "would love to join his boyhood-favorite Boston Red Sox."

Many in Red Sox Nation -- still spooked by the name -- will be relieved to know the A's are going hard after Stephen Drew. (CSN Bay Area)

From the How Are Our Old Friends Doing? department: The Giants are trying to retain Marco Scutaro. (CSN Bay Area)

Ditto the White Sox with Kevin Youkilis, though Youk's agent has them -- and all his other suitors -- cooling their heels. (CSN Chicago)

Ruben Amaro Jr. is wondering where all the outfielders have gone. (CSN Philly)

Well, this one -- Angel Pagan -- is heading back to San Francisco. (AP)

Hey, Ruben: Your old pal Shane Victorino is still out there. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

As someone -- Gordon Edes, perhaps? -- pointed out on Twitter yesterday, the string of formerfuture Red Sox managers in the ESPN Sunday Night booth comes to an end as John Kruk takes the chair last held by Bobby Valentine and Terry Francona. (AP)

Jim Calhoun reveals for the first time that he had surgery in May to remove a cancerous growth from his lungs, but says he's fine now. (AP)

On their other side of campus, the UConn women continue to roll. (AP)

For the first time in 61 polls, Kentucky is unranked in the AP Top 25. (AP)

The University of Utah will honor the late Rick Majerus by hanging a replica of one of his sweaters from the rafters. (AP)

Ladies and gentlemen, your Heisman finalists: Johnny Manziel, Manti Te'o and Colin Klein. (AP)

I bet the Orange Bowl folks are just thrilled that Northern Illinois is giving free tickets to all its students in the hopes of luring them to Miami for the Jan. 1 matchup against Florida State. (AP)

Whatever you do, don't ask ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit about that . . . although he's actually more irritated that the Northern Illinoises of the world are in the BCS. (CSN Chicago)

The Old Ball Coach will be at South Carolina through 2017. (AP)

It's the last time players can earn Tour cards at Q-school, and nostalgia is reigning. (AP)

Count Tom Watson among those who think golf isn't an Olympic sport. (AP)

All Steve Burton-sparked optimism to the contrary, the fate of the NHL season may hinge on the proposal the players are expected to hand to the owners on Wednesday. (CSN Washington)

Alex Ovechkin -- the latest to learn the age-old "grass is always greener" lesson -- now says he doesn't want to stay in Moscow after all, and that his "soul" is with the Capitals. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

And here LeBron James thought taking his talents to South Beach would preclude him from ever winning something like the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award. (AP)

Nuggets coach George Karl says he's been hit hard by the death of his friend, Rick Majerus. (AP)

RGIII and the Redskins show the Giants there's going to be a race in the NFC East, after all. (CSN Washington)

And that certainly has London Fletcher excited. (CSN Washington)

Dan Snyder speaks for many. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The Texans will enter the big time when they hit Foxboro Monday night, but they might be a little short-handed when they get here. (CSN Houston)

Act in haste, repent in leisure: Andy Reid now thinks he fired the wrong guy. (CSN Philly)

Let's hope he -- or his 2013 successor -- doesn't have the same feeling about his quarterback decision. (CSN Philly)

Speaking of quarterback decisions, Tim Tebow -- whose broken ribs caused him to miss his shot to get on the field Sunday when the Jets mercifully pulled the plug, at least for a day, on the Mark Sanchez fiasco -- says he's feeling better. Hint hint, Rex: He'd like to play this week in his hometown of Jacksonville. (Pro Football Talk)

And continuing to speak of quarterback decisions, Colin Kaepernick is still the starter in San Francisco. (AP)

Apparently, Terrell Suggs doesn't intend to let a little thing like a torn triceps muscle keep him off the field. (CSN Baltimore)

Lose one game to Charlie Batch and the sky falls. (CSN Baltimore)

Right, Ed Reed? (CSN Baltimore)

Things are pretty bad in Arizona, where Darnell Dockett took the role of Roberto Alomar Jr. to Kerry Rhodes' John Hirschbeck during the free-falling Cardinals' eighth straight loss. (Pro Football Talk)

Jake Long may have played his final game for the Dolphins. (AP)

The family of Kasandra Perkins, the woman murdered by Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher before he killed himself, is asking for prayers for the Belcher family as well as their own. (Pro Football Talk)

Belichick, Patricia observe huge draft-eligible crowd at Michigan pro day


Belichick, Patricia observe huge draft-eligible crowd at Michigan pro day

There are so many players coming out of Michigan this year who could be drafted that it made sense for the Patriots to send two of their top football minds to take in the proceedings.

Both Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia were in Ann Arbor to watch coach Jim Harbaugh's massive crowd of draft-eligible prospects, acording to NFL Network. Between draftees and undrafted rookies there could be as many as 24 Wolverines on training camp rosters this summer, according to NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah, and the school has a chance to best Ohio State's whopping 12 players drafted last year. 

It's already been a busy week for the Patriots when it comes to the pro-day circuit. Belichick was at Ohio State on Thursday, while Patricia was at Notre Dame. The team also had representatives at Stanford, Utah and Missouri. 

Here's a quick look at some of the top players Belichick and Patricia were watching Friday . . . 

Jabrill Peppers, LB/S:  A Swiss Army knife type who at the next level could play as a linebacker/safety hybrid, compete in the slot and return kicks, Peppers is one of the more dynamic athletes in the draft. At 5-foot-11, 213 pounds he may fit best with the Patriots as a box safety.

Taco Charlton, DE: Strength, length and athleticism . . . Charlton -- who has drawn comparisons to Chandler Jones -- has all the tools necessary to become a game-changing edge defender at the next level. If there's a team out there who thinks they can get his best effort on a snap-to-snap basis, he'll easily be worthy of a first-round pick. 

Jake Butt, TE: Projected as one of the top tight ends in the draft class until he tore his ACL in late December, Butt still has a chance to be selected on Day 2. He told NFL Network's Mike Mayock that he believes he'll be ready to play by mid-July. Should the Patriots want some depth behind Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen, Butt may represent good value if he's still available in the third round. 

Chris Wormley, DE: A three-year starter who has an NFL-ready build (6-5, 298 pounds, 34-inch arms, 10.5-inch hands), he looks like a strong edge-setter who could rush from the interior in sub situations. 

Jourdan Lewis, CB: Quick, competitive and another three-year starter, Lewis is just one of many talented corners available in this draft. Teams at Michigan's pro day will undoubtedly want to meet with Lewis in order to ask him about an incident that led to a misdemeanor domestic assault charge. He has a pretrial hearing scheduled on April 12. 

Ryan Glasgow, DT: For teams interested in tough, physical, early-down defensive tackles to hold up against the run, Glasgow could be worth a mid-round selecton. He measured in at 6-3, 302 pounds with 33-inch arms at the combine. 

Ben Gedeon, LB: Gedeon may not hear his name called until Day 3, but he has the feel of a prototypical Patriots draft pick. He had very good production in a good conference (106 tackles, 15.5 for a loss), and though he may not be the kind of athlete Belichick wants playing three downs in the middle of the field, he looks like someone who could contribute immediately on -- you guessed it -- kick-coverage teams. 

5 reasons the Celtics will get the No. 1 seed


5 reasons the Celtics will get the No. 1 seed

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