Wakeup Call: What's the rush? Take a couple of weeks off!


Wakeup Call: What's the rush? Take a couple of weeks off!

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, November 16:

He's got almost no chance of overtaking him on the track for the Sprint Cup championship, so Jimmie Johnson's trying mind games with Brad Keselowski. (AP)

It's the Ghost of Bowie Kuhn! Bud Selig says he's taking the Marlins-Blue Jays megatrade -- which still isn't official, by the way -- "under review". (AP)

Not only has Jeffrey Loria got the fans of Miami and the national media mad, it appears even his fellow owners aren't too fond of him these days. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Matt Garza gets a clean bill of health. (CSN Chicago)

As does Brandon McCarthy. (AP)

Long-ago All-Star Dioner Navarro -- a key member of the Rays when they dethroned the Red Sox in '08, if you recall -- catches on with the Cubs. (CSN Chicago)

Scott Boras gives the Dodgers a glimpse into what contract talks for Ryu Hyun-Jin will be like when he describes the South Korean left-hander as "one of the Goliaths, if not the leading Goliath, in baseball." (AP)

Just Manny being Manny. (AP)

Representatives of Shabazz Muhammad are ready to charge that the NCAA conducted an unfair investigation of the UCLA freshman, saying that -- based on the boyfriend of one of the group's lawyers bragging loudly on a flight in August -- the NCAA had already decided to declare Muhammad ineligible before it had ever heard the case. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

The rich get richer -- recruiting wise, that is -- at Kentucky, (AP)

Texas A&M freshman wide receiver Thomas Johnson, who disappeared from campus Monday, has been found safe in Dallas, though coach Kevin Sumlin says he's concerned for Johnson's health and well-being. (AP)

North Carolina ends Virginia's postseason hopes by pulling away to a 37-13 victory. (AP)

She can't really be washed up at 23, can she? But how else to describe Michelle Wie's baffling career descent? (golfchannel.com)

They've already bagged the first two months of the season, and now the NHL wants to take a couple of weeks off from negotiations with the union. You know what they say about truth being stranger than fiction . . . (AP)

Bill Daly wails that "union leadership . . . has no genuine interest in reaching an agreement." Right, Bill, because their job is to keep the players unemployed with no income. God, your spin is as ham-handed as your negotiating tactics. (CSN Philly)

Meanwhile, the U.S. Magistrate Judge who mediated talks between the NFL and NFLPA last summer -- a Minnesota Wild season-ticket holder, by the way -- is willing to wade into the NHL labor wars for free. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Brad Richards and a group of his Rangers teammates are going to hold a charity skate on Staten Island for the victims of Hurricane -- pardon me, Superstorm -- Sandy. (AP)

Break up the Knicks! (AP)

Cross another item off the Heat's to-do list: Winning a game in Denver. (AP)

Mike D'Antoni showed up in L.A. on crutches, but still ready to go. (AP)

Scottie Pippen plans to trod the boards in 'A Christmas Carol'. Get your tickets now. (AP)

Ex-University of Tennessee and WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw is in custody in Atanta after first using a bat to break the windows of, and then firing a gun into, a car owned by Jennifer Lacy of the Tulsa Shock. Lacy says she and Holdsclaw -- who has talked openly about her fight with clinical depression, which led her to make a suicide attempt in 2006 -- had been romantically involved. (AP)

The Bills bounced back nicely from Sunday's frustrating loss in Foxboro with a 19-14 win over Miami. (AP)

The Dolphins' offense is, well, offensive. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Bart Scott scoffs at LaDainian Tomlimson's speculation that he's the one who gave the anonymous quotes about Tim Tebow being "terrible", saying "I ain't ever hid behind junk that I've ever said." (Pro Football Talk)

John Elway has no reason to regret trading Tebow, and it's clear he doesn't. (Pro Football Talk)

In a strange way, all of this has served as support for Mark Sanchez . . . who otherwise would be sitting on the quite the hot seat. (AP)

Woody Johnson's not a happy camper these days; not only is his team 3-6, but he was one of Mitt Romney's biggest boosters and, well, we all know how that turned out. But somebody usually pays the price for a billionaire's unhappiness, and there are hints that those somebodies are going to be Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum. (AP)

Want to know why All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis thinks his coach, John Harbaugh, is "as tough as a two-dollar steak"? Harbaugh underwent what was described as a "minor procedure . . . for an irregular heartbeat" on Thursday, but expects to be back with the 49ers on Friday and to coach the team this weekend. (CSN Bay Area)

Talk all you want about doing more to protect players, but as long as they're going to lie about having concussions so they can stay in the game -- as Brian Urlacher freely admits he would doprobably has done -- then expect the problems to continue. (CSN Chicago)

Wade Phillips looks at the 30,000 the NFL took from Tim Dobbins and says he's baffled by how the league determines fines. (CSN Houston)

The Ravens' injury depleted secondary takes another hit as Jimmy Smith undergoes surgery for a groin problem. (CSN Baltimore)

Raptors, in pursuit of Celtics in playoff race, lose Lowry for perhaps rest of regular season

Raptors, in pursuit of Celtics in playoff race, lose Lowry for perhaps rest of regular season

The Eastern Conference playoff race, seemingly altered by the moves -- and non-moves (hello there, Celtics) -- of some of the contenders, just took another twist.

The Raptors, bolstered by the acquisition of Serge Ibaka and appearing poised to make a run toward the top of the standings after a come-from-behind victory over the Celtics on Friday, were hit with a body blow Monday when it was announced All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry needs surgery on his right wrist and may miss the remainder of the regular season.

ESPN reports Lowry is expected to be sidelined from four to eight weeks. Toronto hopes to have him back for the playoffs.

The Raptors are currently in fourth place in the conference at 35-24, trailing Cleveland (40-17), Boston (38-21) and Washington (34-23). Without Lowry, and facing a rough, six-of-their-next-seven-games-on-the-road stretch, Toronto may stop focusing on catching the Wizards and/or Celtics and focus on holding off Atlanta (32-26) in order to hold onto home-court in the first round.

Lowry, 30, who missed the last two games because of the injury, is averaging a career-best 22.8 points per game. He also is averaging 6.9 assists and 4.7 rebounds.

Hanley Ramirez's shoulder already a concern for Red Sox heading into WBC

Hanley Ramirez's shoulder already a concern for Red Sox heading into WBC

Another year, another injury concern for Hanley Ramirez. This time, though, it's a bit more complicated.

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell told the media Monday that Ramirez hadn't played any first base during spring training yet due to discomfort in his right throwing shoulder.

“Well, we’re working through ramping up his throwing program,” Farrell said, via WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. “That has taken a little bit more time than anticipated coming in so we’ve got to kind of take that day to day how much we can increase the intensity with the throwing. He’s just working through some soreness with the throwing.”

As Bradford points out, Ramirez and the Red Sox went through the same process last year. Where it differs this time around is Ramirez's scheduled participation in the World Baseball Classic: He's expected to report to Team Domincan Republic on Friday, which means the Red Sox won't be monitoring his every move on the field (though the two training staffs will be communicating daily, also per Bradford).

Ramirez isn't the only first baseman on the roster, with the Cleveland Indians' Carlos Santana there as well. So will Ramirez be jumping into game action anytime soon?

“I don’t know what I’m going to do. They haven’t told me anything,” Ramirez told WEEI.com “I’m just going to go there and see.”