Wakeup Call: Youth will be served as Youk heads to Yankees

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Wakeup Call: Youth will be served as Youk heads to Yankees

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, December 12:

BASEBALL
It's nice that Kevin Youkilis is getting 12 million and all, but a) he's got a lifetime .233 average at the new Yankee Stadium, b) he's been Webster's definition of a hitter on the decline for the last few years, and c) he looks pretty awful without his goatee. Plus he's probably just joined the DamonClemens pantheon of villains hereabouts. On the other hand, he is getting 12 million. And, as someone pointed out on Twitter yesterday, at age 34 he represents a infusion of youth for the Yankees. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Now that Youk walked away from the White Sox, is A.J. Pierzynski next? If he doesn't agree to their terms, he will be. (CSN Chicago)

One 2012 Yankee who won't be around when Youk puts on pinstripes: Andruw Jones, who's taking his .197 average and 14 homers to Japan. (AP)

It isn't the Justin Upton blockbuster we were hearing about last week, but it's still a pretty big trade . . . one which gets Shin-Soo Choo to the Reds, old friend Lars Anderson to the Diamondbacks, and Matt Albers reunited with Terry Francona. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

And the D'backs landed Brandon McCarthy yesterday, too. (AP)

The Phillies aren't talking about their interest in Josh Hamilton, which usually means interest is there. (CSN Philly)

Hamilton-to-the-Phils might change some minds in Vegas, where the Nationals are the early favorites to make the World Series. (CSN Washington)

Jim Thome says he's not retired, but it might not be his choice. (CSN Philly)

R.A. Dickey says if he and the Mets don't reach a contract agreement before he hits free agency at the end of the 2013 season, he probably won't return to Queens . . . and that, he feels, "would be disappointing". (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
The latest assistant to take the reins for a bowl game after the head coach departs for greener pastures: Kent Baer, who'll lead San Jose State in the Military Bowl. (AP)

What's this? Loyalty from a college football coach? Stop the presses! (AP)

GOLF
Everything's a made-for-TV extravaganza these days, even the announcement of the next Ryder Cup captain. But on the 'Today Show'? (AP)

R.I.P. Colleen Walker, a nine-time winner on the LPGA Tour. (AP)

HOCKEY
When negotiations resume today, the federal mediators will be back. (AP)

Dan Cleary thinks it's Jan. 15 or bust if there's to be an NHL season. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Will the lockout -- or, more specifically, non-support of the union -- pit teammate against teammate when this whole mess is over? The Flyers' Scott Hartnell thinks that might be the case with the Capitals and Roman Hamrlik. (CSN Philly)

The Sharks' Justin Braun suffered a broken hand while playing in Finland, and -- if he doesn't want to be suspended without pay -- he better hope it heals before the lockout ends. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Good thing Arthur Griffiths doesn't own the Canucks anymore, because his fellow owners would be pretty sore about his anti-Bettmananti-Jacobs view of things. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
The hits just keep on coming for the Lakers. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

He may be busy, as Dodger owner, throwing money at every baseball player on the planet, but that hasn't stopped Magic Johnson from offering advice to his reeling former team. (AP)

On the other side of town, things are going swimmingly for the Clippers. (AP)

That KnicksNets rivalry? It's on. (AP)

Even though Andrew Bynum has yet to step on the court -- and God knows when he will -- the Sixers still have the best record of all the teams involved in last summer's megatrade. (CSN Philly)

It's never good when your star player and your owner are feuding. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Only a one-game suspension for throwing your mouthpiece at a referee? You got off easy, Amir Johnson. (Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
As one team licks its wounds after failing to meet the challenge of playing the Patriots at Gillette . . . (CSN Houston)

. . . another is licking its chops at the chance of knocking off BradyBelichicket al at The Razor. (CSN Bay Area)

Monday's faceplant in Foxboro wasn't the first time Matt Schaub failed to rise to an occasion. (CSN Houston)

Idiots don't look so bad when you're unemployed, eh, Braylon? (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Whoa. Olindo Mare is back in the league? (AP)

No matter what happens from here on in, it's unlikely the Bears will part ways with Lovie Smith at season's end. (CSN Chicago)

Rashard Mendenhall's downward spiral continues: He's been suspended by the Steelers for conduct detrimental to the team after a season in which his play's been detrimental to the team. (AP)

The players have been dragging their feet on the implementation of HGH testing, so Congress is stepping in. (AP)

TENNIS
At last, Rafael Nadal is getting back on the court. (AP)

How dominant has Craig Kimbrel been? The numbers are eye popping

How dominant has Craig Kimbrel been? The numbers are eye popping

Remember that infield hit by Jonathan Villar of the Brewers off Craig Kimbrel on May 11 in Milwaukee?

Don't worry, nobody does. That's the last hit off the Red Sox closer. That's right. One hit this month.

How dominant has Kimbrel been? Going into Saturday, right-handed hitters don't have a hit off him in their past 39 at-bats. Opponents are hitting .083 against him. Move the decimal point and 0.83 happens to be his season ERA, too, to go with 13 saves. 

Here's more via @SoxNotes:

Kimbrel, 28, has been one of baseball's best closers for years with the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres. His first year in Boston last season was solid with 31 saves and a 3.40 ERA, but his walks climbed (30 total and 5.1 per 9 innings, the second-highest totals of his career). He also struggled in non-save situations.

There's been no struggling lately. The last run Kimbrel gave up was a home run by Kendrys Morales of the Blue Jays in the ninth inning on April 20 in Toronto that tied the score at 1 in a game won by the Red Sox 4-1 in 10. Kimbrel got the win and his only blown save of the season.

His three-out save Friday night was his first outing without a strikeout since a one-out save April 23. That followed his four-strikeout inning Thursday night.