Wakeup call: Labor lecture to Chicago teachers from . . . a hockey player?

878893.jpg

Wakeup call: Labor lecture to Chicago teachers from . . . a hockey player?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, September 11:

BASEBALL
That's 19 (wins) for Gio Gonzalez, and 15 (magic number) for the Nationals. (CSN Washington)

When no one was looking, the White Sox opened a three-game lead in the A.L. Central. (CSN Chicago)

Wonder if the Phillies are rethinking that trade-deadline fire sale? (CSN Philly)

The Yankees are probably going to have to play the rest of the regular season without Mark Teixeira. (AP)

The Astros are turning their lonely eyes to Roger Clemens. (AP)

Nice to see Jose Canseco's so contrite about his illegal steroids use. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

A disturbing charge from the Reds' Brandon Phillips. (Hardball Talk)

But in better news: Brandon McCarthy stood and walked for the first time since sustaining a skull fracture when he was hit in the head by a line drive. (CSN Bay Area)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
And because things weren't going bad enough at UConn . . . (AP)

You can understand why Billy Gillispie's sick, can't you? (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
"Enough is enough" for Utah QB Jordan Wynn, who's giving up football after his latest injury. (AP)

Boy, Wisconsin's a tough town. (AP)

HOCKEY
Oh, goody: The NHL labor war is about to get dragged into court. (AP)

The players have been preparing for this rainy day, says Donald Fehr. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

What's this? Optimism? Tell me more, Steve Ott! (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
The Monday Night Football intro -- a Hank Williams Jr.-free zone after 'ol Hank compared President Obama to Hitler last year -- is now completely without music. (NBC's Off The Bench)

So it was pretty quiet -- on ESPN, at least -- before the Ravens routed the Bengals. (CSN Baltimore)

And before the Chargers beat the Raiders. (CSN Bay Area)

The Jets can't be looking forward to playing the Steelers without Darrelle Revis, but they may have to. (AP)

The Browns, meanwhile will be without their best cornerback, Joe Haden, for four games . . . and it has nothing to do with injury. (AP)

But Atlanta's loss of one of its best corners, Brent Grimes, has everything to do with injury. (AP)

Don't let that 5.1 rating against the Eagles fool you. Brandon Weeden says he "wasn't overwhelmed" in his debut as Cleveland's No. 1 quarterback. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The replacement refs did just fine on Sunday. (Pro Football Talk)

More or less, that is. (Pro Football Talk)

Good thing, too, because the NFL is ready to play at least five weeks with the replacements. (AP)

AND FINALLY . . .
Regarding the Chicago teachers' strike: The Bulls' Derrick Rose hopes for a resolution for the sake of the students (CSN Chicago) . . .

. . . but former Blackhawks defenseman Brent Sopel says the teachers bring in nothing of monetary value to the city (unlike hockey players, who he says generate "jobs and revenue" to justify the debt-ridden, taxpayer-funded arenas they play in) and should be happy they have jobs. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk) And, no, no need to mention the irony of a hockey player -- in a sport about to endure its own work stoppage -- lecturing someone else about labor woes.

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, according to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California. 

 

Sandoval: I got lazy after signing big contract with Red Sox

Sandoval: I got lazy after signing big contract with Red Sox

The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.

In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal. 

"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."

After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.

"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."

The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.

"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."