Wakeup Call: Slow start for Beckett

Wakeup Call: Slow start for Beckett
April 10, 2014, 9:00 am
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Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Thursday, April 10:


Old friend Josh Beckett gives up five runs over four innings in his first 2014 start, but no one remembers in the end because a) Joe Nathan blows a three-run ninth-inning lead and b) old friend Victor Martinez bails Nathan out with a 10th-inning home run that gives Detroit at 7-6 win over the Dodgers in a game that -- befitting a Beckett start -- takes more than four hours to play. (AP)

Shawn Kelley's first ninth-inning appearance for the Yankees in the absence of David Robertson doesn't go too well. (AP)

Bryce Harper's first 2014 home run is one to remember. (Yahoo! Sports)

Modern ballplayers can't win. If they don't hit for power, everybody says it's because steroids are out of the game. If they do, Frank Thomas says it's because the baseballs are juiced. (CSN Chicago)

Hit by a pitch in the jaw on Monday, back in the lineup by Friday? Hey, modern players -- or at least Omar Infante -- are tough enough for me. (AP)

Maybe too tough, since Josh Hamilton's ill-advised slide into first base will put him on the shelf for six to eight weeks and put the Angels behind the eight-ball . . . again. (Yahoo! Sports) 

From now on, closers will be competing for the "Mariano Rivera Reliever of the Year Award" or the "Trevor Hoffman Reliever of the Year Award." (AP)

You'd think Ron Roenicke would have more important things to worry about. (CSN Philly)

Jason Collins, Michael Sam, Derrick Gordon . . . now, says Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan, it's time for a baseball player to come out and admit he's gay. And he explains why MLB is ready for it. (Yahoo! Sports)


Gordon says Collins was the reason he decided to come out. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Bad news, Lady Husky haters: Breanna Stewart expects to win more championships before she finishes her time at UConn. (AP)

Somehow, a question about whether some of his Michigan players should go to the NBA prompts John Beilein to take a shot at bloggers who live in their mothers' basement. (AP) 

Hope Wisconsin-Milwaukee enjoyed this year's trip to the dance. Thanks to a failure to meet academic standards, the NCAA has banned the school from any postseason play next year. (AP)

R.I.P. Lacey Holsworth, the 8-year-old cancer patient from St. John's, Mich., who was befriended by Michigan State center Adreian Payne and was with Payne at various Spartan team events in recent weeks. She died Tuesday "with her mommy and daddy holding her in their arms," according to her father. (AP)


Northwestern's current quarterback, Trevor Siemian, says it was wrong for former QB Kain Colter and others to explore unionization without first bringing their concerns to the coaching staff and school administrators. (AP)

But if Trevor's trying to push back the tide on this thing, it may be too late. Union talk appears to be starting in Nebraska. (AP)

And Adrian Peterson chimes in, saying college athletes should be paid. (AP)


If you're betting on who'll win this year's Masters, don't put any money on Ryan Moore. He took the Par-3 yesterday, and no winner of the Par-3 -- which began in 1960 -- has ever gone on to win that year's tournament. (AP)


I know the hiring of Torts hasn't exactly worked out as planned in Vancouver, but for Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini to claim he was "defamed" by reports that he was involved in the decision to bring Tortorella on board . . .  hah? (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

When he wasn't threatening lawsuits, Aquilini was hiring former Canucks captain Trevor Linden to be the team's director of hockey operations. (AP)

With the season entering its final days, the playoff picture is beginning to take shape. First of all, the Red Wings qualify for the 23rd straight year. (AP)

And the Blue Jackets are in for the first time since 2008-09. (AP)

Out West, the Ducks clinch the Pacific Division title. (AP)

The Lightning aren't sure when Ben Bishop will return the from the wrist/arm injury he suffered Tuesday, but it won't be for the beginning of the playoffs. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Patrick Kane, on the other hand, will not only be back, but he'll be 100 percent for the Blackhawks' first series. (AP)

The Blues sure picked a bad time to go into a slump. (Pro Hockey Talk)

Adam Oates raised some eyebrows with some critical comments about Alex Ovechkin. Now he raises them again when he says Jaroslav Halak all but asked not to play against the Blues, something Halak's agent denies. (Pro Hockey Talk)


Count LeBron James among those unimpressed by the Nets' 4-0 record against the Heat this season. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Guess the Magic weren't too impressed, either. (AP)

But count the Grizzlies among those unimpressed by the Heat. (AP)

With all that going on, the Pacers quietly slip back into first place in the East. (AP)

Jonas Valanciunas, playing despite his DUI arrest, scores a career-high 26 points and grabs 14 rebounds as the Raptors beat the Sixers and move to one victory away from clinching the Atlantic Division championship. (AP)

The Thunder finally have everyone back in the lineup and send notice that they'll be a force in the playoffs by beating the Clippers. (AP)

Speaking of the Thunder, LeBron James has all but conceded the MVP Award to Kevin Durant. (Pro Basketball Talk)

The Suns doggedly hang onto the final playoff spot in the West. (AP)

Ditto the Hawks in the East. (AP)

The Cavs are eliminated from postseason contention despite their victory over the Pistons. (AP)

Mitch, Mitch . . . you do realize that "superstar franchise icon" ranks above "general manager" in an NBA team's pecking order, don't you? (Pro Basketball Talk)

Mike D'Antoni apparently thinks Steve Nash will -- or should -- be following him out of town. (Pro Basketball Talk)


A.J. McCarron and Katherine Webb are getting their own reality show. We know two things: 1) This probably snuffs out whatever chance there was of the Patriots drafting McCarron, and 2) Brent Musberger will be watching. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The latest attempt to save the Pro Bowl involves moving the game to Arizona for a year. (AP)

Jerry Jones says that no matter how mediocre they've become, TV ratings prove the Cowboys are still America's Team. (Pro Football Talk)

Could it be that the Eagles' release of DeSean Jackson had nothing to do with gang activity and everything to do with money? (CSN Washington)

Money may be the reason the Ravens hang onto Ray Rice despite his legal troubles. (Pro Football Talk)

Jim Kelly's first round of chemotherapy is complete. (Pro Football Talk)

Old friend Rich Ohrnberger's staying in San Diego. (Pro Football Talk)

Brandon Marshall: A Harvard man. No, really. (CSN Chicago)


John Isner says he's "sorry you had to see that" after his upset loss to Dustin Brown in the second round of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship. (AP)