Red Sox

Wakeup call: Have the Yanks ended the O's magic?

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Wakeup call: Have the Yanks ended the O's magic?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, September 10:

AUTO RACING
The field for the Chase for the Sprint Cup is set, thanks to Jeff Gordon. (AP)

BASEBALL
The Yankees throw a bucket of water on the Oriole miracle. (AP)

And now Baltimore will have to try and overtake the Yanks without Nick Markakis. (CSN Baltimore)

But it looks like the Yankees are going to have to hold on without Mark Teixeira. (AP)

Twitter can be a tool for good. Just ask B.J. Upton. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

And getting his wallet back was the end of a perfect day for B.J. (AP)

Who says Barry Zito was a free-agent bust? Not the Dodgers. (CSN Bay Area)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
A reserve guard for Murray State decided to use his car to settle a dispute in a Wal-Mart parking lot, with predictable legal results. (AP)

The Big East may soon spread across four time zones, but the name's staying the same. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
The fractured spine of Tulane defensive back Devon Walker was stabilized in surgery Sunday, but doctors say it's too soon to know if he'll be paralyzed from the injury he suffered in Saturday's game against Tulsa. (AP)

That'll teach Arkansas to lose to Louisiana-Monroe. (AP)

The Razorbacks' next opponent, No. 1 Alabama, thinks beating its latest cupcake (Western Kentucky) by only 35-0 shows the Crimson Tide are "pretty average . . . anytime we don't bring our best". (AP)

GOLF
Rory McIlroy's for real. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
Hakeem Olajuwon doesn't think super teams are good for the NBA. Kurt Helin of NBC's Pro Basketball Talk does . . . and he explains why.

Justin Timberlake's part of a group that's attempting to buy the Grizzlies. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Best Tweet of the day (and, sorry, I've forgotten its author): "Peyton shows rust from his layoff ThingsnoonewillbesayingMonday". (AP)

Aaron who? He's good, but he was no Alex Smith yesterday. (CSN Bay Area)

Move over Tom Dempsey, Jason Elam and Sebastian Janikowski. Make room in the record books for David Akers. (CSN Bay Area)

So much for all that fretting about the Jets' offense. (AP)

If you had Mario Williams in the pool to pick the first player to whine about the replacement refs, congratulations! (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

It's like Adrian Peterson had never been away. (AP)

Hmm. Maybe there was something to all that insufferable RGIII hype. (CSN Washington)

Griffin's going to need some tips on how to survive in Washington and Alex Ovechkin's just the guy to help, if he does say so himself. (CSN Washington)

Tyler Thornburg wants a normal spring, but don't be surprised if it's bumpy

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Tyler Thornburg wants a normal spring, but don't be surprised if it's bumpy

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Don’t confuse the goal of a normal spring training with the likelihood one will follow.

Tyler Thornburg’s time with the Red Sox has been an ordeal. He’s optimistic he can have a regular spring training after undergoing surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome in June, a surgery that included the removal of a rib which is now on display at his parents’ house. 

He said Saturday, in fact, there’s a “very good chance” of a normal spring. But there’s also a chance his build up to regular-season form runs unevenly. And that would be OK.

“I started throwing Oct. 2, that’s when they kind of gave me the go-ahead to go tossing,” Thornburg said Saturday at Winter Weekend. “So I’ve been building up slowly since then, just trying to make sure we don’t have any setbacks or things like that, and ramp it up at a good pace. I’m throwing at 120-140 feet, so it’s about the pace I’d normally be on, granted I’d know 100 percent before where I was [under normal circumstances]. So things could be a little different."

Consider a few other things Thornburg said Saturday at Foxwoods.

“I don’t really think any of us really know how quick I’m going to bounce back necessarily as far as how quickly the recovery’s going to go in spring training after an outing,” Thornburg said. “But hopefully I mean it’s fantastic, and we can kind of just keep going.”

A bit of natural uncertainty. He missed an entire season, and the reason he missed an entire season is had a lot going on medically. 

What appeared to be a shoulder injury was far from your usual, say, rotator cuff matter. His was a nerve issue.

“Two of the neck muscles were incredibly hypertrophied, like overgrown, and they just started squeezing on the brachial plexus, where all the nerves run down,” Thornburg said. “I’d be sitting there watching a game and just a nerve thing would hit me and I’d almost get knocked over by it. As well as the first rib was getting pulled up and my hand would just turn red some days if I was just standing there, cutting off the blood circulation. Then all the scar tissue and buildup along the nerves they had to go and dissect all that off there.”

So the injury wasn’t simple, and now, the recovery process is really a whole body matter. 

"There’s a lot off things your arm has to get used to between using different muscles, as well as my arm was kind of working through a scenario where it was trying to overcompensate for this and [trying] to relieve that,” Thornburg said. “So just worked a different way. Now your body has to remember how to actually properly work again. It’s a lot of neuromuscular stuff.”

Thornburg noted the possibility too he could be ready to go to start the season but not really ready to go back to back yet. Would the Sox then carry him on the big league roster, or continue to build him up elsewhere? 

Velocity won’t be there right away for Thornburg, he said: “But I mean that’s what spring training is for for most guys anyway.”

There’s a lot of optimism, but naturally, there’s a lot to be seen. 

“The rehab process, it's been a massive rollercoaster,” Thornburg said. “It really has. But I mean, I've been trying to take it week to week which has been a lot easier. There's the good days and bad days, just different kinds.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Kimbrel's newborn daughter treated in Boston for heart condition

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Kimbrel's newborn daughter treated in Boston for heart condition

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Coming off a phenomenal season, Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel spent the offseason in Boston. Not to be closer to Fenway Park, but for proximity to something far more important: the city’s first-rate medical community.

Kimbrel’s daughter, Lydia Joy, was born in November with a heart issue.

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“It’s been a lot,” Kimbrel said Saturday at Red Sox Winter Weekend at Foxwoods. “My wife and I, we’ve kept it kind of private. But when she was born, she had some heart defects so we decided to stay in Boston and work with Children’s Hospital and just been going through that ordeal and it’s had its ups and downs but she’s doing great right now."

Focusing wasn't always easy in season, but Kimbrel said his daughter's condition has motivated him even more.

“They always say when you have a child, things change and they have," he said. "I’m definitely more focused towards her and her needs and our family needs. It’s just one day at a time and give everything I got. It’s real easy to look at her and understand everything I’m doing is for her and it makes it a lot easier.”

Kimbrel and his wife, Ashley, found out early in the 2017 season that they would be staying in Boston for the winter and were preparing.

“Everything has kind of gone as planned so far,” Kimbrel said. “She’ll have another surgery during spring training, so I’ll come back to Boston for a week and do that, but it’s been good. It’s definitely been tough, but one of the happiest, joyful times of our life.”

"Being in Boston, we feel blessed, because the doctors are the best in the world. Being able to work with them has been great.”

Kimbrel said his wife has stayed in touch with Travis Shaw’s wife. The Shaw family has had a similar experience, Kimbrel said.

“It seems like they’re doing pretty good,” Kimbrel said. “It’s been very encouraging to see.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE