Red Sox

Wakeup call: It's a Dwightmare for Shaq

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Wakeup call: It's a Dwightmare for Shaq

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, October 5:

AUTO RACING
Kyle Busch to Toyota: Sorry about that. (AP)

BASEBALL
All of a sudden, D.C.'s a baseball town. Funny how having the best record in the major leagues will do that for you. (CSN Washington)

Bet the Rangers never thought they'd be playing today. (AP)

Theo says the job of rebuilding the Cubs might take a little longer than he thought. (CSN Chicago)

One person who pleasantly surprised Epstein during his first season in Wrigleyville: Alfonso Soriano. (CSN Chicago)

It may have been a mere formality, what with Tito coming to town today and all, but Sandy Alomar Jr. interviewed for the Indians' managerial job. (AP)

Minnesota state legislators are pushing the Mayo Clinic to unseal Lou Gehrig's medical records in an attempt to see if there's any link between concussions and ALS. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Not only did the erring reporter apologize publicly for incorrectly linking Robinson Cano to PED use, but he's made a contribution to the Robinson Cano Foundation, as well. Not that any of that stopped Scott Boras from taking a shot. (Hardball Talk)

Looks like the Dodgers are going to let 283 at-bats from Luis Cruz alter their long-term plans at shortstop and third base. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Good news for Roy Williams: His second kidney tumor was also benign. (AP)

Texas Tech finally has its replacement for Billy Gillispie, at least on an interim basis. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
USC sidestepped an upset in Utah Thursday night. (AP)

Charlie Weis wouldn't be a true member of the Bill Belichick Coaching Tree -- or at least a close relative, since he's probably an actual branch of the Bill Parcells Tree -- without disdain for the media. Even student media. (NBC's College Football Talk)

No. 15 TCU has suspended quarterback Casey Pachall after his second brush with the law in eight months, saying he "obviously needs help". (AP)

GOLF
Geez, Paul Lawrie. You think someone yelling, "Top it! Shank it! You're going to lose!" is bad crowd behavior?? Try playing in the Black Hole or the Dawg Pound sometime. (AP)

HOCKEY
Everybody's wailing about the NHL's cancellation of the first two weeks of the season. But nobody's doing anything -- like, you know, negotiating -- to end the lockout. (CSN Chicago)

Donald Fehr says the owners could fix things tomorrow, since a lockout "should be the last resort in bargaining, not the strategy of first resort". Well, welcome to Bettman World, Don. (CSN Washington)

So are we, Dan. So are we. (CSN Bay Area)

Coming soon to an AHL arena near you: Taylor Hall. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
Shaq isn't too impressed with the Lakers' new center. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

The NBA is sending the Knicks and Pistons to London in January. (AP)

David Stern guesses the NBA Players Association likes acting. Yeah, nothing breeds goodwill between management and labor like arrogance and condescension. (Pro Basketball Talk)

It was only four months ago that -- with the Heat on the verge of playoff elimination in two separate series -- LeBron James was the pariah of basketball. Now Charles Barkely is saying that he can be better than Michael Jordan. (AP)

That Ashley Manning who may join the Grizzles' group of minority owners? She's Peyton's wife. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
There's one less undefeated team in the NFL, thanks to the Rams. (AP)

The victory didn't come without a price for St. Louis: Danny Amendola broke his collarbone. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

So that's who Carol is! (Pro Football Talk)

There hasn't been much for Tim Tebow to do so far in New York, but he and Rex Ryan both say he's not frustrated. (AP)

The Texans, though, think his role is going to get a lot less limited Monday night, and they're planning accordingly. (CSN Houston)

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.”

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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.”

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