Red Sox

Wakeup call: It's what we dreamed of; Stuart Cink = Tim Thomas

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Wakeup call: It's what we dreamed of; Stuart Cink = Tim Thomas

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Friday, August 3:

BASEBALL
I know it's stupid, but it made me laugh. (NBCs Hardball Talk) So, how long before we start seeing MANTLEZ 2 shirts? And what do you think John Sterling's home-run call would be? ("Minnie mashed it!")

Welcome back, Jayson Werth. (CSN Washington)

A very interesting four-game series between the two best teams in the A.L. West ended in a split, thanks to Josh Hamilton. (AP)

If Bruce Bochy's serious, then Pablo Sandoval should have been in right field. (NBC's Off The Bench)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Tom Penders gives us a glimpse at the seamy underside of big-time college sports. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
LSU is beginning the season at No. 1. (AP)

Another starter -- albeit a kickerpunter -- has left Penn State. (AP)

GOLF
Stuart Cink = Tim Thomas. (NBC's Off The Bench)

OLYMPICS
Back in the days when you couldn't use professionals and we used to send our collegians to play the quasi-pro Communist-bloc teams, we all wondered what would happen if the U.S. could use its NBA stars in the Olympics. I think we felt it would be something like this. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

And could you imagine what it would have been like if they hadn't eased up? (Pro Basketball Talk)

Isn't this what got the badminton players banned? (NBC)

David Beckham's skipping out on the L.A. Galaxy to attend the closing ceremonies. (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk) As would most of us, I'd wager.

An Australian newspaper prints what we all think. (NBC's Off The Bench)

PRO FOOTBALL
Apparently, Luck Fever has yet to sweep Indianapolis. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The Browns have a new owner: A guy from Tennessee who owns a piece of the Steelers and promises to keep the team in Cleveland. (AP)

First, Jeff Otah learned he wasn't going to be a New York Jet. Now he finds out he won't be a Carolina Panther, either. (AP)

At last, the Jets are practicing the one thing Tim Tebow does well. (AP)

Looks like Rex Ryan did, indeed, learn his lesson: This time, he's trying to get in front of a budding controversy. (AP)

Red Sox reportedly make offer to Cora

Red Sox reportedly make offer to Cora

UPDATE: The deal is for three years, per Ken Rosenthal.

BOSTON — We’re just waiting on an announcement now.

A pair of national reports on Saturday afternoon, one from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal... 

...And another from MLB Network and FanRagSports.com's Jon Heyman...

have firmed up Alex Cora’s expected hiring as Red Sox manager. Both reported that Cora, the Astros bench coach, is expected to take the job once Houston's season ends, which could come as soon as Saturday night after Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. 

Heyman reported a contract offer has already been made to Cora. 

A baseball source said this week that there was “not a doubt” Cora, the Astros bench coach, would wind up with the Red Sox gig. It’s unclear when exactly the offer was made to him, but one had not been made as of midday Wednesday, the source said. 

Cora, 41, a former Red Sox infielder (2005-08) who's also worked in the media and is the most sought-after managerial candidate at the moment, appeared the front-runner since the outset of what proved a small search for the Red Sox.

Earlier, Boston Globe reported that the Washington Nationals were interested in Cora after they fired Dusty Baker on Friday. 

 

Could Nationals' interest in Cora mess with Red Sox' plans?

Could Nationals' interest in Cora mess with Red Sox' plans?

The Washington Nationals will ask to speak to Houston Astros bench coach Alex Cora after the ALCS, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reported, which could throw a wrench into the Red Sox' plans to name Cora their manager.

The Sox appeared close to naming Cora to replace John Farrell after the Astros season is finished, NBC Sports Boston Red Sox Insider Evan Drellich reported earlier this week. Then the Nats decided to part ways with manager Dusty Baker after consecutive N.L. East titles but Division Series flameouts.

Cora, 41, as Cafardo points out, was once offered a player development job with the Nats, who were the last team he played for (2011) in his 14-plus years as a major league infielder, including 2005-08 with the Red Sox. 

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo obviously has a fondness for Cora, telling MLB.com in 2011:

"I think it comes natural to him to be a teacher. Alex still has a lot left in his tank as a player. But he has my number, and when he’s done playing, he can make a call. It will be well-received."

After interviewing Cora, ex-Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and Ron Gardenhire, who took the Tigers job this week, Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told WEEI.com that he was still "undecided" if he'll interview anyone else.