Red Sox

Wakeup Call: Why can't WE get players like that??

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Wakeup Call: Why can't WE get players like that??

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, October 23:

BASEBALL
Cue Russ Hodges: The Giants win the pennant!! The Giants win the pennant!! (AP)

And cue Bob Lobel: Why can't WE get players like that??!?! (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Marco Scutaro's MVP performance reminded Will Clark of . . . well, himself. (CSN Bay Area)

Hard to believe this was the first Game 7 victory in Giants history. (CSN Bay Area)

You know how the losers all vow "We'll be back" (and usually never are) after playoff elimination? In the Cardinals' case, that might be true. (Hardball Talk)

Enjoy it while you can, Giants, because nbcsports.com's Tony DeMarco says the party's over once you get into the ring against the Tigers.

Ever wonder how they pull Andre Dawson out of the Wrigley Field ivy in that commercial? Take a look behind the scenes at how it all happened. (CSN Chicago)

Tom Brunansky's back in the bigs. (AP)

How far has Curtis Granderson's star fallen in New York? Some in the media are calling for the Yankees to trade him to the Phillies for a positionless 26-year-old in Double-A. (www.beerleaguer.com)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Geno Auriemma wants to speed up the women's game, and he's got some ideas -- like lowering the rims -- to make it happen. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

Over in the men's game, Kentucky's favored to repeat as SEC champion. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Mack Brown isn't a fan of the Longhorn Network. (NBC's College Football Talk)

For the second straight year, Florida State's Chris Thompson has suffered a season-ending injury. (AP)

Oklahoma reinstates suspended defensive tackle Stacy McGee for its Saturday night showdown against Notre Dame. (AP)

That postgame snit of Wyoming coach Dave Christensen two weeks ago costs him 50,000 and a one-game suspension. (AP)

HOCKEY
CSN Washington's Chuck Gormley has an idea to break the stalemate in the NHL labor war.

And make no mistake: It is war. Right, Alex Ovechkin? (CSN Washington)

PRO BASKETBALL
Austin Rivers doesn't think his ankle sprain is "nothing too serious". (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Kobe Bryant's foot is hurting, too. (AP)

There's a lot of enthusiasm building in Philadelphia for the Sixers. But it isn't shared by the league's GMs. (the700level.com)

Now Kevin Durant . . . he's someone the GMs are excited about. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Not to mention LeBron and the Heat. (AP)

Kevin McHale's dumbing things down for the Rockets. (CSN Houston)

Jeff Van Gundy confirms it was David Stern and the NBA who had his brother Stan kicked off ESPN. (Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
They're the talk of the AFC, these Texans are. (CSN Houston)

Winning ugly doesn't bother the Bears, and they did just that Monday night against the Lions. (CSN Chicago)

The price of victory, however, was Jay Cutler's ribs. (CSN Chicago)

Brandon Marshall to Ndamukong Suh: "What u did to Jay wasn't cool." (CSN Chicago)

John Harbaugh says the egg the Ravens laid in Houston Sunday is on him. (CSN Baltimore)

If the Chargers did cheat, says Shaun Phillips, they aren't the first. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

That sideline spat Sunday between Tom Coughlin and Ahmad Bradshaw? No biggie, they insist. (CSN Philly)

The Panthers' 1-5 start cost GM Marty Hurney his job. (AP)

And the Chiefs' 1-5 start cost Matt Cassel his. (AP)

Bills defensive end Chris Kelsay says he has teammates who "aren't playing hard every snap, and that's unacceptable." (Pro Football Talk)

A broken collarbone will sideline the Packers' Charles Woodson for six weeks. (AP)

But there's no timetable on when Maurice Jones-Drew might return. (AP)

Nate Burleson? He's out for the year. (AP)

The Pro Bowl is still on Roger Goodell's chopping block, and it sounds like the players are going to have to put on quite a show this year to save it. (Pro Football Talk)

MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

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MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

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Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

Max Scherzer heard his name and thrust his arms in the air, shouting and smiling big before turning to kiss his wife.

Corey Kluber, on the other hand, gulped once and blinked.

Two aces, two different styles - and now another Cy Young Award for each.

The animated Scherzer of the Washington Nationals coasted to his third Cy Young, winning Wednesday for the second straight year in the National League. He breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Kluber's win was even more of a runaway. The Cleveland Indians ace took 28 first-place votes, easily outpacing Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox for his second AL Cy Young.

Scherzer yelled "yes!" when his award was announced on MLB Network, a reaction in keeping with his expressive reputation. He showed that intensity often this year, whether he was cursing under his breath like a madman during his delivery or demanding - also with expletives - that manager Dusty Baker leave him in the game.

Just a little different than the pitcher they call "Klubot." Kluber was stoic as ever when announced as the AL winner. He swallowed hard but otherwise didn't react, only showing the hint of a smile moments later when answering questions.

Not that he wasn't thrilled.

"Winning a second one maybe, for me personally, kind of validates the first one," Kluber said.

Scherzer's win moves him into rare company. He's the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs, and among the other nine, only Kershaw and Roger Clemens aren't in the Hall of Fame.

"That's why I'm drinking a lot of champagne tonight," Scherzer said.

Scherzer earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with Detroit.

"This one is special," he said. "When you start talking about winning three times, I can't even comprehend it at this point."

Scherzer was 16-6 with a career-best 2.51 ERA this year. The 33-year-old righty struck out a league-leading 268 for the NL East champion Nationals, and in an era noted for declining pitcher durability, he eclipsed 200 innings for the fifth straight season. He had to overcome a variety of ailments to get there, and Washington's training staff was high on his thank-you list.

"Everybody had a role in keeping me out on the field," he said. "I'm very thankful for all their hard work."

Kershaw has won three NL Cy Youngs and was the last pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts. This is his second runner-up finish. Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals finished third.

Kluber missed a month of the season with back pain and still easily won the AL award over Sale and third-place finisher Luis Severino of the New York Yankees. Kluber led the majors with a 2.25 ERA, and his 18 wins tied for the most in baseball. He added to the Cy Young he won with the Indians in 2014 and is the 19th pitcher to win multiple times.

The 31-year-old Kluber was especially dominant down the stretch, closing out the season by going 11-1 to help Cleveland win the AL Central. He and Minnesota's Ervin Santana tied for the major league lead with five complete games - nobody else had more than two. Kluber also led the majors with 8.0 wins above replacement, per baseball-reference.com.

Kluber and Scherzer both had rough outings in the playoffs. Kluber gave up nine runs over two starts in an AL Division Series against the Yankees, and Scherzer blew a save in the decisive Game 5 of an NL Division Series against the Cubs.

Scherzer said he couldn't even watch the League Championship Series, although he did tune in for the World Series.

"That will eat at me this whole offseason," he said.

Voting for the awards was completed before the postseason began.

The final BBWAA honors will come Thursday when the MVP awards are announced in the AL and NL.

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