Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: J-Bay Being Manny

Today's Calls: Jason Bay vs. Manny Ramirez, Cole Hamels vs. CC Sabathia, Rays vs. Your Day Job, Boise St vs. Utah, Ben Gordon vs. Baron Davis and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: So a few months ago, the question was which team "won" the trade that brought Manny to L.A. and Jason Bay to Boston. ↵

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↵Answer: Both. ↵

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↵In Chicago, Manny was Manny and — to many instantly distraught Chicago fans — the Cubs were the Cubs. Wrigley rock Ryan Dempster had 7 walks and, after 3 walks to load 'em up, a grand slam to James Loney; Manny's HR seemed like he was just trying to make a point. ↵

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↵In Boston, the rallying cry is "Who needs Manny?" Bay picked up Ramirez's postseason clobbering stick and used it to thwack a two-run HR that put Boston up and over the top of the Angels. ↵

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↵There is plenty of time for yesterday's losers, who doubled as the teams with the best regular-season records in their respective leagues: Chicago throws ace Carlos Zambrano today; the Angels get a day off. ↵

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↵But facing an 0-1 hole (losing at home!) in a five-game series means we finally know who lost in the Manny-Bay trade: The Cubs and Angels. ↵

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↵Cole Hamels the day's biggest ace: He threw a two-hit shutout over 8 IP, with 9 Ks — a near-perfect start for a pitcher (if scoring was a series of lucky breaks for the team). The Brewers need something similar from CC Sabathia today in Game 2 — and no more ball-bobbling. ↵

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↵Tonight: The Rays were the story of the season, and they are rewarded in their LDS series with the White Sox with a ... ↵

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↵2:30 start time? ↵

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↵You'd think MLB would want to give their Cinderella some prime-time exposure. Tracking games at work is fun, but not like on the couch. ↵

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↵NFL: Did Bill Belichick tamper with Randy Moss while Moss was with the Raiders? A fan would be justified in not knowing what to do here: It's easy to believe Belichick would, but then again, the accusation is coming from Al Davis. Each man's "iffy" cancels out. ↵

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↵More: Cowboys' forgotten ground game. Let me re-emphasize one of Vinnie Iyer's points: GIVE FELIX JONES THE BALL. ↵

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↵CFB: Boise State throttles Louisiana Tech, and remains on track for a BCS-busting unbeaten season. ↵

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↵Speaking of which, tonight, unbeaten Utah hosts USC-busting Oregon State. If Utah loses, their BCS dreams are over; however, if Utah wins, it will be absurd that they should be ranked behind USC (as they currently are); the Utes will get a big Transitive-Property bump. ↵

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↵(More Top 25 tonight: South Florida — a Top 10 team almost by default, although they have that huge win against Kansas — hosts Pittsburgh.) ↵

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↵Funniest Headline: "Ohio State RB Wells still has Heisman hopes." Is he talking about 2009? Wells says: "I honestly think I can be the best player in college football." (Note: Wells isn't even the best player in his own offense. That would be Terrelle Pryor.) ↵

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↵CFB Must-Read: Hall vs. Hayes in their weekly IM showdown. (Alabama as "Mongo?" I like it.) ↵

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↵NBA: Ben Gordon signs for cheap. Let me get this straight. 6Y/$59M wasn't enough for Ben Gordon, so instead he signs a 1Y/$6.4M deal and will be a UFA next summer. Good luck with that. ↵

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↵Warriors fans can blame team prez Robert Rowell for losing Baron Davis; he apparently put the kibosh on an extension that would have kept Davis in Oakland (Davis left for the Clippers). ↵

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↵CBB: You know the season is close when we get into the countdown of the nation's top teams. SN is starting at No. 40: Siena. ↵

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↵Crime: Travis Henry charged with allegedly trying to buy 5 kilos of coke. He's a long way from his breakout 2002 season (1,438 yards rushing). Now he's looking at 10 years in prison, if convicted. ↵

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↵Olympics: The governing body of gymnastics has cleared the Chinese gymnasts of accusations they were underage in Beijing. (Oh, you had already forgotten about that? Sorry.) ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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