Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: CC, K-Rod, Curry

Today's Calls: CC Sabathia vs. K-Rod, Stephen Curry vs. Tim Tebow, Cavs vs. Lakers, Arena League vs. Oblivion, Clinton Portis vs. Jim Zorn and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: The Yankees are being the Yankees. ↵

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↵The Yankees will make CC Sabathia the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history: 7Y, $160. (What recession?) He gives the Yankees an elite No. 1 starter — and, make no mistake, they're paying a premium for it. ↵

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↵On the one hand, this was the flashy, splashy move the Yankees had to make after flailing through the 2008 season; on the other hand, what happened to the new interest in financial discipline? The truth is: The Yankees were never going to be thrifty; it's just not in their nature. ↵

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↵Kevin Brown. Mike Hampton. Um, Carl Pavano. How often do mega-deals for pitchers end up working out in the long run? ↵

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↵CC, who is 28, has been going 180-plus IP per season since his MLB career began when he was 20, including 253 IP in '08 (giving him nearly 500 IP the past two seasons). Rubber arm entering his prime ... or a player doomed to inevitable exhaustion and/or injury? ↵

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↵It's the Yankees: Expect his arm to fall off by Year 2 of this deal — hey, with only $90 million left to pay him! ↵

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↵The Mets get K-Rod: He wanted $15M a year. He got $12. He wanted five years. He got three (with an option on a fourth). K-Rod will still be the second-highest-paid closer in baseball (and the second-highest-paid closer in NYC), but will shoulder the pressure of leading the bullpen-shaky Mets to the playoffs. Anything else is a failure. He doesn't need to earn a record-breaking number of saves — just enough to get the Mets to the postseason. ↵

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↵More Rumors: With CC off the market, I think A.J. Burnett's price just went up. ... Without CC to spend on, will the Angels target Mark Teixeira or Manny Ramirez? ... The Rays are talking with both Milton Bradley and Jason Giambi. ... Are the Nats getting Willy Taveras from the Rockies for Tim Redding? ... Sounds like Ben Sheets is inching closer to the Rangers. ↵

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↵Heisman Watch: If you were Tim Tebow, would you vote for yourself for the Heisman? With Heisman ballots due today, what a dilemma. I know how I think he should vote; check back here tomorrow for that. ↵

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↵CBB: Stephen Curry rules the Garden. The Mountaineers didn't make it easy: Curry was 9-for-27 on FG, including 4-for-16 on 3s. But he was 3-for-3 on 3s at the end, and Curry scored 13 of Davidson's final 15. Here's the sequence that reminds you why Curry is the most scintillating talent in college basketball: ↵

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↵With 5 minutes to play, WVU was up 3. Then Curry hit a 3. WVU went back up by 2. Curry hit a jumper. WVU went back up by 4 with 1:30 to play. Curry hit another 3. Davidson down 1. Then Curry hit yet another 3, with :37 to play, putting Davidson up by 2. WVU never regained the lead. ↵

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↵Meanwhile, Texas racked up yet another quality win against a highly-ranked opponent, dispatching previously unbeaten No. 12 Villanova by nine behind A.J. Abrams' 26 (8-for-18 FG, 4-for-9 3-pt). I'd like to see Curry and Abrams play H-O-R-S-E. ↵

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↵NBA Instant History: The Cavs are unstoppable like you've never seen before. No team in NBA history, until these Cavs last night, had ever won nine straight games by 12 points or more (actually, the Cavs are winning by 21.5 ppg). ↵

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↵Please keep in mind that only one of the nine was a bonafide playoff team. Still, on a night that the Lakers can lose to the woeful Kings (in a result no one could have seen coming), it's an impressive accomplishment in the "Any Given Weeknight" NBA. ↵

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↵More Milestones: LeBron James became Cleveland's all-time steals leader and Zydrunas Ilgauskas became the team's career rebounding leader. ↵More: Wow, Shaq went 35 and 8? Hopefully, he'll have something to say about that on his Twitter page. ... Stud: Tim Duncan (32 and 14 outdueling Dirk's 35 and 10 in a Spurs 2OT win over the Mavs). ... Of COURSE Kevin McHale lost his T-wolves’ coaching debut. ... Don't blame new starter Rodney Stuckey (10 pts, 11 ast) for the Pistons' choke to the Wiz. ↵

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↵Plaxico Burress Watch: The union is appealing his suspension and fine. Yeah, good luck with that. ↵

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↵Is the Arena Football League over? That's a shame: As far as pro football minor leagues go, they had a pleasantly differentiated product and a tangible commitment to fan-friendly service. If the UFL picks up its scraps, hopefully it picks up that strategy, too. ↵

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↵CFB Coaching Carousel: Now Graham Harrell thinks Mike Leach will stay at Texas Tech. (Harrell actually thought that Leach would leave for Washington, not necessarily for Auburn. Don't worry, Graham: Leach will leave eventually.) ↵

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↵NFL Flex Scheduling: Panthers-Giants on Dec. 21 has been moved to prime time — maybe because the game could be a quasi-playoff to determine who gets home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. This is exactly why the "flex" system was created; it's the game that week everyone wants to see. ↵

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↵Must-Read: The Billy Ripken baseball card story, as told to Darren Rovell by Billy Ripken himself. It's like one of sports' Great Mysteries revealed. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "We got a genius for a head coach, I don't know, so I'm sure he's on top of things. He's got everything figured out." ↵

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↵— Clinton Portis, sarcastically commenting about Redskins coach Jim Zorn. That won't make things awkward or anything. ↵

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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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