Shanoff's W.U.C.: A-Rod, Rondo, Greinke, Flu

Today's Calls: A-Rod vs. Selena Roberts, Chauncey Billups vs. Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo vs. Dwight Howard, Zack Greinke vs. Yovani Gallardo, Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin, I Want Revenge vs. Swine Flu and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: It's time for another game of "Where's The Outrage?!?!" ↵

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↵Who: A-Rod ↵
↵?!?!: Juicing ...in high school?!?! ↵
↵Outrage Level: Low. A-Rod on steroids? NO!!! ↵

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↵Who: Rajon Rondo ↵
↵?!?!: NOT suspended for Game 5 flagrant-ish?!?! ↵
↵Outrage: Pfft! It's the CELTICS. If you thought the NBA would suspend Rondo for tonight's Game 6, you are naive. ↵

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↵Who: Mets ↵
↵?!?!: The bullpen STILL stinks?!?! ↵
↵Outrage: Moderate. Will last night's loss come back to haunt New York in September? ↵

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↵Who: Vikings ↵
↵?!?!: How can they win with Tarvaris Jackson?!?! ↵
↵Outrage: Justified. Even Brett Favre would be better. ↵

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↵Who: Swine Flu ↵
↵?!?!: Canceled high school sports events in Texas?!?! ↵
↵Outrage: Muffled by my surgical mask. ↵

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↵On tomorrow's episode: Inevitable Celtics-Bulls drama, Rays' drop-off, Kentucky Derby fashion. ↵

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↵ ↵

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↵NBA Playoffs: Nuggets! Denver may have no chance to actually win the West ahead of the Lakers, but it feels like accomplishment enough that they finally got out of the first round — both in the Carmelo Anthony Era and for the first time since Denver’s fluky 8-over-1 in '94. ↵

↵

↵It helps Denver could not have had a better set-up to get off the schneid: Chauncey Billups has been as valuable as ANY player in the league; Melo is the best second-best player of any team in the playoffs; and the Hornets seemingly surrendered. Gets better: Mavs are up next, and the Nuggets swept 'em 4-0 this season. ↵

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↵More: Hawks-Heat has become a poor man's Bulls-Celtics, if only because it is getting SO testy. Neither team has ANY chance in the next round against the Cavs, so this has really become about moral victory. Joe Johnson finally showed up. Dwyane Wade is battered. Al Horford is hobbled. Hawks announcers are going insane. Game 6 is in Miami. ↵

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↵Tonight: Celtics-Bulls, Round 6. At this point, you cannot be any sort of NBA fan — casual to rabid — and not be tuning in for this series. The last time the Bulls lost a nail-biter in Boston, they came back to Chicago and choked; if that happens this time, the series is over. ↵

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↵Plus: Rockets and Magic go for close-out wins, but under vastly different circumstances. Houston plays at home with a 3-2 edge on the Blazers and Yao is looking good; Orlando goes on the road to Philly ... and without Dwight Howard, suspended for Game 5 elbows. (BUT NOT RONDO.) ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points: ↵

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↵— Greinke Watch: ER streak ends at 43 (Still wins: 5-0) ↵

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↵— Another bad omen for Rays: Bad start for Kazmir ↵

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↵— Unexpected HR Power: Nick Swisher (7 to date!) ↵

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↵— Rookie Watch: Jonathan Van Every ↵

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↵— Fantasy Stud: Yovani Gallardo (8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 11 K, W) ↵

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↵NHL Playoffs: Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin. Enough said. ↵

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↵Economy: Nationalized Hockey League? Is the NHL going to do to the Coyotes what the U.S. government is going to do to GM? ↵

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↵Derby: I Want Revenge isn't just a great name for a top horse — he is the oddsmakers' pick to win this weekend's Kentucky Derby. (My pick coming tomorrow.) ↵

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↵CBB: Who's No. 1 in 2009-10? Mike Decourcy says it will be hard to find a team with a better case than Kansas. To that point, if Lance Stephenson wants to win an NCAA title in his one and only college season, he should sidestep the "Melo" plan (being THE guy on a good team) and join fellow super-frosh Xavier Henry on a loaded KU team. ↵

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↵The Last Word: So Brett Favre won't unretire? Promise? ↵

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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. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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

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