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Morning Jolt: August 5, 2010

Thursday, August 5

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Rome, Shaq to square off?

No word on whether Shaq may at some point be called "Chris" by a show host. Wednesday night via Twitter the newest Boston Celtic, Shaquille O'Neal, challenged radio talk show host Jim Rome to a fight. ... [It's] hard not to think it didn't sting when the ESPN host claimed that Shaq wasn't as professional and as committed to his body as a former Laker teammate. "You never approached the game with the dedication and discipline of Kobe Bryant," Rome said. "Jim Rome, I am happy with my career and the legacy that I have left behind,obviously u r not happy wit yur legacy I 4got u have no legacy," Shaq retorted. Soon after he invited Rome to the fight. "And forget the back and forth jim rome, I challenge u to a boxing match, live at espn studios, show the world if u can bak up the tuff talk." (Los Angeles Times)Comment

Sanchez becoming 'unquestioned team leader'

Mark Sanchez is ready to take over. Four days into training camp, it's impossible not to notice Sanchez's transformation from unsure rookie to unquestioned team leader. From his improved hard cadence at the line of scrimmage to his willingness to accept ownership for his mistakes, Sanchez resembles a 10-year veteran more than a second-year signal-caller. "This is my team," Sanchez said after the morning practice Wednesday. "This is my offense. You need to own it....When you walk in a room, people should know: That's the quarterback. That's our guy." ... In many ways, it's been natural. He hasn't shied away from the spotlight even after subpar performances such as Wednesday morning when he went 8 of 17 with two interceptions in 11-on-11 team drills. (New York Daily News)Comment

Sale to jump into 'big role' for Guillen

While a veteran makes news on the North Side, the South Siders are drawing headlines from Chris Sale, a 6-foot-6, 175-pound rookie promoted from Class AAA Charlotte. Manager Ozzie Guillen, however, has some bigger plans in store for the 21-year-old left-hander, who appeared in just 11 minor-league games before getting the call. "Big role," Guillen insisted of what he has planned for Sale. ... "Obviously, we know and we are aware this kid come from college. He has a lot of innings on him so far. The first time I see this guy on tape, I asked [general manager] Kenny [Williams] why we don't have him here tomorrow." ... He was selected with the 13th overall pick out of Florida Gulf Coast University, and is the first player from the 2010 draft to reach the majors. (Chicago Sun-Times)Comment

Must-See Photo

Peter Vanderkaay dives in at the start of the Men 100 LC Backstroke Final at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Complex in Irvine, Calif. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Must-See Video

In honor of Shaquille O'Neal signing with Boston, here's a video of him dissing Vlade Divac during the heyday of the Kings-Lakers rivalry.

Game To Watch

Twins at Rays, 12:10 p.m. ET

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SI Vault: More Mark McGwire

This Day in Sports

  • 1973 -- Atlanta pitcher Phil Niekro no-hits San Diego in a 9-0 victory.
  • 1979 -- Willie Mays, Warren Giles and Hack Wilson are inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • 1984 -- Toronto?s Cliff Johnson set a major league baseball record by hitting the 19th pinch-hit home run in his career.
  • 1999 -- St Louis 1B Mark McGwire hits his 500th career home run.