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Thinking Out Loud: Jeremy Kapstein would be good fit with PawSox

11.06.15 at 4:47 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to John McDonald?

— Our friend Nick Cafardo at The Boston Globe mentioned last week that another friend, Jeremy Kapstein, recently was told his contract would not be renewed with the Boston Red Sox after 14 years as a senior adviser. Kapstein was a Larry Lucchino confidant, so the move isn’t a huge surprise, even though it is disappointing.

— Kapstein has had a marvelous career — from Chris Clark’s on-air statistician years ago on Providence Friars radio broadcasts, to super-agent, to baseball executive and one-time political candidate. It will be different not seeing him sit behind home plate at Fenway with his radio headsets on, but I’ll wager someone with foresight will recognize Kapstein still has much to offer — in management, scouting or otherwise.

— Based on Kapstein’s relationship with Lucchino and his deep ties to Rhode Island as a native son, isn’t there a spot somewhere in the new PawSox hierarchy for him? On Monday the team officially will introduce Dr. Charles Steinberg as the new president, Dan Rea III (formerly special assistant to the Red Sox) as new GM, replacing Lou Schweichheimer, and Jeff White as the new treasurer. Mike Tamburro has agreed to remain with the new management team as vice chairman.

— Steinberg led much of the public discussion in the pitch for the new Providence stadium project, which has fallen flatter than a pancake. Not exactly a great start, Dr. Charles.

— In case you didn’t notice, the Red Sox reported this week that pitchers and catchers will begin workouts in Fort Myers, Florida, on Feb. 18. The countdown to “truck day” (Feb. 10) has begun. Will we need a spring respite in the middle of winter again?

— Now’s the time, Trader Dave Dombrowski. If you’re serious about the Sox competing again — and you should be with the payroll you’ll have — let’s see what you can do about finding some pitching. Right now, every option should be open and (almost) every player should be available.

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Read More: Jeremy Kapstein, John McDonald, Kris Dunn,

Cowboys DE Greg Hardy under further scrutiny following release of domestic violence photos

11.06.15 at 2:36 pm ET
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Greg Hardy

Greg Hardy

Greg Hardy’s domestic violence case was thrown out of court in February, but the Cowboys defensive end is facing a new round of criticism after Deadspin published photos and other records from his domestic violence incident at his apartment.

The photos show Hardy’s then-girlfriend, Nicole Holder, with bruises all over her body, and some of Hardy with marks on his face.

Holder accused Hardy of slamming her against a wall, throwing her on a bed that had guns on it, and choking her. Hardy called police and claimed that he was the victim, while his assistant restrained Holder, who eventually crawled out of the apartment before being found by police.

She later refused to cooperate with prosecutors, who said they believe she reached a civil settlement with the player.

Although he missed a year of his career, Hardy has no criminal record related to the matter, as a North Carolina judge agreed to clear the slate after Hardy’s request.

After being released by the Panthers, Hardy signed a one-year, $11.3 million deal with the Cowboys on March 19. His 10-game suspension was cut to four games by an arbitrator in July. His first game with Dallas was against the Patriots on Oct. 11. He since made news for an outburst on the sideline in a game against the Giants, when he broke into the special teams huddle, smacked a coach’s clipboard and exchanged words with a couple of teammates.

The Cowboys declined to comment but acknowledged being aware of the Deadspin story.

Read More: Greg Hardy,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: In first interview since alcohol rehab, Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia says, ‘It was just the time’ to seek help

11.06.15 at 7:34 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Wizards at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Heat at Pacers, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Rockets at Kings, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Cornell at Dartmouth, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College football: Rice at UTEP, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: Temple at SMU, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: BYU at San Jose State, 11:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College hockey: Yale at Harvard, 7 p.m. (NESN)


— Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, in his first interview since leaving the team to seek treatment for alcoholism, said “it was just the time” for him to get help.

Sabathia stepped away from the club right before the postseason began. The Yankees lost the wild card playoff to the Astros.

“I know it was a bad time of the season, but there was no other option for me but to get help,” Sabathia told “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts in an interview that was scheduled to air Friday morning. “And I understand where, you know, fans would be upset and people don’t understand, but it’s a disease. And if it was my knee or it was anything else, then people wouldn’t have a problem with it, but, you know, it being alcoholism, it’s tough for people to swallow. But it’s the same thing.”

Sabathia, 35, went 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA this season while battling a chronic knee issue. The left-hander is due to make $25 million in 2016, the last year of his contract. The Yankees have a vesting option for 2017.

— President Barack Obama waded into the controversy over the Redskins nickname on Thursday. saying “a certain NFL team in Washington” should stop perpetuating negative stereotypes of Native Americans.

Speaking at the White House Tribal Nations Conference, Obama said sports teams should help to “break stereotypes.”

“If you’re living in a society that devalues your culture or perpetuates stereotypes, you may be devaluing yourself,” Obama said. “We all need to do more to ensure that our young people feel supported and respected.”

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Read More: Barack Obama, cc sabathia, Patrick Kane, Redskins

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Jets stick with injured Ryan Fitzpatrick over Geno Smith at QB

11.05.15 at 8:03 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Bruins at Capitals, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NFL: Browns at Bengals, 8:25 p.m. (NFL Network; WEEI-FM)
College football: Arkansas State at Appalachian State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Ball State at Western Michigan, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: Baylor at Kansas State, 7:30 p.m. (FS1; WEEI-AM)
College football: Mississippi State at Missouri, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Nevada at Fresno State, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA: Thunder at Bulls, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Grizzlies at Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
Soccer: Europa, Liverpool at Rubin Kazan, 1 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Europa Anderlecht at Tottenham, 3 p.m. (FS1)


— The fading Jets will stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback despite a torn ligament in his left thumb, leaving Geno Smith on the bench.

Both players practiced Wednesday after suffering injuries in Sunday’s loss to the Raiders, and both are available for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars.

Coach Todd Bowles said Fitzpatrick is “a tough guy” who “can tolerate some things.”

Joked the QB: “Well, it’s painful enough to get me out of changing diapers. That’s been the one positive.”

Added Fitzpatrick: “It’s more painful to sit on the sideline and not be there for your teammates.”

Smith, who brushed off questions about his decision-making Sunday — “I don’t care about announcers’ criticism,” he said — again will be in a supporting role for Fitzpatrick, and he was careful about his comments on the situation.

“I’m not disappointed that he can’t play, obviously I’m rooting for my teammate, but as a player, you want to play,” said Smith, who left Sunday’s game with a bruised left shoulder. “You want to be out there. You want to have a chance. But I understand what’s going on, so I’m not really that disappointed about that part of it.”

— Heat guard (and former Celtic) Gerald Green was hospitalized Wednesday morning after an incident at his condominium, but the team was offering no details about the situation.

“Right now our concerns are with Gerald and we have no further comment at this time,” the team said in a statement.

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Read More: Geno Smith, Gerald Green, LeBron James, Ryan Fitpatrick

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Colts coach Chuck Pagano dismisses OC Pep Hamilton in attempt to ‘put us in the best position to succeed’

11.04.15 at 8:13 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Celtics at Pacers, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Knicks at Cavaliers, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Clippers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Blues at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College football: Ohio at Bowling Green, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Champions League, Arsenal at Bayern Munich, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Champions League, Bayer Leverkusen at Roma, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)


Pep Hamilton

Pep Hamilton

— With the underachieving Colts continuing to struggle at 3-5 with three straight losses, the first domino to fall in Indianapolis is offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, who was fired Tuesday.

“As head coach of this team, it’s my responsibility to make sure I’m doing everything we can to put us in the best position to succeed,” coach Chuck Pagano said in a statement. “We thank Pep for his service to the team and wish him all the best.”

There has been speculation that the Colts could make a major change during their bye week, which comes after Sunday’s game against the Broncos, and that Pagano’s job is in jeopardy. Replacing Hamilton with associated head coach Rob Chudzinski could be Pagano’s last-ditch effort to turn things around.

Said Pagano in a brief conference call: “Through the first eight weeks of the season, we have felt our offense hasn’t performed at the consistent level that we need.”

Hamilton, who was offensive coordinator at Stanford when Andrew Luck played there, had been with the Colts since 2013.

Part of the Colts’ problems can be traced to Luck, who reportedly has been playing with fractured ribs — although the Colts only listed the QB with a shoulder issue on their injury report.

“Andrew is as tough a competitor as I have ever been around. He is going through a stretch right now, we are all going through a stretch right now,” Pagano said after Monday night’s overtime loss to the Panthers. “I am not worried about Andrew Luck. Together we will get this thing fixed.”

General manager Ryan Grigson also is believed to be on thin ice. Indianapolis Star columnist Gregg Doyel, for one, was amazed that Grigson remains in place.

Wrote Doyel after Hamilton’s firing: Meanwhile, the GM who put that comically bad offensive line in front of quarterback Andrew Luck earlier this season, the GM who put together this oddly too-old, too-young team — the GM who hired Pep Hamilton, of all people — stays in charge.

When the nuclear winter comes, Ryan Grigson will survive it. That’s all I’m saying.

— The Cowboys ended the Joseph Randle experiment Tuesday, cutting the running back they had hoped would replace DeMarco Murray following Murray’s departure in free agency over the summer.

Randle, who was arrested twice in four months less than a year ago, missed Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks due to personal issues, and the team said it was cutting him so he could focus on his problems.

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Read More: Chuck Pagano, Joseph Randle, Patrick Kane, Pep Hamilton

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Jets LB David Harris ‘shocked’ by team’s lack of effort, promises, ‘It ain’t going to happen again’

11.03.15 at 8:10 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Stars at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Kings at Blues, 8:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Hawks at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Nuggets at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College football: Northern Illinois at Toledo, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Juventus, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, CSKA Moscow at Manchester United, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


— The Jets, apparently suffering from a Patriots hangover, were embarrassed by the Raiders on Sunday, dropping a 34-20 decision. That hasn’t shaken the confidence of what had been the league’s best defensive team.

Said linebacker David Harris on Monday: “Just trust me: It ain’t going to happen again.”

Harris said the team’s effort was not up to par, saying it was “disgusting” watching the game film.

“We just did a poor job of tackling,” Harris said. “The effort was poor all the way across the board. We had way too many guys not hustling on every play and it hurt us.”

The Jets had been the league’s stingiest team prior to allowing 30 points to the Patriots and then 34 to Oakland in consecutive losses that have dropped their record to 4-3 — and dropped them to 12th in points allowed (four spots behind behind the Patriots). Raiders quarterback Derek Carr amassed 333 yards passing with four touchdowns against the vaunted Jets secondary, while tailback Latavius Murray compiled 113 rushing yards. Pro Football Focus tallied 19 missed tackles by Gang Green.

Said Harris: “They outplayed us in every aspect. … Nobody expected it to happen. Surprised. Shocked. Worried. Any way you view it, it wasn’t our best effort, let’s put it that way.”

Kobe Bryant laughed off a preseason breakdown from ESPN that had him rated as the 93rd-best player in the NBA. A week into the season, he doesn’t even consider himself that good.

After saying he’s the “200th-best player in the league right now,” Bryant was given a day off Monday by coach Byron Scott, who hopes the 37-year-old will stop beating himself up.

“I said, just stay away from the gym today,” Scott said after Monday’s practice. “Just spend some time with your kids and family and get basketball off your mind for 24 hours if you can — which I don’t think he can — and then come in tomorrow fresh and we’ll go from there.”

Bryant is shooting 31.3 percent from the field and 20.7 percent from 3-point range, although he’s still averaging 17.3 points per game.

After Sunday’s 3-for-15 performance in a loss to the Mavericks that dropped Los Angeles to 0-3, Bryant said, “I just can’t make a shot,” and, “I freaking suck.”

Said rookie guard D’Angelo Russell: “We’re going to keep feeding him. … He’s in the gym 24/7. It’s not that he’s not putting in the work. It’s just, the basketball gods aren’t blessing him right now with making shots. But they’ll fall. Then we won’t be having this conversation.”

— Almost exactly three years after taking over as 49ers starting quarterback — and proceeding to lead the team to the Super Bowl — Colin Kaepernick reportedly is being demoted.

According to multiple reports out of San Francisco, Blaine Gabbert will be behind center when the Niners take the field Sunday.

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Read More: Blaine Gabbert, Colin Kaepernick, David Harris, kobe bryant

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Broncos QB Peyton Manning tweaks media after big win over Packers, saying, ‘I don’t really listen to what you say’

11.02.15 at 7:46 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NFL: Colts at Panthers, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Thunder at Rockets, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Grizzlies at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NHL: Kings at Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
Soccer: Premier League, Aston Villa at Tottenham, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)


— The Broncos‘ comfortable win over the Packers on Sunday night came as a surprise to many in the media (and elsewhere). But apparently not for Peyton Manning, who has been widely criticized for his subpar play this season.

“I don’t look at this as an ‘I told you so’ moment, because I don’t really listen to what you say in the first place,” Manning said after Denver dominated Green Bay en route to a 29-10 decision.

Manning, who passed for 340 yards Sunday, did admit that it’s taken some time for his to adjust to new coach Gary Kubiak‘s offensive system. He began the night with a 72.5 QB rating, worst among all NFL starters.

“I’ve been very determined to get comfortable in this offense,” Manning said. “For Coach Kubiak, and Coach [Rick] Dennison and Coach [Greg] Knapp and I to get on the same page. Like we said earlier last week, we are all 100 percent committed to getting on the same page. And we’re not where we want to be yet. We’re still going to continue to grind.”

Added Manning: “I’ve just been very determined. I knew this was not going to be an easy transition. I can’t say that a lot of what has happened so far this season has been a surprise to me. It has been somewhat what I expected; there were going to be some rough times and rough patches and rough parts of the transition. But I’ve never wavered in our commitment to try to get on the same page and to get everyone going in the right direction. We’ll continue to work hard on that.”

Through it all, Manning said he’s tuned out the naysayers.

“How can I say this without hurting anybody’s feelings? I just don’t give what you all say that much merit,” the QB said to laughs.

— Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant continues to find himself in the middle of controversy for his actions on the sideline. On Sunday, Bryant went on a tirade in the locker room after being asked if he made a disparaging comment about an injured Seahawks player during his team’s 13-12 loss.

Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette was knocked out after a block from Cowboys safety Jeff Heath late in the first half. There was a skirmish by the Dallas sideline before Lockette was taken away on a cart.

A television reporter posted a video on Vine of Bryant after the play and wrote that Bryant said: “That’s what the [expletive] he gets.” Bryant vehemently denied that claim.

“I won’t ever, ever, ever, ever wish bad on a player that’s been knocked down. C’mon, man. Stop with the [expletive],” Bryant said. “Not once did I say that’s what you get. I got on one knee and prayed for that man.

“I got on one knee and prayed for him. C’mon, man. Don’t put clips together and do that.”

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Read More: Dez Bryant, Peyton Manning,

Thinking Out Loud: Patriots fans should put aside talk of undefeated season, but they won’t

10.30.15 at 6:29 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to Elvira, Mistress of the Dark?

— The Patriots are oh-so-lucky that 12 drops by receivers didn’t cost them a win against the Jets last weekend. Ironically, it was a drop/bobble in the fourth quarter by New York’s Brandon Marshall, however, that might have kept the J-E-T-S from a W-I-N in Foxboro.

— News Bulletin: The Jets are pretty good, and they should reach the playoffs this year. Unless Geno Smith re-enters the QB picture, or Ryan Fitzpatrick remembers he’s actually Ryan Fitzpatrick.

— Six drops from Brandon LaFell? Well, after all, he did have a lot of (not) catching up to do, having missed the first five games of the season. Maybe he spoke with Jerry Rice about some stickum? No official drops against the Dolphins on Thursday, by this count.

— You can forget the 16-0 talk, for now. But you won’t. The comeuppance could occur in a couple of weeks at the New York Giants, and if the first ‘L’ doesn’t happen there, how about in Denver at the end of November? Or on the road at Miami and New York to end the season? There is about a 3 percent chance for the Patriots to run the table, based on current numbers, scheduling and research.

— Said in my best Jim Carrey “Dumb and Dumber” voice: “So you mean there’s a chance?”

— If the Patriots defense plays at the level seen Thursday night against the Dolphins, there certainly is a chance to run the table. And the truly scary part for the rest of the NFL? This unit is Y-O-U-N-G. No one is older than 28 (strong safety Patrick Chung), and with two All-Pro caliber linebackers leading the way (Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower), the D is playing B-plus ball. And getting better.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Ex-Red Sox manager John McNamara still has ‘no remorse’ about leaving in Bill Buckner in 1986 World Series

10.30.15 at 7:39 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

World Series: Royals at Mets, 8:07 p.m. (Fox; WEEI-AM)
NBA: Raptors at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Heat at Cavaliers, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Warriors at Rockets, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Bruins at Panthers, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)
College football: Dartmouth at Harvard, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College football: East Carolina at UConn, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Louisville at Wake Forest, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: Louisiana Tech at Rice, 8 p.m. (FS1)
College football: Wyoming at Utah State, 10:15 p.m. (ESPN2)


John McNamara guided the Red Sox to within one strike of the 1986 World Series title. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

John McNamara guided the Red Sox to within one strike of the 1986 World Series title. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

— The Mets have lost the first two games of the World Series, just as they did in 1986. The year, of course, New York rallied to beat the Red Sox in a series that featured an unforgettable Game 6, which ended with the Mets scoring the winning run in the 10th inning when a Mookie Wilson grounder went through the legs of Sox first baseman Bill Buckner.

John McNamara, who managed that Red Sox team, remembers that series as well, and he continues to say he has no regrets about leaving in the aging and weak-kneed Buckner that night.

“Not at all,” the 83-year-old McNamara said when contacted by the New York Daily News at his home in suburban Nashville, Tennessee.

“After the ball game, I said [Buckner] just didn’t get the glove down on the ball. As I watched that numerous times over the years, on baseball channels or whatever, it is very accurate,” McNamara said. “He did not get the glove down to the ground and that’s how the ball went through his legs. His knees were sore, but not enough to sit him out. I would check with him every day, every night. And he wasn’t one to say, ‘I want to get out.’

“But no, I have no remorse about that.”

When the Red Sox captured the first two games in ’86 — both in New York — McNamara said he wasn’t overconfident heading back to Fenway Park.

“No, in baseball you never take anything for granted,” he said.

While saying he’s too old to analyze the teams, McNamara said the bottom line is the Mets just aren’t coming through offensively in this series against the Royals, but he doesn’t know why.

“If I had the answers to that, I would be a millionaire and I’d sell it to ball clubs all over the country,” McNamara said. “It’s just lack of hitting. If you knew how to solve that, like I said, you’d be a millionaire.”

— In their first meeting since DeAndre Jordan changed his mind about signing with the Mavericks and rejoined the Clippers, the center helped Los Angeles to a 104-88 victory in a matchup that featured plenty of trash talk, hard fouls and four technicals.

The chatter started before the game, when Mavs owner Mark Cuban said, “You can change the owner, you can change the players, but the Clippers are still the franchise that they’ve been for the last 30 years.”

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Read More: Austin Rivers, bill buckner, DeAndre Jordan, John McNamara

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Revolution’s season ends with controversial loss to D.C. United

10.29.15 at 8:06 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NFL: Dolphins at Patriots, 8:25 p.m. (CBS, NFL Network)
College football: North Carolina at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Texas State at Georgia Southern, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: West Virginia at TCU, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)
College football: Western Michigan at Eastern Michigan, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: Oregon at Arizona State, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Hawks at Knicks, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Mavericks at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)


— The Revolution’s season is over, and it ended in controversy.

New England dropped a 2-1 decision to D.C. United in an opening-round MLS playoff game, but it appeared that the Revs should have been awarded a penalty kick during extra time after a hand ball in the D.C. box.

After the non-call in the 92nd minute — 18 minutes after referee Mark Geiger gave D.C. a penalty for a similar infraction on the Revolution — an incensed Jermaine Jones raced up to Geiger and grabbed him, earning the Revolution player a red card with a minute remaining in the match.

“I’m not happy with what happened today,” Jones said. “The only thing that I can say, I apologize for the situation that I did after.”

The Revs took an early lead on a perfectly executed bicycle kick from Juan Agudelo, but D.C. United tied it just before halftime on a header. D.C. missed a penalty kick in the 75th minute but got the winner eight minutes later on a nice play. Nick DeLeon back-heeled a pass to Fabian Espindola down the left side of the goal, and Espindola fed it to Chris Rolfe in front for an easy finish.

Agudelo was forced out of the game with an injury in the 70th minute after D.C. defender Bobby Boswell’s knee hit his hamstring, a foul that earned Boswell a yellow card and angered Agudelo.

“I’m not the kind of guy that goes into the media and goes off, but I’ve never been disrespected like that in a game before,” Agudelo said. “What hurts the most is that it took me out of the game, and he didn’t even get a red card for it. If it’s a foul, it’s either a red card, or nothing.

“He put his knee right on my hamstring and took me out of the game. I was limping when I was coming off. I wasn’t faking it. Off the ball. I didn’t even expect it. It felt like I got shot. Cheap shot.”

Said coach Jay Heaps: “Guys are pretty upset about the way the game was managed from the referee. It really felt like there were at least two penalties at the end of that game. You don’t get it, so the frustration boils over.”

— Amid reports that Ryan Mallett repeatedly showed up late this season — “Ryan clearly just didn’t get it,” an anonymous Texans player told the Houston Chronicle — Texans coach Bill O’Brien denied that he and general manager Rick Smith had a confrontation Saturday about whether to cut the troubled quarterback.

“Rick Smith and I both have respect for each other,” O’Brien said at the start of his Wednesday press conference. “We work together every day. We communicate every day. It’s a partnership. Decisions are made by two of us.”

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Read More: Bill O'Brien, flip saunders, Jermaine Jones, Ryan Mallett