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Report: Flyers’ Claude Giroux arrested following incident with Ottawa police officer

07.02.14 at 10:31 am ET
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Claude Giroux

Claude Giroux

Flyers star Claude Giroux was arrested Tuesday night for repeatedly grabbing the buttocks of a male police officer, according to a report by the Ottawa Sun.

Sources told the Sun Giroux spent the night in jail and alcohol is believed to be involved, although few details were immediately available.

Police told the Sun they cannot comment unless charges are made. The 26-year-old is expected to be released Wednesday without any criminal charges.

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NBA free agency roundup: Derrick Rose, Bulls, make strong pitch to Carmelo Anthony; Lance Stephenson reportedly turns down Pacers offer

07.02.14 at 10:22 am ET
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Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

The Bulls hosted Carmelo Anthony Tuesday in Chicago, and brought stars Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson along to make a hard sell on the free agent.

Anthony arrived at United Center on Tuesday afternoon with agent Leon Rose and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau in a large limousine, and were welcomed by the Michael Jordan statue and a group of cheering fans. On a screen above the building entrance, a digital image of Anthony in a No. 7 Bulls jersey next to a championship trophy was shown.

It was a simple message that the Bulls are convinced Anthony can make them a title contender.

But the Bulls aren’t the only team courting Anthony. The Mavericks and Lakers reportedly are revolving their future plans around whether or not they can lure the Knicks free agent.

According to ESPN, the Mavericks are in discussions with Dirk Nowitzki on a new contract but are likely to hold off on finalizing the terms of the deal until after the team’s meeting with Anthony this week. The Lakers were among the first teams to reach out to Pau Gasol and have shown interest in retaining the forward, according to ESPN. But the team also has a meeting with Anthony on Thursday, which could determine whether or not Gasol returns to Los Angeles.

Lance Stephenson rejected the Pacers’ initial contract offer of five years, $44 million, according to ESPN. The guard, known for his controversial antics during the Eastern Conference finals, is said to believe he is worth more money.

The Lakers, Bulls and Hornets reportedly are interested in signing Stephenson.

– The Wizards reportedly agreed to a five-year, $60 million contract to retain center Marcin Gortat on Tuesday. The deal can’t be signed until July 10 under NBA free agency rules, but Gortat made it clear a deal was imminent on Twitter Tuesday night.

– The Associated Press reported that the Warriors have agreed to a three-year contract with Shaun Livingston worth about $16 million, while Jodie Meeks will sign a three-year, $19.5 million deal with the Pistons.

– Australian media outlet Fairfax Media reported Wednesday that Spurs free agent point guard Patty Mills will miss up to seven months with a right shoulder injury.

The report said Mills, who will undergo surgery in the next few days to repair the rotator cuff in his shoulder, played through pain during the season and scans revealed wear and tear after the NBA Finals.

Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Lance Stephenson,

Tommy Smyth on D&C: ‘I think the state of US soccer is very good’

07.02.14 at 9:36 am ET
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Tommy Smyth

Tommy Smyth

ESPN soccer analyst Tommy Smyth joined Dennis & Callahan Wednesday morning to discuss the U.S. national team’s World Cup run. To hear to interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The United States lost to Belgium, 2-1, in extra time in Tuesday’s Round of 16 match, but the Americans are receiving much praise for making it this far in the tournament.

“I think the state of U.S. soccer is very good. You have to give it a top mark. The team did well,” Smyth said. “They held their heads high getting through to the next round of the World Cup, which, myself included, a lot of people didn’t expect them to do. It’s a program that looks like it’s in good shape.”

The U.S. team had its share of troubles defensively throughout the game, forcing goalkeeper Tim Howard to come up big with 16 saves. Those struggles caught up with the Americans when they gave up a pair of quick goals in extra time.

“I wasn’t particularly impressed with the way they played yesterday, and people are saying, ‘You’re very hard on the defense. You’re very hard on the back four.’ Well, maybe I am,” Smyth said. “But Tim Howard had to come up with the saves. It looked like he was hung out to dry at times. There was nobody out there to help him.

“So I wasn’t particularly impressed with the play, but they finished off on a high note.”

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Read More: World Cup,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Lawyer for victims’ families heads to court to ask that Patriots withhold payment to Aaron Hernandez

07.02.14 at 7:49 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Cubs at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Rays at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Indiana Fever at Washington Mystics, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: Chicago Sky at Phoenix Mercury, 10 pm. (ESPN2)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 7 a.m. (ESPN, ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

– A lawyer for the families of the two men allegedly killed by Aaron Hernandez in 2012 will appear in court Wednesday and ask a judge to prevent the Patriots from paying Hernandez a $3.2 million signing bonus.

The murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado outside a Boston nightclub took place a few weeks before Hernandez signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Patriots. One year later, Hernandez was charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd and subsequently released by the team.

MASHUP POLL: Should the Patriots have to pay Aaron Hernandez his contract bonus?

  • No, Hernandez is a criminal who should never get paid again (56%, 184 Votes)
  • They should have to pay, but the money should go directly to the victims' families (23%, 76 Votes)
  • Yes, it's a contractual obligation that should be fulfilled despite Hernandez's legal issues (21%, 69 Votes)

Total Voters: 329

Loading ... Loading ...

The Patriots have challenged Hernandez’s right to receive the bonus, but should they be forced to pay after an arbitration hearing, attorney William Kennedy wants a court order protecting the money — as well as the rest of Hernandez’s assets. The two families Kennedy represents are suing Hernandez for $6 million each.

“It’s really a motion to prevent any further payments to be made by the New England Patriots to Mr. Hernandez pending any further action of the court,” Kennedy said. “What we’re looking to do is preserve as much as we possibly can — any assets — for the satisfaction of the families of the two decedents.”

Meanwhile, a University of Florida 2014 calendar that features former Gators start has Hernandez pictured with July, and a Patriots calendar produced by the same company includes a picture of Hernandez as well.

Florida’s athletic department responded to criticism by noting that the calendars are produced by an independent company, Turner Licensing, and approval for the photos took place last spring, before Hernandez was first charged with murder in June.

“There are thousands of Gator products in the pipeline for approval at any given time and it’s not common practice to re-review them once they have already been approved,” Florida spokesman Daniel Apple said. “We have since notified the licensee that it is no longer approved.”

– Troubled 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith will not face charges for his behavior during an incident at Los Angeles International Airport in April, authorities announced Tuesday.

Smith, who was taken into custody April 13 after acting belligerent during a security screening and threatening that he had a bomb, still will have a hearing on July 30 to address the situation and explain himself. A spokesman for the city attorney’s office said Smith will then be admonished about the law and given suggestions how to avoid a similar situation.

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Aldon Smith,

Despite Tim Howard’s incredible performance, USA falls to Belgium in extra time

07.01.14 at 6:32 pm ET
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The U.S. made things interesting, but ultimately Belgium advanced. (AP)

The U.S. made things interesting, but ultimately Belgium advanced. (AP)

Tim Howard put on a performance for the ages, and the United States made things interesting late in extra time, but ultimately Belgium’€™s total dominance was too much for the U.S. men’s soccer team. After controlling the ball all game only to see Howard make a tournament-high 12 saves in regulation alone (he wound up with 16 total) to keep the game scoreless, the Belgians finally broke through in the third minute of extra time to take a 1-0 lead. They added another goal 12 minutes later, and that was enough to withstand a late barrage from the Americans.

Romelu Lukaku started the chance that led to Belgium’s first goal with a nice run down the right side. He then centered for Kevin De Bruyne, who took the pass, evaded a couple U.S. defenders and beat Howard with a low, hard shot to the far side of the net. Lukaku made it 2-0 about 12 minutes later, and Belgium hung on to advance to the quarterfinals.

Give the Americans credit, though, as they refused to roll over. Just two minutes after Lukaku’€™s goal, Michael Bradley found 19-year-old Julian Green — seeing his first action of the tournament — on a great run into the box, and Green finished the chance with a beautiful flick to cut the lead to 2-1.

The Americans mounted another challenge a couple minutes later, as Clint Dempsey found Jermaine Jones in the box. Jones got his foot on the ball, but wound up knocking it just wide of the right post.

The U.S. challenged again off a free kick with seven minutes left on a beautiful setup. Bradley fed Jones, who then one-touched it through to Dempsey. Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois came out to make a great save, though. That wound up being the closest the Americans would get.

The U.S. was looking to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2002. As it is, the Americans leave Brazil having reached the knockout round in consecutive World Cups for the first time ever. This also marks the second straight World Cup in which they’ve been knocked out in extra time. Read the rest of this entry »

Brad Feldman on MFB: Belgium injury problem ‘helps the U.S. big time’

07.01.14 at 1:50 pm ET
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Revolution play-by-play man Brad Feldman joined Middays with MFB on Tuesday to discuss the World Cup. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The United States takes on Belgium Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the Round of 16 in the World Cup. Belgium is largely considered the better team but comes in battling injuries to some key players.

“What they’ve done is they’ve had to move several defenders to wide positions,” Feldman said. “Although it’s not been all bad. Jan Vertonghen playing left back, he can really play anywhere across the back line. They do have injury concerns coming in and that helps the U.S. big time.

Vincent Kompany, their best defender, is probably going to play but with a groin strain. So whether it’s [Clint Dempsey] and [Jozy] Altidore or both, they can put pressure on Kompany, who’s very efficient and very strong, but you get him 1-v-1, stretch him, man.”

Feldman added: “Another thing Belgium is besides young and talented is very deep, and you saw that against South Korea when they already advanced, they played a lot of second-stringers who are name players.”

The U.S. is expected is have Altidore back after he suffered a hamstring injury in the World Cup opener against Ghana, although what his role will be in the match seems unclear to this point.

“I would say 15, 16 days is a very short turnaround for a hamstring, listening to the professionals,” Feldman said. “People think that would be a big ask. The closer we get to kickoff the more we keep hearing that [Jurgen Klinsmann] could be using this as a decoy to distract Belgium in terms of their preparation, that Altidore may be on the bench on the 18-man squad and not be used unless absolutely necessary. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brad Feldman, Middays with MFB, World Cup,

Oscar Pistorius trial hears testimony about screams following killing

07.01.14 at 11:00 am ET
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Testimony in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial focused on the screams that neighbors heard the night the Olympic athlete killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel questioned acoustics expert Ivan Lin, who was called in by the defense team to suggest that the screams neighbors heard were that of Pistorius rather than a woman.

The screams that neighbors have testified they heard the night Pistorius shot Steenkamp are a key element in the prosecution’s case, as they claim the couple was arguing before Pistorius shot her. The defense, on the other hand, has suggested the screams came from Pistorius after realizing he mistakenly shot her.

Lin said that he could not determine whether the neighbors were “correct or incorrect.” He testified that he performed tests that show background noise and other factors can make it difficult to hear from a distance.

The court also received reports from mental health experts who determined that Pistorius was not suffering from a mental illness when he killed Steenkamp.

Read More: Oscar Pistorius,

NBA free agency roundup: Cavs give Kyrie Irving new deal; LeBron James reportedly seeking max salary

07.01.14 at 9:35 am ET
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The Cavaliers were the first team to make a splash at the start of free agency, but they did so by securing one of their own.

Cleveland agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension with Kyrie Irving just a couple of hours after the free agent market opened. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert announced the agreement via Twitter early Tuesday morning. Gilbert didn’t provide the terms of the deal, but multiple outlets have reported that Irving was given a maximum deal worth $90 million.

– Another player seeking max money is also the most prominent name on the market — LeBron James.

According to an ESPN.com report, James wants no less than the maximum salary number for next season, which is projected to be about $20.7 million.

James took a pay cut to team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami in 2010, but now that burden may fall on his teammates to keep the band together.

– The Bulls are expected to make a pitch to Carmelo Anthony. The selling point: the talented roster that is expected to have Derrick Rose back next season.

“What we’re selling is our team,” coach Tom Thibodeau said Monday. “I’m sure free agents are aware of our team, the guys that we do have and our players will be available to talk. We think we have a lot to offer. We have great depth. We have great tradition. And we’re positioned well to go forward. So we think we do have a lot to sell.”

– Two mainstays who won’t be returning to their longtime teams are Jameer Nelson and Chauncey Billups.

The Magic waived Nelson on Monday, sparing them the $8 million they would’ve owed the point guard next season.

“I appreciate the opportunity the Orlando Magic has afforded me and my family over the past 10 years,” Nelson, Orlando’s longest-tenured player, said in a statement. “All good things must come to an end, however, and it’s time to move on. I look forward to continuing my career as an NBA player and will never take for granted my time in Orlando.”

The Pistons announced Monday that they won’t pick up the team option on Billups. Coach Stan Van Gundy said the decision was a hard one and noted Billups “will always be a valued member of the Detroit Pistons family.”

Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Jameer Nelson, Kyrie Irving

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Manny Ramirez homers in home debut for Triple-A Iowa Cubs

07.01.14 at 8:01 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Cubs at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Brewers at Blue Jays1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Athletics at Tigers, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
World Cup soccer: United States vs. Belgium, 4 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
World Cup soccer: Argentina vs. Switzerland, noon (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
WNBA: Indiana Fever at Atlanta Dream, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
WNBA: Chicago Sky at Los Angeles Sparks, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 8 a.m. (ESPN, ESPN2), 11:30 a.m. (ESPNews)

AROUND THE WEB:

Manny Ramirez made his home debut for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs on Monday night and it was a good one. The former Red Sox star went 3-for-4, including a two-run home run off Royals prospect Sugar Ray Marimon. The Cubs rallied to beat the Omaha Storm Chasers, 7-6, in 10 innings, although Ramirez was not around for the comeback as he was removed in the eighth for a pinch runner.

Ramirez played in his first game for the team last Thursday (going 0-for-4 but reaching base on an error) after working out for a few weeks to get back in game shape. He’s serving as a player-coach, scheduled to make occasional appearances in the lineup while mentoring the team’s top prospects.

Asked Monday what he’s advising the young players, Ramirez — who twice was suspended by MLB for violent the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs — said: “Do the right thing, bro. Follow the rules. That’s it.”

Added Ramirez: “When you love the game and you want to help young players and give them your testimonial and the things that you went through so they don’t go through that, it’s easy,” Ramirez said. “When you come here and you’re helping young players grow up and see them go to the next level, I think that’s such a joy for yourself, to come and help somebody else. It doesn’t matter who you are. It’s who you’re going to be.”

Cubs president Theo Epstein joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning and spoke glowingly of Ramirez, who claims to be a new man after finding religion.

“Manny gave me as many problems as he gave anyone, probably besides [former Red Sox manager Terry Francona] in his time in Boston. He’s responsible for most of the gray hairs on my head. So it’s not something that we entered into lightly,” Epstein said. “But people do change. I talked a lot to Manny, and he seemed like a completely different guy. … He’s grown for the better. He’s open and honest about all the mistakes he’s made in the past and he wants to fix that by being a positive influence on young players.”

– The trial pitting Donald Sterling against his estranged wife will begin next Monday after lawyers for both sides agreed to no longer make an issue of the banned Clippers owner’s mental capacity.

Donald Sterling had been examined by two doctors called by Shelly Sterling who declared him incapacitated, but he since has found a physician to indicate he is competent following a weekend examination, his lawyer said.

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Read More: Donald Sterling, Manny Ramirez, ncaa, Theo Epstein

Uruguay’s Luis Suarez apologizes for biting incident, promises it will be last time

07.01.14 at 7:32 am ET
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Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez finally took some responsibility for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during their World Cup game last Tuesday, and the suspended player promised to avoid repeating the act for a fourth time.

Suarez, twice suspended for similar incidents, had claimed this bite was accidental, but on Monday he released a statement in which he generally accepts blame — without coming out and saying that he intentionally sunk his teeth into Chiellini’s shoulder as is apparent in the video.

The statement reads:

After several days of being home with my family, I have had the opportunity to regain my calm and reflect about the reality of what occurred during the Italy-Urugay match on 24 June 2014. Independent from the fallout and the contradicting declarations that have surfaced during these past days, all of which have been without the intention of interfering with the good performance of my national team, the truth is that my colleague Giorgio Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me.

For this:

1. I deeply regret what occurred.

2. I apologize to Giorgio Chiellini and the entire football family.

3. I vow to the public that there will never again be another incident like this involving me.

Chiellini, who previously said he felt Suarez’s fourth-month suspension was too great a punishment, accepted Suarez’s apology.

Tweeted Chiellini: It’s all forgotten. I hope FIFA will reduce your suspension.

Read More: Giorgio Chiellini, Luis Suarez,