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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Former Patriots WR Chad Johnson impresses in CFL tryout

04.17.14 at 8:00 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’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.

MLB: Red Sox at White Sox, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Braves at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cardinals at Nationals, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL playoffs: Flyers at Rangers, 7 p.m. (CNBC)
NHL playoffs: Blackhawks at Blues, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Wild at Avalanche, 9:30 p.m. (CNBC)
NHL playoffs: Kings at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)


– Onetime Patriots receiver Chad Johnson is in Florida, working out with the Montreal Alouettes in an attempt to make the Canadian Football League team, and by all accounts, he’s off to a good start.

“He’s in great shape,” Alouttes general manager Jim Popp said. “He wants to play and we’ll see how things are.”


The 36-year-old Johnson, formerly known as Chad Ochocinco, last appeared in the NFL with the Patriots in 2011. After an unimpressive season in New England, he attempted to make the Dolphins the following preseason but was cut one day after being charged with misdemeanor domestic battery.

“I just want to get back to doing something that I love to do, regardless of where it is,” he said. “Montreal, flag football, back in the street the way I grew up. I just want to play football.”

The average CFL salary is about $85,000, but Ochocinco said he isn’t concerned about the finances.

“I don’t even need a check,” he said. “Didn’t I give it all away for 12 years straight? Think about it. Did I ever care about money when I played throughout my career? Still don’t. I want to have fun. I want to enjoy the game. That’s it.”

Lamar Odom, out of the NBA this season after highly publicized personal troubles last fall, signed with the Knicks and will begin training at the team’s practice facility under new Knicks president Phil Jackson‘s watch.

Odom helped Jackson’s Lakers win NBA titles in 2009 and ’10 and was the league’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2011, Jackson’s final year on the bench.

Odom, a native of nearby Queens, played for the Clippers last season but averaged only 4.0 points in about 20 minutes per game. He played two games for a team in Spain this season.

Meanwhile, coach Mike Woodson‘s future remains in question, with speculation mounting that he will not return for the final year of his contract.

“Unfortunately, this year just didn’t go according to plan,” Woodson said before Wednesday’s season finale against the Raptors. “So is it fair to let me go? I don’t think so, but again, I don’t make that decision. That’s got to come from the top.”

– Longtime Bucks owner Herb Kohl announced Wednesday that he’s selling the team to New York investment firm executives Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens for almost $550 million, with the understanding that the team will remain in Milwaukee.

“I wasn’t going to live forever,” the 79-year-old Kohl said at a press conference. “I’ve approached a time in my life where I have to think about … how do we think about succession.”

Kohl, who bought the Bucks for $18 million in 1985, said he would donate $100 million toward the building of a new arena for the team, with the new owners proving the same. The team’s current home, the Bradley Center, opened in 1988.

“We should be shouting from the rooftops because this is a game-changer for this entire debate,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said.

The Bucks, last in the NBA, took a 15-66 record — a franchise worst — into Wednesday night’s season finale against the Hawks.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 17, 1969, which Red Sox rookie followed up his two-home run effort the day before with another home run, giving him home runs for his first three major league hits, a team record?

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Read More: Chad Johnson, Lamar Odom, mike woodson, Phil Jackson

Man arraigned for allegedly planting hoax bomb at Marathon finish line

04.16.14 at 1:29 pm ET
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Boston resident Kevin “Kayvon” Edson was arraigned Wednesday in Boston Municipal Court and charged with possession of a hoax explosive for allegedly dropping a backpack with a rice cooker containing confetti at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Tuesday. The 25-year-old pleaded not guilty.

Edson, who was spotted running barefoot down Boylston Street in a black veil yelling “Boston Strong” before being detained by police, also was charged with threatening battery, threats to commit a crime, disturbing the peace, disturbing a public assembly and disorderly conduct, according to the Boston Police Department. He reportedly claims the stunt was performance art.

Edson, whom prosecutors said is a student at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, is being held on $100,000 bail. He was ordered to be taken to Bridgewater State Hospital for an evaluation and return to court May 7.

According to The Associated Press, his mother indicated he has bipolar disorder, and a man identifying himself as Edson’s brother posted on Facebook that Edson is “a disillusioned and very sick individual.” Edson reportedly has a criminal record and was evaluated at Bridgewater State Hospital last year.

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Despite Red Sox’ issues, MLB commissioner Bud Selig touts replay rollout as ‘remarkable’

04.16.14 at 7:55 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.

MLB: Red Sox at White Sox, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Pirates at Reds, 12:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Wizards at Celtics, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Mavericks at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Clippers at Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL playoffs: Canadiens at Lightning, 7 p.m. (CNBC)
NHL playoffs: Blue Jackets at Penguins, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Stars at Ducks, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Premier League, Sunderland at Manchester City, 2:45 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Copa del Rey final, Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, 3:25 p.m. (ESPN)


Red Sox manager John Farrell likely would disagree, but Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig called the first couple of weeks of expanded instant replay “remarkable.”

Heading into Wednesday’s games, there had been 89 challenges, with 30 being overturned, 33 confirmed as accurate and the rest left to stand due to a lack of “clear and convincing evidence.” One such call occurred in Saturday’s Red Sox-Yankees game when replay officials could not access the same feed that showed television viewers evidence that a call against the Sox should have been changed (MLB later acknowledged its mistake). Farrell was ejected from Sunday’s game for complaining about the replay system after a call was overturned in New York’s favor, although that one appeared to be the correct decision.

“We’ve had really very little controversy overall,” Selig said Tuesday at the MLB Diversity Business Summit in New York. “Everything in life will have a little glitch here and there where you do something new. And are our guys on top of it? You bet. But I’m saying to you again, you’ll hear about the one or two controversies, but look at all the calls that have been overturned.”

Calls are analyzed in at the offices of Major League Baseball Advanced Media, and MLBAM chief executive officer Bob Bowman said the process needs time to work better, while tweaking ESPN in his comment.

“Technology takes a while to work,” Bowman said. “I don’t know if you ever bought a new car. You don’t know how all that stuff works right away. And if you ever get a new phone, it takes you a while to learn it. We’re under 30 days old, and I know we’ve arrived because ESPN is already criticizing us. And it must be great to be perfect the way ESPN is.”

– The NCAA took a step toward being more accommodating toward athletes when its legislative council approved a proposal to allow Division 1 schools to provide unlimited meals and snacks to all athletes, including walk-ons.

UConn guard Shabazz Napier brought the issue to the forefront during the Final Four when he complained that he sometimes went to bed “starving” because he could not afford food.

Schools had been allowed to provide three meals a day or a stipend to scholarship athletes. Assuming the board of directors approve the measure at its April 24 meeting, schools would be able to provide more meals and snacks to all athletes.

The committee also agreed to reduce the penalty for a first positive drug test as long as the drug is not performance-enhancing (such as marijuana). The proposal cuts the penalty from a full season to a half-season.

– Boston University guard Maurice Watson is transferring to Creighton. The 5-foot-10 sophomore, who earlier this month announced plans to leave BU, signed a letter of intent for the Nebraska school and will have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out next season.

“We are excited to welcome Maurice Watson Jr. to the Creighton basketball family,’€ Creighton coach Greg McDermott said in a statement. “Maurice has proven over the course of the last two seasons at Boston University that he is an unselfish point guard who also has the ability to score the basketball. I believe he will excel in our up-tempo system. He comes from a tremendous family and possesses the core values in terms of character and passion that our program has come to expect. We can’€™t wait to get him on campus!”

Watson averaged 13.3 points and 7.1 assists last season and was a first-team All-Patriot League selection after leading the Terriers to the Patriot League regular-season title in BU’s first season in the conference. The Philadelphia native said moving to the Big East was a major part of his decision.

“This is a big stage, with great fans, an amazing arena and a new practice facility,” he told the Omaha World-Herald after visiting Creighton over the weekend. “Everything I wanted is right here.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 16, 1977, which Red Sox pitcher made his major league debut by pitching four innings of relief and earning the save in the first of 637 career appearances for Boston?

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Read More: bud selig, john farrell, Maurice Watson Jr., Shabazz Napier

Suspect reportedly will be charged after backpacks blown up at Boston Marathon finish line

04.16.14 at 7:04 am ET
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A 25-year-old Boston man was taken into custody at the Boston Marathon finish line and will be charged with possession of a hoax device after police blew up two backpacks Tuesday night, according to multiple reports.

Hours after ceremonies marking the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, the man dropped a backpack that he later said contained a rice cooker, authorities said.

Kayvon Edson, who was spotted walking down a rainy Boylston Street barefoot and with a black veil over his head while shouting “Boston Strong,” reportedly faces charges of disorderly conduct, possession of a hoax device and disturbing the peace.

NECN reported that one of the backpacks belonged to its news crew.

Area around Boston Marathon finish line evacuated due to suspicious backpacks

04.15.14 at 7:48 pm ET
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According to the Boston Police Dept., the area around the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street has been cordoned off after police discovered suspicious backpacks.

According to WBZ-TV, a man was seen with one of the backpacks, yelling “Boston Strong,” just prior to the area was evacuated. The report also states the man was barefoot and wore a long black veil.

The Copley Station Green Line has been closed while an investigation of the scene is taken place.

Check back for more information …

The area around the Boston Marathon finish line was evacuated Tuesday night after a suspicious backpack was found. (WBZ-TV Photo)

The area around the Boston Marathon finish line was evacuated Tuesday night after a suspicious backpack was found. (WBZ-TV Photo)

Read More: Boston Marathon,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Former Patriot Aaron Hernandez reportedly investigated for threatening prison guard

04.15.14 at 7:54 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.

MLB: Red Sox at White Sox, 8:!0 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Braves at Phillies, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Knicks at Nets, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Nuggets at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL: Draft lottery, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Premier League, Arsenal vs. West Ham, 2:45 p.m. (NBCSN)


Aaron Hernandez was cut by the Patriots after his arrest for the murder of Odin Lloyd. (AP)

Former Patriot Aaron Hernandez apparently has not been a model citizen while in jail facing murder and weapons charges. (AP)

– Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is being investigated to determine if he made a threat to shoot and kill a guard at Bristol County Jail, according to a report at TMZ.com.

The website reports that a former inmate who had been in a cell near Hernandez described a confrontation last year in which Hernandez insulted a guard, but he said the former NFL star did not make any threats.

The ex-con noted that Hernandez has been losing weight and has tried various schemes to get extra food — such as putting an insect on a half-eaten meal to get a fresh serving — which irritated the officers.

Hernandez is in prison facing murder and weapons charges related to the death of Odin Lloyd. He has pleaded not guilty. On Friday, two of his acquaintances — Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz — were indicted by a grand jury charging them with Lloyd’s murder as well. Wallace and Ortiz previously had been charged with accessory to murder for allegedly accompanying Hernandez when he shot and killed Lloyd.

Michael Phelps, holder of 22 Olympic swimming medals, is ending his two-year retirement, reportedly with an eye toward the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Phelps is entered in three events at a meet in Mesa, Ariz., on April 24-26.

“I think he’s just going to test the waters a little bit and see how it goes,” his longtime coach, Bob Bowman, told The Associated Press. “I wouldn’t say it’s a full-fledged comeback.”

Phelps, 28, returned to training in the fall and has been working out five days a week with Bowman’s team in Baltimore.

“He’s gotten back into good shape since September,” Bowman said. “He can give a good effort and certainly not be embarrassed. He’s in enough shape to swim competitively.”

– Wrestling legend The Ultimate Warrior died of heart disease, authorities in Phoenix announced Monday.

The 54-year-old, known as James Hellwig before he hit it big with the WWE in the late 1980s, collapsed last Tuesday while walking with his wife to his car in a hotel parking lot in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was pronounced dead at a hospital, and an autopsy Thursday revealed the cause of death to be “atherosclerotic/arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease.”

The Ulltmate Warrior had made his first appearance on “Monday Night Raw” since 1996 the night before he died, following his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. The organization paid tribute to him during its Monday show.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 15, 1993, which future Hall of Famer playing for the Red Sox hit his 400th home run during a 4-3, 13-inning victory over the Indians?

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Michael Phelps, The Ultimate Warrior,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Troubled 49ers LB Aldon Smith arrested after airport incident

04.14.14 at 8:04 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’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.

NBA: Celtics at 76ers, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Spurs at Rockets, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Timberwolves at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
MLB: Braves at Phillies, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Athletics at Angels, 10 p.m. (ESPN)


Aldon Smith

Aldon Smith

– Troubled 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport after being uncooperative with security and telling a TSA agent he had a bomb. He was released after posting $20,000 bail.

Smith, who took a leave of absence from the team last season to undergo treatment for substance abuse, was randomly selected for a second security screening when he allegedly became confrontational.

“The suspect then became belligerent and uncooperative with the process and with the TSA agent, making a comment indicating that he was in possession of a bomb before proceeding toward the gate area,” police Sgt. Karla Ortiz said in a statement.

At the gate, Smith again became confrontational and was taken into custody.

“We are disappointed to learn of the incident today involving Aldon Smith,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “As this is a pending legal matter and we are still gathering the pertinent facts, we will have no further comment.”

Smith was arrested on Sept. 20 for DUI and marijuana possession. He also faces three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon after a party at his house turned violent in June 2012, five months after another DUI arrest.

Aldon Smith — 49ers Superstar Arrested at LAX … Allegedly Yelled ‘Bomb’ in Airport (short version)
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– The Knicks might have the inside track to sign free agent forward Carmelo Anthony, but the player’s comments over the weekend are raising questions about his desire to return to New York.

Anthony reportedly asked Bulls players what it’s like to play for coach Tom Thibodeau, and on Friday he was complimentary of the former Celtics assistant.

“Thibs is a great coach,” Anthony said (via the New York Post). “His system kind of reminds me of [Spurs coach] Gregg Popovich‘€™s system. You put anybody in that system and it’€™s going to work. And that’€™s what they’€™ve been doing. They had guys who have been sitting out all season long, guys [have] been in and out the lineup, and they seem to get it done.”

The Knicks closed out the season by beating Thibodeau’s Bulls on Sunday, but missing the playoffs does not sit well with the veteran.

“It’s hard for me to accept,” he said. “It’s hard to kind of be happy in these times. It’s just a hard situation for me right now.”

– Boston Marathon bombing survivor Adrienne Haslet-Davis expressed her disappointment with NBC’s “Meet the Press” after the show allegedly broke a promise to her and said the names of the bombing suspects during her appearance, causing her to walk off the set in tears.

Following Friday’s taping of the show that aired Sunday, Haslet-Davis, a ballroom dancer who lost part of her left leg in the attacks, went on social media to express her dismay and disappointment.

“Your decision to back out on that promise you made and the horrific way you brought that decision to my attention just minutes prior to taping was not only a cowardice move but a dishonorable one as well,” she wrote on her website. “To say that I am hurt is an understatement, for you not only disrespected me, you disrespected the survivors of the bombing and the victims memories by blatantly disregarding this request and putting the value of a terrorist’s name, who put a city in turmoil and caused irrevocable damage physically and emotionally to people of this city, over Boston’s integrity, fortitude, and my personal well being.”

Host Brian Gregory tweeted an apology, but the official show response was less sympathetic.

“Adrianne Haslet-Davis is an inspiring survivor with an important story to share,” an NBC News spokesman said in a statement. “She was due to take part in a roundtable discussion for ‘Meet the Press’ with three other participants. She requested that the alleged bombers’€™ names not be used in the entire program, but given the nature of the discussion we couldn’€™t make that guarantee. We regret any distress caused by this miscommunication.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 14, 1967, in his major league debut, Red Sox left-hander Billy Rohr took a no-hitter into the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Which Yankee broke it up with a two-out single?

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Read More: Aldon Smith, Boston Marathon, Carmelo Anthony,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick in Miami police report after incident with woman

04.11.14 at 8:04 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’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.

MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Rays at Reds, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Bobcats at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Pacers at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Pistons at Bulls, 8 p.m. (WGN)
NBA: Warriors at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NHL: Blackhawks at Capitals, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Avalanche at Sharks, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
Golf: The Masters, 3 p.m. (ESPN)


Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick is one of three NFL players named in a police report for an incident involving a woman who says she passed out in a Miami hotel room and woke up at a hospital with no knowledge of how she got there.

The 49ers star was with teammate Quinton Patton and Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette on April 1 at the hotel where Lockette lives. The woman, who acknowledged having a sexual relationship with Kaepernick in the past, said she was told by the men to use marijuana before drinking shots of alcohol with them. She later went to the bedroom to lie down because she was feeling lightheaded. Kaepernick allegedly joined her and undressed her, but she does not remember what happened after that, and police stressed that there are only unproven allegations at this point.

“As far as whether there was a crime committed, it’s too early to say,” police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes said.

The 49ers and Seahawks issued statements only saying they were aware of the incident.

“The 49ers organization is aware of the recent media report regarding Colin Kaepernick and is in the process of gathering the pertinent facts,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said.

Kaepernick, 26, just completed his third season, leading San Francisco to the NFC title game a year after sparking the team’s run to the Super Bowl. He has been working out in the Miami area.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning, coming off a disappointing 2013 season, had arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle Thursday after rehab efforts did not relieve the discomfort, the team announced.

Manning sprained the ankle in New York’s regular-season finale. The 33-year-old finished the season with a career-high 27 interceptions and a QB rating of 69.4, his worst since his rookie season in 2004 (55.4). The Giants finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the second straight year.

Manning had been working out with his brother, Peyton Manning, and members of the Giants and Broncos at Duke University under the watch of Duke coach David Cutcliffe, who coached both Mannings in college.

“I’m looking forward to the start of the offseason program on the [April] 21st,” Manning said. “I will be in the weight room and in the meeting rooms so we can all learn the new offense. I got some good work in this week at Duke, and I think it’s smart to get this procedure done now so the ankle isn’t an ongoing issue. I’m eager to get to work with our new offensive coaches and system.”

– Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons will accompany a fan to Fenway Park for the Red Sox-Yankees game April 23 as part of a contest to benefit the Peter Gammons Scholars through the Foundation To Be Named Later.

Fans can enter for free via Fame4Good.com/campaign/peter through next Wednesday. The winner will receive round-trip airline tickets (if more than 150 miles from Boston) and a one-night stay in a downtown Boston hotel, and meet Gammons on the field for batting practice prior to sitting with him to watch the game.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 11, 1998, which Red Sox pitcher recorded his 1,000th career strikeout while making his Fenway Park debut?

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Read More: Colin Kaepernick, Eli Manning,

Brad Faxon on D&C: Some Masters rookies ‘definitely going to have a chance to win’

04.10.14 at 8:51 am ET
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PGA golfer and analyst Brad Faxon joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday to discuss the Masters. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

A record 24 rookies will participate in the Masters this weekend.

“I made a foolish bet with Brandel Chamblee, and I took the first-timers against the field — that one first-timer will win — and I know that’€™s aggressive, but I also figure it’€™s the best crop of young players,” Faxon said. “Everyone talks about the experience and the knowledge that you have to have to play at Augusta National … but I think we’ve seen the history of golf since Tiger [Woods] burst on the scene in ‘€™97 at 21 years old to win that all of a sudden there are a lot of great young players.

“I think that the maturity level of the younger guys is noteworthy, and I think that some of these guys are definitely going to have a chance to win Sunday afternoon. … I don’€™t think the young guys are as intimidated as they used to be.”

While Fuzzy Zoeller, who won the Masters in 1979, is the only rookie to have won the tournament since its second edition, Faxon pointed out that a first-timer could once again come away with the win.

“There’€™s a good young player that went to school at the University of Georgia,” Faxon said when asked of his pick for the tournament. “He’€™s won a couple of times in this overlapping season. His name is Harris English. He has got one of the best-looking golf swings I have ever seen.”

Following are more highlights from the interview.

On last year’€™s winner, Adam Scott: “Adam did a remarkable interview yesterday or two days ago where he talked about how much this event has meant to him in his career. He got to play this weekend — as defending champion you get to play with a guest. He brought his father, who is a golf professional and had never played here before and most of us know that Sunday there was the Drive Chip & Putt event for all the kids across the country. Adam Scott was handing out trophies, and I just don’€™t see many defending champions doing that stuff. He’€™s said he’€™s going to learn more from watching these kids playing the game than they’€™re going to learn from him.”

On a non-favorite winning: “This has been a really difficult but really fun Masters to try to figure out because all of those players — the favorites — could also miss the cut. It’€™s not like any of them dominated the game the last four or five months or is breaking through other than you look at Patrick Reed and say this kid has really got it going, but you’€™re not going to pick him because he’€™s a first-timer. It’€™s hard for me to believe that Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy aren’t going to be there Sunday afternoon.”

Read More: Adam Scott, Brad Faxon, Harris English,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Widespread support for Derrick Gordon after UMass guard comes out

04.10.14 at 8:09 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’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.

MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN, MLB Network; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Athletics at Twins, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Pirates at Cubs, 2:15 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Brewers at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL: Bruins at Jets, 8 p.m. (NESNPlu)
NHL: Blues at Wild, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: NCAA semifinals, Boston College vs. Union, 5 p.m. (ESPN2; WEEI-AM)
College hockey: NCAA semifinals, North Dakota vs. Minnesota, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA: Spurs at Mavericks, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Nuggets at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
Golf: The Masters, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Juventus vs. Lyon, 3 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Women’s exhibition, United States vs. China, 11 p.m. (NBCSN)


Derrick Gordon

Derrick Gordon

– UMass sophomore Derrick Gordon is getting widespread support after becoming the first openly gay Division 1 basketball player.

Gordon and members of the UMass team conducted interviews Wednesday afternoon after national stories detailed Gordon’s decision to come out.

“It’s crazy that I’m the first,” Gordon told The Associated Press. “I didn’t know that it would be this long, but if I’m the first, then I’ll start it all off.”

Added Gordon: “I’ve been getting tons and tons of support. I’m barely getting anything negative.”

The 22-year-old from New Jersey said he withdrew socially at the start of last season as rumors started to leak about his homosexuality, which he denied to teammates. Now he says he’s happy and “free just to live my life.”

Said teammate Tyler Bergantino: “The fact that he’s gay doesn’t change anything. We didn’t know he was gay before. We know he’s gay now. But he’s the exact same person.”

Gordon said he was inspired in part by Nets center Jason Collins, the NBA’s first openly gay player. Collins said he spoke to Gordon before the announcement, and he later tweeted: I’m so proud of @flash2gordon. Another brave young man who is going to make it easier for so many others to live an authentic life. #courage

NFL prospect Michael Sam, who came out in February, also tweeted his support, writing: Many congratulations to you Derrick Gordon @flash2gordon – you have so many in your corner and we’re all proud and rooting for you #courage

Said Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving, who played with Gordon in high school: “I thought it was a great day for him and his family. I’m proud of him. It’s a big step, not only in his life but in his career to get the weight of the world off his shoulders.”

Lacey Holsworth, the 9-year-old girl who had become a friend and inspiration to the Michigan State basketball team, lost her battle with neuroblastoma late Tuesday, devastating the campus.

The girl known as “Princess Lacey” had an especially close bond with senior Adreian Payne, who carried her in his arms on Senior Night and helped her cut down the net after the Spartans won the Big Ten championship.

“Words can’t express how much I already miss Lacey,” Payne said in a statement from the school. “She is my sister, and will always be a part of my life. She taught me how to fight through everything with a smile on my face even when things were going wrong. I’m a better man because of her.”

A rock on campus was painted white with the words “MSU loves Princess Lacey. Love Like Lacey.” Coach Tom Izzo and several of his players signed the rock, along with other members of the Michigan State community.

Larry Bird‘s 22-year-old son, Connor Bird, pleaded guilty to criminal recklessness for an incident involving his girlfriend last year, according to a report at TMZ.com. Bird allegedly threw his cell phone at the woman and then tried to drive his car into her in a parking lot on the campus of Indiana University.

Bird had faced other charges, including battery and possession of marijuana, but those charges reportedly were dropped as part of the plea deal.

Bird will participate in a sober-living program and must stay clear of trouble for the next year or else face jail time.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 10, 1998, the Red Sox rallied from a 7-2 ninth-inning deficit against the Mariners, winning 9-7 on a walk-off grand slam by which player?

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Read More: Adreian Payne, Derrick Gordon, Jason Collins, Lacey Holsworth