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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Frustrated Bills ‘disappointed’ with DT Marcell Dareus after another NFL suspension

08.17.16 at 8:08 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.

MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Pirates at Giants, 3:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: U.S. Open Cup semifinal, FC Dallas at Galaxy, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
Olympics: Women’s volleyball, United States vs. Poland, 1 p.m. (NBC)
Olympics: Men’s basketball, United States vs. Argentina, 5:45 p.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Track and field, 8 p.m. (NBC)


Marcell Dareus

Marcell Dareus

— The bad news continued for Rex Ryan’s Bills on Tuesday, as veteran defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was suspended four games by the NFL, reportedly for a positive marijuana test. It’s the second year in a row Dareus was suspended, frustrating team ownership.

“We are very disappointed Marcell chose to put himself first, before his teammates, coaches, the rest of the organization, and fans through his recent actions,” the Bills said in a statement. “From ownership down we have made it clear his behavior is unacceptable. We will continue to take the necessary steps to work with him in order that he adheres to the policies set forth by our league.”

Dareus, a two-time Pro Bowler who signed a six-year, $100 million contract extension last September, previously was suspended for the first game of last season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, related to his 2014 arrest in Alabama for criminal possession of a controlled substance. According to Pro Football Talk, the 26-year-old will forfeit more than $3 million as part of his latest punishment.

Dareus apologized in an Instagram post, writing: With deepest regrets I want to apologize to the @BuffaloBills organization, my fans, my family and the entire NFL football community for the incident that led to me missing 4 games for the upcoming 2016-2017 season. I will not #makeexcuses for the events in question and will allow the process to proceed as is required by the @NFL; however, please know and understand I am committed to the game and am more committed to my #Billsorganization and fans. This temporary setback will only fuel my desire and commitment to bring #Buffalochampionships and the #SuperBowl. I ask at this time that you continue to #believe in me and I will continue to invest all that I have to bring honor and respect to the organization and my fans and ultimately bring #Buffalomafia what it deserves – a #SuperBowl! Thank you for continuing to support me – I will rise above this setback, as with every challenge brings an opportunity for growth and supreme #success!

The Bills defense also will be without starting outside linebacker Shaq Lawson (offseason shoulder surgery) for at least the first six weeks of the season, starting inside linebacker Reggie Ragland is done for the year after tearing his ACL in training camp, and veteran linebacker Manny Lawson reportedly is facing a one-game suspension under the league’s personal conduct policy. On the other side of the ball, running back Karlos Williams also was suspended four games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.

If Lawson’s suspension goes through, the Bills would have to pay a $250,000 fine for having three players suspended in the same year as per the NFL’s remittance policy.

— Police in Rio have been looking into claims by U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte that he and three teammates were robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning while heading back to the athletes village in a taxi, but a police official told The Associated Press little evidence has been found and the swimmers — who Lochte acknowledged were intoxicated at the time — were unable to provide key details.

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Broncos DE Vance Walker likely to miss season after tearing ACL

08.16.16 at 10:19 am ET
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Vance Walker

Vance Walker

One of the key cogs of the Broncos’ vaunted defense likely will be watching from the sidelines this year.

Defensive end Vance Walker is expected to miss the season after tearing his right ACL in practice Monday. He was carted off the field during 9-on-7 drills, unable to put weight on his right leg.

Walker, who tallied 33 total tackles and two sacks for the defending Super Bowl champions last season, was expected to become a starter after Malik Jackson left for Jacksonville in free agency.

“We think the world of Vance and he was having a great camp,” Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said (via a story on the team’s website). “We’ll support him through his recovery, and he’ll come back stronger than ever.”

The Broncos will look to replace Walker, 29, with new acquisitions Jared Crick or Billy Winn, or perhaps Kubiak will give rookie Adam Gostis some first-team reps as the season draws closer.

Walker was not the only defensive lineman to pick up an injury Monday, as Saints first-round draft pick Sheldon Rankins was diagnosed with a broken fibula after being carted off from practice. He was injured during a goal-line drill.

Rankins will undergo more tests but likely will need surgery. Fractured fibulas typically sideline athletes for about six weeks.

“Obviously you never want to see a player go down,” Saints coach Sean Payton said (via “Hopefully the news is good.”

The 6-foot-2, 305-pound Louisville product was drafted 12th overall after recording 58 total tackles and six sacks his senior year. He was one of many defensive acquisitions the Saints made this offseason to try to improve a defense that has been one of the worst in the NFL the past two seasons.

“You’re going to face adversity throughout the season and nobody knows when and in what form it’s going to happen,” defensive coordinator Dennis Allen said. “But if that’s the case, it’s next man up — next guy’s got to step up, rise up and play to that same level. So that’s our mindset.”

Read More: Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints, sheldon rankins, vance walker

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Curt Schilling says he’s considering run for Elizabeth Warren’s U.S. Senate seat

08.16.16 at 8:44 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.

MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
Soccer: Champions League, BSC Young Boys vs. Borussia Monchengladbach, 2:30 p.m. (FS2)
Soccer: Champions League, Dinamo Zagreb vs. Salzburg, 2:30 p.m. (FSN)
Soccer: Champions League, Steaua Bucuresti vs. Manchester City, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Olympics: Track and field, 7:30 p.m. (NBC)


Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

— A week after indicating he was considering entering politics, former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling said in an interview on WRKO radio that he might target Elizabeth Warren’s U.S. Senate seat.

“I’ve thought about it, and I think one of the things I would like to do is be one of the people responsible for getting Elizabeth Warren out of politics. I think she’s a nightmare,” the conservative Schilling told host Jeff Kuhner. “The left is holding her up as the second coming of Hillary Clinton, which Lord knows we don’t even need the first one.

“She’s a woman who has clearly and comfortably milked the system to her advantage and then, much like Hillary, is going to stand up on the highest surface and talk about people being oppressed and poverty and how she wants them to be helped. We all know that the liberal agenda is to keep poverty-stricken people in poverty because they need to rely on a government full of liberals.”

Like Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, whom he supports, the outspoken Schilling took a shot at the media for what he says is clear bias.

“It’s turned surreal, that’s the only way I can describe it, in that the liberal media is actively and not quietly advocating for Hillary Clinton,” said Schilling, who was fired from ESPN earlier this year after his conservative rants on social media despite a warning to all ESPN employees to avoid political commentary. “That once-sacred group of people who would do what they could do to the very best of their ability to be objective have thrown in the towel and basically they’re saying, ‘Listen, we’ll do anything we can do.’ And I think they’re doing it because I think finally we’re realizing that the left and the right are both bad.”

Schilling, who discussed his political ambitions last Wednesday during his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan with Minihane, said that his political future ultimately will be determined after he consults with his wife.

“At the end of the day, it comes down to a conversation with the boss. And the boss of my house, like most men, is my wife, Shonda,” he said. “If my family wasn’t comfortable and OK with it, then it would never happen. But it’s certainly something, if I was going to run, my first path, that would be the target.”

— Following a report Sunday that the Marlins were considering reaching out to Alex Rodriguez as a replacement for the injured Giancarlo Stanton, Rodriguez’s publicist released a statement saying the 41-year-old will not play again this season.

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Marlins consider signing Alex Rodriguez after Giancarlo Stanton injury

08.15.16 at 7:28 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.

MLB: Red Sox at Indians, 1:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Royals at Tigers, 7:10 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Premier League, Chelsea vs. West Ham United, 3 p.m. (USA)
Olympics: Men’s volleyball, United States vs. Mexico, 10 a.m. (NBC)
Olympics: Track and field, 7:30 p.m. (NBC)


— The Marlins acknowledged having internal discussions about whether to put into a call to Alex Rodriguez after losing Giancarlo Stanton on Sunday with a strained groin that could sideline him the rest of the season.

Stanton, who leads the Marlins with 25 home runs and 70 RBIs, was injured trying to stretch a single into a double — in the process making the game’s final out — in an 8-7 loss to the White Sox. He was placed on the disabled list.

Even before the Stanton injury there was speculation that the Marlins would consider reaching out to Rodriguez, who grew up in South Florida and still lives there. Rodriguez, batting .200 with nine home runs and 31 RBIs in 225 at-bats, played his final game for the Yankees on Friday.

“We’re going to look at everything,” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. “There has been information out there about his situation. I have no idea what his interest level is to continue playing. He has something set up to move into the Yankees front office; I don’t know where his head is on that.”

The Marlins, who have not been the postseason since winning the World Series in 2003, are a half-game behind the Cardinals, who hold the second wild card spot.

— U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte confirmed that he and three teammates were robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning in Rio De Janeiro, another embarrassment for Olympic organizers.

Lochte said thieves posed as police officers and stopped his taxi, which was taking the swimmers back to the athletes’ village after a night out at the French Olympic team’s hospitality house in an upscale area south of the city.

“We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over,” Lochte told NBC’s “Today” show . “They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like, we didn’t do anything wrong, so — I’m not getting down on the ground.

“And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, ‘Get down,’ and I put my hands up, I was like, ‘Whatever.’ He took our money, he took my wallet — he left my cellphone, he left my credentials.”

While there have been other issues surrounding the Games, Brazil’s sports minister, Leonardo Picciani, said there have been no problems at the venues or in the athletes’ village. Picciani said the swimmers were “outside their places of competition and outside the appropriate time.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Aug. 15, 1971, the Patriots played their first game in Foxboro, a 20-14 preseason victory over the Giants. What was the name of the team’s original Foxboro home?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It’s pretty amazing, she’s an amazing woman, an amazing mother, and she represents the best of Brazil, as far as I’m concerned. It was a pretty amazing spectacle and she’s an amazing person.” — Tom Brady, on wife Gisele Bundchen’s appearance at the Rio Olympics opening ceremony

STAT OF THE DAY: 3 — Home runs for Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts in Sunday’s 16-2 rout of the Diamondbacks, the second time this season he’s had a three-home run game

‘NET RESULTS: With the Marlins leading by a run and two outs in the ninth inning, left fielder Christian Yelich throws out White Sox baserunner Carlos Sanchez at home to close out the victory.

Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin reaches over the railing and makes an acrobatic catch against the Astros.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Schaefer Stadium

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Bobby Caldwell was born on this day in 1951.

Read More: alex rodriguez, Ryan Lochte,

Thinking Out Loud: Yankees made right move forcing out Alex Rodriguez

08.12.16 at 5:40 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … and wishing every day was like Victory Day in Rhode Island.

— Curt Schilling wants to run for office, maybe even president? Just a guess, but I don’t think he’ll carry the three electoral votes from Rhode Island. You?

— A-Fraud’s forced retirement by the Yankees, even though they still have to pay him another $27 million, was the right thing to do. And I’m not a Yankees fan by any means. It’s also why baseball players have it all over their NFL brethren — guaranteed contracts.

— Still, Alex Rodriguez leaves the game with 29 career home runs at Fenway — only four players had more as a visitor. Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Harmon Killebrew and Al Kaline are serious company.

— Tweet of the Week, from @mooretosay: Someone explain to me why the playing/benching of a washed up guy who hasn’t played all year is all of a sudden interesting. He can’t play.

— Red Sox bats sleeping at inopportune moments is a real problem as the stretch run nears. The bullpen’s sudden urge to allow baserunners to score is another. But rookie Andrew Benintendi has so far proven to be a silver lining in the dark storm clouds gathering over Fenway. His fielding blunder(s) aside, let’s not retire his number to right field just yet, though, shall we?

— David Price makes me tired. And anxious, at the same time. That is all.

— The PC police were at work again this week, over the sudden ditching of David Ortiz bobblehead dolls. Were they racially insensitive? Perhaps, but just about everyone missed the bigger picture here — how did the Red Sox organization let this get as far as it did?

— Having worked for pro sports teams in my past, I can tell you there has always been a chain of command to follow, and someone in charge of quality control for things like this. That Sam Kennedy saw the dolls for the first time just hours before they were to be given away is a joke, really. Someone dropped the ball, or someone has poor judgment. Maybe both. Ortiz had an unprintable response to the dolls’ “look,” which is all anyone needs to know.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Alex Rodriguez’s request to play field in Yankees finale denied

08.12.16 at 8:04 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.

MLB: Diamondbacks at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Cubs, 2 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (Fox)
MLB: Tigers at Rangers, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Orioles at Giants, 11 p.m. (MLB Network)
Little League Baseball: New England semifinals, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
NFL preseason: Lions at Steelers, 7 p.m. (NFL Network)
NFL preseason: Raiders at Cardinals, 10 p.m. (NFL Network)
Olympics: Men’s water polo, United States vs. Montenegro, 10:40 a.m. (USA Network)
Olympics: Women’s volleyball, United States vs. Italy, 1 p.m. (NBC)
Olympics: Women’s basketball, United States vs. Canada, 2:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Men’s basketball, United States vs. Serbia, 6 p.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Swimming, 9 p.m. (NBC)


— Alex Rodriguez will play his final game with the Yankees on Friday night — after going 0-for-4 with an RBI ground out in Thursday’s 4-2 victory over the Red Sox (while being lustily booed) — and he’ll be back at designated hitter, despite his request to play the field one last time.

Rodriguez told reporters at Fenway on Thursday that he was hoping to play third base in his finale at Yankee Stadium, but it won’t go down that way.

“Tuesday I came into [manager Joe Girardi’s] office and he told me what the plan was,” Rodriguez said. “And I said, ‘Any chance I can play third base on Friday?’ He just said, ‘No.’

“It would’ve been fun. It wasn’t a big request. I get that we’re still [trying to win] games. I totally get the answer.”

Rodriguez has started at third base only 29 times since 2012 and hasn’t taken many ground balls there lately.

“I mean, we thought about it, but he hasn’t done any work,” Girardi explained. “And we’re still in the business of trying to win games here. It’s not like I wouldn’t like to see it, but we’re still in that part of the season where we’re trying to win this.”

Rodriguez, who agreed to serve as an adviser to the Yankees after Friday, will become a free agent upon his release, which comes with a $27 million parting gift as his contract runs through next season. There has been speculation that he could sign with his hometown Marlins in an attempt to hit some milestones (he’s four home runs away from 700), but he said he hasn’t through about that possibility.

“At this point, I’ve been so focused on this week,” Rodriguez said. “I have plenty of emotion. I don’t have any time or energy to focus on anything else. I’m just really looking forward to my last seven or eight at-bats.”

Added Rodriguez: “I’m sure I’ll wake up in the morning and it will be very emotional. My family, my girls get in at mid-day. [Friday] is about me thanking the fans for putting up with me for such a long time. They’ve been with me through thick and thin.”

— Patrick Roy surprised the Avalanche on Thursday by announcing he is stepping down as coach and vice president of hockey operations due to disagreements within the organization.

In a statement released through a Quebec-based public relations agency, the Hall of Fame goalie said: “I have thought long and hard over the course of the summer about how I might improve this team to give it the depth it needs and bring it to a higher level. To achieve this, the vision of the coach and VP-Hockey Operations needs to be perfectly aligned with that of the organization. He must also have a say in the decisions that impact the team’s performance. These conditions are not currently met.”

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Read More: alex rodriguez, Joe Girardi, Joe Sakic, Patrick Roy

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Alex Rodriguez opens up, admits he ‘acted like an ass’ in fighting PED suspension

08.11.16 at 8:14 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.

MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Padres at Pirates, 12:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Orioles at Athletics, 3:35 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cardinals at Cubs, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
Little League Baseball: New England semifinals, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
NFL preseason: Saints at Patriots, 7:30 p.m. (WBZ-TV, NFL Network)
Olympics: Men’s volleyball, United States vs. Brazil, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Women’s field hockey, United States vs. India, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Men’s beach volleyball, United States vs. Italy, 10 a.m. (NBC)
Olympics: Women’s beach volleyball, United States vs. Russia, 10 a.m. (NBC)
Olympics: Women’s water polo, United States vs. China, 10 a.m. (NBC)
Olympics: Women’s gymnastics individual all-around, 8 p.m. (NBC)


— Alex Rodriguez finally made a plate appearance at Fenway Park, pinch-hitting in the seventh inning Wednesday and flying out during the Yankees’ 9-4 victory. He was received with loud boos from the Fenway crowd, which for the second straight night implored manager Joe Girardi to play the retiring slugger with chants of “We want A-Rod.”

Before the game, New York radio station WFAN aired an interview with Rodriguez in which he acknowledged he “acted like an ass” two years ago after his connections to the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug facility in Florida were revealed, leading to him being suspended for the entire 2014 season. Rodriguez sent his attack dogs after a number of people to whom he was close, including his cousin and confidante Yuri Sucart, and filed lawsuits against the Yankees, Major League Baseball, then-commissioner Bud Selig and the MLB Players Association in a desperate attempt to avoid punishment.

“I’m upset about the mistakes, and I’m disappointed,” Rodriguez told WFAN’s Suzyn Waldman. “But I’m even more disappointed that I acted like an ass.”

Added A-Rod: “I hope to be able to pay it forward and let youngsters know about my mistakes.”

Rodriguez said he remembered Waldman encouraging him after his ban was over.

“You said to me, ‘Alex, I want to see that young man who was full of life with a great smile,’ ” Rodriguez recalled. “I’ve done everything in my power to try to be that kid again.”

Meanwhile, Yankees manager Joe Girardi was peppered with questions about his decision not to start Rodriguez for the first two games of this series after saying at Rodriguez’s Sunday press conference that A-Rod would play. Girardi has admitted getting caught up in the emotion Sunday before changing his mind.

“My job description does not entail a farewell tour,” Girardi said Wednesday. “My job description is to try to win every game and to try to put everyone in the best possible position to do that, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Added Girardi: “I have a responsibility to the game of baseball. No one individual is ever bigger than this game. No one. No one. No one.”

— Wichita State basketball coach Gregg Marshall was suspended by the school for his actions in an exhibition game Tuesday against McGill University in Montreal. Marshall, frustrated with the officiating, became irate and caused a scene on the court after receiving his second technical foul and being ejected. Assistant coaches and players tried to hold back Marshall, but he pushed them away and appeared to become angry with them, not leaving until he got his chance to have his say with the officials.

“I’m definitely not proud of my reaction to that situation, but at some point your players have to know you’re going to stand up for them and you’ve got some fight in you,” Marshall told the Wichita Eagle after the game, which Wichita rallied to win. “Once I reacted, I said, ‘I might as well get my money’s worth.’ ”

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Bills linebacker Reggie Ragland expected to miss entire season

08.10.16 at 12:47 pm ET
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Reggie Ragland

Reggie Ragland

The always-quotable Rex Ryan declared in June that the Bills “won the offseason.” Just about a month away from the regular season, it would be tough to make that case, following another injury to the team’s lineup. On Wednesday, the Bills announced that linebacker Reggie Ragland most likely will miss the entire season with a torn ligament in his left knee. Ragland is expected to have surgery to repair the ACL sometime this week. Ragland hurt his knee in practice last Friday while going after a ball carrier.

The Bills traded three draft picks to be able to select Ragland out of Alabama in the second round of this year’s draft. Buffalo’s first-round draft choice, pass rusher Shaq Lawson, also is sidelined for at least a month because he underwent shoulder surgery in May.

On Sunday the Bills signed David Hawthorne and former Patriot Brandon Spikes to help with depth at linebacker.

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ESPN announcer John Saunders dead at 61

08.10.16 at 11:34 am ET
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John Saunders

John Saunders

Longtime ESPN announcer John Saunders died at the age of 61, the network announced Wednesday. No cause of death was given.

“John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades,” ESPN president John Skipper said in a statement. “His wide range of accomplishments across numerous sports and championship events is among the most impressive this industry has ever seen. More importantly, John was a beloved and devoted family man who cared deeply about people and causes, as evidenced by his long-standing efforts as a passionate board member for The V Foundation for Cancer Research.

“He was one of the most significant and influential members of the ESPN family, as a colleague and mentor, and he will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this extremely difficult time.”

In addition to anchoring SportsCenter and hosting studio shows, including “The Sports Reporters,” Saunders covered college football, basketball and NHL since joining the network in 1986.

A native of Canada, Saunders played college hockey at Western Michigan before switching to the broadcast side.

“John Saunders represented everything that was good in a human being. He was all about family and helping people,” said ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale. “He was as good as it gets and he had deep loyalty and love for others. His work with The V Foundation was so special — he loved Jimmy V and poured his heart and soul into the cause.”

“He was always willing to share and give and he played a vital role in the success of helping so many. I can’t believe this stunning and horrible news. He will be forever in our thoughts.”

Saunders leaves his wife and two daughters.

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Indians manager Terry Francona leaves game after suffering chest pains

08.10.16 at 8:01 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.

MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Phillies at Dodgers, 3 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Indians at Nationals, 6 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: U.S. Open Cup semifinal, FC Dallas at Galaxy, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
Olympics: Men’s water polo, United States vs. France, 10:40 a.m. (NBC)
Olympics: Men’s rugby, United States vs. Fiji, 12:30 p.m. (USA Network)
Olympics: Women’s volleyball, United States vs. Serbia, 1 p.m. (NBC)
Olympics: Women’s basketball, United States vs. Serbia, 2:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Women’s field hockey, United States vs. Japan, 4 p.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Men’s basketball, United States vs. Australia, 6 p.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Swimming, 9 p.m. (NBC)


Terry Francona

Terry Francona

— On the same day Giants manager Bruce Bochy was released from a Miami hospital after spending a night under observation with an undisclosed illness, Indians manager Terry Francona left his team’s game against the Nationals after suffering chest pains while conducting his pregame session with the media.

“I don’t think I’m having a heart attack,” Francona told reporters when he started feeling uncomfortable. “If I’m having one, just don’t take my answers if they’re bad answers.”

Francona, whose medical history includes two pulmonary embolisms, remained at Nationals Park for the start of the game after being examined by stadium medical personnel and saying he was feeling better. Although he complained of dizziness and sweats, the 57-year-old former Red Sox boss was spotted in the dugout while bench coach Brad Mills ran the team, then he went back to his hotel room.

“We really haven’t talked to him, yet, and I really don’t know,” Mills said after the game when asked about Francona’s status. “He started feeling ill and I know the doctors checked him out and so forth, and they just felt it would be better for him to probably go back to the hotel. And he did.

“Knowing him, he was probably really agonizing during the game. But I think he’s doing fine, hopefully. We’ll see how it works out for tomorrow.”

Mills, who guided the AL Central-leading Indians to a 3-1 victory in the interleague affair, said the team was encouraged by Francona’s demeanor after his examination.

“Everybody cares about him,” Mills said. “Everybody likes him. I think it was good that they were able to see him at least walk from the training room to his office. I think that really helped.”

Meanwhile, Bochy, 61, did not share the reason for his visit to the hospital after returning to manage his team Tuesday night. He underwent a procedure in February 2015 to insert two stents to aid his heart, and he had arthroscopic left shoulder surgery shortly before spring training.

“I’m back at work,” Bochy said in a text message to The Associated Press.

— Prince Fielder’s career is in jeopardy as the Rangers slugger is not expected to receive clearance from doctors to play again after his second neck surgery, according to reports out of Texas.

Fielder, who had a cervical fusion on July 29 to repair a herniation between two disks in his neck — and he had a similar procedure two years earlier — will discuss the situation with the media Wednesday.

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Read More: Bruce Bochy, Lane Johnson, prince fielder, Terry Francona