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Chicago Little League team stripped of national title

02.11.15 at 9:39 am ET
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Chicago-based Little League team Jackie Robinson West has been stripped of its U.S. championship for using players from outside its district.

In addition to the team, which was the first all-African-American team to win the championship, having to vacate its wins from the 2014 Little League Baseball International Tournament, manager Darold Butler was suspended from Little League activity and Illinois District 4 Administrator Michael Kelly was “removed from his position.”

Kelly’s job was to “verify player eligibility based on player information that is gathered and signed by the league president, player agent and team manager.”

“For more than 75 years, Little League has been an organization where fair play is valued over the importance of wins and losses,” Little League International CEO Stephen D. Keener said in a statement. “This is a heartbreaking decision. What these players accomplished on the field and the memories and lessons they have learned during the Little League World Series tournament is something the kids can be proud of, but it is unfortunate that the actions of adults have led to this outcome.”

The team had used a “falsified boundary map” and “met with neighboring Little League districts in Illinois to claim players and build what amounts to a superteam.”

Local league officials said that they knew Jackie Robinson West was violating League rules but never reported it to Little League International, the national organization said. The officials also didn’t acknowledge that they were aware until January.

“Unfortunately, no allegations against Jackie Robinson West Little League were made until well after the tournament ended, contributing to the difficulty of resolving these many complex issues,” Keener said. “As an organization, Little League has faced issues similar to this in the past, and we felt that we must take the appropriate action set by that precedent.”

Jackie Robinson West’s title has been given to Mountain Ridge Little League, based in Las Vegas. The Chicago team had won the U.S. championship before losing to Seoul, South Korea, in the tournament’s title game.

Read More: Little League Baseball, Little League World Series,

Seahawks CB Richard Sherman will skip surgery, let elbow heal on its own

02.11.15 at 9:19 am ET
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In a text message to The Associated Press, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman confirmed that he will not have surgery on his left elbow and will instead let the ligament heal on its own.

Dr. James Andrews supported this plan, according to ESPN.com, and will check on Sherman’€™s elbow in another month or so. The surgery, which would be the same as the Tommy John surgery that MLB pitchers undergo, was deemed potentially unnecessary for the injury and situation that Sherman is in, Pete Carroll said in a radio interview on Feb. 3.

“He’s not a pitcher, and he’s not a left-hander. Sherm might not have to have that kind of surgery,” Carroll said. “If he was a thrower he would.”

Sherman was hurt on the first play in the final quarter of the NFC championship game when his arm was pinned between Packers running back James Stark and fellow Legion of Boom member Kam Chancellor.

He was OK enough to play in Super Bowl XLIX against the Patriots without a brace and made three tackles during the loss. Sherman’€™s son, Rayden, was born last Thursday and the CB waited until after his birth to make a surgery decision.

Read More: Pete Carroll, Richard Sherman,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Patriots CB Brandon Browner rips Kanye West for behavior at Grammys

02.11.15 at 8:18 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:
NBA: Hawks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Heat at Cavaliers, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Rockets at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Syracuse at Boston College, 7 p.m. (ESPN2; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: South Florida at Central Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Kansas State at West Virginia, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Miami at Wake Forest, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: La Salle at VCU, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Villanova at Providence, 8 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Oregon at USC, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Morehead State at Eastern Kentucky, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: De Paul at St. John’s, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Wyoming at San Diego State, 11 p.m. (CBSSN)
Soccer: Premier League, Everton at Chelsea, 2:40 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— It’s a good thing for Kanye West that Brandon Browner was not at Sunday night’s Grammys along with Patriots teammates Julian Edelman and Malcolm Butler. Because Browner might have treated the rapper like an opposing wide receiver and drilled him to the ground.

In case you missed it, Kanye was upset that Beck won the Grammy for Album of the Year over Beyonce, and he walked on to the stage — as he did at the Video Music Awards in 2009, when he took the microphone from a victorious Taylor Swift to voice his displeasure —  although this time Kanye quickly turned around with a smile and went back to his seat. Later, however, he complained to the press, saying: “Beck needs to respect artistry and he should’ve given his award to Beyonce.”

That didn’t sit well with Browner, who tweeted: KANYE WEST is a sucka! Everybody don’t listen to Beyonce. Second time he tried to steal somebody shine. First time it was a 15 yr old girl.

Kanye try and play that I’m weird because of my genius. Non of the greats pull that stupid ish. Meaning Marley, Mike Jack, Tupac, Jayz etc.

People who tried Beck and Taylor Swift. Real tough guy. If only I could’ve been Beck for one night. Kanye would be rapping thru the wire.

— Lakers legend Magic Johnson is not happy about what’s happened to his former team, and he has little confidence in team management to turn things around.

Johnson questioned whether Jim Buss — who took over the team when his father, Jerry Buss, died in 2013 — was taking the right approach to getting the team out of the cellar.

“Jim is trying to do it himself and trying to prove to everybody that this was the right decision that my dad gave me the reins,” Johnson said Tuesday on ESPN’s “First Take.” “He’s not consulting with anybody that can help him achieve his goals and dreams to win an NBA championship.”

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Read More: Brandon Browner, Jim Buss, Kanye West, Magic Johnson

Mayor Marty Walsh on D&C: Boston has ‘fair shot’ at Olympic bid, but can’t control what other countries pay

02.10.15 at 10:54 am ET
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Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh joined Dennis & Callahan in studio Tuesday morning and talked about the city’s 2024 Olympic bid, and also to discuss the recent snow to hit the region. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Walsh said the city has a “fair shot” at getting the bid in 2024, but also said he cannot control what other countries do in terms of the money they put into the bid and building the facilities needed to host the games, going beyond what Boston can offer.

“I think that is where we have a disadvantage,” Walsh said. “We’re talking about a walkable, economical Olympics here in the City of Boston that can be done under a certain cost. I think we can’t control what other countries will pay for the Olympics. You look at Russia and Sochi and what happened there, that was a large investment — I am not sure if the number was $51 billion, but you we’re talking tens of billions of dollars that were invested in that part of that country to host the Olympics.

“You can’t tell me other countries didn’t have better bids that could have went in because from what I understand this wasn’t even a village before the Olympics were chosen, then all of a sudden they built a village for the Olympics and what is happening there now. I think we have a fair shot, but I don’t know what the politics are higher up.”

Walsh also noted the last Olympics in the United States was Atlanta in 1996, so that helps Boston’s chances with that case, but he noted again the city will not go along with the games if the financials do not check out.

“It’s been 30 years since we had an Olympics in the United States, so I think we have a fair shot with that case,” he said. “I also think the IOC is looking saying we need to bring these costs down. The popularity of these games isn’t where it was say in the 80s, or ’84. They have to rebrand themselves and that is where we’re trying to look at here in Boston is rebranding what the Olympic model would be, not just in the United States, but in the world. It is a lot of money for a 14-day event and it is a lot of money for a 30-day event when you put in the paralympic games.

“I think as long as the financial model that we’re talking about works, we’re OK. If it doesn’t work then we have from now until 2017, and I will be the first to say we’re not going for it if the financial model doesn’t work.”

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Read More: Boston 2014, Mayor Marty Walsh, Olympics,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Knicks fans start campaign calling for owner James Dolan to sell team

02.10.15 at 8:34 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:
NHL: Stars at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Rockets at Suns, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Nuggets at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Kentucky at LSU, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Notre Dame at Clemson, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Memphis at East Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Georgetown at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Cincinnati at Temple, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: James Madison at Delaware, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
College basketball: Wisconsin at Nebraska, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Kansas at Texas Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Arkansas at Auburn, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Xavier at Marquette, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Dayton at Saint Louis, 9:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: New Mexico at Colorado State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
Soccer: Premier League, Tottenham at Liverpool, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Knicks fans are fed up with owner James Dolan. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Some Knicks fans are fed up with controversial owner James Dolan after his latest embarrassment. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

— Following Knicks owner James Dolan’s mean-spirited email reply to an elderly fan who called for him to sell the team, a group of fans has started a petition to get Dolan out. It’s the same group that made news during football season pushing for the Jets to fire general manager John Idzik.

Dolan had replied to the 73-year-old, long-suffering fan by calling him a “sad person,” suggesting he was an alcoholic and “most likely have made your family miserable.”

Jason Koeppel, who says he’s a diehard fan of the Jets and Knicks, and some friends started Knicks4Sale.com, along with a Twitter and Facebook account. The group now is raising money with plans to take out an ad on a billboard near Madison Square Garden.

“It was the ‘Idzik news conference moment,’ That’s what we called it — when we decided that management and ownership had gone too far and it was time for the fans to do something,” Koeppel told ESPN. “This email that he had the nerve to send to one of his fans was the moment. … We’re sick of having Dolan around. We’re sick of his meddling. He’s an embarrassment. And it’s embarrassing to us to read the email that he sent to a fan, so we just felt like it was time to embarrass him.”

The NBA announced Monday it would not fine Dolan, whose team is a league-worst 10-42 as it prepares to host All-Star Weekend in a few days.

Forward Carmelo Anthony attempted to come to Dolan’s defense.

“Yeah, we all have it. We all have those moments where you just want to get that, you feel a certain way and it’s what people are saying is not the real thing. So we all have those moments,” Anthony said before Monday’s game (which he left early with an injury).

Added Anthony, “For me I would never respond. That’s just their opinion, that’s their feelings and I wouldn’t even go down that path.”

(Anthony apparently forgot that on New Year’s Eve of 2013, he responded to a critical fan on Twitter by writing: “I didn’t ask for your glazed donut face ass to root for me anyway!!!”)

Anthony said the players are are disappointed as the fans with this season’s results.

“I said this early in the year, it’s frustrating for fans, it’s frustrating for me, it’s frustrating for us as a team. So I know. I get it. I get the frustration coming from a fan standpoint,” he said. “But we’re the ones going through it, too, as players, so we have to deal with that.”

George Karl apparently is on the brink of returning to the NBA, as reports out of Sacramento indicate the Kings are closing in on a four-year deal for the 63-year-old to serve as coach.

Karl, who has been working as an analyst for ESPN, last coached in 2012-13, earning Coach of the Year honors for leading the Nuggets to the playoffs, but he was fired after Denver’s first-round playoff loss to the Warriors. Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro worked with Karl in Denver.

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Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Ed Sabol, George Karl, James Dolan

Domestic violence charges against Panthers DE Greg Hardy dropped

02.09.15 at 11:39 am ET
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Charges of domestic violence against Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, who was accused of assaulting and threatening his ex-girlfriend last summer, were dropped on Monday.

Hardy was convicted of domestic violence in district court in Mecklenburg, North Carolina, in July 2014. His appeal of the charges was scheduled to begin on Monday, but his ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder did not appear at the hearing.

“Without her testimony, in this particular instance, the State could not proceed,” the state district attorney’s office said. The DA’s office believes that Hardy and Holder reached a civil settlement and Holder “intentionally made herself unavailable to the State.”

Hardy, a 2013 Pro Bowl selection, is set to become an unrestricted free agent on March 10. He remains on the commissioner’s exempt list despite the dropped charges.

“His status remains unchanged until we fully review the matter,” an NFL statement said Monday.

According to an ESPN report, the Panthers are not expected to pursue a new contract with Hardy.

Read More: Carolina Panthers, Greg Hardy,

Ray Allen reportedly weighing options for next team

02.09.15 at 10:54 am ET
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Ray Allen reportedly is slated to pick a team to play for in the next 10 days, at some time during the All-Star break. The guard is a free agent and hasn’t played professionally since the NBA Finals back in June.

Teams Allen is considering reportedly include the Cavaliers, Warriors, Hawks, Wizards, Heat and Clippers.

Fox Sports Ohio said that LeBron James and Allen met in late January and that “Allen was said to be concerned with the state of the Cavs at the time.”

James and other ex-Heat players Mike Miller and James Jones “each made a recruiting pitch for Allen to join the Cleveland Cavaliers during the offseason.”

While many teams have expressed interest, most recently, Atlanta is said to have thrown its hat into the ring. Though nothing is imminent, the Hawks “have had discussions with representatives” for Allen, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

As of Jan. 22, it was Washington that had most aggressively been pursuing Allen, per Alex Kennedy of BasketballInsiders.com. The Wizards apparently have interest in reuniting Allen with Paul Pierce.

With myriad teams to choose from, Allen’s decision likely will come down to what kind of role he’d be filling with a prospective team.

“If he goes to Golden State, how much is he really going to play there? If he goes to Cleveland, what’s his role going to be? Washington can guarantee a lot of minutes for him off the bench, and I think that’s a big factor in this,” Kennedy told a Washington radio station on Jan. 23.

Read More: Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James, Miami Heat

Report: Bills’ deal with Richie Incognito worth $2.25M

02.09.15 at 9:40 am ET
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Richie Incognito

Richie Incognito

On Saturday, the Bills announced via their website that they had “reached an agreement in principle” with Richie Incognito and, according to ESPN, the deal is for one year and $2.25 million.

The former Dolphin was involved in a bullying scandal in 2013 where he and fellow offensive linemen John Jerry and Mike Pouncey bullied former teammate Jonathan Martin. The incident led to Incognito’s suspension for the remainder of that season, the last eight games.

Incognito, 31, reportedly had visits with the Buccaneers in August and Broncos in November but remained out of football for the 2014 season.

Now, with Rex Ryan at Buffalo’s helm, Incognito has landed with the Bills, despite Buffalo defensive tackle Marcell Dareus once calling him “the dirtiest player in the NFL.”

During his introductory news conference in January, Ryan expressed his intentions to “build a bully” of a football team.

“We’re going to see if you want to play it for 60 minutes,” Ryan said.

Read More: Buffalo Bills, Rex Ryan, Richie Incognito,

Report: Padres add RHP James Shields as part of offseason makeover

02.09.15 at 8:47 am ET
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The Padres appear to have added another notable name to their roster for next season. According to multiple reports, San Diego has agreed with free agent pitcher James Shields to a four-year contract, with a club option for a fifth season, worth between $72 million and $76 million.

The 33-year-old Shields will join Wil Myers, Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, Derek Norris and Will Middlebrows as new members of a remodeled San Diego team. He reportedly garnered interest from the Cubs and Marlins along with some other teams in the last week.

In nine years at the major league level, Shields has spent time with Tampa Bay and Kansas City, posting a 3.72 career ERA and 114-90 record in 286 games played.

Read More: James Shields, san diego padres,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Patriots Malcolm Butler, Julian Edelman make cameo at Grammys

02.09.15 at 8:17 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.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Clippers at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Boston University at Lafayette, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Duke at Florida State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Oklahoma State at Baylor, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Coyotes at Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler made a cameo on the Grammys Sunday night, joining teammate Julian Edelman onstage to help present one of the awards.

The Super Bowl hero appeared nervous as he stood alongside Edelman and actor Josh Duhamel. As Duhamel was about to announce the winner of the award for best rock album, Butler (after getting a subtle nudge from Edelman) reached over and took the envelope from Duhamel.

“Once again, another interception by Malcolm,” Edelman deadpanned.

In a backstage interview, Butler said he’s starting to recover from the emotional high of the Super Bowl and its immediate aftermath.

“I’ve been coming down,” he said (via the New York Daily News). “I’ve been coming down lately, but coming back here brought me back up. But I’m managing it well. You’ve got to get over that. I don’t want one play to define me as a player, so back to work, sooner or later.”

As for the actual play, Butler admitted that he was concerned the Patriots might not be able to pull out the win.

“I’m not going to tell a story,” he said. “Me and the whole Pat Nation felt that way. But never give up, keep playing hard, and things like that happen.”

— Knicks owner James Dolan, no stranger to embarrassing himself, is back in the spotlight again for his obnoxious response to criticism from a longtime fan of the team.

The fan, 73-year-old Irving Bierman, emailed Dolan to complain about the team’s poor performance under his guidance and requested that he sell the club. “You have done a lot of utterly STUPID business things with the franchise,” wrote Bierman, who said he has been a fan of the team since 1952. “Please NO MORE.”

In his response, Dolan got personal with Bierman and suggested he takes his allegiance elsewhere.

Wrote Dolan: Why would anybody write such a hateful letter. I am.just guessing but ill bet your life is a mess and you are a hateful mess. What have you done that anyone would consider positive or nice. I am betting nothing. In fact ill bet you are negative force in everyone who comes in contact with you. You most likely have made your family miserable. Alcoholic maybe. I just celebrated my 21 year anniversary of sobriety. You should try it. Maybe it will help you become a person that folks would like to have around. In the mean while start rooting for the Nets because the Knicks dont want you.

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Read More: Dean Smith, James Dolan, Julian Edelman, malcolm butler