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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Cowboys ‘focused on football’ after signing Michael Sam

09.04.14 at 7:52 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.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NFL: Packers at Seahawks, 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
College football: Arizona at Texas-San Antonio, 8 p.m. (FS1)
Basketball: FIFA World Cup, United States vs. Ukraine, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN2)
Tennis: US Open, noon (ESPN), 8 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Michael Sam

Michael Sam

– Michael Sam participated in his first practice with the Cowboys on Wednesday after being signed to the team’s practice squad, and both the player and the club dismissed talk of him being a distraction.

Sam, bidding to become the league’s first openly gay player, was the center of attention after signing with Dallas, days after he was released by the Rams.

“I just want to do anything I can,” Sam said. “On special teams, left end, right end, whatever. If you want me to hold the ball, I’ll do it to perfection.”

Coach Jason Garrett, speaking to a larger-than-usual media crowd at his daily news conference, insisted the Sam signing was a football decision.

“That’s you decision what question you want to ask,” Garrett said. “We’re focused on football. That’s where our attention is, and what people say outside this organization is really up to them.”

Said running back DeMarco Murray: “It’s not a big deal. If he’s here to help us win, treat him like any other guy. Doesn’t matter.”

– The family of Junior Seau, the former Patriots linebacker who committed suicide in 2012, will continue its wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL after deciding to opt out of the league’s legal settlement with former players over concussion-related injuries one month before the deadline.

A number of other players — including former Cowboys Super Bowl winners Nate Newton and Larry Brown — filed objections in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia on Wednesday, arguing the the monetary awards in the proposed settlement were insufficient, among other claims.

“We have tried to communicate it that it is not satisfactory and all we met were deaf ears,” Seau family lawyer Steve Strauss told The Associated Press. “The settlement does not include any value at all for the claims of his four children. Or the loss of his companionship or the loss of his future earnings.”

The league’s settlement proposal, which could pay out more than $675 million in total damages to as many as 20,000 retired players, is designed to last at least 65 years and cover retired players who develop issues believed to be caused by concussions sustained during their time in the NFL.

“If Mr. Strauss believes the $4 million his client is eligible for under the settlement is insufficient, he can choose to permanently forfeit these benefits and face all the significant risks associated with continued litigation,” said Christopher Seeger, co-lead counsel for the retired player plaintiffs in the NFL concussion settlement. “We would advise any class member against opting out of this agreement, considering the tremendous guaranteed benefits it provides.”

Little League Baseball star Mo’ne Davis made it clear during one of her many interviews last month that her real love is basketball, and she hopes to play at UConn in a few years. That led to a congratulatory call from UConn coach Geno Auriemma.

However, that didn’t sit well with another college. Auriemma told the Hartford Courant that the unidentified school called the American Athletic Conference to report Auriemma’s call as a potential recruiting violation — despite the fact that Davis, a 13-year-old from Philadelphia, is not even in high school.

MASHUP POLL: Was UConn coach Geno Auriemma out of line to call Mo'ne Davis?

  • No, he was just trying to do something nice for someone who expressed an interest in his program (74%, 86 Votes)
  • Yes, he knows he's gaining a recruiting advantage by contacting her (26%, 31 Votes)

Total Voters: 117

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Auriemma lamented, “That’s the world that we live in,” and said he knew nothing about Davis’ abilities on the basketball court, that he only called Davis after being asked to.

“I have no idea if the kid is very good, kind of good, not good at all or a superstar or can even reach the basket,” he said. “How is that a violation?”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Sept. 4, 2000, the Red Sox retired a former Sox player’s number for the first time in 11 years, with which legend taking his place among the all-time greats?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Say what you want about me as a ball player but trying to tarnish my character or my work ethic isn’t going to fly..truth will reveal itself. — Jackie Bradley Jr., via Twitter, responding to insinuations that his attitude played a role in his demotion from the Red Sox to Triple-A Pawtucket

STAT OF THE DAY: $43.5 million – Amount the Bruins reportedly agreed to pay David Krejci as part of his six-year contract extension

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Peter Boujos hits a walkoff single in the ninth inning to give the Cardinals a 1-0 victory over the Pirates

Despite playing inside the domed Tropicana Field, Blue Jays batter Melky Cabrera flinches when thunder explodes above the stadium. The game was delayed during the storm when a bank of lights went out.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Catcher Carlton Fisk (27)

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Beyonce Knowles was born on this day in 1981.

Read More: Geno Auriemma, Junior Seau, Michael Sam, Mo'ne Davis

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Michael Sam ‘looking forward to being a Cowboy’

09.03.14 at 7:48 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: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
Basketball: FIFA World Cup, United States vs. Dominican Republic, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Exhibition, United States vs. Czech Republic, 2 p.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: US Open, noon (ESPN), 6 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Michael Sam

Michael Sam

– Michael Sam acknowledged he is close to joining the practice squad of the Cowboys, four days after being released by the Rams. The openly gay defensive end was slated to take a physical Wednesday after flying into Dallas on Tuesday night.

“None of that matters,” the Texas native told the Daily Mail of being released by the Rams. “I’m excited to be joining Dallas. I just want to play football. It’s great to heading back to my home state.

“It’s been a roller coaster this past week but I’m happy where I’m at now. I’m just looking forward to being a Cowboy, my focus is on making the team.”

Sam, selected in the seventh round by St. Louis, was among the Rams’ final cuts Saturday. He cleared waivers Sunday, and the Rams filled their practice squad Monday. The Cowboys also filled their practice squad, but rookie defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence was placed on injured reserve with a designated to return tag on Tuesday. Dallas signed former Raiders DE Jack Crawford to replace him and apparently plans to add Sam for depth at the position.

“It has all happened so quickly, but it’s exciting, I just want to get back to playing football, you know,” Sam said Tuesday night when spotted waiting for his flight to Dallas. “I haven’t had a chance to speak to any of my family yet, not even my mom, but I will.”

MASHUP POLL: Will Michael Sam see action in an NFL game this season?

  • Yes (55%, 75 Votes)
  • No (45%, 62 Votes)

Total Voters: 137

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Sam, who was the SEC co-Defensive Player of the Year at Missouri in 2013, grew up in Galveston, Texas, where his father still lives.

“I never followed the Cowboys growing up because I never had a team,” Sam said. “I am a fan of defenses and Dallas needs some help, that’s why I’m going. It’s funny, Missouri is where my college career ended, and now I’m heading back home to Texas where hopefully my NFL career will start.”

– In other news out of Dallas, former Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent, who received a 180-day jail sentence last year for the intoxication manslaughter death of teammate and close friend Jerry Brown, got the OK to return to the NFL after he serves a 10-game suspension.

The league said Brent can’t participate in team activities for the first six weeks and must have “no further adverse involvement with law enforcement.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Josh Brent, Justin Verlander, Kate Upton, Michael Sam

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Wes Welker, recovering from latest concussion, returns to Broncos practice

09.02.14 at 8:12 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: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
Basketball: FIFA World Cup, United States vs. New Zealand, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN2)
Tennis: US Open, 11 a.m. (ESPN), 7 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Broncos receiver Wes Welker, out since being concussed in his team’s preseason game against the Texans on Aug. 23, returned to practice Monday.

Welker, who has suffered three diagnosed concussions since last November, ran routes as part of a practice for starters who did not play in Denver’s final preseason game on Thursday night.

Coach John Fox would not say if he expected to have Welker available for Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Colts.

“He’s still in the [concussion] protocol,” Fox said. “He’s still exercising. I feel good about his progress. We’ll keep you posted.”

MASHUP POLL: Should Wes Welker be allowed to continue to play football?

  • No, someone should step in and save him from himself because he's going to have serious medical issues (54%, 161 Votes)
  • Yes, if he's willing to accept the risks, no one should take that away from him (46%, 136 Votes)

Total Voters: 297

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Welker was injured when he was drilled by Texans defensive back D.J. Swearinger after catching a pass and trying to duck the hit. Swearinger was penalized 15 yards, although the league later declared the hit unworthy of punishment.

Quarterback Peyton Manning, however, was penalized for getting in Swearinger’s face after the next play, receiving the first taunting penalty of his career and later an $8,268 fine.

– According to reports out of Houston, J.J. Watt is set to become the highest-paid defensive player in league history, agreeing to a six-year extension that could be worth $100 million.

The Texans in May picked up a fifth-year option that would pay Watt a salary of $6.969 million next season. The new deal, which runs through 2021, reportedly gives Watt an annual salary of $16.6 million — also an NFL record for a defensive player.

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Read More: Bo Porter, J.J. Watt, Jeff Luhnow, Wes Welker

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Carol Vadnais, defenseman for Big, Bad Bruins, dead at 68

09.01.14 at 8:06 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:
MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 1:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Phillies at Braves, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Brewers at Cubs, 2:15 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Tigers at Indians, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Miami at Louisville, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA playoffs: Fever at Sky, 4 p.m. (NBA TV)
Tennis: US Open, 11 a.m. (CBS), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Golf: Deutsche Bank Championship, 11:30 a.m. (Golf Channel), 1:30 p.m. (NBC)

AROUND THE WEB:

Vadnais_Carol-Bruins card– Carol Vadnais, a defenseman for the Big, Bad Bruins of the early 1970s who was traded along with Phil Esposito to the rival Rangers in 1975, died Sunday of cancer, according to multiple reports out of Montreal. He was 68.

Vadnais, who played three full seasons and parts of two others in Boston as part of a 17-year NHL career, had been living in Laval, Quebec, since his retirement from hockey. He worked as a commercial and industrial real estate agent.

The Montreal native started his NHL career with the Canadiens in 1966. After playing 42 games over two seasons for his hometown team and winning a Stanley Cup in 1967-68, he was selected by the Oakland Seals in the 1968 expansion draft.

The Bruins acquired Vadnais late in the 1971-72 campaign — outbidding the Canadiens for the Seals captain — and he helped the Bobby Orr-led B’s win the Stanley Cup that season. A six-time All-Star, the speedy Vadnais had his most prolific season in 1974-75, scoring 18 goals with a career-high 56 assists.

He was sent to New York in the blockbuster deal early in the 1975-76 season that landed the Bruins Brad Park and Jean Ratelle. Vadnais went on to play seven seasons with the Rangers and one with the Devils. He finished his career in 1983 having played 1,087 regular-season games and recording 169 goals and 418 assists. He had 10 goals and 40 assists in 106 playoff games.

Vadnais served as an assistant coach for the Rangers for two seasons immediately following the end of his playing days. He then coached one year for the Verdun Junior Canadiens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League before leaving the game for good.

– Just three days after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell promised to be tougher on players who are involved in domestic violence, 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald was arrested Sunday on felony domestic violence charges.

McDonald, 29, was arrested early Sunday mooring and posted $25,000 bail in the afternoon.

He offered very little when approached by reporters upon his release, but he implied the charges will not stand.

“I can’t say too much, not right now, but the truth will come out,” McDonald said. “Everybody knows the kind of person that I am. I’m a good-hearted person.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Carol Vadnais, Kevin Durant, Ray McDonald,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Jets CB Dimitri Patterson denies team’s claim he was AWOL

08.29.14 at 8:02 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.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Blue Jays, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Cardinals, 8:10 p.m. (WGN)
College football: BYU at UConn, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Bowling Green at Western Kentucky, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: Texas-San Antonio at Houston, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Colorado State at Colorado, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College football: UNLV at Arizona, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
MLS: Dynamo at Sporting KC, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: US Open, 11 .m. (Tennis Channel), 1 p.m. (ESPN), 6 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Dimitri Patterson

Dimitri Patterson

– Jets cornerback Dimitri Patterson, who was suspended by the team Tuesday for the rest of the preseason, is disputing the team’s claim that he was AWOL for 48 hours.

Jets general manager John Idzik said Patterson did not show up for last Friday’s game against the Giants and did not speak to anyone with the team directly until meeting with Idzik and coach Rex Ryan on Sunday night. Agent Drew Rosenhaus let the team know Saturday that Patterson was OK but provided very little information.

Patterson has not explained his absence, but he apparently does not consider it a major issue.

“As it relates to my whereabouts and me missing for 48 hours without being seen or heard from me or my representative is completely false,” Patterson said Thursday in a statement to ESPN. “My agent reached out to the Jets organization multiple times several hours prior to Friday night’s game. My commitment to the Jets organization and to my teammates has never been an issue and never will be an issue.”

The Jets, despite already thin at defensive back, reportedly might part ways with the 31-year-old. Following Thursday’s 37-7 preseason loss the Eagles, coach Rex Ryan deferred comment on the situation.

“I’m not going to address it until Monday,” Ryan said.

– USC coach Steve Sarkisian, who already has had to divert hit attention from practice this week due to the Josh Shaw situation, found himself dealing with another distraction Thursday.

Running back Anthony Brown, who quit the team a week ago, ripped his former coach, saying Sarkisian treated him “like a slave in his office,” and Brown “couldn’t play for a racist man.”

The comments caught Sarkisian by surprise.

“If you ask anybody in our building, any of our players … that’s about the furthest thing from the truth,” Sarkisian said. “Quite honestly, I’m shocked.”

Brown, who was switching from cornerback this season, was limited to two games last year due to ankle injuries. He missed most of training camp with a hyperextended elbow and was listed as sixth on the depth chart.

“I had encouraged him to play,” Sarkisian said. “I wanted him to play. I didn’t want him to quit, and I thought he could get healthy.”

– Browns receiver Josh Gordon, whose yearlong suspension was upheld by the NFL on Wednesday, will not able to play in the Canadian Football League this season as he reportedly indicated he would like to do.

A CFL rule in place since 2006 does not allow suspended NFL players under contract to play north of the border.

According to a CFL spokesman, Gordon could only play if he were to be released by the Browns and become a free agent.

Gordon, who led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards last season (despite being suspended for two games), was banned for another violation of the league’s substance-abuse program. He is not allowed to practice with the team or attend meetings.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Aug. 29, 2000, Pedro Martinez had a perfect game for eight innings in a beanball-marred game in Tampa. Which Devil Rays hitter — a former Red Sox player — ended the bid with a single to open the ninth inning?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will.” – NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, in announcing tougher penalties for players accused of domestic violence

STAT OF THE DAY: 46 – Consecutive batters retired by Giants pitcher Yesmeiro Petit, a major league record, before Rockies pitcher Jordan Lyles hit a double Wednesday night to end the streak

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Alex Avila delivers a walkoff hit in the ninth to give the Tigers a 3-2 victory over the Yankees.

Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain makes a nice leaping catch at the wall.

In a strange play from Thursday’s Angels-Athletics game, Angels baserunner Erick Aybar is awarded first base after colliding with A’s pitcher Dan Otero.

Johnny Manziel leads an aerobics class in a Snickers commercial.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Catcher John Flaherty

SOOTHING SOUNDS: The late Michael Jackson was born on this day in 1958.

Read More: Anthony Brown, Dimitri Patterson, Josh Gordon, Steve Sarkisian

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Doc Rivers agrees to 5-year extension with Clippers

08.28.14 at 7:58 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.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Cubs at Reds, 12:30 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Yankees at Tigers, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Athletics at Angels, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
NFL preseason: Patriots at Giants, 7:30 p.m. (WBZ-TV)
NFL preseason: Jets at Eagles, 7 p.m. (NFL Network)
NFL preseason: Seahawks at Raiders, 10 p.m. (NFL Network)
College football: Wake Forest at Louisiana-Monroe, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Boise State vs. Mississippi, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Rutgers vs. Washington State, 10 p.m. (FS1)
Tennis: US Open, 11 a.m. (Tennis Channel), 1 p.m. (ESPN). 6 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

– Clippers coach Doc Rivers was given a five-year extension from new owner Steve Ballmer, locking up the 52-year-old through the 2018-19 season.

Rivers was widely praised for his handling of the Donald Sterling situation at the end of last season and into the offseason.

“Not only is Doc one of the best coaches and executives in the game, but he continually embodies the hard-core, committed and resilient character and winning culture that the Clippers represent,” Ballmer said, noting that re-signing Rivers was one of his priorities.

Rivers, who was given the additional responsibility of president of basketball operations two months ago, led the team to a franchise-best 57-25 record last season and its second straight Pacific Division tittle. In the playoffs, the Clippers were able to overcome the Sterling distraction and beat the Warriors in a seven-game opening-round series before getting ousted by the Thunder in the second round.

Rivers, who said he was prepared to quit if Sterling remained team owner, voiced his support for Ballmer last week, saying: “With Steve’s leadership, we have this opportunity to be this great organization. That’s probably what makes me the most excited because I know if you get that part right, the basketball part will become easier in some ways, and that’s good.”

– USC cornerback Josh Shaw finally acknowledged Wednesday that his story about injuring both of his ankles while heroically rescuing his 7-year-old nephew from a pool was a lie, and he was suspended from all team activities.

“I made up a story about this fall that was untrue,” Shaw said in a statement from his attorney. “I was wrong not to tell the truth. I apologize to USC for this action on my part. My USC coaches, The USC athletic department, and especially coach Sarkisian have all been supportive of me during my college career and for that, I am very grateful.”

Shaw’s tale began to unravel almost immediately after it became public, as several calls to the USC athletic department called the senior captain’s version of events into question.

“We are extremely disappointed in Josh,” USC coach Steve Sarkisian said in a statement. “He let us all down. As I have said, nothing in his background led us to doubt him when he told us of his injuries, nor did anything after our initial vetting of his story.

“I appreciate that Josh has now admitted that he lied and has apologized. Although this type of behavior is out of character for Josh, it is unacceptable. Honesty and integrity must be at the center of our program. I believe Josh will learn from this. I hope that he will not be defined by this incident, and that the Trojan Family will accept his apology and support him.”

Shaw’s attorney initially released a statement claiming the player was hurt in a fall without giving specifics, but later in the day he acknowledged that Shaw suffered his injury falling from the balcony of the apartment building where his girlfriend lives. Police had been called to the apartment Saturday night, and a witness reported seeing a man fleeing the vacant apartment via the balcony, although authorities said Shaw is not a suspect in any investigation.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on Wednesday insisted he wants to do adhere to the rules after his team was penalized Tuesday by the league for excessive physical contact during minicamp in June, due in part to a fight involving controversial cornerback Richard Sherman. The team will lose two practices next offseason.

“We don’t want to do things wrong. We want to do things right,” Carroll said after Wednesday’s practice. “I’d like to show exactly how to do it. When you’re competing like we do, we’re trying to do things the best you can possibly do it. Unfortunately, this incident makes it look otherwise.”

According to Carroll, Sherman’s scuffle with receiver Phil Bates on June 18 led to the league taking a closer look at the team’s practices after initially indicating Seattle was in line with the rules regarding contact.

“A year ago and halfway through this camp, when they observed what was going on, they said everything was just fine so we kept going and just kept working,” Carroll said. “I was really pleased with that, but unfortunately it went otherwise when we got to minicamp.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Aug. 28, 1967, the Red Sox won a bidding war to sign which high-profile free agent?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m extremely disappointed in her piece. I think it’s unethical. I think it’s very, very unprofessional.  Not only the piece itself, the content. The manner in which she did it.” – Rams coach Jeff Fisher, on ESPN’s Josina Anderson reporting that Michael Sam does not shower with his teammates

STAT OF THE DAY: 9 – Consecutive hits allowed by Tigers starter David Price to the Yankees in the third inning of Wednesday’s game — the first time in 25 years a pitcher has allowed nine straight hits

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Royals left fielder Alex Gordon makes a leaping catch and holds on to the ball after crashing into the fence.

Highly regarded Cubs prospect Jorge Soler hits a home run in his first major league at-bat.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, who had been waived by the Kansas City Athletics after a dispute with controversial owner Charlie Finley

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Shania Twain was born on this day in 1965.

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Kevin Love ‘committed long term’ to winning titles with Cavaliers

08.27.14 at 7:16 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: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Pirates, 12:35 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Yankees at Tigers, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Albine Christian at Georgia State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Arsenal vs. Besiktas, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Tennis: US Open, 11 a.m. (Tennis Channel), 1 p.m. (ESPN). 6 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Kevin Love was introduced by the Cavaliers on Tuesday, and the All-Star forward promised he would be dedicated to his new home.

“I’m committed to this team, committed long term to the end goal and that’s to win championships,” he said.

Love has yet to play in the postseason, after his first spending six seasons with the perennially rebuilding Timberwolves.

The 25-year-old now will team with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving on the team that immediately becomes the favorite to win the Eastern Conference.

Love said James started recruiting him — or at least buttering him up — when they were teammates on the U.S. Olympic team in 2012.

“Sitting next to me, a locker really close to me and he would always tell me how good he thought I was,” Love said. “For me I would just kind of brush it off and shake it off because I was standoffish because I didn’t know him well.”

Eventually Love started to come around and realize, “One day maybe I could play with LeBron James.”

That became a reality this summer, after the Timberwolves realized they needed to get something in return for a player who made it clear he would leave next offseason as a free agent.

That created some hard feelings in Minnesota, and Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor questioned Love’s fit in Cleveland.

“I question Kevin if this is going to be the best deal for him because I think he’s going to be the third player on the team,” Taylor said. “I don’t think he’s going to get a lot of credit if they do really well. I think he’ll get blame if they don’t do well.

“He’s around a couple guys that are awful good. I’m not saying Kevin isn’t good. I think where maybe he got away with some stuff not playing defense on our team, I’m not sure that’s how it’s going to work in Cleveland. I would guess they’re going to ask him to play more defense — and he’s foul prone.”

– Washington safety Brandon Meriweather has appealed his two-game suspension from the NFL for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Ravens receiver Torrey Smith in Saturday’s preseason game.

A six-time offender of the player safety rules, Meriweather was suspended for two games last season as well but had the penalty reduced to one game on appeal.

First-year Washington coach Jay Gruden questioned the penality, saying Meriweather and Smith lowered their heads at the same time on the incomplete pass, while acknowledging Meriweather’s spotty record.

“Unfortunately, for Brandon, he’s got a history of these types of events,” Gruden said. “Whether or not it was significant enough to warrant a suspension is what they decided. ‘€¦ He tried to lower his target, I thought. I thought it was a legitimate football play, but the NFL didn’t see it that way.”

Smith said in a tweet that he does not think Meriweather should be suspended.

– After a story on the USC website hailed safety Josh Shaw as a hero for jumping off a second-floor balcony and dragging himself to a pool to rescue his 7-year-old nephew from the water, the school is investigating, prompted by tips calling the story into doubt.

“We’re looking at it,” coach Steve Sarkisian said after Tuesday’s practice. “Josh is adamant with what occurred, and we’ll continue to vet some of the other stories that have come across our desk or across our phones, and see where we can go from there.”

Shaw, who was selected as a team captain Saturday shortly before the incident, suffered two high ankle sprains and is out indefinitely.

“Josh Shaw has been a good leader for us,” Sarkisian said. “He’s given me no reason not to believe what he has told us that occurred, but we do need to know. I think it’s important to know in the direction we’re headed.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Aug. 27, 1967, in another memorable game during the Impossible Dream season, the Red Sox held off the White Sox, 4-3, in the first game of a doubleheader after which Sox right fielder threw out Ken Berry at home in the ninth inning?

QUOTE OF THE DAY:Logan Mankins is everything we would ever want in a football player. It is hard to imagine a better player at his position, a tougher competitor or a person to represent our program. He is one of the all-time great Patriots and the best guard I ever coached. Logan brought a quiet but unmistakable presence and leadership that will be impossible to duplicate. Unfortunately, this is the time of year when difficult decisions have to be made — and this is one of the most difficult we will ever make — but like every other decision it was made for what we feel is in the best interests of the team.” – Patriots coach Bill Belichick, in a team statement, on the trade of offensive lineman Logan Mankins to the Buccaneers

STAT OF THE DAY: $99 million – Transfer fee paid by Manchester United — a British record amount — for Real Madrid midfielder Angel Di Maria

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): With the Royals trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Alex Gordon delivers a two-run home run to beat the Twins.

Old friend Jonny Gomes makes a diving catch for the Athletics against the Astros.

During Tuesday night’s game in Toronto, a young Red Sox fan nabs a foul ball but gives it away to a younger Blue Jays fan.

An Astros fan invited to throw out the first pitch has a little trouble with her delivery, slamming the ball into into the ground and off to the side.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Jose Tartabull

SOOTHING SOUNDS: The late Edward Patten, who was a member of Gladys Knight & the Pips, was born on this day in 1939. He’s the one in the middle.

Read More: Brandon Meriweather, Josh Shaw, Kevin Love, LeBron James

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Controversial OL Richie Incognito meets with Buccaneers

08.26.14 at 7:42 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: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Twins at Royals, 8 p.m. (FS1)
MLB: Marlins at Angels, 10:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
Basketball: Exhibition, Slovenia vs. United States, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Celtic vs. Maribor, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Tennis: US Open, 11 a.m. (Tennis Channel), 1 p.m. (ESPN). 7 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Richie Incognito

Richie Incognito

– Former Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito, who was widely vilified for his role in the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal last year, met with Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith on Monday about the possibility of joining the team. Other reports indicated that there were more interested teams and he was expected to sign with one of them by the end of the week.

Incognito, who has a history of violent behavior on and off the field, reportedly was cleared by the NFL to return to action after being on paid suspension by the Dolphins for the final eight games of the 2013 season. He became a free agent in the offseason.

“If you know my history, I do believe in second chances,” Smith told reporters prior to sitting down with Incognito. “To me, nobody should have a death sentence. If you should, you’re probably in jail.”

Added Smith: “From there, what does it hurt to talk to someone? For me, as we go forward, I’m not holier than thou. I’m going to give everybody the benefit of the doubt until I have information that tells me otherwise. That’s where we are right now. Part of that process is Richie coming in.”

MASHUP POLL: Should Richie Incognito be allowed to return to the NFL?

  • Yes, there's no valid reason to keep him off the field (60%, 61 Votes)
  • Only if he's shown he's completed anger-management training (31%, 32 Votes)
  • No, he's used up his chances and should not play again (9%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 102

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Some Buccaneers players, including quarterback Josh McCown and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, said they would support management’s decision to bring in Incognito if the player can help the team win. Smith said he wouldn’t take the risk if he thought it would create problems.

“Would I have a football player on our team that I thought would mess up our team chemistry? The answer is no. Simple as that,” Smith said. “But I can’t assume that’s the case. To me, you go through the process. You look and you talk face to face with everybody that’s available. That’s what we’re doing.”

– One day after meeting with Jets officials following a 48-hour disappearance and apparently claiming his absence was justified, veteran cornerback Dimitri Patterson was suspended indefinitely by the team.

“Obviously, Dimitri felt he acted appropriately, but until we discussed it [Sunday] night, you don’t understand,” general manager John Idzik said, “And, to be honest, we’re still trying to understand all that went behind it. So, I would rather not characterize it.”

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Read More: Dimitri Patterson, Josh Shaw, Lovie Smith, Richie Incognito

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Jets CB Dimitri Patterson returns to team after going AWOL

08.25.14 at 7:34 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:
MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Royals, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Premier League, Liverpool at Manchester City, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: US Open, 11 a.m. (Tennis Channel), 1 p.m. (ESPN), 6 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Dimitri Patterson

Dimitri Patterson

– Jets cornerback Dimitri Patterson met with team brass on Sunday night after failing to show up for Friday night’s game against the Giants and having no communication with the team for about 48 hours.

General manager John Idzik said during a conference call prior to Sunday’s meeting that while Patterson had not returned messages from himself and coach Rex Ryan, Patterson’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, let them know earlier Sunday that the player was physically OK, although the reason for his disappearance was not made clear.

“I’d like to talk to him so we could figure out what’s behind it,” Idzik said.

Patterson, who signed a one-year, $3 million deal in April and was expected to start in the team’s depleted secondary if he was able to fight through a variety of leg injuries that slowed him down this summer, was last seen at the pregame meal Friday.

“Obviously, as the game went on, we still had major concerns for his health and where he was, but were unable to locate him,” Ryan said.

Added Idzik: “There really wasn’t any warning that we had of something like this,” Idzik said. “There was nothing to indicate this kind of behavior.”

Broncos receiver Wes Welker suffered a concussion — his third diagnosed concussion in less than a year — when he was hit by Texans safety D.J. Swearinger, and Peyton Manning was not pleased with the play.

The Denver quarterback let Swearinger know right after the play — on which Swearinger was penalized — then Manning drew a flag for taunting after he yelled at the safety following a touchdown pass on the next play.

On Sunday, Texans coach Bill O’Brien came to the defense of his player.

“D.J. was not trying to do any harm,” O’Brien said. “He was trying to make a play, make a tackle. The call was correct. What you continually have to do is show the guys on tape what a proper tackle is. It’s not leading with the head. It’s hitting with your shoulder and hitting basically between the shoulders and the waist and not above the neck area. But last night’s play was a tough one to say, ‘You were really at fault there.’ ”

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Read More: Albert Ebosse, D.J. Swearinger, Dmitri Patterson, Peyton Manning

Revolution add U.S. World Cup star Jermaine Jones

08.24.14 at 6:25 pm ET
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The Revolution have added U.S. World Cup star Jermaine Jones, the team announced Sunday. The 32-year-old midfielder played every minute for the U.S. at this year’s World Cup and scored a beautiful goal in the team’s 2-2 draw against Portugal.

According to the team, the Chicago Fire also expressed interest in Jones, and both the Revs and Fire had the available salary budget and designated roster spot to accommodate the move. Jones was assigned to the Revs following a blind draw between the two clubs.

“This is a great opportunity for us to add one of the best players in the United States to our club,” Jonathan Kraft said in a press release. “We thought Jermaine was the best player for the U.S. in the World Cup and we are excited to welcome him to New England. Robert and I have always said that any major DP signing would need to make an impact, on and off the field, and we believe the addition of Jermaine will do just that. When we learned that he was interested in signing with MLS, we immediately informed the league of our interest. He is a dynamic player and is certain to have a tremendous impact on our team and in our community. We look forward to his many contributions.”

“I’m very excited to come to MLS and join the Revolution,” Jones said. “New England is an exciting team on the rise, and I believe I can come in and help the team make a push toward MLS Cup. Playing with the U.S. National Team has given me a great connection with the American fans and I’m looking forward to playing in front of them every weekend. I’m ready to get started with the Revs.”