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Braves honor Hank Aaron, still home run leader to some in MLB

04.09.14 at 10:31 am ET
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While Barry Bonds officially holds the record for most home runs in a career, there are some, like baseball commissioner Bud Selig, who still see Hank Aaron as the true leader in home runs.

“€œI’€™m always in a sensitive spot there, but I’€™ve said that myself and I’€™ll just leave it at that,” Selig said Tuesday night.

Forty years ago, Aaron set the record for most home runs in a career with 715, pushing him past Babe Ruth. On Tuesday night, Aaron was honored by the Brewers to celebrate the anniversary.

Aaron finished his career with 755 home runs, a record that stood until 2007, when Bonds surpassed the mark. Bonds, however, has been associated with steroid use for many years, bringing his legacy into question.

Terry McGuirk, the Braves chairman, hinted at the controversy of Bonds by saying Aaron “€œset the home-run record the old-fashioned way.”

Aaron, a 25-time All-Star and holder of various baseball records, was gracious during the ceremony, thanking the fans.

“The game of baseball was a way that I relaxed myself each year that I went on the field for 23 years,” Aaron said. “I gave baseball everything that I had, everything, every ounce of my ability to play the game I tried to play to make you the fans appreciate me more. Thank you.”

Read More: Barry Bonds, bud selig, Hank Aaron, Milwaukee Brewers

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Curt Schilling done with chemotherapy in battle with cancer

04.09.14 at 7:57 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: Rangers at Red Sox, 4:05 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Padres at Indians, 12:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Astros at Blue Jays, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLB: Pirates at Cubs, 8 p.m. (WGN)
NBA: Celtics at Hawks, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Heat at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Thunder at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Red Wings at Penguins, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Sharks at Ducks, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Manchester United at Bayern Munich, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: CONCACAF Champions, Cruz Azul vs. Tijuana, 8 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

– Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling announced Tuesday that he has completed chemotherapy as part of his battle with cancer.

Tweeted Schilling: How ya hanging? Chemo done, 5 radiations remain #Cancergroinkick ftw!

Schilling, 47, announced in February that he was diagnosed with cancer, although he did not reveal what type he has. Schilling pitched for the Red Sox from 2004-07 as part of a 20-year major league career. He most recently served as an ESPN analyst after the well-publicized collapse of his computer game company.

Schilling’s daughter, Gabby, tweeted a photo of her father in the hospital, writing: beyond blessed to be bale to say that my dad finished his LAST chemo today! just 3 more days of radiation

 

Orioles center fielder Adam Jones did not appreciate it when two fans ran on the field during the eighth inning of Tuesday’s game at Yankee Stadium, and he made sure they knew.

“I let them know how I felt, obviously a lot of choice words because I think it’s idiotic for people to run on the field and I think the punishment needs to be a lot harsher,” Jones said after Baltimore’s 14-5 victory. “And they should let us have a shot to kick them with our metal spikes on because it’s stupid.

“You look like a [idiot] when you run on the field. We don’t go to any other events. We don’t go to other sporting events and do that to their jobs, but they come to ours and do that. I get it, you’re drunk and you want to be on SportsCenter. Your [butt] is going to jail with a fine, and you might not be allowed to come back to the ballpark.”

The fans were tackled by security in the outfield after racing onto the field from the third-base stands.

“I remember a couple of years ago, one dude broke his ankle in Baltimore,” Jones said. “I was laughing at him. I wish he shattered his femur because it’s stupid. It’s just plain old stupid. Anybody who does it, I wish the cops tase the living [crap] out of them. I wish that.”

– The wrestler known as The Ultimate Warrior, born Jim Hellwig before legally changing his name in 1993, died Tuesday after collapsing in a parking lot outside an Arizona hotel, three days after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He was 54.

The Ultimate Warrior announced during Saturday’s induction ceremony that he had signed a contract with the WWE to be a brand ambassador, returning to the organization after an absence of almost two decades.

The WWE released a statement that read: “WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior. Warrior began his WWE career in 1987 and quickly went on to become one of the biggest stars in WWE history. Warrior became WWE Champion at WrestleMania VI, defeating Hulk Hogan in an epic encounter. We are grateful that just days ago, Warrior had the opportunity to take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame and was also able to appear at WrestleMania 30 and Monday Night Raw to address his legions of fans. WWE sends its sincere condolences to Warrior’€™s family, friends and fans. Warrior was 54 and is survived by his wife Dana and his two daughters.”

The Ultimate Warrior had celebrated his return to the WWE by giving a speech in the ring during Monday’s episode of “WWE Raw.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 9, 1982, the Celtics retired which player’s number?

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Read More: Adam Jones, Curt Schilling, The Ultimate Warrior,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Dozens of arrests on UConn campus as celebration turns destructive

04.08.14 at 7:56 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: Rangers at Red Sox, 6:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Orioles at Yankees, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Angels at Mariners, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL: Bruins at Wild, 8 p.m. (NESNPlus)
NHL: Capitals at Blues, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Nets at Heat, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Rockets at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Women’s NCAA championship, UConn vs. Notre Dame, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Paris at Chelsea, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

– Students poured out of Gampel Pavilion on the UConn campus after watching a televised broadcast of the Huskies’ victory over Kentucky in the NCAA championship game and committed numerous acts of destruction.

The Gampel viewing party drew a capacity crowd of over 10,000, forcing organizers to turn away hundreds more.

According to media in Storrs, damage was reported to the student union, field house and other buildings on campus. There were turned-over tables, scattered debris, broken windows, a downed light pole and signs pulled from the ground. School officials indicates some small fires also were reported.

UConn police, with backup from state police, made at least 30 arrests, starting while the game was still going on and continuing in the aftermath. Police began dispersing the crowd shortly after midnight, about an hour after the Huskies won the title for the second time in four years.

Said UConn Chief of Police Barbara O’Connor (via WFSB-TV): “By far, most of our students have conducted themselves safely and responsibly. Although there have been some arrests and property damage, we’re pleased overall with most of our students’ behavior, especially considering we had a capacity crowd of over 10,000 in Gampel Pavilion.”

– Steve Masiello, who lost out on the job as head basketball coach at South Florida after it was discovered that he never graduated from Kentucky as he indicated on his resume, landed on his feet when Manhattan agreed to take him back — after he finishes his degree.

Masiello, 36, coached the Jaspers to a 25-6 record this season and 60-39 in three seasons.

Reports indicate he is 10 credits shy of his diploma, and he will be on unpaid leave while he completes his studies this summer. In a statement, Manhattan president Brennan O’Donnell said Masiello “executed poor judgment but did not intentionally misrepresent himself in applying to the college,” noting that Masiello previously took summer courses but “never followed through to make sure that the degree was awarded.”

“I am extremely grateful and humbled by the opportunity to continue as the head men’s basketball coach at Manhattan College,” Masiello said in the school’s statement. “I made a mistake that could have cost me my job at an institution I love. Details matter.

“Manhattan College has shown me a great deal of compassion and trust during this process, and I will do everything in my power to uphold that trust. I understand that I am very fortunate to have the chance to remain here at Manhattan.”

– Royals infielder Omar Infante had a series of tests Monday night after taking a pitch to the chin from Rays reliever Heath Bell that left him a bloody mess.

“He was bleeding tremendously from the cut and I didn’t know until they had taken him upstairs that he got hit on the jaw,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “I thought he got hit in the face somewhere. I had no idea because when we got there they had the towel and there was blood all down his shirt.”

Bell, who said he considers Infante a friend, expressed remorse after the game.

“My prayers go out to him. I went and asked the umpire how bad did I get him, what did he see. He said it got him on the chin pretty good. I was just happy it wasn’t the eye. I’ve played against Omar for 10 or 15 years. I hope he has a speedy recovery,” Bell said. “I was trying to throw a sinker and just let it run and it ran too much and just didn’t finish it. It went up and in. … I feel really bad. I know he feels bad, but I feel worse.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 8, 1973, who became the first Red Sox designated hitter to record a hit when he smacked a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 4-3 victory over the Yankees?

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Read More: omar infante, Steve Masiello, UConn,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Oscar Pistorius takes stand in trial, apologizes to family of Reeva Steenkamp

04.07.14 at 8:05 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: Rangers at Red Sox, 7 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Orioles at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Reds at Cardinals, 4:15 p.m. (MLB Network)
College basketball: NCAA championship, Kentucky vs. UConn, 9:10 p.m. (CBS; WEEI-AM)
Soccer: Premier League, Tottenham vs. Sunderland, 3 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

– Double-amputee track star Oscar Pistorius took the stand Monday morning at his murder trial in Pretoria, South Africa, and apologized to the family of Reeva Steenkamp for shooting her through a bathroom door, claiming it was an accident and that “I was simply trying to protect Reeva.”

Said an emotional Pistorious: “There hasn’t been a moment since this tragedy happened that I haven’t thought about your family. I wake up every morning and you’re the first people I think of, the first people I pray for.”

Pistorious, 27, denies prosecutors claim that he killed his 29-year-old girlfriend in a fit of rage the morning of Feb. 14, 2013, and he said he now struggles to sleep because of the incident.

“I’m just in a complete state of terror,” he said.

Pistorious faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham was arrested twice in the past four days, as he was detained Sunday on suspicion of making terrorist threats three days after he was charged with felony domestic assault.

In the initial incident, the 26-year-old Cunningham is accused of attacking his girlfriend at his suburban Minneapolis home, kicking down a bedroom door, slamming her against a wall and choking her.

Cunningham was released Friday and joined the team in time to play in Saturday’s loss to the Magic in Orlando, scoring 12 points in 34 minutes as a starter.

The Timberwolves released a statement Sunday saying: “We reiterate that the Minnesota Timberwolves do not condone the behavior described in the accusations. We continue to wait for the legal process to run its course and will have further comment when appropriate.”

NCAA president Mark Emmert said Sunday the organization has plans to change the way student-athletes are treated by their schools by allowing big conference to write their own rules.

Speaking at his annual press conference at the Final Four in Arlington, Texas, Emmert said unionization is not the answer.

“To be perfectly frank, the notion of using a union-employee model to address the challenges that exist in intercollegiate athletics is something that strikes most people as a grossly inappropriate solution to the problems,” Emmer said.

The idea to have the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC put together their own regulations began about three years ago, after Emmert’s proposal for a $2,000 stipend for athletes was rejected. as smaller schools made it clear they could not afford the additional expense.

“I think most of Division 1 memberships see that we’re standing at a fork in the road,” Kansas State president Kirk Schulz said. “What we’re going to put out there again is not perfect, but I believe that the vast majority of members recognize that some of these things must change and that we need to do it rapidly.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 7, 1986, which Red Sox player got a memorable season off to a memorable start when he hit a home run off Tigers ace Jack Morris on the first pitch on Opening Day in Detroit?

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Read More: Dante Cunningham, Oscar Pistorius,

Seahawks announce extension for coach Pete Carroll

04.04.14 at 2:19 pm ET
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When the Seahawks return to the field in 2014 as the reigning Super Bowl champions, coach Pete Carroll once again will lead the team. And this time he’ll do so with more job security.

Carroll and the Sehawks reached an agreement on a three-year contract extension through 2016, the team announced Friday. Carroll was heading into the final season of a five-year, $35 million contract and, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, the new deal will make Carroll one of the three highest-paid coaches in the NFL.

In his four years as the bench boss in Seattle, Carroll has led the team to a 38-26 record. The Seahawks 2013 Super Bowl victory was the first in the franchise’s history.

Read More: Pete Carroll,

Titans reportedly set to cut RB Chris Johnson

04.04.14 at 12:29 pm ET
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The Titans will part ways with record-setting running back Chris Johnson on Friday, according to multiple reports.

Johnson tweeted Thursday that he was on his way to Tennessee, where he reportedly will meet with general manager Ruston Webster and receive his release. Johnson’s agent said Wednesday he expected the move.

Johnson, one of only six players to accumulate at least 1,000 rushing yards in each of his first six seasons, ran for 2,006 yards in 2009. He averaged a career-low 3.9 yards per carry last season, however, and was due to make $8 million in 2014 as part of the four-year, $54 million contract he signed after a training camp holdout in 2011.

Read More: Chris Johnson,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Mets defend Daniel Murphy for paternity leave

04.04.14 at 8:04 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Brewers at Red Sox, 2 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Phillies at Cubs, 2:15 p.m. (MLB Network, WGN)
MLB: Yankees at Blue Jays, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: 76ers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Nuggets at Grizzlies, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Thunder at Rockets, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Capitals at Devils, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Daniel Murphy

Daniel Murphy

– Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy and his manager dismissed comments by New York sports radio talk show hosts who criticized the player for taking off an extra game following the birth of his first child.

Murphy flew from New York to Florida to be at his wife’s side as she gave birth via C-section early Monday afternoon. He missed Monday’s opener and then decided to stay with his family and skip Wednesday’s game as well. He returned to the team for Thursday afternoon’s game.

Longtime WFAN host Mike Francesa questioned Murphy’s choice and said he should have hired a nurse to replace him, while Boomer Esiason suggested Murphy’s wife should have had a C-section before the start of the season. That didn’t sit well with manager Terry Collins.

“He missed two games,” Collins said. “It’s not like he has missed 10. When you start attacking Daniel Murphy’s credibility, you need to look in the mirror a little bit.”

Added Collins: “The man had his first child. He is allowed to be there. The rules state that he can be there, so he went. There is nothing against it. There’s nothing wrong with it.”

Murphy attempted to be more diplomatic.

“I got a couple of text messages about it, so I’m not going to sit here and lie and say I didn’t hear about it,” Murphy said. “But that’s the awesome part about being blessed about being a parent, is you get that choice. My wife and I discussed it, and we felt the best thing for our family was for me to try to stay for an extra day, that being Wednesday, due to the fact that she can’t travel for two weeks … just to have that support system with her.”

– Hall of Famer Deion Sanders weighed in on the Johnny Manziel situation and said he thinks the Texas A&M quarterback should be drafted by the Texans No. 1 overall. What was more interesting was his comment about why he thinks there are concerns about Manziel.

“I love Johnny Football,” Sanders said on the Roland Martin Podcast. “See, the reason people won’t accept Johnny Football is because Johnny Football has ghetto tendencies. I love Johnny Football.”

Asked to clarify what he meant by “ghetto tendencies,” Sanders said: “Because he was successful, he made it, and he let you all know he made it, and he was cocky, he was flamboyant, and he let you know.”

Will Ferrell will portray Bobby Riggs in a movie about Riggs’ famous “Battle of the Sexes” 1973 tennis match vs. Billie Jean King, according to a report in Variety.

Ferrell, a well-known sports fan, is no stranger to sports-themed movies, having starred as a professional basketball player/owner (“Semi-Pro”) and youth soccer coach (“Kicking & Screaming”).

The movie is based on an ESPN.com article, “The Match Maker: Bobby Riggs, the Mafia and the Battle of the Sexes” and follows the lead-up to the match between the 55-year-old Riggs and the 29-year-old King.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 4, 2001, which pitcher made his Red Sox debut and threw a no-hitter in a 3-0 victory over the Orioles in Baltimore?

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Read More: Bobby Riggs, Daniel Murphy, deion sanders, Johnny Manziel

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon implodes in loss to Rangers

04.03.14 at 8:14 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 Orioles, 7 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Reds, 12:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Twins at White Sox, 2 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Blue Jays at Rays, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL: Bruins at Maple Leafs, 7:30 p.m. (NESNPlus)
NHL: Wild at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Kings at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Spurs at Thunder, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Mavericks at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NIT championship, SMU vs. Minnesota, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: CIT championship, Yale at Murray State, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Juventus at Lyon, 3 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

– The Phillies are trying to turn things around after a disappointing 2013, but they’ve gotten the 2014 season off to a rocky start. Wednesday’s 4-3 loss to the Rangers was tough to take, as closer Jonathan Papelbon squandered a two-run lead in the ninth inning and walked home the winning run.

Papelbon, the former Red Sox reliever who is struggling to live up to the four-year, $50 million free agent contract he signed with Philadelphia before the 2012 season, retired only one of seven batters in the frame. After allowing a leadoff single to Adrian Beltre (who had the game-winning RBI in the ninth inning the night before) and a double to Mitch Moreland sandwiched around a strikeout of Alex Rios, Papelbon induced a slow roller to third from pinch-hitter Jim Adducci that turned into an RBI infield single. Leonys Martin then singled in the tying run. After a four-pitch walk to Donnie Murphy, Papelbon walked Shin-Soo Choo on a 3-2 pitch that was not close.

“The whole inning was kind of just one of those innings,” Papelbon said. “You get a cue ball down the third base line. Then you get a double-play ball, which you think is the game-ending double play. It’s not. My whole focus was get a ground ball, get a double play and get us out of the inning.”

Papelbon questioned his team’s defensive approach on Martin’s single, as the infield was partially moved in before Martin drove the ball past third baseman Chase Utley.

“Obviously I don’t know whether that’s called for the bench or called from the middle infielders, but less than two outs I’m thinking ground ball and I’m thinking let’s get this double play and go home,” Papelbon said. “Obviously I’m not going to second-guess my teammates or my coach.”

Papelbon’s fastball averaged 91.6 mph, down from his average of 93.8 in 2012, and he appeared to struggle with control.

“He was just up in the zone,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. “He featured a lot of fastballs. They just happened to be up. Even an 0-2 fastball shoulder-high was a hittable pitch.”

The Phillies, won the opener 14-10, have not won a road series since Sandberg took over as manager last August.

– Former Red Sox pitcher Frank Viola, now a Triple-A pitching coach for the Mets, was resting comfortably in the hospital after successful heart surgery Wednesday, the Mets announced.

Viola, who pitched for the Twins, Mets, Red Sox, Reds and Blue Jays in his 15-year MLB career that was highlighted by a Cy Young season in 1988 with Minnesota, had his heart issue detected when he took a physical at spring training in preparation for his fourth season as a coach.

The 53-year-old made it clear to the team that he wants to return to the field this season.

“He certainly wants to be back, but I think we’ll let the doctors dictate when he does come back,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said. “When he’s ready and he’s able, I’m sure he’ll be out there, but we want to make sure he’s fully recovered from this surgery first.”

– A high school pitcher from Long Island made his first varsity start a memorable one, striking out all 21 batters for a perfect game in a 15-0 win.

Right-hander Mike Delio, who pitched for the Carle Place junior varsity the last two seasons, dominated Hempstead in the nonleague game Tuesday.

“I’ve had dreams of throwing no-hitters and perfect games, but nothing like this,” Delio said (via Newsday). This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 3, 1996, which Bruins goaltender recorded his 200th career NHL victory with a 4-1 win over the Canadiens in Montreal?

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Read More: Jonathan Papelbon, Ryne Sandberg,

WR DeSean Jackson reportedly finalizes deal with Washington

04.02.14 at 12:40 pm ET
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Former Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson has agreed to a three-year deal with Washington worth $24 million, $16 million of which is guaranteed, according to ESPN.

Jackson tweeted Wednesday: ITS GOIN DOWN !! BURGUNDY & GOLD

 

Jackson met with the team’s coaches and later some players Monday night, and he met with team officials Tuesday.

Jackson was released by the Eagles on Friday, shortly after NJ.com published a story addressing his alleged ties to gangs. Jackson issued a rebuttal, denying that he has ever been a gang member.

Read More: DeSean Jackson,

Dale & Holley receive warm welcome back tweets

04.02.14 at 12:28 pm ET
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Tuesday’s announcement that Dale Arnold would be reuniting with Michael Holley to form WEEI’s new afternoon show was welcome news to loyal listeners — once they confirmed that it was not an April Fools’ joke.

The pairing of the former midday hosts was greeted by some well-known personalities as well.

NHL Network host (and former NESN personality) Kathryn Tappen tweeted her support.

Added MLB Network (and former NESN Red Sox) reporter Heidi Watney: Great team!

Former Revolution star Taylor Twellman tweeted:

 

Read More: Dale & Holley,