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Thursday’s Morning Mashup

07.29.10 at 7:47 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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
No local games scheduled

AROUND THE WEB:

♦ Wednesday’s big controversy was the story about LeBron James‘ experiences in Las Vegas that was published and then removed from the ESPN website. ESPN claims the story, which did not paint James in a particularly impressive light, was not properly cleared. Others suggest that LeBron’s people had it pulled because they didn’t like the way their star was portrayed. You can read the original ESPN story at Deadspin.

Meanwhile, here’s video of a man wearing a LeBron Miami Heat jersey being kicked out of Wednesday’s Indians-Yankees game in Cleveland as the fans jeer him.

John Clay at the Lexington Herald-Leader looks at Rick Pitino‘s difficult day on the stand at the Karen Cunagin Sypher extortion trial, in which the Lousville basketball coach recounted his sexual misadventure.

♦ In The Commercial Appeal, Geoff Calkins writes about Memphis’ shock at the death of 34-year-old former NBA player Lorenzen Wright, whose body was found in the woods.

Alex Marvez at Fox Sports writes that the NFL’s move of the umpire from the defensive line of scrimmage to the offensive backfield may affect hurry-up offenses.

♦ Boxing legend Mike Tyson gave a revealing interview with Sports Illustrated.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On July 29, 2003, which Red Sox player became the first major leaguer to hit grand slams from both sides of the plate in the same game, connecting in consecutive innings during a 14-7 victory at Texas?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I don’t know why he’d be offended. Listen, I was a part of two world championship teams here, and there’s a lot of people in this state who hate me. … This is a business. I was kind of surprised by that, because I assumed Lack was a guy who was like, ‘Oh, whatever.’ A lot of times when we leave places, we tend to value our contributions a lot more than other people.” Curt Schilling, during an appearance on Wednesday’s Dennis & Callahan show, talking about John Lackey‘s reaction to being booed by Angels fans

STAT OF THE DAY: 80 — Consecutive series in which the Angels had not been swept at home until this week’s three-game sweep by the Red Sox that concluded Wednesday

‘NET RESULTS: DJ Steve Porter has a new edition of Press Hop.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Bill Mueller

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Neal Doughty, REO Speedwagon keyboardist, is 63 today.

Read More: LeBron James, Lorenzen Wright, Rick Pitino,

Phillies have deal for Oswalt, need ace’s approval

07.29.10 at 2:17 am ET
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The Phillies and Astros have agreed to a deal that would put another ace named Roy in Philadelphia, but as of the wee hours of Thursday morning, Roy Oswalt had yet to waive his no-trade clause to facilitate the transaction. A hangup may be Oswalt’s insistance that the team picks up his $16 million option in the 2012 season.

Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston reported the deal early Thursday morning. Oswalt is 6-12 with a 3.42 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 129 innings. Despite Roy Halladay being 12-8 with a 2.21 ERA, the Phillies haven’t been especially dominant pitching-wise as a team, as their collective 3.99 ERA is 13th in the league.

Read More: Roy Oswalt, Trade deadline,

Report: Oswalt to Phillies talk has ‘intensified’

07.28.10 at 11:05 pm ET
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According to a report from Jayson Stark of ESPN.com, talks between the Phillies and Astros regarding a Roy Oswalt deal have “intensified” over the last 24 hours.

Officials of multiple teams told Stark that the two teams are close to agreeing on which players would be involved in the deal. The Astros would receive pitcher J.A. Happ and prospects for Oswalt. But Stark writes that the teams are “not in total agreement” on which prospects would be included.

A source in the report, however, notes that there is still “a large gulf” between the teams when it comes to how much of the $23 million remaining on Oswalt’s contract will be paid by the Astros. Also there is a question regarding Oswalt’s willingness to drop his no-trade clause to accept a deal to the Phillies.

Read More: Roy Oswalt, Trade deadline,

Report: Yankees ‘interested’ in Adam Dunn

07.28.10 at 10:33 pm ET
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According to a tweet from Jon Heyman of SI.com, the Yankees “remain interested” in Nationals first baseman Adam Dunn, though Heyman writes that the talks between the clubs have not been serious to this point. With Nick Johnson on the DL (wrist) the Yankees have a need to fill at the DH spot, and Dunn could be a solid fit. Dunn, who has hit at least 38 homers in each of the last six seasons, is fourth in the NL with 23 HRs in 2010.

Read More: Adam Dunn, Trade deadline,

Report: Rangers ‘not confident’ about landing Fielder

07.28.10 at 9:57 pm ET
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Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports tweeted that the Rangers are “not confident” of their chances of landing Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder in a deal before the deadline. A source tells Passan that Milwaukee’s asking price is “too rich” and the Rangers do not want to bankrupt their farm system.

Read More: prince fielder, Trade deadline,

Report: Blue Jays asking for top prospect for Downs

07.28.10 at 9:48 pm ET
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Jon Heyman of SI.com has tweeted that the Blue Jays have asked the Mets for a “big prospect” in a potential Scott Downs deal. The reliever has been linked to several teams in trade rumors, including the Red Sox. Downs has a 2.34 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 47 appearances for the Blue Jays this season.

Read More: Scott Downs, Trade deadline, Trade Rumors,

Report: Dodgers acquire Podsednik

07.28.10 at 9:11 pm ET
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Jayson Stark of ESPN.com tweeted that the Dodgers have acquired outfielder Scott Podsednik from the Royals for two minor leaguers. The Dodgers were in need of OF help with Manny Ramirez (calf) on the DL. Podsednik, who carried a 14-game hitting streak into Wednesday night, is batting .309 with 30 stolen bases this season.

Read More: Trade deadline,

Report: Bynum has knee surgery

07.28.10 at 9:02 pm ET
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Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports tweeted that Lakers center Andrew Bynum underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to repair a tear of the lateral meniscus in his right knee on Wednesday.

Read More: Rumor Mill,

Report: Phillies interested in Fausto Carmona

07.28.10 at 8:50 pm ET
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According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, if the Phillies cannot complete a deal for Roy Oswalt they will attempt to land Indians starter Fausto Carmona.

Carmona, an All-Star in 2010, entered Wednesday’s start vs. the Yankees with a 10-7 record and 3.51 ERA.

Read More: Trade deadline,

Report: Chargers, Gates agree to extension

07.28.10 at 8:11 pm ET
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Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com tweeted that the Chargers and Antonio Gates have agreed to a five-year contract extension that will pay the All-Pro tight end about $7.2 million per year, with $20.4 million in guarantees. The deal would make Gates the highest-paid tight end in the NFL. Gates caught 79 passes for 1,157 yards and eight TDs in 2009, his fifth season with at least 70 catches.

Read More: Rumor Mill,