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Astros’ Bill Hall: Umpires’ arrogant behavior ‘getting ridiculous’

05.06.11 at 12:57 pm ET
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Astros outfielder Bill Hall, a former Red Sox utility player, was ejected from Thursday’s 10-4 loss to the Reds (video here) by umpire Tom Hallion. After the game, Hall explained his side of the story ‘€” saying that Hallion mistakenly called two pitches strikes and cursed at Hall for taking too long to get back into the batter’s box between pitches ‘€” and went on a rant about the behavior of umpires.

“I didn’€™t really say anything to him, and once I got out of the box, he was yelling at me, cussing me out, telling me to get the [expletive] in the box, Hall said, as reported by the Houston Chronicle. “You don’€™t rush anybody else to get in the box. Just because I disagree with the pitch, I still didn’€™t say anything to you about it, so there’€™s no reason to rush me into the box.”

Added Hall: It was just ridiculous. The whole situation was ridiculous. You are mad at me because you’€™re missing pitches, but at the same time I’€™m not disrespecting you, but he felt the need to disrespect me.

“It’€™s amazing how umpires can get away with so much stuff and nothing happens to them. It’€™s all about them trying to get something on ESPN punching someone out or getting their spot on ESPN. I have no idea. It’€™s getting ridiculous. It’€™s gotten worse over the last few years, and hopefully somehow some way it can be calmed down a little bit because it’€™s a little out of hand.”

Read More: Bill Hall, Tom Hallion,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Amid criticism, Donald Trump bows out of Indy 500 appearance

05.06.11 at 7:51 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL Playoffs: Flyers at Bruins, 8 p.m. (NESN/VERSUS)
MLB: Twins at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN Plus; WEEI)

MLB: Twins at Red Sox, 1:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
NBA Playoffs: Heat at Celtics, 8 p.m. (ABC; WEEI)
MLS: Rapids at Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)

MLB: Twins at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
NHL Playoffs (if necessary): Bruins at Flyers, 3 p.m. (NBC)


‘™¦ Businessman and presidential candidate Donald Trump was supposed to ride the pace car for this month’s Indianapolis 500, but he announced Thursday that he was stepping aside due to “time and business constraints.” He didn’t mention that thousands of people had signed on to a campaign to have him removed. In the Indianapolis Star, Bob Kravitz celebrates the fact that the “wacko” Trump won’t be a distraction on race day.

‘™¦ There have been reports that popular play-by-play man Gus Johnson will no longer call NCAA basketball tournament games as he is leaving CBS in a contract dispute, but the New York Daily News reports that there still is a possibility the energetic announcer will return. Johnson reportedly is in talks with Fox to participate in its college football coverage.

‘™¦ Longtime University of Maryland (and former Boston College) coach Gary Williams announced his retirement Thursday via a press release. In The Baltimore Sun, Peter Schmuck finds the timing of Williams’ announcement puzzling. Williams is scheduled to meet with the media to explain his decision Friday.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 6, Butch Goring was named coach of the Bruins? Who did he replace?

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Read More: Donald Trump, Gary Williams, Gus Johnson, Indianapolis 500

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Michael Vick says Osama bin Laden ‘deserved every bit of it’

05.05.11 at 7:47 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Angels at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)


‘™¦ While Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall was apologizing and clarifying his comments criticizing people for celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick offered his input Wednesday. “It was about time,” Vick told Virginia Beach radio station The Game. “What he so-called did to our people, took so many innocent lives. Hey, he deserved every bit of it.”

‘™¦ Francisco Liriano had the highest season ERA (9.13) for any pitcher throwing a no-hitter, and when he spun his gem Tuesday night, he allowed six walks while striking out only two. Real Clear Sports looks at where this game ranks on the list of worst no-hitters ever.

‘™¦ In a letter to NCAA president Mark Emmert, the U.S. Department of Justice questioned why major college football does not have a playoff and noted that there are “serious questions” about the Bowl Championship Series violating federal anti-trust laws. At Yahoo! Sports, Dan Wetzel writes that this may be the impetus to end the BCS. However, in The Los Angeles Times, Chris Dufresne writes that the government should stay out of this issue.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 5, 1969, the Celtics won their 11th championship in 14 seasons with a 108-106 victory over the Lakers in Game 7 of the NBA finals. Which two Celtics greats played their final game that day?

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Read More: Francisco Liriano, Mark Emmert, michael vick, Osama bin Laden

Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall responds to criticism of Osama bin Laden tweets

05.04.11 at 2:07 pm ET
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Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall, who came under fire after criticizing Americans for celebrating following reports of Osama bin Laden‘s death, posted a blog entry Wednesday in attempt to minimize the damage.

Wrote Mendenhall:”I apologize for the timing as such a sensitive matter, but it was not meant to do harm. I apologize to anyone I unintentionally harmed with anything that I said, or any hurtful interpretation that was made and put in my name. It was only meant to encourage anyone reading to think.”

Mendenhall’s representative at Priority Sports, Rob Lefko, insisted that the apology came from the player himself, telling ESPN, “This was truly, word for word, Rashard’s thoughts. It was not written by anyone else and not crafted by anyone else.”

Mendenhall explained his thinking in Wednesday’s post.

“This controversial statement was something I said in response to the amount of joy I saw in the event of a murder,” he wrote. “I don’t believe that this is an issue of politics or American pride; but one of religion, morality, and human ethics.”

Added Mendenhall: “I wasn’t questioning Bin Laden’s evil acts. I believe that he will have to face God for what he has done. I was reflecting on our own hypocrisy. During 9/11 we watched in horror as parts of the word celebrated death on our soil. Earlier this week, parts of the world watched us in horror celebrating a man’s death.”

Read More: Osama bin Laden, Rashard Mendenhall, Rumor Mill,

Report: Randy Moss’ daughter will play basketball at Florida

05.04.11 at 1:57 pm ET
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According to the St. Petersburg Times, former Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss‘ daughter Sydney has given an oral commitment to play basketball for the University of Florida in 2012. Sydney Moss is a 5-11 power forward, although the story indicates that she has the athleticism to play point guard. She averaged 22.6 points and 10.8 rebounds last season as a junior at Boone County High School in Kentucky.

Read More: Randy Moss, Rumor Mill, Sydney Moss,

SB Nation Wednesday: Has torched been passed from Celtics to Heat?

05.04.11 at 1:52 pm ET
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As part of WEEI’€™s new partnership with SB Nation Boston, we’€™ll be highlighting some of the website’€™s content on a daily basis. Here’€™s a look at Wednesday’€™s coverage around SB Nation:

‘€¢ CelticsBlog wonders if the torch been passed from Boston to Miami?

‘€¢ The Celtics are old, but compared to LeBron James on Tuesday night, they looked dead. Boston will not go quietly, but SB Nation’s Andrew Sharp asks: How much longer can the Celtics fight off reality?

‘€¢ Another night, another Red Sox win over one of baseball’s best pitchers. Over The Monster has the recap.

‘€¢ Pats Pulpit has an analysis of the Patriots’ 2011 draft strategy.

Read More: SB Nation,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Ravens’ Michael Oher rips ESPN’s Todd McShay

05.04.11 at 7:45 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL Playoffs: Flyers at Bruins, 7 p.m. (VERSUS)
MLB: Angels at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI)


‘™¦ Ravens offensive lineman Michael Oher, the player whose story was told in the book and movie “The Blind Side,” lashed out at ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay for tagging prospects as having bad character. Tweeted Oher at McShay: “What if someone was to talk about your son … and he had character issues!! Thats how my family felt.” Added Oher: “You need to meet ppl first and then judge them not go off what you hear!!” Oher also tweeted this dig: “And I respect Mel Kiper way more then I respect you…your a joke!!”

‘™¦ In a sickening story out of Pittsburgh, a 58-year-old usher at the Pirates’ PNC Park had a heart attack in his car after leaving a 14-inning game on April 9. Police said a 17-year-old came across the dying Michael Schacht, but instead of trying to help, he pulled the man out of the car, went through his pockets and took his wallet, then stole his car. The teen was arrested for the robberies, although he will not be charged in the usher’s death.

‘™¦ The two new teams in Major League Soccer have given the league a boost, playing before capacity crowds at home, but some of the charter teams continue to drag in attendance. That list of teams includes the Revolution. Jack Bell at The New York Times looks at what this means to the future of the league.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 4, 1974, which Red Sox player tied a record by making three errors in his major league debut?

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Read More: Major League Soccer, Michael Oher, Michael Schacht, Todd McShay

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Chris Douglas-Roberts, Rashard Mendenall criticize U.S. celebrations over Osama bin Laden’s death

05.03.11 at 7:46 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA Playoffs: Celtics at Heat, 7 p.m. (TNT; WEEI)
MLB: Angels at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WRKO)


‘™¦ Bucks swingman Chris Douglas-Roberts was not impressed by the celebrations in America after the announced death of Osama bin Laden, comparing them to Taliban celebrations after 9/11. “We just looked like the Afghan people, a decade later,” he said. “That’s not what we should be doing, celebrating with beers and all that. I didn’t agree with that. That’s just me.”

Douglas-Roberts acknowledged that bin Laden deserved to die, but he didn’t agree with the cost to America. “Was the search for bin Laden truly worth so many American military deaths, over so many years?” Douglas-Robert wondered, saying it took 919,967 deaths and $1,188,263,000,000 to catch the terrorist.

Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall took it a step further, implying that there was a conspiracy to bring down the World Trade Center on 9/11. “We’ll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style,” he tweeted.

Of America’s reaction to bin Laden’s assassination, Mendenhall tweeted: “What kind of person celebrates death. It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side.”

‘™¦ The Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at the Boston University School of Medicine released its findings on the brain of former Bears defensive back Dave Duerson, and there were signs of a “moderately advanced” case of CTE. “It’s my greatest hope that his death will not be in vain and through research his legacy will live on so others won’t have to suffer in the same way,” said Duerson’s son, Tregg.

‘™¦ At National Football Post, Joe Fortenbaugh has 10 burning questions from the NFL draft. Two of them involve the Patriots: Is Tom Brady pissed off after the team drafted Ryan Mallett? And, was it a reach to draft cornerback Ras-I Dowling 33rd overall?

‘™¦ Real Clear Sports has a list of 10 diminished sporting events. No. 1 is heavyweight boxing, followed by the World Series, the Kentucky Derby and the Indianapolis 500.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 3, 1999, which Red Sox player ripped a grand slam for his first hit in the major leagues during a loss to the A’s?

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Read More: Chris Douglas-Roberts, Dave Duerson, Osama bin Laden, Ras-I Dowling

SB Nation Monday: Grading the Patriots’ draft

05.02.11 at 12:27 pm ET
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As part of WEEI’€™s new partnership with SB Nation Boston, we’€™ll be highlighting some of the website’€™s content on a daily basis. Here’€™s a look at Monday’€™s coverage around SB Nation:

‘€¢ The Patriots beefed up their offense but did little to improve their defense over the weekend. SB Nation Boston has grades for the Patriots’ nine selections.

‘€¢ Reaction, opinions, grades and everything else you could possibly need about the Patriots’ draft can be found at Pats Pulpit.

‘€¢ Game 1 of the Heat-Celtics series was fine, but with Paul Pierce ejected and the rest of the players on their best behavior, it felt anti-climatic, writes Andrew Sharp. Why doesn’t the NBA want this series to get emotional?

‘€¢ Jeff Clark at CelticsBlog offers reasons for hope after the Game 1 loss.

‘€¢ Over The Monster looks at one of the more unlikely Red Sox wins of the season.

Read More: SB Nation,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Philadelphia fans interrupt baseball game with ‘USA’ chants

05.02.11 at 7:49 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL Playoffs: Bruins at Flyers, 7:30 p.m. (VERSUS)
MLB: Angels at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)


‘™¦ Fans in Philadelphia at Sunday night’s Phillies-Mets game reacted to the news of Osama bin Laden‘s death by breaking out into “USA” chants. The players on the field did not initially understand the patriotic fervor, as they had no access to the news. David Wright of the Mets was standing on second base in the ninth inning. He was pleased to eventually find out the reason. ‘€œI don’€™t like to give the Philly fans too much credit,’€ Wright said, ‘€œbut they got this one right. It’€™s a proud moment to stand out there and you’€™ve got 45-50 thousand people chanting. That was pretty special.’€

‘™¦ The New York Post has a report on an incident involving Jets seventh-round draft pick Scotty McKnight when the player was in high school in Southern California. McKnight wrote threatening comments in a private journal about his teacher and was suspended for it. “It was an error in judgment that led to a huge consequence,” explained McKnight, who walked on at Colorado and became a standout receiver there.

‘™¦ Boston University researchers will announce Monday morning the results of their study of former Bears defensive back Dave Duerson‘s brain. Duerson committed suicide in February and asked that his brain be examined for chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 2, 1978, the Bruins edged the visiting Flyers 3-2 in overtime to win Game 1 of the Stanley Cup semifinals. Who scored the game-winner 1:43 into overtime for the B’s?

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Read More: Dave Duerson, Osama bin Laden, Scotty McKnight,