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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Jay Mariotti pleads no contest

10.01.10 at 6:40 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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)

SATURDAY:
NHL Preseason: Bruins vs. Giants Select, at Belfast, Ireland, 2 p.m.
MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 4:10 p.m. (FOX, WEEI)
MLS: Real Salt Lake at Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)

SUNDAY:
MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ As part of a plea deal with the Los Angeles city attorney’s office, sports columnist Jay Mariotti pleaded no contest to one count of misdemeanor domestic violence Thursday and was sentenced to three years probation and 40 hours of community labor. Mariotti was arrested in August after allegedly pushing and grabbing his girlfriend.

‘™¦ In response to LeBron James‘ accusation that race played a factor in criticism of him this offseason, Greg Stoda in the The Palm Beach Post writes that the new Heat forward brought this upon himself.

‘™¦ Days after criticizing Giants coach Tom Coughlin, former running back Tiki Barber will be inducted into the Giants’ Ring of Honor at halftime of Sunday’s game vs. the Bears. In the New York Daily News, Filip Bondy writes that fans will show that they side with Barber or Coughlin based on their reaction to Barber’s introduction.

‘™¦ Dan Wetzel at Yahoo! Sports writes about the situation with the University of North Carolina football team, where evidence continues to mount against former assistant coach John Blake, tying him to an NFL agent. Pete Thamel in The New York Times looks at the NCAA’s recent aggressiveness in going after cheaters.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Oct. 1, 1991, which Red Sox outfielder struck out five times, tying a major league record for a nine-inning game?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I like when people doubt me.” ‘€” Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, before Thursday’s night’s loss to the White Sox

STAT OF THE DAY: 21 ‘€” Minutes Thursday night’s Red Sox-White Sox game was delayed due to a power outage in Chicago

‘NET RESULTS: A young woman shows off some impressive soccer skills.

Pee Wee football coaches in Texas brawl on the field.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Phil Plantier

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Jerry Martini, saxophonist for Sly and the Family Stone, is 67 today.

Read More: Jay Mariotti, LeBron James, Tiki Barber, Tom Coughlin

Warren Sapp sued by North Carolina bank

09.30.10 at 1:55 pm ET
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Former Tampa Bay and Oakland defensive lineman Warren Sapp is being sued by a North Carolina bank for almost $1 million, an amount in which Sapp borrowed to invest in exclusive property at a residential development near Asheville. HomeTrust Bank of Asheville says that Sapp owed a principal of $989,000 and $70,000 in interest and late fees since June.

Christopher Lyons, Sapp’s attorney, would not discuss the issue on Thursday. The lawsuit was reported by the Asheville Citizen-Times. Sapp borrowed the money in 2007 to buy property in Horseshoe Forest Preserve.

Sapp is a seven-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman.

Read More: Rumor Mill, Warren Sapp,

Chad Ochocinco’s cereal linked with explicit number

09.30.10 at 11:51 am ET
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Printed on the side of Chad Ochocinco‘s limited edition cereal boxes was a number supposed to be associated with the charity Feed the Children. The number endorsed something completely different, however. Instead, the number directed callers to an explicit phone sex line, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The boxes have been pulled from the shelves at an area grocery store.

Read More: Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati Bengals,

Reports: Jets sign Trevor Pryce

09.30.10 at 11:31 am ET
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The Ravens released Trevor Pryce Wednesday with the intention of re-signing him. But Pryce didn’t stay around, choosing instead to sign with the Jets. Pryce’s teammate Terrell Suggs actually broke the news on his Twitter account. Pryce rejoins Rex Ryan who was his former defensive coordinator in Baltimore.

Read More: Rex Ryan, Rumor Mill, Terrell Suggs, Trevor Pryce

LeBron James says race a factor in backlash

09.30.10 at 11:04 am ET
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In an interview on CNN, LeBron James said that race played a role in the negative reaction to “The Decision.” James was responding to a question from interviewer Soledad O’Brien about whether race was a factor.

O’BRIEN (on camera): Do you think there’s a role that race plays in this.

JAMES: I think so at times. It’s always, you know, a race factor.

James’ manager Maverick Carter said the show where James announced his signing with the Miami could have been executed better. (Transcription from CNN.com)

Read More: LeBron James, Maverick Carter, Rumor Mill,

Mark Buerhle ponders retirement

09.30.10 at 9:14 am ET
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White Sox pitcher Mark Buerhle has one year left on his contract and he’s already thinking about hanging up his spikes. “As I sit here now, I’d love to just go home and be with the family and kids and go from there,” Buerhle said. “But when next year gets here, at this time, it could be a tough decision, knowing this is all you’ve known for 15 years of your life and constantly having to be somewhere, to go somewhere.”

Read More: Mark Buerhle, Rumor Mill,

Trent Edwards could replace David Garrard

09.30.10 at 9:05 am ET
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The Jaguars signed former Buffalo quarterback Trent Edwards after his release this week, and while he will be listed as the third, or emergency, quarterback this week behind David Garrard and Todd Bouman it may only be a matter of time before he becomes the starter, according to the Florida-Times Union.

Jags coach Jack Del Rio told reporters, “We’ll bring him along as quickly as we can, teach him our system, and like all of our players, put him in a position where if he is called upon, we expect him to play well.”

Read More: David Garrard, Rumor Mill, Todd Bouman, Trent Edwards

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Tour de France winner tested positive

09.30.10 at 7:48 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:
MLB: Red Sox at White Sox, 8:10 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ The Tour de France has yet another major controversy, as 2010 winner Alberto Contador tested positive for a banned substance on the final rest day of the event, according to his spokesman. Contador, a three-time winner, blames it on tainted food. Meanwhile, friends of Lance Armstrong are being called to testify before a grand jury investigating doping in professional cycling.

‘™¦ Former Giants running back Tiki Barber said the team is slipping away from coach Tom Coughlin, and the coach’s job is in jeopardy.

‘™¦ Clark Judge at CBSSports.com addresses the NFL’s expanded schedule controversy by suggesting an increase of only one game to each team’s slate, to be played at a neutral site.

‘™¦ At SportsIllustrated.com, Jon Wertheim has an interesting feature on Joe Moglia, a billionaire former CEO who quit his job and now serves as a volunteer assistant coach for the Nebraska football team. Moglia was a Dartmouth assistant coach in the early 1980s before turning to the business world, and he’s enjoying his return to the field.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Sept. 30, 1966, who was fired as manager of the Red Sox?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’€™m lucky to be here. I’€™m happy to be here. I’€™m a soldier in Doc’€™s army. Whatever he needs me to do. I’€™ll go to war and die for this team. Playing every game, every minute this year like my life depended on it, ’cause it [does].” ‘€” Celtics guard Delonte West, at training camp Wednesday

STAT OF THE DAY: 13 ‘€” Consecutive seasons with 30 home runs for Alex Rodriguez, who reached the mark Wednesday night in the Yankees‘ 8-4 loss to the Blue Jays

‘NET RESULTS: Earlier this week we had two candidates for best touchdown run of the year. Here’s the early leader for best interception of the season, courtesy of Gallaudet University’s Tony Tatum and Shelby Bean.

A soccer referee takes a tumble. People falling down is funny.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Kevin Kennedy

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Johnny Mathis is 75 Thursday.

Read More: Alberto Contador, Tiki Barber, Tom Coughlin,

Jaguars’ Osgood sustains bruises after leap from apartment

09.29.10 at 3:48 pm ET
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Jaguars wide receiver Kassim Osgood sustained only a few bruises after leaping out of a second-floor window to escape from a man wielding a gun who attacked him and a 19-year-old woman in her Jacksonville apartment.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said that the gunman exchanged gunfire with his ex-girlfriend, Mackenzie Rae Putnal, after threatening her with a gun to her head on Monday night.

Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio, according to the Associated Press, said, “He [Osgood]‘s fine. I’m aware of it. I really can’t comment on that whole deal. He’s doing OK.”

Osgood sustained the bruises after leaping from the apartment window and fleeing the scene.

The gunman, Armond Bartletto, 20, of Jacksonville, was arrested on charges on aggravated battery, false imprisonment, armed robbery, burglary, and violation of an injunction. He is currently being held without bond.

Read More: Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kassim Osgood, Rumor Mill

Report: Sox, Angels to compete for Crawford

09.29.10 at 12:23 pm ET
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According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter), the Red Sox and Angels are viewed by industry executives as the likely chief competitors for the services of Rays outfielder Carl Crawford when he becomes a free agent this offseason.

“Early speculation among some rival executives: The Angels and Red Sox are going to go wallet-to-wallet for the services of Carl Crawford,” Olney wrote.

The Yankees have also been viewed as a potential bidder for Crawford’s services, though New York GM Brian Cashman recently suggested that his team would be content with the production from its current outfield configuration.

Read More: Angels, Carl Crawford, red sox, Rumor Mill