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Sources: Ricky Nolasco agrees to new contract with Marlins

12.21.10 at 11:41 am ET
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Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco has agreed to a three-year, $26.5 million contract pending a physical examination, reports the Associated Press. The contract breaks down to give Nolasco $6 million next season, $9 million in 2012 and $11.5 million in 2013. He made $3.8 million last season, going 14-9 with a 4.51 ERA. The 28-year-old missed the final month of the 2010 season after undergoing arthroscopic right knee surgery, but is expected to be ready for the start of spring training. This agreement further solidifies the Marlins’ rotation as they prepare to open a new stadium in 2012.

Read More: Hot Stove, Ricky Nolasco, Rumor Mill,

Report: Dominican National Team has interest in Calipari

12.21.10 at 11:08 am ET
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According to Inside Puerto Rico Basketball blog there has been “communication” between the Dominican Republic Basketball Federation and John Calipari about the possibility of Calipari taking over as coach of the national team.

It is believed that if the Kentucky head coach agrees to the position, it would be a similar deal to that of Rick Pitino, who agreed to coach Puerto Rico’s national team next summer at the 2012 Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

“Guys like Cal and Rick don’t take jobs like this for the money,” a source told Inside Puerto Rico Basketball. “Guys at that level have made more money then they can spend in their lifetime so the money is not the issue. Taking this type of job doesn’t hurt recruiting or prevent a coach and his staff from running an elite program. In a highly competitive recruiting environment taking a job like this increases exposure for both the coach and the program he is coaching. Most importantly, it helps to develop new recruiting contacts internationally which in today’s game is a must.”

Read More: John Calipari, Rumor Mill,

Austin Rivers adds to his reputation as best high school player around

12.21.10 at 8:32 am ET
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Austin Rivers, the son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers, added to his reputation as the best high school player in the nation by scoring 42 points against previously-unbeaten Dwyer (FL) High at the City of Palms Classic, Monday in Fort Myers. The Winter Park (FL) High standout made five straight three-pointers at one point. The 6-foot-5 Rivers is committed to Duke for next season.

Read More: Rumor Mill,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Tom Coughlin takes time out in the dark

12.21.10 at 7:59 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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY TUESDAY:
No games scheduled

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Giants coach Tom Coughlin dealt with the Giants’ disastrous loss to the Eagles on Sunday in his own way. At Monday’s press conference, he told reporters: “What did I do? I sat in a room with the lights out for about two and a half hours. It’€™s not funny. It’€™s not the way it’€™s supposed to be.” Coughlin said he is moving forward with punter Matt Dodge, despite berating him on the field for not kicking the ball out of bounds as instructed on the game-winning touchdown that completed a fourth-quarter meltdown. Dodge received the support of his teammates, and normally reserved quarterback Eli Manning attempted to rally the troops by calling a team meeting.

‘™¦ With the Dolphins eliminated from the playoffs, Greg Stoda of The Palm Beach Post writes that Bill Parcells deserves the blame for the mediocre season.

‘™¦ Darren Rovell at CNBC’s Sports Biz writes that colleges need to stand up to bowl organizers and say no to the ticket arrangements that force them to shell out big bucks whether or not the seats are filled. He uses UConn as an example of a team that will lose at least $2.5 million for its Fiesta Bowl appearance.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 21, 1937, which legendary Bruins goalie became the first in NHL history to surrender a goal to his brother?

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Parcells, Matt Dodge, Tom Coughlin,

Yankees may turn to prospects for rotation

12.21.10 at 1:27 am ET
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The Yankees wanted Cliff Lee, but saw him spurn their nine-figure offer to head to Philadelphia instead. The best alternative on the market this winter was 2009 Cy Young winner Zack Greinke, but according to multiple reports, New York decided not to pursue the right-hander over concerns about his fit for the market. They want Andy Pettitte back, but the 38-year-old has informed the club that he is leaning towards retirement, GM Brian Cashman said (according to Jack Curry of the YES Network, via twitter).

The rest of the free-agent market is less than promising. Carl Pavano is the closest thing to an appealing pitcher on the market, and his previous four-year tenure in New York was such a disaster that the Yankees are almost certain not to pursue him. The trade market beyond Greinke does not offer obvious solutions. While there has been speculation that New York could make a run at 2010 AL Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez, Cashman told ESPN.com, “That ain’t happening.”

So where do the Yankees turn now? According to the same ESPN.com piece, Cashman feels that he might have little choice but to seek internal answers for his rotation behind returning starters CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett.

“I’m not saying I want to do it,” Cashman told the website, “but I may have to do it.”

It appears that 23-year-old Ivan Nova (who went 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA for the Yankees in seven starts last year) is a virtual lock for the rotation. If Pettitte changes his mind and returns to pitch in 2011, that would round out the Yankees’ five. But if he does not, then Cashman said that he was prepared to turn to a prospect without major league experience, with the article citing Andrew Brackman, Dellin Betances, Adam Warren, Hector Noesi and left-hander Manny Banuelos as possibilities. None of those pitchers has ever thrown a big league pitch.

While the Yankees might not make a big move this offseason, however, that does not foreclose the possibility of the team adding a starter in the coming months. Cashman suggested to ESPN.com that his team need not make a move before the July 31 deadline for non-waiver trades.

“In the past, we might have gone out and traded away prospects just to get someone in here,” Cashman said. “But realistically, I have until July to get this solved.”

Tim Tebow will remain Broncos’s starter

12.20.10 at 6:50 pm ET
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With Kyle Orton still recovering from bruised ribs, Broncos‘ interim coach Eric Studesville has named rookie Tim Tebow the team’s starting quarterback for their game against the Houston Texans this Sunday. Tebow completed 8-of-18 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown in a 39-23 loss to the Raiders in his first career start. He also ran for 78 yards and another score.

Read More: Kyle Orton, Rumor Mill, Tim Tebow,

Mike Miller suits up for Heat

12.20.10 at 6:44 pm ET
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Miami Heat forward Mike Miller will be in uniform for their game with Dallas, Monday night. It will be the first time Miller has dressed for a game since breaking his thumb and tearing a ligament in his hand just before the start of the season. Miller was one of the Heat’s big free agent additions after they signed LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

Read More: Mike Miller, Rumor Mill,

Is Eric Mangini coaching for his job?

12.20.10 at 5:31 pm ET
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Speculation out of Cleveland is that Brown coach Eric Mangini needs to win both of the team’s final games to keep his job. The Browns lost an uninspired game to the Bengals Sunday, dropping their record to 5-9. Maria Ridenour in the Akron-Beacon Journal writes, “Unless Mangini pulls a rabbit out of his hat for the second consecutive January, it appears Browns President Mike Holmgren will thank Mangini for his services not long after the Jan. 2 finale and send him the way of [Marvin] Lewis, Wade Phillips and Brad Childress.”

Mangini appeared to have the Browns headed in the right direction after consecutive wins against Carolina and Miami, but losses to Buffalo and now the Bengals have put him back on the hot seat.

Read More: Eric Mangini, Rumor Mill,

Brandon Jennings out 4-6 with broken foot

12.20.10 at 2:29 pm ET
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The Milwaukee Bucks suffered a serious setback as second-year point guard Brandon Jennings will be out four-to-six weeks with a broken foot. Jennings had started every game in his career, a span of 107 games, and was averaging 17.9 points and 5.5 assists. The Bucks are one of the NBA’s most disappointing teams with a 10-15 record and with veterans Keyon Dooling and Earl Watson as backups, this is a significant blow for Milwaukee.

Read More: Brandon Jennings, Earl Wtason, Keyon Dooling, Rumor Mill

Rick Pitino confirms he will coach Puerto Rican national team

12.20.10 at 1:17 pm ET
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Louisville coach Rick Pitino announced Monday that he will coach the Puerto Rican national team next summer in the FIBA Tournament of the Americas in an attempt to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. Puerto Rico needs to finish in the top two to advance to the London Games. The country has not made it that far since 2004.

“It’s a tall order, and that’s why I’m taking it,” he said Monday. “If they were already in [the Olympics], I wouldn’t do it. Their backs are to the wall.”

Pitino met with two NBA point guards ‘€” Carlos Arroyo and former Northeastern star J.J. Barea ‘€” on Sunday in Miami.

“These guys, playing for the national team is the biggest thing in the country,” Pitino said. “They are very, very passionate about it, and that was a major factor for me.”

Read More: Rick Pitino, Rumor Mill,