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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Barry Bonds funds college tuition for children of beaten Giants fan

05.26.11 at 7:49 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 LOCALLY THURSDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Tigers, 1:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Controversial Giants legend Barry Bonds apparently has formed a bond with the family of Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was beaten after a game in Los Angeles. Bonds visited Stow in the hospital and wrote on his website: “I look forward to taking Bryan and his kids to a Giants game when he recovers.” Bonds also indicated that he will be funding a college tuition fund for Stow’s two children.

And in a note from The New York Times, former Bonds trainer Greg Anderson, a convicted felon who sat in jail rather than testify against his longtime friend, is a coach for a youth baseball team outside of San Francisco. Some parents aren’t happy about this situation.

‘™¦ The Lakers hired former Cavaliers coach Mike Brown to succeed Phil Jackson. In The Los Angeles Times, Bill Plaschke writes that the team made the wrong hire. At Yahoo! Sports, Adrian Wojnarowski writes that the Lakers should have consulted Kobe Bryant, who had no comment on the hiring after offering his support for assistant Brian Shaw.

‘™¦ In the latest from Charles Barkley‘s feud with the Heat, the TNT analyst said that he got a call from Nike questioning his criticism of LeBron James. These athletes today are all wussified,’€ Barkley said. ‘€œI’€™ve been saying LeBron’€™s been the best player in the league for three years. And I say one thing criticizing “The Decision,” and I get a phone call from Nike saying why don’€™t I like LeBron? It’€™s interesting how this [expletive] works. These groups today, if you don’€™t say 100 percent positive about their guy or their team, they overreact.”

‘™¦ Forbes magazine has a piece on how sports attendance figures speak lies, with an explanation of how teams fudge the numbers to work to their benefit.

‘™¦ In The Washington Post, Sally Jenkins writes about 61-year-old Diana Nyad, who is preparing to swim from Cuba to Key West.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 26, 1987, Celtics legend Larry Bird stole Isiah Thomas‘ inbounds pass and fed which teammate for the game-winning layup to beat the Pistons, 108-107, in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals?

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Barry Bonds, Charles Barkley, Diana Nyad, Greg Anderson

ESPN’s Jalen Rose pleads guilty to drunk driving charges

05.25.11 at 5:55 pm ET
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Former NBA player and current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose pleaded guilty to drunk driving Wednesday, admitting he was under the influence when he crashed his SUV in March. Rose said he drank six martinis before getting behind the wheel. Police say Rose’s alcohol level was 0.088, above the legal limit of 0.08. He faces possible jail time and a fine.

When asked by an Oakland judge how big the drinks were, Rose answered, “I’m embarrassed to say too big.”

Read More: Jalen Rose,

Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan’s brother acquitted of manslaughter

05.25.11 at 1:58 pm ET
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Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan‘s brother was acquitted of manslaughter in the death of their father.

Mark Kerrigan was found guilty of assaulting his father in January 2010, but a jury ruled Wednesday that he was not responsible for Daniel Kerrigan‘s death, apparently agreeing that the 70-year-old man died of heart disease.

The Kerrigan family was pleased with the ruling.

“My family has never believed at all that my brother had anything to do with my father’s death, and he would, my dad would, never have wanted any of this,” Nancy Kerrigan said.

Mark Kerrigan will be sentenced for assault and battery on Thursday, and could spend up to 2½ years in prison.

Read More: Daniel Kerrigan, Mark Kerrigan, Nancy Kerrigan, Rumor Mill

Rockies ace Jorge De La Rosa out for season

05.25.11 at 1:03 pm ET
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The Rockies won the first game of their doubleheader with the Diamondbacks Tuesday, but that did not come without a price. Starter Jorge De La Rosa left the game in the third inning with some discomfort in his pitching elbow and went to the hospital for further evaluation. It was learned that he had torn ligament in his left elbow and will be out for the remainder of the season.

De La Rosa entered the game with a 5-2 record and a 3.51 ERA and was the Rockies’ staff ace thus far.

“He was a big part of our team,” said Greg Reynolds, who won the game in relief. “There’s not too many guys that have stuff like Jorge. Someone’s going to have to step up. If that’s me, I’ll be ready for the challenge. If I’m picked to fill the role, I’ll give it everything I got and I’ll be ready for it.”

Read More: Colorado Rockies, Greg Reynolds, Jorge De La Rosa,

Paul Splittorff, winningest pitcher in Royals history, dies at 64

05.25.11 at 12:41 pm ET
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Paul Splittorff, the winningest pitcher in Royals history as well as a popular broadcaster with the team, died Wednesday after battling oral cancer and melanoma. He was 64 years old.

In 15 seasons, Splittorff was 166-143 with a 3.81 ERA. He wasn’t a very hard thrower but had good command of all of his pitchers. “He really got the most out of his ability,” said Denny Matthews, the Royals’ radio broadcaster who called every game Splittorff pitched.

The left-hander pitched in four postseasons, including the 1980 World Series against Philadelphia.

Read More: Kansas City Royals, MLB, Paul Splittorff, Rumor Mill

Injured Giants fan’s family sues Dodgers

05.25.11 at 12:04 pm ET
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The family of Giants fan Bryan Stow, the man who was brutally beaten outside of Dodger Stadium on Opening Day, has filed a civil lawsuit against the Dodgers. The suit seeks damages to cover Stow’s medical care as well as compensation for economic damages for Stowe and his two children.

It also says that the “failure to take preventative measures at Dodger Stadium was based on the defendants lack of finances and misappropriation of finances and/or misuse of corporate funds for personal use at the expense of safety at Dodger Stadium.”

“The Dodgers have shown a total disregard for public safety. They’ve gotten rid of security people, they’ve had all these incidents at their games, more than other teams, there’s also a known gang presence. What did they think was going to happen?” said Thomas Girardi, who is the attorney representing Stow’s family.

Following the attack, the Dodgers have had an increased security presence at the stadium, and have hired former L.A. police chief Bill Bratton to help with a longterm plan to improve stadium security. The Dodgers also paid for Stow’s family to stay in a Los Angeles hotel for seven weeks that Stow was hospitalized in the city. They have also pledged $250,000 for information leading to the arrests of Stow’s attackers.

“Although everybody is hopeful that this turns out well, facing the cold hard facts, we know that this is going to have a lifetime impact on Mr. Stow,” Girardi said. “Not to mention his two children, who have been robbed of their relationship with him.”

Read More: Bryan Stow, LA Dodgers, MLB,

Tiger Woods plans on playing in U.S. Open

05.25.11 at 12:01 pm ET
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After injuring his knee in last month’s Masters and withdrawing after just nine holes in this month’s Players Championship, Tiger Woods says he plans on playing in next month’s U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.

Woods said that he came back too early following the injury to play in The Players Championship. He does feel that his knee is improving. “I’m a lot better off,” Woods said. “I feel that in the next week or so, I can start getting back toward that and start practicing pain free. That’s where I’m at.”

He also touched on not being ranked in the world’s top 10 for the first time in 14  years. “I haven’t played. It’s one of the reasons I’ve fallen as far as I have,” Woods said. “When I did play, I haven’t played well. Winning takes care of all of that.”

Read More: Rumor Mill, Tiger Woods,

Report: Mike Brown set to coach Lakers

05.25.11 at 11:09 am ET
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According to CSN Bay Area, Mike Brown has taken his name out of the Warriors coaching search as he is set to become the next coach of the Lakers.

Brown reportedly will sign a four-year, $18 million contract to become Phil Jackson‘s successor.

Brown previously coached the Cavaliers for five seasons, from 2005-10. He led them to the NBA finals in 2007, and the team made the playoffs in all five years.

Lakers assistant Brian Shaw was thought to be a front-runner for the Lakers job, as he was endorsed by Kobe Bryant and other Lakers players.

Read More: Lakers, Mike Brown, NBA,

Atlanta prepared for Thrashers to move to Winnipeg

05.25.11 at 11:04 am ET
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Although the move of the Thrashers to Winnipeg is not official, Atlanta officials are talking like the move is inevitable. The sale could be final as soon as this week.

“It is going to hurt the city but we will withstand it just fine and we will get through it,” Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed said. “We have a lot of positive things going on in the sports franchise space that I think we’ll be announcing pretty soon that will offset it a bit.”

The Thrashers’ average attendance this season was 13,469, which was 28th out of 30 teams. It was also reported that the franchise had lost more than $150 million since 2005.

Winnipeg wants to get the sale done soon. “I think the astute business move would be to get it done ASAP, and to me that’s in the next 48 hours. Before this week is over, for sure,” Winnipeg mayor Sam Katz said.

Read More: NHL, Thrashers,

NFL ‘team fine’ plan in the works for dangerous hits

05.25.11 at 11:01 am ET
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In an effort to address player safety in the NFL, the league is looking into a new “team fine” system for teams that have multiple players who are fined throughout the season.

The plan is not official yet, but plans are in the works. “We’re still working on specifics. Let’s just say it would be significant and reasonable,” league vice president Adolpho Birch said.

“As a club’s total [number of fines] increases to a certain threshold, we will enforce some … payback to encourage clubs to stay below that threshold,” he added.

Also, at the owners meetings in Indianapolis, NFL VP Ray Anderson said that suspensions would again be considered for hits that are considered flagrant violations. It was also noted that fines and suspensions would be easier to come by in 2011.

Read More: Adolpho Birch, NFL, Rumor Mill,