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Report: Cavaliers wanted Larry Bird as coach

10.05.10 at 3:41 pm ET
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According to a CBS Sports report, Celtics great Larry Bird was contacted by the Cavaliers this summer about his interest in returning to coaching before the team hired Byron Scott. The story indicates that Bird took the Cavaliers call but turned down the organization, saying he was likely done coaching.

Bird has not coached since 2000, when he took the Pacers to the NBA finals. In his three seasons at the helm, the Pacers went 147-67 and he was named Coach of the Year after the 1997-98 season. Bird remains the only person in league history to win an MVP and Coach of the Year award.

The three-time NBA champion has served as Pacers president of basketball operations since 2003. In his six seasons, the team has made two coaching changes, with none of the coaches achieving the same measure of success.

Read More: byron scott, Larry Bird, Rumor Mill,

Ryder Cup captaincy interests Jose Maria Olazabal

10.05.10 at 3:00 pm ET
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Less than a day after the European Ryder Cup team defeated the United States in thrilling fashion, Jose Maria Olazabal has admitted he is attracted by the notion of captaining the 2012 team. Olazabal served as one of the vice captains to Colin Montgomerie for the past two Ryder Cups and has played in seven of the tournaments.

The one major concern for Olazabal is his health. The 44-year-old has rheumatoid arthritis, which has cut down his ability to participate in Tour events. His health appears to be the sole factor holding the popular Spaniard back from being the captain in 2012 when the tournament will be held outside Chicago.

“You need to be close to the players and play with them during the qualifying process, that is why [health] is the only question mark,” Olazabal said. “But I have always said the Ryder Cup is special, it’s a unique event, and it’s been great to be part of it.”

Read More: colin montgomerie, jose marie olazabal, Rumor Mill,

Report: Seahawks acquire Marshawn Lynch from Bills

10.05.10 at 2:48 pm ET
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According to a tweet from Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, the Seahawks acquired running back Marshawn Lynch from the Bills for a fourth-round draft pick in 2011 and a conditional pick in 2012.

Lynch had expressed an interest in leaving Buffalo, but the Bills were said to have no plans to trade the fourth-year pro. In four games this season, Lynch has rushed 37 times for 164 yards, an average of 4.4 per carry and 41.0 per game.

Read More: Marshawn Lynch, Rumor Mill,

Report: A.J. Burnett won’t start ALDS game for Yankees

10.05.10 at 2:12 pm ET
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The Yankees announced that their rotation for the first three games of the American League Division Series against the Twins will be CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes. The team did not name a Game 4 starter, but an ESPN report indicated that A.J. Burnett will be passed over and Sabathia brought back on short rest if needed.

Burnett, in the second year of an $82.5 million, five-year contract, went 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA this season.

Read More: A.J. Burnett, cc sabathia, Rumor Mill,

Report: Mike Ilitch to purchase Pistons

10.05.10 at 2:08 pm ET
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Mike Ilitch, who already owns the Tigers and Red Wings, will purchase the Pistons, according to an Associated Press report. The report indicated that financial terms are being negotiated.

Former Pistons owner Bill Davidson died last year. His widow, Karen, has said she expected to have a deal done before the start of the season later this month.

Read More: Bill Davidson, Mike Ilitch, Rumor Mill,

Dolphins fire special teams coach John Bonamego

10.05.10 at 12:58 pm ET
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The Dolphins fired special teams coordinator John Bonamego on Tuesday, just 12 hours after the team’s breakdowns helped the Patriots post a 41-14 victory. Patriots safety Patrick Chung blocked a punt to set up a touchdown, then Chung blocked a field goal attempt that Kyle Arrington returned 35 yards for another score. Brandon Tate also returned the second-half kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown. The Dolphins led the game 7-6 at halftime.

“It’s a hard decision to make,” Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. “I know how hard this guy works. Nobody works harder than him at what he does. Special teams is a hard area because there’s a lot of hands involved in that area.”

The team announced that assistant special teams coach Darren Rizzo will take over the unit. Bonamego had been the Dolphins’ special teams coach since 2008.

Read More: John Bonamego, Miami Dolphins, Rumor Mill,

LEEInks List: Memorable slip-ups by sports media personalities

10.05.10 at 9:07 am ET
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While fans prefer their sports reporters and commentators to have personality, there have been a few times in recent years that the public has witnessed certain journalists in situations that are a little too personal.

Whether it’€™s getting drunk and spouting out expletives or starting a domestic dispute with a significant other, some sports reporters seem to forget that they are constantly in the public eye.

From the raunchy to the just plain rude, here is a list of 10 memorable slip-ups by sports journalist in the past five years.

10. Bob Griese

The ESPN broadcaster and former Dolphins quarterback was suspended one week in October 2009 for a remark he made about NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya.

During ESPN’s broadcast of the Minnesota-Ohio State game one Saturday, a graphic was shown listing the top five drivers in NASCAR’s points race. Fellow analyst Chris Spielman asked where was Montoya, who is Colombian.

Griese replied that he was “out having a taco.”

After the incident, ESPN addressed Griese, and network spokesman Josh Krulewitz said Griese “understands the comment was inappropriate.” He apologized twice on air for the remark.


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9. Tony Kornheiser

In February, Kornheiser, a host of ESPN’€™s ‘€œPardon the Interruption,’€ was given a two-week suspension for comments he made regarding ESPN co-worker Hannah Storm‘€™s wardrobe choices.

Kornheiser’s criticisms included a “way too short” plaid skirt, “red go-go boots” and a “very, very tight shirt” that looked like “she had sausage casing wrapping around her upper body.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Jay Mariotti, Sean Salisbury, Shannon Sharpe, Steve Phillips

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Another reported failed test for Alberto Contador

10.05.10 at 7:45 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 TODAY:
NHL Preseason: Bruins at Liberec (Czech Republic), 1 p.m.

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ According a new report, Tour de France winner Alberto Contador tested for high levels of a chemical that is found in plastic IV bags. Contador, who last month blamed tainted beef for the existence of high levels of the banned drug clenbuterol, has yet to come up with an explanation for the existence of a plasticizer in his urine.

‘™¦ The Knicks, one of three NBA teams playing in Europe this preseason, plan to take photos at the Eiffel Tower in Paris despite recent alleged terrorist threats. A league spokesman said that additional security measures have been taken to protect the Knicks, as well as the Lakers and Timberwolves.

‘™¦ Three key players who were suspended for the first four games of the NFL season are set to return. In The Los Angeles Times, Sam Farmer looks at how Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Texans linebacker Brian Cushing and Jets receiver Santonio Holmes will help the rich get richer.

‘™¦ With the Giants advancing to the MLB playoffs for the first time since 2003, the team-oriented club is finally moving past the Barry Bonds era, writes Steve Henson at Yahoo! Sports.

‘™¦ The New York Times has an interesting piece on baseball’s on-deck circle and the propensity of some hitters to stand well outside it in order to get a closer look at pitchers.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Oct. 5, 1967, in Game 2 of the World Series, Red Sox left-hander Jim Lonborg allowed only one hit in a 5-0 victory — a two-out, eighth-inning double to which Cardinal?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “No, I wasn’t that surprised, but I guess everybody else is.” ‘€” Patriots coach Bill Belichick, on his team’s performance in Monday night’s 41-14 rout of the Dolphins

STAT OF THE DAY: 131 ‘€” Career games for Tom Brady to reach 100 wins, the fastest by a quarterback in NFL history

‘NET RESULTS: Kaspars Daugavins of the American Hockey League’s Binghamton Senators scores on a creative shootout goal.

Here’s a soccer slide tackle so violent the player didn’t even have to fake being injured.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Julian Javier

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Steve Miller is 67 on Tuesday.

Read More: Alberto Contador, Ben Roethlisberger, Brian Cushing, Santonio Holmes

Gesture costs Titans coordinator Chuck Cecil $40K

10.04.10 at 5:22 pm ET
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Titans defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil was fined $40,000 Monday by the NFL for flipping the middle finger at an official during Sunday’s game. Last season, Cecil was fined $20,000 for poor conduct towards game officials, after the Titans’ game against the Chargers on Christmas.

In the second quarter Sunday, Cecil was caught on camera gesturing toward the officials after the Titans were called for a neutral-zone infraction deep in their own territory. On the next play, the Broncos scored to take a 7-0 lead.

Cecil may have gotten off relatively lightly after the NFL office’s recent actions. Last season, Titans owner Bud Adams was slapped with a $250,000 fine for committing the same action while in his box during a game. This past offseason, Rex Ryan received a  $50,000 fine when he flipped off Dolphins fans at an MMA event.

Read More: Chuck Cecil, Rumor Mill,

Clearing house: Several NL teams fire managers

10.04.10 at 5:20 pm ET
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The 2010 baseball coaching carousel became a little bit wilder Monday after three National League teams cut ties with their managers. The moves brought the grand total of managers who lost their job this season to eight and does not include the four managers who have or will retire.

The Mets officially fired manager Jerry Manuel and general manager Omar Minaya after another disappointing season. Manuel took over halfway through the 2008 season and led the Mets within a game of the playoffs before watching the team struggle through the past two years. The 2000 American League Manager of the Year could not eclipse the 80-win mark in either of the past two years, leading New York to back-to-back fourth-place finishes in the National League East.

Minaya took over as the general manager of the Mets in 2004 and watched the team make the playoffs just once in his seven seasons at the helm. Over the past few seasons he pieced together a star-studded roster that had the fifth-highest payroll in the majors but struggled to be a threat in the NL East. The Mets have announced they will find a new general manager first, who will then provide input on the new manager.

The Pirates fired third-year manager John Russell Monday. Russell led the team to its second-worst record in franchise history this year with a 57-105 record. Sunday’s loss against the Marlins tied Russell with Fred Haney (1953-55) for the most losses in a three-year span with 299.

Brewers fans could possibly see a fourth manager in just over two years after the team told Ken Macha that his option for next season would not be picked up. In two seasons, Macha led the Brewers to a 157-67 record coming off the Brewers’ first playoff appearance in 26 years. Possible replacements for Macha include former Brewers interim manager (and Red Sox third base coach) Dale Sveum, who was passed up in favor of Macha in 2008, and former Mets manager Willie Randolph.

Read More: Jerry Manuel, John Russell, Ken Macha, Omar Minaya