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Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, Lou Piniella honored by baseball writers

01.24.11 at 11:40 am ET
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Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Lou Piniella, all of whom retired from managing this year, were honored by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Saturday for their combined 81 years of managerial experience.

Cox finished fourth in career regular-season wins with 2,504, while Torre finished fifth with 2,326 and Piniella 14th with 1,835.

Torre and Piniella both thanked late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner ‘€” Torre for letting him manage New York for 12 years and Piniella for giving him his start as a manager. Cox, meanwhile, singled out former Braves pitchers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz ‘for allowing me to keep working.’

Read More: Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, Lou Piniella, Rumor Mill

Sidney Crosby will miss All-Star Game

01.24.11 at 11:37 am ET
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Penguins star Sidney Crosby, who is still recovering from a concussion, will not attend the NHL All-Star Game, the Penguins announced Monday.

Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero said Crosby is making progress, but that he is not yet symptom-free. He has still not been cleared to return to physical activity.

Read More: Rumor Mill, Sidney Crosby,

Evgeni Nabokov hangs up on Islanders GM Garth Snow

01.24.11 at 10:52 am ET
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Shortly after claiming Evgeni Nabokov off waivers, Islanders general manager Garth Snow called the veteran goaltender to welcome him to the organization. Instead, Nabokov hung up immediately after Snow identified himself.

Nabokov’s agent, Don Meehan, later told Snow it was all a misunderstanding and that Nabokov did not realize who he was talking to, mistakenly thinking it was just another reporter calling.

“I just gave him the benefit of the doubt and I said to Donnie, ‘Do me a favor. When he gets done with all his phone calls, give him my number and get back to me,’ ” Snow told The Associated Press.

Snow and Nabokov finally talked Sunday, but it remains uncertain if Nabokov will join the Islanders. Nabokov was hoping to join the Stanley Cup-contending Red Wings, but was instead claimed by the Islanders, who are 18 points out of the eighth playoff spot in the East.

Read More: Evgeni Nabokov, Garth Snow, Rumor Mill,

Report: Carson Palmer wants trade from Bengals

01.24.11 at 7:40 am ET
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Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer plans to ask the team for a trade and will consider retiring if Cincinnati does not accommodate him, according to an ESPN report.

Palmer, who was drafted No. 1 overall in 2003 and has only played for the Bengals, is under contract through 2014. The Bengals went 4-12 this season.

Read More: Carson Palmer, Rumor Mill,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Jets fans hold rally at Rex Ryan’s house

01.24.11 at 7:32 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’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 MONDAY:
NHL: Bruins at Kings 10:30 p.m. (NESN)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Jets coach Rex Ryan got a sendoff from fans in the town where he lives before the Jets lost Sunday’s AFC championship game to the Steelers. Fans were invited to show up outside his New Jersey house Saturday morning for an early morning pep rally. Invitations were sent by the mayor of Summit, N.J., as well as the local high school football coach. The event was approved by Ryan’s wife, Michelle, who made an appearance.

Meanwhile, after Sunday’s game, Ryan told the media he plans to be back next year, and people that want to criticize his team can “go ahead, but you’ve really got no right.”

‘™¦ Jay Cutler‘s toughness has been questioned after the Bears quarterback left Sunday’s NFL championship game against the Packers with a knee injury. In the Chicago Sun-Times, Rick Telander defenders Cutler, writing that he has many flaws, but lack of toughness isn’t one of them.

‘™¦ The Lakers are showing signs of trouble during the regular season, but that’s something they’ve done before, only to regroup in time for the playoffs. In The Los Angeles Times, Mark Heisler explains why this year’s edition of the Lakers might not be able to turn things around in time.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Jan. 24, 1971, the Bruins beat the Canadiens 4-2 at Boston Garden after a pregame ceremony honoring which active player?

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Ben Roethlisberger, Eric Valentin, Jay Cutler, Rex Ryan

Bears QB Jay Cutler questioned for toughness after leaving with injury

01.24.11 at 6:34 am ET
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Bears quarterback Jay Cutler left Sunday’s NFC championship game against the Packers in the first half with a left knee injury. He played the first series of the third quarter before leaving the game for good. Backup Todd Collins (from Walpole) came on in relief but was ineffective and was replaced by Caleb Hanie. The Bears lost the game, 21-14. Afterward, Cutler was being criticized for an apparent lack of toughness.

Tweeted NFL analyst Deion Sanders: Folks i never question a players injury but i do question a players heart.

Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett tweeted: If I’m on chicago team jay cutler has to wait till me and the team shower get dressed and leave before he comes in the locker room!

Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher defended his teammate. “Nothing like jealous people at home watching,” he said. “Players around the league you said, right? Yeah, I love jealous people when they are watching our game on TV while their season is over.”

Added Urlacher: “Jay was hurt. I don’t question his toughness, he’s tough as hell. He’s one of the toughest players on our football team. He doesn’t complain when he gets hit. He goes out there and plays every Sunday, he practices every single day, so, no, we don’t question his toughness.”

Read More: Jay Cutler, Rumor Mill,

Fitness legend Jack LaLanne dead at 96

01.24.11 at 6:27 am ET
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Fitness guru Jack LaLanne died Sunday of respiratory failure due to pneumonia Sunday afternoon at his home in central California, his longtime agent said.

“I have not only lost my husband and a great American icon, but the best friend and most loving partner anyone could ever hope for,” Elaine LaLanne, LaLanne’s wife of 51 years and a frequent partner in his television appearances, said in a written statement.

LaLanne had a television show from the 1950s to the 1970s in which he demonstrated exercises using no special equipment. He continued to be an inspiration to Americans until his death. He founded a chain of fitness studios and late in his life he promoted Jack LaLanne’s Power Juicer.

Read More: Jack LaLanne, Rumor Mill,

Source: Red Sox didn’t view Mike Napoli as a full-time catcher

01.23.11 at 10:25 am ET
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According to a major league source, the Red Sox weren’€™t interested in dealing for catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli after they acquired first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. The Sox, who had claimed Napoli off waivers in August, viewed the 29-year-old more of first baseman and third catcher than full-time backstop.

Napoli was dealt to the Blue Jays Friday night along with outfielder Juan Rivera in exchange for outfielder Vernon Wells. Napoli is in his third offseason of being arbitration-eligible, and will be eligible for free agency following the 2011 season. In 140 games he hit .238 with 26 home runs, playing 70 games at first base and 66 behind the plate.

Despite the fact Wells is owned $86 million over the next four seasons ($23 million, and $21 million each season after that through ‘€™14), the Blue Jays weren’€™t forced to send any money to the Angels in the deal.

For more Red Sox news, see the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Read More: Rumor Mill,

Report: Blue Jays send Vernon Wells to Angels for Mike Napoli

01.21.11 at 6:23 pm ET
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According to FoxSports.com, the Angels have agreed to deal catcher Mike Napoli. While the return is as yet unknown, the deal remains unofficial until the players involved take physicals.

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reports that the Blue Jays will be sending outfielder Vernon Wells to the Angels in the deal, which will feature additional players beyond Napoli and Wells.

Wells is viewed as having one of the most onerous contracts in the majors. He is playing under a seven-year, $126 million deal that has four years and $86 million remaining. In 2010, he hit .273/.331/.515/.847 with 31 homers and 88 RBI, his most homers since 2006. The performance earned him his third career All-Star berth, and his first since 2006. He also has three Gold Gloves, and seems likely to be used as the center fielder for the Angels.

Even so, the 32-year-old’s production was considered disappointing to the Blue Jays after he agreed to the extension in the 2006-07 offseason, one year before he was eligible for free agency. The fifth overall pick of the 1997 draft has a career .280/.329/.475/.804 line, and never emerged into the superstar that the Jays anticipated when they signed him.

Napoli, 29, hit .238/.316/.468/.784 with 26 homers in 140 games split between catcher and first base for the Angels last year. The 2010 season was the third straight in which he’d hit 20 or more homers. The Sox placed a waiver claim on Napoli when the Angels put him on August waivers last season, but the Halos pulled him back when the two sides did not strike a deal. Napoli’s career highlight with the Angels, meanwhile, likely came against the Sox, when he crushed two homers against Josh Beckett in Game 3 of the 2009 American League Division Series.

Read More: Angels, blue jays, mike napoli, Rumor Mill

Bart Scott leaves quite an impression on Hulk Hogan

01.21.11 at 3:27 pm ET
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According to ESPN.com, Bart Scott’s rant following his Jets’ win over the Patriots last Sunday caught the attention of former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan.

“I knew when Bart looked down the barrel of the camera he believed in himself and in what he was saying,” the 57-year-old Hogan told ESPN. “And that makes him a real dangerous man.”

Ironically, Scott idolized Hogan while growing up in Detroit, emulating his moves and mannerisms.

“It was like one of my mid-’80s promos, and all that was missing were a few ‘What are you gonna dos?’ and some lightning bolts in there,” Hogan said. “It was right on the money. I think it’s cool that [Scott] is stepping up and showboating it a bit, because it’s about personality and entertaining people, too.

“I could tell Bart had been watching wrestling, and it’s pretty cool because a lot of these guys are afraid to step outside the box. … Sometimes when you say stuff you believe it and it happens.”

For the complete story, click here.

Read More: Rumor Mill,