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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.

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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,

Brett Favre upgraded to questionable

12.20.10 at 1:10 pm ET
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Just hours before Monday night’s game in Minneapolis between the Vikings and Bears, the Vikings upgraded Brett Favre to questionable. A team spokesman said the team will watch Favre throw about two hours before kickoff and then decide on his status.

Favre has not practiced all week due to a sprained throwing shoulder. He missed last week’s game vs. the Giants, ending his NFL-record streak of consecutive regular-season starts at 297.

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Jets coach Rex Ryan returns to emotional ways

12.20.10 at 7:34 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: Ducks at Bruins, 7:30 p.m. (VERSUS)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Jets coach Rex Ryan returned to his emotional ways, tearing up before his team in a meeting Saturday night, and it helped inspire the Jets to a victory over the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Sunday. “He welled up, he got emotional and we took it as a personal challenge,” right tackle Wayne Hunter said. “Rex is very emotional guy, and just seeing that passion in his heart and seeing the passion in his eyes fired us up. The game could not come any sooner. It was a long night and long day, waiting for this game to start.”

Said receiver Jerricho Cotchery: “To see that passion from Rex shows you how much he cares about it. It has an effect on you as a player. You want to go out there and give it all for our coach who’s up there crying. Our coach is a very passionate guy. To see how much he cares, to see him pulling it out up there, there was a sense of, ‘Let’s go. We’ve got to get better.’ We made sure we laid it on the line for him and for ourselves.”

‘™¦ The UConn women’s team won it’s 88th consecutive game Sunday, tying the UCLA men for the longest winning streak in college basketball. In the New York Post, Lenn Robbins looks at UConn coach Geno Auriemma‘s path from Italian immigrant to legendary coach. After the win, Auriemma talked about he lack of respect for women’s sports and how some fans of the men’s game are jealous.

‘™¦ Former Knick and onetime Celtic Ray Williams, whose downfall into homelessness was publicized this fall, was given a job in his hometown of Mount Vernon, N.Y. Now a mayor’s assistant/recreation specialist, Williams is happy to get the chance to get back on his feet.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 20, 1989, the Red Sox released two well-known players, a once-promising slugger and a veteran pitcher. Who were the players the Sox cut?

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Geno Auriemma, Ray Williams, Rex Ryan,

Zack Greinke traded to Brewers

12.20.10 at 7:06 am ET
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Pitcher Zack Greinke, the 2009 American League Cy Young winner, was traded from the Royals to the Brewers on Sunday along with shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt for a package that includes shortstop Alcides Escobar, outfielder Lorenzo Cain and right-handed pitching prospects Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress.

“Zack Greinke is one of the top young pitchers in the game today,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said in a statement. “We are very excited to add him to our new rotation.”

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Terrell Owens’ season over after suffering knee injury

12.19.10 at 9:49 pm ET
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The season, and possibly career, of Terrell Owens is over after the wide receiver suffered a meniscus tear in his knee during the Bengals’ 19-17 win over the Browns Sunday. Owens finishes his 2010 season having made 72 catches for 983 yards and nine touchdowns. According to Pro Football Talk, the Bengals had considered deactivating Owens for the final three games of the season after the wideout’s controversial comments made on The T.Ocho Show criticizing the Bengals’ coaching staff.

Read More: Rumor Mill,

Tim Tebow to get first NFL start for Broncos

12.18.10 at 5:59 pm ET
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According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via twitter), Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow will make his first career NFL start on Sunday in Oakland against the Raiders. The Broncos took the former Heisman trophy winner in the first round of the 2010 draft, but have used him sparingly thus far. Tebow has thrown one pass — a three-yard touchdown pass — and has run 12 times for 28 yards and three touchdowns.

With Broncos starting quarterback Kyle Orton sidelined by injured ribs (he is officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s contest), Denver has apparently made the decision to explore what Tebow can do as an NFL quarterback.

Read More: Denver Broncos, Rumor Mill, Tim Tebow,

Report: Magic close to deal with Suns to set up trade for Gilbert Arenas

12.18.10 at 2:44 pm ET
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The Magic may be close to acquiring a Hibachi.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Orlando is deeply involved in a pair of deals that would ultimately net them guard Gilbert Arenas from the Washington Wizards. The Magic would first send Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus, a first-round pick and $3 million to the Suns in exchange for Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Earl Clark. The Magic would then deal Rashard Lewis to the Wizards as the centerpiece of a deal for Arenas, who has four years and $60 million remaining on his contract with Washington.

Orlando GM Otis Smith confirmed to reporters that he is talking to the Wizards about a deal for Arenas, but he said on Saturday that a deal is not imminent.

Read More: Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu, jason richardson, rashard lewis

Zack Greinke fires agent, requests trade from Royals

12.17.10 at 8:02 pm ET
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According to FoxSports.com, Royals pitcher Zack Greinke — who switched agents on Friday, and is now represented by Casey Close and Jeff Barry of CAA — wants out of Kansas City and has requested that the Royals trade him. The 2009 AL Cy Young winner said late in the 2010 season that his team’s struggles led him to feel a lack of motivation at times during the season, in which he struggled to a 10-14 record and 4.17 ERA. But with Cliff Lee having signed with the Phillies and no other top pitchers available in free agency, Greinke has requested a trade, the report suggests, and the Royals have talked to “numerous suitors” about dealing him.

Greinke has a no-trade provision that blocks trades to 15 clubs. The Red Sox and Yankees are both reportedly on that list, while the Rangers — viewed as a good trade partner for the Royals — are not.

Read More: Kansas City Royals, Rumor Mill, zack greinke,