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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Jason Whitlock, Peter King battle over Hall of Fame process

02.16.11 at 7:35 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’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 WEDNESDAY:
NBA: Nets at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Jason Whitlock of FoxSports.com and Peter King of Sports Illustrated are engaged in a dispute centered around the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection process. Whitlock does not approve of the way candidates are selected ‘€” “It’s a system and process that should shame legit journalists,” he wrote. King, one of the power brokers, did not take well to the criticism and attempted to explain and defend himself. The issue of race was brought into the discussion.

‘™¦ The Mariners announced Monday that Ken Griffey Jr. would return to the team as a special assistant. In The Seattle Times, Steve Kelley writes that Griffey still owes Seattle an apology after his ignominious departure from the team and game in 2010.

‘™¦ The first NBA All-Star Game was played in Boston 60 years ago. At FanHouse, Chris Tomasson writes about the event and Ed Macauley, the Celtics center who was named MVP two years after the fact and received a trophy 52 years later.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Feb. 16, 1980, which Bruin recorded an assist in a 5-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies to give him 1,220 career points and pass Jean Beliveau for seventh on the NHL career scoring list?

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Read More: Ed Maccauley, Jason Whitlock, Ken Griffey, Peter King

Colts franchise Peyton Manning

02.16.11 at 6:53 am ET
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Peyton Manning was given the franchise tag by the Colts, setting up the four-time MVP for a 2011 salary of about $23 million. The team and player have been in negotiations for a new long-term contract.

Manning is one of the Colts’ key free agents, a list that includes running back Joseph Addai, kicker Adam Vinatieri, offensive lineman Charlie Johnson, safety Melvin Bullitt, linebacker Clint Session and defensive tackle Dan Muir.

Read More: Peyton Manning, Rumor Mill,

Redskins’ Albert Haynesworth denies sexual abuse claim

02.15.11 at 10:40 am ET
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Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, via his agent, denied a report that he inappropriately touched a waitress at her a downtown Washington hotel restaurant early Sunday.

“There seems to be no truth to these allegations,” agent Chad Speck said Monday. “And we are currently evaluating the facts and considering our own legal actions against those involved.”

This is the latest in long list of problems for Haynesworth over the past year. Most recently, he was accused of road rage by a motorist in Virginia.

Read More: Albert Haynesworth, Rumor Mill,

Eagles franchise Michael Vick

02.15.11 at 10:31 am ET
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Quarterback Michael Vick was given the franchise tag by the Eagles on Tuesday. Vick was named Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year after leading Philadelphia to a 10-6 record and the NFC East title. He is scheduled to appear on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Feb. 24 to discuss his controversial past.

The Eagles also franchised kicker David Akers.

Read More: David Akers, michael vick, Rumor Mill,

North Andover wrestling coach faces child porn charges

02.15.11 at 9:13 am ET
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Longtime North Andover wrestling coach David Castricone was arrested Monday on child pornography charges and resigned his position, The Boston Globe reported. Castricone, 60, was charged with possession of child pornography following a search of his home, North Andover police said in a statement.

Police said they received a complaint from the North Andover High School administration about inappropriate behavior by Castricone, and that led to an investigation.

Castricone had coached at North Andover for 36 years. The Knights are defending state champions and will participate in the Division 2 state tournament Tuesday under the guidance of assistant coach Carl Cincotta.

Read More: David Castricone, Rumor Mill,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: ESPN broadcasters’ deal with Nike revealed

02.15.11 at 7:41 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:
NHL: Maple Leafs at Bruins, 7 p.m.

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ There was some controversy last month when Reebok announced a shoe deal with ESPN reporter Erin Andrews, as some speculated that her reporting on players who are sponsored by Reebok could be compromised. Now, The New York Times reports that ESPN’s College GameDay broadcasters Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit have had contracts with Nike.

According to an ESPN spokesman, Fowler said he plans to end his “minor association” with Nike “to avoid any potential perception issues.”

Said DePauw University journalism professor and Prindle Institute for Ethic director Bob Steele: “You do have to wonder why a sports journalist, or any journalist, would wander in this kind of ethical minefield without recognizing the consequences.’€

‘™¦ The Bobcats routed the Lakers on Monday, their eighth win in the last 10 games between the clubs. At FoxSports.com, Billy Witz looks for clues as to why this matchup has been so oddly lopsided. Said Charlotte guard Stephen Jackson: “I have no clue.” In a story in The Los Angeles Times, Lakers center Andrew Bynum expresses his dissatisfaction with his playing time, insisting he was playing hard and deserved more time.

‘™¦ The relationship between former Packers teammates Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers apparently is at the non-speaking point. At CBSSports.com, Mike Freeman looks at the reasons behind the dispute and has an anonymous member of the Packers saying Favre wants to reach out to Rodgers but is afraid that his gesture won’t appear sincere.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Feb. 15, 1976, the Red Sox signed which former Yankee only to leave him on the bench for a month before releasing him without a single appearance in a game?

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Read More: aaron rodgers, Andrew Bynum, brett favre, Chris Fowler

Flyers acquire Kris Versteeg from Leafs

02.15.11 at 7:05 am ET
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The Flyers acquired forward Kris Versteeg from the Maple Leafs on Monday in exchange for a first- and third-round pick in the 2011 draft.

Versteeg, who was in his first season in Toronto after winning a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks last year, has 14 goals and 21 assists in 53 games.

“Right away, I was extremely excited to join this team,” Versteeg said in a statement. “They’ve had a lot of success this season. They had a great playoff push last year and I’m excited to try and have a good one this year.

“I like to make plays and score goals at the same time, maybe go out there and be an agitator at times, too. I’m going to try and do it all and have fun doing it.”

Read More: Kris Versteeg, Rumor Mill,

Soccer legend Ronaldo announces retirement

02.15.11 at 6:53 am ET
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Brazilian soccer great Ronaldo, a three-time FIFA Player of the Year and the top goal-scorer in World Cup history, announced his retirement Monday. The 34-year-old striker played 18 years but has battled knee problems and hypothyroidism.

After playing most of his career in Europe, Ronaldo had struggled the last two seasons with the Brazilian club Corinthians.

“It’s very hard to leave something that made me so happy,” Ronaldo said at a press conference. “Mentally, I wanted to continue, but I have to acknowledge that I lost [the fight] to my body.”

Read More: Ronaldo, Rumor Mill,

John Harbaugh signs extension with Ravens

02.15.11 at 6:48 am ET
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John Harbaugh, who has taken the Ravens to the playoffs in each of his three seasons as coach, signed a three-year extension that will keep him in Baltimore through 2014.

“We have a lot of great people who are Ravens,” Harbaugh said. “I’m proud to be part of this. We all push each other and pull together. I said it when I came here: It’s about the team. And, we plan to be a championship team.”

Read More: John Harbaugh, Rumor Mil,

Cubs sign Carlos Marmol to $20M, three-year deal

02.15.11 at 6:45 am ET
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Closer Carlos Marmol avoided salary arbitration with the Cubs by agreeing to a $20 million, three-year deal Monday. Marmol, 28, had 38 saves in 43 chances with a 255 ERA last season. He was scheduled for an arbitration hearing Tuesday.

“I wanted to secure my life, my family, my career,” he said.

Read More: Carlos Marmol, Rumor Mill,