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A’s to meet with Lance Berkman

11.30.10 at 11:05 am ET
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One of A’s general manager Billy Beane‘s priorities this offseason is to find a reliable hitter who can help the club score more runs for its talented pitching staff. So, on Tuesday, they are planning to meet with 34-year-old free agent Lance Berkman. The switch-hitter batted .248 with 14 home runs and 58 RBIs this past season between the Astros and Yankees. In late October the Yankees declined to exercise the $15 million contract option for Berkman, who received a $2 million buyout.

The A’s finished 81-81 in 2010. They stayed in the AL West chase until late in the season, losing out to the eventual AL champion Rangers.

Read More: Billy Beane, Lance Berkman, Rumor Mill,

Carlos Boozer practicing with the Bulls after hand injury

11.30.10 at 11:04 am ET
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For the first time since breaking his right hand in an accident at his home on Oct. 2, forward Carlos Boozer practiced with the Bulls on Monday. He wore a modified padded glove that shields the broken fifth metatarsal, but leaves his thumb and first two fingers exposed so he can get a feel for the ball. Boozer reported no problems after practice and said, “I feel pretty good. I got my protective glove on. During practice, my hand felt pretty good. It’s getting better and better, which is all I could hope for.”

Despite the successful outing, coach Tom Thibodeau wasn’t ready to make a decision on whether Boozer would play Wednesday against the Magic. “He looked fine,” Thibodeau said. “We’ll see how it goes tomorrow (in practice) and in the shoot-around on Wednesday. For the first day, it was very good.”

Boozer missed the entire preseason and hasn’t played in any of the Bulls’ 15 regular season games to date. Thibodeau said that Boozer will move into the Bulls’ starting lineup in place of Taj Gibson, who has averaged 11.5 points and 7.1 rebounds in 27.5 minutes as Boozer’s replacement. Last year, with the Jazz, Boozer averaged 19.5 points and 11.2 rebounds in 78 games, and averaged 34.3 minutes per game. The number of minutes Boozer will play for the Bulls depends on his conditioning said Thibodeau.

Read More: Carlos Boozer, Rumor Mill, Taj Gibson, Tom Thibodeau

Prince Fielder on the trading block?

11.30.10 at 10:00 am ET
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Will the Milwaukee Brewers deal Prince Fielder? That’s the key question of their offseason and general manager Doug Melvin is debating that very scenario. He told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. You can’t say one or the other. I haven’t decided yet.” In other words, make him an offer.

Fielder will be a free agent after the 2011 season and he is represented by Scott Boras who does not like his clients to sign extensions before they hit the open market, so any deal would probably be for a one-year rental. Not surprisingly Boras is thinking Fielder is worth Mark Teixeira money. Still, a number of teams would like a power bat in the middle of the lineup including perhaps the Red Sox.

Read More: prince fielder, red sox, Rumor Mill, Scott Boras

Report: Rockies’ Troy Tulowitzki close to new megadeal

11.30.10 at 9:56 am ET
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The Denver Post is reporting that Rockies All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowizki is close to completing a new mega-deal that may extend as long as 10 years.  Citing sources that are close to the negotiations, The Post says Tulowitzki has reportedly signed a seven-year, $134 million extension that will carry him through the 2020 season. Tulowitzki won his first Gold Glove and NL Silver Slugger awards this year, hitting .315 with 27 homers and 95 RBIs despite missing 33 games with a broken wrist.

The Post is also reporting that the Rockies have agreed in principle on a deal with left-handed pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, pending a physical. It is a two-year, $21.5 million contract that includes a player option for a third year that could increase the deal’s value to $32 million. If De La Rosa forgoes free agency and exercises the option, the Rockies receive a fourth-year club option for $11 million.

The Rockies have schedule a news conference for Tuesday.

Read More: Jorge De La Rosa, Rumor Mill, Troy Tulowitzki,

Tony Romo throws passes at Cowboys’ practice

11.30.10 at 9:55 am ET
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Tony Romo, who broke his left collarbone on Oct. 25, has done all the prescribed rehabilitation work and kept the rest of his body in shape during recovery. He goes to all the Cowboys’ meetings and watches games from the sideline. And on Monday, Romo was back on the Cowboys’ practice field throwing soft passes during warm-ups. Romo has lobbed balls on the field before each of the past two games, but this is the first time he was seen throwing to teammates during the portion of practice open to the media.

“The mindset we have as an organization is to get him as healthy as we can as quickly as we can,” interim coach Jason Garrett said. “He has his mindset to come back as quickly as he can.” Romo has a target date for return set on the second-to-last game, Dec. 25 at the Cardinals. The Cowboys have made a return possible by not putting Romo on injured reserve. The collarbone did not require surgery, just rest and rehab.

The Cowboys were 1-6 coming out of the game during which Romo was injured. Backup Jon Kitna has gone 2-2 and put up remarkably similar numbers.

Read More: Jason Garrett, Jon Kitna, Rumor Mill, Tony Romo

Boise State kicker Kyle Brotzman a target of taunts

11.30.10 at 9:54 am ET
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As if missing two field goals in Boise State’s 34-31 overtime loss to Nevada on Friday wasn’t difficult enough, Broncos kicker Kyle Brotzman is now having to endure an endless stream of taunts on social networking sites. The senior kicker, and leading scorer in school history, missed a game-winner from 26 yards with two seconds left in regulation followed by another from 29 yards out in overtime. The loss spoiled the Broncos’ unbeaten season and their hopes of playing in a BCS bowl game.

It didn’t take long for angry fans to turn on Brotzman, who grew up in the Boise area. Within hours the Ada County Sheriff’s Department got a report about callers leaving obnoxious, harassing telephone messages. That was followed by the emergence of dozens of Facebook pages filled with ugly name-calling, jabs and taunts aimed at Brotzman. However, supporters also responded quickly starting “Bronco Nation Loves Kyle Brotzman” and “We Still Love Kyle Brotzman” pages to stand by the beleaguered kicker.

Broncos’ coach Chris Petersen tried to deflect criticism away from Brotzman on Monday, saying no single person is responsible in a loss like that and that there is plenty of blame to go around.

Read More: Boise State, Chris Peterson, Kyle Brotzman, Rumor Mill

Alabama PA announcer fired for song choices

11.30.10 at 9:54 am ET
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The University of Alabama terminated an employee Monday who played unauthorized songs aimed at Auburn quarterback Cam Newton over the Bryant-Denny Stadium public address system prior to Friday’s Iron Bowl. Two of the pregame song choices were “Take the Money and Run,” by The Steve Miller Band and “Son of a Preacher Man,” by Aretha Franklin. The NCAA has been investigating allegations that Newton’s father, a pastor, solicited $180,000 from Mississippi state during recruiting.

Alabama spokeswoman Debbie Lane said in a statement that all music and videos played in the stadium before and during games have to be approved by a senior athletic administrator. The part-time staffer, who has not been named by the university, did not get those songs cleared. “The University of Alabama takes great pride in our football team’s long-standing tradition of playing the game with dignity and class, and showing respect for players and coaches of opposing teams,” Lane said. “We are disappointed when the actions of any staff member undermine our deeply held values and expectations.”

Read More: Cam Newton, Rumor Mill,

Andrew Bynum still weeks away from return

11.30.10 at 9:34 am ET
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Lakers center Andrew Bynum worked out with the team on Monday, but he said that he is still several weeks away from returning to game action, possibly by Dec. 19 when the Lakers play Toronto. Bynum had knee surgery for the second time in three years last summer. He delayed the procedure to attend the World Cup, which raised a few eyebrows.

The Lakers have been getting along fine without him, but they are thin in the middle without him and veteran Theo Ratliff.

Read More: Andrew Bynum, Lakers, Rumor Mill,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Derek Anderson’s MNF rant sure to be a classic

11.30.10 at 7:58 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:
NBA: Celtics at Cavaliers, 7 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ In the latest press conference rant sure to become a YouTube classic, Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson reacted angrily to a reporter’s question about why he was spotted laughing in the fourth quarter of Arizona’s blowout loss to the 49ers on Monday night. “I take this [expletive] serious. Real serious.” Anderson said shortly before storming off the podium. “I put my heart and soul into this [expletive] every single week. … It’s not funny. Nothing’s funny to me.”

Here’s the video:

‘™¦ Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan and Texans receiver Andre Johnson were fined $25,000 each for their fight in Sunday’s game. Kevin Blackistone at AOL FanHouse wonders why neither player was suspended by an NFL that has been aggressive in its disciplinary decisions of late.

‘™¦ The USC student/agent who got running back Dillon Baxter suspended for a game by giving him a ride on a golf cart is not apologetic for his actions. In The Los Angeles Times, T.J. Simers talks to the student, Teague Egan, and gives some blame to the NCAA for certifying him as an agent.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 30, 1990, Larry Bird scored his 20,000th career point in the Celtics’ 123-95 rout of Washington. In the process, he became the fifth player in NBA history to have 20,000 points, 5,000 rebounds and 5,000 assists. Which four players (including one Celtic) preceded him?

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Andre Johnson, Cortland Finnegan, Derek Anderson, Dillon Baxter

Yankees want Derek Jeter to ‘drink the reality potion’

11.30.10 at 1:14 am ET
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According to ESPN.com, the Yankees and the agent for Derek Jeter have not been negotiating since at least the holiday weekend, with the Yankees waiting until Jeter and agent Casey Close “drink the reality potion,” according to a source cited by the article.

The Yankees, according to the website, have a standing three-year, $45 million offer for Jeter, who is coming off the worst year of his career at age 36. Jeter is reportedly seeking more years at an annual rate of $23-25 million per season. Yankees GM Brian Cashman told ESPN.com last week that Jeter was welcome to shop for a better offer than the one New York has made, with the belief that no team will match it.

Read More: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees, Rumor Mill,