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Suspended Penguin Matt Cooke puts some blame on victim

02.11.11 at 11:39 am ET
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Penguins forward Matt Cooke met the media Thursday for the first time since being suspended four games for his hit on Columbus’ Fedor Tyutin. Cooke said he altered his game to avoid hits to the head like the one he delivered to Bruins center Marc Savard last season, but his hit on Tyutin came because Tyutin put himself in jeopardy.

“I’m not going to leave myself in a vulnerable position two feet from the boards when I know someone’s coming,” Cooke said.

As for the ruling, Cooke said: “It’s the league’s decision. They assess every hit and every play. That’s their ruling.” When asked if his reputation affected his suspension, he said: “No comment.”

Read More: matt cooke, Rumor Mill,

Barry Bonds hoping to have recording excluded from trial

02.11.11 at 8:48 am ET
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Barry Bonds‘ attorney will ask a judge on Friday to prohibit a recording of a conversation from being used during Bonds’ perjury trial, set to begin March 21.

In 2003, Stevie Hoskins, Bonds’ business manager, secretly recorded a conversation he had with Greg Anderson, Bonds’ personal trainer. During the conversation, Anderson reportedly discussed steroids and needles.

Prosecutors want to use the tape as evidence that Bonds lied to a federal grand jury when he denied knowingly using performance enhancing drugs.

On Thursday, the government cut the number of charges against Bonds from 11 to five, but the punishment Bonds could face remains the same.

Read More: Barry Bonds, Rumor Mill,

Josh Hamilton agrees to two-year deal with Rangers

02.11.11 at 8:48 am ET
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Reigning American League MVP Josh Hamilton and the Rangers avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $24 million deal.

Hamilton helped lead the Rangers to their first World Series appearance last season by hitting a league-leading .359 with 32 home runs and 100 RBIs.

He was selected first overall by the Rays in 1999, but his career was derailed by well-documented cocaine and alcohol addictions. He finally made his major league debut with the Reds in 2007 before being traded to the Rangers.

Read More: Josh Hamilton, Rumor Mill,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Former NFL scout, ESPN writer pleads guilty in child porn case

02.11.11 at 7:38 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Red Wings at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)

No games scheduled

NBA: Heat at Celtics, 1 p.m. (ABC; WEEI)
NHL: Bruins at Red Wings, 5 p.m. (NBC)


‘™¦ Former ESPN contributing NFL writer Jeremy Green, son of former NFL coach Dennis Green, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography Thursday in New Britain, Conn., according to a story in the Hartford Courant. Green is expected to receive a 20-year sentence and serve five years in prison before being released on probation.

Green, who worked as an NFL scout and director of pro personnel for the Browns before joining ESPN, was charged with sending sexually explicit photos and videos of a toddler to an undercover officer posing as a woman with three children and encouraging a meeting with the fake family. He was fired by ESPN after his arrest last July.

‘™¦ New York fans took to chanting Carmelo Anthony‘s name at Wednesday’s Knicks-Clippers game in anticipation of their team landing the Nuggets star in a trade. Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni wasn’t happy about it. “It’s not good,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it. It affects some of the players, without a doubt.”

‘™¦ NFL owners and players broke off talks Thursday after the players asked for a 50-50 split of profits. In The San Diego Union-Tribune, Tim Sullivan writes that this is part of the bargaining process, and everyone needs to have patience. But in the New York Daily News, Gary Myers writes that the stall is a bad sign.

‘™¦ Auburn Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton had a workout in front of the media Thursday, Bucky Brooks at writes that the quarterback made a powerful impression in the video that NFL personnel people will enjoy.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Feb. 11, 1960, which Bruin extended his point-scoring streak to 21 games? It would end at 22, a team record that still stands.

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Read More: Cam Newton, Carmelo Anthony, Dennis Green, Jeremy Green

Report: Longtime Jazz coach Jerry Sloan to resign

02.10.11 at 2:06 pm ET
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Jerry Sloan has been coach of the Jazz for 23 years, but the end has apparently come quickly. The Dessert-News reports that Sloan will resign Thursday, along with longtime assistant coach Phil Johnson. The Jazz have a news conference scheduled for this afternoon.

Sloan had recently signed a contract extension, but the Jazz have been struggling, losing 10 of their last 14 games. After a loss to Chicago Wednesday night, Sloan didn’t appear to meet the media for about 30 minutes. It was later revealed that he was in a meeting with general manager Kevin O’Connor.

The Jazz don’t do change. Sloan took over from Frank Layden during the 1988-89 season and has been one of only three coaches since the franchise moved to Utah in 1979 (Tom Nissalke was the other). Sloan oversaw the majority of the John Stockton and Karl Malone era and took the Jazz to two NBA finals where they lost to Michael Jordan‘s Chicago Bulls both times.

Sloan’s teams missed the playoffs only three times during his tenure, but he has never won Coach of the Year.

Read More: Jerry Sloan, Rumor Mill, Utah Jazz,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Pistons credit ESPN analyst Tim Legler for motivation

02.10.11 at 7:53 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Lakers at Celtics, 8 p.m. (TNT; WEEI)


‘™¦ Last month, ESPN football analyst Tom Jackson was in the middle of a controversy for saying he picked against the Jets in an effort to motivate them to beat the Patriots. On Wednesday, the Pistons extended the Cavaliers‘ losing streak to 26 games, and afterward the Detroit players credited ESPN’s Tim Legler for inspiring them. Legler predicted a Cavs victory.

“Tim Legler, we heard you,” Pistons forward Tracy McGrady said. “You gave us some bulletin-board material. We used that.”

‘™¦ Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is involved in a controversy as he allegedly had an intimate relationship with a 17-year-old high school girl this year. At FanHouse, Clay Travis writes that the girl is the one who deserves the criticism.

‘™¦ The hot NBA rumor this week was that the Lakers were trying to land Carmelo Anthony from the Nuggets, with Andrew Bynum as the likely bait. At, Ira Winderman writes that the Lakers should keep Bynum if they want to make a run at Dwight Howard next year.

‘™¦ With the NCAA tournament a month away, Michael Heistand at USA Today looks at the new broadcast set-up. Fans will be able to watch every contest because the games will be split among CBS, TNT, TBS and truTV.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Feb. 10, 1942, the members of the Bruins’ legendary Kraut Line played their final game before joining the Royal Canadian Air Force to fight in World War II, leading the B’s to an 8-1 victory. Who were the linemates?

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Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Mark Sanchez, Tim Legler, Tracy McGrady

New Bedford high school basketball star arrested, kicked off team

02.09.11 at 3:33 pm ET
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New Bedford High School basketball player Jules Tavares was removed from the team after being arraigned on a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon for allegedly pointing a gun at an individual after a confrontation in Wareham, the The New Bedford Standard-Times reported.

The Standard-Times reported that witnesses said Tavares and several friends showed up at a Wareham house party uninvited and stole some electronics, including a laptop computer, an iPhone and video games. When they were confronted outside the house by residents, a fight broke out. Tavares allegedly returned later and pointed a silver handgun in the victim’s face.

Tavares, a senior guard who leads the Whalers in scoring at 18.7 points per game, had already been suspended from the team Friday ‘€” his third suspension this season ‘€” before his arrest on Sunday. He was charged last May in Wareham with malicious destruction of property, according to court records.

Tavares led Wareham High School to the Division 3 state title last season. He then transferred to Wilbraham & Monson Academy but left after a month and enrolled at New Bedford.

Read More: Jules Tavares, Rumor Mill,

Suffolk University hockey player charged in home invasion

02.09.11 at 3:20 pm ET
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Suffolk University hockey player Jason Molle and friend Quinlan Junta, the son of a man who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after a fight at a hockey rink 11 years ago, were accused of a violent home invasion in Reading on Monday and held without bail.

Molle, a 20-year-old from Stoneham, and Junta, 21, allegedly forced their way at gunpoint into an apartment at Reading Commons on Monday afternoon, according to a report in The Boston Globe. There, police and prosecutors say the pair beat 19-year-old Andrew Rich, an acquaintance of Junta, and robbed him of about $800.

According to the police report, Molle pointed a gun at the victim’s head and Junta struck him in the face numerous times and kicked him in the ribs.

Molle is a 5-foot-10, 175-pound forward in his sophomore season at Suffolk. The Lawrence Academy product is the Rams’ fourth-leading scorer, with three goals and five assist in 18 games.

Thomas Junta, Quinlan’s father, beat Michael Costin in a fight at Burbank Ice Arena in Reading on July 5, 2000, following a scrimmage involving their sons, one of whom was Quinlan. Thomas Junta was sentenced to 6-10 years and was released from prison in August.

Read More: Jason Molle, Quinlan Junta, Rumor Mill,

Report: Mets sign Casey Fossum

02.09.11 at 1:37 pm ET
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According to a report from ESPN, the Mets signed former Red Sox pitcher Casey Fossum. The left-hander pitched in Japan last season after making three appearances for the Mets in 2009.

Fossum, 33, came up with the Red Sox in 2001 and played three seasons in Boston before being sent to the Diamondbacks in the Curt Schilling trade. Fossum went 14-11 in Boston and has a 40-53 carer record in nine major league seasons with a 5.45 ERA.

Read More: Casey Fossum, Rumor Mill,

Penguins’ Matt Cooke reportedly gets four-game suspension

02.09.11 at 1:15 pm ET
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Penguins forward Matt Cooke was suspended four games by the league for his hit from behind on Fedor Tyutin on Tuesday night (video below), according to multiple reports. Cooke left his feet to slam Tyutin into the boards while the Blue Jackets defenseman played the puck. Cooke received a charging penalty on the play.

Two days earlier, Cooke took out Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, sticking out his knee and tripping the Capitals star (video below). Cooke received a penalty and earned the ire of the Capitals.

“It’s Matt Cooke, OK. Need we say more?” Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said. “It’s not like it’s his first rodeo. He’s done it to everybody and then he goes to the ref and says, ‘What did I do?’ He knows darn well what he did. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s good at it and he knows how to do it, he knows how to pick this stuff.

“We as a league still buy into this that it was an accidental thing.”

Here’s the hit on Tyutin:

Here’s the hit on Ovechkin:

Read More: Alex Ovechkin, Fedor Tyutin, matt cooke, Rumor Mill