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Report: White Sox agree to two-year deal with catcher A.J. Pierzynski

12.03.10 at 11:16 am ET
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Catcher A.J. Pierzynski will return to the White Sox with a two-year deal worth $8 million, according to FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal. This comes on the heels of Adam Dunn joining the team. Pierzysnki hit at a .270 pace last season, including nine home runs and 56 RBIs. He’s been with the White Sox since 2005.

Read More: A.J. Pierzynski, Rumor Mill, White Sox,

Hugh Freeze, HS coach portrayed in ‘The Blind Side,’ named Arkansas State coach

12.03.10 at 11:14 am ET
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Hugh Freeze, who coached current Ravens offensive lineman Michael Oher at Briarcrest Christian High School in Memphis and was portrayed in “The Blind Side,” was named head coach at Arkansas State after serving as offensive coordinator this season.

Freeze takes over for Steve Roberts, who resigned following a 4-8 season. Under Freeze, the Red Wolves had the nation’s 43rd-ranked offense and broke nine school records.

Freeze previously compiled a 20-5 record at two seasons as head coach at Lambuth, and he was an assistant coach at Ole Miss, where Oher played, from 2005-07.

Read More: Hugh Freeze, Rumor Mill, The Blind Side,

Report: Sox, Jayson Werth trade pleasantries in meeting

12.03.10 at 11:01 am ET
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The Red Sox did not make a formal offer during their face-to-face meeting with free agent Jayson Werth and his agent Scott Boras on Wednesday, according to ESPNBoston’s Jayson Stark. Rather, the purpose of the meeting was to give general manager Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona a chance to get to know Werth and give the outfielder a chance to familiarize himself with them.

One thing that was clear during the meeting was both parties’ mutual interest in one another. Werth reportedly was told the Sox organization had scouted him extensively this season, with a scout at nearly every game the Phillies played. The Sox also told Werth he was a player they’d had their eye on for years.

According to the report, Werth told Epstein and Francona what a great fit he thought Boston was for him. However, Boras and Werth told the Red Sox they were a long way from making any decisions, as they had to weigh all their options.

Werth batted .296 with 27 home runs in 554 at-bats this past season. He’s thought to be seeking a contract similar to the seven-year, $120 million deal that Matt Holliday signed with the Cardinals last winter.

Read More: Jayson Werth, red sox, Rumor Mill, Scott Boras

Report: Adam Dunn, White Sox agree to four years, $56M

12.03.10 at 10:56 am ET
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Bob Nightengale of USAToday.com reports the White Sox and Adam Dunn have agreed to a four-year deal worth $56 million. Dunn has posted impressive power numbers throughout his career and finished the 2010 season with a .260 batting line, 38 home runs and 103 RBIs for the Nationals. Hitter-friendly US Cellular Field should only help improve those numbers. It’s unclear whether Dunn will DH or play first base.

Read More: Adam Dunn, Rumor Mill, White Sox,

Cubs legend Ron Santo dead at 70

12.03.10 at 7:59 am ET
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Former Cubs third baseman and broadcaster Ron Santo died Thursday night in Arizona at the age of 70, the Chicago Tribune reported. Santo had a number of healthy problems in the past few years, including diabetes, heart disease and bladder cancer. Santo missed several road trips in 2010 but was expected to return to Cubs broadcasts in 2011.

“Ronnie will forever be the heart and soul of Cubs fans,” team chairman Tom Ricketts said in a statement.

Read More: Ron Santo, Rumor Mill,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Giants safety Antrel Rolle compares players to soldiers, apologizes

12.03.10 at 7:49 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’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 FRIDAY:
NBA: Bulls at Celtics, 8 p.m. (CSNNE, ESPN; WEEI)

SATURDAY:
NHL: Bruins at Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. (NESN)

SUNDAY:
NBA: Celtics at Nets, 1 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Giants safety Antrel Rolle, who earlier this week criticized New York fans for booing the team, apologized for comparing the players to soldiers returning from duty overseas. “We’re risking ourselves out there on the field each and every day also,” Rolle said Thursday. “When soldiers come back from Iraq, you don’t boo them. I look at it the same way.” Later in the day, he admitted that “was a very poor, very inappropriate choice of words.”

‘™¦ At AOL FanHouse, former NFL center LeCharles Bentley looks at Browns running back Peyton Hillis‘ path to success and examines reverse racism in the league.

‘™¦ USC football coach Lane Kiffin has a lot on the line as the Trojans prepare for Saturday’s game against crosstown rival UCLA, writes Bill Plaschke in The Los Angeles Times.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 3, 1987, which Bruins legend had his number retired?

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Antrel Rolle, Lane Kiffin, Peyton Hillis,

Report: Mariano Rivera close to two-year deal with Yankees

12.03.10 at 6:25 am ET
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According to an Associated Press report, 41-year-old closer Mariano Rivera is close to signing a two-year contract worth about $30 million with the Yankees. The Red Sox and Angels reportedly had offered the standout reliever a three-year deal.

Meanwhile, the Yankees increased their offer to shortstop Derek Jeter on Thursday. “The ball’s in Derek’s court now, and his agent,” co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner told the AP. “It’s up to them.”

Read More: Derek Jeter, Hank Steinbrenner, Mariona Rivera, Rumor Mill

Report: Oakland A’s could sign Adrian Beltre as early as Thursday

12.02.10 at 1:54 pm ET
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According to ESPN.com’€™s Jayson Stark, the Oakland A’€™s could sign free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre as soon as Thursday. Stark states that while Oakland has made Beltre a five-year, $64 million offer, the Red Sox have yet to extend a proposal to the 31-year-old. The A’€™s have two arbitration-eligible third baseman, in Kevin Kouzmanoff and Edwin Encarnacion.

Read More: Rumor Mill,

Russia lands 2018 World Cup, Qatar awarded 2022 soccer spectacle

12.02.10 at 1:18 pm ET
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The FIFA commission announced on Thursday morning that Russia was awarded the right to host the 2018 World Cup, while Qatar will host the world’s greatest soccer spectacle in 2022, The Associated Press reports.

Despite the absence of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, FIFA’s 22 voters were influenced enough by Putin’s pre-selection efforts to award the bid to Russia over England, Spain-Portugal and Belgium-Netherlands, which were three other 2018 frontrunners.

The United States was in the bidding for the 2022 World Cup, along with Australia, and were tipped as favorites to land the month-long soccer event, along with the financially-endowed Qatar. Objections were made to playing in desert heat conditions in Qatar, but the World Cup’s future smallest host country asked the FIFA commission to take a “bold gamble.”

Among those vying to bring the World Cup to the United States in 2022 were former President Bill Clinton and U.S. midfielder Landon Donovan.

Read More: FIFA World Cup, Landon Donovan, Rumor Mill,

Red Sox show interest in Dodgers catcher Russell Martin

12.02.10 at 1:17 pm ET
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While the Red Sox prepare Jarrod Saltalamacchia for what right now looks like the starting catcher role in 2011, the Boston Herald reports that the Sox have taken an interest in Dodger’s catcher Russell Martin, who is being considered for arbitration, the Herald stated.

Martin’s recent career has been somewhat hindered by injuries, specifically a hairline fracture in his right hip, which was suffered in August, has proven to be a blow to Martin’s performance. Meanwhile, the Dodgers have been looking into Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek to fill a different option at catcher.

Other free agents the Red Sox have shown interest in include John Buck (who signed with the Blue Jays), Rod Barajas and Miguel Olivo.

Read More: jarrod saltalamacchia, jason varitek, Rumor Mill, Russell Martin