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Monday’s Morning Mashup

08.09.10 at 7:17 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 TODAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 2:05 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

♦ Knicks owner James Dolan‘s decision to re-hire Isiah Thomas as a consultant did not go over well in New York. The team is taking an absolute beating in the local papers. The New York Post‘s Mike Vaccaro found it offensive. Frank Isola at The New York Daily News writes that team president Donnie Walsh, who reportedly opposed the move, should force Dolan’s hand while he still has a chance to salvage some dignity. Former Knick (and Celtic) Stephon Marbury, who had a public falling-out with Thomas in New York, could say only “Good luck, New York.” Harvey Araton at The New York Times is a little more level-headed in his examination of the situation, trying to explain what it means and why the Knicks would make a move that seems to be nonsensical. And William C. Rhoden, also in The New York Times, gets Thomas’ response to the firestorm of criticism and finds someone willing to say something nice about him.

♦ The Akron Beacon Journal has the story of LeBron James returning home for a charity event and making it a point to thank fans in Cleveland, whom he left out in his newspaper ad thanking Akron last week.

♦ NFL official Bill Leavy, during a visit to the Seahawks training camp over the weekend, admitted he regrets blowing two key calls during Seattle’s Super Bowl loss to Pittsburgh in 2006. His comments elicited some varied reactions from Seahawks and Steelers players. Meanwhile, Jarrett Bell at USA Today has a piece on receiver Mike Williams, the 10th overall pick in the 2005 draft who has been a bust so far, impressing at Seahawks camp after being given a chance by his former USC coach, Pete Carroll.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Aug. 9, 1984, who became the first Red Sox pitcher to allow a home run to the first batter he faced in the major leagues when he gave up a solo shot to Pete O’Brien of the Rangers?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “That would have been a great feat, but I’ll start at a complete-game, one-hit shutout with 17 strikeouts.” — Blue Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow, after losing a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning Sunday vs. the Rays but recovering to finish the 1-0 victory

STAT OF THE DAY: 0-for-16 — Jacoby Ellsbury‘s line since returning from the disabled list, following his 0-for-4 performance Sunday night at Yankee Stadium

‘NET RESULTS: More basketball trick shots, including one from the top of a farm silo.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Charlie Mitchell

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Barbara Mason is 63 today.

Read More: Isiah Thomas, LeBron James, Mike Williams,

Leeinks list: Shaq’s best commercials

08.09.10 at 7:07 am ET
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As many people know, new Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal makes a living out of making a character out of himself. In the past few years, he’s toned it down considerably, but in his heyday Shaq was everywhere. Not only was Shaq featured in several feature films, including “Blue Chips,” “Kazaam” and “Steel” (he also made an appearance in “He Got Game” with his now-Celtics teammate Ray Allen), but he made his way into homes every night through his many, many endorsements. From milk to soda to candy to cable, Shaq was — and still is — the NBA’s king of sales.

Through the power of online video, let’s look back on some of Shaq’s best commercials, with our minds set on seeing Shaq represent the Green on more ads in the future.

Pepsi — Playground Bully, 1993

Synopsis: Shaq, looking a bit like Gary Payton, literally breaks into a neighborhood basketball court, bends a rim down to dunk (seeing the opposite is a lot more fun) and proceeds to storm over to the cooler for a much deserved beverage. When there is no soda left in the cooler, he casually walks over to a small kid, who flat out denies him the Pepsi.

Best Moment: 0:16 — Romantic music starts to play as Shaq lays eyes on the child, giving the totally wrong impression.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: celtics, commercials, Shaquille O'Neal,

Report: Brewers will look to extend Weeks, trade Fielder

08.08.10 at 9:55 pm ET
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With the Brewers treading water in the National League Central — currently 11 games back of the Reds —  a playoff push is extremely unlikely. So, with next year in mind, the team is reportedly looking toward making some offseason moves.

A recent report is stating that the team will likely try to re-sign second baseman Rickie Weeks, and possibly trade first baseman Prince Fielder.

According to the report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt, Fielder and agent Scott Boras were presented with a five-year, $100 million deal to re-sign with the Brewers. Boras reportedly rejected that deal and is looking for “twice that” amount.

Read More: prince fielder, Rickie Weeks, Rumor Mill,

Report: Haynesworth passes conditioning test

08.07.10 at 9:01 am ET
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According to a tweet from Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, Washington Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth passed the club’s conditioning test on Saturday.

Haynesworth had been unable to practice since camp opened for the Redskins last week due to his inability to pass the test, failing multiple times. He had an MRI taken on Thursday on his left knee, but the results showed no structural damage.

The test consists of two 300-yard runs, the first of which must be completed in under 70 seconds, the second in under 73 seconds. There is a 3½-minute break between the two runs.

Haynesworth was the only Redskins player required to take the test, due to skipping the team’s offseason conditioning program. The two-time All-Pro did not attend offseason programs because he was unhappy with the Redskins’ switch to a 3-4 defense. Haynesworth signed a seven-year, $100 million contract in 2009, with $41 million guaranteed.

Read More: Rumor Mill,

Reports: Aldrich signs with Thunder

08.06.10 at 12:41 pm ET
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Multiple reports state that Cole Aldrich, the 11th overall pick in June’s NBA draft, has signed his rookie contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Terms of the deal were not immediately released, but Aldrich is expected to make around $3.7 million in his first two years with options for the third and fourth years. Aldrich averaged 11.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game for Kansas as a junior last season before making the jump to the pros.

Read More: Cole Aldrich, Oklahoma City Thunder, Rumor Mill,

Report: Okung, Seahawks agree to deal

08.06.10 at 12:26 pm ET
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Rookie offensive tackle Russell Okung has agreed to a six-year contract worth a maximum of $58 million, according to a report by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. Okung, who was selected sixth overall by Seattle out of Oklahoma State, gets $30 million guaranteed in the deal. He was the only remaining first-round draft pick without a contract and is expected to report to training camp Saturday.

Read More: Rumor Mill, Russell Okung, Seattle Seahawks,

Report: Hawks still looking to add big man

08.06.10 at 12:08 pm ET
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The Hawks lost out to the Celtics in the Shaquille O’Neal derby and are still looking to add a veteran center, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Michael Cunningham. He lists Francisco ElsonBrian Skinner and Josh Boone as possibilities to fulfill that role  off the bench behind All-Star Al Horford. Former first overall draft pick Kwame Brown has been all but ruled out because he is said to be looking for a contract that is worth more than the veteran minimum.

Read More: Atlanta Hawks, Rumor Mill, Shaquille O'Neal,

Strasburg to return Tuesday

08.06.10 at 11:17 am ET
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Nationals rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg will make his return to the mound Tuesday after a stint on the disabled list with shoulder stiffness. Strasburg threw in a simulated game Thursday before the Nationals’ game against the Diamondbacks and reported no issues. He’ll face Florida in his return. He was 5-2 with a 2.32 ERA before the trip to the DL.

Read More: Rumor Mill, Stephen Strasburg,

LEEinks List: Best nicknames in Boston sports history

08.06.10 at 11:13 am ET
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New Celtic Shaquille O'Neal is seeking a new nickname to add to his long list of names as he joins Kevin "The Big Ticket" Garnett in Boston. (AP)

With the Celtics’ signing of Shaquille O’Neal, Boston acquires a player who leads the league in nicknames. During his long career, Shaq has acquired a wide range monikers — among them “Diesel,” “Shaq-Fu,” “Shaq Daddy” and “The Big Aristotle” — that pay homage to his eclectic personality.

Upon agreeing to a deal with the C’s Shaq tweeted to Boston fans to come up with a new nickname for him. Perhaps he is aware of the city’s long history of creative names.

So, in honor of Shaq and all the best designations in this region’s fruitful history, here is a list of the best nicknames in Boston sports.

10. Paul Pierce — “The Truth”

We commence this interesting selection with a current player, and someone who has had a roller-coaster time here in Boston. Pierce reportedly was given this nickname by none another than Shaq himself, after a game between the Celtics and Lakers in 2001.

9. Rich Garces — “El Guapo”

The big righty was a fan favorite at Fenway during his stint (1996-2002) with the Sox. Mike Maddux originally gave him the name, referring to the villain in the movie “Three Amigos.” His rotund appearance made him a wonder coming out of the bullpen as a middle relief staple for the team.

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Read More: Paul Pierce, Shaquille O'Neal, ted williams,

Report: Bills sign first-rounder Spiller

08.06.10 at 10:48 am ET
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There is only one first-round pick left without a contract after Bills rookie running back C.J. Spiller agreed to a five-year, $25 million contract, according to the Associated Press. The deal for the ninth pick in the draft includes $20.8 million in guaranteed money and could escalate to as much as $37.5 million depending on performance. Spiller is expected to report to Bills training camp Friday. That leaves Russell Okung, the offensive tackle who was selected sixth overall by the Seahawks, as the only first rounder without a deal.

Read More: C.J. Spiller, Rumor Mill,