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Near-bankrupt Mets to pay Bobby Bonilla $30M over next 25 years

05.16.11 at 10:59 am ET
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As if the Mets needed more financial troubles.

New York’s second baseball team is going to start paying ex-slugger Bobby Bonilla, who hasn’t played for the Mets since 1999 and retired from all of baseball in 2001,  $1.2 million per year for the next 25 years ($30 million total), according to the New York Post. Bonilla’s big payday comes per an agreement reached between the two sides in order to secure the player’s exit from Queens. Rather than allowing Bonilla to collect $5.9 million for the final year of his contract in 2000, the Mets agreed to cut him but would start paying off the money in 2011 at 8 percent interest over 25 years.

The current ownership group, which was hurt by the schemes of Bernie Madoff among other financial maladies, have been trying to sell a part of the team to stay financially fit.

Bonilla, on the other hand, has been living quite comfortable in his time since leaving the game. According to the Post, he already earns a $500,000-per-year salary from the Orioles under similar circumstances and $200,000 from a job as a “special assistant” to the MLB Players Association. He also owns an $8 million home in Greenwich, Conn.

Read More: Bobby Bonilla, New York Mets,

Family, fans flock to mourn loss of Derek Boogaard

05.16.11 at 10:09 am ET
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Two days after the passing of Derek Boogaard, 350 friends, family and just general fans of the former Wild and Rangers forward gathered at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn., to share in their mourning, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Boogaard’s parents, brothers and sister, Krysten, who was supposed to graduate from University of Kansas on the day of her brother’s death, were all in attendance as were former Wild teammates and the entire team training staff.

When Krysten Boogaard stepped up to speak, she said that “teddy bears” had become somewhat of a comfort because of the nickname her brother had earned from his Wild and Rangers teammates due to his 6-foot-8 frame and kind demeanor.

The event ended with fans gathering together for a rendition of “Amazing Grace.” The Star Tribune noted that the event was started as a Facebook event by 19-year-old Katie Haag and 18-year-old Shelby Leske, Wild fans both. The latter told the newspaper that she believed Boosgaard had helped to bring her and her older brother, an Iraq veteran, closer together.

Funeral services are planned for Tuesday morning in Boogaard’s hometown of Regina, Saskatchewan.

Read More: Derek Boogaard,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Publisher secretive about ESPN tell-all book

05.16.11 at 7:29 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 LOCALLY MONDAY:
MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ A book about the behind-the-scenes happening at ESPN ‘€” including sexual behavior by on-air talent ‘€” is due to be released May 24, and the publisher is doing its best to limit early looks at the material despite immense interest. Richard Sandomir in The New York Times talks to one of the authors, James Andrew Miller, who said of the 770-page tome: “We could have filled every page with salacious details ‘€” every page.”

‘™¦ ESPN hockey analyst Matthew Barnaby pleaded not guilty over the weekend to five charges related to a domestic dispute involving his estranged wife, and he released a statement calling it an “unfortunate disagreement.” Incidentally, when he appeared on the Dennis & Callahan show earlier this month, he was asked who he liked in the Bruins-Lightning series and he said, “I would take Boston.” However, he changed his mind when he made his prediction for ESPN, going with the Lightning in seven games.

‘™¦ Suns president Rick Welts is one of the first major sports executives to announce that he is gay. In The New York Times, Dan Barry takes a look at Welts’ background and the reason for his decision to come out.

‘™¦ Kenyan Olympic marathon champion Sammy Wanjiru died Sunday night when he jumped or fell from a balcony at his house, police said. Wanjiru, 24, was with another woman when his wife returned home and locked him in the bedroom. One official speculated that he was jumped in an effort to stop his wife from leaving the house. Wanjiru, won the 2008 Beijing marathon in an Olympic-record time of 2 hours, 6 minutes, 32 seconds, was arrested in December and charged with threatening to kill his wife and security guard with an assault rifle. He denied the charges.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 16, 1989, who was named coach of the Bruins, replacing Terry O’Reilly?

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Read More: James Andrew Miller, Matthew Barnaby, Rick Welts, Sammy Wanjiru

ESPN removes tasteless post on Aaron Douglas’ death, apologizes

05.13.11 at 10:39 am ET
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ESPN came under fire Thursday for a post in its college football section of ESPN.com’s Insider Rumor Central. After news broke that Alabama offensive lineman Aaron Douglas — a junior college transfer and former Tennessee starter — was found dead Thursday morning after a party in Fernandina Beach, Fla., Rumor Central ran a story titled “Shocker at LT.”

The post led with the line “Looks as if Nick Saban was prescient when he gave rising senior OL Alfred McCullough and rising junior RG Barrett Jones snaps at LT this spring.” It went on to say that “Douglas’ death leaves the door wide open for five-star OT Cyrus Kouandjio to seize the job when he arrives this summer.”

The post was later removed and ESPN’s Rob King apologized via Twitter, saying, “Apologies for the Rumor Central post related to Aaron Douglas’ tragic death. It did not meet ESPN editorial standards and was removed asap.”

That apology isn’t enough for some people, though. John Taylor of CollegeFootballTalk.com wrote, “Hard to say what’€™s sadder, the half-assed apology or the fact that someone thought it was a good idea to post that tripe in the first place.”

Read More: Aaron Douglas, Rob King, Rumor Mill,

Donovan McNabb’s agent responds to Bernard Hopkins insults

05.13.11 at 9:52 am ET
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Earlier this week, boxer Bernard Hopkins criticized Donovan McNabb for basically not being black enough because he comes from a suburban background, saying, “He’s got a suntan. That’s all.” While McNabb simply turned turned the other cheek, his agent, Fletcher Smith, responded on Thursday by saying Hopkins’ comments were “dangerous and irresponsible.”

“It perpetuates a maliciously inaccurate stereotype that insinuates those African-Americans who have access to a wider variety of resources are somehow culturally different than their brethren,” Smith said.

“It is vital that we extinguish this brand of willful ignorance,” he added, “and instill in the minds of African-American youth, regardless of the parental makeup of your household, they can become anything they wish if they work hard and make the right decisions in life.”

Hopkins, meanwhile, refused to back down from his comments in a phone interview with the Associated Press on Thursday.

“Look at professional boxing. I’ve never seen a suburban boxer be successful,” Hopkins said. “There has to be something in the DNA of the person’s experience, of what they overcame, to have that grit; like, ‘I’m going to bite down and let it happen.’ I just didn’t see that in him.”

Read More: Bernard Hopkins, Donovan McNabb, Rumor Mill,

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Toronto sportscaster fired after weighing in on gay marriage

05.13.11 at 7:39 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:
MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

SATURDAY:
NHL Playoffs: Lightning at Bruins, 8 p.m. (VERSUS)
MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:10 p.m. (FOX; WEEI)
MLS: Whitecaps at Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)

SUNDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 8:05 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Toronto broadcaster Damian Goddard was fired by Rogers Sportsnet Wednesday after tweeting his opinion on same-sex marriage. The studio host wrote that he backed hockey agent Todd Reynolds, who had criticized Rangers forward Sean Avery for publicly supporting the cause. “I completely and whole-heartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage,” Goddard wrote.

After issuing its own tweet indicating that Goddard’s comments did not represent the views of Rogers Sportsnet, the company announced: “Mr. Goddard was a freelance contractor and in recent weeks it had become clear that he is not the right fit for our organization.”

In the Toronto Sun, Steve Buffery said the backlash against Reynolds and Goddard is “disturbing.”

‘™¦ Chicago sportscaster Daryl Hawks was found dead in his Atlanta hotel room Thursday morning. Police said no foul play is suspected in the death of the 38-year-old Hawks, who was following the Bulls during their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

‘™¦ Packers president Mark Murphy said the team will retire Brett Favre‘s jersey, but the honor won’t happen for a few years, because, “We want to make sure that he’s retired first.” At NFL.com, Vic Carucci writes that Favre deserves the recognition sooner rather than later.

‘™¦ The city of Glendale, Ariz., voted to give $25 million to the NHL to operate the Coyotes for another year while the league tries to find a buyer. At the Arizona Republic, Dan Bickley writes that this saga needs a quick resolution.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 13, 1991, which two former Celtics were inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame?

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Read More: Damian Goddard, Daryl Hawks, Mark Murphy, Sean Avery

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Jay Mariotti pleads not guilty to new domestic violence charges

05.12.11 at 7:58 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’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 THURSDAY:
No games scheduled

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Former sports writer and ESPN guest Jay Mariotti pleaded not guilty Wednesday to three felonies, including stalking and assault, after allegedly confronting his former girlfriend the same day a court ordered him to stay away from her. Mariotti had pleaded no contest to one count of misdemeanor domestic violence on Sept. 30, and then he confronted the woman at a restaurant that same day. He also allegedly argued with her at a restaurant April 15, pulling out a chunk of her hair and grabbing her cell phone. Mariotti, who faces up to five years in prison if convicted, is due back in court June 1.

‘™¦ Former Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he stole more than $2 million in jerseys, bats and other equipment. “The defendant had a dream job that any Mets fan would die for, and he blew it,” Queens district attorney Richard Brown said.

‘™¦ World soccer governing body FIFA faces new charges of corruption. A British parliamentary inquiry charges that eight of 24 member’s of FIFA’s executive committee sought or accepted bribes for their World Cup votes.

‘™¦ Onetime Celtic Brian Shaw is the possible successor to Phil Jackson as coach of the Lakers, but his candidacy has been hurt by the team’s disastrous exit from the playoffs, according to Gregg Patton of The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif. At ESPN.com, Arash Markazi writes about the car accident that claimed the lives of Shaw’s parents and sister in 1993.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 12, 1961, which Red Sox pitcher set a team record by striking out 17 Washington Senators in a 2-1 victory?

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Read More: Brian Shaw, Charlie Samuels, FIFA, Jay Mariotti

Andrew Bynum suspended five games for foul on J.J. Barea

05.11.11 at 9:30 am ET
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Lakers center Andrew Bynum will miss the first five games of next season after being suspended for his flagrant foul on Mavericks guard J.J. Barea in Los Angeles’ final playoff game.

The foul occurred late in the fourth quarter of a 36-point Dallas victory when Bynum threw an elbow into Barea’s ribs as the former Northeastern standout drove to the hoop for a layup.

Bynum apologized Tuesday, saying his actions “don’t represent me, my upbringing, this franchise or any of the Laker fans out there that want to watch us and want us to succeed. I want to actually apologize to J.J. Barea for doing that. I’m just glad that he wasn’t seriously injured in the event. All I can say is, I’ve looked at [a replay], it’s terrible, and it definitely won’t be happening again.”

Bynum was also fined $25,000 for taking off his shirt on the court while heading to the locker room after the ejection.

Read More: Andrew Bynum, J.J. Barea, Rumor Mill,

Larry Bird to remain Pacers president

05.11.11 at 9:30 am ET
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Larry Bird will remain Pacers president, the team announced Tuesday. The Celtics legend met with owner Herb Simon in Los Angeles to discuss the future of the Pacers, who made the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

“I’m quite pleased with the success we experienced this past season and pleased with the direction our team is going,” Simon said in a statement. “I’m glad Larry is staying to help us continue in the positive direction we are going.”

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Simon said that Bird, who has been team president since 2003, has done exactly what he said he would do when he drew up a new plan for moving forward three years ago.

“He gave us a three-year plan, and I think he’s lived up to his three-year plan,” Simon said. “He said it would be tough going, but by the third year, he thought we could probably make the playoffs, which he did, and that we would have cap space to build upon the core group that he’s established.”

Read More: Herb Simon, Larry Bird, Rumor Mill,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Pau Gasol denies rumors of rift with Kobe Bryant

05.11.11 at 7:27 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 MONDAY:
NBA Playoffs: Celtics at Heat, 7 p.m. (TNT; WEEI)
MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (NESN; WRKO)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Lakers center Pau Gasol denied rumors that Kobe Bryant‘s wife broke up his engagement with Sylvia Lopez Castro or that he and Bryant were at odds during their playoff loss to the Mavericks. “My girlfriend and I are fine, we’re happy, we’re doing well. Kobe and I are fine,” Gasol told ESPN. “She was suffering because she saw me suffering. And I was suffering because I was seeing her suffering. When you add that to other stuff to what’s already happening, it’s tough.”

‘™¦ Darrelle Revis, who got minimal screen time during HBO’s “Hard Knocks” at last year’s Jets camp because he was holding out, said he’d be interested in doing a reality show with his best friend/business manager, John Geiger. He said he’d like a show similar to MTV’s “Rob & Big,” which aired from 2006-08, following skateboarder Rob Drydek and friend/bodyguard “Big BlackBoykin. “That’s the kind of show I’d want to do. Those guys are awesome,” Revis told ESPN. “Me and John are like that.”

‘™¦ Magic star Dwight Howard tweeted that Orlando writers are trying to run him out of town, just like they did Shaquille O’Neal. Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi responded with a column telling Howard he desperately wants him to stay.

‘™¦ Forbes magazine has a list of baseball’s most underpaid players, headlined by Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols. No Red Sox made the list, but the American League is represented by one Yankee (outfielder Nick Swisher) and two Blue Jays (outfielder Jose Bautista and catcher John Buck).

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 11, 1978, the Bruins beat the Flyers 6-3 in Game 5 of the semifinals to clinch the series and advance to the Stanley Cup finals (which they would lose to the Canadiens). Who recorded five points (a goal and four assists) in the Game 5 win?

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Read More: Albert Pujols, Darrelle Revis, Dwight Howard, kobe bryant