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Cleveland radio station hires witch doctor to put a curse on LeBron James

10.26.10 at 5:35 pm ET
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As LeBron James gets ready to begin a new season while representing a new city, radio hosts in his old town — his hometown — are making every effort to curse his career. Literally.

A witch doctor was summoned by the hosts of “Rover’s Morning Glory” on WMMS-FM in Cleveland to put a hex on James, who left Cleveland in the offseason to sign with the Heat. Bones, blood and a James jersey went into the witch doctor’s effort.

Cleveland fans will get their first chance to see if the hex is working on Tuesday night when the Heat tip off against the Celtics.

Read More: LeBron James, Rumor Mill, witch doctor,

Reggie Bush looks to make return against Steelers Sunday

10.26.10 at 5:24 pm ET
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Saints running back Reggie Bush is optimistic that he can practice this week and play Sunday night against the Steelers. Bush has been out of action since Week 2 when he fractured his right fibula in a win against the 49ers.

“I expect to go out there and see what I can do,” Bush said, according to the Associated Press. “I don’t know if I can practice, if I’m going to be 100 percent. I’m just going to go out there and give it my best shot. I feel good, but I haven’t gone out there.”

The former Heisman Trophy winner has been told by doctors that he is fit enough to test the leg out at full speed. He was injured when he muffed a punt in the 4th quarter against the 49ers, after several players jumped on him as he recovered the ball.

“It’s going to be wait and see this week,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “We’re optimistic, yet we’re guarded. I think we just have to pay attention to how this work week goes.”

In Bush’s absence the Saints have struggled, going just 2-3 after starting the season 2-0. The Saints have been playing with a makeshift backfield after Bush’s injury, and an injury to Pierre Thomas in Week 3. New Orleans’ has relied on Christopher Ivory and Ladell Betts in Bush’s stead and rank 25th in the NFL in rushing yards with 92.6 yards per game.

Read More: Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush, sean payton,

Did Yankee fans alienate Cliff Lee’s wife?

10.26.10 at 3:15 pm ET
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Rangers starter Cliff Lee, who will start Game 1 of the World Series against the Giants on Wednesday, is widely expected to be the subject of an offseason bidding war between Texas and the Yankees. But, USA Today notes, fans at Yankee Stadium appear to have left an unfavorable impression on Lee’s wife, Kristen.

According to the story:

Perhaps the Rangers’ greatest sales pitch simply was having Kristen sit in the visiting family section at Yankee Stadium during the playoffs. She says there were ugly taunts. Obscenities. Cups of beer thrown. Even fans spitting from the section above.

“The fans did not do good things in my heart,” Kristen says. “When people are staring at you, and saying horrible things, it’s hard not to take it personal.”

Meanwhile, the same story goes on to detail, the Lees value the proximity of the Rangers to their offseason home in Little Rock, Ark. The flight from Dallas-Fort Worth Airport to Little Rock is short and convenient, something that the Lees have appreciated since the pitcher was traded to the Rangers this summer. As the article notes:

“That’s the greatest thing, being so close to home,” says Kristen, who says she is superstitious and refuses to answer her phone when Lee pitches. “Cliff can fit in anywhere, but it makes my life a lot easier. We’ve never had a short commute before. Having a direct flight from Little Rock is great.”

In eight postseason starts over the last two years, Lee is 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA and a 67-7 strikeout-to-walk rate. He is expected to receive nine-figure offers this winter.

Read More: cliff lee, rangers, Rumor Mill, Yankees

Video: Notre Dame’s Kerry Neal punches, stomps Navy player in midsection

10.26.10 at 11:26 am ET
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At the bottom of the screen, watch as Notre Dame linebacker Kerry Neal responds to a low block from Navy slot back John Howell by punching his opponent and then getting up and stomping on Howell’s midsection while he lay on the ground. Howell shows an incredible amount of restraint by gently confronting Neal after the play. The video is making the rounds on the Internet, and even some Notre Dame fans are appalled at their player’s actions from Saturday’s contest. The Irish lost the game, 35-17, at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

UPDATE: Chicago Tribune writer Brian Hamilton reported that Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was asked at Tuesday’s press conference if he felt the incident needed to be addressed, and Kelly replied: “We don’t believe so.”

Read More: Brian Kelly, Kerry Neal, Rumor Mill,

LEEinks list: Memorable Boston season-openers

10.26.10 at 10:06 am ET
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The newest Big Three, or whatever they will eventually call themselves, come to Boston Tuesday night in a matchup of Eastern Conference elites. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James look to make a statement in their highly anticipated debut as Heat teammates while Shaquille O’Neal and the Celtics‘ Big Three look to ruin the party.

Facing off against James in a season-opener is nothing new for the Celtics, as this marks the third year in a row for such a situation.

This got us thinking about other memorable season-openers for Boston teams in the past decade.

10. Sept. 7, 2008: Patriots lose Tom Brady in win over Chiefs

Losing Brady on the team’s second series did not help to set an auspicious tone for the afternoon, although the Patriots still took the down the Chiefs at Foxboro, 17-10. Brady left with torn ACL midway through the first quarter after being hit by Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard. He would not return for the rest of the season. To make matters worse, Brady’s pass was caught by Randy Moss but then be fumbled away. Patriots backup Matt Cassel filled in admirably, throwing for 152 yards and a touchdown, sparking his run as a starting quarterback.

9. March 31, 2003: Red Sox bullpen collapses against Devil Rays

The Red Sox bullpen imploded, giving up five runs in the ninth inning, including a walk-off, three-run home run to Carl Crawford in a 6-4 loss. Pedro Martinez‘s terrific performance was wasted after the ace handed the ball over to the ‘pen with a 5-1 lead after seven innings. Martinez was forced to watch from the bench as closers Alan Embree and Chad Fox gave up two home runs and five base runners in two-thirds of an inning. Shea Hillenbrand drove in three runs for the Red Sox but also had a costly error that allowed the Devil Rays to score their only run off of Martinez.

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Read More: kevin garnett, LeBron James, Tom Brady,

World Cup-predicting Paul the Octopus dies in tank

10.26.10 at 9:40 am ET
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The German octopus that correctly predicted results of the 2010 World Cup died Tuesday morning in his tank. Paul the Octopus was 2½, which is considered old age for an octopus. He died of natural causes, according to an aquarium spokeswoman.

Paul was retired from prognosticating following his correct prediction of a Spanish victory in the World Cup final. He correctly predicted all seven of Germany’s World Cup games. Predictions were made by opening the lid of one of two clear plastic boxes, each containing a mussel and a team flag.

“We are consoled by the knowledge that he enjoyed a good life here and that the care provided him by our dedicated displays team could not have been bettered,” Stefan Porwoll, manager of the Oberhausen Sea Life Center, said in a statement on the aquarium’s website.

“His success made him almost a bigger story than the World Cup itself. We may decide to give Paul his own small burial plot within our grounds and erect a modest permanent shrine.

“While this may seem a curious thing to do for a sea creature, Paul achieved such popularity during his short life that it may be deemed the most appropriate course of action.”

Read More: Paul the Octopus, Rumor Mill,

Vikings coach Brad Childress faces fine from NFL for complaints about officiating

10.26.10 at 9:26 am ET
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Vikings coach Brad Childress is expected to be fined by the league for comments he made after Sunday’s loss to Green Bay about the officiating, according to an ESPN report. In an interview with the Vikings’ radio network, Childress said Sunday’s game was “the worst officiated game I’ve ever seen.”

One key play was a second-quarter touchdown by Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe that was overturned by a replay review, which determined Shiancoe didn’t have possession of the ball as he landed. Childress said Monday that NFL vice president of officiating Carl Johnson told him in a phone conversation that the call was a mistake and he was “disappointed that the call was reversed.”

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said of the phone call, “Such conversations are confidential and are not to be discussed publicly.”

Read More: Brad Childress, Rumor Mill,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Jenn Sterger’s life ‘turned upside-down’ due to Brett Favre allegations

10.26.10 at 7:35 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: Heat at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE, WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ The manager for Jenn Sterger spoke to the New York Daily News on Monday and said the Jets game-day hostess’ life “has been turned upside-down” due to the Brett Favre allegations. Phil Reese said there has been “no communication” with representatives for Favre about a settlement, and he said Sterger is “leaning toward” talking to NFL investigators.

“She’s having a really tough time dealing with this,” Reese said. “She’s lost nine pounds. She was already in model shape before, so it’s not good if those nine pounds just go missing. She’s doing her best to try to stay focused on work and being a 26-year-old woman. But at the same time, it’s obviously very difficult when there’s paparazzi camped outside your home and TMZ is calling your house.”

‘™¦ According to Sports Business Journal, NBA legend Michael Jordan is doing his best to prove that he is a hands-on owner with the Bobcats, pressing the flesh and buying seats next to the team bench so he is more visible. Michael Wilbon in The Washington Post writes that this season has generated the most interest since Jordan’s return to the game in 1995, thanks to the Heat’s trio of stars.

‘™¦ Charles Barkley said he thinks the Nets tanked it last season in an attempt to get the No. 1 draft pick. Despite winning just 12 games and having the league’s worst record, New Jersey ended up with the third pick. ‘€œIf you just go out there and compete on a nightly basis it’€™s impossible to only win 12 NBA games,’€ Barkley said.

‘™¦ Columnist Bill Dwyre in The Los Angeles Times writes that Southern California baseball fans can’t be pleased with a Giants-Rangers World Series that features the Dodgers’ archenemy facing off against the Angels’ division rival.

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Read More: brett favre, jenn sterger, LeBron James, Michael Jordan

Cowboys QB Tony Romo breaks collarbone

10.26.10 at 6:51 am ET
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Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo broke his left collarbone on a hit by Giants linebacker Michael Boley during Monday night’s game in Dallas and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

The Giants, who have injured five opposing quarterbacks this season, rallied from a 13-point deficit for a 41-35 victory, dropping the Cowboys to 1-5.

Jon Kitna, a 38-year-old who hadn’t played since Oct. 5, 2008, guided the Cowboys in Romo’s absence.

Read More: Jon Kitna, Michael Boley, Rumor Mill, Tony Romo

Phillies say they have what it takes to bring back Jayson Werth

10.25.10 at 11:19 pm ET
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Speaking to the media after his team’s elimination from the postseason, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said that Philadelphia has the desire and resources to bring back free-agent-to-be Jayson Werth, who is thought to on the list of players coveted by the Red Sox heading into the offseason.

“I haven’t had any discussions with (agent) Scott (Boras) yet,” Amaro said. “Over the next 48 hours or so, we’ll make contact. I guess the follow-up question is, ‘Do we have enough money to do it, and would we like to bring him back?’ The answer to both questions is yes. However, that’ll all kind of depend on what the ask is, and ultimately how that will affect us with other possible moves we would have to make to do that.”

The Phillies, who had a payroll of $138 million this season, have typically stayed away from too many long-term deals, which Werth will certainly seek out in free agency. Another one of Boras’ clients, Matt Holliday (who earned a seven-year, $120 million deal last year), may serve as the jumping off point in negotiations from the Werth camp’s perspective.

“(Length of contract) is always an issue,” Amaro said. “It’s probably the most poignant, always.”

Werth finished this season hitting .296 with 27 homers, after hitting 36 home runs in 2009. He has five days after the conclusion of the World Series to file for free agency.

“This is definitely not the same game I played in my grandparents’ backyard as a kid,” Werth said. “This is a business. Philly will be one of the teams in consideration. Realistically speaking, it doesn’t really matter what I think right now. What matters is what happens after the World Series. There’s no reason to rush into this.”

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.)

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