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Report: Colts’ Sanders might be finished

07.19.10 at 12:32 pm ET
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Colts safety and former Defensive Player of the Year Bob Sanders might never play another down of professional football due to injury concerns, according to an NFL.com report (scroll down to the very bottom). Sanders has been rehabbing from a ruptured biceps tendon that caused him to miss all but two games last season, but there is some questions that shoulder and biceps issues could keep him off the field for good. Sanders signed a five-year, $37 million contract with the Colts in 2007, but the NFL.com report from Mike Lombardi notes that he has “reduced his contract.” For the record, Sanders has said that he feels “great” during his rehab.

Read More: Bob Sanders, Rumor Mill,

Yankees, Rays eyeing Isringhausen?

07.19.10 at 12:02 pm ET
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Former Athletics and Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen appeared on The ITD Morning After on KFNS 590 The Fan in St. Louis and spoke of his attempt to get back in the big leagues. The 37-year-old said he is set to have a tryout with the Reds and that he has garnered interest from the Yankees, Royals, Cardinals and Rays, the latter two of which he already pitched for in his 14-year career.

Isringhausen was once an elite closer in the majors, having tied Armando Benitez and Chad Cordero in 2004 for the league lead in saves with 47. Last season with the Rays, he appeared in just 9 games, throwing six innings and allowing six hits, two earned runs, and five walks. He struck out six.

Read More: Jason Isringhausen, New York Yankees, Trade deadline,

Kovalchuk to re-sign with Devils

07.19.10 at 11:54 am ET
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Ilya Kovalchuk, seen by many as the cream of the NHL free agency crop, has finally decided that he will re-sign with the New Jersey Devils, according to the team’s official Twitter page. Kovalchuk had 27 points (10 G, 17 A) in 27 games for New Jersey last season after being traded to the squad in a deadline deal with Atlanta. Between the two clubs, he totaled 85 points. Kovalchuk has scored at least 41 goals in every season he’s played since he entered the league in 2005. Terms of the signing were not immediately disclosed. A press conference to announce the signing is scheduled for Tuesday.

Read More: Ilya Kovalchuk, Rumor Mill,

Report: Red Sox have talked to Marlins about Ross, Nunez

07.19.10 at 11:03 am ET
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The Red Sox have put in a phone call to the Marlins to gauge the asking price for outfielder Cody Ross and relief pitcher Leo Nunez, according to a report by the Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer. Ross is hitting .279 this season with seven home runs and 46 RBI this season and could be a stopgap until Jacoby Ellsbury returns from the disabled list. Nunez has a 2.79 ERA and 22 saves as the Marlins’ closer and could be a huge help to a struggling Boston bullpen. The Braves and Yankees are also rumored to have contacted the Marlins about Ross in their search for outfield help.

Read More: Cody Ross, Leo Nunez, Trade deadline,

Ricciardi: Downs best for Red Sox

07.19.10 at 9:43 am ET
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ESPN baseball analyst and former Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi told The Big Show Friday that Jays reliever Scott Downs in the best trade target available to the Red Sox out of the Toronto bullpen at this point. “I would think Downs would be at the top of the list to me personally,” Ricciardi said. “He gets right-handers out. He gets left-handers out. He can give you an inning and 2/3, even two innings at a time.”  He dismissed the idea of going after other Jays relievers Kevin Gregg, who he said might struggle outside of a closing role, and Jason Frasor, about whom Ricciardi said, “The tighter the situation the worse he pitches.”

Ricciardi also added that Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez certainly could be an intriguing target should the Sox look to address the catcher position given the team’s recent injuries. “He would be a nice fit in Boston,” Ricciardi said. “He’s a guy you don’t have to be married to for a long time. Holds the fort down until those guys come back. He’s a veteran guy, plays with a lot of energy, can help a major league staff. That’s a good name if that’s a name being mentioned in Boston.”

For a transcript of the entire Ricciardi interview click here.

Read More: Ivan Rodriguez, Scott Downs, Trade deadline,

Rumor: Gagne to Lightning?

07.19.10 at 9:41 am ET
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Flyers left winger Simon Gagne could find a home in Tampa Bay, according to a report by the St. Petersburg Times. Gagne has scored over 30 goals in three of his last four seasons in Philadelphia, including 47 four years ago, but has been marred by several injuries, including a series of injuries that caused him to miss 29 regular-season games and four playoff games last season. The Lightning are believed to be entering a rebuilding stage under new general manager Steve Yzerman, but that could change with the addition of a scorer like Gagne.

Read More: Lightning, Rumor Mill, Simon Gagne,

Justice: Astros should trade Carlos Lee

07.19.10 at 8:48 am ET
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The struggling Astros should look to trade struggling star Carlos Lee as soon as they can, writes Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle. Lee is hitting just .237 this season with 12 home runs and 45 RBI and, according to Justice, has shown an overall lack of hustle. He is due $37 million after this season, which could make him very hard to deal, but the Astros could find a suitor who’d be willing to take on a player who has hit over .300 in five of the last seven seasons and has proven he’s capable of 30-plus homers.

Read More: Astros, Carlos Lee, Trade deadline,

Recent struggles could force D-backs to trade Haren

07.19.10 at 8:48 am ET
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The Diamondbacks could press harder to trade ace Dan Haren after the team’s struggles as of late, according to CBSSports.com’s Scott Miller. Arizona is just 2-10 in its last 12 games and has dropped to 20 1/2 games back in the NL West behind first-place San Diego. If Haren (7-8, 4.60 ERA) were to become available, he would join Roy Oswalt of the Astros and Ted Lilly of the Cubs as the best pitchers on the trade market heading into the July 31 deadline. Interim general manager Jerry DiPoto has said, “We’re not to the point right now where we’re aggressively seeking [a Haren trade].” However, Miller says that if the D-backs were continue to keep Haren off the market, they’d be “guilty of malpractice.”

Read More: Dan Haren, Diamondbacks, Trade deadline,

Monday’s Morning Mashup

07.19.10 at 7:43 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 Athletics, 10:05 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

Michael Jordan was asked about LeBron James situation Sunday, and he said he would never do what James did in an effort to win a title. “There’s no way, with hindsight, I would’ve ever called up Larry [Bird], called up Magic [Johnson] and said, ‘Hey, look, let’s get together and play on one team,’ ” Jordan said. “But that’s … things are different. I can’t say that’s a bad thing. It’s an opportunity these kids have today. In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys.” Ken Berger at CBSSports.com analyzes those comments and looks at Dwyane Wade‘s criticized reference to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

♦ Also at CBSSports.com, Gregg Doyel writes about Pete Carroll and calls the Seahawks coach “shameless” and a liar.

Tim McCarver said the Yankees “bungled” the Joe Torre situation and compared them to “despotic leaders in World War II” because they “airbrushed his legacy.” The New York Post has the story.

Bob Wieneke in the South Bend Tribune has the report on the arrest of eight Notre Dame football players, including sophomore quarterback Nate Montana (son of Joe).

♦ The Charlotte Observer reports on the declining mental health of North Carolina coaching legend Dean Smith.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On July 19, 1933, for the first time in major league history, brothers on competing teams homered in the same game when the Red Sox played the Indians. Who were the players? Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Joe Torre, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Pete Carroll

LEEInks list: Most accomplished non-champions

07.19.10 at 7:15 am ET
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When LeBron James made the televised “Decision” on July 8 that he was headed to South Beach to join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to play for the Heat, he left millions of devastated Cavs fans renouncing their love for the King and a few other disappointed franchises who were hoping LeBron would help lead them to a title.

“Winning is a huge thing to me,” he said to Jim Gray in the ESPN special watched by 7 million viewers.

After weeks of nationwide scrutiny and speculation about where James would end up, it didn’t come as such a shock to many questioning the King’s star status without a single title to his name.

James, a two-time NBA MVP who has yet to capture an NBA championship in his seven seasons with Cleveland, left over $30 million on the table in his decision to head south and play with former gold medalist Olympic teammates Wade and Bosh in a Miami power trio.

“The major factor was this is the best opportunity for me to win and win now and in the future. The No. 1 thing with me is to help my teammates get better and to win,” he said explaining his “Decision.”

Here’s a list of the most accomplished athletes without a title in sports history. Though they’ve graced the record books and their respective games as some of the best players to touch the field, court, or ice, they can never call themselves champions.

King James can win all the accolades around, but he’ll stay stuck in a category with these guys until he adds an NBA crown to that list.

MLB: Ty Cobb

Since Cobb took the field in 1905, he has been etched in MLB record books as one of the greatest baseball players of all time and still maintains the record for the highest career batting average (.367). Many of his other professional records, including most career hits, most career runs, most career runs, and most career games played, he held for a half-century or more. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Barry Bonds, Barry Sanders, Charles Barkley, Dan Marino