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Falcons QB Matt Ryan engaged to former BC basketball player

11.29.10 at 10:03 am ET
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Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan announced on an Atlanta television station Saturday night that he is engaged to a fellow Boston College alum, former basketball player Sarah Marshall. Ryan said the two have been dating for about seven years and became engaged several weeks ago.

Here is Marshall talking about her last season at BC in 2007.

Read More: Matt Ryan, Rumor Mill, Sarah Marshall,

Report: TCU set to join Big East

11.29.10 at 9:57 am ET
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According to a report from FoxSports.com‘s Jeff Goodman, TCU is expected to join the Big East for all sports. Ranked third in the BCS standings, TCU will be a boost to the conference for football.

Read More: Rumor Mill, TCU,

Report: Javier Vazquez to receive $7 million from Marlins

11.29.10 at 9:25 am ET
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Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reports that the rumored deal between free agent Javier Vazquez and the Marlins is worth $7 million over one year, pending a physical scheduled for later in the week. The deal also reportedly includes a full no-trade clause. The 34-year-old Vazquez hopes a return to the National League will help him bounce back from a tough season in which he posted a 5.32 ERA and 1.40 WHIP over 31 appearances (26 starts) for the Yankees. He is just one year removed from a season with the Braves when he recorded a 2.87 ERA and 1.03 WHIP over 219-plus innings.

Read More: javier vazquez, Rumor Mill,

Report: Derek Jeter asking for $110M minimum

11.29.10 at 9:21 am ET
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The New York Daily News reports that Derek Jeter‘€™s agent, Casey Close, is asking the Yankees for a five-year deal worth $22 million to $24 million per season, equating to either $110 million or $120 million in total. The Yankees’ original offer reportedly stands at three years, $45 million, representing a gap of between $65 million-$75 million between the parties. Jeter, 36, is coming off his worst season in the majors, batting .270 with just 10 homers and 67 RBIs. He just finished a contract that paid him $189 million over 10 years, including $21 million in 2010.

Jon Heyman of SI.com reports the Yankees are expected to up their current offer. However, the team still remains unlikely to meet Jeter’s asking price. This is because the team is “operating with the belief that no other club is going to top their offer to Jeter.”

Read More: Derek Jeter, Rumor Mill,

Report: Cubs interested in free agent Carlos Pena

11.29.10 at 9:18 am ET
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The Cubs are showing interest in free agent first baseman Carlos Pena, a major league source told FoxSports.com. The slugger is coming off a disappointing season with the Rays in which he hit only .196 in 144 games. He did hit 28 home runs and 84 RBIs, however, and could be a solid fit in the hitter-friendly Wrigley Stadium. The deal makes particular sense if agent Scott Boras plans to implement a similar, one-year plan that he used with Adrian Beltre last season.

Read More: Carlos Pena, Rumor Mill,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: LeBron James bumps coach

11.29.10 at 7:50 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:
No games scheduled

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ The Internet is abuzz with speculation and analysis regarding LeBron James‘ bump of coach Erik Spoelstra as the pair crossed paths during a timeout in the Heat’s loss to the Mavericks on Saturday night. After the game, the Heat had a players-only meeting to discuss their 9-8 start. At AOL FanHouse, Brett Pollakoff considers whether there’s a problem at South Beach or if it’s OK to show some frustration while the team struggles to find its way.

Meanwhile, Pistons forward Tracy McGrady said the reason Miami is struggling is because James and Dwyane Wade both want the ball too much., and McGrady uses the Celtics as an example of a team with complementary players. “Both of those guys need the ball and they don’t shoot the ball like Ray Allen,” McGrady said, noting how Allen works well with Paul Pierce. “That’s why they’re having trouble scoring in the halfcourt because they can’t get a rhythm, because one of them is dominating the ball. That guy might be getting off, but the other guy [isn’t].”

Here’s the video of the LeBron bumping incident.

‘™¦ In Sunday’s Titans-Texans game, Tennessee cornerback Cortland Finnegan and Houston receiver Andre Johnson were ejected after a fourth-quarter fight. In the Houston Chronicle, Richard Justice writes that Johnson’s actions were uncharacteristic, and he explains what led up to the confrontation.

‘™¦ The agent for former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress, who is due to be released from prison in 6½ months, insists two teams have stayed in contact about the player and he’s confident Burress will be playing in the NFL next season.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 29, 1958, the Red Sox signed Carl Yastrzemski as an amateur free agent. Which college was Yaz attending at the time?

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Andre Johnson, Cortland Finnegan, Erik Spoelstra, LeBron James

Rodney Harrison on Titans: ‘They’re dirty, they’re cheap’

11.29.10 at 6:49 am ET
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NBC Sports NFL analyst Rodney Harrison labeled the Titans a “dirty” team when discussing Sunday’s fight between cornerback Cortland Finnegan and Texans receiver Andre Johnson.

“This is no surprise to me,” said Harrison, who has a history of criticizing the Titans, dating back to when Harrison played for the Patriots. “This team, this is their personality. They’re dirty, they’re cheap. And whenever we played this team, the coaches would say before [the game], ‘Guys, beware. They’re going to tape a cheap shot at you, they’re going to try to provoke you [into] doing something.’ ”

Harrison wasn’t the only analyst to have negative things to say about Tennessee’s behavior.

“When I was at Indy, we played against Tennessee twice a year,” Tony Dungy said. “I always warned my players, ‘You have to keep your cool, especially against Cortland Finnegan. He’s going to try to get on your nerves.’ ”

Said CBS’ Shannon Sharpe: “Why is it I can close my eyes, and if there’s a team involved in a fight, I know it’s the Tennessee Titans? And if I keep my eyes closed, I know another guy is going to be involved, and it’s always Cortland Finnegan.

“I understand that [Titans coach] Jeff Fisher says, ‘We don’t coach this, we don’t condone this,’ but why is his team always involved in stuff like this?”

Read More: Andre Johnson, Cortland Finnegan, Rodney Harrison, Rumor Mill

Lakers coach Phil Jackson laments delayed return of Andrew Bynum

11.29.10 at 6:39 am ET
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Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Andrew Bynum‘s delayed return from offseason knee surgery is putting added strain on Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, who are playing additional minutes in Bynum’s absence.

“We’re playing Pau too many minutes [and we] don’t have a backup for either he or Lamar right now, so that’s a real problem,” Jackson said before Sunday night’s loss to the Pacers. “We put all our eggs in the basket of Andrew coming back and we hoped he’d be back by this time, by Nov. 15, by Thanksgiving time, by [our last] road trip, etc. We don’t know when Andrew is coming back.”

Bynum participated in his first full-contact workout Saturday and told reporters then that he planned to appear in a game within three weeks.

Read More: Andrew Bynum, Phil Jackson, Rumor Mill,

Andre Johnson, Cortland Finnegan ejected in brawl

11.28.10 at 4:01 pm ET
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Texans receiver Andre Johnson and Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan were both ejected in the fourth quarter of Sunday’€™s game after the players swung at each other during a Houston drive. Finnegan seemed to jump at Johnson first and Finnegan’€™s helmet came off while Johnson repeatedly swung at Finnegan’€™s head while the Titans cornerback was on the ground.

The two players had engaged in a shoving match on the previous play and both sides were given 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Johnson had caught a 2-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to put the Texans up 14-0. Johnson finished with nine catches for 56 yards. Earlier in the game he became the first wide receiver in NFL history to record at least 60 receptions in each of his first eight seasons.

Read More: Andre Johnson, Cortland Finnegan, Rumor Mill,

James Harrison flagged for helmet contact on quarterback

11.28.10 at 3:46 pm ET
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Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison was flagged once again for a roughing-the-passer penalty where the hard-hitting defender led with his helmet. In the third quarter against Buffalo, Harrison hit Ryan Fitzpatrick on an incomplete pass. The penalty gave Buffalo a new set of downs and Fitzpatrick connected with running back Fred Jackson for a 65-yard touchdown pass just three plays later. Harrison has been fined $80,000 for excessive hits this season and has been the most public figure of the NFL’€™s strict policy on helmet-to-helmet contact.

Read More: James Harrison, NFL Policy, Rumor Mill,