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Cushing’s suspension upheld

08.19.10 at 12:42 pm ET
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Texans linebacker Brian Cushing will still not be able to play in the first four games of the 2010 season after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell upheld his four-game suspension due to heightened levels of testosterone. Cushing blamed the failed test on “overtrained athlete syndrome.” Texans owner Bob McNair had met with Goodell to try to get the commissioner to change the penalty, but those efforts appear to have been to no avail.

Read More: Brian Cushing,

Report: Ravens may trade McGahee

08.19.10 at 11:57 am ET
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The Ravens are taking some calls about the availability of running back Willis McGahee, according to a report from the Baltimore Sun. With Ray Rice set as the starter, this might be the time to sell high on the former Miami Hurricane. The team might be a little hesitant because a trade would leave a gaping hole at the running back spot in goal-line situations, but if they were to pull the trigger, Le’Ron McClain would most likely serve as Rice’s backup.

Read More: Ray Rice, Rumor Mill, Willis McGahee,

Titans’ Blount punches teammate in practice

08.19.10 at 10:24 am ET
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Rookie LeGarrette Blount threw another punch at a player after the incident between Oregon and Boise State last September. This time, however, it was directed at his own teammate in practice.

After carrying the ball on a play and having his helmet thrown off, Blount got involved in a scuffle between Titans players on Wednesday. The running back took a swing at Eric Bakhtiari after the defensive end reportedly whispered something in Blount’s ear. Blount gave Bakhtiari a shove and then punched him while his helmet was still on.

Blount apologized to Titans coach Jeff Fisher, who said, “I am not disappointed whatsoever.” Blount claimed that he’s been receiving tough treatment and been provoked on a daily basis because of his past.

Here is the video of the play:

Read More: LeGarrette Blount, Rumor Mill, Tennessee Titans,

Grizzlies receiving offers for Henry

08.19.10 at 9:43 am ET
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The Grizzlies and 12th overall pick Xavier Henry are in a contract stalemate, causing other teams to make offers for the Kansas product, writes Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal.

Memphis owner Michael Heisley, however, stated that he doesn’t want Henry playing with any other team this upcoming season. “I’m not looking to trade him just to trade him,” Heisley said on Wednesday.

The contract disagreement between the two sides stems from rookie bonus incentives that the Grizzlies have offered Henry. Henry’s agent, Arm Tellum, has argued that only one player since the rookie salary scale was instituted in 1995 has accepted a performance bonus.

Greivis Vasquez, the Grizzlies’ late first-round pick (28th overall), also hasn’t signed for the same reasons. Vasquez, however, did participate at the Las Vegas Summer League in July.

If Henry doesn’t sign and play this season, Memphis holds the rights to negotiate with him until 2013.

Read More: Memphis Grizzlies, Rumor Mill, Xavier Henry,

Astros’ Lindstrom heads to DL

08.19.10 at 7:59 am ET
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Following Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the Mets, the Astros placed closer Matt Lindstrom on the 15-day DL due to back spasm and tightness.

Lindstrom struggled in three of his last four outings, blowing three saves for losses. This season, the right-hander is 2-4 with 4.15 ERA and 22 saves in 28 chances.

Houston recalled left-hander Fernando Abad to replace Lindstrom on the 25-man roster.

Read More: Houston Astros, Matt Lindstrom, Rumor Mill,

Braves acquire Lee from Cubs

08.19.10 at 7:42 am ET
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The NL East-leading Braves bolstered their team for the stretch run by adding Cubs first baseman Derek Lee on Wednesday. In return, Chicago receives three pitching prospects from Atlanta in right-handers Robinson Lopez and Tyrelle Harris and lefty Jeffery Lorick.

With a 50-71 record, the Cubs sit behind the Houston Astros in the NL Central at fourth place. The Braves, meanwhile, are battling the Phillies for the division and were in search of a bat after losing longtime third baseman Chipper Jones to a torn ACL on Aug. 10.

In the final year of his five-year, $65 million contract, Lee is well below his career average of .282, hitting .251 with 16 home runs and 56 RBI. Due to dealing with a bulging disk on his lower left side, Lee’s first game in an Atlanta uniform could come back at Wrigley Field this weekend as the Braves and Cubs meet.

Read More: Chicago Cubs, Derek Lee, Rumor Mill,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup

08.19.10 at 7:40 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 TODAY:
MLB: Angels at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Johnny Damon‘s return to Yankee Stadium as a Detroit Tiger this week turned ugly. In the ninth inning of Monday night’s game, Yankee Brett Gardner slid into Tigers second baseman Carlos Guillen on a double play and sent Guillen to the disabled list. Wednesday night, Gardner was one of three players hit by a pitch, and Damon called Gardner’s play “dirty” and accused the Yankees of throwing at Miguel Cabrera, which led to Tigers manager Jim Leyland‘s ejection.

‘™¦ To no one’s surprise, Brett Favre is back. At the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Jim Souhan writes about the ego-fest that was Favre’s press conference Wednesday and notes that what drives the quarterback is his fear of failure. Michael Silver at Yahoo!Sports.com cautions that this return could be a disaster. Gary Myers in the New York Daily News writes that Favre’s “act has gotten so old and tired it’s comical,” and revisits the QB’s forgettable season with the Jets.

‘™¦ At SportsIllustrated.com, Joe Sheehan writes that the time has come for the Dodgers to trade Manny Ramirez.

‘™¦ Kevin Arnovitz at TrueHoop interviews NBA schedule-maker Matt Winick and gets some explanations about quirks in the schedule.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Aug. 19, 1986, which two players acquired from the Mariners made their debut for the Red Sox?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’ve done it all. There’s nothing left for me to prove. I’m here to have fun, help these guys win. I really enjoy this group of guys like you wouldn’t believe. I think the feeling is mutual.” ‘€” Brett Favre, upon returning to the Vikings on Wednesday

STAT OF THE DAY: 5 ‘€” Consecutive seasons at the start his career with 30 or more saves by Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, a major league record (No. 30 came Wednesday night vs. the Angels)

‘NET RESULTS: Four European golfers try to hit a ball 200 yards into a pond and skim it into a gong set up in the middle of the water.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Spike Owen and Dave Henderson

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Johnny Nash is 70 today.

Read More: brett favre, johnny damon, Manny Ramirez,

Uncertain Dolphins line hits another snag

08.18.10 at 10:20 am ET
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Dolphins offensive lineman Nate Garner required surgery to repair his left foot, which was worked on already over the course of the offseason. Garner was originally the backup to right tackle Vernon Carey, but he has been getting comfortable in the starting left guard position. According to The Miami Herald, coach Tony Sparano said that Garner won’t be expected to return to play for another eight week, which pegs him at a return on Nov. 4 against the Patriots, at the earliest.

Garner’s injury is just one of many uncertainties on the Dolphins offensive line this preseason. Rookie and possible starting right guard John Jerry tweaked his right knee on Monday, which prevented him from continuing to practice. There has also been a contest between Joe Berger and Jake Grove to find out who would be the starting center, but Sparano confided that neither one is jumping forward in the contest because both have been underwhelming in practice.

Read More: Dolphins, Nate Garner,

Eli Manning’s return still unclear

08.18.10 at 8:20 am ET
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Despite various concussion tests showing no results of a concussion, the Giants are unsure of when they can expect Eli Manning to return to the football field after opening a large gash on his forehead during a preseason game against the Jets on Monday night.

In an interview with ESPN 1050 on Tuesday, Manning said, ‘€œAll day, I’€™ve been getting tests done and just making sure there is no further damage to my brain or to my skull, and everything looks fine. That’s good news.’€

Coach Tom Coughlin is just as concerned with the three-inch tear on Manning’s forehead that required 12 stitches. ‘€œJust the nature of where the helmet sits, according to where the stitches are, could create problems in terms of healing,’€ Coughlin said. The coach still expects Manning to join the team for the Giants‘ final three days of training camp in Albany even if the quarterback won’t participate.

Read More: Eli Manning, New York Giants, Tom Coughlin,

Girardi: Pettitte ‘another two weeks at least’ from returning

08.18.10 at 8:17 am ET
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The New York Daily News reports that Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte has a “small, persistent strain” of his left groin that was identified through an MRI conducted Tuesday night. Because of the setback, manager Joe Girardi said that Pettitte would not be back for “another two weeks at least.” That would place Pettitte’s return at close to the beginning of September.

Pettitte originally injured his groin in a game against the Rays on July 18 and was expected to return to action in another 4-5 weeks. He was throwing a simulated game in Tampa on Friday hen he reported a slight discomfort in the area, cutting short the practice.

On Tuesday, Pettitte threw in the outfield then moved to the bullpen, where he threw about 20 pitches on the mound and 20 off. When he complained of the same discomfort from Friday, an MRI was conducted during the Yankees game against the Tigers. Pettitte currently has a record of 11-2 with a 2.88 ERA, the best start in his 16-year career.

Click here to read more.

Read More: Andy Pettitte, Joe Girardi, Yankees,