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Friday’s Morning Mashup

07.16.10 at 7:34 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.

MLB: Rangers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)

MLB: Rangers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)

MLB: Rangers at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)

This LeBron James pendant is said to be worth $10,000 and is the property of a member of James' inner circle.


♦ The saga of the LeBron James pendant took an odd twist when the piece of jewelry was taken from the woman who said she paid $5 for it at a yard sale four years ago before realizing it was worth almost $10,000. Vaneisha Robinson, an amateur boxer from Akron, was fielding offers on eBay when she got a phone call from the mother of Maverick Carter, the CEO of James’ marketing company, saying that James wanted to but the pendant. But when she went to a meeting expecting to meet the NBA star, James wasn’t there, and she claims she was threatened and forced to surrender the item, which Carter said had been stolen from him. Police backed Carter’s claim that the pendant is his. But Robinson told Ohio television station WEWS that the pendant belongs to her and she wants it back.

♦ At SportsIllustrated.com, Frank Hughes has more background on the sale of the Golden State Warriors to venture capitalist Joseph Lacob, who is a minority owner of the Celtics, and Peter Guber.

♦ Former Celtic Al Jefferson made a good first impression with his new team, the Jazz. Because Jefferson is excited to be in Utah as opposed to recently departed free agent Carlos Boozer, Salt Lake Tribune columnist Gordon Monson calls Jefferson “a heap of sincerity” and “the anti-Boozer.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On July 16, 1958, which Red Sox pitcher improved to 9-0 on the season with his 12th straight win (dating back to the previous year)?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We’ll be able to put Blake [Wheeler] in the mix and then we’ve got to sever cap space, and we’ll see where we’ll go from there as it applies to the start of the year.” — Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, in a conference call Thursday

STAT OF THE DAY: 35 — Consecutive successful stolen base attempts by the Rangers, after one Thursday night vs. the Red Sox

‘NET RESULTS: The zaniness at the Tour de France continues, as Mark Renshaw head butts a competitor in order to make room for his teammate to win the stage. Renshaw was kicked out of the race for his behavior.

Batting Stance Guy was at the All-Star Game searching for the best most obscure jersey he could find.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Ike Delock, who would add one more win to his streak before finally suffering a loss

SOOTHING SOUNDS: William Bell is 71 today.

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Vick trustee sues for reimbursement of QB’s gifts

07.16.10 at 6:38 am ET
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According to a complaint filed last week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Virginia brought by the trustee overseeing Michael Vick‘s bankruptcy resolution, the quarterback gave out expensive gifts totaling at least $2 million in 2007 despite owing creditors about $20 million.

The complaint filed by Joseph Luzinski alleges that Vick knew he was under investigation for his dogfighting operation, owed millions of dollars and was no longer being paid by the Falcons when he gave out boats, jewelry and a Lincoln Navigator to friends and family.

Attorneys for both Vick, now with the Eagles, and the trustee say such filings are not unusual in complicated Chapter 11 cases like Vick’s.

To read more, click here.

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Dolphins NG Ferguson retires

07.16.10 at 6:28 am ET
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Veteran nose guard Jason Ferguson, who played the last two seasons for the Dolphins, announced his retirement Thursday. Ferguson faced an eight-game suspension for a repeat violation of the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. He claimed his suspension was due to the use of blood pressure medication.

Ferguson spent 13 seasons in the NFL, playing for the Jets and Cowboys before finishing up with the Dolphins. At all three stops, he played for Bill Parcells.

“Jason was a key contributor on three different teams for many years at one of the NFL’s toughest jobs,” said Parcells, now the executive vice president of football operations for the Dolphins. “I am grateful and I will miss him.”

Said Ferguson: “You get what you put into this game. I would like to thank my family, the fans and the organizations that I have been a part of for their continued support throughout my career, it’s been an absolute blessing to play this long.

“I have built a lot of relationships, you develop an extended family playing this game; I would like to thank that extended family, the teammates, the coaches, the support staffs that have all played a part of a great ride.”

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Report: Sox fear luxury tax

07.15.10 at 11:49 pm ET
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Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse has heard from a source that the Red Sox, who Price writes are “just about tapped out” payroll-wise, will not take on significant contracts at the trade deadline. In fact, the source tells Price, Theo Epstein and Co. will have to “jump through hoops” in order for ownership to allow them to add $500,000 over the rest of the season.

The Red Sox would be charged luxury tax if their payroll were to exceed $170 million. The team began the season at $162.7 million, but Price notes that players on the 40 man roster also figure into the number. Luxury tax is 22.5 percent of however much the payroll exceeds $170 million by.

Price writes that the Red Sox have about $45 million worth of players on the disabled list, and that given their concerns over luxury tax the team may simply wait it out.

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Warriors sold for NBA record $450M

07.15.10 at 4:06 pm ET
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A CNBC source says the Golden State Warriors will go to Joe Lacob, managing partner at private equity firm Kleiner Perkins, and Peter Guber, chairman of Mandalay Entertainment, who won the bid Thursday.

Lacob and Guber’s $450 million bid — topping the $401 million NBA record — was enough to win the Warriors over rival bidder Larry Ellison, a chief executive officer of Oracle. Ellison was originally expected to be the bidding frontrunner. Competitor Mike Mastrov, founder of 24-Hour Fitness, also lost out on the Bay area team.

Both Lacob and Guber have backgrounds with big teams. Lacob has commanded a share of the Celtics since 2006, while Guber’s Mandalay Entertainment owns and operates two Yankees affiliates, among other minor league teams.

Lacob’s financial history also includes American Online, Amazon, Electronic Arts and Sun Microsystems, according to SBnation.com.

The Warriors were last purchased by Chris Cohan for $119 million in 1995, and was valued at $315 by Forbes in December 2009 — though location played a major factor in the team’s heightened value, rather than the Warriors’ game as of late. They’ve compiled the second-worst record in the league since Cohan bought them 15 years ago.

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Rumor: Dolans want to buy Yankees

07.15.10 at 3:50 pm ET
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New York’s other famous sports family, the Dolans, may be chomping at the bit to buy the Yankees before George Steinbrenner’s body is even in the ground, according to Peter Lauria on TheDailyBeast.com.

Cablevision chairman Charles Dolan and family, who already command the NBA’s Knicks and NHL’s Rangers, have been trying to get a piece of the pinstripes for decades but had been rejected by Steinbrenner on numerous occasions.

Following Steinbrenner’s death Tuesday morning, a source close to the Dolans says the family is already scheming up a new offer to buy the Yankees, even though representatives and executives in New York say the defending World Series champions are not for sale.

According to the New York Post, team president Randy Levine, who oversees finances of the Yankees, the YES network and Legends Hospitality, announced Wednesday: “The team’s not for sale. … The succession has been planned and implemented. Yankees fans can expect the team to be run as it has been based on the vision of the Boss as carried out by his family.”

According to Forbes magazine, the Yankees are worth $1.6 billion — nearly twice as much as any other team in baseball, and trailing only Manchester United ($1.8 billion) and the Dallas Cowboys ($1.65 billion) in value among professional sports teams worldwide.

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DeJesus too costly?

07.15.10 at 2:28 pm ET
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Though the Red Sox are reported to have interest in Royals outfielder David DeJesus, Alex Speier wrote earlier this week that the Royals are asking for an awful lot in return. One of the bigger reasons a DeJesus deal figures to be costly for whomever trades for him is the fact that he himself is not all that expensive.

The outfielder, who began the year batting leadoff but has been a No. 3 hitter since Scott Podsednik took over the leadoff spot in mid-May, comes with a relatively cheap price tag. He is making just $4.7 million this season, and his contract includes a club option for $6 million next year. That’s pretty cheap money for a guy who is currently hitting .326 with a .395 on-base percentage and a .758 OPS.

Writes Speier:

“A major league source said that the cost of acquiring the outfielder … is currently rich, and considered it unlikely that the Sox would pursue DeJesus unless Kansas City seeks less in return than is currently the case. That said, outfield production remains an obvious area for potential improvement on the Sox, given that the team’s injury-depleted unit has a collective .758 OPS that ranks 11th in the American League, a .258 average that is 12th and a .326 OBP that is 13th.”
Among DeJesus’ major league accomplishments is his home run against the Red Sox on April 5, 2007, which was the first home run ever hit off Daisuke Matsuzaka in the major leagues.

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Miller makes it official with Heat

07.15.10 at 2:09 pm ET
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Mike Miller tweeted Thursday “It’s official!” in Miami. He will be joining LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on South Beach after signing a five-year contract.

Miller is estimated to have signed for $25 million with Miami — millions less than the 6-foot-8 shooting guard could have made signing somewhere else. He’s able to join James, Wade, Bosh and Udonis Haslem on the Heat for the very same reason: They all took less cash to open up opportunities for sharpshooters like Miller to come to Miami.

Miller has averaged 13.7 points and 5.1 rebounds in 10 NBA seasons. With the Wizards last season, he shot a career-best 48 percent from the 3-point range.

Miami marks Miller’s fifth NBA team, after playing for Orlando, Memphis, Minnesota and Washington. He has never seen the second round of the NBA playoffs.

James was a key player in Miller’s recruitment, SportsIllustrated.com reports. Both Miller and Haslem, former Florida Gators teammates, were swayed to head south when LeBron made his official announcement last week.

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Reds may have interest in Kerry Wood

07.15.10 at 1:54 pm ET
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According to a Tweet by ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, the Reds are looking hard for right-handed reliever and speculates that Cincy could be eyeing Cleveland closer Kerry Wood. There have been reports that suggest the Red Sox have interest in Wood, who has allowed runs in just two of his last 11 appearances.

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Cavs’ West has plea deal on weapons charges

07.15.10 at 10:41 am ET
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Cavaliers guard Delonte West reached a plea agreement with Maryland prosecutors on weapons and traffic charges.

A spokesman for Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey said the former Celtic will plead guilty to carrying concealed weapons and transporting loaded weapons. His deal says he’ll do court-supervised electronic monitoring, complete community service and undergo psychological counseling.

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