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Report: Okung, Seahawks agree to deal

08.06.10 at 12:26 pm ET
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Rookie offensive tackle Russell Okung has agreed to a six-year contract worth a maximum of $58 million, according to a report by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. Okung, who was selected sixth overall by Seattle out of Oklahoma State, gets $30 million guaranteed in the deal. He was the only remaining first-round draft pick without a contract and is expected to report to training camp Saturday.

Read More: Rumor Mill, Russell Okung, Seattle Seahawks,

Report: Hawks still looking to add big man

08.06.10 at 12:08 pm ET
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The Hawks lost out to the Celtics in the Shaquille O’Neal derby and are still looking to add a veteran center, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Michael Cunningham. He lists Francisco ElsonBrian Skinner and Josh Boone as possibilities to fulfill that role  off the bench behind All-Star Al Horford. Former first overall draft pick Kwame Brown has been all but ruled out because he is said to be looking for a contract that is worth more than the veteran minimum.

Read More: Atlanta Hawks, Rumor Mill, Shaquille O'Neal,

Strasburg to return Tuesday

08.06.10 at 11:17 am ET
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Nationals rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg will make his return to the mound Tuesday after a stint on the disabled list with shoulder stiffness. Strasburg threw in a simulated game Thursday before the Nationals’ game against the Diamondbacks and reported no issues. He’ll face Florida in his return. He was 5-2 with a 2.32 ERA before the trip to the DL.

Read More: Rumor Mill, Stephen Strasburg,

LEEinks List: Best nicknames in Boston sports history

08.06.10 at 11:13 am ET
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New Celtic Shaquille O'Neal is seeking a new nickname to add to his long list of names as he joins Kevin "The Big Ticket" Garnett in Boston. (AP)

With the Celtics’ signing of Shaquille O’Neal, Boston acquires a player who leads the league in nicknames. During his long career, Shaq has acquired a wide range monikers — among them “Diesel,” “Shaq-Fu,” “Shaq Daddy” and “The Big Aristotle” — that pay homage to his eclectic personality.

Upon agreeing to a deal with the C’s Shaq tweeted to Boston fans to come up with a new nickname for him. Perhaps he is aware of the city’s long history of creative names.

So, in honor of Shaq and all the best designations in this region’s fruitful history, here is a list of the best nicknames in Boston sports.

10. Paul Pierce — “The Truth”

We commence this interesting selection with a current player, and someone who has had a roller-coaster time here in Boston. Pierce reportedly was given this nickname by none another than Shaq himself, after a game between the Celtics and Lakers in 2001.

9. Rich Garces — “El Guapo”

The big righty was a fan favorite at Fenway during his stint (1996-2002) with the Sox. Mike Maddux originally gave him the name, referring to the villain in the movie “Three Amigos.” His rotund appearance made him a wonder coming out of the bullpen as a middle relief staple for the team.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Paul Pierce, Shaquille O'Neal, ted williams,

Report: Bills sign first-rounder Spiller

08.06.10 at 10:48 am ET
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There is only one first-round pick left without a contract after Bills rookie running back C.J. Spiller agreed to a five-year, $25 million contract, according to the Associated Press. The deal for the ninth pick in the draft includes $20.8 million in guaranteed money and could escalate to as much as $37.5 million depending on performance. Spiller is expected to report to Bills training camp Friday. That leaves Russell Okung, the offensive tackle who was selected sixth overall by the Seahawks, as the only first rounder without a deal.

Read More: C.J. Spiller, Rumor Mill,

Report: Cardinals eyeing Pirates’ LaRoche

08.06.10 at 9:58 am ET
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The Cardinals are looking for help at third base after it was announced that David Freese will miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury, and one of their targets is Pirates third basemen Andy LaRoche, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. LaRoche is hitting just .223 for the Pirates this season with three home runs and 14 RBI but was at one time considered one of the best third base prospects in the game. He would have to clear waivers if he is to head to St. Louis.

Read More: Andy Laroche, Rumor Mill, St. Louis Cardinals,

Reports: Mason to Knicks, May to Nets

08.06.10 at 8:17 am ET
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Two teams that were passed over by LeBron James in his “Decision” are trying to continue pick up the pieces this NBA offseason as the Knicks added Roger Mason and the Nets added Sean May, according to reports. Mason is expected to add depth to the New York bench while May, who hasn’t played more than 37 games in any one season, can at best add a little strength to the New Jersey frontcourt.

Read More: Roger Mason, Rumor Mill, Sean May,

Report: Yankees could add Royals’ Guillen

08.06.10 at 8:08 am ET
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The Yankees may not be done adding to their roster and could be eyeing outfielder Jose Guillen, who was just designated for assignment by the Royals, as their next target, according to a report in the New York Post. Guillen was leading Kansas City in home runs (16) and RBI (62) before the Royals decided they’d rather part ways with the slugger. His next team will be his 10th in a career that has been mired by character issues. Guillen is scheduled to make $3.9 million the remainder of the season if he is not released.

Read More: Jose Guillen, New York Yankees, Rumor Mill,

Friday’s Morning Mashup

08.06.10 at 7:37 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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)

SATURDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 4:10 p.m. (FOX, WEEI)
MLS: D.C. United at Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)

SUNDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 8 p.m. (ESPN, WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

♦ Former Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez made a promotional appearance in New York Thursday and said the Phillies and several other teams recently tried to lure him out of retirement, but he’s going to continue to spend time with his family instead — at least for now. And in comments that should sound familiar to Boston fans, Pedro criticized the Mets for not re-signing him after the 2008 season. “They didn’t pull me back,” Martinez told the New York Daily News. “They left me hanging after I let go of so many teams. It’s business. I know that baseball has a bad side. And that’s the bad side of baseball — business.”

♦ A youth baseball coach in Slidell, La., was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail and two years probation for assaulting a rival coach during the handshake line after a game two years ago. Jason Chighizola, who coached the Yankees, attacked Robert Johnson in front of players and parents after Johnson’s Red Sox won a game to move into first place at the end of the season, leaving a bloody Johnson with facial injuries that required nine stitches. Chighizola, who grabbed a bat during the fracas before being calmed down, later tested positive for extremely high levels of animal steroids.

Here’s the video of the fight:

VIDEO: Coaches come to blows at Slidell Bantam Baseball Association game

Here’s the news report of Wednesday’s sentencing:

VIDEO: Jason Chighizola sentenced to 30 days for battery

♦ With the Karen Sypher extortion trial now over, Rick Pitino faces a rebuilding job at Louisville, writes Eric Crawford of the Louisville Courier-Journal.

♦ West Virginia is the latest school to face the wrath of the NCAA, with accusations of five major violations occurring withing the football program. the Charleston Gazette has the story. Meanwhile, Andy Staples at Sports Illustrated addresses problems with the NCAA, noting the case in which Boise State coaches could not attend the funeral of a recruit without breaking NCAA rules.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Aug. 6, 2001, which Red Sox player hit into a triple play and smacked a grand slam in the same game?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We lose a big part of our heart and soul. One of the best hitters, one of the best players in the league. It’s a blow.” — Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein on Kevin Youkilis‘ season-ending injury

STAT OF THE DAY: 0.93 — Daisuke Matsuzaka‘s ERA in his last four games against the Indians

‘NET RESULTS: A 77-year-old golfer wins $10,000 for making a 50-foot putt.

A Canadian Football League player has an impressive leap over a defender.

This soccer player couldn’t miss this tip-in again if he tried.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Scott Hatteberg

SOOTHING SOUNDS: On this day in 1965, the Beatles released the album “Help!”

Read More: Pedro Martinez, Rick Pitino,

Brown set to sign with Lakers

08.06.10 at 7:09 am ET
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Agent Mark Bartelstein told The Los Angeles Times that Shannon Brown will sign a two-year deal to remain with the Lakers.

“Obviously, the process took a while, but Shannon wanted to be here and they wanted him,” Bartelstein said. “Shannon had a number of other opportunities out there, but he had been in LA for two years and they won two championships. The chance to go for a three-peat is very special to him.”

Brown averaged career highs in points (8.1), rebounds (2.3), assists (1.3) and minutes (20.7) last season.

Read More: Rumor Mill, Shannon Brown,