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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.

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Read More: Andy Pettitte, Joe Girardi, Yankees,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup

08.18.10 at 7:44 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’€™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)
MLS: Revolution at Fire, 8:30 p.m. (CSNNE)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ The Mets placed controversial closer Francisco Rodriguez on the disqualified list, meaning they don’t plan to pay him. K-Rod’s season was ended due to a hand injury suffered following an altercation with his girlfriend’s father last week that led to his arrest. The players association already indicated it plans to contest the move, which would cost the pitcher about $3 million this season and could allow the Mets to terminate his contract next spring for minimal penalty.

‘™¦ LeBron James gave an interview to GQ magazine, and it’s unlikely to help his image ‘€” especially after he refers to himself in the third person. Teddy Mitrosilis at BleacherReport.com puts the blame squarely on LeBron for this one.

‘™¦ Richard Sandomir in The New York Times has a look at Jim Gray, the reporter who has been in a couple of high-profile situations this summer ‘€” with LeBron James and Corey Pavin ‘€” and has been getting a lot of heat for making himself part of the stories.

‘™¦ Mike Bauman at MLB.com pays tribute to Bobby Thomson, the New York Giants legend who hit the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” in 1951. Thomson, who played for the Red Sox in the final year of his career in 1960, passed away Tuesday.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Aug. 18, 1993, which Red Sox pitcher took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before settling for a one-hitter and a 5-0 shutout of the White Sox?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I don’t think he ever cared about LeBron. My mother always told me: ‘You will see the light of people when they hit adversity. You’ll get a good sense of their character.’ Me and my family have seen the character of that man.” ‘€” LeBron James, in a GQ magazine article, talking about his relationship with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert

STAT OF THE DAY: 2.36 ‘€” Red Sox righty Clay Buchholz‘ ERA, best in the American League, following his seven shutout innings against the Angels Tuesday night

‘NET RESULTS: The Icelandic soccer team Stjarnan’s latest goal celebrations: one with a swimming theme and the other rowing.

A man runs the bases at a minor league game while on fire.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Danny Darwin

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Johnny Preston is 71 today.

Read More: Francisco Rodriguez, Jim Gray, LeBron James,

Teammate: Favre back with Vikings

08.18.10 at 7:09 am ET
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Brett Favre flew to Minnesota on Tuesday and is expected to join the Vikings at training camp as early as Wednesday. Favre flew in from his Mississippi home with three of his teammates who were sent to recruit him, and one of those teammates indicated that the 40-year-old quarterback is back.

“We simply went down there to get an answer and after talking for a while, his answer was ‘yes,’ ” kicker Ryan Longwell said in a text message to ESPN. “He loves the guys in the locker room and is doing it for all of us.”

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Read More: brett favre, Ryan Longwell,

LEEInks list: Horrifying sports injuries

08.18.10 at 6:21 am ET
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No matter how much you might despise the Manning brothers and take pleasure in their pain, no one likes to look at blood spewing from a human skull ‘€” even if it is Eli Manning‘€™s head.

Or do you?

Can you keep your dinner down after witnessing knees shatter and pupils pop out? Are you the type to be fascinated or horrified by throats slit by hockey skates and faces crushed by line drives?

You be the judge, but proceed with caution. Here are 10 of the most grisly sports injuries ever.

The bloody, three-inch gash Manning received Monday during the Giants‘ preseason opener against the Jets is nothing compared to some of the sickening sports injuries athletes have endured on the field of battle. Eli’€™s 12 stitches really are child’€™s play, when placed up against the 250 sutures Maple Leafs defenseman Borje Salming got after Red Wings forward Gerard Gallant accidentally stepped on his face with a skate in 1986.

And that’€™s only the first item on this list.

10. Borje Salming stepped on by a skate

On Nov. 26, 1986, in a game against the Red Wings, Salming was knocked to the ice in the middle of a scramble and got the brunt of a misstep by Gallant. In the scuffle, Gallant was pushed back and accidentally stepped on Salming’€™s face with his skate. It took 250 stitches and facial surgery to close the gap running from the Swedish skater’€™s forehead to his chin. Though it was only one of many injuries Salming would suffer over his 18-year career with the NHL, it is by far is most remembered ‘€” and most haunting.

See The Toronto Star’€™s photo of the 250 stitches that just miss Salming’€™s eye here.

9. Oupa Ngulube’€™s leg stomp

During a South African soccer game between the Mpumalanga Black Aces FC and the Carara Kicks, what started out as a regular 50-50 race to the ball down the sideline of the pitch transformed quickly into one of the most disturbing images of the human shin in sports. Felix Muamba-Musasa of the Black Aces went to step into the ball and got Ngulube’€™s leg instead, severing it in two places. Muamba-Musasa did issue an apology to his Kicks opponent, although it included him saying, ‘€œPeople should understand that soccer is a contact sport. At the end of the day, such accidents happen in the field of play.”

8. Bryce Florie clobbered by line drive

On Sept. 8, 2000, the Red Sox righty was the brutal victim of a line drive off the bat of the Yankees‘€™ Ryan Thompson at Fenway Park. The image of Florie crumbling to the ground and flailing his legs in pain speaks for itself. The baseball smashing into Florie’€™s face caused multiple broken bones ‘€” a broken cheek bone and broken orbital socket ‘€” plus severe eye damage. He was able to recover and return to the mound in 2001, but he only pitched in seven games before being released by the Sox midseason.

Speed up to see the line drive’€™s impact at 0:59.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Clint Malarchuk, Eli Manning, Joe Theismann,

Report: Bengals’ Maualuga avoids suspension

08.17.10 at 1:54 pm ET
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ESPN NFL analyst Adam Schefter recently tweeted that Bengals linebacker Ray Maualuga, who was arrested in January on charges of drunken driving, has managed to avoid being suspended by the league office.

One month after the incident, Maualuga apologized for his actions and pleaded guilty to the aforementioned charge. The 23-year-old linebacker was drafted in the second round in the 2009 draft, and has recorded 63 tackles and one sack in his brief career.

A teammate of Maualuga’s, running back Cedric Benson, also had a run-in with the law this year, having been arrested in June for attacking a bartender. Benson was not suspended for the incident.

Read More: Ray Maualuga, Rumor Mill,

Report: Magic considers parting with Lakers

08.17.10 at 1:53 pm ET
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A recent report is stating that Lakers legend Magic Johnson, who was drafted by the team in 1979 and who has been part owner and vice president since 1994, may look to leave his post with the team.

Johnson reportedly has about 5 percent interest in the team, including marketing and personnel decisions. Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com has the story, and quotes Johnson as saying it is inevitable that a split will occur between him and owner Jerry Buss.

“I’ll still be a Laker forever,” Johnson said. “If there’s a chance for me to go run a team, if I felt that’s what I wanted to do, would I take it? Yeah, if the right situation came. I know one day that’s gonna probably happen. I love being with Dr. Buss and the Buss family and working with them, but I know one day something is going to happen. I can definitely see me not being with the Lakers, yeah.”

As recently as last week, Johnson admitted that ownership or even a role with a team like the Pistons would be very enticing. Johnson, after all, grew up in Michigan, playing his college ball at Michigan State.

Read More: Detroit Pistons, Magic Johnson, Rumor Mill,

Haslem foresees vindication for marijuana charge

08.17.10 at 9:29 am ET
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Heat big man Udonis Haslem is confident he will be vindicated after being arrested on a marijuana charge following a traffic stop Sunday afternoon.

“I am confident that once the judicial process runs its course, I will be cleared,” Haslem said.

Haslem was pulled over for speeding on a South Floridian highway Sunday in his 2008 Mercedes sedan, and a passenger in his car, Antwain Fleming, told the Florida Highway Patrol that the marijuana found in the car was his.

Haslem is accused of possessing more than 20 grams of marijuana, a third-degree felony, along with four misdemeanor counts for possessing drug paraphernalia.

Haslem’s attorney, Eric Schwartzreich, said he is convinced Fleming’s admission will likely drop Haslem’s third-degree felony charge. Schwartzreich said the State Attorney’s Office is reviewing the arrest paperwork in a process that will take a few days to complete. A hearing is currently scheduled for Sept. 14 in Miami-Dade County Court.

“He’s a little rattled,” Schwartzreich said. “He’s upset. He doesn’t know how he can be charged with this.”

Both Haslem and Fleming were taken into police custody.

According to court records, Haslem’s car, worth over $100,000, may face forfeiture. The speeding ticket brings a $269 fine, along with a citation for having illegal window tint, according to FHP spokesman Sgt. Mark Wysocky.

Haslem, a South Florida native who has spent all seven of his NBA seasons with Miami, signed a new five-year contract with the Heat last month.

He has averaged 10.0 points and 8.1 rebounds for Miami during his NBA career, along with his contributions to the Heat’s 2006 NBA championship.

“We are aware of the incident involving Udonis Haslem yesterday afternoon, and while we fully support our players, since this is a pending legal matter we will have no further comment at this time,” Heat president Pat Riley said in a statement Monday evening.

“We are confident Udonis Haslem will be vindicated,” Schwartzreich said. “We have a situation where the passenger admits the marijuana was his and Mr. Haslem tells police nothing was in the vehicle.

“I think the police report speaks for itself,” Schwartzreich added. “I am hopeful that Udonis Haslem will not be charged.”

Read More: Miami Heat, Udonis Haslem,

Harper signs record-setting deal with Nationals

08.17.10 at 8:23 am ET
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Seconds before the midnight deadline Monday night, 17-year-old Bryce Harper, negotiating with agent Scott Borassigned with the Nationals. The No. 1 overall draft pick signed a five-year deal worth $9.9 million.

His contract is a record-setter for a non-pitcher signing out of the draft who had not become a free agent, surpassing the mark previously held by Mark Teixeiera in 2001. Teixeira’s major league deal was for $9.5 million over four years with the Rangers.

Harper, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound power hitter, was the Nationals’ second consecutive No. 1 overall draft choice. Washington commanded the 2009 and 2010 No. 1 picks after finishing with the worst records in the major league in 2008 and 2009.

Stephen Strasburg came to terms with the Nationals only a minute before the deadline last year. Strasburg’s $15.1 million, four-year contract with Washington was the highest for any player out of the draft.

Harper, the first junior college player taken with the first overall selection, heads to Washington after playing catcher for the College of Southern Nevada, but he is expected to convert to the outfield with the Nationals.

At Southern Nevada, participating in a wooden bat league, Harper hit .443 with 31 homers and 98 RBI in his lone season. He went to Southern Nevada after skipping two years of high school and getting his GED to be eligible for the 2010 amateur draft.

Harper’s contract calls for a signing bonus of $6.25 million in five equal payments of $1.25 million: 30 days after approval and each July 1 from 2011 through 2014. He receives salaries of $500,000 each in 2011 and 2012, $750,000 in 2013, $900,000 in 2014 and $1 million in 2015 ‘€” roster bonuses that could raise the value of his deal to $10.9 million.

If he spends 30, 60, 90 and 120 days on the active major league roster in each of the last two years of the contract, he can earn up to an extra $500,000 in each of those contract years, getting $125,000 each time each year.

The Nationals also agreed to pay for eight semesters of college for Harper.

Harper, who was featured on Sports Illustrated’s cover as “baseball’s chosen one” and the “most exciting prodigy since LeBron,” was the first non-senior to earn Baseball America’s High School Player of the Year award and  only the second junior college player, joining Alex Fernandez in 1990, to win the Golden Spikes Award, given to the country’s top amateur baseball player.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said he hopes Harper will report to Washington’s rookie-level Gulf Coast League team in Florida “as soon as possible.”

The Nationals also announced contracts with second-round choice Sammy Solis, a right-handed pitcher out of the University of San Diego, and fourth-round pick A.J. Cole, a right-handed high school pitcher, earlier Monday night.

Read More: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup

08.17.10 at 7:37 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’€™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:

‘™¦ A radio reporter in Arkansas who was sent to a press conference to interview University of Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino after a Razorbacks scrimmage wore a Florida Gators hat to the session, and it didn’t go well. Not only did Petrino make a disparaging comment, the reporter, Renee Gork, tweeted that she was fired by Hog Sports Radio for her fashion faux pas. “Was hoping to publicly apologize to coach Petrino and UA fans on the show today, but I won’t get that chance now … I’ve been fired,” she wrote Monday. Gork also was the victim of online harassment when Arkansas fans found her Facebook page, on which she displays her affection for Florida and makes some critical comments of the school she was covering.

‘™¦ Gentry Estes at the Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register explains why 23-year-old running back Glen Coffee retired from the NFL after one promising season with the 49ers. The deeply religious Coffee doesn’t expect people to understand his decision. “A lot of people aren’t going to understand and realize because they don’t have the wisdom to understand,” the former Alabama star said. “Their eyes aren’t open like mine are open.” Added Coffee: I don’t know what call Gold has for my life, but it wasn’t football.”

‘™¦ In the New York Daily News, Mike Vaccaro writes that the Mets should try to void the contract of controversial closer Francisco Rodriguez, who is out for the season with a torn ligament in his thumb following last week’s dispute with his girlfriend’s father.

‘™¦ It seems certain that Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets will be parting ways, so the team continues to explore options to trade the young star so it doesn’t get “LeBron’d,” according to the Denver Post‘s Mark Kiszla.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Aug. 17, 1940, who became the first Red Sox player to hit a home run in five consecutive games?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I personally don’t want my players to be around that. I don’t want to be around that. It’s hard for me to be around that, and if I were in charge, no, I wouldn’t hire someone like that. … Now, I’ve been around ‘F’ bombs, so it’s not like it’s new. But I just don’t think that has to be part of your every-minute, everyday vocabulary to get your point across.” ‘€” Former Colts coach and NBC pregame analyst Tony Dungy, commenting on Jets coach Rex Ryan‘s profane language

STAT OF THE DAY: 12 ‘€” Stitches Giants quarterback Eli Manning needed to close a gash on his head after a hit in Monday night’s preseason game vs. the Jets

‘NET RESULTS: The basketball trick shot thing is taken to another level with shots from rides at an amusement park.

Closer to the ground, here are some behind-the-back trick shots from B.Manley.

At an Angels game, an 11-year-old is selected for an on-field contest but falls and breaks his arm.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Jimmie Foxx

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Gary Talley, lead guitarist of the Box Tops, is 63 today.