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Thrashers sign defenseman Dustin Byfuglien to five-year extension

02.16.11 at 10:43 am ET
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The Thrashers and All-Star defenseman Dustin Byfuglien agreed to a five-year, $26 million contract extension Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.

Atlanta acquired the 25-year-old Byfuglien in an offseason trade with the Blackhawks and it has certainly paid dividends. Byfuglien leads the team with 43 points and leads all NHL defenseman with 17 goals.

“Dustin has emerged into an elite player this season and been invaluable as a leader both on and off the ice,” said Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley. “It was a priority to sign him and we’re looking forward to witnessing his All-Star caliber play for many years to come.”

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Minneapolis suburb votes to begin stadium talks with Vikings

02.16.11 at 9:05 am ET
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The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners voted 6-1 Tuesday to begin discussions with the Vikings about building a new stadium, according to The Associated Press.

The stadium would be located at the site of a former Army ammunition plant in Arden Hills, about 10 miles northeast of Minneapolis. Ramsey County is the first municipality to officially express interest in becoming the Vikings’ next home.

Team officials told the AP that the Metrodome is outdated and no longer profitable as an NFL venue. Ramsey County commissioners said the jobs and economic development a new stadium would bring to the area would outweigh the cost to county taxpayers.

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Judge allows audio recording in Barry Bonds trial

02.16.11 at 8:58 am ET
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A federal judge decided Tuesday to allow an audio recording of Barry Bonds‘ personal trainer, Greg Anderson, as evidence in the home run king’s perjury trial, according to The Associated Press.

Prosecutors say the tape features Anderson discussing Bonds’ steroid use. Bonds’ lawyers had requested the tape not be permitted because there was no way to authenticate the topic of discussion since Anderson isn’t testifying.

But prosecutors plan to call Stevie Hoskins, Bonds’ childhood friend and former business partner who secretly recorded the conversation, to the witness stand. Hoskins says he taped the conversation in March 2003 in an effort to convince Bonds’ father that his son was using steroids.

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Tony La Russa says union is attempting to ‘beat up’ Albert Pujols

02.16.11 at 8:23 am ET
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Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said Tuesday that he thinks the MLB Players Association is trying to “beat up” Albert Pujols and his agent in hopes of getting him to sign a record contract, according to ESPN.com.

La Russa told the site that the pressure “is bull—-. That’s not the way it should be.” La Russa said Pujols should be looking at all the factors and not just the money, but that the union sees Pujols as someone who can raise the salary bar, so it puts more pressure on him than other players.

“I’m not saying that if I was a union representative I would do it differently,” La Russa said. “I’m just saying I think it diminishes the other factors that a player looks at. … I think each negotiation should be based on what’s the best decision — taking everything into account, not taking one thing into account.”

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Donald Trump wants to buy share of Mets

02.16.11 at 7:43 am ET
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Donald Trump told the New York Post that he’s interested in buying at least a share of the Mets in order to help friend Fred Wilpon. Fallout from the Bernie Madoff scandal has left Wilpon scrambling to sell shares of the club.

While Trump said he wouldn’t necessarily get a majority share, he added: “My history is I control things.”

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Jason Whitlock, Peter King battle over Hall of Fame process

02.16.11 at 7:35 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 LOCALLY WEDNESDAY:
NBA: Nets at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Jason Whitlock of FoxSports.com and Peter King of Sports Illustrated are engaged in a dispute centered around the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection process. Whitlock does not approve of the way candidates are selected ‘€” “It’s a system and process that should shame legit journalists,” he wrote. King, one of the power brokers, did not take well to the criticism and attempted to explain and defend himself. The issue of race was brought into the discussion.

‘™¦ The Mariners announced Monday that Ken Griffey Jr. would return to the team as a special assistant. In The Seattle Times, Steve Kelley writes that Griffey still owes Seattle an apology after his ignominious departure from the team and game in 2010.

‘™¦ The first NBA All-Star Game was played in Boston 60 years ago. At FanHouse, Chris Tomasson writes about the event and Ed Macauley, the Celtics center who was named MVP two years after the fact and received a trophy 52 years later.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Feb. 16, 1980, which Bruin recorded an assist in a 5-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies to give him 1,220 career points and pass Jean Beliveau for seventh on the NHL career scoring list?

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Ed Maccauley, Jason Whitlock, Ken Griffey, Peter King

Colts franchise Peyton Manning

02.16.11 at 6:53 am ET
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Peyton Manning was given the franchise tag by the Colts, setting up the four-time MVP for a 2011 salary of about $23 million. The team and player have been in negotiations for a new long-term contract.

Manning is one of the Colts’ key free agents, a list that includes running back Joseph Addai, kicker Adam Vinatieri, offensive lineman Charlie Johnson, safety Melvin Bullitt, linebacker Clint Session and defensive tackle Dan Muir.

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Redskins’ Albert Haynesworth denies sexual abuse claim

02.15.11 at 10:40 am ET
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Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, via his agent, denied a report that he inappropriately touched a waitress at her a downtown Washington hotel restaurant early Sunday.

“There seems to be no truth to these allegations,” agent Chad Speck said Monday. “And we are currently evaluating the facts and considering our own legal actions against those involved.”

This is the latest in long list of problems for Haynesworth over the past year. Most recently, he was accused of road rage by a motorist in Virginia.

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Eagles franchise Michael Vick

02.15.11 at 10:31 am ET
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Quarterback Michael Vick was given the franchise tag by the Eagles on Tuesday. Vick was named Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year after leading Philadelphia to a 10-6 record and the NFC East title. He is scheduled to appear on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Feb. 24 to discuss his controversial past.

The Eagles also franchised kicker David Akers.

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North Andover wrestling coach faces child porn charges

02.15.11 at 9:13 am ET
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Longtime North Andover wrestling coach David Castricone was arrested Monday on child pornography charges and resigned his position, The Boston Globe reported. Castricone, 60, was charged with possession of child pornography following a search of his home, North Andover police said in a statement.

Police said they received a complaint from the North Andover High School administration about inappropriate behavior by Castricone, and that led to an investigation.

Castricone had coached at North Andover for 36 years. The Knights are defending state champions and will participate in the Division 2 state tournament Tuesday under the guidance of assistant coach Carl Cincotta.

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