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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,

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.”

To read more, click here.

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,