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Report: Athletics look to bring Hideki Matsui to the Bay

12.13.10 at 3:21 pm ET
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Hideki Matsui is close to signing a one-year deal with the Athletics according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The deal could be finished as early as Monday and the press conference could be scheduled for Tuesday.

Matsui hit .274 with 21 home runs and an .820 OPS last season with the Angels. He would replace former DH Jack Cust who signed a deal with the Mariners last week.

Read More: Hideki Matsui, Hot Stove, Jack Cust,

Concussions in the NFL up 21 percent since 2009

12.13.10 at 3:21 pm ET
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According to NFL data obtained by the Associated Press, there was a 21 percent increase in reported concussions from 2009 to 2010 when looking at the first eight weeks of the NFL season. This season there were 154 reported concussions reported from the beginning of preseason through Week 8.

Dr. Hunt Batjer, co-chairman of the NFL’s head, neck and spine medical committee said to the AP, “Based on the opinions of the trainers and the team physicians and everyone we communicate with, it appears to be a cultural change.”

In 2009 there were only 127 reported concussions over the same span. The numbers are a 34 percent jump from 2008 when only 115 concussions were reported.

“We’re trying to make sure that players have the message: Playing through pain is good; playing through pain is what sports are about,” Batjer said. “But that’s leg pain. That’s arm pain. Not brain injury. Because a brain injury and spine injury can threaten their future.”

Read More: Rumor Mill,

Clippers owner heckles Baron Davis

12.13.10 at 2:32 pm ET
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Clippers owner Donald Sterling heckled his own player, Baron Davis, during a game against the Magic Sunday night, and Yahoo’s Marc Spears caught the exchange. Sterling yelled at Davis, “Why did you take that shot?” and “You’re out of shape” at Davis who is in the third year of a five-year $65 million contract and his play has not lived up to expectations.

Read More: Baron Davis, Donald Sterling, Rumor Mill,

Eagles lose Stewart Bradley and Brandon Graham for significant time

12.13.10 at 2:23 pm ET
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The Eagles announced Monday that they will likely will miss two defensive starters for the rest of the regular season. Rookie defensive end Brandon Graham tore a knee ligament and middle linebacker Stewart Bradley dislocated his elbow in the team’s 30-27 win over the Cowboys.

Graham’s injury will require surgery and should keep him our for the rest of the regular season, if not for the season. The 13th pick in the NFL draft has started six games for the Eagles and recorded three sacks and two forced fumbles.

Coach Andy Reid said that Bradley will be out indefinitely but could return later this season. Bradley is second on the team with 84 tackles.

The injury is another setback among a string of injuries for the fourth-year player. He sustained a concussion in Week 1 that kept him out the next week and he missed all of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Read More: Andy Reid, Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles, Rumor Mill

Report: Nationals and Blue Jays Interested in Zach Greinke

12.13.10 at 2:17 pm ET
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Jerry Crasnick of is reporting that sources have indicated that the Nationals and Blue Jays are among the leaders for Royals ace Zach Greinke.

Royals general manger Dayton Moore is reportedly looking for middle-infielder prospects who are close to being major-league ready, in return for the former Cy Young winner. Moore may be looking at the 2007 Rangers-Braves trade that focused around Mark Teixeira, as the blueprint. The deal involved several major-league ready prospects, along with Elvis Andrus and Neftali Feliz, who were viewed as prospects with lots of potential.

Greinke finished 10-14 with a 4.17 ERA in 220 innings last season after winning the CY Young Award in 2009. The 2002 first-round pick is 60-67 for his career with a 3.82 ERA.

Several other clubs have expressed interest in Greinke but may not have the needed prospects. The Yankees and Rangers both have inquired on Greinke, but as of now don’t appear to be front-runners because of their lack of major-league ready infield prospects. The Brewers have also expressed interest but likely do not have the trade pieces.

Read More: Dayton Moore, Hot Stove, New York Yankees, texas rangers

Report: Yankees and Russell Martin Close To Agreement

12.13.10 at 2:14 pm ET
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Former Dodgers catcher Russell Martin could sign with the Yankees as early as Monday. According to a tweet by Buster Olney, “The Yankees have continued to be aggressive on C Russell Martin; would not be a surprise if we heard at any time of the agreement.”

The former All-Star hit just .248 with six home runs and 25 RBIS in 97 games this season. Martin was an All-Star in his second and third season in Los Angeles averaging 16 home runs and 77 RBIS.

The Red Sox and Blue Jays also were reported to be interested in Martin. He would likely serve as insurance for the Yankees, who hope that Jesus Montero can take over as the starting catcher in 2011.

Read More: Hot Stove, Jesus Montero, red sox, Russell Martin

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Dolphins call Jets ‘cheaters’ after coach trips player

12.13.10 at 6:50 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

No games scheduled


‘™¦ Not only did the Jets lose to the Dolphins in New York on Sunday, the Jets embarrassed themselves in the process, and not just with their play. Jets strengths and conditioning coach Sal Alosi intentionally tripped Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll as the Miami player was running out of bounds on punt coverage.

Here’s the video (at least until the league takes it down):

The Miami players were not pleased.

“They’re cheaters,” Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder said. “They do what they do. They cheat. They talk junk. But we beat the hell out of them today.

“I wish they’d tripped me. I’d have broken that old man’s leg. I didn’t see anything. He stuck his leg out and tripped him? He should be ashamed of himself. A grown man from the coaching staff? That’s high character.”

Added running back Ricky Williams: “It’s the Jets right? We’re not surprised.”

Linebacker Karlos Dansby wants at least a suspension for the rest of the season. “[Commissioner Roger] Goodell, handle this,” he said while holding up a cellphone video in front of reporters. “This is sad, bro. This is sad. Four games, the rest of the season. Suspend him, man. Get him up out of there. He’s got to go, man. He’s bringing the whole organization down. That’s sad. You don’t do a man like that. Just let the guys play and have fun.”

For his part, the 33-year-old Alosi admitted his offense. “I made a mistake that showed a total lapse in judgment,” the former Hofstra linebacker said in a statement. “My conduct was inexcusable and unsportsmanlike and does not reflect what this organization stands for. I spoke to [Dolphins coach Tony] Sparano and Nolan Carroll to apologize before they took off. I have also apologized to [Jets owner] Woody [Johnson], [general manager] Mike [Tannenbaum] and Rex [Ryan]. I accept responsibility for my actions as well as any punishment that follows.”

‘™¦ Cowboys running back Tashard Choice asked Eagles quarterback Michael Vick for an autograph after their game Sunday. After getting some heat, Choice explained the autograph was for his nephew.

‘™¦ The Broncos lost to the Cardinals on Sunday, and Kyle Orton threw three interceptions and had a 27.1 passer rating. This led to calls from Broncos fans for Tim Tebow. In The Denver Post, Mike Klis looks at the dilemma new coach Eric Studesville faces.

‘™¦ Speculation has begun that Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton will leave Auburn after one season and enter the NFL draft. Longtime NFL personnel man Gil Brandt called Newton “the most exciting player I can ever remember watching.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 13, 1991, Celtics center Robert Parish became the fifth player in NBA history to appear in 1,200 career games. He joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elvin Hayes and which two former Celtics on the list?

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Cam Newton, Kyle Orton, Nolan Carroll, Sal Alosi

Giants-Vikings game rescheduled for Monday, tickets free

12.12.10 at 3:32 pm ET
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After a wild weekend that cast the Vikings-Giants matchup in doubt, tickets to the game are now free for all who wish to attend in the Motor City. Tickets to the Monday night game will become available at 8 a.m. at Ford Field on Monday. The matchup was originally scheduled to start on Sunday at 1 p.m. until a snowstorm struck the Twin Cities of Minnesota. However, with a storm that brought 17 inches of snow to Minnesota, the Giants found themselves unable to fly on Saturday, stranding the team in Kansas City.

The game was originally rescheduled for Monday night until the inflated roof of the Metrodome collapsed due to the weight of fallen snow. The game has been rescheduled once again to Monday night at 7:20 while the teams will face off at Detroit’€™s Ford Field. To address the last-minute change, the league announced that tickets will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, with no charge.

One key storyline affected by the news is the status of injured quarterback Brett Favre, who has remained questionable all week with a sprained right shoulder, putting his NFL-record streak of 297 starts in jeopardy. Farve has been limited at practice, although there is no definite news on whether he will be able to play. He reportedly would not have been able to play if the game was still scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

Read More: brett favre, Minnesota Vikings, Rumor Mill,

Browns’ Peyton Hillis passes 1,000-yard rushing milestone

12.12.10 at 3:32 pm ET
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Browns running back Peyton Hillis charged up field on an 8-yard gain during Sunday’€™s match up against the Buffalo Bills. It may have looked like just another hard run for the Browns offseason acquisition but with Hillis, what meets the eye may be deceiving. The run pushed Hillis past 1,000 yards rushing for the season and became the ninth member of the Browns to reach the milestone.

Entering the game, Hillis had 962 yards and was set to face Buffalo’€™s last-ranked rushing defense. Hillis passed the 1,000-yard mark on just his fourth carry. Near the end of the first half, Hillis has 12 carries for 72 yards, including a 25-yard scamper.

Hillis came to the Browns when the team traded former first-round pick Brady Quinn to the Broncos and received the 24-year-old running back in return. Quinn is now a third-string quarterback behind Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow while Hillis has shined in his first starting role. Along with his rushing yards, Hillis has 11 rushing touchdowns and has 436 receiving yards including  two receiving touchdowns.

Read More: Cleveland Browns, Peyton Hillis, Rumor Mill,

Tampa Bay rookie Gerald McCoy suffers biceps injury

12.12.10 at 3:32 pm ET
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Tampa Bay defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was forced out of Sunday’€™s game against the Redskins with a biceps injury. The first-round draft pick will not return to action. McCoy left the field during the first quarter and although the extent of the injury is unknown, speculation has suggested that the third-overall pick is done for the season.

McCoy has started all 13 games of the season for Tampa Bay and has racked up 27 tackles and three sacks as a rookie. Rookie Alex Woods has taken McCoy’€™s place in the defense on Sunday.

Read More: Gerald McCoy, Rumor Mill, Tampa Bay Buccanneers,