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SB Nation Thursday: Odds stacked against 0-5 Red Sox

04.07.11 at 12:07 pm ET
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As part of WEEI’€™s new partnership with SB Nation Boston, we’€™ll be highlighting some of the website’€™s content on a daily basis.

Is it time for Red Sox fans to panic? Rob Neyer writes that it might, as only two teams in MLB history have made the playoffs after opening the season with five straight losses.

Mike Prada takes a look at which low-seed team has the best chance of pulling off a first-round upset in the NBA playoffs.

The Boston College blog, BC Interruption, examines the possibility of Fenway Park hosting college football and hockey games.

The Revolution blog, The Bent Musket, reviews Wednesday night’€™s Revolution 1-1 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Read More: SB Nation,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees’ Rafael Soriano apologizes for skipping out on media

04.07.11 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 LOCALLY THURSDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Indians, 12:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
NBA: Celtics at Bulls, 8 p.m. (TNT; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ New Yankees setup man Rafael Soriano apologized to the media for not talking after struggling in Tuesday’s 5-4 loss to the Twins. Soriano said Yankees management told him through his agent, Scott Boras, that he needs to be accessible in the future. The free agent signee who has a questionable reputation ‘€” as Peter Gammons explained on the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday ‘€” said he was so upset after costing CC Sabathia a win that he didn’t even answer the phone when his mother called from the Dominican Republic.

‘™¦ The Dodgers and Giants, longtime rivals, are working together to avoid a repeat of the incident that left a Dodgers fan in the hospital with a brain injury. The Dodgers have hired for Los Angeles (and Boston) police chief William Bratton to help with security. In The Los Angeles Times, T.J. Simers writes that many fans have contacted him to say they don’t feel safe at Dodger Stadium.

‘™¦ At Wednesday’s press conference to announce the hiring of new basketball coach Mark Gottfried, NC State athletic director Kay Yow took a shot at Maryland coach Gary Williams. Yow, the former Maryland AD, said Williams “tried to sabotage the search” in response to a question about whether she is difficult to work with. Williams denied being in contact with any prospective coach or athletic director.

‘™¦ While the Celtics have been struggling lately, the Thunder have developed a new level of intensity thanks to Kendrick Perkins, writes Jenni Carlson in The Oklahoman.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 7, 1986, which Red Sox player got a memorable season off to a fast start with a home run off Tigers ace Jack Morris on the first pitch of Opening Day?

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Read More: Gary Williams, Kay Yow, kendrick perkins, Mike Gottfried

Blackhawks goalie Marty Turco allegedly bets with fan during game

04.06.11 at 1:33 pm ET
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A Canadiens fan claims he made bets with Blackhawks goalie Marty Turco while the player was on the bench during Tuesday night’s game, which Montreal won in overtime, 2-1. According to the fan, Turco won $5 after the fan said the Blackhawks wouldn’t score following Michael Cammalleri‘s goal that put Montreal up 1-0. There is a twitter photo that apparently shows the fan handing Turco the money.

The two allegedly bet on the winner of the game, with Turco paying off after the Blackhawks lost.

Read More: Marty Turco, Rumor Mill,

Judge dismisses 1 of 5 charges against Barry Bonds

04.06.11 at 12:43 pm ET
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A federal judge on Wednesday granted a request by the prosecution to dismiss one of the five charges against Barry Bonds in his federal trial. In the charge, the prosecution asserted that Bonds lied to a grand jury when he denied that personal trainer Greg Anderson induced him “to take anything before the 2003 season.”

Bonds has admitted to inadvertently taking steroids in 2003 but not before then.

Read More: Barry Bonds, Rumor Mill,

Former Sox reliever Craig Hansen released by Pirates

04.06.11 at 11:45 am ET
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According to multiple reports, the Pirates on Wednesday released reliever Craig Hansen, less than three years after he was packaged from the Red Sox in the 2008 trade deadline deal that landed Jason Bay in Boston.

Hansen, 27, has not pitched in the majors since April 19, 2009. Last month, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote about Hansen’s challenge in trying to overcome Parsonage-Turner syndrome, an ailment in which a nerve in his upper back loses the ability to send signals to the trapezius muscle.

“It’s been a rough journey,” said the former Sox first-round draft pick. “But the more you wonder, the more you dread on it. Sometimes, it can eat away at you. You know, everything just happens for a reason.”

Read More: Craig Hansen, Rumor Mill,

SB Nation Wednesday: Is it time for Sox fans to panic?

04.06.11 at 10:58 am ET
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As part of WEEI’€™s new partnership with SB Nation Boston, we’€™ll be highlighting some of the website’€™s content on a daily basis.

The Red Sox are 0-4. Is it time to panic? Over The Monster says yes.

CelticsBlog‘s Jimmy Toscano writes about Jermaine O’Neal‘s frustrating season that hasn’t gone the way anyone hoped (but still might have time to be salvaged).

The Revolution blog, The Bent Musket, previews Wednesday night’s Revolution match with a little help from SB Nation’s Vancouver Whitecaps blog, 86 Forever.

SB Nation’s Jon Bois looks through the history books to determine if UConn-Butler should rank as one of the worst championship games ever played, in any sport.

Read More: SB Nation,

Rays upset with home fans for booing Manny Ramirez

04.06.11 at 9:33 am ET
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Rays manager Joe Maddon came to the defense of Manny Ramirez after the former Red Sox slugger was booed by the home fans Tuesday while going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts as Tampa Bay lost for the fourth time in four games this season.

Ramirez signed a $2 million free agent deal with the Rays in the offseason. He has just a single and one RBI in 16 at-bats.

“I want the fans to know he works, this man really works, this man really cares,” Maddon said. “It’s not working for him right now, but he’s going to be just fine. ‘€¦ We need to let him be himself and let Manny be Manny and go up there and not try to carry us. The last thing I want him to do is feel like he has to carry us.”

Added outfielder B.J. Upton: “Here’s a man who has had an unbelievable career. This game is not easy. His start obviously hasn’t been what people wanted it to be. But if everybody could do it, everybody in America would be playing right now. They’re not and he’s done it for 16 years. So that bothered me a little bit. Because I think if you’re a true baseball fan, you know what type of player he is and the type of damage he can do. It’s way too long of a season to be booing somebody right now. That I do not understand, not one bit.”

Read More: Joe Maddon, Manny Ramirez, Rumor Mill,

Assaulted Giants fan might have brain damage

04.06.11 at 9:23 am ET
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The Giants fan who was assaulted by two Dodgers fans outside Dodger Stadium after Thursday’s season-opener suffered a severely fractured skull and damage to the frontal lobe of his brain, doctors announced Tuesday.

Bryan Stow‘s family spoke and said they don’t blame Dodgers fans for the beating. “We know they weren’t true Dodger fans,” said Stow’s sister, Erin Collins.

Cousin John Stow said Bryan texted just before the assault that he was “scored inside the stadium.” As he left the park, the 42-year-old was attacked as he went to look for a taxi.

“We would like to use this as a rallying cry to stop unnecessary violence in our greatest pastime and all other sports, not only here but abroad,” John Stow said. “So I ask for one last thing on behalf of Bryan ‘€” that we all enjoy a safe and competitive and exciting year of baseball.”

Read More: Bryan Stow, Dodgers, Giants, Rumor Mill

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees play hardball with public transportation

04.06.11 at 7:31 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:
MLB: Red Sox at Indians, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
NHL: Islanders at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
MLS: Revolution at Whitecaps, 10 p.m. (CSNNE)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ The Yankees ‘€” who squandered a late four-run lead and lost in 10 innings to the Twins Tuesday night ‘€” are involved in a “misunderstanding” with the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The team for many years has had a between-innings scoreboard segment in which three MTA trains race to Yankee Stadium. The MTA allowed the Yankees to use its name and those of the trains ‘€” B, D and 4 ‘€” because it promoted public transportation, and all the MTA asked was that the team not sell sponsorship of the segment. When the Yankees went ahead and sold sponsorship to Subway restaurants this year, the MTA tried to contact the team. The Yanks not only did not return the MTA’s call, they changed the names of the trains. “It would be a win-win for everybody involved to get the numbers and letters of these three subway lines back on the trains,” an MTA official said. “Hopefully it will happen.”

‘™¦ The prosecution completed its presentation Tuesday in its case against Barry Bonds. At the San Francisco Chronicle, Gwen Knapp writes about the slim chance that Bonds will take the stand Wednesday to defend himself.

‘™¦ A hit-and-run driver knocked over a heavy metal fence and left tire tracks in the front yard of Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb‘s Virginia house over the weekend. McNabb and his family were not home at the time.

‘™¦ Most of the talk about UConn’s NCAA championship game victory over Butler remains centered on the poor shooting by both teams. In the New York Daily News, Dick Weiss points the finger at the NCAA for playing the game in a cavernous football arena, Houston’s Reliant Stadium, noting the warehouse-like feel had to affect the players.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 6, 1973, the designated hitter made its debut in a game between the Yankees and Red Sox at Fenway. New York’s Ron Blomberg became the first DH to register a plate appearance when he drew a walk off Luis Tiant. Who started at DH for Boston and went 0-for-6 in the Sox’ 15-5 win

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Read More: Barry Bonds, Donovan McNabb, MTA, Yankees

SB Nation Tuesday: Where does Adrian Gonzalez rank?

04.05.11 at 11:16 am ET
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As part of WEEI’€™s new partnership with SB Nation Boston, we’€™ll be highlighting some of the website’€™s content on a daily basis.

At Baseball Nation, Rob Neyer asks if Adrian Gonzalez is the best player in the American League.

At SB Nation, Andrew Sharp asks if we can just forget the actual title game between UConn and Butler.

Randy Booth thinks Red Sox fans are OK with an 0-3 start but warns that things could get ugly fast.

The folks at BC Interruption wonder if all the recent coaching changes in the ACC means more mediocre basketball in the conference.

Read More: SB Nation,