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Report: Antti Niemi to sign with Sharks

09.01.10 at 10:31 pm ET
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According to a report from ESPN, goaltender Antti Niemi, who led the Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup victory last season, will sign a one-year, $2 million deal with the Sharks. This comes after the Blackhawks walked away from the goaltender in arbitration. The team had offered $1.5 million but Niemi was awarded $2.75 million.

The Blackhawks moved on by signing free agent goaltender Marty Turco, who had been with the Stars since 2001.

Read More: Antti Niemi, nhl free agency, Sharks,

Red Sox, Martinez talk two years

09.01.10 at 11:00 am ET
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According to a source familiar with the negotiations, the Red Sox and Victor Martinez have talked about a proposal for a two-year contract. The 31-year-old Martinez is a free agent at the end of this season. The Boston Globe was first to report the offer. The Globe also reports that the Red Sox and Blue Jays were close to a deal that would have brought first baseman Lyle Overbay from Toronto.

Read More: Rumor Mill,

Delonte West looking to move back to Boston?

09.01.10 at 10:51 am ET
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Although it is unclear what his motivation is, guard Delonte West was reportedly shopping for a condo in Waltham, according to the Boston Herald. West was waived by the Timberwolves on Aug. 3 and is facing a 10-game suspension from the NBA after pleading guilty to weapons charges in Maryland.

Read More: Rumor Mill,

Yankees were awarded waiver claim on Lilly

09.01.10 at 10:44 am ET
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According to the New York Daily News, the Yankees were awarded the waiver claim on pitcher Ted Lilly but the Dodgers were unwilling to deal the pitcher because they believe they are still in the race. Since coming to LA from the Cubs, the 34-year-old Lilly has gone 5-1 with a 3.29 ERA.

Read More: Rumor Mill,

Report: Cardinals QB Leinart on trading block

09.01.10 at 7:22 am ET
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According to a Fox Sports report, several NFL teams confirmed that they have received calls and e-mails from the Cardinals about quarterback Matt Leinart, who was recently named as a backup to Derek Anderson. Leinart did not respond well to losing the battle for the starting job, saying, “I think this goes beyond the football field. I’ve done everything they’ve asked of me and more ‘€” outplayed the competition in training camp and preseason. Obviously, there’s something that’s going on. I don’t know what it is.”

Read More: Derek Anderson, Matt Leinart, Rumor Mill,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup

09.01.10 at 7:11 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.

Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)


‘™¦ Washington Post columnist Mike Wise was suspended for a month for knowingly sending out a false tweet indicating that Ben Roethlisberger‘s NFL suspension had been reduced to five games, a “joke” Wise says he made to show how far journalism standards have fallen but one that blew up in his face. On his radio show, Wise apologized for his actions and accepted his punishment. It’s been a rough week for national columnists, with Wise’s embarrassing behavior coming on the heels of Jay Mariotti‘s misadventures that led to his national ridicule.

‘™¦ In the Chicago Tribune, David Haugh continues his tirade against Manny Ramirez that he started Tuesday when he called Manny a cheater and warned fans that the former Dodgers slugger hasn’t been the same since his 50-game suspension in 2009. At Tuesday’s press conference, Manny decided to answer questions in Spanish, having coach Joey Cora translate for the media, and threw out comments such as, “The past is the past,” when asked about his odd behavior.

‘™¦ Roger Clemens posted a second consecutive 84 at the Golf.com World Amateur Handicap Championship in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and shooed away reporters as his defense team likely began combing through the massive amount of documents prosecutors shared about his federal perjury case.

‘™¦ T.J. Simers in The Los Angeles Times has his sarcastic analysis of the McCourt/Dodgers trial. On Tuesday, Frank McCourt took the stand but spent the majority of the time insisting he did not remember details related to his marriage property agreement.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Sept. 1, 1974, the Red Sox acquired which veteran catcher from the Cardinals?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I just want to play baseball, and you have to respect the personality of the person.” ‘€” Manny Ramirez, during his introductory press conference as a member of the White Sox on Tuesday

STAT OF THE DAY: 102 ‘€” Miles per hour of the fastest pitches thrown by Aroldis Chapman in his major league debut Tuesday night for the Reds

‘NET RESULTS: The Icelandic soccer team Stjarnan’s latest celebration is the human toilet.

Lions safety Louis Delmas got a little too excited during presume introductions and took out a couple of kids waiting to high-five him.

A hockey mom takes a puck to the midsection.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Tim McCarver, who also played 12 games for the Sox in 1975 before being released and picked up by the Phillies

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Archie Bell is 66 today.

Strasburg surgery set for Friday

08.31.10 at 11:25 pm ET
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According to the Washington Post, rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg will undergo Tommy John surgery Friday. The operation will be performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum with Nationals team doctor Wiemi Douoguih assisting. The top pick in the 2009 amateur draft has gone through two  arthrograms, both revealing a significant tear in the ulnar collateral ligament. Following the surgery, Strasburg will rehab at the Scripps Clinic outside San Diego and is scheduled to be able to throw again in four months.

Read More: Rumor Mill,

Rangers acquire Francoeur from Mets

08.31.10 at 11:10 pm ET
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The Rangers have acquired outfielder Jeff Francoeur from the Mets in exchange for Joaquin Arias. The Rangers had designated Arias for assignment in order to promote infielder Alex Cora. According to MLB Trade Rumors, approximately $897,000 is left on Francoeur’s contract, with the Mets picking up the majority of the money. The 26-year-old right-handed hitter was batting .236 for New York.

Read More: Rumor Mill,

Report: Rangers still eyeing Lowell

08.31.10 at 6:03 pm ET
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According to MLB.com, the Rangers are still interested in acquiring Red Sox first baseman Mike Lowell. Texas has been searching for a right-handed bat, with Lowell and Jeff Francoeur both reportedly emerging as possible targets for the American League West leaders.

Read More: Rumor Mill, Trade deadline,

Fantasy Football: Know your enemies

08.31.10 at 11:03 am ET
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You know that guy in your fantasy football league who is always bragging, complaining or suggesting rule changes that only benefit him? Well, he pisses me off, too. This time of year, we remember what it is about some players in our keeper leagues that made us want to treat him like Dewie the Bear treated Jackie Moon in ‘€œSemi-Pro’€. There are the players you want to beat, and then there are the players you want to beat down. We all know the types. And I’€™m sure you’€™re (at least) one of them, because I know I am. Which one(s) are you?


The Patriot: This guy wakes up and recites the ‘€œPledge of Allegiance’€ to the United States of New England every morning like he was in elementary school. He won’€™t draft anybody from the Colts even if Peyton Manning‘€™s available in the third round, and every fall he drafts Jamal Lewis too high because Lewis won him the league in 2003. Chances are he’€™s overweight, he has the team logo tattooed somewhere you never want to see and his wife is a little concerned about how much he loves Tom Brady.

The Stranger: Like Sam Elliott in ‘€œThe Big Lebowski’€, this guy doles out sage advice over a beer at the local watering hole. He takes the league seriously but not seriously enough that he won’€™t flat out tell The Patriot, ‘€œDude, you’€™ve gotta drop Jamal Lewis. He hasn’€™t been that good in five years.’€ He’€™ll tell you to pick up a sleeper like Donald Brown instead. He’€™s likely got a wife and two kids at home, and fantasy football is his oasis in a desert of soggy diapers.

The Gambler: This guy’€™s in at least 10 fantasy leagues. He’€™s in a pick ‘€˜em pool. He’€™s buying squares left and right. He’€™s got $100 on Brandon Tate catching more than 1.5 passes. He says insane stuff like, ‘€œIf they can intercept this 2-point conversion, take it to the house, recover an on-sides kick, score a quick touchdown and miss the extra point, I’€™m buying lunch.’€ He’€™s fired up because Marion Barber rushed for a TD, but pissed because he scored on the Giants‘€™ defense. Neurotic as hell, he’€™s a heavy smoker (but they’€™re definitely not victory cigars).

Muhammad Ali: The ultimate smack-talker. His team name is Mike Vick’€™s Dogg Pound or something unfit for print. If your quarterback tears every ligament in his body, you’€™ll wake up to an e-mail from this guy with the YouTube footage of the player’€™s limbs snapping like an ‘€˜80s bracelet. When he’€™s got you beat, he’€™ll text you one word: ‘€œNext.’€ He’€™ll send a league-wide update: ‘€œDid anybody notice that my great grandmother scored more points last week than all of Sam Elliott’€™s wide receivers combined? She’€™s only been dead since 1929; Sam, on the other hand, died Sunday, when I destroyed him.’€ He’€™s a 5-foot-4, 145-pound cyber-bully.

The Commish: He actually looks like Michael Chiklis from the TV show. He wears a Brett Favre jersey, only it says ‘€œThe Commish’€ on the back for one simple reason: Every spring, he claims he’€™s never going to run the league again, only he comes back every fall. And he thinks that’€™s hilarious. He organizes the draft party, where his wife makes a mean 47-layer dip and he devours two large pizzas before the third round. He always makes the right rulings on trades, he never lets arguments get too out of control and he spends the entire offseason thinking of new wrinkles for the coming year. Oh, and he’€™s never won the league.


The Whiner: Everybody’€™s got excuses, but this dude has all of them. Always in last place, he constantly explains why he’€™s not in first. ‘€œIf Tom Brady didn’€™t go down with a knee injury, if Terrell Owens had caught a couple more of those dropped passes, if the Giants gave the ball to Ahmad Bradshaw on the goal line more often and if Garrett Hartley hadn’€™t used Adderall, I’€™d be winning this league right now.’€ He’€™s got more hair on his shoulders than his Costanza-like forehead.

No-Show Moreno: The guy who never checks his team after Week 1. Yet, he shows up for the draft party every year, gets loaded and promises he’€™ll actually try to win the league this season. Then he disappears. Somehow, he’€™s gotten the No. 1 pick four of the last five seasons, but Chris Johnson is sitting on his bench all winter. It’€™s not like this guy is working 90-hour weeks; he’€™s a day trader who works from home and sits on his laptop all day. It makes no sense. And when everybody calls on Sunday, reminding him to set his lineup, he won’€™t pick up the phone. Four hours later, he’€™ll mass text everyone: ‘€œSorry, was enjoying a nice little Sunday with my girl!’€

Pooper Scooper: He picks up all the crap that everybody else drops and somehow wins the league with a chain of impossibly lucky events in the playoffs. You drop Visanthe Shiancoe in Week 5, Pooper Scooper swoops in, and good ole Shiancoe ends up with 566 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. You give up on Ricky Williams after two weeks, Pooper Scooper cleans up the mess, and Ricky rips off 1,121 yards and 11 scores like one of his bong hits. Two years ago, he started Matt Cassel in Weeks 15 and 16 and by some miracle got 563 yards and seven TDs out of the deal. Much like a silent-but-deadly, he quietly makes a big impact.

Mark Cuban: His trade offers are so lopsided in his favor, it’€™s not even funny. How about his kicker for Aaron Rodgers? Or his defense for Maurice Jones-Drew? You tell your buddies in the league, and they all say the same thing: ‘€œHe does that to me, too. All. The. Time.’€ He offers you six guys for Drew Brees, and not one of those players is a quarterback. When you ask him where the hell you’€™re supposed to put all of them on your roster, he says, ‘€œJust drop a couple.’€ Oh, so Pooper Scooper can snag them? And Cuban pulls this move as well: He’€™ll pick up the Adrian Peterson that played for the Bears and offer him up for Randy Moss, hoping you won’€™t notice. This is the same guy that punches you in the arm as hard as he can every time he sees you.

Martha Stewart: He’€™s getting insider information from every website known to man, and he’€™s paying for it. Literally. At the draft, his printouts nearly destroyed the Amazon Rainforest. He takes the maximum allotted time to make each pick, crosschecking the entire Web. When he drafts Ryan Mathews in the second round, everybody says, ‘€œWho the heck is Ryan Mathews?’€ Martha’€™s response: ‘€œOh, you’€™ve never heard of Ryan?’€ Yup, they’€™re on a first-name basis, and Ryan turns out to be a top-10 running back. The week you’€™re facing Martha, he’€™ll pick up somebody like Tim Hightower, who will without a doubt total 200-plus yards and four touchdowns. The worst part? Afterwards, he’€™ll post, ‘€œToo bad you didn’€™t pick up Hightower this week.’€ He defines douchiness.

This year, when you’€™re getting together with your buddies for your annual draft party, know your enemies. It’€™s half the battle. In fact, it just might help prevent a Web war from turning into a ‘€œPeter Griffin vs. The Chicken‘€-type brawl in your real life. Good luck. Sincerely, Pooper Scooper.

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