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Report: Red Sox show interest in catcher Rod Barajas

11.25.10 at 9:40 am ET
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According to FoxSports.com, the Red Sox are considering a number of catching contingencies in the wake of Victor Martinez‘ departure for Detroit is free agent Rod Barajas.

The 35-year-old hit .240 with a .731 OPS and 17 homers for the Mets and Dodgers in 2010. The Sox and Mets discussed the possibility of a deal that would have sent Ramon Ramirez to New York with Barajas heading to Boston in a July swap. That deal was scuttled when Barajas landed on the DL with an oblique injury.

That said, the 35-year-old did almost all of his damage against right-handed pitchers, hitting .256 with a .792 OPS against righties, and .190/.552 against lefties. For his career, he has a .696 OPS against both righties and lefties.

Barajas has thrown out 32 percent of base stealers in his career, but gunned down just 15 percent of potential thieves in 2010.

Read More: Rod Barajas, Rumor Mill,

Vince Young texts apology to Jeff Fisher

11.25.10 at 8:09 am ET
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Titans coach Jeff Fisher told reporters Wednesday that quarterback Vince Young apologized to him via text message, although the coach said he expects more following Sunday’s tantrum.

“I’m not a real big text guy,” Fisher said. “I’m not really into this new age stuff. I don’t twit or tweet. But I think face-to-face is a man thing, OK?”

Fisher told Houston reporters on a conference call earlier Wednesday that Young is welcome to show up at practices if he wants. Young will miss the rest of the season because he needs surgery on his right thumb.

Read More: Jeff Fisher, Rumor Mill, Vince Young,

Titans assistant Mike Heimerdinger diagnosed with cancer

11.25.10 at 8:06 am ET
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Titans coach Jeff Fisher announced Wednesday that offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger has been diagnosed with cancer and will seek treatment immediately.

“Mike is going to be, potentially as early as today, undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment,” Fisher said of his 58-year-old assistant. “I don’t know whether Mike will be back tomorrow, whether he’ll be here Friday or Saturday or whether or not he’ll be able to participate in coaching this game [Sunday at Houston]. I want you all to pray for Mike, like we have been doing all morning.”

The Titans concluded Wednesday’s practice with a team prayer led by linebacker David Thornton.

“I’m not really good at saying or talking about things like that so thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” receiver Randy Moss said. “Hopefully, his chemo and everything goes good, and we see him back as soon as he’s ready.”

Read More: Jeff Fisher, Mike Heimerdinger, Randy Moss, Rumor Mill

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Stan Van Gundy fires back at Phil Jackson

11.25.10 at 7:55 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:
NFL: Patriots at Lions, 12:30 p.m. (CBS)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Magic coach Stan Van Gundy came to the defense of his division rival, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, before Orlando beat Miami on Wednesday night. One day earlier, Lakers coach Phil Jackson said in a radio appearance that Spoelstra could eventually be replaced by Pat Riley if the Heat continued to struggle, making reference to when Riley replaced Van Gundy as Heat coach and led them to the 2006 championship.

Responded Van Gundy: “To second-guess another coach and comment on a situation he knows nothing about, I think, it’s inappropriate and it’s also ignorant. I don’t mean that commenting on Phil’s intelligence, he’s obviously a very smart guy. I mean it as ignorant ‘€” he doesn’t know what that situation was and he doesn’t know what that situation in Miami is now.

“I don’t think that, unless their relationship’s changed drastically, that he and Pat talk on a regular basis. So I doubt he would have any insight ever on what’s going on in Miami.”

Spoelstra, who was an assistant to Van Gundy with the Heat, didn’t seem upset about the comments. But guard Dwyane Wade questioned Jackson.

“The only thing surprising about it is a coach saying it about another coach in this league,” Wade said. “I expect that from someone else to say it, but not another coach. It’s unfortunate. But I guess coach Jackson has earned the right to say what he wants, and he continues to exercise that right.”

‘™¦ A couple of college presidents also traded barbs on Wednesday, as Boise State’s Bob Kustra responded to derogatory comments from Ohio State president Gordon Gee. Gee had said Boise and TCU don’t belong in the national championship game because of their schedules, saying: “We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor.”

Kustra noted that Ohio State’s nonconference schedule featured some cupcakes and said: “I don’t mind somebody stating that they don’t think we ought to be in the national championship, but to do it with such erroneous information as Gordon Gee has used, gets under the skin of all of us who thought university presidents were supposed to be standing for fairness, equity and truth in how we portray our universities. And he’s doing a very poor job of that at the moment.”

‘™¦ Mark Wells, who was a member of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” U.S. Olympic hockey team, was in the news recently when his gold medal was sold at an auction. The New York Daily News has a feature on Wells, who explains why he sold his medal (he actually sold it eight years ago; it was auctioned this month by a private collector) when he needed money for medical bills.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 25, 1996, who was the final member of the Bruins’ legendary Kraut Line to be selected for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame?

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Read More: Dwyane Wade, Erik Spoelstra, Phil Jackson, Stan Van Gundy

Derek Jeter signing with Red Sox intriguing, but unlikely

11.24.10 at 11:18 pm ET
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Picturing Derek Jeter in anything but blue pinstripes and the Yankees baseball cap is hard to do. Picturing him in a white and red uniform with the red ‘€œB’€ on the hat and ‘€œRed Sox‘€ written across the chest is darn near impossible. But in an offseason where the unexpected becomes the expected, is it really surprising that such a seemingly unlikely scenario has received such attention?

Although the thought intrigues baseball fans all over the nation, even those who don’€™t follow either the Sox or the Yanks, the excitement on the subject is widely accompanied by skepticism on whether the Yankee captain could actually end up at Fenway.

Even so, why wouldn’t the thought of Derek Jeter playing for the Red Sox grab one’s attention? Jeter is a player born and raised in the Yankee system, but now that his contract with the team is up, the 36-year-old was told by Brian Cashman to test the free agent market if he doesn’t like what the Yankees are offering. Even owner Hank Steinbrenner said that that the Yanks have “already made these guys very, very rich, and I don’t feel we owe anybody anything monetarily.” As a result, it’s off to the open market for Jeter in an attempt to see if he actually could do better than what the Yankees are offering.

It may be unlikely that Jeter receives an offer equal to the four- to five-year deal he wants, but who’s to say some mystery team doesn’t try one-upping the Yankees’ offer? With speculation already swirling in that regard, it’s only natural for the New York Post to bring the Red Sox into it.

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Read More: Boston Red Sox, brian cashman, Derek Jeter, Rumor Mill

Giants focused on acquiring a shortstop

11.24.10 at 5:42 pm ET
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The Giantsprimary focus this offseason is to find a shortstop to replace World Series MVP Edgar Renteria, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Sabean said that the team would like to bring back Juan Uribe, who could play the position, but that the team and the player are “not talking the same language yet.”

The article suggests that the Giants could explore the trade market to address its opening, with Red Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro and the Rays’€™ Jason Bartlett “thought to be available,” and Jose Reyes described as a possibility given the Mets’ interest in shedding payroll. The team, according to the story, lusts after Arizona shortstop Stephen Drew, but he is viewed as unavailable.

Read More: Jose Reyes, marco scutaro, Rumor Mill, San Francisco Giants

76ers forward Elton Brand suspended one game for flagrant foul in loss to Wizards

11.24.10 at 5:34 pm ET
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The NBA has suspended 76ers big man Elton Brand one game for committing a flagrant foul on Tuesday night against the Wizards’€™ JaVale McGee, The Associated Press reports. NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson announced on Wednesday that Brand would be suspended without pay for Philadelphia’€™s Wednesday game against the Raptors.

Brand was ejected from Tuesday’€™s game with 3:32 remaining in regulation for intentionally shoving McGee and knocking him down after the Wizard forward threw down a dunk. The 76ers lost, 116-114, in overtime Washington.

Read More: Elton Brand, JaVale McGee, Philadelphia 76ers, Rumor Mill

Bills receiver Steve Johnson allegedly fined $5,000 for touchdown celebration

11.24.10 at 5:33 pm ET
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The Associated Press reports that Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson said the NFL fined him $5,000 for a touchdown celebration after the first of his three touchdown catches in Sunday’€™s win over the Bengals. Johnson lifted up his jersey, revealing a T-shirt underneath that had ‘€œWhy so serious?’€ written in black marker, after his 28-yard touchdown reception.

The Bills receiver, who greatly aided his team in its second win of the season, was allegedly referring to the receiver duo of Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, who call themselves Batman and Robin.

Johnson said that he learned of the fine on Wednesday through a letter sent to him by the league. The NFL has not yet confirmed the fine.

Read More: Buffalo Bills, Rumor Mill, Steve Johnson,

Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel fined $40,000 for hit on Giants wide receiver

11.24.10 at 5:33 pm ET
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Eagles’€™ cornerback Asante Samuel said on Wednesday that he has been fined $40,000 from the league after a helmet-to-helmet hit on Giants wide receiver Derek Hagan in Sunday night’€™s win, The Associated Press reports. The hit drew an unnecessary roughness penalty.

Samuel sat out of practice on Wednesday with a sprained knee he suffered in the game against the Giants. He told reporters the amount of the fine before the Eagles practice started on Wednesday.

Samuel leads the NFL with seven interceptions. The fine handed to the former Patriots cornerback is the biggest the league has issued for a hit this season.

Read More: Asante Samuel, Derek Hagan, Philadelphia Eagles, Rumor Mill

Thunder send first-round draft choice Cole Aldrich to NBA D-League

11.24.10 at 5:32 pm ET
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The Associated Press reports that the Oklahoma City Thunder are sending its first-round draft pick Cole Aldrich to the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League. General Manager Sam Presti announced Aldrich’€™s move on Wednesday after the 11th-overall pick averaged just one point and 2.2 rebounds in 9.6 minutes per game.

Aldrich was drafted by the Hornets and was traded to the Thunder after the culmination of the NBA draft. The 6-foot-11 former Kansas star helped lead the Jayhawks to the No. 1 overall seed in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks lost to Northern Iowa in the second round of the tournament.

Read More: Cole Aldrich, Oklahoma City Thunder, Rumor Mill,