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Brown set to sign with Lakers

08.06.10 at 7:09 am ET
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Agent Mark Bartelstein told The Los Angeles Times that Shannon Brown will sign a two-year deal to remain with the Lakers.

“Obviously, the process took a while, but Shannon wanted to be here and they wanted him,” Bartelstein said. “Shannon had a number of other opportunities out there, but he had been in LA for two years and they won two championships. The chance to go for a three-peat is very special to him.”

Brown averaged career highs in points (8.1), rebounds (2.3), assists (1.3) and minutes (20.7) last season.

Read More: Rumor Mill, Shannon Brown,

Travis Roy Wiffle Ball Tournament at ‘Little Fenway’ Aug. 6-8

08.05.10 at 8:01 pm ET
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The sound of a plastic bat’€™s sweet spot coming flush into contact with a whistling ball. Seeing the white orb traveling about 10 feet beyond the left field wall. Running the bases with pride as though you were David Ortiz, Carl Yastrzemski or Ted Williams. All these emotions are fed from a simple little backyard game that is best played during the summer: Wiffle Ball. For the weekend of Aug. 6-8, players from far and wide will get the same feelings when they play in the Travis Roy Foundation’€™s 2010 Vermont Wiffle Ball Tournament, but they also will feel fantastic for helping out a good cause.

Tucked away in the forested mountains of Essex, Vt., are what could be considered the most famous Wiffle Ball fields in the world, Little Fenway and Little Wrigley. Built in 2000 as a whimsical backyard project for a bunch of friends, Little Fenway was the first field built by Pat O’€™Connor and it quickly took a life of its own. After several trips between Boston and Essex to get the proper paint color, dirt type and dimensions of the original Fenway Park down ‘€œpat,’€ O’€™Connor opened up Little Fenway on July 4, 2001.

Part of the allure to building such a unique structure would be for recreation, but O’€™Connor saw beyond that and decided it could be used for something better. Since the beginning, Little Fenway has raised money through tournaments for many noble causes, including the Travis Roy Foundation. The two sides have teamed up since 2002, when the inaugural tournament was held.

‘€œLittle Fenway was designed for Wiffle Ball and it seemed like a natural venue to use for a tournament to benefit the Travis Roy Foundation,’€ O’€™Connor said. ‘€œThe money we raise goes directly to the people who need it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Little Fenway, Travis Roy, Wiffleball,

Indians catcher Santana out for season

08.05.10 at 6:42 pm ET
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It turns out Kevin Youkilis wasn’t the only player to suffer a season-ending injury on Monday, as the Miami Herald is reporting Indians catcher Carlos Santana will miss the remainder of the season due to knee surgery.

Santana was injured when Red Sox rookie outfielder slid into home plate and collided with the 24-year-old Santana’s left knee. The catcher remained on the ground for several minutes before he was lifted onto a cart and taken out of the game.

The procedure is expected to take between four and six months to recover from, with the Indians anticipating that Santana, one of the more promising young players in baseball, will be ready for the 2011 season.

Read More: Rumor Mill,

Pedro rejects offers to return to baseball

08.05.10 at 2:31 pm ET
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Pedro Martinez said he recently received offers from several teams that were “very tempting,” but the former Red Sox ace has decided to remain retired. Speaking at a promotional event for Gillette in New York, Martinez told The Associated Press he was “really happy” to receive the offers the past two weeks from teams he did not identify. He said he will spend the rest of the year with his kids and go on vacations.

Martinez signed with the Phillies last July and went 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA in nine starts, helping Philadelphia reach the World Series. He threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park for the Red Sox’ home opener this season.

Read More: Pedro Martinez, Rumor Mill,

Redskins’ Haynesworth to undergo MRI on knee

08.05.10 at 1:25 pm ET
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Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth was scheduled to have an MRI Thursday to examine his sore knee. Haynesworth failed to take the team’s conditioning test for the third straight day and coach Mike Shanahan said that the two-time All-Pro defensive lineman needs to pass the test in order to practice with the rest of the team.

Read More: Albert Haynesworth, Mike Shanahan, Rumor Mill,

Broncos’ Dumervil out indefinitely

08.05.10 at 1:19 pm ET
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Broncos defensive end/linebacker Elvis Dumervil will miss the remainder of training camp and four months of the NFL season after tearing one of his pectoral muscles in practice on Wednesday. ESPN’€™s Adam Schefter reported the news that the injury will ‘€œsideline him indefinitely, according to league sources.’€ Dumervil led the NFL in sacks last season with 17. Last month, he signed a five-year, $58.3 million contract extension, which guarantees him $43.1 million.

Read More: Denver Broncos, Elvis Dumervil, Rumor Mill,

LEEInks list: Famous holdouts in Boston sports history

08.05.10 at 7:46 am ET
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We’€™ve heard it before. ‘€œIt’€™s a business.’€ That line is tossed around every now and then to remind fans that sports are in fact not a perfect world. As much as we want athletes to play for the love of the game, it’€™s just not how the world of professional sports works.

Sometimes, players aren’€™t happy with the amount of money they’€™re making. Sometimes, it’€™s the team’€™s fault for not paying the player market rate and disrespecting them in the process. Regardless, when the situation manifests, players let their dissatisfaction be known. Some make it more public than others, however.

With NFL training camps up and roaring, there are numerous players across the league who are holding out. Patriots guard Logan Mankins is one of them, being steadfast this preseason in his belief that he deserves a long-term contract. He’€™s just one of many local athletes who have held out due to contract unhappiness. Let’€™s count down the 10 most significant holdouts in Boston sports history.

10. Larry Siegfried, Celtics

After winning the title in the 1967-68 season, the Celtics had to deal with their starting point guard refusing to report to training camp. Siegfried was unhappy about his contract and represented the first holdout in team history. His teammates, including Bill Russell, were not surprised by the move because they felt Siegfried was unpredictable. Not only was money a problem, but Siegfried didn’€™t want to be traded to Atlanta. After eight days, he reached an agreement with Red Auerbach to increase his salary.

9. Joe Thornton/Sergei Samsonov, Bruins

In 2000, the Bruins had two of their three leading scorers from the previous year holding out in Thornton and Samsonov. Thornton led Boston with 23 goals and 37 assists, while Samsonov was third on the team with 19 goals and 26 assists. General manager Harry Sinden didn’€™t want to deal with the holdouts, vowing that players who missed camp would have their offers decreased ever day. Boston finally signed the center and the left winger to three-year contracts, bringing back a large portion of the offense.

8. Richard Seymour, Patriots

After being a Pro Bowl selection in his first four seasons in the NFL, Seymour held out in the 2005 preseason because he felt his salary was too low. As one of the best defensive ends and overall defensive players in football, Seymour wanted to be paid as one. New England though, only offered a $1.2 million increase and the resulting $4 million for the 2005-06 season was below market value (the average of the top five salaries for defensive ends was $6.7 million). Fortunately for both the Patriots and Seymour, the contract dispute wasn’€™t a dragged-out process as both sides were able to come to an agreement fairly quickly.

7. Deion Branch, Patriots

Branch was one of the more famous Patriots holdouts because the situation epitomized New England’€™s mindset of holding each player to his value and not overpaying. Branch’€™s dispute started in June as the wide receiver rejected the Patriots’€™ offer of a $4 million signing bonus and a $4 million option bonus payable in 2007. Branch wanted a deal similar to what his former teammate David Givens received with the Titans, a five-year, $24 million contract. Unrelenting, New England let the holdout continue before issuing a statement saying Branch could seek a trade. After grievances were filed, Branch’€™s feel-good career with the Patriots ended when he was traded to Seattle in September of 2006.

6. Jason Allison, Bruins

After coming to the Bruins in 1997, Allison didn’€™t have the longest career in a Boston uniform. A season after being the fourth-leading scorer in the NHL, Allison began a holdout that forced the Bruins to trade their captain. In October of 2001, Allison was sent to the King for forwards Glen Murray and Jozef Stumpel, both of whom started their careers with Boston. Los Angeles signed Allison to a three-year $20 million contract, something which the Bruins weren’€™t willing to give. (Skip to 1:20 mark).

5. Mike Haynes, Patriots

In 1983, Haynes’€™ agent sued the NFL for $5 million when the league blocked his trade to the Raiders in October. New England went back on a promise to make the All-Pro the second-highest-paid defensive back after signing other players to new contracts. Haynes settled out-of-court and played the final six weeks of the regular season with the Raiders under a new contract, while the Patriots were awarded a No. 1 draft choice in 1984 and a No. 2 pick in 1985.

4. Roger Clemens, Red Sox

After winning the Cy Young Award and American League MVP in 1986, Clemens walked out of spring training in 1987 instead of accepting a 29 percent raise in salary to $440,000. The Rocket was 28 days short of the three years of service needed to qualify for arbitration, giving the Red Sox leverage. Clemens was stubborn throughout his holdout and finally signed a two-year contract after the commissioner got involved just before an exhibition game against Harvard. Clemens didn’€™t receive the increase in salary that he was looking for, but he accepted incentive bonuses that he would reach after earning a second Cy Young Award.

3. John Hannah/Leon Gray, Patriots

In 1977, standout linemen Hannah and Gray staged a publicized holdout, and the Patriots went 1-2 to being the season. Both Hannah and Gray, however, experienced backlash and felt alienated by the situation. Gray, a two-time Pro Bowl tackle, was traded to Houston for a pair of draft picks, while Hannah finished his career with New England. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1991 after playing in nine Pro Bowls and making the All-AFC team 10 times.

2. Carlton Fisk/Fred Lynn/Rick Burleson, Red Sox

Even huge fan favorites such as Fisk and Lynn were holdouts at one point. During their contract dispute of 1976, however, fans started to get on the three players. Lynn didn’€™t hold back in telling fans how he felt about the abuse, flipping them the bird on a few occasions. The three young superstars were named ‘€œthe Kapstein connection’€ because they were represented by Jerry Kapstein, who was the Scott Boras of his time (interestingly, Kapstein now works in the Red Sox front office). Even after the players signed, the Red Sox got off to a slow start and they finished in third place, 15 1/2 games behind the Yankees.

1. Babe Ruth, Red Sox

Many people know (and crucify) Harry Frazee for selling Ruth to the rivaled Yankees, but how many people know that Ruth held out after the 1919 season, which was a major factor in his departure. The Bambino demanded $20,000 per year ‘€” twice as much as he was making during the season. Frazee, however, already had given Ruth bonuses after the 1918 and 1919 seasons. Tired of putting up with Ruth’s selfish behavior and stuck in a tight financial situation, the Red Sox owner chose to sell Ruth to New York for $125,000, which was a substantial figure at the time.

Read More: Babe Ruth, Carlton Fisk, John Hannah, richard seymour

Thursday’s Morning Mashup

08.05.10 at 7:37 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.

MLB: Indians at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)


‘™¦ Alex Rodriguez finally hit his 600th home run Wednesday. Joe Lemire at Sports Illustrated calls it a hollow milestone. Christine Brennan at USA Today writes that only 444 of the home runs should count. Willie Mays offered his congratulations and support and refused to address A-Rod’s use of performance-enhancing drugs. The New York Post reports on the Yankee Stadium security guard who retrieved the milestone ball and turned it over to A-Rod. Filip Bondy at the New York Daily News writes that Derek Jeter‘s pursuit of 3,000 hits next season should be more enjoyable.

‘™¦ White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen‘s comments about major league baseball’s treatment of Latin players as compared to Japanese players continues to be a hot-button topic. Kevin Blackistone at AOL FanHouse explains why Guillen makes a lot of sense, despite the White Sox’ response to the contrary.

‘™¦ The New York Times reports on federal prosecutors’ attempts to find evidence of Lance Armstrong cheating, and the story indicates there are a couple of former teammates who are ready to implicate the cycling legend.

‘™¦ The Chicago Sun-Times ran a story Wednesday on high school basketball standout Anthony Davis and reported that he was leaning toward attending the University of Kentucky. The story also mentioned rumors that the player’s commitment to the Wildcats was “for sale,” fetching a price of $200,000 ‘€” despite a denial from the player’s father. The school did not take kindly to the accusation, demanding retraction.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Aug. 5, 1977, the Red Sox signed which undrafted amateur free agent who would go on to become a regular for the Red Sox?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “He was frustrated and not happy. We understand that. But that kind of goes away when he got back in the lineup. It’s amazing how that works. This game has a way of taking care of itself. It’s unbelievable.” ‘€” Terry Francona, during his appearance on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday, talking about Mike Lowell

STAT OF THE DAY: 17 ‘€” Consecutive at-bats without a hit for Alex Rodriguez before he connected for his 600th career home run Wednesday at Yankee Stadium vs. the Blue Jays

‘NET RESULTS: From Japan, a Hiroshima Carp player literally climbs the wall to make a great catch.

Of course, that brings to mind this famous Japanese catch from the 1980s.


SOOTHING SOUNDS: Rick Derringer is 63 today.

Read More: alex rodriguez, Lance Armstrong, Ozzie Guillen,

Schobel, Texans have mutual interest

08.05.10 at 7:02 am ET
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Recently released Bills defensive lineman Aaron Schobel told the Houston Chronicle Monday that the Texans are at the top of his list as he considers his options for the 2010 season. Apparently, the feeling is mutual from the Texans. Schobel, a native of Texas who attended TCU and lives in the Houston area, has said he wants to be closer to his family after nine seasons in Buffalo.

Read More: Aaron Schobel, Rumor Mill,

Ryan group wins Rangers auction

08.05.10 at 6:53 am ET
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A group led by team president Nolan Ryan and Pittsburgh sports attorney Chuck Greenberg won an auction for ownership of the Texas Rangers. The winning bid was $593 million, with $385 million of that in cash.

The group led by Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, bowed out and congratulated the Ryan group in the hallway outside the courtroom shortly before 1 a.m. Thursday morning. Officials in federal bankruptcy court announced the winning bid to a cheering courtroom about 10 hours after the auction began.

“It was an emotional roller-coaster,” Ryan said. “You go to court one day and it didn’t go your way, but you go back another day and it would. It’s a relief.”

A final hearing on the team’s bankruptcy plan was scheduled for later Thursday.

Read More: Mark Cuban, Nolan Ryan, Rumor Mill,