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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Michael Vick says Jets QB Geno Smith ‘going to to be great’

08.06.14 at 8:14 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.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
Little League Baseball: Midwest Regional semifinal, 11 a.m. (ESPN2)
Little League Baseball: Southeast Regional semifinal, 1 p.m. (ESPN2)
Little League Baseball: Midwest Regional semifinal, 3 p.m. (ESPN2)
Little League Baseball: Southeast Regional semifinal, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
Little League Baseball: Southwest Regional semifinal, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: MLS All-Stars vs. Bayern Munich, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

– Today in Jets blustering news, Michael Vick predicts big things from fellow quarterback Geno Smith, who is heading into his second NFL season.

“He’s going to be great,” Vick said after Tuesday’s practice in Cortland, New York. “He’s going to be 10 times better than where he was last year, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Coach Rex Ryan sounds like he’s ready to see some of that promise come to fruition, especially after the offense failed to score in last weekend’s intrasquad scrimmage.

“I want to see some production,” said Ryan, whose team opens the preseason Thursday against the Colts. “I think we’ll see it. I know [Smith] will have the command. Let’s have the production, too.”

MASHUP POLL: How many wins will the Jets have this season?

  • 8 (36%, 57 Votes)
  • 7 (29%, 47 Votes)
  • 9 (15%, 24 Votes)
  • 6 (9%, 14 Votes)
  • 5 or less (8%, 12 Votes)
  • 10 (3%, 4 Votes)
  • 12 or more (1%, 1 Votes)
  • 11 (0%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 160

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For his part, Smith said he’s matured since last season.

“Physically, I’m bigger and stronger,” Smith said. “The mental side of it, I’m not thinking as much, not swimming as much. I have a better grasp of the offense. … Ultimately, it’s about proving it on the field, going out there Thursday night and being sharp and having a good showing.”

Johnny Manziel showed some positive signs during his one day with the Browns starters Monday, and on Tuesday he returned to second string behind former Patriots backup Brian Hoyer on the depth chart.

Both players had good practices Tuesday, and coach Mike Pettine has not announced who will start in Saturday’s preseason opener against the Lions in Detroit.

“I thought there was some good competition out there,” Browns coach Pettine said. “I was glad that the guys responded the way they did.”

Added Pettine: “Where you see where Hoyer’s ahead is his ability to throw a ball before a guy breaks open, but we certainly see Johnny making strides in that direction.”

– College of Charleston basketball coach Doug Wojcik is the latest to be punished for allegedly verbally abusing players, as he was fired by school president Glenn McConnell.

Wojcik’s lawyer, however, says the charges against the coach are false and the school is trying to find a way to avoid having to pay him the $1.2 million he is owed for the final three years of his five-year contract he signed after being hired from Tulsa.

“Today’s action by the College of Charleston will not bring closure to the College, the basketball program, or the student-athletes and their families,” attorney Scott Tompsett said in a statement.

The school produced a 50-page report after conducting interviews with Wojcik, assistant coaches, athletic department staffers and current and former players. The investigation found that it was likely many players believe Wojcik’s behavior toward them is “generally insulting and degrading.” He allegedly used name-calling such as “dumb,” “idiot” and “stupid,” made negative comments about players’ parents and upbringing, and directed at least one homophobic slur, and likely more, at a player.

Wojcik, 50, guided the Cougars to a 14-18 record last season, their first in the Colonial Athletic Conference. The team reached the Southern Conference tournament final in his first season there.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Aug. 6, 2001, which Red Sox player lined into a triple play in the fourth inning of a game against the Rangers at Fenway Park, but then atoned with a grand slam in his next at-bat to rally his team to a 10-7 victory?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “He is not a doctor. He is a drug dealer.” Mark R. Trouville, chief of the Miami Drug Enforcement Administration office, on former Biogenesis owner Tony Bosch, who was arrested Tuesday

STAT OF THE DAY: 41 – Games this season in which the Red Sox have scored two or fewer runs, following Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Cardinals

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Indians baserunner David Murphy is thrown out at third base when he sees a ball that was thrown out of the Reds bullpen and thinks it’s the game ball.

Yankees second baseman Brendan Ryan deflects a line drive with his glove and then catches it with his bare hand for an out against the Tigers.

The Muppets visit Citi Field to cheer on the Mets, and Kermit and Miss Piggy are caught on the Kiss Cam.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Scott Hatteberg

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Randy DeBarge was born on this day in 1958. Here he is starting off as the lead singer in this performance with his siblings in the group DeBarge.

Read More: Doug Wojcik, Geno Smith, michael vick, Rex Ryan

Spurs hire Becky Hammon as NBA’s first female assistant coach

08.05.14 at 1:47 pm ET
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It has already been a special year for the Spurs after the franchise won its fifth NBA championship in June.

Tuesday’s decision may be even bigger.

The Spurs hired retiring WNBA player Becky Hammon as an assistant coach on Tuesday, making her the first full-time female assistant in NBA history.

“I very much look forward to the addition of Becky Hammon to our staff,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said in a statement. “Having observed her working with our team this past season, I’m confident her basketball IQ, work ethic and interpersonal skills will be a great benefit to the Spurs.”

Hammon, 37, will retire after her 16th season with the San Antonio Stars. She’s a six-time All-Star and two-time first-team All-WNBA, seventh in points, fourth in assists and sixth in games in WNBA history.

Read More: Becky Hammon,

Suns’ P.J. Tucker sentenced to 3 days in jail for ‘super extreme’ DUI

08.05.14 at 12:43 pm ET
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Suns forward P.J. Tucker was sentenced to three days in jail and 11 days of home detention Monday after pleading guilty to “super extreme” driving under the influence.

Tucker was arrested May 10 after driving with a blood alcohol level of .22, police said. The police report said his speech was slurred, his eyes were bloodshot and he nearly fell over during the sobriety test.

Tucker agreed to put an interlock device on his car for 18 months, go to substance-abuse counseling and pay $2,750 in fines. He was placed on probation for up to five years.

“I am truly sorry and I take full responsibility for my actions. No excuses,” Tucker said in a statement. “It is now my responsibility to examine my life and make the changes necessary to ensure this never happens again.”

The Suns were aware of Tucker’s arrest when he signed a three-year, $16.5 million contract in early July.

“In considering this matter, we concluded that P.J. was sincere in his remorse and in his resolve to accept the consequences of his actions,” Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby said. “We are convinced that he will take the necessary steps to avoid any such conduct in the future. The Suns do not in any way condone his conduct, but we do support him as he works through this.”

Read More: P.J. Tucker,

Bears TE Martellus Bennett suspended for fight in practice

08.05.14 at 12:40 pm ET
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Bears tight end Martellus Bennett was fined and suspended for conduct detrimental to the team after he was involved in a fight at practice on Monday with rookie Kyle Fuller.

General manager Phil Emery made the announcement Tuesday. He said Bennett’s suspension is for an unspecified time and wouldn’t disclose the amount on the fine. Bennett will remain on the team’s active roster.

“Last night, we made a decision to fine and suspend Martellus Bennett for an undetermined length of time,” Emery said. “This is a process that we’re working with Martellus. We are in contact with him. Our goal is to have Martellus back as soon as possible. He’s a very loved and respected teammate. We want him back, but it’s a process we have to work through.”

The scuffle took place during Monday’s practice following a play in which Fuller attempted to strip the ball loose after Bennett made a reception. Fuller pulled Bennett to the ground while trying to force a fumble. Bennett walked over to Fuller after the play, pushed him and body slammed him to the ground.

Several players intervened to break up the two. Bears coach Marc Trestman ended practice earlier than scheduled.

“Everybody talks about friendships, but really we are all preparing to win a championship,” Bennett said. “If we make friends along the way, cool. But I’m just trying to help the Bears win a championship and do the job to the best of my ability.”

Read More: Martellus Bennett,

USA basketball cuts John Wall, Bradley Beal, Paul Millsap, trims roster to 16

08.05.14 at 12:14 pm ET
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The U.S. men’s national team cut John WallBradley Beal and Paul Millsap on Monday, according to multiple reports.

The three cuts along with the loss of Paul George due to a broken right leg leaves the Americans with 16 players left on their roster. The team will need to cut four more players before the World Cup of Basketball starts later this month in Spain.

The Americans reportedly had cuts planned for Saturday but delayed the moves until Tuesday in the wake of George’s gruesome injury.

The remaining members of the team will report to Chicago for practices that begin Aug. 14.

Read More: Bradley Beal, John Wall, Paul Millsap,

Report: Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen expected to go on 15-day DL

08.05.14 at 12:05 pm ET
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The Pirates are expected to place center fielder Andrew McCutchen on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique injury, according to a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

McCutchen hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning Sunday against the Diamondbacks and grabbed his left side as he jogged to first base. He needed to be helped off the field and into the dugout.

McCutchen has never been on the disabled list in his career. According to ESPN.com, last year’s National League MVP has played in 843 of 868 games since his big league debut June 4, 2009.

McCutchen’s injury is a big loss for Pittsburgh at the wrong time. He’s hitting .311 with 17 home runs and 67 RBIs this season for a Pirates team that’s fighting for a playoff spot. Pittsburgh is 1 1/2 games out of first in the NL Central and a half game out of a wild card spot.

Read More: Andrew McCutchen,

Report: Anthony Bosch surrenders to DEA, will plead guilty to charges

08.05.14 at 11:03 am ET
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Anthony Bosch reportedly was one of 10 people arrested by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration on Tuesday more than a year after his leading role in Major League Baseball‘s Biogenesis scandal.

Bosch, the founder of the former clinic, was arrested in Florida after he and his attorney drove to the DEA office to surrender.

ESPN.com reported that Bosch, 50, had reached a deal to plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids.

Yuri Sucart, cousin of suspended Yankees infielder Alex Rodriguez, was among those arrested Tuesday.

Nearly 20 professional players connected to Bosch’s clinic have been suspended by MLB for either having tested positive or after their doping regimens were uncovered in clinic records. Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and Nelson Cruz are among those who were on the list.

According to ESPN, the federal investigation on Bosch focused on whether or not he acted as a physician, which he is not licensed as, how the clinic obtained and distributed human growth hormone, steroids and other drugs, as well as the source and whether teenagers were provided performance-enhancing drugs.

Clinic records revealed the names of at least 15 high school or college athletes who were patients of Bosch. Most of them reportedly received PEDs. Many of the attorneys or parents of these players denied either involvement with Bosch or that the teenager took a banned substance.

Read More: Anthony Bosch,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Packers finally set to honor Brett Favre

08.05.14 at 7:59 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’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.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Tigers at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: New York Liberty at Washington Mystics, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: Tulsa Shock at Los Angeles Sparks, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: Women’s U-20 World Cup, United States vs. Germany, 6:45 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

The Packers announced Monday that they will honor Brett Favre by inducting him into the team’s Hall of Fame, retiring his No. 4 jersey and honoring him at halftime of a game next year.

“I’m truly honored,” Favre said in a conference call from his home in Mississippi. “It is time to come back.”

Favre retired as a Packer in March 2008 after winning three MVP awards, leading the team to a Super Bowl title and setting a slew of quarterback records, but he changed his mind later that year and was traded to the Jets. He again retired after one season in New York but then came back to play two seasons with the Vikings, the Packers‘ NFC North rivals. This created some hard feelings in Green Bay, as Favre was booed loudly when he returned with Minnesota.

MASHUP POLL: Were the Packers right to wait four years before deciding to honor Brett Favre?

  • Yes, considering the way he handled the end of his career, he should have to wait (71%, 75 Votes)
  • No, he was the team's best-ever QB and should have been honored by now (29%, 31 Votes)

Total Voters: 106

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The team agreed in principle to honor Favre late last year, now that some time has passed since Favre last played.

“In all honesty, I was probably more ready sooner than everyone else was,” Favre said. “I knew this day would come … and I’m just glad we’re here, it’s in stone, and it will be done.”

Giants running back/kickoff returner David Wilson will not play football again after doctors warned him about the risk of further injury to his surgically repaired neck.

“I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me, or pity me,” Wilson said in a team statement. “I lived my dream. A lot of people only get to dream their dream. I lived that dream. Now I have a chance to dream another dream and live that, too.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Albert Pujols, brett favre, David Wilson, Yaiel Puig

Jon Bon Jovi posts letter to concerned Bills fan base

08.04.14 at 3:18 pm ET
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Hoping to appease an upset Bills fan base worried about the pending sale of the franchise, potential owner Jon Bon Jovi published a letter in the Buffalo News in order to clear the air of rumors that the rock star’s ownership group will eventually relocate the team to Toronto.

The letter, titled “Why we’€™re bidding on the Buffalo Bills,”€ focused on the fact that Bon Jovi’€™s main objective is to “make the Bills successful in Buffalo.”

“There has been a lot of conjecture, so we think it’s important to clarify our intentions to the fans of the team and people of Buffalo,” Bon Jovi said. “I know how much the Bills mean to the people of this region. So I want you to hear this from me: I’m not risking it all to let you down. If we are given the chance to be the next owners of the Buffalo Bills, I promise you that we will bring the same passion that you do every Sunday, every day.”

While Bon Jovi noted that he would speak to local officials in an effort to discuss building a new stadium in the near future, he did not mention that two of his top partners in his ownership group are from Toronto. Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and the Rogers family are two key members of Bon Jovi’€™s group.

So far, reception to the letter has been unsurprisingly cold, as Bills fans remain suspicious of Bon Jovi’€™s true intentions.

“While we appreciate his sentiment, it’s worth noting that nowhere in his letter does he write or directly state that he will ‘not move the Bills from Buffalo,’ ” said Bills Fan Alliance directors: Matt Sabuda, Brian Cinelli and Steve Brady.

The stake in the franchise officially entered the market after longtime owner Ralph Wilson passed away in March. Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula and business mogul Donald Trump also have been mentioned as potential players in the sale. The team, which could have a new owner named by Labor Day, is expected to sell for around $1 billion.

Read More: Bills, Jon Bon Jovi, Ralph Wilson,

Diamondbacks 1B Paul Goldschmidt to miss remainder of 2014 season with broken hand

08.04.14 at 10:50 am ET
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It’s already been a trying season for the Diamondbacks, who sit fourth in the National League West with a 49-63 record.

It’s likely only going to get worse now that Arizona’s franchise player is sidelined for the rest of the year.

First baseman Paul Goldschmidt — who finished second in MVP voting in 2013 — will miss the remainder of the season after breaking his left hand Friday when he was hit by a pitch thrown by Pirates reliever Ernesto Frieri. Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson made the announcement Sunday.

Goldschmidt is expected to make a full recovery in eight weeks and will not need surgery.

The 26-year-old once again put up great numbers in 2014, hitting .300 with 19 home runs and 69 RBIs. Last season, Goldschmidt led the NL in RBIs (125) while finishing second in home runs (36).

To fill the void created at first base with Goldschmidt’s injury, Arizona will play Mark Trumbo and a revolving order of players at first for the remainder of the season.

“A little bit of a trial and error to see how it works,” Gibson said. “It’s going to be hard to replace Goldy over there with what he brought us with his consistency.”

Read More: Paul Goldschmidt,