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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez gracious despite All-Star snub

07.07.15 at 8:03 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Marlins at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Cubs, Game 1, 1:20 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cardinals at Cubs, Game 2, 8:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Shock at Dream, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Gold Cup, Honduras at United States, 9:30 p.m. (FS1)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 8 a.m. (ESPN, ESPN2)


Alex Rodriguez might be winning back some respect in New York with his productive season and exemplary behavior, but it appears the rest of baseball isn’t giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Despite having an impressive comeback season after missing 2014 on an MLB suspension for his involvement with Biogenesis — he leads all American League designated hitters with 16 home runs to go along with 47 RBIs and a .903 OPS — Rodriguez was not among the reserves named to the All-Star Game on Monday night.

Rodriguez, who finished fifth in fan balloting (Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz, another admitted PED user, will be the starting DH), took the latest slight in stride, consistent with his humble public approach this year.

“As I’€™ve said all season, my No. 1 goal is helping the Yankees win a championship,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “I’m excited that we’re in a good position to get there. Of course it would have been an honor to represent the American League next week, but I’€™ll have fun cheering on the guys who were put on the team and watching them protect home field.”

Rodriguez, who is stuck on 14 All-Star appearances, having not earned a spot since 2012, was under consideration, AL manager Ned Yost of the Royals told ESPN.

“We talked about A-Rod a lot,” Yost said. “You look back at this five-man vote [for the final roster spot] and we have three infielders, two outfielders, and we felt that it was important that we don’t — we have Brock Holt that can play anywhere in the infield, but any other position we have a starter and a backup. In the outfield we have three starters and three backups.

“So I just felt very strongly that if we could get another infielder or another outfielder out of that five-man vote it would help us. That’€™s what went into that decision.”

Yankees co-owner Hank Steinbrenner, who last week reached an agreement with Rodriguez in which the team will donate $3.5 million to charity rather than pay A-Rod his $6 million bonus for his latest home run milestone, said the 39-year-old is having “an amazing comeback year” with or without the All-Star nod.

“The bad hips, all the other stuff, the more than a year off, at his age as well, and then to come back and do what he’s done is pretty amazing,” Steinbrenner said.

— Florida State freshman quarterback De’Andre Johnson was dismissed from the team Monday after security video was released of him hitting a woman in the face during a confrontation at a Tallahassee bar two weeks ago.

Johnson, a standout high school player in Jacksonville, had been indefinitely suspended by the team last month after he was charged with misdemeanor battery.

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Read More: alex rodriguez, De'Andre Johnson, Floyd Mayweather, Hank Steinbrenner

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Giants DL Jason Pierre-Paul injures hand in fireworks accident

07.06.15 at 7:45 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Cardinals at Cubs, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA Summer League: Celtics vs. Jazz, 9 p.m. (CSNNE)
Cycling: Tour de France, 7 a.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 7 a.m. (ESPN2), 8 a.m. (ESPN)


— The Giants are waiting to see how much damage defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul suffered to his hand in a fireworks accident Saturday night.

Initial information out of South Florida made it appear that Pierre-Paul did serious damage to one of his hands, but later reports indicated his career is not in jeopardy. The New York Daily News reports that Pierre-Paul has severe burns on his fingertips and part of his hand, with doctors testing the 26-year-old for nerve damage.

Several people posted photos on Twitter of a U-Haul truck filled with fireworks that apparently belonged to Pierre-Paul. The player posted two videos Saturday night of him singing in front of a U-Haul truck, and at one point he mentions “fireworks on the ground.”

The Giants put the franchise tag on Pierre-Paul after he amassed 12.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in 2014, but he has yet to sign the $14.8 million tender so he’s technically not under contract. The sides have until July 15 to negotiate a new deal, or he can accept the tender and get a one-year contract.

— Golfer Rory McIlroy announced Monday that he ruptured his left ankle ligament playing soccer with friends over the weekend, making it appear unlikely that he will be able to defend his title at the upcoming British Open.

“Continuing to assess extent of injury and treatment plan day by day,” McIlroy wrote on Instagram under a picture of him with crutches and a protective boot. “Rehab already started. … Working hard to get back as soon as I can.”

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Read More: Jason Pierre-Paul, Rory McIlroy,

Carli Lloyd scores hat trick, USA beats Japan to win Women’s World Cup

07.05.15 at 8:50 pm ET
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Carli Lloyd (right) and Lauren Holiday (left) celebrate one of Lloyd's three goals. (Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Carli Lloyd (right) and Lauren Holiday (left) celebrate one of Lloyd’s three goals. (Rich Lam/Getty Images)

In the 2011 Women’€™s World Cup final against Japan, the United States had a bunch of great chances early on but failed to take advantage of them. Those missed chances turned out to be costly, as the U.S. ended up losing that game on penalty kicks.

Four years later, the American women made sure they would have no such regrets. They scored four times in the game’€™s first 16 minutes and went on to beat Japan 5-2 to capture their third World Cup title and first since 1999.

Carli Lloyd was the star, as she scored three of the United States’€™ early goals to give her the first ever hat trick in a Women’€™s World Cup final. She ended up tied for the tournament lead with six goals, all of which came in the team’€™s four knockout games.

Lloyd’€™s first goal came in the third minute. After Morgan Brian drew a corner with a nice run into the box, Megan Rapinoe found a charging Lloyd in the middle of the box for a beautiful left-foot finish.

Two minutes later, Lloyd struck again off another set piece. Tobin Heath drew a free kick just outside the box and Lauren Holiday sent in a ball that bounced around a bit before settling perfectly for Lloyd right in front. Read the rest of this entry »

Thinking Out Loud: Billy Andrade’s golf game still has some bite

07.03.15 at 6:27 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering about my favorite versions of the hit song written by Francis Scott “Off” Key.

— Perhaps it’s the patriotism that washes over us all at this time of year, but after a recent rendition of our national anthem (surprisingly well done, by the way) sung by an off-the-street audition winner at a New England Revolution match, it got me to thinking about some of the truly B-A-D versions I’ve heard — and you’ve heard or heard about — along the way.

— If there was ever any doubt that just because he’s now on the Champions Tour, well, let’s just say Billy Andrade still has some game. Bristol Billy fired the second-lowest round in the history of the U.S. Senior Open with a 63 in the tournament’s final round, equaling his career-best score for 18 holes. Andrade finished fifth overall, at the ripe age of 51.

— And yet, partnered with longtime friend and CVS partner Brad Faxon, Andrade followed up last week by still coming up short to win the tournament he and Faxon started in 1999. They’ve never won the CVS at Rhode Island Country Club, which has always been a bit odd for me, since the two grew up here. Maybe they’re simply being polite?

— As we all were — being polite — listening to rock superstar Steven Tyler of Aerosmith belt out his rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner on a couple of occasions, most recently in 2012 at Gillette Stadium. I mean, he’s Steven Tyler. But not only did he need a teleprompter set up to remind him of the lyrics, he still managed to botch the words before coming to a merciful eeee-eeee-eeee-eeeennnnnd! Ouch.

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Read More: Billy Andrade, Brad Faxon, Carson Desrosiers, Kris Dunn

Yankees make deal to acquire ball from Alex Rodriguez’s 3,000th hit

07.03.15 at 1:47 pm ET
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After a couple of weeks of negotiations, the Yankees will hold a press conference before Friday’s game against the Rays at Yankee Stadium in which they will receive the ball Alex Rodriguez hit into the right-field bleachers for his 3,000th hit last month.

Zach Hample, the fan who caught the ball, agreed to relinquish it in exchange for a $150,000 donation to his favorite charity, Pitch In For Baseball, along with some memorabilia, tickets and other perks, according to reports out of New York.

Hample, who claims to have caught thousands of baseballs during games and batting practice over the years, was not cooperative with the team when first contacted during the June 19 game against the Tigers after Rodriguez recorded his historic hit.

Hample answered some critics of his decision to settle with the team when he tweeted Friday morning: So let me get this straight — I was “disrespecting the game” when I kept the ball & now I’m an “idiot” for giving it back? Ha, whatever.

Read More: alex rodriguez,

Top 10 Boston athlete film appearances: How will Tom Brady stack up in ‘Ted 2’?

07.03.15 at 12:23 pm ET
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Professional athletes perform on the highest stage to the general amusement of millions. So why is it that so many soak up the spotlight outside of the arena, too? A valid query, but we don’t care. We love to see our sports idols take their talents to the screen.

Who didn’t enjoy seeing the parade of NBA stars appear in Lil Bow Wow’s “Like Mike”? Or maybe you preferred The King, Wayne Gretzky, in “Swingers”? And who could forget Mike Tyson‘s priceless Phil Collins moment in “The Hangover”? These films are iconic in large part due to the sports icons who appeared in them.

Boston fans have had the privilege of watching many of their beloved pros create IMDb profiles over the years. From Celtics legends like Bob Cousy to Red Sox egos like Roger Clemens, there’s a Boston athlete cameo for everyone. And with Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski appearing on screen this summer in “Ted 2″ and “Entourage,” respectively, we have to ask the question, “Who has made the most memorable movie appearance as a Boston athlete?” Without further ado, here’s our list.

10. Rick Fox — “Blue Chips”

This is where it all began for the Celtics draft pick-turned Laker-turned full-time actor. And with this qualification in mind it can be argued that Fox truly owes his illustrious career to Beantown.

9. Derek Sanderson — “Face-Off”

The Turk softened up for his appearance in this 1971 film about a Maple Leafs player and a folk singer falling in love. Sanderson soaked up fortune and fame whenever possible, and chick flicks clearly were never out of the question.

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Read More: Bob Cousy, cam neely, jason varitek, johnny damon

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Jets DL Sheldon Richardson, Chargers TE Antonio Gates, Cowboys LB Rolando McClain suspended 4 games

07.03.15 at 8:07 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Astros at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Marlins at Cubs, 2:20 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLB: Giants at Nationals, 6:05 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Rays at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Mets at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Exhibition, Guatemala at United States, 7 p.m. (FS1)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 7 a.m. (ESPN)


Sheldon Richardson

Sheldon Richardson

Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension has been the talk of the offseason, but now he’s got plenty of company, as three other well-known players got their own four-game bans Thursday.

Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, Chargers tight end Anthony Gates and Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain each will miss a quarter of the regular season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Additionally, Packers defensive end Datone Jones was suspended one game for a similar offense.

According to the New York Daily News, Richardson’s violation was smoking marijuana. The Pro Bowler wrote on Twitter: “I vow to you, this will not happen again.”

“I apologize for letting down my family, teammates, this organization and the fans,” Richardson said in a team statement. “However, words aren’t enough. This is something that can only be addressed by how I handle myself from this point on. I don’t want this to take away from what the team is trying to accomplish. While I won’t be there at the start of the regular season, I will do whatever I can to support my teammates until I’m able to return to the field.”

Gates, who had 69 catches for 821 yards and a team-leading 12 touchdowns last season, claimed that his offense was not intentional, but he accepted “full responsibility,” noting that “ignorance is no excuse when it comes to these issues.”

Said Gates: “In my 12 years in the NFL, I have taken tremendous pride in upholding the integrity of the NFL shield and all that it entails. I have taken extreme care of my body with a holistic approach and never taken any substance that was illegal or banned by the NFL. In an effort to recover from a long season and although I was unaware at the time, I regret to confirm that I tested positive for a substance that is currently on the NFL banned substance list.”

McClain, no stranger to controversy, has been a disappointment since he was drafted eighth overall by the Raiders in 2010, although he did have a solid season with the Cowboys in 2014. He is slated to return for Dallas’ Week 5 game at home against the Patriots.

“I apologize to my family, the Cowboys organization, my teammates and Cowboys fans for my mistake,” he said. “I will not break the rules of my profession in the future, and I regret my error.”

— Hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs will not face felony charges for an incident last week at UCLA when he allegedly confronted an assistant coach after the coach disciplined Combs’ son.

The case now is in the hands of the Los Angeles city attorney’s office, which could file misdemeanor charges against Combs.

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Read More: Antonio Gates, Rolando McClain, Sean 'Diddy' Combs, Sheldon Richardson

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Paul Pierce reportedly agrees to join Clippers on 3-year deal

07.02.15 at 6:41 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 1:07 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cubs at Mets, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 7 a.m. (ESPN)


Paul Pierce is headed west to join Doc Rivers and the Clippers, agreeing on a three-year, $10.6 million deal, according to reports out of Los Angeles.

Pierce became a free agent after one season with the Wizards, who were hoping to keep him around after the team’s impressive season. But the Clippers give him the opportunity to challenge for an NBA title as well as return to his Southern California roots. And it gives him a chance to play for the coach who guided him to a championship with the Celtics in 2008.

That apparently was enough to convince Pierce to sign on at a discount rate — the most Los Angeles had to offer — for three years, despite him saying last season that he would only play one more year.

Said Pierce after the Wizards’ second-round playoff exit: “I don’t even know if I am going to play basketball anymore. These seasons get harder and harder every year, every day. Summers get even harder when you start getting back in shape. I’m 37 years old. I’m top two or three oldest in the league.”

Pierce spent his first 15 seasons in Boston before spending one season with the Nets and then one year with the Wizards. He is the 16th-most prolific scorer in league history.

— The United States will play Japan in Sunday’s Women’s World Cup championship game, as England lost Wednesday’s second semifinal in the most heartbreaking way.

During stoppage time of a 1-1 game, England defender Laura Bassett tried to clear a ball but instead deflected it into her own goal. When the game ended a minute later, Bassett fell to the field in tears as her teammates attempted to console her.

“Oh, what a tough one, what a tough one to take,” England coach Mark Sampson said. “I can’t speak about the game. I can only speak about how incredibly proud I am of my group.”

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Read More: Keith Olbermann, Laura Bassett, Paul Pierce, Women's World Cup

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Kings reportedly show interest in Rajon Rondo

07.01.15 at 7:06 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 1:07 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Angels, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: Women’s World Cup semifinal, Japan vs. England, 7 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Exhibition, Mexico vs. Honduras, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 7 a.m. (ESPN)


— Free agent point guard Rajon Rondo’s stock dropped precipitously after he was sent packing by the Mavericks during the first round of the playoffs after another behavioral issue like those that have dogged him throughout his college and professional career.

Now the former Celtic is an afterthought among discussions of this free agent class.

On Tuesday night, however, Rondo reportedly found some interest — appropriately enough from the franchise that might be the most dysfunctional in the league.

According to an ESPN report, the Kings “came on strong” Tuesday night and requested a meeting with Rondo after forward Rudy Gay pushed management to pursue him.

Rondo is expected to sign a one-year deal as he tries to build back his reputation and show he can avoid confrontations with his coach. The Kings recently hired George Karl, although there have been reports that they are looking to replace him before he coaches a game.

— Warriors star Steph Curry was named league MVP and beat LeBron JamesCavaliers in the NBA Finals. Now he’s surpassed LeBron in jersey sales for the first time.

Based on rankings of overall sales at from April through June, Curry ranked No. 1, with James dropping to second. Fellow Warriors Klay Thompson (fifth) and Draymond Green (15th) helped Golden State rank first in team sales during the playoffs.

The Celtics ranked a solid ninth on the team list, although the C’s had no player in the top 15.

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Read More: LeBron James, nike, Phil Knight, rajon rondo

Women’s World Cup: USA beats Germany to advance to final

06.30.15 at 9:22 pm ET
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The U.S. women's soccer team celebrates a goal in its 2-0 win over Germany. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

The U.S. women’s soccer team celebrates a goal in its 2-0 win over Germany. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Going into Tuesday night’€™s Women’€™s World Cup semifinal, nobody really knew if the United States was good enough to beat top-ranked Germany. The Germans, as expected, had looked great all tournament. They had just knocked off France, who had looked like the second-best team in the world as of late. The U.S., while highly ranked, had looked a bit lackluster throughout the tournament.

Now we know. This U.S. team is good enough to beat the No. 1 team in the world, and the Americans did just that Tuesday night in Montreal. Carli Lloyd scored on a penalty kick in the 69th minute and then set up Kelley O’€™Hara for another goal in the 84th as the Americans beat Germany 2-0 to advance to Sunday’€™s World Cup final. They’€™ll take on the winner of Wednesday’€™s semifinal between Japan and England.

After the U.S. controlled play throughout the first half, Germany came out much stronger to start the second and got a golden chance in the 59th minute as a result. Alexandra Popp got position inside Julie Johnston on a high bouncing ball in the U.S. box and Johnston hauled down Popp while trying to get back in front of her, giving Germany a penalty kick.

Fortunately for the U.S., Celia Sasic yanked the penalty kick wide left. To make it even worse for Sasic, she had actually gotten Hope Solo diving the wrong way.

Sasic’€™s miss seemed to pump some life back into the U.S., which turned up the pressure at the other end. Alex Morgan made a nice run around Annike Krahn deep into the box in the 66th minute but wound up putting the shot wide from a tough angle.

A minute later, though, Morgan made another strong run against Krahn and this time she drew a penalty as Krahn tripped her up while Morgan tried to get around the German defender. Replay showed that the foul actually occurred just outside the box, but the ref gave the U.S. the penalty kick anyway.

Unlike Germany, the U.S. did not squander the golden opportunity. Lloyd stepped up and calmly fired a shot into the right side of the net to give the Americans a 1-0 lead. After getting off to a slow start in the World Cup, Lloyd now has three goals in the last three games.

The U.S. struck again in the 84th minute to put the game away. Lloyd made a nice run deep into the box before making a beautiful pass across to O’€™Hara, who buried it for her first-ever international goal.

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