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Friday’s Morning Mashup: LeBron James receives mostly positive welcome back from Miami fans

12.26.14 at 8:26 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.

NBA: Nets at Celtics, 1 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Hornets at Thunder, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
College football: Heart of Dallas Bowl, Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Quick Lane Bowl, Rutgers vs. North Carolina, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: St. Petersburg Bowl, NC State vs. Central Florida, 8 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
Soccer: Premier League, West Ham at Chelsea, 7:40 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Premier League, Newcastle at Manchester United, 10 a.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Premier League, Queens Park at Arsenal, 12:25 p.m. (NBCSN)


— The Heat welcomed LeBron James back to Miami on Christmas Day before sending him home to Cleveland with a loss.

James hugged and high-fived his former teammates, taking extra time to joke around with Dwyane Wade, then saw Wade score 24 first-half points en route to a 31-point night in the Heat’s 101-91 victory.

James, who finished with 30 points and eight rebounds, was the first player introduced of Cleveland’s starters, and the crowd wasn’t given much time to react before the next player’s name was called. However, he received an ovation when a video tribute was played during the first timeout of the game. There were some boos but mostly cheers for his first game in South Florida since his four-year stint there.

“We only play this game for so long,” James said. “You’ve still got life afterwards. For us we’re going to compete, we’re going to go about our business and do what we need to do in our profession. You’ll never let friendship come in between that.”

James expressed dismay that people criticize his decision to switch teams as a free agent.

“The question I have, which is kind of bothering me sometimes, is when a player decides to decide his own fate, there is always questions about it?” James said. “And, ‘Why did this guy do that, do that and do this?’ When an organization decides to go elsewhere for a player, it’s that they did what’s best for the team. Let’s figure that out some time.”

James said he has not had any contact with team president Pat Riley since announcing his plans to sign with the Cavs, but he spent Christmas Eve at Wade’s house.

“We didn’t have a bad breakup,” Wade said. “We played against each other for seven years, man. The weirdness just wasn’t there. It wasn’t like we played against each other our whole career and the breakup happened. We played against each other for seven years, then with each other for a period of time, then he went back to the same situation and I’m in the same place.”

Said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: “Couple of the best in this generation. Spectacular. I wish I could sit back and enjoy it like a fan, because it’s just fantastic basketball. … However long these two guys play, you’ll get your money’s worth.”

Rex Ryan might soon be headed out of town, but Geno Smith believes he can be with the Jets for the foreseeable future.

“I see myself being the quarterback here for a long time,” Smith said. “I see myself helping this team turn things around. Obviously, I’m a part of the reason why we are in this position, so I’d love to be a part of the solution.”

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Read More: Curt Schilling, Dwyane Wade, Geno Smith, Johnny Manziel

Top Boston Sports Stories of 2014, No. 11: Jerry Remy returns to Red Sox booth shortly before son pleads guilty to murder

12.25.14 at 5:08 pm ET
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Over the final days of the year, will count down the top 14 stories of 2014 in Boston sports. This is No. 11: NESN Red Sox announcer Jerry Remy returns to the booth shortly before his son pleads guilty to murder. To read other stories in this series, click here.

Remy LJ cartoon 14

Jerry Remy’s decision to return to the booth rekindled the debate over his role enabling his son’s violent behavior. (Larry Johnson/

Not many Boston sports figures had it harder than Jerry Remy in the first half of 2014.

The longtime NESN broadcaster found himself consumed by his internal struggle, along with heated debate on the outside, as to whether or not he should return to the booth for the 2014 Red Sox season in the wake of his son, Jared, being charged with first-degree murder in the death of live-in girlfriend Jennifer Martel in August 2013.

Jared Remy was charged with fatally stabbing Martel, the mother of their 4-year-old daughter, on Aug. 15, 2013. Remy pleaded not guilty at the time and was held without bail, with a trial set to begin in October. Jerry Remy took a leave of absence following the incident and didn’t return to the broadcast booth for the remainder of the Red SoxWorld Series run.

Remy announced at a news conference in January that he would be returning to the Red Sox broadcast booth for the 2014 season. He said he was leaning toward not returning to the booth as late as New Year’s Day, but opted to return after gaining support from his close friends along with his wife, Phoebe.

“It’€™s always been my comfort zone, for 40 years. I can’€™t sit there. I just can’€™t sit in my chair. I’ve been there long enough already,”€ Remy said at the time. “€œI’ve got to be busy. I’ve got to do something to preoccupy myself. I need to do something I enjoy. And this is what I enjoy doing and I always have. I’ve done it for 26 years. This will be No. 27 as an announcer. I still enjoy it. I’€™m not crazy about the 4 o’€™clock arrivals, but the game itself I truly love, and I always have and I still do, and that’€™s not going to go away. So hopefully it will be therapeutic in some ways.”

Remy returned to the NESN booth alongside play-by-play man Don Orsillo in spring training with his son still facing murder charges. The discussion from the booth was centered around baseball, as Remy said it would be.

But the debate over whether or not Remy should return took a dramatic twist on March 23 when an extensive Boston Globe story detailed Jared Remy’s long history of run-ins with the law, primarily involving domestic abuse allegations.

The Globe article painted Jerry and Phoebe as enablers for their troubled son as his constant legal troubles resulted in just one short jail term thanks to the help of a high-priced lawyer hired by the Remys.

Just five days after the report came out, Remy told Dennis & Callahan he tried to get his son treated for his mental issues but never considered stopping his support of him.

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Read More: jared remy, jerry remy, Top Boston Sports Stories of 2014,

Top Boston Sports Stories of 2014, No. 12: On 1-year anniversary of Boston Marathon bombing, American wins race for first time in 31 years

12.25.14 at 11:55 am ET
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Over the final days of the year, will count down the top 14 stories of 2014 in Boston sports. This is No. 12: On the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, an American wins the race for the first time in 31 years. To read other stories in this series, click here.

Meb Keflezighi didn’t even compete in the 2013 Boston Marathon. He was just a spectator. But after witnessing the tragedy of the bombings from the stands, he vowed to take part in the next race in Boston.

In 2014, he was a champion. Keflezighi became the first American man to win the Boston Marathon since 1983, and at 38 years old, he was the oldest to finish first in 83 years.

“Boston strong, America strong,” Keflezighi said after winning the race. “To come back from what was a disaster to a patriotic day.”

Keflezighi nearly competed in the 2013 race, but he pulled out about a week before because on an injury. Although he didn’t run, being at the marathon was an emotional experience, as it was for many who witnessed the explosions at the finish line.

“We started crying because we knew how many people were there,” Keflezighi said.

Before running in the Boston Marathon, Keflezighi, an immigrant from Eritrea, won a silver medal for the United States in the 2004 Athens Olympics and also finished first in the 2009 New York City Marathon. But he had never won in Boston, finishing fifth in 2010.

With talented Kenyan racer Wilson Chebet in a field of over 35,000 runners, it would be an uphill battle for Keflezighi. After coming in 23rd place on November 2013 in New York, it appeared that Keflezighi might not have a shot to win in Boston. His personal-best time of 2:09:08 was viewed as a figure that would never be something Keflizighi could top.

“Most people thought my career was done,” Keflezighi said. “But you can’t test the heart.”

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Read More: 2014 Boston Marathon, Meb Keflezighi, Top Boston Sports Stories of 2014,

Top Boston Sports Stories of 2014, No. 13: BC’s Pete Frates inspires ice bucket challenge phenomenon

12.24.14 at 7:48 pm ET
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Over the final days of the year, will count down the top 14 stories of 2014 in Boston sports. This is No. 13: Pete Frates inspires ice bucket challenge phenomenon. To read other stories in this series, click here.

Two years ago, Pete Frates found out he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig‘s disease. The former Boston College baseball captain and Beverly native had to deal with the reality that his voice was gone and his mobility would be restricted.

But even with his body working against him, Frates helped create a viral campaign in 2014 along with friend and fellow ALS patient Patrick Quinn that raised awareness and millions of dollars for research for the debilitating illness.

The ice bucket challenge campaign started with videos of Frates’ friends and family dumping ice water on their heads, then challenging other people to do the same within 24 hours or make a donation to ALS research.

The challenge spread like wildfire by the end of July, and thousands of people shared their own ice bucket challenge videos through social media. Local teams and athletes got into the act, including challenges from multiple Bruins players and a video from the entire Red Sox front office. Tweets, retweets and Facebook shares allowed the challenge to go national. Famous personalities across the country like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and former president George W. Bush, among others, dumped ice water on their heads for the cause.

He couldn’t play baseball anymore, but Frates brought a strong mentality from his playing days to this campaign.

“As a jock and locker-room guy, Pete lived by the code, ‘Go big or go home,’ ” his father, John Frates, said. “But when the videos started jumping out of the immediate circle of family and friends, to pro athletes like the Bruins, Patriots and his high-profile BC classmates — Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons and Brian Boyle of the Tampa Bay Lightning — it started to get crazy. The sheer power of association and calling out three or more to accept the challenge, it was the perfect formula to go viral.”

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Read More: Cory Schneider, Matt Ryan, Pete Frates, Top Boston Sports Stories of 2014

Top Boston Sports Stories of 2014, No. 14: Patriots trade Logan Mankins

12.24.14 at 12:43 pm ET
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Over the final days of the year, will count down the top 14 stories of 2014 in Boston sports. This is No. 14: Patriots trade Logan Mankins to Buccaneers. To read other stories in this series, click here.

Logan Mankins (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Logan Mankins was a stalwart for nine seasons in New England before being shipped to the Buccaneers. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Before the 2014 season began, it appeared that other than training camp roster cuts, the Patriots had their team set. By end of the preseason, however, the trade of a veteran player shook up the foundation of the team.

New England dealt six-time Pro Bowl selection Logan Mankins to the Buccaneers for tight end Tim Wright and a fourth-round pick on Aug. 26. Wright, a second-year player, caught 54 passes and three touchdowns in his rookie season with the Buccaneers. The move gave the Patriots more depth in the passing game, but it came as a surprise to many that it was Mankins who was traded.

Mankins said he was disappointed about leaving the Patriots and people with whom he developed close relationships.

“€œI’ve talked to Tom [Brady]. I’ve talked to probably 99 percent of the team,” Mankins said after being dealt. “€œI’€™m not going to get into what we said. … I’€™ll miss Tom for sure, and I’€™ll miss a lot of those guys. I had a lot of good friends, a lot of coaches I was good friends with.”

“€œOnce you’ve been around this business long enough, you know anything’€™s possible. If you don’€™t understand that it’€™s a business, you’€™re lying to yourself.”

Brady had Mankins as a force on the offensive line for nine years in New England. The quarterback was mostly reserved about the situation and his feelings on it, but Brady said he hoped Mankins continued his successful career in Tampa Bay.

“€œI haven’€™t really spoken to anybody about it,” Brady said during an appearance on Dennis & Callahan. “€œI have my own personal feelings that obviously are very personal to me. Whatever those are, I just want our team to be the best it can be for this year. I love Logan, Logan was a great friend of mine. Nobody stood for Patriot football more than him. But he’€™s moved on. I hope he’€™s happy. We’€™ll keep in touch.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Dan Connolly, Logan Mankins, Nate Solder

Poll: Who is Boston sports person of 2014?

12.24.14 at 12:24 pm ET
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Who is the Boston sports person of the year for 2014?

  • Pete Frates (29%, 290 Votes)
  • Tom Brady (26%, 257 Votes)
  • Rob Gronkowski (20%, 195 Votes)
  • Darrelle Revis (11%, 109 Votes)
  • David Ortiz (7%, 70 Votes)
  • Jon Lester (3%, 26 Votes)
  • Patrice Bergeron (2%, 24 Votes)
  • Tuukka Rask (1%, 10 Votes)
  • Rajon Rondo (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Zdeno Chara (0%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 988

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Rex Ryan confident he’ll win a Super Bowl

12.24.14 at 8:29 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.

College football: Bahamas Bowl, Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky, noon (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
College football: Hawaii Bowl, Fresno State vs. Rice, 8 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)


NY Daily News 12-14-14Rex Ryan might be without a job a week from now, but his confidence remains high.

The embattled Jets coach insists he has a Super Bowl championship in him.

“I see myself winning it as a head coach,” Ryan said Tuesday. “I definitely see it. If that happens, I guess we’ll find out.”

Ryan acknowledged it’s been a trying season, with the Jets at 3-12 heading into Sunday’s finale against the Dolphins, but he said he remains confident in his ability to lead a team.

“I was given some gifts and obviously a lot less in other areas, but I can coach football,” he said. “And I know that. … I think that’s what gives me the belief that one day I’m going to win that thing.

“That’s how I feel. And that’s it. I guess that’s just the way I’m wired. I don’t look at myself as a three-win coach. I know I’m better than that, but this is where we’re at right now.”

Added Ryan: “People are going to say, ‘That’s crazy. You’ve won three games.’ Yeah, that’s right. We won three games and that’s one year. Sure, it hasn’t gone well. I always am a confident person.”

MASHUP POLL: Will Rex Ryan ever win a Super Bowl as a head coach?

  • No (85%, 801 Votes)
  • Yes (15%, 143 Votes)

Total Voters: 944

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Ryan said he’s focused only on Sunday’s game, and not meeting with owner Woody Johnson to discuss his future.

“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “I know it’€™s a broken record, but really, it’€™s just about the job that I have right in front of me. I want to be great. I want our team to be great. I want our team to be focused and myself to be focused on the job at hand. And that’€™s what I plan on doing. Whatever happens after that will happen.”

— The Knicks are showing no signs of breaking out of their season-long slump, and it’s giving guard J.R. Smith some sleepless nights.

“It’s a nightmare. We’ve just got to wake up from it,” said Smith, who has been out the past seven games with a partially turn plantar fascia in his left heel. “I mean, to be 5-25, we had a lot of expectations coming in here, so to be in the situations we’re in, it’s a nightmare for me, anyway.”

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Read More: Aldon Smith, J.R. Smith, Ray McDonald, Rex Ryan

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Bears WR Brandon Marshall wants Lions C Dominic Raiola ‘banned from the NFL’

12.23.14 at 8:17 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.

NHL: Predators at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Blues at Avalanche, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Celtics at Magic, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
College basketball: Ohio vs. DePaul, 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: George Washington vs. Colorado, 4:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Stanford at Texas, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Cal State Northridge at Louisville, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: NJIT at Villanova, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Sacred Heart at Rutgers, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Georgia Tech at Dayton, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Wichita State at Hawaii, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Arizona at UNLV, 10:05 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Boise Sate vs. Loyola (Ill.), 11 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Loyola Marymount at Nebraska, 11:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Boca Raton Bowl, Marshall vs. Northern Illinois, 6 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
College football: Poinsettia Bowl, Navy vs. San Diego State, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)


— Lions center Dominic Raiola, who got some attention in New England after he took a cheap shots at the Patriots during Detroit’s 34-9 loss on Nov. 23, was suspended one game by the league for stomping on the leg of a defenseless Bears player during Sunday’s game.

It was Raiola’s sixth rules violation related to player safety since 2010, the league announced. According to ESPN, he plans to appeal the ruling.

Raiola stepped on Ego Ferguson’s right ankle while the Bears defensive tackle was on the ground early in the third quarter. The 14-year veteran claimed it was not intentional, but the video appeared to show otherwise. He also said he apologized to Ferguson.

Injured Bears receiver Brandon Marshall wasn’t buying Raiola’s explanation. Marshall said Raiola previously taunted him about his mental illness and “should be banned from the NFL.”

“This guy is a dirty player, and he’s a worse human being,” Marshall said during “The Brandon Marshall Show” on Chicago’s ESPN 1000. “He has no respect for himself, and [a] one-game [suspension] is freaking terrible. This was clear. This was clear. This guy literally jumped and stomped on this guy’s ankle. And we give him one game? A game that means nothing to them; means nothing to them.”

After the Lions-Patriots game, Raiola was fined $10,000 for hitting Patriots rookie defensive lineman Zach Moore in the back of the head. He also closed the game by lunging at the knees of an unsuspecting Moore while Detroit’s QB was taking a knee.

— Monday’s Miami Beach Bowl between BYU and Memphis ended with a historic double-overtime victory for Memphis, followed by an ugly brawl.

As players slugged it out with each other near midfield, at least one Memphis player took his helmet and swung it at a BYU player from behind. And BYU defensive back Kai Nacua, who had blood on his face, raced up from behind and punched Memphis tight end Alan Cross in the back of the head.

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Read More: Brandon Marshall, Dominic Raiola, Geno Smith, Rex Ryan

Monday’s Morning Mashup: NY sports teams pay tribute to slain NYPD officers

12.22.14 at 8:19 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.

NFL: Broncos at Bengals, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
College football: Miami Beach Bowl, BYU vs. Memphis, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Ohio vs. George Washington, 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: DePaul vs. Colorado, 4:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kansas at Temple, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Colgate at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Tennessee-Martin at Butler, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Wisconsin at California, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Milwaukee at Arkansas, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Providence vs. Miami, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Loyola Marymount vs. Wichita State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Nebraska at Hawaii, 1 a.m. (ESPNU)
Soccer: Premier League, Chelsea at Stoke City, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)


— New York’s struggling sports teams are the recipients of regular criticism for their performance, but they earned some respect from the fans over their weekend for their reaction to Saturday’s killing of two New York City police officers.

Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were gunned down Saturday by a man who appeared to be inspired by recent nationwide protests against police.

Jets center Nick Mangold wore an NYPD cap onto the field prior to Sunday’s game against the Patriots. The team held a moment of silence before kickoff.

“We go out here and play a sport. We don’t know whether or not it’s going to be our last play,” said Mangold, who had to leave the game on a cart with a left ankle injury. “But when you magnify that and don’t know whether it’s going to be your last day on Earth, I can’t even imagine what they go through. I’ve always been a big fan.”

Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, a St. Louis native who previously expressed his frustration following the shooting of an unarmed black suspect by a white police officer, insisted, “I didn’t want this to happen.”

“Innocent blood was spilled, man,” he said. “I’m not with that at all. That’s the only message I’m trying to get across. It’s sad. It’s real said.”

Added Richardson: “I’m with the peaceful protests and stuff like that. Murdering innocent cops is not the way to go.”

Giants coach Tom Coughlin wore a black strip on his left shoulder, along with a pin depicting a peace sign under the team logo on his jacket.

“We wore this because the New York Giants wanted to honor and mourn the assassination of the New York City policemen that took place [Saturday] night in our city,” he said. “We also wanted to wear this pin representing peace. … Let’s hope that the voice of reason can prevail. Violence never solves anything. I realize there were issues, but solve them with non-violent means.”

The Rangers held a moment of silence at Madison Square Garden before Sunday’s game against the Wild, and when the NYPD presented the colors prior to the national anthem, the officers received a lengthy ovation.

“I wouldn’t expect anything less,” said Rangers captain Ryan McDonough, who is the son of a firefighter and brother of a Minnesota police officer. “This is a great organization, this is a great city and a great community. Everyone understands the importance of police officers, firemen, everybody who sacrifices their lives every day for our well-being. It’€™s unfortunate this had to happen, but I’€™m glad we were able to do that.”

The Yankees‘ Silver Shield Foundation, started by George Steinbrenner in 1982, will pay for the education of the children of the slain officers. Since its inception, the foundation has paid for the education of thousands of children of fallen NYPD, FDNY, state police and Port Authority workers, along with 700 children who lost parents in the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

— Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was cleared after the student code of conduct hearing that was held earlier this month.

Winston had been accused of sexual assault, and he could have been expelled from the school.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees president Randy Levine says team won’t spend big this offseason

12.19.14 at 8:14 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.

NHL: Bruins at Jets, 8 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Timberwolves at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Trail Blazers at Spurs, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Thunder at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: St. Mary’s at St. John’s, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Alabama A&M at Marquette, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Arizona at UTEP, 11 p.m. (FS1)
College football: NAIA final, Southern Oregon vs. Marian, 3 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: NCAA Div. 3 final, Wisconsin-Whitewater vs. Mount Union, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: FCS semifinal, Sam Houston State at North Dakota State, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)


— Up until the time Jon Lester accepted a deal from the Cubs last week, there was speculation that the Yankees would make a run at the former Red Sox right-hander. However, general manager Brian Cashman said that his team has no plans to spend big this offseason. On Thursday, team president Randy Levine backed up his GM, saying the Yankees have enough high-priced hurlers already.

“As [Cashman] has said, if you look at the construct of our roster, I think [Masahiro] Tanaka is an ace, CC Sabathia hopefully comes back, we get [Ivan] Nova back pretty soon. … You have to build around that,” Levine said. “So the chances of us bringing in another guy who makes $25 million or over are, to my opinion, virtually none.”

This is good news for teams interested in bidding for Tigers ace Max Scherzer (and bad news for agent Scott Boras). Scherzer is expected to land a deal in the $200 million neighborhood.

“I think that’s a lot higher level than we’re willing to play in right now,” Cashman said earlier in the week. “I don’t think Yankee fans will be looking at Max Scherzer.”

MASHUP POLL: Do you believe the Yankees when they say they won't spend big?

  • No, they're just trying to keep Max Scherzer's price down (63%, 105 Votes)
  • Yes, every team has to have its limit (37%, 63 Votes)

Total Voters: 168

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Sabathia made $24 million last year while Tanaka made $22 million. Both missed much of the season with injuries.

“As I said, we’re going to have a payroll in excess of $200 million as we always have,” Levine said. “But at the end of the day, you have to be realistic in any organization.

“I think our payroll is right at the top. I think the Dodgers will be ahead of us. Nobody else,” Levine added. “The Steinbrenner tradition is if there’s a way to make the team better, [Cashman] is out there trying to make the team better, in the reality of building an organization. We’re always out there looking, but it has to be tempered by the reality of an organization. You look at our pitching staff, for example, we have two guys that make a lot of money.”

— Knicks star Carmelo Anthony missed Thursday’s game against the Bulls due to soreness in his left knee, and he said earlier in the day that he’s been advised to “shut it down” for a few weeks.

However, Anthony said he’s inclined to play through the pain due to the Knicks’ horrible start to the season. After Thursday’s 103-97 loss in Chicago, New York is 5-23 — the worst record through 28 games in franchise history.

“I’ve had multiple people say kind of just shut it down or just take time off,” he said. “At the end of the day it’s hard for me to just do that right now amidst what’s happening with the team. So I’m just trying to be smart about it. The more you play, the less recovery days you get.

“I can utilize these three days and get ready for the back-to-back [games Saturday and Sunday] and we get another three days [off] next week. … But it gets frustrating not knowing what’s going to happen.”

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Read More: brian cashman, Carmelo Anthony, James Neal, Max Scherzer