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LaVar Ball is hawking ‘Stay in Yo Lane’ shirts after Kristine Leahy incident

05.25.17 at 11:30 am ET
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LaVar Ball is trying to profit after his heated exchange with Kristine Leahy. (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)

LaVar Ball is trying to profit off of his heated exchange with Kristine Leahy. (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)

LaVar Ball caught a lot of flak last week for his apparent sexist remarks to a female reporter. Now he’s trying to make a buck off of them.

The patriarch of the Ball family got into a heated debate with FS1 host and former WEEI.com contributor Kristine Leahy, who asked him how many pairs he’s sold of his Big Baller Brand shoes, which cost $495. In response, Ball told Leahy to “stay in yo lane.” He also said he doesn’t want to market to females, because Big Baller Brand “isn’t for women.”

“I don’t look over there because she scares me. Leave me alone,” he exclaimed.

On Twitter Wednesday, Ball announced he was selling “Stay in Yo Lane” t-shirts. They sell for $50, whereas the shirts and tank-tops with gold lettering are priced at $60.

While Ball often comes across as a bombastic nincompoop, this is a business savvy decision. Unvarnished machismo appeals to a large swath of consumers. It only makes sense for Big Baller Brand to corner the market, given who’s in charge of the company.

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David Price sped away from McCoy Stadium in a $200,000 tank called the ‘General Patton’

05.25.17 at 10:51 am ET
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David Price might drive one of the most expensive cars in the Major Leagues.  (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

David Price might drive one of the most expensive cars in the Major Leagues. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

When David Price sped away from McCoy Stadium Wednesday in order to avoid the media following an atrocious rehab start, he didn’t do it discreetly. The left-handed hurler raced through the parking lot in a tank-like vehicle, turning heads along the way.

The truck in question hit the market in 2014, debuting at the Beijing Auto Show. Manufactured by U.S. Speciality Vehicles of Chino, Calif., the Rhino GX is modeled after the Ford F-350 or Ford F-450. In overseas markets, it’s referred to as the “General Patton.”

“I hear customers say, ‘This is a man’s car. You want to be a man? Get this car,’” Tim Tang, the owner of U.S. Speciality Vehicles, told the Wall Street Journal.

The 9,000-pound urban assault vehicle costs between $194,000 and $250,000 –– a pittance for Price, who makes $30 million per season. The Los Angeles Times gave the truck a favorable review in 2016, saying it’s perfect for off-roading.

Autoweek, however, was less kind. The industry publication said nobody can “make a logical argument in favor of owning” the vehicle.

But Price may have use for it. According to Autoweek, the “General Patton” can “destroy enemies.” If Price continues to struggle on the mound, Red Sox beat writers should watch their step.

Read More: David Price,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Rob Gronkowski donates $70,000 to Boston Public Schools for girls’ sports equipment

05.25.17 at 9:53 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Thursday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB:
Kansas City at NY Yankees, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Seattle at Washington, 5 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: San Diego at NY Mets, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Texas at Boston, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)
MLB: Arizona at Milwaukee, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Cleveland at Boston, 8:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL: Ottawa at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Rob Gronkowski has donated $70,000 to Boston Schools to help with funding for female athletes’ sporting equipment.

Gronkowski announced the donation while speaking at a Gronk Nation youth program on Wednesday and gave a motivational speech to inspire young female athletes.

“The Gronk Nation youth program is very supportive of women’s sports programs, and that is why we are here today, so give it up for all the ladies right here,” Gronkowski said. “We want to encourage girls to set ambitious goals. Your only limit is you, athletics can offer you so much. You have to clear your mind of all of the cant’s and say you can.”

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Read More: Colin Kaepernick, rob gronkowski, Tim Tebow,

Adam Silver shows pro-LGBT efforts to be disingenuous after returning All-Star Game to North Carolina

05.24.17 at 5:16 pm ET
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Adam Silver announced Wednesday the NBA will host the 2019 All-Star Game in Charlotte, N.C.  (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

Adam Silver announced Wednesday the NBA will host the 2019 All-Star Game in Charlotte, N.C. (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

NBA commissioner Adam Silver receives a lot of credit in liberal circles for championing progressive causes. One of his signature moments came last summer, when he announced the league was pulling the 2017 All-Star Game from North Carolina due to the state’s anti-LGBT ordinance, known as House Bill 2. Prior to the relocation, Silver said a “change in the law is necessary for us to play in the kind of environment that we think is appropriate for a celebratory NBA event.”

But as it turns out, Silver was being disingenuous. The league announced Wednesday the 2019 All-Star Game will be hosted in Charlotte, despite the fact that LGBT people in North Carolina still face more oppression than they did prior to HB2’s passing.

While it’s true that Democratic governor Roy Cooper and the GOP-controlled state house repealed the bill earlier this year, the changes were perfunctory at best. Only the legislation’s most controversial provision, which prohibited transgender individuals from using the bathrooms or locker rooms of their identified gender in schools or government buildings, was struck down. Other discriminatory edicts in the bill were largely left unchanged.

For starters, local governments and schools can’t create any laws to protect transgender bathroom rights without approval from the state legislature, which is still dominated by Republicans. City and county governments also can’t pass their own LGBT ordinances until at least 2020. The state legislature is free to push that date back at any time.

The passage of HB2 last year brought great economic harm to North Carolina. More than 65 corporations, including Apple, General Electric and NIKE, signed an amicus brief to block the bill. Wired estimates the state lost nearly $400 million in the months after it was signed into law.

Much like Indiana two years ago, when then-Governor Mike Pence backtracked on portions of a stringent religious freedom bill after corporate pressure, the economic downturn in North Carolina forced the state government to act. Cooper, desperate to fulfill one of his signature campaign promises, quickly reached an agreement with the state legislature to repeal the most scrutinized aspect of the bill. The window dressing worked, with the NCAA announcing in April it will once again host championship tournaments in the state.

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Read More: Adam Silver, NBA,

Brock Holt posts picture of his son with Mike Napoli

05.24.17 at 3:19 pm ET
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Safe to say Uncle Nap is loved in the Holt household but his beard kind of tickles

A post shared by Brock Holt (@brock_holt) on

Brock Holt posted this picture to his Instagram on Wednesday of his son, Griffin, and former Red Sox teammate Mike Napoli.

Napoli is in town with the Rangers, who take on the Red Sox in game two of their three-game series Wednesday night.

In death, Aaron Hernandez is suffering brutal fate as tabloid sideshow

05.24.17 at 12:41 pm ET
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Tawdry details about Aaron Hernandez's life and suicide continue to be released. (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports)

Tawdry details about Aaron Hernandez’s life and suicide continue to be released. (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports)

When Aaron Hernandez was alive, he was viewed as a murderer who would likely spend the rest of his existence behind bars. But the disgraced ex-NFL star is suffering an even worse fate in death. He’s become a tabloid sideshow, with salacious details and rumors about his life getting leaked with little regard on seemingly a weekly basis.

It’s been more than one month since Hernandez hanged himself in his cell at Souza Baranowski Correction Center in Shirley, five days after he was acquitted of double-murder charges. Since then, an avalanche of documents pertaining to his time in prison have been released, painting the portrait of a tortured soul who frequently clashed with officials.

The revelations range from troubling to downright sad. One batch of records shows Hernandez racked up multiple serious offenses while he was incarcerated, including at least three for fighting and one for possessing a nearly six-inch metal shiv. Another set of prison documents recount an evening in which Hernandez devoured 20 honey buns from a mistaken jail commissary delivery, because he was so hungry. The former Patriots tight end also once ate a letter, so guards wouldn’t be able to read it.

All the while, sordid hearsay about Hernandez’s sexuality continue to circulate. Last month, Boston-based investigative reporter Michele McPhee said on Kirk & Callahan investigators were looking into Hernandez’s sexuality as a possible motive for the 2013 Odin Lloyd murder. According to McPhee, Hernandez was carrying out an intimate relationship with a male high school classmate, and Lloyd had knowledge of the romance.

Around the same time, the Daily Mail also started publishing stories about Hernandez’s alleged prison boyfriend. He was identified as Kyle Kennedy, a 22-year-old armed robber who reportedly had grown close to the one-time NFL star while they were imprisoned together. The story reached a fever pitch late last month when Kennedy’s lawyer held a press conference, claiming Hernandez left his client a $47,000 watch and addressed one of his three suicide notes to him. Lawrence F. Army Jr. didn’t address reports about the nature of their relationship, saying Kennedy would tell the story himself one day.

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez,

David Ortiz reenacts movie scenes in new video campaign

05.24.17 at 10:52 am ET
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David Ortiz is partnering with Omaze in a video campaign to get people to donate to win a trip to Boston to join him for his jersey retirement night at Fenway in June. Entries support the David Ortiz Children’s Fund.

He jokingly says in the video he will then come out of retirement to become an actor before showing a reel of him reenacting scenes from Boston movies. And it is glorious.

David Ortiz in a blonde wig might be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

I am laughing so hard at the way he says, “Yes” in the Good Will Hunting scene I can hardly type this. In the movie, Matt Damon walks to the bar window but in this version Ortiz walks up to a house window as if someone coming up to the window of your house and knocking on the window out of which you are already staring and asking if you like apples is totally normal.

Spot-on Boston accent and Drew Barrymore impression.

Shaq threatens to punch Charles Barkley ‘in the face’ during contentious TV fight

05.24.17 at 10:02 am ET
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Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley got a little personal with each other Tuesday night. (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley got a little personal with each other Tuesday night. (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

The playful bickering between Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkely seemed to get a little personal Tuesday following the Cavaliers’ victory over the Celtics in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The exchange started when O’Neal dissed Barkley for only reaching the Finals once in his career –– a familiar refrain. But then Barkley went all in, accusing Shaq of riding Kobe Bryant’s and Dwyane Wade’s coattails to multiple championships. The partial transcript is below:

Shaq: Chuck, you have no idea what we’re talking about because you’ve only been to the Finals once.

Barkley: I wasn’t riding on Dwyane Wade’s and Kobe’s coattails.

Shaq: It doesn’t matter, Chuck. I got the same thing you got and I passed you up 10 years ago.

Barkley: If I had been riding on Kobe’s coattails and Dwyane Wade’s and Alonzo Mourning’s too, I forgot about him, and Rick Fox.

Shaq: People question why you’re in the Hall of Fame anyway, bum.

Later in the argument, O’Neal told Barkley he would “punch him right in the face” if he kept interrupting him.

With that one segment, the TNT crew may have supplied more drama than the NBA playoffs as a whole up to this point.

Read More: Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Pete Frates’ family struggles to keep up with staggering medical bills

05.24.17 at 9:36 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Wednesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB:
 Miami at Oakland, 3:35 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Kansas City at NY Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Texas at Boston, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)
MLB: St. Louis at LA Dodgers, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Washington at Chicago, 12:30 p.m. (NBA TV)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The family of Pete Frates, former Boston College baseball player and founder of the Ice Bucket Challenge, revealed they are struggling to pay the mounting bills for Frates’ medical treatment for ALS. The cost for Frates’ in-home treatment is an overwhelming $85,000-$95,000 per month.

“Any family would be broke because of this,” said Frates’ father, John. “After 2.5 years of this type of expense, it’s become absolutely unsustainable for us. We can’t afford it.”

Frates, who helped raise over $25o million for ALS through the Ice Bucket Challenge, is on life support at home and is able to remain there with his wife, Julie, and daughter, Lucy, because his bedroom has been converted into an ICU.

Julie said “Pete’s life would be over” if he had to leave his home for care in an outside facility. But now that the cost of keeping him at home has reached $3,000 a day, the family is asking for help.

“He’s in the advanced stages. He’s very sick. It’s costing us $3,000 a day for specialized nursing,” John said. “If we put him in a home, which is something that would be paid for by his insurance, he would last a day.”  

Rob Griffin, a philanthropist and Frates family friend, is collaborating with the family and ALS on a new initiative to raise money to help the Frates family and those in the same position. His goal is to raise $1 million through Home Heath Care Initiative.

“We hope to start an initiative to help the Frates family and all families that are going through that,” Griffin said. “And hope it takes off on national basis. We’re trying to kick it off here in Boston.” “I’m just extremely grateful that they are recognizing how significant Pete has been in this community,” Julie said. “We just want to keep him at home with his family.”

A fundraiser for the Frates family will be held on June 5 in Boston. For information on this and to donate, visit PeteFrates.com. Read the rest of this entry »

Mike & Mike’s decision to ignore apparent feud illustrates what’s wrong with sports talk radio

05.23.17 at 2:27 pm ET
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Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic didn't address their reported feud on Tuesday's show.  (David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic didn’t address their reported feud on Tuesday’s show. (David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

On Monday, Sports Illustrated published a lengthy report about the apparent rift between Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic. In it, media writer Richard Deitsch cites several sources who talk about the “poisonous atmosphere” on “Mike and Mike,” which may not remain on the air until its scheduled end in December.

But when Greenberg and Golic turned on the microphones Tuesday, neither host mentioned the story. Instead, they discussed Manu Ginobili playing his final game and the NFL changing its overtime rules. It was the embodiment of everything wrong with national sports talk radio, which is painfully vanilla and inoffensive.

There was palpable tension in the air when Greenberg and Golic announced their long-rumored breakup last week. Golic didn’t even look his longtime partner in the eye while he talked cryptically about the end of the show. “The last year and a half have been somewhat interesting, if not eyebrow-raising, as well,” he said. “For me, it’s not my story to tell. I’m going to continue doing this exact same show. It’s for others to tell who made this decision if they want to tell it and how they want to tell it.”

According to Deitsch, Golic is upset that Greenberg didn’t confer with him before accepting an offer to host a new morning variety show on ESPN, which will launch in 2018. Golic will stay on ESPN Radio, partnering with Trey Wingo and his son, Mike Golic Jr., who will join the program every day from 6:00-7:00 a.m.

“From Golic’s perspective, he thinks Mike [Greenberg] should have come to him and told him he wanted to do his own thing,” said an anonymous ESPN employee. “But Greeney is very non-confrontational, truly a nice a guy, and he would say that it wasn’t incumbent on him to tell Golic everything about what he wanted to do professionally. I guess I can see both sides.”

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Read More: ESPN, Mike Golic, Mike Greenberg,