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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Pedro Martinez says Manny Ramirez must ‘carry the consequences’ of PED use

07.17.15 at 8:00 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: Red Sox at Angels, 10:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Royals at White Sox, 2 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Dodgers at Nationals, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: International Champions Cup, Club America vs. Manchester United, 11 p.m. (FS1)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
Golf: British Open, 7 a.m. (ESPN)


Pedro Martinez, headed for enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame next weekend, said Thursday that “probably 60 percent” of major leaguers were using performance-enhancing drugs in the early 2000s, and he acknowledged it likely will prevent fellow Red Sox great Manny Ramirez from joining him in Cooperstown.

“It’s unfortunate for the Dominican Republic, it’s unfortunate for his career and actually for himself,” Martinez said of Ramirez during a conference call. “Because Manny probably loves the game more than anybody else that you can think of.”

Added Martinez: “Manny has a great attitude. He’s very well-liked by a lot of people. He’s a great teammate. He has so many things going in his favor, but he’s going to have to carry the consequences that many more have had to carry. I don’t condone anybody doing anything bad as far as cheating the game.”

Martinez, who went 117-37 with a 2.52 ERA for the Red Sox from 1998 to 2004, said he has no regrets about pitching during the steroid era.

“I wouldn’t want it any other way,” he said. “There’s no crying.”

Martinez, who will be inducted with former Braves pitcher John Smoltz (who briefly pitched for the Red Sox in the final year of his career), is the first Dominican player to be so honored since Giants pitcher Juan Marichal in 1983.

“The people will see a most unique Hall of Fame induction,” Martinez said. “I’m really excited about the response of the Dominican people. They’ve waited 33 years to see one of their players inducted into the Hall of Fame.”

Martinez also will be honored by the Red Sox by having his No. 45 retired.

“As excited as I am about being in the Hall of Fame, I’€™m really excited about my number being retired, extremely humble and proud,” he said. “It doesn’€™t happen very often, to actually have a number retired forever in the big leagues.”

— Colin Cowherd is the latest big-name personality to part ways with ESPN, with the network announcing Thursday that the host of the “The Herd” midway show on ESPN Radio since 2004 would not be re-signed. Multiple reports indicate he is likely to resurface at Fox Sports.

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Read More: Colin Cowherd, Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Injured Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul in limbo as deadline passes with no new deal

07.16.15 at 8:14 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.

Cycling: Tour de France, 6 a.m. (NBCSN)
Golf: British Open, 7 a.m. (ESPN)


— While major deals were handed out to the likes of Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston, Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant and Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas before Wednesday afternoon’s deadline for NFL players with franchise tags, there was notable silence from the Giants and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.

Pierre-Paul’s status remains in limbo after he lost his right index finger and severely injured his right thumb in a fireworks accident July 4. Although the team reportedly has not rescinded its $14.8 million franchise tag offer, there is no long-term deal.

The team reportedly already had been leaning toward letting Pierre-Paul play under the franchise tag in 2015 and then negotiating a new contract after the season. Following Pierre-Paul’s injury and the uncertainty about when he’ll be able to return, it apparently made the decision easy.

Pierre-Paul has not signed the franchise tender, which is worth $14.8 million, so he is not on the team’s official roster. He reportedly plans to hold off signing the tender until he’s sure he can pass the team’s physical, which would mean the team could not place him on the non-football injury (NFI) list. If Pierre-Paul goes on the NFI list, he would be required to miss at least the first six games, for which he would not be paid.

On the other hand, until he signs the tender he cannot participate in any team activities, including working with new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to learn the team’s new defense. Pierre-Paul had skipped the team’s offseason workouts and practices in the spring.

The sides are expected to work toward a settlement that would allow Pierre-Paul to receive a guaranteed deal worth less than the franchise number that would avoid the NFI list.

Pierre-Paul, 26, had 12 1/2 sacks last season. He has 42 sacks in his five-year career.

— According to reports out of Switzerland, former FIFA executive Jeffrey Webb was extradited to the United States to face charges of bribery.

Switzerland’s Federal Office of Justice announced that an unnamed individual was handed over to three U.S. police officers Wednesday to be accompanied on a flight to New York, where he is expected to appear in court Thursday or Friday. A number of media outlets reported that it is Webb, who had served as president of the Central and North American soccer federation (CONCACAF).

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Read More: Jason Pierre-Paul, Kenneth Webb,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Bills place OL coach Aaron Kromer on paid leave after weekend arrest

07.15.15 at 8:11 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.

WNBA: Stars at Liberty, 11 a.m. (NBATV)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)


Aaron Kromer

Aaron Kromer

— The Bills placed offensive line coach Aaron Kromer on paid administrative leave following his arrest over the weekend for allegedly punching a boy in the face in a dispute over beach chairs in Florida.

“We have been in regular discussions with the league office and have decided to place Aaron on indefinite paid administrative leave in accordance with the league’s personal conduct policy while we continue to work our way through the investigative process with the league,” Bills president Russ Brandon said in a statement Tuesday.

According to TMZ, Kromer’s 21-year-old son, Zach, was charged with battery for his part in the incident.

Kromer stands accused of pushing one of the boys down, punching him in the face, then telling him he would kill his family if he revealed what happened.

— Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson was arrested for DUI for the second time this year when he was stopped in Los Angeles early Tuesday morning.

Lawson allegedly was traveling at a high rate of speed on a Hollywood highway around 2 a.m. when he was pulled over and displayed several signs of intoxication.

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Read More: Aaron Kromer, DaMarcus Beasley, Jozy Altidore, Ty Lawson

Could decision on Tom Brady’s appeal be upon us? Glenn Ordway thinks so

07.14.15 at 4:10 pm ET
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Is the big news about to break?

Appearing on Dennis & Callahan Tuesday morning, Glenn Ordway said that according to one of his sources there was a very good possibility that the decision regarding Tom Brady‘s appeal coming down either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Ordway, who correctly revealed when the Wells Report would be released, suggested at various times throughout D&C Tuesday (including at the 4:47 mark of the above audio) that it was his understanding that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was ready to announce his findings when it came to whether or not the four-game suspension handed down to Brady would be upheld.

When do you think the decision on Tom Brady's appeal will be announced?

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Adam Schefter explains why he tweeted Jason Pierre-Paul’s medical records

07.14.15 at 11:20 am ET
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In the wake of Jason Pierre-Paul‘s fireworks accident, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has come under fire for his discretion regarding confidential medical files.

After Pierre-Paul had his right index finger amputated, Schefter tweeted a photo of his medical records, detailing the time and nature of the procedure. Many thought Schefter violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA laws) governing the confidentiality of medical records, but they do not apply to the media.

Schefter talked to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch and defended his actions.

“This was a public figure and franchise player involved in a widely speculated accident with potential criminal behavior in which there was a cone of secrecy that surrounded him for five days that not even his own team could crack,” Schefter said.

“The extent of his injuries were going to come to light, maybe that day or later that week, but soon. They’€™re horrific injuries, incredibly unfortunate for the player. But in a day and age in which pictures and videos tell stories and confirm facts, in which sources and their motives are routinely questioned, and in which reporters strive to be as accurate as possible, this was the ultimate supporting proof.”

Furthermore, according to Schefter, he never requested the images, they came to him.

Jackson Memorial Hospital, the site of Pierre-Paul’s surgery, is undertaking an internal investigation to find the source of the leak.

“If we confirm Jackson employees or physicians violated a patient’€™s legal right to privacy,” hospital CEO Carlos Migoya said, ‘€œthey will be held accountable, up to and including possible termination. We do not tolerate violations of this kind.”

Read More: Adam Schefter, Jason Pierre-Paul,

Bruce Bochy baseball’s best manager according to survey, Terry Francona third

07.14.15 at 11:19 am ET
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Bruce Bochy

Bruce Bochy

According to a recent survey done by, Bruce Bochy is the best manager in the MLB.

The survey consisted of 50 scouts, front-office executives, big-league coaches and media analysts. Respondents rated each manager on a series of categories, with longevity, championships and leadership cited as the most important qualities.

Bochy emerged victorious, earning 24.2 percent of the vote. Behind him were Buck Showalter (21.5 percent), former Red Sox manager Terry Francona (12.8 percent) and Joe Maddon (12.5 percent). No other managers earned a double-digit percentage, but some other highlights included Joe Girardi, who finished eighth with 3.5 percent, and current Red Sox manager John Farrell, who rounded out the top third with 2.2 percent.

According to one National League executive, Bochy instills confidence in his players and gives them the tools to succeed.

“His players play hard and buy into what’s best for the team,” the executive said. “He’s a great strategist, and he’s able to use young players and castoffs with confidence. He has a calm demeanor, but he knows when to create urgency and play the hot hand.”

As the Giants manager, Bochy owns a 713-672 record over nine years. His playoff record is stellar at 34-14 and he has led the team to three titles in the last five years.

Aside from best overall manager, survey respondents weighed in on a variety of other classifications. Bochy was also voted “Best at Handling a Pitching Staff,” meanwhile Showalter was regarded as the “Best Tactician.” Otherwise, the “Best at Relating to Players” was Francona and the “Best at Using the Entire 25-man Roster” was a tie between Showalter and Bochy. Maddon earned the title of “Most Creative Manager” in a landslide and Clint Hurdle was voted “Best at Developing Young Players.”

Read More: Bruce Bochy, Buck Showalter, Clint Hurdle, Joe Girardi

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Fan sues MLB for more protection against foul balls

07.14.15 at 8:06 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: All-Star Game, 8 p.m. (Fox)
Soccer: Gold Cup, Jamaica vs. El Salvador, 6 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Gold Cup, Canada vs. Costa Rica, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: International Champions Cup, Club America at San Jose, 10:30 p.m. (FS1)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)


— A baseball fan in Oakland filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to force Major League Baseball to extend the safety netting at all ballparks to protect fans from foul balls and bats.

Gail Payne, an A’s season-ticket holder in Section 211 along the first-base line at Coliseum, claims three or four balls each game enter her section, which is past the point where the safety netting ends.

Payne, who has been attending A’s games since 1968, seeks no money, only for MLB to extend the netting from foul pole to foul pole.

“She fears for her and her husband’s safety and particularly for her daughter,” the lawsuit reads. “She is constantly ducking and weaving to avoid getting hit by foul balls or shattered bats.”

Two fans at Fenway Park suffered bloody injuries to their head in the past month, one from a broken bat and the other by a foul ball.

Major League Baseball responded to the lawsuit with a statement repeating its previous assertion that it has been discussing safety with teams.

“Fan safety is our foremost goal for all those who choose to support our game by visiting our ballparks, and we always strive for that experience to be safe and fan-friendly,” the statement read. “Major League Baseball is in the process of re-evaluating all issues pertaining to fan safety, comfort and expectations.”

— Florida State president John Thrasher met with the school’s football team Monday, after two embarrassing arrests in the past week, and warned the players that they must behave themselves.

Sophomore running back Dalvin Cook and freshman quarterback De’Andre Johnson both were charged with punching women in separate incidents. Cook, who had two previous run-ins with the law, was suspended while Johnson was kicked off the team.

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Read More: Ryan O'Reilly,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Bills consider options after arrest of OL coach Aaron Kromer

07.13.15 at 8:01 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: All-Star Home Run Derby, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Gold Cup, Panama vs. United States, 9:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Gold Cup, Haiti vs. Honduras, 7 p.m. (FS1)


Aaron Kromer

Aaron Kromer

— The Bills are considering how to deal with offense line coach Aaron Kromer, who was arrested early Sunday morning after allegedly punching a boy in the face during an incident in Florida.

“We are aware of the report and in the process of gathering the facts,” the Bills said in a statement.

According to police in Defuniak Springs, Florida, Kromer and his son confronted three boys who were fishing Saturday night, angry about their use of the Kromers’ beach chairs. Kromer, 48, grabbed the boys’ fishing pole and threw it in the water, then shoved one of the boys to the ground and punched him in the face.

The boy said the 6-foot-4 Kromer threatened to kill his family if he told police what happened.

A Fox Sports report quotes a source as saying Kromer was upset about his chairs being stolen and reacted when he was threatened.

“It was dark out. He couldn’t see the people,” a source said. “The kids were belligerent and threatened him. Bottom line, they stole his property and he couldn’t identify them because it was dark out and they threatened him.”

Kromer joined the Bills in January following two seasons as offensive coordinator for the Bears. He previously coached for the Buccaneers and Saints, serving as interim head coach of the Saints for the first six games of the 2012 season.

LeBron James, recently re-signed by the Cavaliers, said Sunday that he’s not yet over the NBA Finals loss to the Warriors.

“I just don’t feel like you ever move on from losing in the Finals, because you feel like you’re right there and feel like you have the opportunity to do something special,” James said in an interview on Sirius XM’s Bleacher Report Radio, adding: “I can never get away from losing in the Finals.”

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Read More: Aaron Kromer, Donovan McNabb, LeBron James,

Thinking Out Loud: Rhode Island should not pay for new PawSox stadium

07.10.15 at 10:38 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering what it would take to get my mug, or other body parts, in the ESPN The Body issue.

— The “listening tour” has begun, as the ownership group of the PawSox is traveling through the 39 cities and towns in Rhode Island to state its case for a new stadium. That sounds great, but I don’t believe the owners are hearing the words coming out of our mouths: NOT AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE. That is all.

— Here’s at least part of the reason why the taxpayers shouldn’t foot ANY PART of the bill for a new stadium — Rhode Island has the third-worst roads in the country, with 45 percent deemed in poor condition, according to a national analysis released this week by TRIP. This costs drivers an extra $637 annually. So traffic is increasing, faster than the population is increasing, roads and bridges are crumbling and state highway tolls have been shot down by the legislature as a way to pay for repairs. Perfect.

— Oh, and the state already ranks in the nation’s bottom 10 (ninth worst) for business. But let’s put a new stadium on the backs of taxpayers anyway, because taxpayers can always be played for suckers.

— I did see where the state issued an RFP (request for proposal) for a state tourism brand this week. Look no further than right here, Governor Raimondo — Rhode Island, the “We love baseball and we love our beaches, but we’ve had enough” state.

— Speaking of a state, we’ve had a soccer state of mind this summer, from the USA claiming the women’s World Cup title to the U.S. men’s national team taking the pitch at Gillette Stadium for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Get on board the bandwagon or get lost in the shuffle.

— And then there are the New England Revolution, who always seem to get lost in the MLS shuffle every season at this time. After extending a 17-match unbeaten streak at home before a loss two weeks ago, the Revs now are in the midst of a five-game losing streak and have dropped six of seven since the end of May. It’s their annual June swoon into July.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: PG Deron Williams reportedly eager to leave Nets for Mavericks

07.10.15 at 8:03 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: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Nationals at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: Gold Cup, Haiti at United States, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 8 a.m. (ESPN)


— According to an ESPN report, Deron Williams wants to leave the Nets to join his hometown Mavericks, a move that would impact the Celtics in a number of ways.

The Celtics own the Nets‘ and Mavericks’ first-round picks next summer, although the Dallas pick is top-seven protected. Brooklyn reportedly is eager to part ways with Williams and swingman Joe Johnson — ideally via a trade so the Nets rid themselves completely of the overpriced contracts. With no apparent takers for Williams, the Nets’ second-best option is to orchestrate a buyout of the final two years and $43.3 million of his deal — a process ESPN reports has begun. That could allow Brooklyn to get under the salary cap and avoid paying the whopping “repeater tax.”

It also could send Brooklyn — barely a playoff team last season after parting ways with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett — into lottery land and give the Celtics the top-10 pick they covet.

The Mavericks, with a hole at point guard after the failed Rajon Rondo experiment, are said to be very interested in signing Williams as a free agent, despite his disappointing performance with the Nets since he signed as a free agent in 2012. Last season Williams averaged 13.3 points and 6.6 assists while shooting a career-low 38.7 percent from the field. He’s also struggled with injuries.

The Cavaliers are said to be interested in Johnson, although that acquisition would push Cleveland way over the luxury tax and leave that franchise with a major luxury tax penalty.

And perhaps Brooklyn’s opening at point guard also might create a scenario where the C’s look to send one of their many young guards there.

Phil Kessel was the subject of critical stories after he was trade from the Bruins to the Maple Leafs in 2009, and now that he’s been traded by the Leafs to the Penguins, the negative stories are starting to emerge from Toronto.

Former Leafs forward Colby Armstrong said it was difficult at times to share the ice with the offensively gifted Kessel (which Armstrong did in 2010-11 and 2011-12).

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Read More: Colby Armstrong, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Phil Kessel