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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Curt Schilling says Adam Jones is lying about racism at Fenway; LaVar Ball debuts Big Baller Brand signature shoe

05.05.17 at 8:55 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Friday 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.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB:
NY Yankees at Chicago Cubs, 2 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cleveland at Kansas City, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Boston at Minnesota, 8:10 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Cleveland at Toronto, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: San Antonio at Houston, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Nashville at St. Louis, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Edmonton at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB: 

— While making an appearance on Breitbart Radio Network on Thursday, Curt Schilling said he does not believe Adam Jones heard racial slurs at Fenway Park earlier this week.

“I think this is bull—-,” Schilling said. “I think this is somebody creating a situation … I say he’s lying. If he isn’t, I will apologize. I will absolutely apologize on the air and I will be sincere about it if it happens.”

Schilling also said he believes “for somebody to talk loud enough for Adam Jones to hear the N-word in center field, other people would have heard it.”

“I don’t believe the story, given the world we live in,” he continued. “I don’t believe it, for this reason: Everybody is starving and hungry to sit in front of a camera and talk and be social justice warriors. And if a fan yelled loud enough in center field for Adam Jones to hear the N-word, I guarantee you we would’ve heard and seen fans around on CNN on MSNBC, they would’ve found multiple fans to talk about what a racist piece of junk Boston is.”

Schilling also tweeted about his position on the matter:

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Read More: Curt Schilling, LaVar Ball,

ESPN’s Sara Walsh announces lay off news on day she would’ve returned from maternity leave

05.04.17 at 3:10 pm ET
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ESPN laid off dozens of reporters last week. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

ESPN laid off dozens of reporters last week. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

It must have been a whirlwind couple of weeks for ESPN’s Sara Walsh.

The “SportsCenter” anchor was slated to return from maternity leave Thursday. But instead, she announced she was a part the company’s layoffs.

“I was truly excited to return to work today from maternity leave with the twins,” she said in an Instagram post. “Unfortunately, I will not be coming back as I was included in the recent layoffs. Much appreciation to those I worked with, and especially those who watched.”

Walsh joined ESPN in 2010. She previously worked in Georgia, Nashville and Washington D.C.

Several “SportsCenter” anchors have been included in the mound of layoffs, such as Jay Crawford, Jaymee Sire and Jade McCarthy. ESPN plans to pay laid off employees for the duration of their contracts, provided they don’t take another job in sports media.

Read More: ESPN,

Jay Cutler reportedly wants to announce football games now

05.04.17 at 1:44 pm ET
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Jay Cutler only played in five games last season. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Jay Cutler only played in five games last season. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

It appeared unlikely Jay Cutler was going to get a job playing quarterback this year. So now, he’s reportedly setting his sights towards the announcer’s booth.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson, Cutler, 34, flew to Los Angeles and auditioned with Fox on Thursday about a role next season on the network’s NFL coverage. NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo was the first to report Cutler’s interest in broadcasting.

With John Lynch being named general manager of the 49ers, Fox has been looking for a color analyst to join its No. 2 team with Kevin Burkhardt. Last month, CBS signed former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to replace Phil Simms as its lead analyst.

Few players are more polarizing than Cutler, whose eight-year career in Chicago was mired by turnovers and silly off-field controversies. Though he owns almost every Bears passing record, they only reached the playoffs once under him.

Numerous clubs, including the Jets and Browns, have been in contact with Cutler this offseason. But as training camp inches closer, it doesn’t seem as if he’s any closer to landing a gig. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported last week the Texans never even returned his calls.

Fortunately for Cutler, he doesn’t appear too stressed about his unemployment.

“Good times, no tan lines. Let the sea set you free” – @tony2coats

A post shared by Kristin Cavallari (@kristincavallari) on

Read More: Fox Sports, Jay Cutler,

SNL’s Michael Che invites Adam Jones to Boston show, says audience will be frisked for ‘racist contraband’

05.04.17 at 12:04 pm ET
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“Saturday Night Live” weekend update host Michael Che once called Boston the “most racist city he’s ever been to.” This week’s alleged racial incident involving Adam Jones at Fenway Park has only seemed to embolden him.

In an Instagram post, Che invites Jones to his show at the Wilbur Theatre June 13, pledging the audience will be frisked for “batteries, bananas and all other old timey racist throwing contraband.” Che also asked Mayor Marty Walsh to attend.

In March, Walsh proposed meeting with Che to discuss the comedian’s grievances.

“He’s clearly had some bad experiences in this city, in this state, because I think it’s more than Boston,” he said on Boston Public Radio. “But, hopefully, I’d love to sit down and talk to him about it and express what we’ve done in the city and the things that we’ve done over the last three years with the race dialogues and diversity office. That won’t erase his experience but what it will do is help us understand better.”

Jones said fans at Fenway Park called him the N-word a “handful” of times and threw a bag of peanuts on him following Monday night’s game between the Red Sox and Orioles. On Wednesday, Red Sox president Sam Kennedy said a fan has been banned for life after he had directed a racial slur at another fan.

Read More: Adam Jones,

LeBron James says he’s never heard racism in Boston

05.04.17 at 10:12 am ET
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TMZLeBron James says he’s never been target of racist taunts in Boston — but he feels for athletes who have — and says he’s PROUD of the fans and athletes trying to put a stop to it.

The NBA superstar addressed the media after his Cavs stomped the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of their playoff series … and said the incident at Fenway Park with Adam Jones is a “delicate situation.”

“Racism we know exists,” said LeBron who also explained why it’s important to talk about these matters in the media.

He also talked about what he says to his kids when it comes to dealing with racism — and why superstars like himself need to be leaders when it comes to racial issues.

“I’ve been to Boston, I’ve played in Boston a lot,” LeBron said. ” … I can’t recall me ever hearing something that was racism towards me.”

LeBron did a good job giving a well-rounded response to this issue. He could have simply moved on and refused to talk about it, especially since he said he’s been out of the loop recently, but he didn’t. He addressed it head-on and gave his honest experience of Boston and its sports fans. Good for him.

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Sean Spicer uses Patriots to bash Hillary Clinton; Woman hit by bullet during Cardinals game

05.04.17 at 8:49 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:
Oakland at Minnesota, 1:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB:
Philadelphia at Chicago Cubs, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB:
Baltimore at Boston, 7:10 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Boston at Washington, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA:
Utah at Golden State, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL:
Ottawa at NY Rangers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— During his daily press briefing earlier this week, friend of WEEI Sean Spicer referenced the Patriots when answering a question about Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Clinton said recently she believes she could have won the election over Donald Trump had FBI director James Comey not announced he was reopening the investigation into her emails so close to Election Day. She said she thinks she would have won if the election had been held on October 27, before Comey did this.

In response to a question from the press about these comments, Spicer said, “I’m a Patriots fan and I think if games ended in the 3rd quarter, there would have been a different team here last week. But you play a game 4 quarters and you play an election until election day.”

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Read More: New England Patriots, St. Louis Cardinals,

ICYMI: Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez reunite for all-time awkward interview

05.03.17 at 5:30 pm ET
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At first, it is CLEAR Jeter and A-Rod dislike each other, or at least it’s Jeter who has zero interest in being anywhere near A-Rod. Jeter doesn’t even smile until twenty seconds into this when the reporter asks if the two are friends now and he lets out the fakest fake laugh I’ve ever heard. Meanwhile, A-Rod has been grinning the whole time.

Actually, Rodriguez seems absolutely jazzed to be there, which makes Jeter’s standoffish approach to this interview even more apparent. A-Rod’s cracking jokes and grinning and slapping his knees with laughter and giddiness, while Jeter is counting the minutes until this is over. As the interview goes on, it seems the two bond over a shared annoyance with the CNBC reporter, who is a disaster.

The reporter even called Jeter “Alex.” He called DEREK JETER “Alex.” And it took him A FEW SECONDS to correct himself. DEREK JETER. Geez.

Also, listen to this clown interviewer’s segue from the charities the two are representing to A-Rod’s appearance at the Met Gala the night before. He basically said, “I was going to ask you about your charities but A-Rod, you went to the Met Gala last night and that’s way more interesting so tell us about that.” I’m paraphrasing but that’s not far off. Smooth.

After this “interviewer” asked A-Rod if he went to the gala with Jennifer Lopez (which he did, duh) he turns to, again DEREK FREAKING JETER, and said, “So, you, uh, you’re working with the, uh, the foundation there?” Doesn’t even know the name of Derek Jeter’s foundation. This is what I call a prepared journalist. Jeter takes it all like a champ though because you can see in his eyes he knows he’s better than both of these guys. And he is.

AND THEN Jeter starts talking about his charity and A-Rod completely hijacks the whole thing and tells a story about when he visited Jeter’s charity in Kalamazoo. Jeter had barely even said what his charity does.

AND THEN after A-Rod had just minutes earlier said Jeter wasn’t at the Met Gala, this interviewer turned to Jeter and said, “Did you enjoy the Met Gala last night?” Jeter said he did not go. This could have been avoided had the interviewer been listening.

AND THEN he tried to ask A-Rod (again) if he enjoyed the Met Gala, but instead he said, “Did you enjoy the game?” THE GAME. I mean, come on, man. Can you BE any more awkward?

I loved every single second of this interview. It is such a disaster it’s almost a masterpiece. Judging by his performance, I don’t think this man has ever interviewed anyone before in his life, so congrats to him on scoring these two as his first interview ever.

Rob Parker on FS1: ‘Boston is the most racist sports town in America’

05.03.17 at 3:41 pm ET
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Adam Jones says he was called the N-word at Fenway Park Monday. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Adam Jones says he was called the N-word at Fenway Park Monday. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Rob Parker has weighed in on the Adam Jones situation. His commentary is as bombastic as one would expect.

During a segment Wednesday on FS1’s “Undisputed,” the former Detroit Free Press sports columnist laid into Boston, calling it hostile towards African-Americans athletes.

“Atlanta is the worst sports town in America, and Boston is the most racist sports town in America. It just is,” he said. “And it’s not just this situation, there’s a laundry list of things that have gone on in that town and how people were treated. PK Subban a couple of years ago, Joel Ward –– that happened.”

The Ward incident occurred in 2012, when the ex-Capitals forward eliminated the Bruins from the playoffs with an overtime goal in Game 7 of the series. Following the game-winner, he was pelted on Twitter with racist insults from Bruins fans. Two years later, Subban was also barraged with racial epithets, but research showed none of the eight offenders were from Boston.

Parker went on to reference the bigotry Bill Russell experienced in Boston during his playing career in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

“All you need to do is go to Bill Russell –– who played there and won 11 championships in 13 years –– who called the fan base ‘racist.’ Plain and simple.”

Anti-Boston commentary from Parker is nothing new. He was one of Tom Brady’s staunchest critics during the Deflategate saga, saying he’s “Lance Armstrong without the bicycle.” Parker brought up Deflategate again in the midst of his latest rant against the city.

“The pushback you always get from Boston is, ‘It’s not us; Ted Wells is a liar.’ It’s always somebody else,” he said. “The radio ‘foofs’ up there in Boston, Skip, had the nerve to ask the president of the Red Sox, ‘Did you hear it? Did you hear it?’ And question that Adam Jones, a 12-year vet, who has no history of nothing but playing baseball, is going to make up a story and they’re going to say, ‘Well, did you hear it?’”

Following the Orioles’ 5-2 win over the Red Sox Monday, Jones said fans called him the N-word a “handful” of times. The Red Sox issued a statement the next morning, saying the team is “sickened by the conduct of an ignorant few.”

A number of professional baseball players, including members of the Red Sox, have also said they’ve heard racial taunts at Fenway Park. Parker, who admittedly dislikes Boston, explained that most black athletes don’t want to play in the city.

“When I hear that stuff, it bothers me. But then again, Boston has never been one of my favorite towns,” he said. “If you talk to black athletes, most of the time [they say], ‘Hate that place. Don’t want to go up there.’ That’s just the way it is.”

Read More: Adam Jones, Rob Parker,

Aaron Hernandez’s alleged ‘murder car’ has been pulled from eBay

05.03.17 at 1:19 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez's alleged 'murder car' is no longer on eBay. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

Aaron Hernandez’s alleged ‘murder car’ is no longer on eBay. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

The silver SUV that was a center piece of Aaron Hernandez’s double-murder trial has been pulled from eBay without an explanation, the car’s owner says.

In an interview with the Boston Globe, Buddy Clair, who owns Westford Auto Sales and put the car on the website, said he found out about the post’s removal at 10:00 p.m. Tuesday. The infamous vehicle attracted 115 bidders and had reached $101,005 before eBay took it down.

“It’s valuable to somebody and somebody should have the right to own it without being criticized,’’ Clair told the Globe. “If we got lucky on this and sold it, we had talked about donating to the people that were involved in the history of it.”

The car’s listing billed it was the “REAL DEAL !!!,” saying it still contained police fingerprint dust. The winner of the auction was also supposed to be awarded $53,000.

Prosecutors say Hernandez was in the front passenger seat of the Toyota 4Runner when he killed Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in a drive-by shooting in Boston on July 16, 2012. Jack Fox, a Rhode Island car dealer, leased the car to the disgraced ex-NFL star in exchange for tickets and other perks.

Hernandez, who was acquitted of double-murder charges in April, hanged himself at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley two weeks ago. He was serving a life sentence for the 2013 Odin Lloyd shooting.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez,

Roger Goodell reportedly angered by ESPN’s Ed Werder firing

05.03.17 at 12:41 pm ET
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Former ESPN reporter Ed Werder says Roger Goodell reached out to him last week. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Former ESPN reporter Ed Werder says Roger Goodell reached out to him last week. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

ESPN’s decision to lay off several dozen employees last week sparked outrage across the sports media landscape. It also reportedly caught the attention of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who reportedly contacted one of the reporters who was let go.

On his “Doomsday Podcast,” former ESPN NFL reporter Ed Werder, who was the first prominent personality to announce his dismissal on Twitter, said a number of league executives and players reached out to him to express their condolences. One of the well-wishes was Goodell, which surprised the longtime reporter.

“He said he was angered by it,” Werder said. “I haven’t spoken to him yet, but that surprised me. And that tells me something about Roger Goodell as a human being.”

Werder went on to say he offered to be Goodell’s body guard if the commissioner visits Gillette Stadium on Opening Night. The Super Bowl champion Patriots host the Chiefs Sept. 7.

Ironically, ESPN’s gargantuan rights agreement with the NFL is one of the reasons why it was forced to trim millions of dollars from its payroll. The WorldWide Leader pays the league $1.9 billion annually to air “Monday Night Football” and use video highlights.

Read More: ESPN, Roger Goodell,