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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Rex Ryan declares Bills have ‘won the offseason’

06.17.16 at 8:16 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Mariners at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Pirates at Cubs, 2 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Rangers at Cardinals, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: Copa America quarterfinals, Peru vs. Colombia, p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: European Championship, Italy vs. Sweden, 8:30 a.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European Championship, Czech Republic vs. Croatia, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European Championship, Spain vs. Turkey, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Golf: U.S. Open, 10 a.m (Fox), 5 p.m. (Fox)

AROUND THE WEB:

Rex Ryan

Rex Ryan

— Even if it were true, it would seem to be a silly statement to make: “We’ve won the offseason.” But Rex Ryan’s reputation is not as a coach who takes the time to think through his statements.

The Bills boss, who earlier this week brushed off a comment that he was on the hot seat, predicted Thursday he would be ridiculed for his latest statement of bravado, especially considering two key players — first-round pick Shaq Lawson (shoulder surgery) and wide receiver Sammy Watkins (broken foot) — are dealing with injuries, running back Karlos Williams showed up to minicamp overweight (blaming pig-out sessions with his pregnant wife) and cornerback Stephon Gilmore is unhappy about his contract situation.

Ryan said he normally is eager to go on vacation when minicamp ends, but this year is different.

“I can’t wait to get the season started,” Ryan told the media Thursday. “I’m just telling you right now: Forget the vacation. I wish it was shorter. And I mean it. I’m excited about this team. Obviously a lot of things have to happen and we’re a month or so away. I told our players today to ‘win July.’ We’ve won the offseason. I would challenge any team. I think we’ve won the offseason. But we need to win July. That’s when everybody is by themselves, on their own but doing the things to be in great shape when we get to camp, let’s avoid those injuries we had last year.

“I think we’re committed as a group. That ‘All in’ mantra, I know it gets used a bunch but I feel it’s appropriate for our team.”

Added Ryan: “That’s one of those things I shouldn’t say because they’re going to kill me anyway. But we’re on vacation so nobody’s going to read it anyway.”

Ryan is coming off an 8-8 season in his first year in Buffalo after leaving the Jets, and the Bills have not made the playoffs in 16 years. But Ryan — never one to lack confidence — made it clear he wasn’t just comparing this team to past Bills squads.

“I’ll challenge other teams, too,” he said. “I’ve been on a lot of teams. But I’ve been blown away by this group. I really have.

“I don’t know about these other teams. I’m sure they’ve had some great camps, too. But I’ve been really impressed with this group.”

— Thursday was a tough day for Stephen Curry. Not only did his Warriors lose Game 6 of the NBA Finals, he was thrown out of the game after barking at an official and throwing his mouthpiece. Then after the game he found out that his father-in-law nearly had his credential confiscated when he arrived at Quicken Loans Arena in an apparent case of mistaken identity.

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Read More: Rex Ryan, Stephen Curry,

U.S. soccer beats Ecuador to advance to Copa America semifinals

06.17.16 at 12:24 am ET
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Clint Dempsey scored Team USA's first goal of the game. (USA Today Sports)

Clint Dempsey scored Team USA’s first goal of the game. (USA Today Sports)

The U.S. men’s soccer team will be one of the last four standing in the Americas, but its foul-ridden victory against Ecuador in the Copa America Centenario quarterfinal came at a major price.

Punching their ticket with a 2-1 victory against a worldwide top-15 squad at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, the Americans will see the semifinal of a non-Gold Cup international tournament for the second time since 1995.

However, they will be without 23-year-old offensive threat Bobby Wood, as well as two of their strongest midfielders in Jermaine Jones and Alejandro Bedoya, for their semifinal match against the winner of the Argentina-Venezuela quarterfinal. Jones will also be unavailable for the final, should the U.S. men’s team make it past the penultimate game.

The German-born American Jones received a swift red card after partaking in a 52nd-minute scuffle with Antonio Valencia, who was also sent off after receiving his second yellow card of the match.

Wood then received a yellow card a minute later for unsporting behavior, which combined with a yellow card in the group stage, will place him on the bench alongside Jones in the semifinal. Bedoya will also be benched due to yellow card accumulation, as a rough challenge in the 73rd minute earned him a flash of yellow. These were on top of a yellow given to Ecuador’s Juan Carlos Paredes in the 64th minute, as well as U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan in the 84th for time wasting.

While the stat sheet does not credit him, Wood was a nightmare for Ecuador, as he used his speed and physicality to fend off defenders and create chances from the first 20 minutes onwards.

The Hawaiian’s persistence would pay off, as he became the facilitator of the first goal of the match. He dribbled deep into the box before rolling it back out to Jones, who constantly threatened La Tri’s midfield with five steals in his 52 minutes of play. The Colorado Rapids midfielder then fired a cross right to Clint Dempsey, who positioned himself at the penalty spot to head the ball into the the top right corner of the net.

Wood would later provide his services in the 63rd minute, crossing one from the left corner flag at the up and coming LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes. There, Zardes went back and forth with Dempsey in front of netminder Alexander Dominguez and potted his first goal of the tournament. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Clint Dempsey, copa america, usa soccer,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Fan violence continues to mar Euro 2016

06.16.16 at 8:23 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Mariners at Rays, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Rangers at Athletics, 3:35 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Yankees at Twins, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA Finals: Warriors at Cavaliers, 9 p.m. (ABC)
Soccer: Copa America quarterfinal, United States vs. Ecuador, 9:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: European Championship, England vs. Wales, 8:30 a.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European Championship, Ukraine vs. Northern Ireland, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European Championship, Germany vs. Poland, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Golf: U.S. Open, 10 a.m. (FS1), 5 p.m. (Fox)

AROUND THE WEB:

— UEFA’s warning to England apparently had little effect, as English hooligans and others struck again at the European Championship on Wednesday night in Lille, France, leading to 16 injuries and 37 arrests.

Police used tear gas and charged at chanting fans in an attempt to disperse the crowd, some of whom lit flares and bangers.

“UEFA regrets the skirmishes which occurred in Lille last night,” the governing body said in a statement Thursday morning. “Police forces made several arrests and were quick to restore order and keep the situation under control.”

England and Wales are scheduled to play Thursday afternoon in the nearby city of Lens. Many fans are staying in Lille, which is much larger. The shuttering of bars and a ban on drinking in the street the evening before the match — along with the presence of English police who were sent to help — was not enough to stop the violence.

Some Russian fans — another group that was warned by UEFA last weekend — also were involved in an incident in Lille, with one throwing a flare at a group of English fans following Russia’s loss to Slovakia in the same city.

UEFA threatened to disqualify England and Russia from the tournament after violent incidents involving the countries’ fans before and during the teams’ 1-1 tie Saturday.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn asked England and Wales fans to show “consideration and respect,” especially following the murder of two French police officers by a terrorist earlier this week.

“The big story wasn’t fans in Lille, it was the murder of two French policemen [by a lone attacker in Paris],” Glenn said. “A message to all English fans, Welsh fans too, is that the French are trying to deal with a real security threat. So, behave responsibility, come and enjoy the game, but just have a think about the wider position. Show consideration and respect.”

— Ichiro Suzuki passed Pete Rose with his 4,257th career hit in the Marlins’ 6-3 loss to the Padres on Wednesday night, although 1,278 of those hits came during his nine years in Japan’s Pacific League.

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Read More: Craig Sager, Euro 2016, Ichiro Suzuki, Pete Rose

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Bills’ Rex Ryan brushes off speculation about being on hot seat, insisting, ‘I’m a hell of a coach’

06.15.16 at 8:13 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Rockies, 3 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Nationals, 6 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: European Championship, Russia vs. Slovakia, 8:30 a.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European Championship, Romania vs. Switzerland, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European Championship, France vs. Albania, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Rex Ryan

Rex Ryan

— During an appearance on a national radio show last week, Bills legend Jim Kelly predicted that Rex Ryan would be “probably looking for another job” if Buffalo did not make the playoffs this season.

Ryan responded Tuesday in typical Rex Ryan style, joking, “I don’t like him anymore,” before declaring his job safe.

“You know what, I think if you ask Jim, I think Jim knows I’m a hell of a coach and a good coach for this team and this community,” Ryan said. “I think he’d tell you that, I hope he would. I’m going to call him first.”

Ryan said the media appears too focused on the negative, but he’s confident the team will be successful.

“I’m definitely the [glass-is-] half-full guy,” he said. “I expect some great things out of this team, and I’m going to be shocked if it doesn’t happen. I think our whole division has improved. I don’t know how much New England’s improved. Obviously, they’re right at the top every year, so I hope they don’t improve much. I think Miami’s gotten better, I think the Jets have gotten better.

“But it’s amazing the focus is on [Ryan’s future if the Bills don’t reach the postseason]. I don’t know. My focus is on, let’s go get every one of them. … When I go to bed at night, I’m thinking about bigger and better things than 8-8, I can promise you that.”

One of things Ryan was thinking about Tuesday was the condition of running back Karlos Williams, who has been gaining weight this offseason. Williams said it was because his wife was pregnant and he ate alongside her.

“It definitely is a first, but I like to eat and then her being pregnant gave me an excuse to eat, so eating anything and everything,” Williams said. “She’d wake up, 1 or 2 o’clock, ‘I want a snack.’ Well, I’m not going to sit here and watch you eat because I don’t want you to feel bad, but it’s back to football. She’s getting back to working out herself, so kind of motivating each other, feed off each other’s energy, and we’re getting ready for camp.”

Ryan said Williams was “clearly overweight” but would not give a number. Williams skipped team drills Tuesday to work with a strength coach on the sideline.

“Obviously he’s not anywhere close to where he needs to play at a high level,” Ryan said. “So we’ve got to get some weight off him and he certainly understands that.”

— Seahawks coach Pete Carroll acknowledged that former NBA player Nate Robinson tried out with the team Monday, adding that it’s highly unlikely the onetime Celtic will fulfill his dream of playing in the NFL despite his athleticism and determination.

“I think it’s all but impossible,” Carroll said. “It’s as hard as you could possibly get. He’s 32 as well. I don’t know if anybody could do it. But if anybody could, it might be Nate. He’s that versatile an athlete and that great a competitor.”

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Read More: Darren McFadden, Karlos Williams, Nate Robinson, Rex Ryan

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Ex-Celtic Nate Robinson reportedly has NFL tryout with Seahawks

06.14.16 at 8:34 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Phillies at Blue Jays, 12:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Nationals, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Fever at Lynx, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Copa America, Chile vs. Panama, 8 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Copa America, Argentina vs. Bolivia, 10 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: European Championship, Austria vs. Hungary, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: European Championship, Portugal vs. Iceland, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Nate Robinson

Nate Robinson

— Former Celtics guard Nate Robinson has talked a lot about giving pro football a try. On Monday, he finally took that step, participating in a tryout with the Seahawks, according to a report in The Washington Post.

The 32-year-old Robinson, who had been playing basketball this year in Israel after 11 NBA seasons, indicated two months ago that he planned to make a serious run at the NFL. He’s no stranger to football, having originally attended the University of Washington on a football scholarship. As a freshman he played in 13 games as a cornerback, starting the final six, but then quit the gridiron to focus on basketball.

A Seattle native, the 5-foot-9 Robinson is best known for winning three NBA slam dunk competitions. The Celtics acquired him in February 2010 and he made a big contribution in the Eastern Conference finals against the Magic to help the C’s each the NBA Finals (where they lost to the Lakers).

The Post reported that the Seahawks are unlikely to sign Robinson immediately, but the sides are expected to stay in touch.

— Rajon Rondo has built a reputation as a player who drives coaches crazy. This season, however, he was on the outside watching another player struggle to have a working relationship with his superior.

Rondo told ESPN that the tension between center DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings coaching staff was something he had not seen before.

“Too much tension,” Rondo said. “I’ve never witnessed or experienced a thing like that in my 10-year career.”

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Read More: DeMarcus Cousins, Nate Robinson, rajon rondo,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Sports world reacts to Orlando tragedy

06.13.16 at 8:14 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA Finals: Cavaliers at Warriors, 9 p.m. (ABC)
MLB: Cubs at Nationals, 7:05 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Copa America, Mexico vs. Venezuela, 8 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Copa America, Uruguay vs. Jamaica, 10 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: UEFA, Spain vs. Czech Republic, 8:30 a.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: UEFA, Ireland vs. Sweden, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: UEFA, Belgium vs. Italy, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— LeBron James took time out from his spat with the Warriors to express his condolences to the families of the victims in the Orlando mass shooting, one of many in the sports world to weigh in on the tragedy.

“It’s another hit for us as Americans and what we have to deal with in our world today,” James said. “It definitely puts things in perspective on basketball for myself; it’s just a small matter of what reality really is. My prayers to all the lost ones and all the ones that are recovering from this morning’s tragedy in Orlando.”

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, who started his career in Orlando, checked in on Twitter: My thoughts & prayers go out to my Orlando LGBT community brothers and sisters during this senseless act of violence. Love is Love!

Tweeted current Magic forward Aaron Gordon: Pray for those directly effected by shootings! Give them the courage to act out of compassion in order to stop a cyclical trend of violence.

The Magic organization tweeted a photo of the Orlando skyline with the hashtag PrayForOrlando. Wrote the team: We mourn those that we lost today. And we are inspired by how our community has banded together.

Texans defensive end J.J. Watt termed the shooting “madness,” while Heat guard Dwyane Wade called the situation “just awful.”

A moment of silence was held before a number of events Sunday, including Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final in San Jose.

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player selected in the NFL draft, posted his thoughts on Instagram, writing: Let this hateful act of terror on the #LGBTQ community be a wake up call for America. Men and women of all races, ages, and sexual orientation are being slaughtered because of hate crimes. How many more must die from a hate crime? We need to create awareness for ALL to show that hate is not the foundation of our nation. Friends DO NOT let this coward put fear into your hearts!!! Let us all come together stronger than ever and let the world know that we will not be terrorized or bullied by the actions of hateful bigots. We are here to stay and fight not only for equality, but for our very existence. To the victims love ones of this terrible crime I and the entire #LGBTQ community in the world stands with you and mourns with you.

— Following an emergency meeting of UEFA, the Europen soccer governing body warned England and Russia that its teams could be expelled from the European Championship in France if their fans continue their streak of violence.

Russian fans attacked their English counterparts after their first match in Group B in Marseille. According to authorities, four of the many wounded suffered serious injuries, including one who was in serious but stable condition, and 15 people were arrested.

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Thinking Out Loud: Despite brash style, Muhammad Ali worth admiring for standing by his principles

06.10.16 at 5:34 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to the “real” Rocky, Chuck Wepner?

— “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” — Muhammad Ali

— To me, the above quote is precisely what encapsulates the person Muhammad Ali was. And they are words I’ve always tried to follow myself. I don’t have any personal experiences with Ali, as it seems countless thousands of sports writers and reporters were apparently blessed with, just my personal thoughts on a life and career that were beyond remarkable, but not without flaws.

— I didn’t even like Ali, who passed away last weekend at 74. I grew up rooting against him, instead choosing to cheer for Joe Frazier and even Jerry Quarry to give him his comeuppance. Competing in the ring many, many years ago with everyone trying to “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” I tried emulating Frazier I was so anti-Ali. His treatment of Frazier leading up to their first fight in 1971, calling him an “Uncle Tom,” was as insulting and unprofessional as it was racist.

— But it attracted the attention of the sporting world, if not the entire world. His introduction of trash-talking to the American sports consciousness was the complete opposite of how I was always coached to “behave” in competition. It took me a few years to realize what Ali probably was doing, and he used ABC’s Howard Cosell and guys like Frazier as whipping posts — or as straight men — for his literal punch lines.

— Despite his crass, loud and boisterous manner, Ali created a forum for many who could not speak, who could not find justice or equality, or who were disadvantaged merely because their skin was a different color. Early in his career, he went to extremes to make his points. But he stood up for his principles, which I later, grudgingly, learned to admire. After all, many still believe Ali was nothing more than a U.S. military draft-dodger in the early ’60s.

— Above all, however, he backed up his boastfulness like few others in history have managed to do. Like him or not, you have to respect his ability to walk the walk, after talking the talk.

— My admiration for his skills, in and out of the ring, grew considerably after Parkinson’s ravaged his physical self. Ali remained a world icon well into a new generation of fans and followers who knew little — if anything at all — about his boxing career. We may never see another personality like him, especially with our social media-driven world ready to chew you up and spit you out for outrageous comments, or standing up for your beliefs.

— “Don’t count the days — make the days count,” was how Ali lived. And I learned to embrace the philosophy.

— Here’s another one of my favorite Ali quotes: “A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” Amen. And rest in peace, champ.

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Hockey legend Gordie Howe dies at 88

06.10.16 at 12:54 pm ET
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Hockey legend Gordie Howe died on Friday. Howe, who suffered a stroke in 2014, was 88.

In 1946, at 18 years old, Howe signed a contract with the Red Wings that would begin a remarkable 26-year NHL career. Howe played with the Red Wings and Hartford Whalers, scoring 801 goals and recording 1,850 points, while being named to 23 All-Star teams and winning six MVP awards. In 25 years with the Red Wings, he won four Stanley Cups (1950, ’52, ’54 and ’55).

Howe first retired from the NHL in 1971, and in 1972 he was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. After a stint playing alongside sons Mark and Marty in the World Hockey Association — including two years with the New England Whalers — Howe made a return to the NHL in 1979 by playing a final season with the Hartford Whalers before retiring again at the age of 52. He retired with the most assists, points and games played in the NHL. He still has the record for most seasons and games played.

“He represented Detroit with pride and class,” Michigan governor Rick Snyder said in a statement. “In a city that cherishes its many champions, Howe was perhaps the most beloved.”

Off the ice, Howe was known for always taking time to greet fans and sign autographs.

“Gordie Howe was an incredible ambassador for the game of hockey,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “He was as fierce and competitive as they come but away from the rink he was truly engaging and personable and always enjoyed his interaction with the fans. … We will miss ‘Mr. Hockey,’ who was the greatest Red Wing of all time.”

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Streaking Yankees stung by another injury at 1B

06.10.16 at 8:24 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Twins, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Tigers at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Rangers at Mariners, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
College baseball: Super Regionals, Boston College vs. Miami, 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
College baseball: Super Regionals, Arizona vs. Mississippi State, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
College baseball: Super Regionals, East Carolina vs. Texas Tech, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
College baseball: Super Regionals, TCU vs. Texas A&M, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA Finals: Warriors at Cavaliers, 9 p.m. (ABC)
Soccer: Copa America, Chile vs. Bolivia, 7 p.m. (Fox)
Soccer: Copa America, Argentina vs. Panama, 9:30 p.m. (Fox)
Soccer: Euro 2016, France vs. Romania, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Track and field: NCAA outdoor championships, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Chris Parmelee

Chris Parmelee

— Things have been looking up lately for the Yankees. On Thursday they complete a four-game sweep of the visiting Angels to improve their record to .500.

However, their injury woes at first base continued, as Chris Parmelee had to be helped off the field after suffering what appeared to be a serious right hamstring injury in the seventh inning of Thursday’s 6-3 win.

With Mark Teixeira (torn knee cartilage) and backup Dustin Ackley (shoulder) sidelined, and last year’s backup Greg Bird out for the season (shoulder surgery), Parmelee had stepped up, hitting two home runs in his first start Wednesday, then hitting an RBI single in the fifth inning Thursday. Two innings later, while on defense, he stretched to catch a throw from shortstop for the final out of the seventh inning and came up lame.

“I haven’t counted how many injuries we’ve had at first base, but as a teammate you feel bad when you see one of the guys go down like that,” outfielder Carlos Beltran said. “He was just trying to make the play, but unfortunately he ended up hurt. We just hope it’s not major.”

Manager Joe Girardi was not optimistic that Parmelee will be back on the field soon.

“I’m sure he’s going to have to get an MRI … but I would be completely shocked if he’s a player for us,” Girardi said, adding: “People ask about depth, but you’re usually not four-deep, five-deep at first base. It’s hard, but we have to find a way to overcome it.”

— Former Yale basketball captain Jack Montague, who missed the Bulldogs’ run to the NCAA Tournament, is suing the school for expelling him in February over a sexual assault allegation.

According to his lawsuit filed Thursday, Montague said he believed he had consensual sex with a fellow Yale student — with whom he already had an ongoing sexual relationship — on the night in question, and the school treated him harshly to show it was tough on sexual misconduct.

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Read More: Chris Parmelee, Dick Vitale, Jack Montague,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: James Shields routed, booed off field in White Sox debut

06.09.16 at 8:08 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
Stanley Cup Final: Sharks at Penguins, 8 p.m. (NBC)
MLB: Astros at Rangers, 2 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: Copa America, Uruguay vs. Venezuela, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Copa America, Mexico vs. Jamaica, 10 p.m. (FS1)
Track and field: NCAA outdoor championships, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Red Sox fans who were disappointed their team did not acquire veteran pitcher James Shields have to be feeling a little better following the right-hander’s debut with the White Sox on Wednesday night.

Shields, acquired from the Padres earlier in the week, was hit hard early and often and booed by Chicago fans in an 11-4 loss to the visiting Nationals.

The boos started after Shields walked the second batter of the game en route to a four-run first inning, intensified after each of the three home runs he allowed — three in four batters — and reached a crescendo when he was yanked after allowing a single to the leadoff batter in the third inning. Struggling with his fastball command, Shields was charged with seven runs on eight hits.

“You never want to come into a new team and expect to do that,” Shields said afterward, adding: “I didn’t give them a chance.”

Shields, who has struggled since signing a four-year, $75 million contract with the Padres before last season, failed to get out of the third inning in his final start with the Padres as well. His performance led to the White Sox losing for the 20th time in 26 games and falling under .500 for the first time this season.

“Maybe he came in here pressing to try to impress,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “We know he’s going to pitch better, but the first inning probably got to him somewhat.”

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Read More: James Shields, Klay Thompson,