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Aaron Hernandez’s fiancee took his surname after Odin Lloyd killing

03.30.17 at 2:10 pm ET
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Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez (right) testified against Aaron Hernandez Thursday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez (right) testified against Aaron Hernandez Thursday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Aaron Hernandez’s fiancee took the stand Thursday in his double murder trial. Perhaps the most surprising revelation from her testimony wasn’t anything she said, but rather what she now calls herself.

Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez says she took on her childhood sweetheart’s surname in 2015, one year after he was convicted of first-degree murder for killing his friend and former semi-professional football player, Odin Lloyd. It was the first time she used Hernandez’s last name in a criminal court.

The prosecution peppered Jenkins Hernandez with questions about a call she received from Hernandez at 2:37 a.m. on July 16, 2012, minutes after the former Patriots tight end allegedly killed Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in a drive-by shooting. Much to Suffolk First Assistant District Attorney Patrick Haggan’s apparent frustration, Jenkins Hernandez claimed she doesn’t remember what she discussed with Hernandez after the 2012 slayings or after he shot his confidante, Alexander Bradley, in the eye in 2013.

Bradley, who testified against Hernandez last week, said the ex-football standout fired a gun at the two victims after Abreu spilled a drink on him at a nightclub. In February 2013, Hernandez shot Bradley in Florida in an apparent effort to silence him.

Jenkins Hernandez said she learned about the Bradley shooting “from another source,” while claiming ignorance about the evening of the double murder. She said Hernandez and Bradley would frequently go out to bars while she stayed home.

This is the second time she’s testified against Hernandez, as she also took the stand in the Lloyd trial. Hernandez is currently serving a life sentence for his conviction in that case.

Indoor Football League team refuses to sign Greg Hardy after fans vote against adding him to roster

03.30.17 at 12:34 pm ET
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Greg Hardy is still unemployed. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Greg Hardy is still unemployed. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Greg Hardy is experiencing some well-deserved comeuppance.

For the second consecutive year, there doesn’t appear to be a lot of interest in Hardy on the NFL free agent market. With his career seemingly in jeopardy, he’s decided to turn to the Indoor Football League. But the defensive end has been rebuffed there as well.

The Salt Lake Screaming Eagles expressed an interest in bringing Hardy aboard, but only if their fans approved. They held a vote on their team app about the matter this week, which ended in a virtual tie. In an announcement Thursday, the team revealed 50.1 percent of voters were opposed to offering Hardy a contract. Thus, he will remain unemployed.

“We understood this fan vote to sign Greg Hardy would be controversial, but we believe in empowering fans to make the final decision, the right decision,” the club said in a statement, via ESPN. “We stand behind what was agreed upon and what is best for the team’s future success.”

Hardy, 28, played one game for the Panthers in 2014 before being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list following a domestic violence incident the previous May. According to law enforcement, Hardy threw his ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder, onto a couch littered with assault rifles and threatened to kill her. A judge found him guilty of assault, but the charges were eventually dismissed because Holder failed to appear in court to testify.

The Cowboys signed Hardy to an incentive-laden one-year contract in 2015, but he expressed little remorse for his actions. Prior to his first game back from suspension against the Patriots, he called out Tom Brady’s wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen.

“I love seeing Tom Brady, he’s cool as crap,” Hardy said, via Fox Sports. “Have you seen his wife? I hope she comes to the game. I hope her sister comes to the game, all her friends come to the game.”

The misogynistic comments were downright creepy coming from Hardy, considering his violent history with women. He flamed out at the end of the season in Dallas, only recording two sacks from Week 9 onwards.

Though the domestic violence incident has been expunged from Hardy’s record, his legal problems continue to persist. He was indicted on a felony count of cocaine possession last November.

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5 things we want to learn about LaVar Ball during his ‘Dale & Holley with Keefe’ interview

03.30.17 at 10:57 am ET
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LaVar Ball will be on WEEI Thursday at 2:30 p.m. (Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports)

LaVar Ball will be on WEEI Thursday at 2:30 p.m. (Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports)

There’s nothing endearing about LaVar Ball. He’s the worst caricature of a sports dad –– hellbent on manipulating and controlling his kids’ athletic careers. But the qualities that make him so repulsive also make him a great interview. That’s why his appearance on Dale & Holley with Keefe Thursday promises to be must-listen radio.

With the Celtics holding possession of the Nets’ first-round pick, there’s a legitimate chance Lonzo Ball will play in Boston next season. With that reality in mind, it’s imperative to know what LaVar Ball thinks about the Celtics organization and the city itself. There are an infinite number of questions that could be posed to him about those topics. Five possibilities are below:

“Do you want Lonzo playing for the Celtics?”

When Eli Manning entered the NFL Draft in 2004, his father Archie Manning made it clear he didn’t want his son playing for the Chargers, who wound up trading him to the Giants. It’s not difficult to imagine LaVar Ball expressing similar demands about his eldest son.

In an interview last month, LaVar Ball said Lonzo will “only play” for their hometown Lakers. He later walked back those comments, saying Lonzo will play anywhere. But it would be curious to hear LaVar Ball’s thoughts on the Celtics, considering they play on the other side of the country and are projected to be a playoff contender for years to come. If LaVar Ball wants Lonzo to play 30 minutes per night in his rookie season, Boston may not be the best landing spot for him.

“What if Lonzo Ball doesn’t play that much?”

LaVar Ball is intent on making his kids stars. He wants to ink an $1 billion shoe contract for them and is already selling “Big Baller Brand” t-shirts. But if Lonzo Ball is a role-player during his rookie season, those plans may have to be put on hold for a little bit. Daddy Ball may not react kindly to that.

“Would you try to interfere with Brad Stevens?”

LaVar Ball is an overbearing presence at Chino Hills High School, where all three of his kids have attended. His interference with the program is chronicled in a recent USA Today feature story, which details stories about how he would try to overrule head coach Stephan Gilling at almost every turn.

After one game, Ball refused to leave the locker room, because Gilling had run a different defense than the one he suggested:

“He comes to me and says, ‘What are you doing? What are you doing?’ I said, ‘What do you mean? I’m trying to win the game.’

“He turns around and walks to our locker room,” Gilling said. “I said, ‘LaVar, don’t go into the locker room.’ He continues walking. I said, ‘LaVar, why are you trying to embarrass me?’ And he just kept walking and goes into the locker room. He’s in there sitting down with the team. And I’m like, ‘LaVar, get out!’”

Gilling says Ball refused to leave the locker room, so Gilling told his team to follow him back to the hotel while Ball’s sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo, stayed behind.

When the Chino Hills team made it back to their hotel, Ball still hadn’t cooled down. In fact, he was just getting started.

“An assistant coach comes up to me and tells me that he sees LaVar rallying the team up,” Gilling said. “I guess he got them out of their rooms on the 18th floor and tells the team that it was his system that won. That we’re doing what he says. ‘I run Chino Hills! I run UCLA, about to run the NBA!’

That kind of act won’t work in the NBA, especially with an organization like the Celtics. But that doesn’t mean LaVar won’t try.

“Could you beat Larry Bird one-on-one?”

LaVar Ball claims he would have “killed” Michael Jordan in an one-on-one game if they had played each other during the primes of their athletic lives. Does he feel similarly about Larry Legend?

“Is Boston a racist city?”

LaVar Ball doesn’t appear to have any qualms about speaking out of his rectum on topics he knows little about. He seems like the perfect candidate to ignorantly opine on Boston’s racial history.

 

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Pete Rose jokes about Alex Rodriguez dating Jennifer Lopez; Ichiro on retirement: ‘I think I’ll just die’

03.30.17 at 9:42 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: Detroit vs. Baltimore, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Washington at Boston, 1 p.m. (WEEI-AM 850)
MLB: Chicago Cubs at Houston, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL: Dallas at Boston, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Cleveland at Chicago, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Houston at Portland, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)

AROUND THE WEB:

— In their first show back from the baseball offseason, the hosts of the MLB on Fox are already taking jabs at each other.

Pete Rose routinely made jokes about his co-host A-Rod during the postseason last year and it seems things are no different this year.

In their return Monday night, Pete Rose made a joke about A-Rod’s relationship with Jennifer Lopez.

“You’re about as close to J-Lo as you’re gonna get,” Rose said to the former Yankee.

Fox was apparently ready for this joke.

“I found a tabloid in New York that says differently, Pete,” Kevin Burkhardt said. “This was in the papers recently.”

They then showed a graphic of a fake magazine cover showing J-Lo and Rose reported to be dating.

All four co-hosts, including Frank Thomas, laughed and A-Rod said, “You didn’t tell me about that, Petey.”

“I didn’t know about it,” Rose replied.

I bet A-Rod is thrilled he took this job full time.

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Read More: A-Rod, Ichiro Suzuki, Pete Rose,

NFL owners have reportedly fallen in love with Roger Goodell again

03.29.17 at 11:08 am ET
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Owners reportedly have a favorable view of Roger Goodell once again. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Owners reportedly have a favorable view of Roger Goodell once again. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Towards the end of the interminable Deflategate saga, some NFL owners were reportedly souring on Roger Goodell. Several influential league executives, including Falcons owner Arthur Blank and 49ers CEO Jed York, even publicly expressed a desire to see the commissioner vacate his unilateral disciplinary power.

But now, following another year of monstrous profits, Goodell is reportedly back in the good graces of his billionaire overlords.

According to Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, Goodell’s standing among owners has increased recently. They respect the way he was able to navigate past the Ray Rice and Deflategate fiascos, while serving as a fall guy for the league. The owners are also reportedly thrilled with the way Goodell has handled the league’s concussion crisis. Last year, the Supreme Court left the NFL’s $1 billion settlement with thousands of ex-players who accused the league of masking the dangers of head trauma in place. It’s a favorable deal for the NFL, because it doesn’t cover CTE, which at this point can only be diagnosed posthumously.

With league revenue reaching $14 billion, the NFL seems poised to enter another period of prolonged financial growth. The league gained a whopping $1.65 billion in relocation fees from the Rams, Chargers and Raiders, which will be divided up among all 32 franchises. Every team will receive $53 million as a result of the moves, with none of the money going to the players.

That’s probably a reason why Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who continues to jab at Goodell for Deflategate, expressed support for the Raiders’ relocation at the league meetings this week.

“Now, they have an opportunity to be a very solid, vibrant team,” he said, via Patriots.com. “In the end, we’re in a competitive league, and you can’t compete at the highest level if you don’t have a first-rate stadium. I think that’s what this is really all about.”

As long as the money keeps pouring in, Goodell will likely remain popular among owners. He continues to deliver for them.

Read More: Roger Goodell,

Michael Irvin under investigation for sexual assault after woman says he drugged and raped her

03.29.17 at 10:07 am ET
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Michael Irvin is no stranger to legal trouble. (Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports

Michael Irvin is no stranger to legal trouble. (Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports)

A woman says NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin sexually assaulted her in a Florida hotel last week, according to TMZ.

The 27-year-old accuser told law enforcement she was in a bar with Irvin until the early hours of the morning before returning to his room at the W Fort Lauderdale March 21. Once they got there, the woman says she felt sick and remembers trying to fight off the former NFL star before falling asleep. She told police she believes Irvin drugged and raped her.

Irvin’s attorney, Larry Friedman, says his client isn’t guilty of any wrongdoing.

“The allegations are completely false,” he said, via TMZ. “In the few hours since we’ve learned about them we’ve already discovered many red flags about this young woman’s background and the allegations she made against Michael. Even the complaint that she made specifically says she does not recall the events that took place. She was very drunk that night. Nothing happened and there was no assault.”

The New York Post reports Irvin was at a bar with the alleged victim until roughly 4:30 a.m. The former wideout claims he was only in the room with the woman for 15 minutes, and another man was present as well.

Irvin, who played 12 seasons for the Cowboys, is currently an analyst at NFL Network. He settled a civil suit in 2011 with a woman who accused him of sexual assault.

Read More: Michael Irvin,

Bomani Jones: Only way Tom Brady plays 6 or 7 more years is if he takes steroids

03.29.17 at 9:29 am ET
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Tom Brady won his fourth Super Bowl MVP last season.  (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady won his fourth Super Bowl MVP last season. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Earlier this week, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Tom Brady hopes to play for another six or seven more years. Given that Brady will turn 40 in August, that means he expects to stand under center until he’s 46 or 47. It would be a superhuman feat.

On ESPN’s “Around the Horn” Tuesday, panelist Bomani Jones insinuated he doesn’t think Brady can last that long unless he takes illicit substances.

“At his age, the only people you’re playing six or seven more years is not legal as things stand right now,” Jones said. “I’m saying to play until you’re 45 years old, you can’t quite do that naturally.”

Jones didn’t back down when he was pressed about whether he was implying Brady would be forced to turn to performance-enhancing drugs to realize his goal.

“That is exactly what I’m saying, because nobody can play NFL football until they’re 45 years old unless they’re a kicker,” he said. “That is an insane thought to have. But part of him being so good is being insane.”

While Brady shows no signs of slowing down –– he led the AFC in passer rating last season –– it’s unfathomable to imagine him continuing to play quarterback into his late 40s. But then again, it is rather reckless to preemptively accuse somebody of using PEDs.

The only time Brady has even been remotely linked to steroid use was in 2006, when Barry Bonds’ former personal trainer Greg Anderson revealed to prosecutors he once spoke briefly with the Patriots’ quarterback on the phone. Anderson said he didn’t have any conversations with Brady afterwards.

Read More: ESPN, Tom Brady,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Jay Cutler’s wife posts nude picture of him on Instagram; Draymond Green rips Raiders for Las Vegas move

03.29.17 at 8:17 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: Minnesota at Boston, 1 p.m. (WEEI-AM 850)
MLB: Philadelphia vs. Detroit, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: LA Dodgers vs. Seattle, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Oklahoma City at Orlando, 7 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Milwaukee at Boston, 7:30 p.m. (CSN)
NBA: Golden State at San Antonio, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Chicago at Pittsburgh, 8p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— While on vacation in Mexico, Jay Cutler’s actress wife Kristin Cavallari posted a picture of her husband’s bare behind on Instagram with the caption, “Good times, no tan lines. Let the sea set you free.” 

Click here to see the post.

She also posted this picture of the two together in the Mexican town of Tulum.

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Read More: Draymond Green, Jay Cutler,

Donald Trump reportedly declines Nationals offer to throw first pitch on Opening Day

03.28.17 at 12:17 pm ET
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Donald Trump, a native New Yorker, is known as a big time Yankees fan. (Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool Photo via USA Today Sports)

Donald Trump will be the first president since 1910 to not throw out a first pitch on Opening Day. (Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool Photo via USA Today Sports)

The last 18 presidents have thrown out a ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day. Donald Trump is apparently bucking that tradition.

According to the Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga, Trump declined the Nationals’ offer to throw out the first pitch at Nats Park next Monday. Earlier Tuesday, POLITICO reported Trump was in talks with the Nationals to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Given the divisiveness of Trump’s presidency, the Nationals would’ve probably faced backlash if they had welcomed Trump to the ballpark. But that apparently didn’t deter the organization from extending an invitation.

The White House didn’t provide a reason why Trump turned down the Nationals. One possible explanation is that he didn’t want to subject himself to facing a hostile crowd in D.C. Trump lost the District of Columbia to Hillary Clinton by more than 86 points.

This post has been updated. 

Read More: Donald Trump,

Jose Canseco takes TV baseball analyst gig

03.28.17 at 11:01 am ET
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  CBS SportsJose Canseco is back in baseball.

According to Joe Stiglich of CSN Bay Area, Canseco is joining NBC Sports California as an on-air analyst for their pre- and postgame coverage of the Oakland Athletics, one of his former teams.

From Stiglich: “I’ve got quite a bit of experience. I’ve pretty much been there, done all of that whether it’s on or off the field,” Canseco said. “I think the fans can expect the truth — an honest opinion, honest analysis — and hopefully in some shape or form we expand the fan base.”

“He’s enthused about taking on his first role as an analyst, and he joins NBC Sports California at a time of budding excitement surrounding the A’s and the expectation of them building a new ballpark in Oakland. Canseco, the 1986 AL Rookie of the Year, played for the A’s when they were one of the Bay Area’s hottest sports stories.”

Canseco has been mostly persona non grata around Major League Baseball since his book Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big was released in 2005. The book documented performance-enhancing drug use by both Canseco and several other big name players in the league.

On Twitter, Canseco has lobbied for managerial jobs and even chances to resume his playing career over the years. He hasn’t played in the big leagues since 2001, though the now 52-year-old Canseco has played in several independent leagues since 2006.

Canseco is part of NBC Sports California’s new analyst lineup of former Athletics players. Alex Rodriguez, another former star with PED ties, was recently hired as a full-time analyst by Fox .

Canseco hasn’t even started this job yet and I’m already sick of him.

He is a lunatic who will do literally anything for attention. This is a guy who pretended to lose a finger in a poker game and the saga became national news before he revealed it was a hoax. 

Yes, he will probably say some insane things on TV and will be more animated than traditional baseball analysts. But he is grasping for relevancy and that is a recipe for a pathetic performance on television. There’s a good chance he’ll say outrageous things for the sake of saying outrageous things.

Here is his series of tweets announcing his new job:

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