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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Kevin Pillar gets 2-game suspension for slur

05.19.17 at 8:37 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Friday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.


MLB: Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs, 2 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cleveland at Houston, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Boston at Oakland, 9:35 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)
NBA: Cleveland at Boston, 8:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL: Pittsburgh at Ottawa, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)


Kevin Pillar suspended 2 games for anti-gay slur (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Kevin Pillar has been suspended two games for anti-gay slur (John E. Sokolowski/USA Today Sports)

— The Blue Jays have suspended center fielder Kevin Pillar after he shouted a derogatory term at Braves pitcher Jason Motte during a game on Wednesday night.

After Motte struck Pillar out to end the seventh inning, Pillar yelled the derogatory term toward the mound. Pillar spoke the next day about the incident and owned up to what he did.

“I regret saying it,” Pillar said. “I’m going to use myself as an example of how there are words out there you can’t use. It’s not a word I use ever … It’s something that just came out.”

Pillar went on to say using the word, “helped extend the use of a word that has no place in baseball, in sports or anywhere in society today. I’m completely and utterly embarrassed and feel horrible to have put the fans, my teammates and the Blue Jays organization in this position.”

“I will be an example of how words can offend a lot of people,” Pillar said to reporters. “I hope people see this as just an error in judgment.”

Toronto’s general manager Ross Atkins flew to Atlanta to announce the suspension and personally apologize on behalf of the Blue Jays.

“A large group decided that was appropriate,” Atkins said of the suspension. “There is no question that was in the heat of the moment, but that’s no excuse.”

Pillar will sit out Thursday’s game against the Braves and Friday’s game in Baltimore. He will also donate approximately $6,066 to charity and pay an undisclosed fine.

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Kristine Leahy says she’s receiving death threats after LaVar Ball argument

05.18.17 at 10:59 pm ET
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Kristine Leahy had a confrontation with LaVar Ball on the air Wednesday. (Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports)

Kristine Leahy had a confrontation with LaVar Ball on the air Wednesday. (Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports)

The fallout continues from Kristine Leahy’s on-air beef with LaVar Ball.

Leahy addressed the matter Thursday, saying she’s received death threats for sparring with Ball on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” Wednesday. When pressing Ball on how many pairs of $495 Big Baller Brand shoes have been sold, he told her to “stay in her lane.” The argument escalated from there, with Ball telling Leahy that Big Baller Brand isn’t for women.

“For me this wasn’t a women issue. It wasn’t a racial issue. But it has turned into both,” Leahy said, via the Sporting News.

The FS1 anchor and former contributor also pleaded for Fox Sports to no longer welcome Ball on its airwaves.

“I think the reason so many networks choose have him on is because he says a lot of controversial things,” she said. “He’s loud and a big personality. Which I’ve been totally fine with. But I hope that yesterday showed who he is. And that we stop putting him on all these networks just to get controversial statements out of him. Because that is potentially what can happen. I think there’s no place for that in TV — no matter what kind of ratings you’re going to get.”

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Cubs fan dies after falling over railing at Wrigley Field

05.18.17 at 1:22 pm ET
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Jerry Lai/USA TODAY Sports

A Cubs fan died at Wrigley Field on Tuesday. (Jerry Lai/USA Today Sports)

A Cubs fan has died after falling over a railing while leaving Wrigley Field after Tuesday night’s game.

Richard Garrity, 42, hit his head when he fell around 11 p.m. The game ended around 10:20 p.m.

Garrity was pronounced dead on Wednesday at 3:33 a.m. at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

“The thoughts and prayers of our entire organization are with his family during this difficult time,” the Cubs said in a statement.

Garrity was at the game with colleagues and his wife, who was not with him when he fell and tried to call him after the game. The circumstances surrounding the cause for the fall are unknown and an autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

“He was a great guy, everyone loved him,” his father Richard Garrity Sr. said. “When he walked in a room, there were no strangers.”

Garrity was a marketing manager for Heineken and a lifelong Cubs fan.

Terry Bradshaw, Dr. Bennet Omalu respond to Gisele Bündchen concussion comments

05.18.17 at 11:43 am ET
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TMZ Sports — Terry Bradshaw says Gisele hung Tom Brady out to dry by talking about his alleged concussions on national TV … telling TMZ Sports, “My wife would never say that.”

In fact, Terry suspects Tom is really upset over the situation — “I would imagine someone’s having a talk with somebody.”

“I don’t know why she would say that,” Bradshaw added … while explaining that when it comes to private health matters, it’s not up to the spouse to share that information with the world.

“That’s my wife right there and she’d never say a word,” Terry said pointing to Tammy.

Terry’s wife says it’s not a black and white issue … it’s complicated.

The good news … Terry’s confident Tom and Gisele will ultimately work things out.

It’s reassuring that Terry Bradshaw thinks Gisele and Tom will make it through this.

I honestly think Gisele didn’t mean to say that because she stopped short once it came out of her mouth. She tried to backpedal slightly when she said, “I mean we don’t talk about it.” I think if she had intentionally brought up concussions she would have expanded on it and she glossed over it pretty quickly.

Basically, Bradshaw’s point is Tammy is a better ride or die wife than Gisele.

Meanwhile, Dr. Bennet Omalu, famous ‘Concussion’ neuropathologist, believes Gisele did the right thing.

“I believe it is something angelic to speak up,” Dr. Bennet Omalu told TMZ on Thursday. “She’s an angel. An angel of truth and an angel of love … The truth will always prevail. We should not be afraid of the truth because of the inconvenience of the truth. But when we embrace the truth, just like Gisele has done, the truth is empowering, is enlightening and is vindicating … So, [Gisele] is my hero.”

The NFL stated there are no records Brady ever suffered a concussion. So who is telling the truth?

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Mike Francesa has never listened to podcasts, wants to host one

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

Washington at Pittsburgh, 12:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cincinnati at Chicago Cubs, 3:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: NY Yankees at Kansas City, 8:15 p.m. (FS1)
MLB: Boston at Oakland, 10:05 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)
NHL: Anaheim at Nashville, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)


— In a profile for The Ringer published on Tuesday, Mike Francesa said he has never listened to a podcast but believes he knows how to improve the art form once he retires in December.

“Problem is, they’re handing out podcasts like they’re Pez, OK?” Francesa said. “Right now, my producers have a podcast. No offense, but they have a podcast. If you showed up here as an intern, they’d give you a podcast. … They give everybody a podcast. How can that work? Can you give everybody a show? If you can’t give everybody a show, how can you give everybody a podcast?!”

Francesa said the format is flawed and he knows how to improve it even though he has never listened to a podcast in his life.

“It’s a folly. They’re doing it so wrong,” Francesa said. But when asked how he will make podcasts better he said, “I’m not telling you yet because I know how to fix it.”

He also said podcasting is “possibly” his next career move.

In this piece, the WFAN host of 30 years also revealed what his final show will entail.

“There will be no guests, no updates … No anything,” Francesa said. “I’m not even sure yet there’s going to be commercials. We’re still working on that. It’s just going to be me and the callers, that’s it.”

As an aside, in the open of his show on Wednesday Francesa hinted he is just about ready to retire. He rushed into the studio just in time for the start and then fumbled over his own name. He went on to explain he lost track of time and how much he wanted to be outside rather than hosting his show that day because the weather was so nice.

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LaVar Ball attacks FS1 host Kristine Leahy, says Big Baller Brand isn’t for women

05.17.17 at 2:23 pm ET
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LaVar Ball told Kristine Leahy to "stay in her lane." (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)

LaVar Ball told Kristine Leahy to “stay in her lane.” (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)

To nobody’s surprise, LaVar Ball doesn’t seem to take criticism well.

In an appearance Wednesday on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, the patriarch of the Ball family was touting the sales for his $495 Big Baller Brand sneakers. When co-host and former contributor Kristine Leahy asked Ball how many shoes he’s sold, he told her to “stay in her lane.” A contentious exchange followed:

“I don’t look over there because she scares me. Leave me alone. I’ll tell you, 400, 500 pairs,” he said.

When Leahy tried to interject, Ball called her a “hater.” He proceeded to mock her in a falsetto voice.

“I would never wear a Big Baller shirt. Well, good don’t even talk to me,” he exclaimed.

Later in the interview, when Leahy explained why it would be wise for Big Baller Brand to reach out to women, Ball dismissed her. “Uh, yeah, if you have a women’s company,” he said. “But we talking about Big Baller Brand.”

Prior to the NBA Draft, Ball rebuffed Nike, Adidas and Under Armour, in an attempt to keep Big Baller Brand independent. Lonzo Ball, for his part, appears to buy in.

“Who is going to want to wear a loser’s shoe? he said earlier this month, via CBS Sports. “What you do on the court is going to help you off the court.”

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Mike Golic’s son rips ESPN for breaking up Mike & Mike

05.17.17 at 1:48 pm ET
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ESPN is breaking up Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic.  (David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

ESPN is breaking up Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic. (David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

The long-rumored Mike & Mike breakup was confirmed Tuesday, when ESPN announced Mike Greenberg will host his own morning variety show beginning in January. His longtime radio partner, Mike Golic, will be paired with Trey Wingo and his son, Mike Golic Jr., going forward.

When the two discussed the news Wednesday, Greenberg kept his remarks brief. Golic, meanwhile, was a little more cryptic.

“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.”

Greenberg was more verbose earlier this year, when he told the Sporting News he regrets how the then-rumored breakup had been handled.

While Golic tacitly expressed disappointment about the breakup Wednesday, one of his sons went all-in on ESPN management. Presumably, the WorldWide Leader won’t be employing a second Golic boy any time soon.

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Gisele opens up on marriage to Tom Brady; Former fellow Aaron Hernandez inmate trying to sell autographed note

05.17.17 at 9:46 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Wednesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

: Tampa Bay at Cleveland, 12 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: LA Dodgers at San Francisco, 3:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Boston at St. Louis, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN, NESN, WEEI)
NBA: Cleveland at Boston, 8:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL: Pittsburgh at Ottawa, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)


— Gisele Bündchen sat down for an interview with Charlie Rose airing Wednesday on CBS This Morning and discussed her “wonderful” life with husband Tom Brady.

“He’s playing football. It’s a contact sport and a very aggressive sport. But he knows I will always support him. And I want him to be happy,” Gisele said. “And if that makes him happy, and he loves to do that, then I’m always gonna support him like I always have. So I want him to be happy and fulfilled.”

“You’ve changed him, and he’s changed you,” Rose said.

“Yeah, I think that’s what we’ve done,” Gisele said. “We do most of our growing in relationships because … they see all of us, right? All the sides of us … I think we have been growing and learning a lot from each other. You know, walkin’ this life with a partner where you can always grow and learn from, it’s wonderful.”

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Conan O’Brien is going to trial for allegedly stealing Tom Brady joke

05.16.17 at 2:59 pm ET
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Conan O'Brien allegedly stole a Tom Brady joke.  (Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports)

Conan O’Brien allegedly stole a Tom Brady joke. (Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports)

Conan O’Brien is going to trial for allegedly stealing jokes for his late-night TBS show, including a barb about Tom Brady.

The plaintiff in the case, a San Dieg-based comedy writer named Robert “Alex” Kaseberg, says O’Brien lifted five of his jokes from Twitter and altered them for his opening monologue. A federal judge agreed Kaseberg has legitimate claims about three quips.

The joke that involves Brady dates back to Feb. 3, 2015, after the Patriots’ victory over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. This is the version Kaseberg posted: “Tom Brady said he wants to give his MVP truck to the man who won the game for the Patriots. So enjoy that truck, Pete Carroll.”

This is what O’Brien said that night: “Tom Brady said he wants to give the truck that he was given as Super Bowl MVP … to the guy who won the Super Bowl for the Patriots. Which is very nice. I think that’s nice. I do. Yes. So Brady’s giving his truck to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.”

O’Brien defense team is arguing the jokes used involve facts, and thus aren’t subject to copyright infringement. But U.S. District Court Judge Janis Sammartino disagrees, saying the jokes are “sufficiently objectively virtually identical to create a triable issue of fact regarding whether a jury would find these objective similarities to be virtually identical within the context of the entire joke.”

Kaseberg, who’s been a comedy writer for more than 20 years, says he came up with more than 1,000 jokes that Jay Leno used on “The Tonight Show.”

Read More: Conan O'Brien, Tom Brady,

Aaron Hernandez’s fiancee says he wasn’t gay: ‘It’s a crock of bull’

05.16.17 at 12:57 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez's fiancee says he wasn't gay or bisexual. (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports)

Aaron Hernandez’s fiancee says he wasn’t gay or bisexual. (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports)

Aaron Hernandez wasn’t gay and didn’t pursue an intimate relationship with another inmate, his fiancee told Dr. Phil McGraw in part two of their interview, which airs Tuesday.

Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, who expressed doubt Monday about Hernandez’s suicide and murder conviction, told McGraw her fiancee told her rumors about his sexuality weren’t true in a conversation prior to his death. She says she first heard about his possible bisexuality from his defense team.

“I had no indication or any feeling that he was [gay]”, she said. “He was very much a man to me. I don’t know where this came from.

“It’s embarrassing in a sense, it’s hurtful. Regardless if it was true or not, it’s just not something that I saw. It’s not something I believe and it’s not him.”

On Kirk & Callahan last month, investigative journalist Michele McPhee floated the possibility that Hernandez’s sexuality may have played a role in the 2013 Odin Lloyd shooting. According to McPhee, law enforcement sources say the disgraced ex-NFL star was carrying on a relationship with a high school boyfriend. Lloyd, who was dating Jenkins-Hernandez’s sister, knew about the romance.

Shortly after Hernandez’s death, the Daily Mail reported Hernandez was dating another prisoner, Kyle Kennedy, at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, where he was serving a life sentence for the Lloyd murder. Kennedy’s lawyer held a press conference to address the story and said his client was close with the former Patriots tight end. Though Lawrence F. Army Jr. wouldn’t confirm they were romantically involved, he said Hernandez’s third suicide note was addressed to the 22-year-old Kennedy, who’s in prison for armed robbery. He also said Hernandez left Kennedy a $47,000 watch.

In her conversation with McGraw, Jenkins-Hernandez said the third note found in the prison cell next to Hernandez’s body was addressed to his defense team. She also said Hernandez and Kennedy weren’t close with each other, calling their rumored relationship a “crock of bull.”

“I don’t know who this Kyle Kennedy is. I’ve never heard of him, honestly. Aaron has never mentioned him,” she said.

When speaking with reporters last month, Kennedy’s lawyer also said Hernandez told his client he was thinking about “hanging it up” three weeks before authorities say he hanged himself in his cell. But Jenkins-Hernandez doubts that, too.

“If Kyle Kennedy was such a close friend, and Aaron was telling him he wanted to ‘hang it up,’ he would still be here because Kyle Kennedy should have, you know, poked that lightbulb in somebody’s head and been a true friend and stopped it,” she said. “I think it’s very foolish for a man, or his counsel, to come out and talk about a $50,000 watch when he has a child, and offer his condolences to his fiancée and his child but then asking for such things or saying such things. It’s not commendable.”

In part one of her interview, Jenkins-Hernandez questioned whether the suicide note addressed to her was forged. She reiterated those concerns in part two, focusing on the note purportedly left to the couple’s four-year-old daughter, Avielle.

“It did have her name on the top as normal. But as far as the content, very vague, very short, nothing seemed very personal, very loving of course, sensitive, but nothing personal,” she said.

Jenkins-Hernandez, who says she has a rocky relationship with Hernandez’s family and was frustrated with their absence at the double-murder trial, intends to raise their daughter herself. She said she allowed Avielle to say goodbye to her father and gave her half of a gold chain they put in his jacket pocket.

“I explained to her that daddy won’t call anymore, daddy won’t be able to talk. But she gets it, she gets it. And we talk about her emotions. I ask her how she feels, she’ll ask me how I feel. Some days she’s sad, some days she cries. I hope her and make sure she’s ok,” she said.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez,