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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Donald Sterling takes stand in trial, puts on show with antagonistic behavior

07.09.14 at 8:10 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.

MLB: White Sox at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Dodgers at Tigers, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Reds, 7 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Pirates at Cardinals, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA summer league: Celtics vs. Pistons, 7 p.m. (CSNNE, NBA TV)
NBA summer league: Pacers vs. Thunder, 3 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA summer league: 76ers vs. Nets, 5 p.m. (NBA TV)
World Cup soccer: Argentina vs. Netherlands, 4 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
Cycling: Tour de France, 7:30 a.m. (NBCSN)


– One day after he failed to show in Los Angeles probate court for the trial pitting him against his wife regarding the sale of the Clippers, Donald Sterling took the stand and repeatedly lobbed sarcastic barbs at veteran entertainment lawyer Bert Fields, much to the amusement of the packed courtroom.

At one point Sterling called Fields a “smart-ass.” Another time he said of Fields’ questions, “I’m sure they’ll improve.”

Added Sterling: “Tell me what you want to accuse me of. … Stand up and be a man.”

MASHUP: After Donald Sterling's court appearance, do you believe he is mentally incapacitated as two doctors determined?

  • Somewhat, he doesn't have both oars in the water but he's not completely adrift (36%, 61 Votes)
  • Yes, he's a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic (27%, 46 Votes)
  • No, he's shown that he's not out to lunch (22%, 37 Votes)
  • I don't know, and stop with the euphemisms (15%, 25 Votes)

Total Voters: 169

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Sterling, himself a lawyer, denied his ego was the main motivation for trying to cancel the sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for a record $2 billion.

“What do you think, I’m doing this for ego?” Sterling asked Fields, who responded in the affirmative. “Well, you’re wrong, like you’re wrong with all your questions.”

Admonished Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas: “Go back to answering questions rather than making somewhat entertaining comments.”

Sterling denied he is mentally incapacitated, as two doctors hired by his wife determined, and said he changed his mind about selling the team after his wife agreed to give up 100 percent.

“I wanted to keep the team,” Sterling said. “I didn’t want to sell it.”

Sterling insisted that he still trusts his wife but that she caved to pressure from the NBA, saying: “The reason we’re here is because she’s afraid of this big NBA that’s trying to take everything away.”

– University of Miami sophomore linebackers JaWand Blue and Alexander Figueroa were dismissed from the team and suspended from the school Tuesday after being charged with sexual battery.

According to the police report, the players, who turned themselves in Tuesday, admitted “buying and administering several alcoholic beverages” for a 17-year-old female student and then performing sex acts without her consent.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Donald Sterling, Pete Carroll,

Political blogger Ben Tribbett resigns from Redskins social media team 2 weeks after taking job

07.08.14 at 12:46 pm ET
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The Redskins’ pro-nickname campaign continues to get more difficult.

Less than two weeks after the team hired leftward-leaning political blogger Ben Tribbett to help preserve its highly scrutinized name, Tribbett announced his plans to resign from the team via Twitter on Monday.

Tribbett, apparently in favor of conserving the Redskins nickname, did not specify what led to his decision.

Tribbett has found himself at the center of derogatory marks against Native Americans in the past, and reportedly played a role in the takedown of former Virginia Governor and Senator George Allen, brother of Redskins general manager Bruce Allen, which may have affected his choice.

Tribbett probably isn’t the only person second-guessing his decision to associate himself in the controversy regarding the team’s name.

Bloomsburg University student Jacob Close commented on the situation to the Bloomsburg (Pa.) Press Enterprise on June 30, saying, “I think they should keep the name, but change the mascot to a potato.”

The 25-year-old was wanted by Ithaca police for jumping bail on a years-old drug-related case. Close, who agreed to have his head shot featured in the paper, was detected by an Ithaca police officer who saw his picture in last Monday’s paper. The officer found him Sunday afternoon.

Read More: Ben Tribbett, Washington Redskins,

Browns Hall of Famer Jim Brown says 1964 championship ring on auction block was stolen from him

07.08.14 at 12:43 pm ET
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Jim Brown‘s 1964 NFL championship ring is not for sale — at least by Brown himself.

The Browns Hall of Fame running back’s ring is listed for sale in an online auction, but Brown told TwinCities.com Monday that he isn’t selling it. In fact, he said the ring was stolen from his home in Cleveland more than four decades ago.

‘€œIt was stolen from me many years ago, in the late 1960s,’€™’€™ Brown said. ‘€œI’€™m surprised to hear that it’€™s publicly for sale because whoever got it should know that I didn’t give it up.’€™’€™

The ring is up for sale on Lelands.com, with the highest of four bids listed at $33,275.

According to site, “The ring was obtained directly from a Brown immediate family member and sold by Lelands.com in 1998. During that original auction preview, Jim Brown himself inspected the ring and acknowledged its authenticity.’€

Brown said he believes there was a police report filed after the theft. Lelands.com says the bidding ends July 25.

Read More: Jim Brown,

Judge gives preliminary approval to NFL concussion settlement

07.08.14 at 12:41 pm ET
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A federal judge gave preliminary approval Monday on a deal that would compensate thousands of former NFL players for concussion-related claims.

U.S. District Judge Anita Brody ruled in favor of a settlement designed to last at least 65 years and give $1 million or more to retirees who develop Lou Gehrig‘s disease and other major neurological problems.

“A class action settlement that offers prompt relief is superior to the likely alternative — years of expensive, difficult, and uncertain litigation, with no assurance of recovery, while retired players’ physical and mental conditions continue to deteriorate,” Brody wrote.

More than 4,500 former players have filed suit with some accusing the NFL of fraud for its handling of concussions. Brody’s ruling in Philadelphia came about two weeks after the league agreed to remove a $675 million cap on damages.

A revised settlement eliminates the cap on damage claims but continues to take into consideration age and illness.

Senators GM Bryan Murray diagnosed with cancer

07.08.14 at 11:30 am ET
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Senators general manager and president of hockey operations Bryan Murray has been diagnosed with cancer, the team announced in a statement Monday.

The team said Murray will begin treatment immediately, while assistant general managers Pierre Dorion and Randy Lee will manage the hockey operations department while he’s out.

Murray, 71, joined the Senators as head coach in 2004 before being promoted to GM two seasons later, leading Ottawa to the Stanley Cup finals in 2007.

Read More: Bryan Murray,

Diamondbacks’ Bronson Arroyo to have Tommy John surgery

07.08.14 at 11:29 am ET
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Diamondbacks pitcher Bronson Arroyo will have Tommy John surgery within the next week or so, ending his 2014 season.

Arroyo, the former Red Sox and Reds hurler who had never been on the disabled list prior to this season, suffered a severe elbow injury in May, but continued to pitch through the pain. He made six starts after suffering the injury.

An MRI revealed a ligament in the 37-year-old’s elbow had torn away from the bone, which ultimately caused too much pain for him to keep going despite his efforts.

“I wanted to see if I could pitch on it without the ligament, because a few guys have done it,” Arroyo said on Monday. “Most of the guys were bullpen guys, so it was going to be tough to do. I fired it up the last three days, and I could throw 120 feet and I could probably go out there and pitch, but it just won’t come back fast enough. So I’d have to pitch every 10 days and take nine days to get it healthy. It just wasn’t going to work.”

Read More: Bronson Arroyo,

John Fish on D&C: Hosting 2024 Games ‘isn’t about the Olympics, it’s about what Boston’s future is’

07.08.14 at 11:05 am ET
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John Fish

John Fish

Suffolk Construction Company CEO and Boston Olympic Committee chairman John Fish checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show on Tuesday morning to make his case to consider Boston as a potential host of the 2024 Summer Olympics. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Last month Boston made the U.S. Olympic Committee’s short list of candidates to host the 2024 Games.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to have an interesting conversation and a conversation that has not happened in the city of Boston and the Commonwealth in quite some time,” Fish said. “It really is talking about the vision of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Boston.

“Where do we want to be in 2030? Where do we want to be in 2040? The Olympics allows us as a community to have that conversation. And to me, it isn’t about the Olympics, it’s about what Boston’s future is. So I’m focusing on, along with other business people and people in the educational field, to discuss that, and we’re working with the mayor’s office and governor’s office to have a robust conversation.”

Winning the bid for 2024 would result in a multibillion-dollar investment for the city to build stadiums and other athletic facilities, construct an Olympic village and revamp the city’s transportation system.

“One of the guiding principles we have is nothing that would be constructed would not have a legacy value subsequent to the Olympics themselves,” Fish said. “That’s a principle that we’d absolutely enforce.

“Secondly, I think we are fortunate to have over 100 colleges and universities in our backyard currently today, that some of them have uses for some of these particular facilities. And the sense is we are working with them not on their current plans today, but what is the long-term strategic plans for these institutions and what are these requirements and how do these requirements sort of fit together with the Olympics?” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: John Fish, Olympics,

NBA free agency roundup: Heat to meet with LeBron James after agreeing to deals with Danny Granger, Josh McRoberts

07.08.14 at 9:43 am ET
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Tuesday marked the four-year anniversary of The Decision, the day LeBron James announced he was “taking my talents to South Beach” to join the Heat.

Now Miami is desperately trying to hang on to the superstar that has led the team to four straight NBA Finals.

James, currently a free agent, is set to meet with Heat president Pat Riley “in the next two or three days,” according to The Associated Press. But luring him back in may not be quite as easy. James is reportedly giving serious thought to returning to Cleveland, where his career began in 2003, which could alter the decisions made by fellow Miami free agents Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

According to ESPN, Bosh is “seriously considering” the Rockets’ maximum contract offer of four years, $88 million. Bosh reportedly planned to wait on James’ decision before making his choice, but apparently the longevity of the process is giving him some doubts.

The Heat, however, are doing whatever they can to remain competitive, and give James more talent to potentially play with next season. The team announced Monday that it intends to sign free agents Danny Granger and Josh McRoberts when deals can be formalized later this week.

McRoberts’ agent, Mike Conley Sr., said the sides agreed to a four-year deal that starts around $5.3 million next season. Yahoo! Sports reported that Granger agreed to a two-year deal worth about $2 million annually.

– If any free agent is enjoying their time on the market, it’s Nets forward Paul Pierce. On Monday, the former Celtic tried his own luck at the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas.

Pierce told pokernews.com on Monday that poker provides “mental welfare” and teaches him patience on the court.

“In poker, you have to have lots of patience,” he said. “On the court, you have to make the right decisions at the right time.”

– Former Suns forward Channing Frye reportedly agreed to a four-year, $32 million deal with the Magic on Monday. Frye, 31, opted out of the $6.8 million left on the final year of his contract with Phoenix to become an unrestricted free agent.

Read More: LeBron James, Paul Pierce,

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Donald Sterling a no-show as trial regarding Clippers ownership begins

07.08.14 at 8:14 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.

MLB: White Sox at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cubs at Reds, 1 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Dodgers at Tigers, 7:08 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA summer league: Magic vs. Grizzlies, 3 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA summer league: Heat vs. Pistons, 5 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA summer league: Rockets vs. 76ers, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: Connecticut Sun at Atlanta Dream, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
WNBA: Los Angeles Sparks at Minnesota Lynx, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
World Cup soccer: Brazil vs. Germany, 4 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)


– The Sterling family trial began Monday in Los Angeles probate court, but Donald Sterling was a no-show when called as the first witness. His lawyers explained that Sterling expected a delay of at least a day due to their motion requesting that the case be switched to federal court, which was quickly denied. While Shelly Sterling‘s lawyer requested a bench warrant, Donald Sterling’s attorney promised the banned Clippers owner would be in attendance Tuesday.

Shelly Sterling’s lawyer then called and questioned Dr. Meril Sue Platzer, who discussed visiting Donald Sterling in May and declaring him mentally incapacitated after a two-hour examination that included brain scans.

MASHUP POLL: How will the Donald Sterling saga play out?

  • He'll keep suing until the day he dies (63%, 96 Votes)
  • He'll eventually agree to a settlement (23%, 35 Votes)
  • Not sure, but he'll probably end up on a reality show (8%, 12 Votes)
  • If he loses this trial he'll give up (6%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 152

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Donald Sterling’s attorney repeatedly objected to testimony regarding his client’s medical records, claiming it violates his right to privacy. Judge Michael Levanas overruled the objections.

Donald Sterling is expected to eventually be questioned by well-known entertainment attorney Bert Fields.

“We’re very anxious to get Mr. Sterling here because he’s the guy that keeps doing everything he can to keep his family from getting the $2 billion they are entitled to,” Fields said (via ESPN). “Why? Just because of his ego.

“He’s accusing his wife of fraud. Nonsense. There’s no fraud here. He knows better and we’ll be able to show that.”

– A fan who was caught by ESPN cameras napping during an April 13 Yankees-Red Sox game in the Bronx filed a $10 million defamation suit, insisting he was ridiculed and humiliated by the announcing crew and further embarrassed when Major League Baseball continued to show video of the incident on its website.

Andrew Rector, 26, is suing Major League Baseball Advanced Media, ESPN New York, the Yankees and ESPN announcers Dan Shulman and John Kruk. He was shown repeatedly during the fourth inning of the game and became a lighthearted topic of discussion by the announcing crew.

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Read More: Donald Sterling, P.J. Hairston,

Report: Pacers’ Lance Stephenson to examine free agent market

07.07.14 at 2:16 pm ET
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Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson

After averaging career-highs in points (13.8), rebounds (7.2) and assists (4.6) this past season, Pacers guard Lance Stephenson is ready for a big payday.

The gifted but contentious guard will explore free agency, just days after Indiana offered him a five-year, $44 million contract — an offer than Stephenson believed was a low-ball offer, ESPN.com reported.

The Lakers and Mavericks have emerged as suitors for Stephenson, though both teams have not labeled the Brooklyn native as a priority, according to the report.

The story also indicates that Dallas, believing that it will lose out on signing premier free agent LeBron James, has turned its sights to signing forward Chandler Parsons away from the Rockets while also kicking the tires on Stephenson, who led the league with five triple-doubles last year.

While Stephenson was a key piece of a Pacers team that made it back to the Eastern Conference finals in 2013-14, the Pacers reportedly have not increased their offer and may not change their stance going forward.

Indiana has been active on other fronts this offseason, signing guard C.J. Miles to a  four-year, $18 million contract Wednesday while also adding center Lavoy Allen and forward Damjan Rudez.

Read More: Lakers, Lance Stephenson, Mavericks, Pacers