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Thursday’s Morning Mashup

10.08.09 at 5:57 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup, where we’ll get you caught up on what’s going on in the sports world and beyond.

BASEBALL: The Red Sox open their ALDS against the Angels tonight at 9:37. Paul Byrd will be in the Sox bullpen and Manny Delcarmen will not. Jason Varitek is focused on the team and not worried about his playing status. Billy Wagner knows he hasn’t pitched well in previous postseason action. Keep up to date on all the Sox news throughout the day at our Full Count blog.

Alex Speier writes about Victor Martinez, and how he helped save the Sox’ season. Rob Bradford breaks down how the trade for Martinez came about.

WEEI’s Lou Merloni explains the Red Sox’ formula for ALDS success.

Terry Francona had some interesting things to say about David Ortiz, Victor Martinez and umpire/country singer Joe West in his interview with Dale & Holley yesterday.

In yesterday’s playoff action, CC Sabathia brought the Twins back to earth in a 7-2 Yankees win. In the NL, Cliff Lee and the Phillies stifled the Rockies, and the Dodgers turned away the Cardinals.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland is disappointed that umpires won’t admit they blew a call that would have given Detroit the lead in the 12th inning of their loss to the Twins on Tuesday (and he’s right).

And a 12-year-old Florida girl sued the Phillies to get back a Ryan Howard home run ball she caught at a game in July. UPDATE: Below is a video interview with the girl and her lawyer, and here’s more on the story.

FOOTBALL: Kirk Minihane checks in with his weekly mailbag and finds the Pats pessimists are slowly coming around. Dan Guttenplan has his Week 5 picks.

Tom Brady won’t apologize for supporting the new rules designed to protect quarterbacks. Meanwhile, the parody site Sports Pickle had a little fun with the issue, posting a story under the headline: “Tom Brady Draws Emotionally Roughing the Passer Penalty.”

Patriots defensive lineman Mike Wright is have a strong season, and he talks about which defensive formation suits him best. Chris Price introduces us to the newest Patriot, linebacker Bruce Davis, who was signed yesterday to the practice squad.

In case you missed it yesterday, the Jets moved to improve their offense by acquiring receiver Braylon Edwards from the Browns. First-round draft pick Michael Crabtree ended his holdout with the 49ers.

HOCKEY: Milan Lucic appeared on Dale & Holley to talk about his new three-year contract with the Bruins. Mark Stuart appears to be set as the team’s NHLPA rep, taking over for Andrew Ference. Zdeno Chara posed in the buff for ESPN the Magazine’s body issue.

The Maple Leafs were fined for tampering for expressing early interest in Vancouver’s Sedin twins. Patrick Roy’s son pleaded guilty to assault for last year’s on-ice attack of an opposing goalie in a junior hockey game and wrote a check for $5,000 to clear his conscience.

BASKETBALL: The Celtics opened the preseason with a 96-90 loss to Houston. Kevin Garnett had six points and five rebounds in his return from a knee injury. Jessica Camerato breaks down how each player did, and Paul Flannery offers his thoughts about the game — and the replacement refs (who handed Rasheed Wallace a technical).

NBA general managers picked the Celtics as the league’s best defensive team and predicted they will win the East. Delonte West needs a little more time away from Cavaliers training camp. Allen Iverson has a partial tear of his left hamstring. He hurt it in practice. Not a game, not a game, not a game — we talkin’ ’bout practice:

MISC.: WEEI is partnering with ESPN Radio and will pick up broadcasts of Major League Baseball playoff games, NBA regular season and playoff action, and college football’s Bowl Championship Series. WEEI also will syndicate ESPN’s AllNight with Jason Smith from 1-5 a.m. Monday through Friday, and have call-in appearances weekly from ESPN insiders Peter Gammons and Adam Schefter, among others.

HISTORIVIA: On Oct. 8, 1967, the Red Sox lost Game 4 of the World Series to Bob Gibson and the Cardinals. Which 19-year-old Red Sox reliever pitched a scoreless eighth inning and, in the process, became the youngest player ever to pitch in a World Series game?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I think there’s a lot of people that actually owe David an apology.” — Red Sox manager Terry Francona on yesterday’s Dale & Holley show, talking about criticism of David Ortiz earlier this season

‘NET RESULTS: As the Metrodome prepares for its farewell performance, here’s a time-lapse video of the facility as it hosts three Twins games, changes over for a University of Minnesota football game, and then goes back to baseball.

HISTORIVIA ANSWER: Teenager Ken Brett, older brother of Royals Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett, was a late replacement on the Red Sox’ 1967 World Series roster for the injured Sparky Lyle.

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Happy 69th birthday to Fred Cash, who had the tall task of stepping in for Jerry Butler as a member of the Impressions in 1960. That’s him on the right, with Curtis Mayfield (left) and Sam Gooden.