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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup

12.09.09 at 8:33 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup, where we’ll get you caught up on what’s going on in the sports world and beyond.

Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy (or disgraced referee, as everyone else calls him) was a guest of the Dennis & Callahan show yesterday morning and talked openly about the alleged biases of officials. It was an entertaining interview, and Donaghy’s allegations are disheartening to basketball fans.

However, some are questioning Donaghy’s claims about other officials. The TrueHoop blog examined  games involving referees and the players or coaches they were allegedly biased for or against. According to the research, there is not a lot of evidence to support Donaghy’s statements. It would be difficult to discount everything Donaghy says, but the research certainly indicates he may either be exaggerating or trying to deflect attention away from his own officiating. Donaghy denies intentionally affecting games — even ones on which he placed a bet — rather, he insists he bet based on other referees’ tendencies. We’ll probably never know the complete truth.

Donaghy also noted that he was not a fan of Doc Rivers or Rasheed Wallace. Rivers countered before last night’s game: “I’m so sick of that guy right now, I really am, for our league. I love our league and I hate what’s going on, that we’re giving a guy like that credibility.” Rivers will get another chance to refute Donaghy when the coach appears with Dennis & Callahan this morning at 9. Ray Allen also weighed in with his opinion. Paul Flannery writes about how Wallace can feel somewhat vindicated by Donaghy’s comments.

FOOTBALL: Kerry Byrne looks at the Patriots’ situational shortcomings. Chris Price has a Patriots mailbag.

Imprisoned ex-Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress is applying for work release. The Giants signed defensive back London Fryar, son of former Patriots receiver Irving Fryar, to the practice squad. The Redskins cut kicker Shaun Suisham after he missed a 23-yard field goal Sunday that would have clinched a win over the Saints. Redskins running back Clinton Portis will miss the rest of the season due to a concussion. Steelers safety Troy Polamalu isn’t sure when — or if — he’ll return this season. Chad Ochocinco was fined $30,000 for his latest show.

Louisville reportedly will hire Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong as its next coach. The University of Alabama is canceling classes for three days so students and faculty can travel to the Rose Bowl to see the Crimson Tide play Texas on Jan. 7.

BASEBALL: Alex Speier analyzes the market for Jason Bay. The Yankees are set to acquire Tigers center fielder Curtis Granderson. Rob Bradford says Detroit was asking for too much from the Red Sox. Third baseman Mark Teahen re-signed with the White Sox for three years. Peter Gammons is leaving ESPN for the MLB Network.

BASKETBALL: The Celtics turned away the Bucks. Jessica Camerato writes that Rajon Rondo won the battle of point guards vs. super rookie Brandon Jennings. Paul Flannery writes about Rasheed Wallace and the Tim Donaghy controversy.

LeBron James scored 43 points but the Cavaliers lost to the Grizzlies in overtime. The Nets won their second game, beating the Bulls. Pacers leading scorer Danny Granger is out at least four weeks with a foot injury. Trail Blazers forward Rudy Fernandez will miss about six weeks after treatment for a leg injury.

HOCKEY: Graig Woodburn has the NHL power rankings. The Flyers got a win for new coach Peter Laviolette. Martin Erat had three goals and an assist to lift the Predators over the Canucks.

MISC.: Tigers Woods’ mother-in-law was released from the hospital after yesterday morning’s incident.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 9, 1994, the Red Sox traded Otis Nixon and Luis Ortiz to the Texas Rangers for which player?

QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“Rasheed Wallace was someone I don’t believe anyone cared for. Looking back, it’s probably because he’s one of the smartest players in the league. He was outspoken about how there were biases and how relationships affected the refereeing.” — Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy, on yesterday’s Dennis & Callahan show

STAT OF THE DAY: 25 — Kevin Garnett’s rank among the NBA’s all-time leading scorers, after he passed Hal Greer (21,586) last night

‘NET RESULTS: Here’s the video of the halftime hoax in Utah, where the owner of the minor league Utah Flash brought in a Michael Jordan impostor to lure fans into thinking that Jordan would play former Jazz star Bryon Russell in a charity one-on-one game. The owner, Brandt Andersen, paid the Jordan lookalike to walk around town with a posse and uploaded video of it to build interest. When people showed up expecting Jordan, things didn’t go well. Andersen was pressured into offering refunds after much public outcry.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Jose Canseco

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Joan Armatrading is 59 today.