Archive for March, 2011

Report: Health officials seek to ban smokeless tobacco at Fenway Park

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

According to the Boston Herald, Red Sox manager Terry Francona may finally get the help he needs with kicking his chewing tobacco habit, as local health officials look to have all tobacco products banned from Major League Baseball games and ballparks.

While Fenway has already banned smoking within the park, the Boston Public Health Comission and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids are looking to ban chew as well.

“I understand this issue as a former smoker, but I also feel like we all have roles to play as we’re adults, and making sure that we’re not modeling unhealthy behaviors is something we can all do and do easily,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “This would be another opportunity for our sports heroes to be heroes and really put out that very important image.”

Ferrer is looking to raise awareness of the issue and have it addressed during contract negotiations for the 2012 collective bargaining agreement.

Currently tobacco has already been outlawed in baseball’s minor leagues, the NCAA and the National Hockey League.

Giants starter Barry Zito involved in auto accident

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Barry Zito, who is scheduled to start the Giants’ game Sunday against the Dodgers, was involved in a two-car accident Wednesday.

Zito was taken to Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. According to the report the pitcher was taken out of his care by fire personnel, but it was not believed he was seriously injured, leaving the hospital shortly after arriving.

The lefty went 9-14 with a 4.15 ERA in 2010.

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Dominique Wilkins attacked at game by former referee

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Welcome to Thursday’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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY THURSDAY:
NHL: Maple Leafs at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Celtics at Spurs, 8 p.m. (TNT; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

♦ NBA legend Dominique Wilkins, a Hawks vice president and television analyst, was attacked by a fan after the Hawks’ victory over the Magic on Wednesday night. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the attacker was former NBA and college basketball referee Rashan Michel, who was arrested and charged with simple battery. Michel told police Wilkins owed him money for suits purchased several years ago from a clothing store Michel had owned.

Isiah Thomas continues to stir up trouble. The Florida International coach and former Knicks bigwig talked to Bill Reiter of FoxSports.com about his “exile” from the NBA. He also compared himself favorably to Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, implying that he packed more talent into a smaller frame. “They’re all 6[-feet]-9, and Jordan was 6-6½,” he said. “If they were all 6-1, it wouldn’t even be a question. They wouldn’t even [expletive] rate. If they were all my size, [expletive], they wouldn’t even be talked about. I beat the [expletive] out of them when they were that big. If we were all the same size, [expletive].”

♦ The HBO “Real Sports” show featuring four former Auburn football players accusing the school and boosters of paying for play aired Wednesday night. Auburn coach Gene Chizik responded by defending his team and criticizing the show for not airing interviews with players who said they were not paid. “I think it is pathetic and pure garbage,” Chizik said.

♦ From 2000 to 2009, the number of kids aged 7 to 17 playing baseball fell 24 percent, according the National Sporting Goods Association. The Wall Street Journal looks at how Major League Baseball is reacting to this news as it tries to determine the cause.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On March 31, 1991, which Bruin set an NHL record with 10 penalties (6 minors, 2 majors, a misconduct and a game misconduct) in a 7-3 victory over the Whalers?

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Former Auburn players say they were paid to play

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Four former Auburn football players told HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” that they were part of a pay-for-play scheme during the early to mid-2000s, according to SportsbyBrooks.com. Offensive lineman Troy Reddick said he was given nearly $5,000 over two seasons, while defensive end Stanley McClover claimed to receive $4,000 for his performance in one game against Alabama. Offensive lineman Chaz Ramsey and defensive end Raven Gray are the other players who made the accusations.

Said McClover on the show, which airs Wednesday night: “It really turned me into a monster. When there’s no morals to what you’re doing, you’re just into getting money, I spent it cause I felt like I could get it right back.”

Police issue warrant for Buccaneers CB Aqib Talib

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib and his mother have been accused of firing a gun at his sister’s boyfriend, and an arrest warrant was issued by police in the Dallas suburb of Garland, Texas.

Police said they believe Talib and his mother shot at the man, who was not injured, in an incident March 21. Talib is expected to turn himself in this week. His mother, Okolo Talib, turned herself in Tuesday.

Mike Krzyzewski: ‘Uncle Tom’ comments ‘very insulting’ to Duke

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, speaking Tuesday to “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on Chicago’s ESPN 100, finally addressed the comments made by former Michigan player Jalen Rose during a documentary on Michigan’s Fab Five of the early 1990s.

Rose, whose March 11 arrest on suspicion of drunken driving was revealed this week, said in the ESPN documentary that debuted March 13: “I hated Duke and I hated everything Duke stood for. Schools like Duke didn’t recruit players like me. I felt like they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms.”

Responded Krzyzewski: “Obviously, that was a poor choice of words and very insulting to everyone here at Duke but especially, not just our African-American players, but any African-American students,” Krzyzewski said. “When you judge within a race, you start judging, like you put categories as to who you are. I think that’s just the wrong thing to do.”

Krzyzewski said Duke was interested in the Fab Five’s most highly regarded member.

“We were very successful against them and, to be quite frank with you, we recruited Chris Webber,” he said. “I didn’t recruit Jalen Rose because we had Grant Hill and I’m happy with that. We didn’t look at the other, Juwan Howard [because] we knew he wasn’t going to come to Duke. The other two kids [Jimmy King and Ray Jackson] we didn’t think were the caliber that could play as well as Thomas Hill and Brian Davis and Billy McCaffery. They’re good kids. They were good kids.”

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Jets QB Erik Ainge lives with uncle Danny Ainge after latest rehab stint

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY WEDNESDAY:
MLB Preseason: Red Sox at Astros, 8:05 p.m. (NESN)

AROUND THE WEB:

♦ Jets backup quarterback Erik Ainge has been living in Wellesley with his uncle, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, while trying to get a grip on his drug and alcohol addiction. Erik says he’s been clean and sober for eight months, the longest such stretch since he was 11 years old. He tells the details of his troubles in a piece at ESPN. Said Erik: “During my days of using, I was a really bad drug addict. I would’ve made Charlie Sheen look like Miss Daisy.”

♦ ESPN basketball analyst Jalen Rose was arrested March 11 in Michigan on suspicion of drunken driving. Rose made news this month with his comments in an ESPN documentary about the University of Michigan’s Fab Five that he perceived Grant Hill as an “Uncle Tom” for attending Duke.

♦ With the Final Four set to begin this week, NCAA president Mark Emmert says athletes will not get paid but perhaps their scholarships should be increased. “I will make clear that I want this to be a subject we explore” at the NCAA meetings in April, he said.

♦ Fiesta Bowl president and CEO John Junker was fired this week after allegedly conspiring to reimburse employees for political contributions and then cover up the scheme, along with some other accusations of misappropriated funds. The BCS said it will conduct its own investigation to determine if the Fiesta Bowl should remain a BCS bowl game. At CBSSports.com, Dennis Dodd ponders the future of the game.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On March 30, 1976, which Celtic became the third player in NBA history (joining Bill Russell and Bill Bridges) to record 10,000 rebounds before scoring 10,000 points?

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Chad Ochocinco unimpressive in soccer scrimmage

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY TUESDAY:
NHL: Blackhawks at Bruins, 7:30 p.m. (Versus)
MLB Preseason: Red Sox at Rays, 1:05 p.m.

AROUND THE WEB:

♦ Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco failed to impress during a practice soccer game with Sporting Kansas City on Monday, struggling with his skills and conditioning against MLS players. However, the team hasn’t given up on Ochocinco, especially considering the publicity this stunt has generated. Ochocinco is scheduled to meet with Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes on Tuesday to discuss his future. “I’m satisfied,” Ochocinco said. “My dream has been answered, to be able to come onto the pitch and play for an MLS team. It doesn’t have to be against someone professional. Just to be out here was enough for me. I can go home. I can die tomorrow and be satisfied. I can go to heaven and tell God, ‘Man, I played professional soccer and I’m good.’ ”

♦ In The New York Times, Dan Barry catches up with former Red Sox manager Joe Morgan and recalls the longest game in baseball, the Pawtucket Red Sox’ 33-inning victory over the Rochester Red Wings in 1981.

Jose Canseco had an eventful week last week. After making a memorable appearance on “Celebrity Appearance,” the former major leaguer allegedly sent his twin brother, Ozzie, to a celebrity boxing match to fight in his place. At National Post, Bruce Arthur recounts some of Canseco’s zany behavior and suggests that a sitcom should be in the works.

Real Clear Sports has a list of the top 10 celebratory traditions in sports, such as cutting down the nets in college basketball.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On March 29, 1929, the Bruins won their first Stanley Cup. Which team did they beat in the best-of-3 finals?

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Research firm says Chad Ochocinco is second-most influential Twitter user

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is the second-most influential Twitter user in the world, according to independent research firm Twitalyzer.

The firm created a tool called the Influence Index to determine who makes the biggest impact on the Twitter world. Instead of just counting who has the most followers or who tweets the most, it counts the number of times somebody’s Twitter name is mentioned by other users.

Ochocinco, who has more than 1.6 million followers, earned an influence score of 89 (out of 100). That put him second only to Brazilian comedian Rafinha Bastos. Rounding out the top five were late-night talk show host Conan O’Brien, English actor Stephen Fry and “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest.

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Jose Canseco accused of sending twin brother to his fight

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Welcome to Monday’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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY MONDAY:
NBA: Celtics at Pacers, 7 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
MLB Preseason: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 1:05 p.m.

AROUND THE WEB:

♦ Former Red Sox slugger Jose Canseco has been accused of trying to pass off his twin brother Ozzie as himself at a celebrity boxing event in Florida on Saturday night. Shortly before the bout against Billy Padden at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., organizers discovered the ruse and had Ozzie escorted from the premises by police when they noticed his tattoos were different. Jose tweeted Sunday that the promoter “did not comply with his part of the agreement.”

♦ The shared home of Rays players Evan Longoria, David Price and Reid Brignac was robbed, with Price saying he lost around $50,000 worth of property. Said Longoria: “It’s unfortunate. You just hope that karma catches up with whoever did it.”

♦ Thunder star Kevin Durant is a nice guy who genuinely cares about the common man and NBA fan, explains Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman. Said Durant: “I just tell myself that I need to do what Jesus would do. He would do the same thing, go the extra mile just to please people. So I said why not me?”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On March 28, 1986, the Red Sox made a trade with the Yankees to acquire designated hitter Don Baylor, who would go on to help the Sox win the pennant. Who did Boston trade to New York?

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