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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Manny Ramirez homers on first pitch in Dominican debut

11.15.12 at 7:54 am ET

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NBA: Celtics at Nets, 8 p.m. (TNT; WEEI-FM)
College basketball: Boston College vs. Baylor, 3 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Providence vs. UMass, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oklahoma State vs. Akron, 10:30 a.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UNC-Asheville vs. Tennessee, 12:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: N.C. State vs. Penn State, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: St. John’s at Charleston, 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Alabama vs Oregon State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Villanova vs. Purdue, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
NFL: Dolphins at Bills, 8:20 p.m. (NFL Network)
College football: North Carolina at Virginia, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)


‘™¦ Manny Ramirez still is trying to get back into baseball, and the former Red Sox slugger made his case on Wednesday when he hit a home run on the first pitch he saw from Escogido Lions right-hander Daniel Cabrera in his debut for the Los Aguilas Eagles of the Dominican winter league.

A packed house estimated at 22,000 turned out to see Ramirez return to play in his home country for the first time since the winter of 1994-95, and the fans went wild when Ramirez drilled a fastball over the right-field fence to give his team a 1-0 lead.

“I’m not thinking about the big leagues now,” Ramirez, 40, said upon joining the team. “Right now, I’m thinking of helping the Eagles to win games and then, if any offer, then I’ll think of baseball.”

‘™¦ Magic Johnson spoke out against his old team Wednesday, saying the Lakers’ decision to hire Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson was another error in judgment by executive vice president Jim Buss, son of longtime owner Jerry Buss.

“I love Dr. [Jerry] Buss. I don’t believe in Jim Buss,” Johnson said on ESPN’s “NBA Countdown.” “He’s made two critical mistakes already. To me, they made two critical mistakes. First, hiring Mike Brown — he wasn’t the right coach. He’s a great coach but not the right coach for the Lakers. And I don’t feel Mike D’Antoni is the right coach for the Lakers. Especially when you have Phil Jackson sitting out there, who wanted to be the Laker coach. Jim Buss decided he didn’t want Phil Jackson, he wanted Mike D’Antoni. And that’s OK, but why didn’t you just say that? But the fans were cheering for Phil Jackson two nights in a row.”

Earlier in the day, Johnson ended two days of Twitter silence, writing:

The reason I haven’t tweeted in 2 days is because I’ve been mourning Phil Jackson not being hired as the Lakers head coach. My mother always taught me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

A day earlier, general manager Mitch Kupchak insisted the decision to go with D’Antoni over Jackson was a unanimous one between he and the Busses, insisting that D’Antoni is a better fit for this roster.

“Without going into great detail, some of our guys I don’t think would be very successful in the triangle [offense],” Kupchak said Tuesday. “Some of our newer players might take a long time to learn the triangle.”

‘™¦ The Texas A&M football team is coming off an upset of No. 1-ranked Alabama on Saturday, but the team’s excitement was tempered when freshman wide receiver Thomas Johnson went missing Monday night. Johnson, who has 30 receptions for 339 yards and a touchdown in 10 games this season, was found safe Thursday morning, with more details expected later in the day.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 15, 1967, Carl Yastrzemski, winner of the American League’s Triple Crown, was named MVP. However, the vote was not unanimous. Which Twins player received one vote?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “If you’re not going to put your name to it, I think that’s about as cowardly of a thing there is. I don’t want to get into specifics of what I said, but I did address it with our football team. If you’re searching for things to try to drive a wedge through the team, my thing is, I believe in this team. I believe this team is [together], will continue to be and maybe even become tighter. I’m confident that will be the case.” Jets coach Rex Ryan, on anonymous players ripping backup quarterback Tim Tebow

STAT OF THE DAY: 3 — Consecutive victories for the Bobcats, following Wednesday’s 89-87 decision over the Timberwolves, the team’s longest winning streak in 20 months

‘NET RESULTS: Soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores an incredible goal for Sweden against England. Ibrahimovic scored all four of his team’s goals in a 4-2 victory.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Cesar Tovar, who hit .267 with six home runs and 47 RBIs

SOOTHING SOUNDS: The late Clyde McPhatter was born on this date in 1932.

Read More: Magic Johnson, Manny Ramirez, Mike D'Antoni, Phil Jackson