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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Knicks reportedly pull plug on coach Mike Woodson’s regular radio spot

05.16.13 at 8:05 am ET
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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.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL playoffs: Rangers at Bruins, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Sharks at Kings, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
Hockey World Championships: United States vs. Russia, 6 a.m. (NBCSN)
Hockey World Championships: Switzerland vs. Czech Republic, 8:30 a.m. (NBCSN)
Hockey World Championships: Finland vs. Slovakia, 11 a.m. (NBCSN)
Hockey World Championships: Canada vs. Sweden, 2 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA playoffs: Pacers at Knicks, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Spurs at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Scouting combine, 10 a.m. (ESPNU)
MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Tigers at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. (MLB Network)

AROUND THE WEB:

Knicks coach Mike Woodson spoke to the media Wednesday, but he was pulled from his regular radio spot. (AP)

♦ The Knicks, who have long been criticized for paranoid and vindictive behavior under owner James Dolan, added another chapter Wednesday when they reportedly banned coach Mike Woodson from his regular radio spot on New York’s ESPN-98.7 a day after the team’s Game 4 loss to the Pacers that left New York in a 3-1 hole heading into Thursday night’s Game 5.

Co-host Stephen A. Smith, who has been known to show favoritism toward the Knicks, on Wednesday declared the season over and called the Knicks “a decrepit old bunch.”

“Mike Woodson was supposed to be coming on, ladies and gentlemen. We didn’t lie to you. The New York Knicks organization backed out.” Smith said on Wednesday’s show. “The coach didn’t back out because Mike Woodson wouldn’t do that — no matter what he says.”

The station is the Knicks’ broadcast partner, airing the team’s games along with pregame and postgame shows. Woodson is paid for his appearances.

Station boss David Roberts tried to downplay the issue.

“In no way do I think this reflects on the relationship with our partners at the Garden. In fact the relationship is very good,” Roberts said. “We look forward to Mike Woodson appearing on the show with Stephen A Smith and Ryan Ruocco Friday — win or lose.”

Woodson, meanwhile, did meet with the media Wednesday and said guard J.R. Smith‘s declaration that the team’s struggles are his fault because of his poor play is not accurate.

“I’m the head coach. Blame it on me,” Woodson said. “I don’t look at it in that light. The bottom line is we’re all trying to do the right things to win basketball games. If we don’t have the slippage to start the series, we’re feeling pretty good about ourselves. But right now our backs are against the wall and my job is to get us out of this hole.”

♦ One day after he insulted Mets fans — saying, “I don’t answer to fans. They don’t play this game. They have no idea what goes on” — manager Terry Collins went into damage control.

“Of course I regret the choice of words. I certainly respect the New York fans,” Collins said before Wednesday night’s 4-2 loss to the Cardinals that dropped New York to a season-worst nine games below .500 at 14-23. “They’re the most knowledgeable fans I’ve ever been around. They know the game. They know the people.”

Added Collins: “You know, I’m a human being. I used a bad choice of words. But I’m also frustrated. Here we are, we’re scuffling, scuffling. There’s one topic to talk about. And I understand that we’re not playing good, so that’s the story. I’m aware of that. And I’m tired of talking about it. I want to talk about getting better.

“So, that was my fault, nobody else’s fault. I wasn’t baited into anything. … Once again, I want our fans to understand that I’m working my butt off to get better. Period.”

♦ With umpires coming under fire for a couple of blunders this month, Real Clear Sports has a list of the top 10 blown calls in baseball history.

No. 1 is Don Denkinger‘s safe call at first base in the ninth inning of Game 6 of the 1985 World Series that gave the Royals another life and led to a comeback against the Cardinals. No. 2 is Jim Joyce‘s missed call at first that cost Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game in 2010.

There are two entries involving the Red Sox. No. 6 is Larry Barnett‘s non-call of interference against Reds batter Ed Armbrister that led to a Carlton Fisk throwing error in the 10th inning of Game 3 of the 1975 World Series. No. 8 is Tim Tschida‘s brutally bad out call of Jose Offerman on the basepath in Game 4 of the 1999 ALCS against the Yankees.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 16, 1989, Mike Milbury was hired as Bruins coach, replacing which individual?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It goes back to us controlling the strike zone, putting up quality at-bats and when we’re right and we’re kind of clicking offensively, it’s when we grind deep into each individual at-bat and I thought we did that multiple times tonight, even though there might have been some zeroes that showed up on the board. We had a good offensive approach tonight.” — Red Sox manager John Farrell, after his team’s 9-2 rout of the Rays on Wednesday night

STAT OF THE DAY: 6-0 – The Heat’s record in their last six closeout games, including Wednesday night’s 94-91 Game 5 victory over the Bulls that clinched their second-round series

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Grizzlies guard Tony Allen, while on the bench and trying to distract Thunder guard Derek Fisher as he shoots a 3-pointer, picks up a technical foul when he accidentally throws a warm-up jacket on the court.

From Korea Professional Baseball, Jeon Jun-woo of the Lotte Giants celebrates his home run against the NC Dinos, except that the ball was caught on the warning track.

Serbian tennis player Victor Troicki disagrees with a call at the Italian Open, and he goes on to argue for almost four minutes with chair umpire Cedric Mourier about it — at one point dragging the TV cameraman over to where the ball hit so the viewers can get a good view of the spot. Troicki, who already was down one set, went on to lose 6-1, 6-1 to Ernests Gulbis.

From the Champions Professional Indoor Football League, Lincoln Haymakers coach Dave Brumagen decks Omaha Beef running back R.J. Rollins as Rollins is heading back to his bench following his touchdown.

This is one intense match at the European Women’s Arm-Wrestling Championships in Lithuania.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Terry O’Reilly

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Janet Jackson was born on this day in 1966.

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