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Friday’s Morning Mashup: NBA commissioner David Stern wants harsher penalties for flopping

06.07.13 at 8:10 am ET

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NHL playoffs: Penguins at Bruins, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB: Angels at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Pirates at Cubs, 2:10 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Cardinals at Reds, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
College baseball: CWS regional, South Carolina at North Carolina, 1 p.m. (ESPN2)
College baseball: CWS regional, Rice at NC State, 4 p.m. (ESPN2)
College baseball: CWS regional, Oklahoma at LSU, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College baseball: CWS regional, UCLA at Cal State Fullerton, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Major League Lacrosse: Boston Cannons at Rochester Rattlers, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
Soccer: World Cup qualifier, Italy vs. Czech Republic, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)


‘™¦ NBA commissioner David Stern said Thursday that he wants harsher penalties on flopping, acknowledging that the current fine system is unlikely to have a major impact.

During the regular season, players were warned first, then fined $5,000 for a second offense. In the playoffs, they get no warning. In the regular season there were 19 warnings, and five players were fined. In the playoffs, six players have been fined, most famously LeBron James, who first denied he flops (despite video evidence to the contrary) and then noted that flopping was “not even a bad thing, you’re just trying to get the advantage.”

“It isn’t enough,” Stern said Thursday in Miami before the Spurs edged the Heat in Game 1 of the NBA finals. “You’re not going to cause somebody to stop it for $5,000 when the average player’s salary is $5.5 million. And anyone who thought that was going to happen was allowing hope to prevail over reason.”

Stern said the league’s competition committee will discuss the situation in the offseason.

Added Stern: “We knew that flopping was going to be far from perfect. And we gather more attention because we were giving it more attention. But the point was to do it gently, look at all the flops — and there have been plenty — penalize the most egregious very gently.

“We could end that immediately if we decided to suspend players, but that might be a little bit draconian at the moment.”

‘™¦ Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig continued his amazing debut week Thursday, hitting an eighth-inning grand slam to lead Los Angeles to a 5-0 victory over the visiting Braves.

Puig, a 22-year-old Cuban defector, went 5-for-8 with two home runs and five RBIs in his first two games before going 0-for-4 Wednesday. On Thursday, he was 1-for-3 when he came up in the eighth with the bases loaded and took the first pitch from Cory Gearrin out to right field to make it a 5-0 game.

He also continued to play stellar defense in right field, cutting off balls to prevent extra bases and exhibiting a powerful arm.

“It’s just infectious the way he plays,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Seems like there’s a joy in his game. It’s the way you’re supposed to play. He just looks so fresh. That’s what gives our guys so much energy.”

Said Puig through a translator: “With the fans here and us winning, the pressure comes off.”

‘™¦ Matt Birk, who retired after helping the Ravens win the Super Bowl in February, skipped the team’s visit to the White House on Wednesday, and he explained his reason why Thursday.

In an interview with Minnesota radio station KFAN, Birk, a Harvard product, said it was the President’s recent glowing comments about Planned Parenthood that spurred him to take a pass.

“I wasn’t there,” Birk told The Power Trip morning show. “I would say this, I would say that I have great respect for the office of the Presidency, but about five or six weeks ago, our president made a comment in a speech and he said, ‘God bless Planned Parenthood.’ ‘€¦ Planned Parenthood performs about 330,000 abortions a year. I am Catholic, I am active in the Pro-Life movement and I just felt like I couldn’t deal with that. I couldn’t endorse that in any way.”

Added Birk: “I’m very confused by [the President’s] statement. For God to bless a place where they’re ending 330,000 lives a year? I just chose not to attend.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On June 7, 1968, the Red Sox drafted which two players who went on to have solid major league careers mainly as teammates with the Brewers?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “They don’t like to mess with Papi late in the game. They stopped doing that. In that kind of situation, pretty much most of the time it’s either a walk or something else happens. I just keep my patience.” David Ortiz, after following an intentional walk to Dustin Pedroia with a game-ending three-run home run that gave the Red Sox a 6-3 victory over the Rangers on Thursday

STAT OF THE DAY: 5-0 — The Spurs record all-time in Game 1s of NBA finals series, following Thursday night’s 92-88 victory over the Heat in Miami

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Carlee Clemmons, a 6-foot-1 high school basketball player from North Carolina, wins the Basketball Elite Summer Showcase Slam Dunk Contest by jumping over two 6-foot-8 players on his way to the basket.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Cecil Cooper and Ben Oglivie

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Former Jane’s Addiction lead guitarist Dave Navarro was born on this day in 1967.

Read More: David Stern, LeBron James, Matt Birk, Yasiel Puig