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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: MLB players reportedly wanted Alex Rodriguez kicked out of union

01.22.14 at 7:48 am ET

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NBA: Celtics at Wizards, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Thunder at Spurs, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Pacers at Suns, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Wake Forest at Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Louisville at South Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Iowa at Michigan, 7 p.m. (BTN)
College basketball: VCU at Dayton, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Duke at Miami, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: TCU at Oklahoma, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Wisconsin at Minnesota, 9 p.m. (BTN)
College basketball: La Salle at St. Bonaventure, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: California at USC, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Utah State at UNLV, 11:05 p.m. (CBSSN)
NHL: Blackhawks at Red Wings, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: Australian Open, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)


— If there was any doubt how fellow major leaguers feel about Alex Rodriguez, that was made clear Tuesday when a report emerged that several players wanted Rodriguez to be kicked out of the MLB Players Association after he included the union in the lawsuit he filed last week seeking to overturn his year-long suspension.

The suit claims the MLBPA “breached its duty of fair representation to Mr. Rodriguez.” Union head Tony Clark responded by calling the suit “unfortunate” and said: “His claim is completely without merit and we will aggressively defend ourselves and our members from these baseless charges.”

The players, speaking Jan. 13 during an MLBPA conference call, were informed by staff lawyers that a player could not be expelled from the union. According to Yahoo! Sports, one unnamed player said that of the approximately 40 players and board members on the call, no one defended Rodriguez when it was suggested he be removed from the union.

“That’s what everyone was thinking,” the player said. “We wanted to get on this call and not let him back. [To say,] ‘This is our game and we don’t want you in it.’ ”

One player suggested that A-Rod could face repercussions when he returns to the field.

“When he gets up to bat, you can hit him and hit him hard.” the player told Yahoo! “That’s what I’d do. He sued us. Jhonny Peralta and Nelson Cruz screwed up. You know what? They owned up to it. They took their medicine.

“[Rodriguez] needs to be scared of coming back and facing people he sued. If he can’t fear the wrath of getting kicked out or not being included, he’s going to be forced out.”

— Multi-billionaire Warren Buffett is insuring a Quicken Loans contest that offers $1 billion to anyone who can fill out a perfect bracket for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in March.

Buffett said he proposed the idea to Quicken founder and chairman Dan Gilbert (also the owner of the Cavaliers) in November. The company announced the contest Tuesday.

“I said, ‘Here’s a proposition that might be interesting to you,’ ” Buffett recounted to the Los Angeles Times. “It heated up three weeks ago. We quoted a price. They worked out the mechanics of it.”

The contest is free and open to the first 10 million people who sign up online. If someone gets all the games correct, they have the option of taking 40 annual payments of $25 million or taking a lump sum of $500 million.

“Just imagine if there’s one person left [with a perfect bracket] at the last game,” Buffett said. “I will go to that final game with him or her and I’ll have a check in my pocket. … I think we’ll be rooting for different teams.”

Buffett also said he might try to negotiate with anyone who enters the the tournament’s last weekend with a chance to win.

“If you get to the Final Four with a perfect bracket, I may buy you out of your position,” Buffett said. “I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse. I will accept your phone call, you better believe it.”

— Knicks coach Mike Woodson claims he’s not upset that his players appeared to question his ability following Monday’s loss to the Nets, the team’s fourth straight setback, although he asked that the complaints be kept in-house.

Tyson Chandler was the most outspoken player, saying the Nets “out-schemed” the Knicks in a 103-80 rout at Madison Square Garden.

Responded Woodson: “I don’t think it’s something you air in the paper. You’ve got issues, you hold your coach and your teammates accountable and you air it out amongst yourself.”

Chandler tried to downplay the issue, insisting he wasn’t taking shots at his coach.

“We’re fine,” he said. “Coach knows me. He knows if I have something to say it’s going to be to him. ‘€¦ Anything I say, I say to them, to their face. But I will be honest about what I saw in the game. But that’s not meant to nitpick at anybody or send any messages. I’ll send my messages directly.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 22, 2012, in the AFC championship game, the Patriots edged the Ravens, 23-20, after Billy Cundiff‘s 32-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left with seconds remaining. Which Patriot scored the game-winning touchdown early in the fourth quarter?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “LeBron got a bunch of calls down the stretch. We expect that. We just wished we could have kept him off the line.” Celtics forward Brandon Bass, after James hit seven free throws in the final 2:33 as part of the Heat’s 9-0 run that closed out Tuesday’s game, a 93-86 Miami victory

STAT OF THE DAY: 8 — Consecutive games in which Kevin Durant has scored at least 30 points, following his 46-point performance in Tuesday’s 105-97 victory over the Trail Blazers

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Here’s a helmet-cam video of the skydivers who landed at Sports Authority Field prior to Sunday’s AFC championship game.

During last week’s visit to the White House, the Heat filmed a public service ad for the Let’s Move program that features a dunking Michelle Obama.

Oklahoma’s James Fraschilla has another trick shot video.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Tom Brady, on 1-yard dive on fourth down with 11:29 remaining

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Sam Cooke, who died in 1964, was born on this day in 1931.

Read More: alex rodriguez, mike woodson, Tyson Chandler, Warren Buffet