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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: ‘Nervous’ Barry Bonds begins coaching stint with Giants

03.11.14 at 8:06 am ET
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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.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Pacers, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Spurs at Bulls, 8 p.m. (WGN)
NBA: Rockets at Thunder, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Mount St. Mary’s at Robert Morris, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Milwaukee at Wright State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: BYU vs. Gonzaga, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: North Dakota State vs. IPFW, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Capitals at Penguins, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB preseason: Mets at Cardinals, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Mariners vs. Angels, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: UEFA CHampions: Arsenal at Bayern Munich, 3:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Barry Bonds was all smiles greeting the media Monday. (AP)

Barry Bonds was all smiles greeting the media Monday. (AP)

– Home run king Barry Bonds, looking much thinner than during his playing days, showed up at Giants spring training in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Monday to begin serving as a hitting instructor for a week.

“It feels really good to be back,” Bonds said in a 30-minute meeting with about three dozen media members. “It feels good to give back to the game that I love. Hopefully I’ll be a part of this longer. … I’m enjoying it.”

“I am more nervous at this than I was playing, because it was only my mind and me. Hopefully I can bring good value to the ball club. We’ll see how it works out. I don’t even know if I’m good at it.”

Bonds, who played 15 seasons with the Giants before retiring after the 2007 season with 762 home runs and a cloud of suspicion regarding PED use, was known for his lack of cooperation with the media when he played. Now 49, he appears to have mellowed.

“I’m just a different character. I was a different character playing,” he said. “Now I’ve had time to slow down, do other things. I needed that guy to play, it’s who I was at the time. I’m the same person, just a different character. … Teammates used to say, you don’t play when you’re nice. It worked. Whatever it was, it worked.”

Bonds said “without a doubt” he belongs in the Hall of Fame, but he offered no opinion regarding those who won’t vote for him. “You guys are all adults,” he said. “I have no advice for you.”

– The Minnesota lawmaker who sent out a tweet about the NBA that was criticized as racist apologized Monday after initially standing by his comments.

State Rep. Pat Garofalo, a fifth-term Republican from Farmington, tweeted Sunday: Let’s be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/ possible exception of increase in streetcrime.

Garofalo eventually acknowledged his mistake.

“I sincerely apologize to those who I unfairly categorized,” said Garofalo, who’s seeking a sixth term in the fall. “The NBA has many examples of players and owners who are role models for our communities and for our country. Those individuals did not deserve that criticism and I apologize.”

Garofalo, who is known for speaking his mind and stirring up controversy, insisted his comments were not racially motivated.

“I don’t have a racist bone in my body. I pride myself on the fact I’ve tutored in inner-city Minneapolis,” Garofalo told reporters, adding that there are “no excuses. I apologize. I’m responsible for my actions.”

– A youth hockey referee in Connecticut was arrested over the weekend for being too aggressive in escorting a player off the ice after an ejection.

Stephen Levins called a match penalty on a player who, according to a member of the other team, “took a shot at the ref’s head with the puck,” after becoming angry during a game Saturday at Champions Ice Rink in Cromwell.

According to police, Levins then physically escorted the player off the ice, upsetting parents and teammates. Parents tried to get onto the ice to confront Levins, while others attempted to calm matters. Some called 911.

Levins, 55, was charged with breach of peace and risk of injury to a minor. He posted $5,000 bond and was released.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 11, 1976, which Bruins winger scored the 300th goal of his career with a hat trick in a 6-2 victory over the Maple Leafs?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I appreciate Tone’s contributions over the last four seasons. I’ve always admired his knack for making the clutch play. He’s a tremendous competitor who wants the ball in his hands when the game is on the line. I wish him nothing but the best.” – Jets coach Rex Ryan, in a statement regarding the release of wide receiver Santonio Holmes

STAT OF THE DAY: 1 – Hits allowed by Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester in three innings against the Rays on Monday, the left-hander’s first spring training start of 2014

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton crushes a 500-foot home run in Monday’s game against the Mets.

From the same game, a fan abandons his son in a rolling stroller in an attempt to retrieve a baseball.

Suns forward P.J. Tucker is ejected after punching Clippers star Blake Griffin while they wrestle on the floor.

A fan at a Mavericks game wins $10,000 for rolling three of a kind in a giant dice game.

A couple of young golfers team up for a trick shot at a driving range.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Ken Hodge

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Cheryl Lynn was born on this day in 1957.

Read More: Barry Bonds, Pat Garofalo,