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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Aroldis Chapman ‘very lucky’ to only need metal plate in head after taking liner to face

03.21.14 at 7:53 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’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.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Bruins at Avalanche, 9 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: Notre Dame vs. UMass-Lowell, 5 p.m. (NESN, NBCSN)
College hockey: Denver vs. Western Michigan, 5 p.m. (CBSSN)
College hockey: UNH vs. Providence, 8 p.m. (NESN Plus, NBCSN)
College hockey: Miami (Ohio) vs. North Dakota, 8:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
NBA: Celtics at Nets, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Bulls at Pacers, 7 p.m. (WGN)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Tennessee vs. UMass, 2:45 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Mercer vs. Duke, 12:15 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Nebraska vs. Baylor, 12:40 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Stanford vs. New Mexico, 1:40 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Weber State vs. Arizona, 2:10 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Creighton, 3:10 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Eastern Kentucky vs. Kansas, 4:10 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Oklahoma State vs. Gonzaga, 4:40 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, George Washington vs. Memphis, 6:55 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Cal Poly vs. Wichita State, 7:10 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Providence vs. North Carolina, 7:20 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Stephen F. Austin vs. VCU, 7:27 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Coastal Carolina vs. Virginia, 9:25 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Kansas State vs. Kentucky, 9:40 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, N.C. Central vs. Iowa State, 9:50 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, Tulsa vs. UCLA, 9:57 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NIT, Robert Morris at Belmont, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
MLB preseason: Red Sox at Phillies, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Cubs at White Sox, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Pirates at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Reds left-hander Aroldis Chapman is expected back on the mound in 6-8 weeks after having a 2 1/2-hour operation Thursday to repair a broken bone above his left eye suffered when he was hit in the face by a line drive in Wednesday’s spring training game against the Royals in Surprise, Ariz.

Team medical director Dr. Timothy Kremcheck said Chapman was “a very lucky guy” for escaping further injury. The doctor said Chapman had a mild concussion but no other brain injury or damage to his eye.

Chapman will have a metal plate inserted in the bone above his left eyebrow and it will remain there permanently.

Some Reds visited Chapman in the hospital and said he is in good spirits.

“He was talking to me and we joked a lot,” catcher (and fellow Cuban) Brayan Pena said. “He just wanted to make sure for me to tell everybody that he appreciate so much the fans’ prayers, especially our teammates, our coaching staff, everybody around, how much support and how much love he received and got from all of us.”

Added Pena: “He was talking a lot about some Cuban jokes and that’s good because that means his memory is still working pretty good.”

— In less-serious injury news, Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez pulled himself from Thursday’s exhibition game in Australia because of back tightness he blamed on sightseeing.

“I need to rest, get off my feet,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve done a lot of walking around the city. I’ll be good. I’m positive I’ll feel better tomorrow.”

Gonzalez started the game despite feeling discomfort as he warmed up, hoping he would feel better. After batting in the fourth inning, however, he was done for the night.

“It actually got tighter,” he explained. “I swung at a pitch in the second at-bat and it didn’t feel good. I finished the at-bat because I didn’t want to take myself out of the game in the middle of the at-bat.”

— Overall, Jason Collins has been well received as the first openly gay athlete in major professional sports since joining the Nets last month. The team is 10-3 since he joined, and the veteran center was signed for the rest of the season last week.

However, he said he has not been welcomed by everyone, as one opposing player showed a lack of respect.

“One player, one knucklehead from another team,” Collins told the New York Daily News. “He’s a knucklehead. So I just let it go. Again, that goes back to controlling what you can control. That’s how I conduct myself — just being professional.”

Collins noted that the team’s success helps prove that his situation has not been a distraction.

“Not just for myself, but I think for everyone. This shows that ‘distraction’ is B.S. That it’s about the team, it’s about the sport,” Collins said. “I hope this shows all players that you can still have your life off the court and not have to hide anything. And still have your life on the court or on the field or on the ice, I guess, in hockey. That’s a credit to my teammates and the entire Nets organization — from ownership to coaching to teammates to everyone.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 21, 1991, the Bruins peppered Quebec Nordiques goalie Ron Tugnutt with 73 shots — 10 short of the NHL record set by the B’s in 1941 — in a 3-3 tie. Which Bruin set an NHL record with 19 shots in the game?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We all talked about just living up to our values and our standards and doing the things that have gotten us to this point. We felt as though if we were able to do that, that we would have a great chance of coming out with a victory. Luckily we were able to do that.” – Harvard forward Wesley Saunders, after the 12th-seeded Crimson posted a 61-57 victory over fifth-seeded Cincinnati on Thursday in the NCAA tournament

STAT OF THE DAY: .063 — David Ortiz‘s batting average in spring training (2-for-32), after going 0-for-2 in the Red Sox3-2 loss to the Yankees on Thursday

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): In an NCAA tournament game, Cameron Ridley lifts Texas over Arizona State with this putback at the buzzer.

Red Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson scores with less than a second left in overtime to beat the Penguins.

From a hockey game in the Netherlands, a referee and a goalie who are brothers try to get in the stands to protect a family member who was involved in a fight.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Ray Bourque

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Russell Thompkins Jr., known for his falsettos leads with the Stylistics, was born on this day in 1951.

Read More: Adrian gonzalez, Brayan Pena, Jason Collins,