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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Daisuke Matsuzaka ‘shocked’ at demotion to Triple-A by Mets

03.31.14 at 8:08 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’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.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 3:05 p.m. (NESN, ESPN2; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cubs at Pirates, 1 p.m. (ESPN, WGN)
MLB: Cardinals at Reds, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Rockies at Marlins, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLB: Mariners at Angels, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA: Celtics at Bulls, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Spurs at Pacers, 7 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: CBI, Siena at Fresno State, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)
NHL: Panthers at Devils, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Wild at Kings, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Sunderland vs. West Ham, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched well at Mets spring training, including five scoreless innings Saturday against the Blue Jays, and the former Red Sox hurler was surprised to be sent to Triple-A to start the season.

“I always knew there was a possibility I would be going to the minors, but with what I have been doing in the past few games, I have had confidence in what I am doing,” Matsuzaka said through his interpreter (via the New York Daily News). “But I am definitely shocked at this.”

Matsuzaka, who was in camp on a minor league contract, had a 1-1 record with a 3.04 ERA and 1.27 WHIP at spring training, allowing nine runs (eight earned) and 26 hits in 23 2/3 innings. He struck out 25 and walked only four — three coming in his previous start against the Cardinals. He had no walks and eight K’s in Saturday’s game.

He pitched in seven games for the Mets last season, going 3-3 with a 4.42 ERA and 1.24 WHIP.

Jenrry Mejia, a 24-year-old right-hander who was limited to 50 innings between the majors and minors last season last season due to surgery to remove a bone chip from his elbow, grabbed the No. 5 spot in New York’s rotation and is slated to start Friday against the Reds.

‘€œThe situation with Dice-K was very difficult. He pitched very well,” general manager Sandy Alderson said. “Jenrry Mejia also pitched very well.”

– The Los Angeles reunion between former Celtics coach Doc Rivers and forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis doesn’t appear to be going so well.

Rivers had Davis removed from the bench during the Clippers’ victory over the Rockets on Saturday in Houston after the two exchanged words.

Davis, who joined the Clippers last month after being cut by the Magic, was taken out of the game in the second quarter when he yelled something at Rivers. According to the Los Angeles Times, Rivers responded by saying, “Sit your big [expletive] down.”

Associate head coach Alvin Gentry talked to Davis before Rivers had team security escort Davis to the locker room. Davis did not return in the second half.

“I thought Baby was just too emotional, and for me, if you’re too emotional I always send you back to the locker room and keep you back there until the next game,” Rivers said (via ESPNLA.com). “I love Baby. I just didn’t think emotionally he was ready to play tonight, so we told him to go to the locker room.”

Davis was known to be emotional during his time with Rivers in Boston, but the coach never sent him off as he did Saturday.

“No, I haven’t, but I’ve talked about emotional hijacks,” Rivers said. “If you have one, I’ll send you back. We’ve talked about that as a group. I didn’t make a big deal, didn’t address it halftime and it’s not a big deal. We needed him tonight, but he wasn’t here emotionally, so you tell him to go and sit.”

– Boys basketball player Pat Welch, a guard at Pembroke Academy in Concord, N.H., was stripped of his NHIAA Division 2 Player of the Year award after he sent out a tweet following his team’s state title win over Portsmouth in which he sent an obnoxious tweet capped by an obscenity.

Wrote Welch on March 15: Shout out to Portsmouth, you may have won in the regular season’€¦’€¦ But we won the ship you suck #[expletive]yourself

According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, Welch deleted the post shortly after writing it, and he apologized in person to the Portsmouth administration. But the New Hampshire Basketball Coaches Organization still stripped Welch of his honor (giving it instead to Bishop Brady’s Jourdain Bell) and rescinded his invitation to two all-star games.

NHBCO president Gary Noyes said in a statement that the organization could not tolerate the “flagrant unsportsmanlike behavior.”

“It is with great sadness that this committee has to act on this situation, but we strive to uphold the tenet that this award is not based solely on a basketball player’s ability but also on that player’s character and demonstrated sportsmanship,” Noyes said.

“I don’t believe the punishment fits the crime,” Pembroke coach Matt Alosa said, adding: “They basically took away Pat’s body of work this season because of a tweet that ended up online for 15 minutes.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 31, 2003, the Red Sox opened the season with a game in Tampa and unveiled their “closer by committee” to disastrous results. The bullpen gave up five runs in the ninth in a 6-4 loss as Boston wasted a seven-inning, one run effort from which starter?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “If I use that for motivation, I’ve got problems. That’€™€™s not what motivates me to go out and pitch and get better. Money has never driven me, I love baseball, I love to play, so what drives me is to be the best pitcher I can and go out and help my team win.” – Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester, who will start Monday’s Opening Day game against the Orioles, on his contract negotiations

STAT OF THE DAY: 9 – Consecutive road victories for the Bruins, a franchise record, after Sunday’s 4-3 shootout win over the Flyers

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist scores an impressive goal against the Lightning, fending off a hook and then scoring from a tough angle.

In Saturday’s NCAA hockey tournament game, Union College defenseman Shane Gostisbehere shows he can play goalie as well, turning away a flurry of Providence shots while covering the crease.

In Phoenix, a Suns fan hits a halfcourt shot to win $77,777, and he gets mobbed by the players.

A Florida TV station, hampered by rights restrictions, recreates the highlights from Saturday’s Florida-Dayton game.

A fan at Friday’s Angels-Dodgers game makes an impressive catch of a foul ball.

Andrew Cowen sets a record for the highest score while bowling backwards, hitting 10 strikes in a row en route to a 280, during a game in Rockford, Ill.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Pedro Martinez

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Shirley Jones, mother of “The Partridge Family,” was born on this day in 1934.

Read More: Daisuke Matsuzaka, doc rivers, Glen Davis, Pat Welch