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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Doc Rivers agrees to 5-year extension with Clippers 08.28.14 at 7:58 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’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.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Cubs at Reds, 12:30 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Yankees at Tigers, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Athletics at Angels, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
NFL preseason: Patriots at Giants, 7:30 p.m. (WBZ-TV)
NFL preseason: Jets at Eagles, 7 p.m. (NFL Network)
NFL preseason: Seahawks at Raiders, 10 p.m. (NFL Network)
College football: Wake Forest at Louisiana-Monroe, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Boise State vs. Mississippi, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Rutgers vs. Washington State, 10 p.m. (FS1)
Tennis: US Open, 11 a.m. (Tennis Channel), 1 p.m. (ESPN). 6 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

– Clippers coach Doc Rivers was given a five-year extension from new owner Steve Ballmer, locking up the 52-year-old through the 2018-19 season.

Rivers was widely praised for his handling of the Donald Sterling situation at the end of last season and into the offseason.

“Not only is Doc one of the best coaches and executives in the game, but he continually embodies the hard-core, committed and resilient character and winning culture that the Clippers represent,” Ballmer said, noting that re-signing Rivers was one of his priorities.

Rivers, who was given the additional responsibility of president of basketball operations two months ago, led the team to a franchise-best 57-25 record last season and its second straight Pacific Division tittle. In the playoffs, the Clippers were able to overcome the Sterling distraction and beat the Warriors in a seven-game opening-round series before getting ousted by the Thunder in the second round.

Rivers, who said he was prepared to quit if Sterling remained team owner, voiced his support for Ballmer last week, saying: “With Steve’s leadership, we have this opportunity to be this great organization. That’s probably what makes me the most excited because I know if you get that part right, the basketball part will become easier in some ways, and that’s good.”

– USC cornerback Josh Shaw finally acknowledged Wednesday that his story about injuring both of his ankles while heroically rescuing his 7-year-old nephew from a pool was a lie, and he was suspended from all team activities.

“I made up a story about this fall that was untrue,” Shaw said in a statement from his attorney. “I was wrong not to tell the truth. I apologize to USC for this action on my part. My USC coaches, The USC athletic department, and especially coach Sarkisian have all been supportive of me during my college career and for that, I am very grateful.”

Shaw’s tale began to unravel almost immediately after it became public, as several calls to the USC athletic department called the senior captain’s version of events into question.

“We are extremely disappointed in Josh,” USC coach Steve Sarkisian said in a statement. “He let us all down. As I have said, nothing in his background led us to doubt him when he told us of his injuries, nor did anything after our initial vetting of his story.

“I appreciate that Josh has now admitted that he lied and has apologized. Although this type of behavior is out of character for Josh, it is unacceptable. Honesty and integrity must be at the center of our program. I believe Josh will learn from this. I hope that he will not be defined by this incident, and that the Trojan Family will accept his apology and support him.”

Shaw’s attorney initially released a statement claiming the player was hurt in a fall without giving specifics, but later in the day he acknowledged that Shaw suffered his injury falling from the balcony of the apartment building where his girlfriend lives. Police had been called to the apartment Saturday night, and a witness reported seeing a man fleeing the vacant apartment via the balcony, although authorities said Shaw is not a suspect in any investigation.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on Wednesday insisted he wants to do adhere to the rules after his team was penalized Tuesday by the league for excessive physical contact during minicamp in June, due in part to a fight involving controversial cornerback Richard Sherman. The team will lose two practices next offseason.

“We don’t want to do things wrong. We want to do things right,” Carroll said after Wednesday’s practice. “I’d like to show exactly how to do it. When you’re competing like we do, we’re trying to do things the best you can possibly do it. Unfortunately, this incident makes it look otherwise.”

According to Carroll, Sherman’s scuffle with receiver Phil Bates on June 18 led to the league taking a closer look at the team’s practices after initially indicating Seattle was in line with the rules regarding contact.

“A year ago and halfway through this camp, when they observed what was going on, they said everything was just fine so we kept going and just kept working,” Carroll said. “I was really pleased with that, but unfortunately it went otherwise when we got to minicamp.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Aug. 28, 1967, the Red Sox won a bidding war to sign which high-profile free agent?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m extremely disappointed in her piece. I think it’s unethical. I think it’s very, very unprofessional.  Not only the piece itself, the content. The manner in which she did it.” – Rams coach Jeff Fisher, on ESPN’s Josina Anderson reporting that Michael Sam does not shower with his teammates

STAT OF THE DAY: 9 – Consecutive hits allowed by Tigers starter David Price to the Yankees in the third inning of Wednesday’s game — the first time in 25 years a pitcher has allowed nine straight hits

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Royals left fielder Alex Gordon makes a leaping catch and holds on to the ball after crashing into the fence.

Highly regarded Cubs prospect Jorge Soler hits a home run in his first major league at-bat.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, who had been waived by the Kansas City Athletics after a dispute with controversial owner Charlie Finley

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Shania Twain was born on this day in 1965.

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Kevin Love ‘committed long term’ to winning titles with Cavaliers 08.27.14 at 7:16 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’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.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Pirates, 12:35 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Yankees at Tigers, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Albine Christian at Georgia State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Arsenal vs. Besiktas, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Tennis: US Open, 11 a.m. (Tennis Channel), 1 p.m. (ESPN). 6 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Kevin Love was introduced by the Cavaliers on Tuesday, and the All-Star forward promised he would be dedicated to his new home.

“I’m committed to this team, committed long term to the end goal and that’s to win championships,” he said.

Love has yet to play in the postseason, after his first spending six seasons with the perennially rebuilding Timberwolves.

The 25-year-old now will team with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving on the team that immediately becomes the favorite to win the Eastern Conference.

Love said James started recruiting him — or at least buttering him up — when they were teammates on the U.S. Olympic team in 2012.

“Sitting next to me, a locker really close to me and he would always tell me how good he thought I was,” Love said. “For me I would just kind of brush it off and shake it off because I was standoffish because I didn’t know him well.”

Eventually Love started to come around and realize, “One day maybe I could play with LeBron James.”

That became a reality this summer, after the Timberwolves realized they needed to get something in return for a player who made it clear he would leave next offseason as a free agent.

That created some hard feelings in Minnesota, and Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor questioned Love’s fit in Cleveland.

“I question Kevin if this is going to be the best deal for him because I think he’s going to be the third player on the team,” Taylor said. “I don’t think he’s going to get a lot of credit if they do really well. I think he’ll get blame if they don’t do well.

“He’s around a couple guys that are awful good. I’m not saying Kevin isn’t good. I think where maybe he got away with some stuff not playing defense on our team, I’m not sure that’s how it’s going to work in Cleveland. I would guess they’re going to ask him to play more defense — and he’s foul prone.”

– Washington safety Brandon Meriweather has appealed his two-game suspension from the NFL for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Ravens receiver Torrey Smith in Saturday’s preseason game.

A six-time offender of the player safety rules, Meriweather was suspended for two games last season as well but had the penalty reduced to one game on appeal.

First-year Washington coach Jay Gruden questioned the penality, saying Meriweather and Smith lowered their heads at the same time on the incomplete pass, while acknowledging Meriweather’s spotty record.

“Unfortunately, for Brandon, he’s got a history of these types of events,” Gruden said. “Whether or not it was significant enough to warrant a suspension is what they decided. ‘€¦ He tried to lower his target, I thought. I thought it was a legitimate football play, but the NFL didn’t see it that way.”

Smith said in a tweet that he does not think Meriweather should be suspended.

– After a story on the USC website hailed safety Josh Shaw as a hero for jumping off a second-floor balcony and dragging himself to a pool to rescue his 7-year-old nephew from the water, the school is investigating, prompted by tips calling the story into doubt.

“We’re looking at it,” coach Steve Sarkisian said after Tuesday’s practice. “Josh is adamant with what occurred, and we’ll continue to vet some of the other stories that have come across our desk or across our phones, and see where we can go from there.”

Shaw, who was selected as a team captain Saturday shortly before the incident, suffered two high ankle sprains and is out indefinitely.

“Josh Shaw has been a good leader for us,” Sarkisian said. “He’s given me no reason not to believe what he has told us that occurred, but we do need to know. I think it’s important to know in the direction we’re headed.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Aug. 27, 1967, in another memorable game during the Impossible Dream season, the Red Sox held off the White Sox, 4-3, in the first game of a doubleheader after which Sox right fielder threw out Ken Berry at home in the ninth inning?

QUOTE OF THE DAY:Logan Mankins is everything we would ever want in a football player. It is hard to imagine a better player at his position, a tougher competitor or a person to represent our program. He is one of the all-time great Patriots and the best guard I ever coached. Logan brought a quiet but unmistakable presence and leadership that will be impossible to duplicate. Unfortunately, this is the time of year when difficult decisions have to be made — and this is one of the most difficult we will ever make — but like every other decision it was made for what we feel is in the best interests of the team.” – Patriots coach Bill Belichick, in a team statement, on the trade of offensive lineman Logan Mankins to the Buccaneers

STAT OF THE DAY: $99 million – Transfer fee paid by Manchester United — a British record amount — for Real Madrid midfielder Angel Di Maria

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): With the Royals trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Alex Gordon delivers a two-run home run to beat the Twins.

Old friend Jonny Gomes makes a diving catch for the Athletics against the Astros.

During Tuesday night’s game in Toronto, a young Red Sox fan nabs a foul ball but gives it away to a younger Blue Jays fan.

An Astros fan invited to throw out the first pitch has a little trouble with her delivery, slamming the ball into into the ground and off to the side.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Jose Tartabull

SOOTHING SOUNDS: The late Edward Patten, who was a member of Gladys Knight & the Pips, was born on this day in 1939. He’s the one in the middle.

Read More: Brandon Meriweather, Josh Shaw, Kevin Love, LeBron James
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Controversial OL Richie Incognito meets with Buccaneers 08.26.14 at 7:42 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:
MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Twins at Royals, 8 p.m. (FS1)
MLB: Marlins at Angels, 10:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
Basketball: Exhibition, Slovenia vs. United States, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Celtic vs. Maribor, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Tennis: US Open, 11 a.m. (Tennis Channel), 1 p.m. (ESPN). 7 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Richie Incognito

Richie Incognito

– Former Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito, who was widely vilified for his role in the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal last year, met with Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith on Monday about the possibility of joining the team. Other reports indicated that there were more interested teams and he was expected to sign with one of them by the end of the week.

Incognito, who has a history of violent behavior on and off the field, reportedly was cleared by the NFL to return to action after being on paid suspension by the Dolphins for the final eight games of the 2013 season. He became a free agent in the offseason.

“If you know my history, I do believe in second chances,” Smith told reporters prior to sitting down with Incognito. “To me, nobody should have a death sentence. If you should, you’re probably in jail.”

Added Smith: “From there, what does it hurt to talk to someone? For me, as we go forward, I’m not holier than thou. I’m going to give everybody the benefit of the doubt until I have information that tells me otherwise. That’s where we are right now. Part of that process is Richie coming in.”

MASHUP POLL: Should Richie Incognito be allowed to return to the NFL?

  • Yes, there's no valid reason to keep him off the field (60%, 61 Votes)
  • Only if he's shown he's completed anger-management training (31%, 32 Votes)
  • No, he's used up his chances and should not play again (9%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 102

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Some Buccaneers players, including quarterback Josh McCown and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, said they would support management’s decision to bring in Incognito if the player can help the team win. Smith said he wouldn’t take the risk if he thought it would create problems.

“Would I have a football player on our team that I thought would mess up our team chemistry? The answer is no. Simple as that,” Smith said. “But I can’t assume that’s the case. To me, you go through the process. You look and you talk face to face with everybody that’s available. That’s what we’re doing.”

– One day after meeting with Jets officials following a 48-hour disappearance and apparently claiming his absence was justified, veteran cornerback Dimitri Patterson was suspended indefinitely by the team.

“Obviously, Dimitri felt he acted appropriately, but until we discussed it [Sunday] night, you don’t understand,” general manager John Idzik said, “And, to be honest, we’re still trying to understand all that went behind it. So, I would rather not characterize it.”

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Read More: Dimitri Patterson, Josh Shaw, Lovie Smith, Richie Incognito
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Jets CB Dimitri Patterson returns to team after going AWOL 08.25.14 at 7:34 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 Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Royals, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Premier League, Liverpool at Manchester City, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: US Open, 11 a.m. (Tennis Channel), 1 p.m. (ESPN), 6 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Dimitri Patterson

Dimitri Patterson

– Jets cornerback Dimitri Patterson met with team brass on Sunday night after failing to show up for Friday night’s game against the Giants and having no communication with the team for about 48 hours.

General manager John Idzik said during a conference call prior to Sunday’s meeting that while Patterson had not returned messages from himself and coach Rex Ryan, Patterson’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, let them know earlier Sunday that the player was physically OK, although the reason for his disappearance was not made clear.

“I’d like to talk to him so we could figure out what’s behind it,” Idzik said.

Patterson, who signed a one-year, $3 million deal in April and was expected to start in the team’s depleted secondary if he was able to fight through a variety of leg injuries that slowed him down this summer, was last seen at the pregame meal Friday.

“Obviously, as the game went on, we still had major concerns for his health and where he was, but were unable to locate him,” Ryan said.

Added Idzik: “There really wasn’t any warning that we had of something like this,” Idzik said. “There was nothing to indicate this kind of behavior.”

Broncos receiver Wes Welker suffered a concussion — his third diagnosed concussion in less than a year — when he was hit by Texans safety D.J. Swearinger, and Peyton Manning was not pleased with the play.

The Denver quarterback let Swearinger know right after the play — on which Swearinger was penalized — then Manning drew a flag for taunting after he yelled at the safety following a touchdown pass on the next play.

On Sunday, Texans coach Bill O’Brien came to the defense of his player.

“D.J. was not trying to do any harm,” O’Brien said. “He was trying to make a play, make a tackle. The call was correct. What you continually have to do is show the guys on tape what a proper tackle is. It’s not leading with the head. It’s hitting with your shoulder and hitting basically between the shoulders and the waist and not above the neck area. But last night’s play was a tough one to say, ‘You were really at fault there.’ ”

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Read More: Albert Ebosse, D.J. Swearinger, Dmitri Patterson, Peyton Manning
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Bills coach Doug Marrone fed up with team’s fighting in practice 08.22.14 at 8:01 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:
MLB: Mariners at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Orioles at Cubs, 2:20 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Braves at Reds, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NFL preseason: Panthers at Patriots, 7:30 p.m. (WBZ-TV)
NFL preseason: Raiders at Packers, 8 p.m. (CBS)
NFL preseason: Bears at Seahawks, 10 p.m. (NFL Network)
Basketball: Exhibition, United States vs. Puerto Rico, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
WNBA playoffs: Sky at Dream, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA playoffs: Sparks at Mercury, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
MLS: Real Salt Lake at FC Dallas, 9 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Doug Marrone

Doug Marrone

– Fights are not uncommon in NFL training camps, but the Bills’ inability to avoid confrontations has pushed coach Doug Marrone to the breaking point.

During Thursday’s final practice of training camp in Pittsford, New York, Marrone lit into his players about the fights and shoving matches. After a few players got into a skirmish, he stopped a drill and had those players run sprints. He then barked in the direction of starting defensive end Jerry Hughes on the sideline.

“Why can’t you handle it as players,” he said while looking toward Hughes. “Do you want to play on this team? … If you’ve got a problem with me, you need to come and tell me.”

Marrone and Hughes had a meeting after practice, although Marrone later told the media he was not singling out Hughes.

“That’s directed at anyone who doesn’t want to be part of the team,” Marrone said. “I told Jerry that I love the way he practices and I love the way he plays special teams and how he goes about it. And we’ve got to get some other guys who are starters to do that.”

A day earlier, rookie defensive end Bryan Johnson knocked off center Eric Wood‘s helmet and punched him repeatedly before being wrestled to the ground by two other offensive players.

MASHUP POLL: Are fights between teammates OK in NFL training camp?

  • Only if it involves the Jets (56%, 14 Votes)
  • No, it would get a player thrown out of a game, so they shouldn't do it in practice (28%, 7 Votes)
  • Yes, it shows a level of seriousness and high intensity (16%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 25

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Marrone, himself a former NFL offensive lineman, expressed his disappointment with the fighting.

“Figure it out. We’re responsible for the integrity of the game,” Marrone said. “There is no use for fighting in the game of football. Period. End of discussion.”

– Steelers running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount played in Thursday night’s preseason game against the Eagles after being charged with misdemeanor marijuana violations one day earlier.

“[I] didn’t consider it a punishment to send them home,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “I’d rather them play more.”

Blount, who played for the Patriots last season, rushed seven times for 32 yards.

“I’m sorry for the distraction I caused my team,” he said. “I apologized to the team and the coaches.”

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Read More: Doug Marrone, Jerry Hughes, Jurgen Klinsmann, Le'Veon Bell
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Former NFL referee Mike Carey asked out of working Redskins games because of name 08.21.14 at 7:36 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’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.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Angels at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Astros at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Braves at Reds, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
Little League Baseball: World Series, Mexico vs. Tokyo, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Little League Baseball: World Series, Illinois vs. Pennsylvania, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NFL preseason: Steelers at Eagles, 7:30 p.m. (NFL Network)
WNBA playoffs: Mystics at Fever, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
WNBA playoffs: 9 p.m. Stars at Lynx, (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

– Longtime NFL referee Mike Carey, who retired after last season, was ahead of the curve on the Redskins controversy, but he only made it public this week.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Carey — the first African-American referee to work a Super Bowl — said he quietly requested to not work the team’s games beginning in 2006 because of the nickname, and “the league respectfully honored my request not to officiate Washington.” The Post checked the game logs and found this to be accurate.

“It just became clear to me that to be in the middle of the field, where something disrespectful is happening, was probably not the best thing for me,” said Carey, who will serve a rules analyst for CBS this season.

Added Carey: “Human beings take social stances. And if you’re respectful of all human beings, you have to decide what you’re going to do and why you’re going to do it. ‘€¦ I know that if a team had a derogatory name for African-Americans, I would help those who helped extinguish that name. I have quite a few friends who are Native Americans. And even if I didn’t have Native American friends, the name of the team is disrespectful.”

MASHUP POLL: Should an NFL referee be allowed to avoid a team's games because he objects to the nickname?

  • No, it sets a dangerous precedent for an employee to make a stand against a team like that (65%, 180 Votes)
  • Yes, the league should continue to accommodate any such requests (35%, 96 Votes)

Total Voters: 276

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Asked why it took until 2006 for him to make his request, Carey explained: “There was an epiphany for me that it was time. I was never comfortable with the name. I’€™ve never said [the team'€™s name] in my games. But then I realized it wasn’€™t an option to be part of them anymore. For me, I just knew. I knew that everybody — everybody — deserves a level of respect.”

Kevin Durant has been offered a 10-year deal worth at least $265 million by Under Armour, and his representatives have taken the offer to Nike to see if his current endorsement company will match it, according to an ESPN report.

Durant’s contract with Nike requires him to stick with the company if it matches any other offer, the story notes.

As part of Under Armour’s deal, Durant would receive stock and incentives including a community center built in his mother’s name.

Durant turned down a much larger offer from adidas as a rookie in 2007 to sign with Nike. However, his new representatives at Jay Z‘s Roc Nation have pushed for tougher negotiations with the sneaker giants. Adidas reportedly dropped out of the bidding last week.

Under Armour, which gets only about 1 percent of its revenue from basketball shoes, is based in Baltimore, near Durant’s hometown of Seat Pleasant, Maryland.

– Kent State football player Jason Bitsko, the team’s starting center, was found dead in his bed Wednesday morning. He was 21.

Bitsko, who started all 12 games last season, his third with the team, was discovered by a roommate who checked on him when he failed to wake up for practice. The roommate called police, who arrived minutes later.

His teammates were told of Bitsko’s death after the morning practice. The school is providing counseling services and support.

“Our players, coaches and everyone involved with our team are hurting because he was family,” coach Paul Haynes said. “As a team, we will come together and get through this one day at a time.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Aug. 21, 1986, which recently acquired Red Sox infielder scored six times in a 24-5 rout of the Indians?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’€™ll go to my grave believing that was why I got what I got. Absolutely. No question in my mind about that. ‘€¦ I do believe without a doubt, unquestionably, that chewing [tobacco] is what gave me cancer.” – Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, during a Wednesday appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show as part of the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon, discussing his battle with mouth cancer

STAT OF THE DAY: $2.6 billion – Worth of the Patriots, according to Forbes, ranking them second (to the Cowboys) in the NFL

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): The Nationals win their ninth in a row as Anthony Rendon hits a walkoff single in the ninth inning to beat the Diamondbacks.

A Brewers fan is treated to a new beer by the Milwaukee broadcast team after losing his drink while pursuing a foul ball.

Pacers president/Celtics legend Larry Bird takes the ALS ice bucket challenge.

Jack Hoffman, the 8-year-old cancer patient who scored a touchdown in Nebraska’s spring game last year, gets support from the team as he prepares to undergo another round of chemotherapy treatment in Boston.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Shortstop Spike Owen

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Kenny Rogers was born on this day in 1938.

Read More: Jason Bitsko, Kevin Durant, Mike Carey, Redskins
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Jets coach Rex Ryan brushes off criticism about blitzing Bengals backups 08.20.14 at 8:11 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’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.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Angels at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Mets at Athletics, 3:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Padres at Dodgers, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
Little League Baseball: World Series, South Korea vs. Japan, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Little League Baseball: World Series, Nevada vs. Pennsylvania, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

– The Jets won Saturday night’s preseason game over the Bengals, 25-17, but the Cincinnati coaching staff wasn’t pleased with the strategy New York used.

Jets coach Rex Ryan had his team employ a variety of blitzes against the Bengals backups after Cincy starting quarterback Andy Dalton lit up New York’s struggling secondary, going 8-for-8 for 144 yards and a touchdown, with a perfect passer rating of 158.3.

“Notice he didn’t bring that stuff when our starters were out there,” Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander said (via Cincinnati.com). “We’d have scored quicker. If he wants to put his starting defense out there and blitz all that garbage against our third-stringers, if he feels good about it, then all the power to him.”

Said Bengals backup quarterback Jason Campbell (who was inactive, leaving third-stringer QB Matt Scott to deal with the blitzing): “Some of it was a little extreme. I remember back in the day, preseason games you didn’t see any blitzes. Everyone was so vanilla all the way to the regular season. Now it’s a different day and age and teams really just throw it all out there.”

Ryan brushed off the comments.

“I don’t know why they’d be shocked,” he said. “I don’t worry about their team.”

– Former punter Chris Kluwe, who accused the Vikings of releasing him after the 2012 season because he was a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage, reached a settlement with the club Tuesday to avoid a lawsuit.

Kluwe will not receive any money, but the Vikings will donate to five gay rights-related charities over the next five years.

“This will help a lot of people that really do need that help,” Kluwe said at a press conference, adding that team owners Zygi and Mark Wilf “want to make this a reality where there is no discrimination in sports, there is no homophobia.”

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Read More: Chris Kluwe, Rex Ryan, Steve Moore, Todd Bertuzzi
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Browns QB Johnny Manziel gives finger to Washington sideline during game 08.19.14 at 8:11 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:
MLB: Angels at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Reds at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. (MLB Network)
Little League Baseball: World Series, Canada vs. Tennessee, noon (ESPN)
Little League Baseball: World Series, Mexico vs. Venezuela, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Little League Baseball: World Series, Texas vs. Illinois, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Arsenal at Besiktas, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Supercopa de Espana, Atletico Madrid at Real Madrid, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

– Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel lived up to his billing in Monday night’s game against Washington, drawing attention for both his play and his behavior — and neither was positive.

On a second-and-7 play late in the third quarter of Cleveland’s 24-23 loss, Manziel rolled out near the Washington sideline and threw an incompletion. As he headed back toward his huddle, he stuck out his middle finger over his right shoulder.

“I get words exchanged throughout the entirety of the game, every game, week after week, and I should’ve been smarter,” Manziel said. “It was a ‘Monday Night Football‘ game and cameras were probably solid on me, and I just need to be smarter about that. … It’s there, and it’s present every game, and I just need to let it slide off my back and go to the next play.”

MASHUP: How should Johnny Manziel be punished for his gesture Monday night?

  • A fine (48%, 150 Votes)
  • A warning (18%, 57 Votes)
  • No punishment (17%, 54 Votes)
  • A one-game suspension (17%, 49 Votes)

Total Voters: 310

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It wasn’t clear what the Washington players said to Manziel to irritate him, although earlier in the game Washington linebacker Brian Orapko twice celebrated plays by doing the money gesture that Manziel is known for.

Manziel was not penalized, but he’s likely to face a fine from the league.

“It did not sit well,” Browns coach Mike Pettine said. “I was informed of it after the game and it’s disappointing. Because what we talk about is being poised and being focused — that you have to be able to maintain your poise.”

Added Pettine: “That’s a big part of all football players, especially the quarterback, that we have to keep our composure. So that’s something that we’ll obviously address with him.”

Manziel went on to throw a touchdown pass on the drive, but he finished the night just 7-of-16 for 65 yards. Starting quarterback Brian Hoyer also struggled, going 2-for-6 for 16 yards.

– When the Redskins next play on CBS, at least two analysts won’t refer to the team’s nickname.

“My very first thought is it will be ‘Washington’ the whole game,” Phil Simms, the network’s lead analyst, told The Associated Press.

Added Simms: “I never really thought about it, and then it came up and it made me think about it. There are a lot of things that can come up in a broadcast, and I am sensitive to this.”

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Read More: Johnny Manziel, Mike Pettine, phil simms, Steve Ballmer
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Jon Lester’s winning streak ends as A’s slump continues 08.18.14 at 7:35 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: Angels at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Reds at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. (MLB Network)
Little League Baseball: World Series, Czech Republic vs. South Dakota, 11 a.m. (ESPN2)
Little League Baseball: World Series, Australia vs. Mexico, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
Little League Baseball: World Series, Washington vs. Texas, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Little League Baseball: World Series, Puerto Rico vs. Venezuela, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
Little League Baseball: World Series, Rhode Island vs. Illinois, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
NFL preseason: Browns at Washington, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Premier League, Chelsea at Burnley, 3 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Jon Lester‘s winning streak ended at seven Sunday night with a 4-3 loss to the Braves, and it was costly for the Athletics, who could have regained first place after surrendering the American League West lead they had held since April 28 a day earlier.

The A’s have lost seven of their last eight games and are percentage points behind the Angels, who also lost Sunday.

Lester allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits in six-plus innings. He had been 3-0 with a 2.49 ERA in his first three starts with Oakland since his trade from Boston, and he had not lost since a June 7 defeat in Detroit while pitching for the Red Sox. He had allowed only one home run in his previous 11 starts — none with Oakland — but gave up two Sunday in Atlanta.

MASHUP POLL: Which team will finish the regular season with the best record in the American League?

  • Athletics (39%, 107 Votes)
  • Angels (26%, 72 Votes)
  • Orioles (19%, 54 Votes)
  • Tigers (10%, 29 Votes)
  • Royals (3%, 9 Votes)
  • Mariners (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Another team (2%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 277

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The left-hander didn’t get much offensive support aside from two home runs from Wellesley’s Nate Freiman.

“Guys are competing, we just aren’t getting results right now,” Lester said. “The times that we need to get a guy in, we’re just not doing it. The times we need to make a pitch, we’re not doing it. This team’s too good to stay in this funk.”

Said A’s manager Bob Melvin: “This is really the first bad road trip we’ve had this year. This was not a good trip. So we’ve got to get home and we’ve got to regroup. It will be good to get home in front of our crowd. They’re usually good for us.”

– Umpire Tony Randazzo clearly does not care for Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon, and he’s not shy about letting him know.

On Saturday, McClendon was ejected by Randazzo for complaining about balls and strikes from the dugout, although McClendon claims it was other Mariners who were voicing their displeasure.

“I was most upset that I got thrown out of the ballgame, and [Randazzo] thought it was me that was saying something and it wasn’t me,” McClendon said. “Then when I went out there to ask why I was thrown out, he said, ‘I’ve seen your act before.’ ”

Added McClendon: “I don’t think that was called for. That’s not fair. If you think I said something about a ball or strike, throw me out of the game. I get that. But to talk about past history, that’s not fair. It is what it is. It’s over with. Just move on.”

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Read More: Derek Jeter, Joe Maddon, Jon Lester, Lloyd McClendon
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Father of deceased race-car driver calls out Tony Stewart 08.14.14 at 8:25 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’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.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Astros at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Pirates at Tigers, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Brewers at Cubs, 2 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Athletics at Royals, 3 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Nationals at Mets, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
Little League: World Series, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
Little League: World Series, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Little League: World Series, 5 p.m. (ESPN)
Little League: World Series, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NFL preseason: Jaguars at Bears, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

– The father of the sprint-car driver killed by NASCAR veteran Tony Stewart isn’t buying the suggestion that Stewart did not see Kevin Ward Jr. walking on the track before he hit him.

“Apparently Tony Stewart was the only one driving out there who didn’t see him,” Kevin Ward Sr. told the The Post Standard of Syracuse.

Ward Jr. left his vehicle to confront Stewart — the first time he’s done so in his career, his father said — after Stewart’s car clipped Ward’s and forced it into the wall.

“Tony Stewart was the best damn driver by far on the track that night,” Ward Sr. said. “Why he had to go up as high as he did and hog my son, there’s no reason for it.”

Ward Sr. was at the race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park with his wife, but after the initial crash he was on his way to the area where damaged cars are taken and did not see his son get hit by Stewart’s car. Authorities have not charged Stewart, although they continue to investigate.

“The one person that knows what happened that night is possibly facing 10 years in prison,” Ward Sr. said. “Is he going to say what he done?”

Meanwhile, race tracks around the country are instituting a rule that drivers in accidents must stay in their cars until safety personnel arrives to help. If a driver leaves their car, it will bring out a red flag, causing all cars to stop.

Edward “Chip” Sarafin, a backup offensive lineman at Arizona State, came out as gay, making him the only known homosexual player in major college football.

In a story in the Phoenix magazine Compete, Sarafin revealed that he informed the team last spring about his sexuality.

“It was really personal for me and it benefited my peace of mind greatly,” he said.

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Read More: Chip Sarafin, Kevin Ward, Luis Suarez, Tony Stewart