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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Former Patriot Aaron Hernandez reportedly investigated for threatening prison guard 04.15.14 at 7:54 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 White Sox, 8:!0 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Braves at Phillies, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Knicks at Nets, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Nuggets at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL: Draft lottery, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Premier League, Arsenal vs. West Ham, 2:45 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Aaron Hernandez was cut by the Patriots after his arrest for the murder of Odin Lloyd. (AP)

Former Patriot Aaron Hernandez apparently has not been a model citizen while in jail facing murder and weapons charges. (AP)

– Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is being investigated to determine if he made a threat to shoot and kill a guard at Bristol County Jail, according to a report at TMZ.com.

The website reports that a former inmate who had been in a cell near Hernandez described a confrontation last year in which Hernandez insulted a guard, but he said the former NFL star did not make any threats.

The ex-con noted that Hernandez has been losing weight and has tried various schemes to get extra food — such as putting an insect on a half-eaten meal to get a fresh serving — which irritated the officers.

Hernandez is in prison facing murder and weapons charges related to the death of Odin Lloyd. He has pleaded not guilty. On Friday, two of his acquaintances — Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz — were indicted by a grand jury charging them with Lloyd’s murder as well. Wallace and Ortiz previously had been charged with accessory to murder for allegedly accompanying Hernandez when he shot and killed Lloyd.

Michael Phelps, holder of 22 Olympic swimming medals, is ending his two-year retirement, reportedly with an eye toward the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Phelps is entered in three events at a meet in Mesa, Ariz., on April 24-26.

“I think he’s just going to test the waters a little bit and see how it goes,” his longtime coach, Bob Bowman, told The Associated Press. “I wouldn’t say it’s a full-fledged comeback.”

Phelps, 28, returned to training in the fall and has been working out five days a week with Bowman’s team in Baltimore.

“He’s gotten back into good shape since September,” Bowman said. “He can give a good effort and certainly not be embarrassed. He’s in enough shape to swim competitively.”

– Wrestling legend The Ultimate Warrior died of heart disease, authorities in Phoenix announced Monday.

The 54-year-old, known as James Hellwig before he hit it big with the WWE in the late 1980s, collapsed last Tuesday while walking with his wife to his car in a hotel parking lot in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was pronounced dead at a hospital, and an autopsy Thursday revealed the cause of death to be “atherosclerotic/arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease.”

The Ulltmate Warrior had made his first appearance on “Monday Night Raw” since 1996 the night before he died, following his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. The organization paid tribute to him during its Monday show.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 15, 1993, which future Hall of Famer playing for the Red Sox hit his 400th home run during a 4-3, 13-inning victory over the Indians?

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Troubled 49ers LB Aldon Smith arrested after airport incident 04.14.14 at 8:04 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:
NBA: Celtics at 76ers, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Spurs at Rockets, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Timberwolves at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
MLB: Braves at Phillies, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Athletics at Angels, 10 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Aldon Smith

Aldon Smith

– Troubled 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport after being uncooperative with security and telling a TSA agent he had a bomb. He was released after posting $20,000 bail.

Smith, who took a leave of absence from the team last season to undergo treatment for substance abuse, was randomly selected for a second security screening when he allegedly became confrontational.

“The suspect then became belligerent and uncooperative with the process and with the TSA agent, making a comment indicating that he was in possession of a bomb before proceeding toward the gate area,” police Sgt. Karla Ortiz said in a statement.

At the gate, Smith again became confrontational and was taken into custody.

“We are disappointed to learn of the incident today involving Aldon Smith,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “As this is a pending legal matter and we are still gathering the pertinent facts, we will have no further comment.”

Smith was arrested on Sept. 20 for DUI and marijuana possession. He also faces three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon after a party at his house turned violent in June 2012, five months after another DUI arrest.

Aldon Smith — 49ers Superstar Arrested at LAX … Allegedly Yelled ‘Bomb’ in Airport (short version)
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– The Knicks might have the inside track to sign free agent forward Carmelo Anthony, but the player’s comments over the weekend are raising questions about his desire to return to New York.

Anthony reportedly asked Bulls players what it’s like to play for coach Tom Thibodeau, and on Friday he was complimentary of the former Celtics assistant.

“Thibs is a great coach,” Anthony said (via the New York Post). “His system kind of reminds me of [Spurs coach] Gregg Popovich‘€™s system. You put anybody in that system and it’€™s going to work. And that’€™s what they’€™ve been doing. They had guys who have been sitting out all season long, guys [have] been in and out the lineup, and they seem to get it done.”

The Knicks closed out the season by beating Thibodeau’s Bulls on Sunday, but missing the playoffs does not sit well with the veteran.

“It’s hard for me to accept,” he said. “It’s hard to kind of be happy in these times. It’s just a hard situation for me right now.”

– Boston Marathon bombing survivor Adrienne Haslet-Davis expressed her disappointment with NBC’s “Meet the Press” after the show allegedly broke a promise to her and said the names of the bombing suspects during her appearance, causing her to walk off the set in tears.

Following Friday’s taping of the show that aired Sunday, Haslet-Davis, a ballroom dancer who lost part of her left leg in the attacks, went on social media to express her dismay and disappointment.

“Your decision to back out on that promise you made and the horrific way you brought that decision to my attention just minutes prior to taping was not only a cowardice move but a dishonorable one as well,” she wrote on her website. “To say that I am hurt is an understatement, for you not only disrespected me, you disrespected the survivors of the bombing and the victims memories by blatantly disregarding this request and putting the value of a terrorist’s name, who put a city in turmoil and caused irrevocable damage physically and emotionally to people of this city, over Boston’s integrity, fortitude, and my personal well being.”

Host Brian Gregory tweeted an apology, but the official show response was less sympathetic.

“Adrianne Haslet-Davis is an inspiring survivor with an important story to share,” an NBC News spokesman said in a statement. “She was due to take part in a roundtable discussion for ‘Meet the Press’ with three other participants. She requested that the alleged bombers’€™ names not be used in the entire program, but given the nature of the discussion we couldn’€™t make that guarantee. We regret any distress caused by this miscommunication.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 14, 1967, in his major league debut, Red Sox left-hander Billy Rohr took a no-hitter into the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Which Yankee broke it up with a two-out single?

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick in Miami police report after incident with woman 04.11.14 at 8:04 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: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Rays at Reds, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Bobcats at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Pacers at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Pistons at Bulls, 8 p.m. (WGN)
NBA: Warriors at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NHL: Blackhawks at Capitals, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Avalanche at Sharks, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
Golf: The Masters, 3 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick is one of three NFL players named in a police report for an incident involving a woman who says she passed out in a Miami hotel room and woke up at a hospital with no knowledge of how she got there.

The 49ers star was with teammate Quinton Patton and Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette on April 1 at the hotel where Lockette lives. The woman, who acknowledged having a sexual relationship with Kaepernick in the past, said she was told by the men to use marijuana before drinking shots of alcohol with them. She later went to the bedroom to lie down because she was feeling lightheaded. Kaepernick allegedly joined her and undressed her, but she does not remember what happened after that, and police stressed that there are only unproven allegations at this point.

“As far as whether there was a crime committed, it’s too early to say,” police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes said.

The 49ers and Seahawks issued statements only saying they were aware of the incident.

“The 49ers organization is aware of the recent media report regarding Colin Kaepernick and is in the process of gathering the pertinent facts,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said.

Kaepernick, 26, just completed his third season, leading San Francisco to the NFC title game a year after sparking the team’s run to the Super Bowl. He has been working out in the Miami area.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning, coming off a disappointing 2013 season, had arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle Thursday after rehab efforts did not relieve the discomfort, the team announced.

Manning sprained the ankle in New York’s regular-season finale. The 33-year-old finished the season with a career-high 27 interceptions and a QB rating of 69.4, his worst since his rookie season in 2004 (55.4). The Giants finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the second straight year.

Manning had been working out with his brother, Peyton Manning, and members of the Giants and Broncos at Duke University under the watch of Duke coach David Cutcliffe, who coached both Mannings in college.

“I’m looking forward to the start of the offseason program on the [April] 21st,” Manning said. “I will be in the weight room and in the meeting rooms so we can all learn the new offense. I got some good work in this week at Duke, and I think it’s smart to get this procedure done now so the ankle isn’t an ongoing issue. I’m eager to get to work with our new offensive coaches and system.”

– Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons will accompany a fan to Fenway Park for the Red Sox-Yankees game April 23 as part of a contest to benefit the Peter Gammons Scholars through the Foundation To Be Named Later.

Fans can enter for free via Fame4Good.com/campaign/peter through next Wednesday. The winner will receive round-trip airline tickets (if more than 150 miles from Boston) and a one-night stay in a downtown Boston hotel, and meet Gammons on the field for batting practice prior to sitting with him to watch the game.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 11, 1998, which Red Sox pitcher recorded his 1,000th career strikeout while making his Fenway Park debut?

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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Widespread support for Derrick Gordon after UMass guard comes out 04.10.14 at 8:09 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: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN, MLB Network; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Athletics at Twins, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Pirates at Cubs, 2:15 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Brewers at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL: Bruins at Jets, 8 p.m. (NESNPlu)
NHL: Blues at Wild, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: NCAA semifinals, Boston College vs. Union, 5 p.m. (ESPN2; WEEI-AM)
College hockey: NCAA semifinals, North Dakota vs. Minnesota, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA: Spurs at Mavericks, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Nuggets at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
Golf: The Masters, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Juventus vs. Lyon, 3 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Women’s exhibition, United States vs. China, 11 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Derrick Gordon

Derrick Gordon

– UMass sophomore Derrick Gordon is getting widespread support after becoming the first openly gay Division 1 basketball player.

Gordon and members of the UMass team conducted interviews Wednesday afternoon after national stories detailed Gordon’s decision to come out.

“It’s crazy that I’m the first,” Gordon told The Associated Press. “I didn’t know that it would be this long, but if I’m the first, then I’ll start it all off.”

Added Gordon: “I’ve been getting tons and tons of support. I’m barely getting anything negative.”

The 22-year-old from New Jersey said he withdrew socially at the start of last season as rumors started to leak about his homosexuality, which he denied to teammates. Now he says he’s happy and “free just to live my life.”

Said teammate Tyler Bergantino: “The fact that he’s gay doesn’t change anything. We didn’t know he was gay before. We know he’s gay now. But he’s the exact same person.”

Gordon said he was inspired in part by Nets center Jason Collins, the NBA’s first openly gay player. Collins said he spoke to Gordon before the announcement, and he later tweeted: I’m so proud of @flash2gordon. Another brave young man who is going to make it easier for so many others to live an authentic life. #courage

NFL prospect Michael Sam, who came out in February, also tweeted his support, writing: Many congratulations to you Derrick Gordon @flash2gordon – you have so many in your corner and we’re all proud and rooting for you #courage

Said Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving, who played with Gordon in high school: “I thought it was a great day for him and his family. I’m proud of him. It’s a big step, not only in his life but in his career to get the weight of the world off his shoulders.”

Lacey Holsworth, the 9-year-old girl who had become a friend and inspiration to the Michigan State basketball team, lost her battle with neuroblastoma late Tuesday, devastating the campus.

The girl known as “Princess Lacey” had an especially close bond with senior Adreian Payne, who carried her in his arms on Senior Night and helped her cut down the net after the Spartans won the Big Ten championship.

“Words can’t express how much I already miss Lacey,” Payne said in a statement from the school. “She is my sister, and will always be a part of my life. She taught me how to fight through everything with a smile on my face even when things were going wrong. I’m a better man because of her.”

A rock on campus was painted white with the words “MSU loves Princess Lacey. Love Like Lacey.” Coach Tom Izzo and several of his players signed the rock, along with other members of the Michigan State community.

Larry Bird‘s 22-year-old son, Connor Bird, pleaded guilty to criminal recklessness for an incident involving his girlfriend last year, according to a report at TMZ.com. Bird allegedly threw his cell phone at the woman and then tried to drive his car into her in a parking lot on the campus of Indiana University.

Bird had faced other charges, including battery and possession of marijuana, but those charges reportedly were dropped as part of the plea deal.

Bird will participate in a sober-living program and must stay clear of trouble for the next year or else face jail time.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 10, 1998, the Red Sox rallied from a 7-2 ninth-inning deficit against the Mariners, winning 9-7 on a walk-off grand slam by which player?

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Curt Schilling done with chemotherapy in battle with cancer 04.09.14 at 7:57 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: Rangers at Red Sox, 4:05 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Padres at Indians, 12:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Astros at Blue Jays, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLB: Pirates at Cubs, 8 p.m. (WGN)
NBA: Celtics at Hawks, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Heat at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Thunder at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Red Wings at Penguins, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Sharks at Ducks, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Manchester United at Bayern Munich, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: CONCACAF Champions, Cruz Azul vs. Tijuana, 8 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

– Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling announced Tuesday that he has completed chemotherapy as part of his battle with cancer.

Tweeted Schilling: How ya hanging? Chemo done, 5 radiations remain #Cancergroinkick ftw!

Schilling, 47, announced in February that he was diagnosed with cancer, although he did not reveal what type he has. Schilling pitched for the Red Sox from 2004-07 as part of a 20-year major league career. He most recently served as an ESPN analyst after the well-publicized collapse of his computer game company.

Schilling’s daughter, Gabby, tweeted a photo of her father in the hospital, writing: beyond blessed to be bale to say that my dad finished his LAST chemo today! just 3 more days of radiation

 

Orioles center fielder Adam Jones did not appreciate it when two fans ran on the field during the eighth inning of Tuesday’s game at Yankee Stadium, and he made sure they knew.

“I let them know how I felt, obviously a lot of choice words because I think it’s idiotic for people to run on the field and I think the punishment needs to be a lot harsher,” Jones said after Baltimore’s 14-5 victory. “And they should let us have a shot to kick them with our metal spikes on because it’s stupid.

“You look like a [idiot] when you run on the field. We don’t go to any other events. We don’t go to other sporting events and do that to their jobs, but they come to ours and do that. I get it, you’re drunk and you want to be on SportsCenter. Your [butt] is going to jail with a fine, and you might not be allowed to come back to the ballpark.”

The fans were tackled by security in the outfield after racing onto the field from the third-base stands.

“I remember a couple of years ago, one dude broke his ankle in Baltimore,” Jones said. “I was laughing at him. I wish he shattered his femur because it’s stupid. It’s just plain old stupid. Anybody who does it, I wish the cops tase the living [crap] out of them. I wish that.”

– The wrestler known as The Ultimate Warrior, born Jim Hellwig before legally changing his name in 1993, died Tuesday after collapsing in a parking lot outside an Arizona hotel, three days after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He was 54.

The Ultimate Warrior announced during Saturday’s induction ceremony that he had signed a contract with the WWE to be a brand ambassador, returning to the organization after an absence of almost two decades.

The WWE released a statement that read: “WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior. Warrior began his WWE career in 1987 and quickly went on to become one of the biggest stars in WWE history. Warrior became WWE Champion at WrestleMania VI, defeating Hulk Hogan in an epic encounter. We are grateful that just days ago, Warrior had the opportunity to take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame and was also able to appear at WrestleMania 30 and Monday Night Raw to address his legions of fans. WWE sends its sincere condolences to Warrior’€™s family, friends and fans. Warrior was 54 and is survived by his wife Dana and his two daughters.”

The Ultimate Warrior had celebrated his return to the WWE by giving a speech in the ring during Monday’s episode of “WWE Raw.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 9, 1982, the Celtics retired which player’s number?

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Dozens of arrests on UConn campus as celebration turns destructive 04.08.14 at 7:56 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: Rangers at Red Sox, 6:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Orioles at Yankees, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Angels at Mariners, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL: Bruins at Wild, 8 p.m. (NESNPlus)
NHL: Capitals at Blues, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Nets at Heat, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Rockets at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Women’s NCAA championship, UConn vs. Notre Dame, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Paris at Chelsea, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

– Students poured out of Gampel Pavilion on the UConn campus after watching a televised broadcast of the Huskies’ victory over Kentucky in the NCAA championship game and committed numerous acts of destruction.

The Gampel viewing party drew a capacity crowd of over 10,000, forcing organizers to turn away hundreds more.

According to media in Storrs, damage was reported to the student union, field house and other buildings on campus. There were turned-over tables, scattered debris, broken windows, a downed light pole and signs pulled from the ground. School officials indicates some small fires also were reported.

UConn police, with backup from state police, made at least 30 arrests, starting while the game was still going on and continuing in the aftermath. Police began dispersing the crowd shortly after midnight, about an hour after the Huskies won the title for the second time in four years.

Said UConn Chief of Police Barbara O’Connor (via WFSB-TV): “By far, most of our students have conducted themselves safely and responsibly. Although there have been some arrests and property damage, we’re pleased overall with most of our students’ behavior, especially considering we had a capacity crowd of over 10,000 in Gampel Pavilion.”

– Steve Masiello, who lost out on the job as head basketball coach at South Florida after it was discovered that he never graduated from Kentucky as he indicated on his resume, landed on his feet when Manhattan agreed to take him back — after he finishes his degree.

Masiello, 36, coached the Jaspers to a 25-6 record this season and 60-39 in three seasons.

Reports indicate he is 10 credits shy of his diploma, and he will be on unpaid leave while he completes his studies this summer. In a statement, Manhattan president Brennan O’Donnell said Masiello “executed poor judgment but did not intentionally misrepresent himself in applying to the college,” noting that Masiello previously took summer courses but “never followed through to make sure that the degree was awarded.”

“I am extremely grateful and humbled by the opportunity to continue as the head men’s basketball coach at Manhattan College,” Masiello said in the school’s statement. “I made a mistake that could have cost me my job at an institution I love. Details matter.

“Manhattan College has shown me a great deal of compassion and trust during this process, and I will do everything in my power to uphold that trust. I understand that I am very fortunate to have the chance to remain here at Manhattan.”

– Royals infielder Omar Infante had a series of tests Monday night after taking a pitch to the chin from Rays reliever Heath Bell that left him a bloody mess.

“He was bleeding tremendously from the cut and I didn’t know until they had taken him upstairs that he got hit on the jaw,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “I thought he got hit in the face somewhere. I had no idea because when we got there they had the towel and there was blood all down his shirt.”

Bell, who said he considers Infante a friend, expressed remorse after the game.

“My prayers go out to him. I went and asked the umpire how bad did I get him, what did he see. He said it got him on the chin pretty good. I was just happy it wasn’t the eye. I’ve played against Omar for 10 or 15 years. I hope he has a speedy recovery,” Bell said. “I was trying to throw a sinker and just let it run and it ran too much and just didn’t finish it. It went up and in. … I feel really bad. I know he feels bad, but I feel worse.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 8, 1973, who became the first Red Sox designated hitter to record a hit when he smacked a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 4-3 victory over the Yankees?

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Oscar Pistorius takes stand in trial, apologizes to family of Reeva Steenkamp 04.07.14 at 8:05 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: Rangers at Red Sox, 7 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Orioles at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Reds at Cardinals, 4:15 p.m. (MLB Network)
College basketball: NCAA championship, Kentucky vs. UConn, 9:10 p.m. (CBS; WEEI-AM)
Soccer: Premier League, Tottenham vs. Sunderland, 3 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

– Double-amputee track star Oscar Pistorius took the stand Monday morning at his murder trial in Pretoria, South Africa, and apologized to the family of Reeva Steenkamp for shooting her through a bathroom door, claiming it was an accident and that “I was simply trying to protect Reeva.”

Said an emotional Pistorious: “There hasn’t been a moment since this tragedy happened that I haven’t thought about your family. I wake up every morning and you’re the first people I think of, the first people I pray for.”

Pistorious, 27, denies prosecutors claim that he killed his 29-year-old girlfriend in a fit of rage the morning of Feb. 14, 2013, and he said he now struggles to sleep because of the incident.

“I’m just in a complete state of terror,” he said.

Pistorious faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham was arrested twice in the past four days, as he was detained Sunday on suspicion of making terrorist threats three days after he was charged with felony domestic assault.

In the initial incident, the 26-year-old Cunningham is accused of attacking his girlfriend at his suburban Minneapolis home, kicking down a bedroom door, slamming her against a wall and choking her.

Cunningham was released Friday and joined the team in time to play in Saturday’s loss to the Magic in Orlando, scoring 12 points in 34 minutes as a starter.

The Timberwolves released a statement Sunday saying: “We reiterate that the Minnesota Timberwolves do not condone the behavior described in the accusations. We continue to wait for the legal process to run its course and will have further comment when appropriate.”

NCAA president Mark Emmert said Sunday the organization has plans to change the way student-athletes are treated by their schools by allowing big conference to write their own rules.

Speaking at his annual press conference at the Final Four in Arlington, Texas, Emmert said unionization is not the answer.

“To be perfectly frank, the notion of using a union-employee model to address the challenges that exist in intercollegiate athletics is something that strikes most people as a grossly inappropriate solution to the problems,” Emmer said.

The idea to have the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC put together their own regulations began about three years ago, after Emmert’s proposal for a $2,000 stipend for athletes was rejected. as smaller schools made it clear they could not afford the additional expense.

“I think most of Division 1 memberships see that we’re standing at a fork in the road,” Kansas State president Kirk Schulz said. “What we’re going to put out there again is not perfect, but I believe that the vast majority of members recognize that some of these things must change and that we need to do it rapidly.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 7, 1986, which Red Sox player got a memorable season off to a memorable start when he hit a home run off Tigers ace Jack Morris on the first pitch on Opening Day in Detroit?

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Titans reportedly set to cut RB Chris Johnson 04.04.14 at 12:29 pm ET
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The Titans will part ways with record-setting running back Chris Johnson on Friday, according to multiple reports.

Johnson tweeted Thursday that he was on his way to Tennessee, where he reportedly will meet with general manager Ruston Webster and receive his release. Johnson’s agent said Wednesday he expected the move.

Johnson, one of only six players to accumulate at least 1,000 rushing yards in each of his first six seasons, ran for 2,006 yards in 2009. He averaged a career-low 3.9 yards per carry last season, however, and was due to make $8 million in 2014 as part of the four-year, $54 million contract he signed after a training camp holdout in 2011.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Mets defend Daniel Murphy for paternity leave 04.04.14 at 8:04 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: Brewers at Red Sox, 2 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Phillies at Cubs, 2:15 p.m. (MLB Network, WGN)
MLB: Yankees at Blue Jays, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: 76ers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Nuggets at Grizzlies, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Thunder at Rockets, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Capitals at Devils, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Daniel Murphy

Daniel Murphy

– Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy and his manager dismissed comments by New York sports radio talk show hosts who criticized the player for taking off an extra game following the birth of his first child.

Murphy flew from New York to Florida to be at his wife’s side as she gave birth via C-section early Monday afternoon. He missed Monday’s opener and then decided to stay with his family and skip Wednesday’s game as well. He returned to the team for Thursday afternoon’s game.

Longtime WFAN host Mike Francesa questioned Murphy’s choice and said he should have hired a nurse to replace him, while Boomer Esiason suggested Murphy’s wife should have had a C-section before the start of the season. That didn’t sit well with manager Terry Collins.

“He missed two games,” Collins said. “It’s not like he has missed 10. When you start attacking Daniel Murphy’s credibility, you need to look in the mirror a little bit.”

Added Collins: “The man had his first child. He is allowed to be there. The rules state that he can be there, so he went. There is nothing against it. There’s nothing wrong with it.”

Murphy attempted to be more diplomatic.

“I got a couple of text messages about it, so I’m not going to sit here and lie and say I didn’t hear about it,” Murphy said. “But that’s the awesome part about being blessed about being a parent, is you get that choice. My wife and I discussed it, and we felt the best thing for our family was for me to try to stay for an extra day, that being Wednesday, due to the fact that she can’t travel for two weeks … just to have that support system with her.”

– Hall of Famer Deion Sanders weighed in on the Johnny Manziel situation and said he thinks the Texas A&M quarterback should be drafted by the Texans No. 1 overall. What was more interesting was his comment about why he thinks there are concerns about Manziel.

“I love Johnny Football,” Sanders said on the Roland Martin Podcast. “See, the reason people won’t accept Johnny Football is because Johnny Football has ghetto tendencies. I love Johnny Football.”

Asked to clarify what he meant by “ghetto tendencies,” Sanders said: “Because he was successful, he made it, and he let you all know he made it, and he was cocky, he was flamboyant, and he let you know.”

Will Ferrell will portray Bobby Riggs in a movie about Riggs’ famous “Battle of the Sexes” 1973 tennis match vs. Billie Jean King, according to a report in Variety.

Ferrell, a well-known sports fan, is no stranger to sports-themed movies, having starred as a professional basketball player/owner (“Semi-Pro”) and youth soccer coach (“Kicking & Screaming”).

The movie is based on an ESPN.com article, “The Match Maker: Bobby Riggs, the Mafia and the Battle of the Sexes” and follows the lead-up to the match between the 55-year-old Riggs and the 29-year-old King.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 4, 2001, which pitcher made his Red Sox debut and threw a no-hitter in a 3-0 victory over the Orioles in Baltimore?

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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon implodes in loss to Rangers 04.03.14 at 8:14 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: Red Sox at Orioles, 7 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Reds, 12:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Twins at White Sox, 2 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Blue Jays at Rays, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL: Bruins at Maple Leafs, 7:30 p.m. (NESNPlus)
NHL: Wild at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Kings at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Spurs at Thunder, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Mavericks at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NIT championship, SMU vs. Minnesota, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: CIT championship, Yale at Murray State, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Juventus at Lyon, 3 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

– The Phillies are trying to turn things around after a disappointing 2013, but they’ve gotten the 2014 season off to a rocky start. Wednesday’s 4-3 loss to the Rangers was tough to take, as closer Jonathan Papelbon squandered a two-run lead in the ninth inning and walked home the winning run.

Papelbon, the former Red Sox reliever who is struggling to live up to the four-year, $50 million free agent contract he signed with Philadelphia before the 2012 season, retired only one of seven batters in the frame. After allowing a leadoff single to Adrian Beltre (who had the game-winning RBI in the ninth inning the night before) and a double to Mitch Moreland sandwiched around a strikeout of Alex Rios, Papelbon induced a slow roller to third from pinch-hitter Jim Adducci that turned into an RBI infield single. Leonys Martin then singled in the tying run. After a four-pitch walk to Donnie Murphy, Papelbon walked Shin-Soo Choo on a 3-2 pitch that was not close.

“The whole inning was kind of just one of those innings,” Papelbon said. “You get a cue ball down the third base line. Then you get a double-play ball, which you think is the game-ending double play. It’s not. My whole focus was get a ground ball, get a double play and get us out of the inning.”

Papelbon questioned his team’s defensive approach on Martin’s single, as the infield was partially moved in before Martin drove the ball past third baseman Chase Utley.

“Obviously I don’t know whether that’s called for the bench or called from the middle infielders, but less than two outs I’m thinking ground ball and I’m thinking let’s get this double play and go home,” Papelbon said. “Obviously I’m not going to second-guess my teammates or my coach.”

Papelbon’s fastball averaged 91.6 mph, down from his average of 93.8 in 2012, and he appeared to struggle with control.

“He was just up in the zone,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. “He featured a lot of fastballs. They just happened to be up. Even an 0-2 fastball shoulder-high was a hittable pitch.”

The Phillies, won the opener 14-10, have not won a road series since Sandberg took over as manager last August.

– Former Red Sox pitcher Frank Viola, now a Triple-A pitching coach for the Mets, was resting comfortably in the hospital after successful heart surgery Wednesday, the Mets announced.

Viola, who pitched for the Twins, Mets, Red Sox, Reds and Blue Jays in his 15-year MLB career that was highlighted by a Cy Young season in 1988 with Minnesota, had his heart issue detected when he took a physical at spring training in preparation for his fourth season as a coach.

The 53-year-old made it clear to the team that he wants to return to the field this season.

“He certainly wants to be back, but I think we’ll let the doctors dictate when he does come back,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said. “When he’s ready and he’s able, I’m sure he’ll be out there, but we want to make sure he’s fully recovered from this surgery first.”

– A high school pitcher from Long Island made his first varsity start a memorable one, striking out all 21 batters for a perfect game in a 15-0 win.

Right-hander Mike Delio, who pitched for the Carle Place junior varsity the last two seasons, dominated Hempstead in the nonleague game Tuesday.

“I’ve had dreams of throwing no-hitters and perfect games, but nothing like this,” Delio said (via Newsday). This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 3, 1996, which Bruins goaltender recorded his 200th career NHL victory with a 4-1 win over the Canadiens in Montreal?

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