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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Judge sets date for second Aaron Hernandez murder trial 06.05.15 at 8:08 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: Athletics at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Angels at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: Exhibition, United States vs. Netherlands, 2:20 p.m. (ESPN)
Tennis: French Open, 11 a.m. (NBC)

AROUND THE WEB:

Aaron Hernandez is accused of orchestrating the murder of Odin Lloyd. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Aaron Hernandez is accused of killing two men in Boston in 2012. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Aaron Hernandez‘s second murder trial was scheduled to start with jury selection Dec. 1, a judge ruled Thursday. The actual trial is expected to begin the following month.

Hernandez, who was not in court for Thursday’s proceedings, is charged with shooting two men to death after an incident at a Boston nightclub in 2012. He also is charged with witness intimidation for allegedly shooting a friend, Alexander Bradley, in Florida after Bradley brought up the murder. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to both shootings.

Hernandez already is serving a life sentence for the shooting death of Odin Lloyd in 2013, after being convicted of first-degree murder in April. His lawyers have appealed that conviction and implied that a juror was tainted by outside information.

— Ireland’s soccer association received a $5 million payment from FIFA so that it would not sue after an uncalled handball from French star Thierry Henry in a 2009 World Cup qualifier led to the winning goal in a loss that cost Ireland a spot in the 2010 World Cup.

Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney claimed the deal was a good one for his organization.

“We felt we had a legal case against FIFA because of how the World Cup playoff hadn’t worked out for us with the Henry handball,” Delaney said Thursday in an interview on an Irish radio station (via The Guardian). “We came to an agreement. That was a Thursday, and on Monday the agreement was all signed and done. It’s a very good agreement for the FAI and a very legitimate agreement for the FAI.”

FIFA responded to Delaney’s claim by saying the payment actually was intended to be a loan meant to help in the construction of a stadium, although it confirmed there was a confidential agreement for the FAI not to sue over the controversy.

— The Broncos‘ offseason, already beset with injuries and legal issues, just keeps getting worse. John Bowlen Jr., son of owner Pat Bowlen and a team marketing assistant, was placed on indefinite leave Thursday, hours after being arrested on charges of domestic violence.

Accused of pushing his girlfriend against a bathroom wall during a confrontation Wednesday night, John Bowlen was arrested and held overnight at the Arapahoe County Jail, next to the Broncos‘ suburban headquarters, before being released Thursday on $1,000 bond. He is due back in court July 6.

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, FIFA, John Bowlen, Pat Bowlen
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Aaron Hernandez’s lawyers reportedly will argue that juror was tainted 06.02.15 at 8:04 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: Twins at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cubs at Marlins, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Mets at Padres, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
College softball: World Series, Michigan vs. Florida, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Exhibition, New York Cosmos at Cuba, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
Tennis: French Open, 1 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

Aaron Hernandez is accused of orchestrating the murder of Odin Lloyd. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Aaron Hernandez is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

— Aaron Hernandez’s lawyers plan to argue that a juror was improperly influenced by outside information before the ex-Patriot was convicted of first-degree murder in April, according to a report from Fox 25.

The station reports that Hernandez’s lawyers recently filed four motions in his appeal, although the defense team requested the documents not be made public. One of the motions is said to be titled, “Defense Motion for post verdict inquiry respecting a juror’s exposure to extraneous matters.”

Hernandez’s defense said in its appeal last month that “no rational jury” would have convicted Hernandez based on the evidence presented, accusing the jurors of using “improper speculation, conjecture and guesswork” in reaching their verdict.

Hernandez, who last month pleaded not guilty to a witness intimidation charge related to an incident in Florida when he allegedly shot his friend in the face, is due to go on trial later this year for a 2012 double murder in Boston.

— The football program at the University of Alabama-Birmingham is back, only month after the school controversially decided to eliminate the team due to funding concerns.

UAB president Ray Watts made the announcement Monday, explaining that donors have pledged $17.2 million to cover the projected deficit over the next five years. The school won’t be able to field a team this fall — many of last year’s players already have transferred — but perhaps as soon as 2016.

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Rick Brunson,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Aaron Hernandez’s fiancee reportedly set to testify 03.27.15 at 7:55 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:
NBA: Celtics at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, UCLA vs. Gonzaga, 7 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, N.C. State vs. Louisville, 7:15 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Utah vs. Duke, 9:30 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Michigan State vs. Oklahoma, 9:55 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: Women’s NCAA Tournament, North Carolina vs. South Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Women’s NCAA Tournament, Iowa vs. Baylor, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Women’s NCAA Tournament, Arizona State vs. Florida State, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Women’s NCAA Tournament, Stanford vs. Notre Dame, 9:55 p.m. (ESPN2)
College hockey: NCAA Tournament, Yale vs. Boston University, 2 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: NCAA Tournament, Minnesota vs. Minnesota-Duluth, 5:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: NCAA Tournament, Quinnipiac vs. North Dakota, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
MLB exhibition: Red Sox at Braves, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB exhibition: Diamondbacks at Angels, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB exhibition: Mariners at Royals, 9 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: European Championship qualifying, Ukraine at Spain, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Prosecutors will call Aaron Hernandez‘s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, to testify in the former Patriots tight end’s murder trial Friday, according to an Associated Press report.

It had been unclear if Jenkins would be called to the stand. The 25-year-old, who has been in a relationship with Hernandez since high school and is the mother of his 2-year-old daughter, was granted immunity by the court in February, so she could face jail time if she does not testify.

Hernandez is accused of the June 1013 murder of Odin Lloyd, who was dating Jenkins’ sister. Prosecutors showed the jury surveillance video of Jenkins removing a box from the North Attleboro home she shared with Hernandez, and they have said they believe the box contained the murder weapon, which has never been found. Jenkins was accused of lying to a grand jury that was investigating the murder, but she pleaded not guilty to perjury.

The prosecution has tried to paint Hernandez as an unfaithful, dishonest fiancee, but Jenkins has appeared supportive of him when she has attended the trial, sitting behind him and whispering “I love you.” However, she has not appeared in court since March 6.

Jenkins’ sister, Shaneah, who testified early in the trial, has been sitting with Lloyd’s family in court.

— West Virginia freshman Daxter Miles Jr., who promised an upset of top-seeded Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16, was quiet Thursday night after his team was routed by the Wildcats, 78-39.

Miles responded to every question after the game by saying, “Kentucky played good.”

That was an understatement. The Wildcats jumped out to an 18-2 lead and were up by as much as 26 in the first half.

“They did what they had to do,” West Virginia forward Devin Williams said. “You can’t stop something that’s destined.”

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Jarred Cosart,
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Judge dismisses juror in Aaron Hernandez trial 02.04.15 at 8:10 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:
NHL: Bruins at Rangers, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Nuggets at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Bulls at Rockets, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Mavericks at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Temple at South Florida, 6:30 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: East Carolina at UConn, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Georgia Tech at Duke, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Marquette at Villanova, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: VCU at George Mason, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: TCU at Baylor, 8:30 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Providence at Georgetown, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Washington at Oregon, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Kansas State at Texas Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Creighton at Xavier, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College football: National signing day, 8 a.m. (ESPNU)
Soccer: FA Cup, Liverpool at Bolton, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Aaron Hernandez is accused of orchestrating the murder of Odin Lloyd. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Aaron Hernandez stands accused of orchestrating the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

— A juror in the Aaron Hernandez trial was dismissed Tuesday by the judge, who said there was evidence that the woman had previously expressed a concern about the lack of a murder weapon, discussed several items of evidence the court has ruled inadmissible, showed an early interest in participating on the jury, and attended more Patriots games than she claimed on her questionnaire.

Judge Susan Garsh stopped the trial and held a 90-minute closed-door hearing before removing the juror and trimming the jury pool to 17 (12 jurors will decide Hernandez’s fate).

“Discharge of the juror is indeed in the best interest of justice,” Garsh announced to the courtroom in Fall River.

Hernandez is being tried for orchestrating the 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd, a semipro football player who had been dating Hernandez’s fiancee’s sister. That woman, Shaneah Jenkins, testified later Tuesday that she went to the North Attleboro home where her sister and Hernandez lived hours after learning of Lloyd’s death. Crying on the witness stand, she recounted seeing Hernandez that day and hearing him tell her it would get better with time.

“[He] asked me if I was OK, put his hand on my shoulder, told me he’d been through this death thing before,” she said, noting that he then left.

Jenkins said her sister, Shayanna Jenkins, who has a 2-year-old daughter with Hernandez, acted secretive that day. She said Shayanna received text messages and phone calls, and at one point took a folded-up trash bag to the basement, returned and asked to borrow Shaneah’s car.

Shayanna Jenkins has appeared in court behind Hernandez, but she was absent Tuesday.

— Falcons owner Arthur Blank made no attempt to hide the fact that his team piped in fake crowd noise during games, and he said he’s not happy about it.

The NFL has been investigating to determine if the Falcons used artificial crowd noise. A report is expected in a couple of weeks, but Blank removed any doubt, and he made it clear that he considers it a black-and-white issue.

“It’s not really a fine line. I think what we’ve done in 2013 and 2014 was wrong,” Blank told The Associated Press. “Anything that affects the competitive balance and fairness on the field, we’re opposed to, as a league, as a club and as an owner. It’s obviously embarrassing but beyond embarrassing it doesn’t represent our culture and what we’re about.

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Arthur Blank, Charlie Sifford,
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Aaron Hernandez’s defense team resolves dispute with Patriots over records 07.23.14 at 7:49 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: Indians at Twins, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Royals at White Sox, 2 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Giants at Phillies, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA: Connecticut Sun at Washington Mystics, 11:30 a.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: New York Liberty at Los Angeles Sparks, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
MLS: Chicago Fire at San Jose Earthquakes, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Exhibition, Liverpool vs. AS Roma, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Exhibition, Tottenham at Toronto FC, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Exhibition, Manchester City at Sporting Kansas City, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Exhibition, Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Manchester United, 11 p.m. (FS1)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— A lawyer for Aaron Hernandez said during a hearing Tuesday that a dispute with the Patriots over team records has been resolved, and Hernandez’s trial for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd was set for Jan. 9.

Attorney Michael Fee said during a hearing in Fall River Superior Court that the issue with the Patriots was settled, although it was not clear if the team had turned over the requested files, which consist of a nine-page scouting report and a summary of a psychological assessment produced by an outside company. The team already had agreed to provide 317 pages of personnel records, including medical and training information.

MASHUP POLL: Should the Patriots cooperate with Aaron Hernandez's legal team?

  • Yes, they should turn over any requested information so that Hernandez can get a fair trial (61%, 146 Votes)
  • No, the Patriots' information is not relevant to Hernandez's off-field behavior (39%, 92 Votes)

Total Voters: 238

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Hernandez’s defense team had said the full team records were necessary for its preparation for trial, saying they may have critical information about the former tight end’s mindset.

Patriots attorney Andrew Phelan said the scouting reports contain trade secrets and have no relevance to Hernandez’s case, and he noted that the team had offered the defense the opportunity to review the psychological assessment summary but not reproduce the forms. He suggested the defense contact the company that wrote the original report for the full assessment.

Judge Susan Garsh set Jan. 6 as the date for the start of jury selection, indicating that jurors will be selected from a pool of 1,000 candidates.

Hernandez also has been charged with a double-homicide in Boston in 2012.

— The Giants on Tuesday announced the hiring of former receiver David Tyree as director of player development, and the move was met with criticism by the Human Rights Campaign due to Tyree’s past ant-gay comments.

Tyree, best known for his “helmet catch” against the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, said in 2011 that he would trade in the catch if it would stop gay marriage. He also denied scientific evidence existed to support claims that people are born gay.

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, David Tyree, Jay Paterno, Joe Paterno
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Lawyer for victims’ families heads to court to ask that Patriots withhold payment to Aaron Hernandez 07.02.14 at 7:49 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: Cubs at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Rays at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Indiana Fever at Washington Mystics, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: Chicago Sky at Phoenix Mercury, 10 pm. (ESPN2)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 7 a.m. (ESPN, ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— A lawyer for the families of the two men allegedly killed by Aaron Hernandez in 2012 will appear in court Wednesday and ask a judge to prevent the Patriots from paying Hernandez a $3.2 million signing bonus.

The murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado outside a Boston nightclub took place a few weeks before Hernandez signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Patriots. One year later, Hernandez was charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd and subsequently released by the team.

MASHUP POLL: Should the Patriots have to pay Aaron Hernandez his contract bonus?

  • No, Hernandez is a criminal who should never get paid again (56%, 184 Votes)
  • They should have to pay, but the money should go directly to the victims' families (23%, 76 Votes)
  • Yes, it's a contractual obligation that should be fulfilled despite Hernandez's legal issues (21%, 69 Votes)

Total Voters: 329

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The Patriots have challenged Hernandez’s right to receive the bonus, but should they be forced to pay after an arbitration hearing, attorney William Kennedy wants a court order protecting the money — as well as the rest of Hernandez’s assets. The two families Kennedy represents are suing Hernandez for $6 million each.

“It’s really a motion to prevent any further payments to be made by the New England Patriots to Mr. Hernandez pending any further action of the court,” Kennedy said. “What we’re looking to do is preserve as much as we possibly can — any assets — for the satisfaction of the families of the two decedents.”

Meanwhile, a University of Florida 2014 calendar that features former Gators start has Hernandez pictured with July, and a Patriots calendar produced by the same company includes a picture of Hernandez as well.

Florida’s athletic department responded to criticism by noting that the calendars are produced by an independent company, Turner Licensing, and approval for the photos took place last spring, before Hernandez was first charged with murder in June.

“There are thousands of Gator products in the pipeline for approval at any given time and it’s not common practice to re-review them once they have already been approved,” Florida spokesman Daniel Apple said. “We have since notified the licensee that it is no longer approved.”

— Troubled 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith will not face charges for his behavior during an incident at Los Angeles International Airport in April, authorities announced Tuesday.

Smith, who was taken into custody April 13 after acting belligerent during a security screening and threatening that he had a bomb, still will have a hearing on July 30 to address the situation and explain himself. A spokesman for the city attorney’s office said Smith will then be admonished about the law and given suggestions how to avoid a similar situation.

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Aldon Smith,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Another Aaron Hernandez associate indicted in relation to murder case 04.18.14 at 8:09 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: Orioles at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN Plus; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Reds at Cubs, 2:15 p.m. (WGN, MLB Network)
MLB: Yankees at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL playoffs: Red Wings at Bruins, 7:30 p.m. (NESN, NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Canadiens at Lightning, 7 p.m. (CNBC)
NHL playoffs: Stars at Ducks, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Another Aaron Hernandez associate was arrested and will face charges related to the death of Odin Lloyd, for which the former Patriots tight end and two other men stand accused with murder.

On Thursday in federal court in Orlando, 23-year-old Oscar Hernandez (no relation to Aaron) was ordered detained until he is to be transferred to Boston to face charges of obstruction of justice, witness tampering and lying under oath after being indicted by a federal grand jury.

The indictment states that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives traced three guns that had been recovered during the investigation into Lloyd’s death, and the ATF determined that the guns had been purchased in Florida last April. None of the guns are the .45-caliber Glock investigators believe was used in the shooting.

One of the guns is believed to be a rifle that investigators found in a gray Toyota Camry with Florida license plates that was parked in the garage of Aaron Hernandez’s North Attleboro home.

Aaron Hernandez’s lawyers said previously that Oscar Hernandez was interviewed by investigators last June, 10 days after Lloyd’s death. According to Wednesday’s indictment, Oscar Hernandez lied about purchasing the Camry and arranging for it to be sent from Florida to North Attleboro.

Carmelo Anthony soon will be a free agent, and he made it clear he has no intention of signing up for another “embarrassing” season like this one, in which the Knicks went 37-45 and finished out the playoffs.

“I want to come back. But I also want to win,” Anthony told reporters Thursday at the team’s practice facility in Greenburgh, N.Y. “Me wanting to be here, if we can put ourselves in position to at least compete at a high level over the course of whatever — five years, the contract would be — then I’m willing to stay here and I’m willing to ride or die for New York.”

Added Anthony: “Man, I feel like we gave away this year. This is a year that we can’t get back. It is what it is, so there’s no need to cry over the spoiled milk. We’ve got to keep moving forward. But we have to build. Let’s be quite frank about it, we have to get better. As a team we have to get better.

“I don’t know if I can afford to wait another season of losing. I really can’t see that picture right now. As far as other teams out there, which quote-unquote team will be the best situation? You never know. Sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. This is stuff that I’m going to have to sit down with my family and really figure things out. This is not a decision that’s going to happen overnight. It’s going to take some time.”

The Knicks can offer Anthony a five-year, $129.1 million deal, which is almost $33 million than he could get elsewhere, but he said that’s not of primary importance.

“At this point in my career, I’m not concerned about the money. The contract will be the contract regardless,” he said. “Without a doubt, at this point in my career it’s about winning. Nothing else matters. That’s not going to change. That’s still going to be my mindset, it is my mindset. You know, that’s going to be my No. 1.”

— Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig played in Thursday night’s game against the Giants in San Francisco and would not talk about specifics related to a report that smugglers who helped him defect from Cuba had threatened his life.

“I’m only concentrating on the season and being the best teammate and helping my teammates,” Puig said, adding: “I have great teammates who are helping support me so much this season and to focus on the season when I get to the stadium so I am comfortable. That way I don’t start thinking about anything negative in the stadium. I’m only thinking about working on the things that are going to make me a better ballplayer.”

According to court documents related to a federal lawsuit in Miami, smugglers made death threats against Puig and Cuban boxer Yunior Despaigne, claiming Puig owes them money.

“If you care about Yasiel, you worry about some serious stuff there that he has to deal with,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “If you care about him as a person, you worry about what he’s going through.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 18, 1997, the Bruins fired Steve Kasper one week after the season ended without the Bruins making the playoffs for the first time since 1967. Who replaced him?

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Carmelo Anthony, Phil Jackson, Yasiel Puig
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:

— 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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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Michael Phelps, The Ultimate Warrior,
Top Boston Sports Stories of 2013, No. 2: Aaron Hernandez charged with murder 12.31.13 at 10:29 am ET
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Over the final days of the year, WEEI.com will count down the top 13 stories of 2013 in Boston sports. This is No. 2: Aaron Hernandez charged with murder. To see the previous entries, click here.

On Aug. 27, 2012, the Patriots rewarded tight end Aaron Hernandez, one of the team’€™s most promising players, with a lucrative contract extension. The deal would lock up Hernandez until 2018, paying him $40 million over five years.

“As soon as we started talking about contracts, I was emotional from that day on,” Hernandez said at a preseason gala hosted by the team just after the details of his contract were revealed.

“Honestly, it’s hard for me here [at the gala] to stay, keeping my mind off it, and it’s just, like I said, it’s surreal. Probably when I’m done with this conversation I’ll get some tears in my eyes. But it’s real, and it’s an honor.”

But less than one year later, the 23-year-old Hernandez was in a whale of legal trouble, and football and the monstrous contract he’€™d signed seemed immensely inconsequential. On June 26, Massachusetts State Police took Hernandez into custody on first-degree murder charges and five gun-related charges. Nearly two months later he was indicted by a grand jury for the murder of Odin Lloyd, a semipro football player from Boston who hung around with Hernandez. There also reportedly are ongoing investigations into other shootings in Florida and Massachusetts as well as gun trafficking that have links to Hernandez.

New England acted swiftly, cutting the third-year tight end.

“A young man was murdered last week and we extend our sympathies to the family and friends who mourn his loss,” the team said in a statement. “Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation. We realize that law enforcement investigations into this matter are ongoing. We support their efforts and respect the process. At this time, we believe this transaction is simply the right thing to do.”

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Bill Belichick, Boston Sports Stories of the Year 2013, Matt Light
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Jets players defend embattled Rex Ryan 12.20.13 at 8:12 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:
NBA: Rockets at Pacers, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Timberwolves at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Nicholls State at Indiana, 7 p.m. (BTN)
College basketball: Nebraska-Omaha at Minnesota, 9 p.m. (BTN)
NHL: Canucks at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NHL Network)
Hockey: Olympic exhibition, U.S. vs. Canada, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College football: FCS semifinal, New Hampshire at North Dakota State, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: NCAA Div. 3 final, Mount Union at Wis.-Whitewater, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘€¢ There’s been speculation that Rex Ryan‘s job is in jeopardy as the Jets battle to avoid last place in the AFC East at 6-8. If it were up to the players, apparently, the coach would be back next season.

Rookie defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson said he would make an appeal to first-year general manager John Idzik if he felt it was necessary.

“True statement, I would,” Richardson told the New York Daily News. “If I felt like that, that his job was in jeopardy, which I don’€™t feel like it [is]. It’€™s all speculation. But I most definitely would.”

Added Richardson: “I most definitely think he’€™ll be back, I could be wrong, but hey man, this is the way the business works. If his job was in jeopardy, Rex would tell you his job was in jeopardy. I promise you he would.”

Said wide receiver David Nelson: “If [Idzik] came down here and asked, I think every single guy in here would stand up and have Rex’€™s back. ‘€¦ I think every player in here cares for him, it’€™s so much deeper than a player-coach relationship. It’€™s not just so much of X’€™s and O’€™s and schemes with Rex. It’€™s about the people, it’€™s about the relationships. Guys respect that, because in this business that’€™s hard to come by.”

Ryan has not been as brash as in past years as his team has struggled this season, but when it comes to his job, he’s retained his confidence.

“I know I’m a good football coach,” Ryan said Monday. “I believe in this team. I believe in this organization ‘€¦ and I’m determined to being a winner to this team. I believe that I’m the right guy for it. Again, I’m not the guy making that decision. If I was, it’d be easy.”

‘€¢ Dennis Rodman held tryouts in Pyongyang for a North Korean team that will play a squad of NBA veterans for an exhibition game on Kim Jong Un‘s birthday next month. The only problem is, some of the ex-NBA players aren’t comfortable with traveling to the country.

Kim had his once-powerful uncle executed last week for crimes against the country, but Rodman insisted basketball players shouldn’t be concerned.

“You know, they’re still afraid to come here, but I’m just telling them, you know, don’t be afraid man, it’s all love, it’s all love here,” Rodman told The Associated Press. “I understand what’s going on with the political stuff, and I say, I don’t go into that venture, I’m just doing one thing for these kids here, and for this country, and for my country, and for the world pretty much.”

The plan for the game is to have the teams play against each other for the first half, then be mixed for the second half.

“It’s not about win or loss,” Rodman said. “It’s about one thing — unite two countries.”

‘€¢ Real Clear Sports has a list of the top 10 sports stories of 2013, and there a couple with Boston connections.

Aaron Hernandez‘s murder charge is the top story of the year. That’s followed by Lance Armstrong‘s confession and Oscar Pistorius‘ dead girlfriend. The Dolphins’ bullying scandal and “A-Rod vs. the World” are 4 and 5, followed by the Jameis Winston saga at No. 6. No. 7 is the Boston Marathon bombing.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 20, 1964, the Patriots ended their season with a 24-14 loss to the Bills. Despite failing to score in the game, which Patriots player finished the season with an AFL record 155 points?

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Boston Marathon, Dennis Rodman, Rex Ryan