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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Diamondbacks fire manager Chip Hale, GM Dave Stewart 10.04.16 at 8:07 am ET
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Good morning, here’s your Tuesday Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB wild card playoff: Orioles at Blue Jays, 8 p.m. (TBS)
WNBA playoffs: Sparks at Sky, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA preseason: Knicks at Rockets, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA preseason: Clippers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL preseason: Sabres vs. Hurricanes, 7 p.m. (OLN)

NFL: Vikings 24, Giants 10


Chip Hale is out as Diamondbacks manager. (Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports)

Chip Hale is out as Diamondbacks manager. (Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports)

— After finishing the season close to the basement, the Diamondbacks have cleaned house.

Arizona fired manager Chip Hale and general manager Dave Stewart on Monday afternoon after the team finished the season with a dismal 69-93 record.

“We are very grateful to Dave and Chip, who are widely respected throughout the game of baseball,” Arizona managing general partner Ken Kendrick said in a statement. “Ultimately, the results have not been what we had hoped, and while that responsibility is shared by all of us, we have decided that a change is necessary.”

Stewart doesn’t seem to be heartbroken over getting axed.

“They may think I’m going to blast people, but I’m not,’’ Stewart told USA Today Sports. “It is what it is. It’s that side of the business. To be honest with you, I’m kind of relieved. Quite frankly, I’ve got better things to do.’’

“I don’t have anything bad to say about Ken Kendrick,” Stewart said. “I’m not mad at this guy. He’s different. I’m different. Really, we were oil and water.”

In a press release on Monday, the team announced it will discuss another role for chief baseball officer Tony La Russa in the future, but Kendrick said La Russa will not be the manager.

— Barry Bonds reportedly has been fired after just one season serving as the Marlins hitting coach.

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Read More: Barry Bonds, Chip Hale, Dave Stewart, Nigel Bradham
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. appeals suspension, reportedly claims he felt threatened by Panthers 12.22.15 at 8:14 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Blues at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Canadiens at Wild (NBCSN)
NHL: Sharks at Kings, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Mavericks at Raptors, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Boston College vs. Fordham, 3:30 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
College basketball: BYU vs. Harvard, 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Auburn vs New Mexico, 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Miami at La Salle, 5 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Delaware at Villanova, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Iowa State at Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Michigan State vs. Oakland, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Georgetown at Charlotte, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Vanderbilt at Purdue, 8 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: California at Virginia, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: George Washington at DePaul, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Mercer at Ohio State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: St. John’s vs. South Carolina, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Oklahoma vs. Washington State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kansas at San Diego State, 11 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Northern Iowa at Hawaii, 1:30 a.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Akron vs Utah State, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Boca Raton Bowl, Temple vs. Toledo, 7 p.m. (ESPN)


— Odell Beckham Jr. isn’t yet commenting to the media, but he let the NFL know that he would like to talk about his actions Sunday, when he repeatedly targeted the head of Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, leading to his one-game suspension.

The NFL issued its ruling Monday, citing Beckham for “multiple violations of safety-related playing rules.”

Wrote NFL vice president of football operations Merton Hanks: “At numerous times during [Sunday’s] game against the Carolina Panthers, your actions placed a fellow player at unnecessary risk, and clearly did not represent the high standards of sportsmanship expected.”

Losing Beckham, the team’s most potent offensive threat, would make the Giants‘ challenge even more daunting. At 6-8, New York needs to win its final two games (and have Washington lose twice) to have a chance at qualifying for the postseason.

Beckham would not discuss specifics about his feud with Norman after Sunday’s game, although he did say, “You never want to hurt your team like that. I have learned it all throughout my life you know, always second man gets called, always that it is just unfortunate. You go back and watch the film tomorrow and you learn from it.”

ESPN NFL analyst Ray Lewis said before Monday night’s game that he spoke to Beckham and the player admitted, “I messed up.” Lewis said Beckham was responding to being challenged and threatened by Panthers players.

Other reports indicated the Panthers directed homophobic and personal insults at Beckham. Some Panthers also wielded a baseball bat pregame, a tradition they established this season.

An infuriated Norman called Beckham a “ballerina” and said he deserved a suspension. “He’s got the maturity of a little kid,” Norman said.

— The Broncos‘ season has taken a downward turn, but coach Gary Kubiak indicated there will be no change at quarterback this week — assuming Brock Osweiler is available to play.

Osweiler is having tests on his left shoulder, which he injured in Sunday’s 34-27 loss to the Steelers in which Denver squandered a 17-point lead. Kubiak said Osweiler was sore Monday, but “all indications are that he’ll be OK.”

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Read More: Barry Bonds, Brock Osweiler, Josh Norman, Odell Beckham Jr.
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Kevin Durant rips media for ‘killing’ Kobe Bryant 12.01.15 at 8:00 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Wizards at Cavaliers, 7 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Mavericks at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Michigan at N.C. State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Northwestern at Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Maryland Eastern Shore at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Villanova at Saint Joseph’s, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Virginia at Ohio State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Purdue at Pittsburgh, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Miami at Nebraska, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Louisiana Tech at Memphis, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Maryland at North Carolina, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Wild at Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Penguins at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)


— The Kobe Bryant farewell tour has begun, after the Lakers legend announced Sunday that he’s retiring after the season. Thunder star Kevin Durant is ready to pay tribute to Bryant, but he’s disappointed in the lack of respect Bryant has received from the media to this point in the season. And on Monday he wasn’t shy about expressing his opinion about it.

“I’ve been disappointed this year because you guys [the media] treated him like [expletive],” Durant said. “He’s a legend, and all I hear is about how bad he’s playing, how bad he’s shooting and it’s time for him to hang it up. You guys treated one of our legends like [expletive], and I didn’t really like it. So hopefully now you can start being nice to him now that he decided to retire after this year.”

Durant, who said he idolized Bryant grown up and “wanted to be like him,” responded later Monday to backlash about his comment by elaborating on his point.

“I understand [the media] have to write about the game. Of course I understand that,” Durant said. “Kobe hasn’t played well, and his team hasn’t played well, but did we expect that from them? You did say he was the 93rd-best player in the league, you did have the Lakers as the worst team in the West, but it seems like everybody is happy that he’s going out like this. Every game he’s played on TV is about how terrible he looks, every article the next day is about how he should retire and give it up. Just killing him.

“I never hear about the Finals MVPs, the accolades. They did it for [former Yankee] Derek Jeter, they will do it for Tim Duncan when he leaves even if he’s playing bad. I know you’ve got to report the games, but you’re going too in-depth about how bad he is. You’re almost kicking him out the league.”

Added Durant: “They say I don’t get the media and how they work. Well, they never got players and how we work.”

— According to reports out of Miami, the Marlins are having internal discussions about hiring disgraced home run king Barry Bonds as their hitting coach. Bonds has worked as a special instructor for the Giants at the last two spring trainings.

Baseball’s all-time home run leader with 762 dingers, Bonds batted .298 in 22 seasons with the Pirates and Giants.

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Read More: Barry Bonds, Jahlil Okafor, Kevin Durant, kobe bryant
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Barry Bonds has ‘great peace’ after government drops criminal case 07.22.15 at 8:11 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Astros, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Mets at Nationals, 12:35 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Orioles at Yankees, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA: Liberty at Sparks, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
Soccer: Gold Cup semifinals, United States vs. Jamaica, 6 p.m. (FS1)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)


Barry Bonds might not get into the Hall of Fame anytime soon, but at least he doesn’t have to worry anymore about going to jail for being evasive when asked by a grand jury about performance-enhancing drugs supplied by his former trainer.

Federal prosecutors dropped what was left of their criminal case against Bonds on Tuesday, as the Department of Justice decided not to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the appellate decision that overturned Bonds’ obstruction of justice conviction, one day before the deadline.

“The finality of today’s decision gives me great peace,” Bonds said in a statement. “As I have said before, this outcome is something I have long wished for. I am relieved, humbled and thankful for what this means for me and my family moving forward.”

Bonds, 50, received 36.8 percent of the votes for the Hall of Fame in this year’s election, his third time on the ballot. That’s well below the 75 percent needed for induction.

Victor Conte, founder of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) that supplied a number of star athletes with PEDs, was critical of the government’s pursuit of Bonds.

“It seems that the government has finally come to their senses,” said Conte, who was sentenced to four months in prison and four months of home confinement for his role in the scandal. “In my opinion they should have never brought charges against Barry Bonds and wasted tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. … The Bonds case was simply a trophy-hunting expedition by these federal agents and prosecutors, and I believe they need to be held accountable for this waste of federal funds.”

Adrian Peterson didn’t have much leverage in his negotiations with the Vikings, but the team nonetheless accommodated his request for a better contract, restructuring the final three years of his deal to give him $20 million in guaranteed money.

Peterson, who prior to the adjustment had $45 million remaining on his contract but none of it guaranteed, tweeted the word “Amen” next to an emoji of praying hands.

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Barry Bonds, Jimbo Fisher,
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Barry Bonds confident he will end up in Hall of Fame 11.25.14 at 8:10 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

College basketball: Purdue vs. Missouri, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: BYU vs. Chaminade, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Saint Peter’s at Rutgers, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Northern Iowa vs. Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Arkansas at SMU, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Kansas State vs. Arizona, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: VCU vs. Oregon, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Eastern Illinois at Creighton, 8 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Maryland vs. Iowa State, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Northwestern vs. Miami (Ohio), 9:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Villanova vs. Michigan, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Pittsburgh vs. San Diego State, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Ohio at Miami (Ohio), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College hockey: UMass at Vermont, 7 p.m. (NESN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Bayern Munich at Manchester City, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


Barry Bonds was nowhere close to the 75 percent of votes needed for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame last year, but the home run king is confident he’ll get elected someday.

On Monday, the same day this year’s ballots were announced, Bonds said in an interview with that he deserves to be enshrined despite widespread assumptions that he used performance-enhancing drugs.

“I love Major League Baseball. I always have and I loved playing the game,” Bonds said. “I don’t have any doubts that I’ll get there in time. I’m bothered about it, but I don’t sit here going, ‘I’m not going to make it.’ I don’t see how it stays the way it’s going. In my mind, in my head, I’m a lot more positive about it than I am negative. I think eventually they’ll do the right thing.”

MASHUP POLL: Should Barry Bonds be elected to the Hall of Fame?

  • No, he cheated and he should be kept out (74%, 162 Votes)
  • Yes, his performance makes it clear he belongs (26%, 56 Votes)

Total Voters: 218

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Bonds dipped from 36.2 percent two years ago to 34.7 percent last year, ranking him just behind Roger Clemens.

“I deserve to be there,” Bonds said. “Clemens deserves to be there. The guys that are supposed to be there are supposed to be there. Period. I don’t even know how to say it. We are Hall of Famers. Why are we having these conversations about it? Why are we talking about a baseball era that has come and gone? Era, era, era. Do the best players in the game deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? Yes. Everything that everyone has accomplished in baseball is in that [record] book. Correct? So if that’s correct, then we need to be in there. End of story.”

— A Browns fan claims he was attacked by Johnny Manziel’s entourage when he spotted the quarterback at a Cleveland hotel and went to give him a hug.

Chris Gonos, 33, told police he was assaulted early Saturday morning after telling Manziel: “I’m the biggest Browns fan ever. I love you. I want to give you a hug.”

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Read More: Barry Bonds, Eric Berry, Johnny Manziel,
Braves honor Hank Aaron, still home run leader to some in MLB 04.09.14 at 10:31 am ET
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While Barry Bonds officially holds the record for most home runs in a career, there are some, like baseball commissioner Bud Selig, who still see Hank Aaron as the true leader in home runs.

“€œI’€™m always in a sensitive spot there, but I’€™ve said that myself and I’€™ll just leave it at that,” Selig said Tuesday night.

Forty years ago, Aaron set the record for most home runs in a career with 715, pushing him past Babe Ruth. On Tuesday night, Aaron was honored by the Brewers to celebrate the anniversary.

Aaron finished his career with 755 home runs, a record that stood until 2007, when Bonds surpassed the mark. Bonds, however, has been associated with steroid use for many years, bringing his legacy into question.

Terry McGuirk, the Braves chairman, hinted at the controversy of Bonds by saying Aaron “€œset the home-run record the old-fashioned way.”

Aaron, a 25-time All-Star and holder of various baseball records, was gracious during the ceremony, thanking the fans.

“The game of baseball was a way that I relaxed myself each year that I went on the field for 23 years,” Aaron said. “I gave baseball everything that I had, everything, every ounce of my ability to play the game I tried to play to make you the fans appreciate me more. Thank you.”

Read More: Barry Bonds, bud selig, Hank Aaron, Milwaukee Brewers
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: ‘Nervous’ Barry Bonds begins coaching stint with Giants 03.11.14 at 8:06 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Celtics at Pacers, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Spurs at Bulls, 8 p.m. (WGN)
NBA: Rockets at Thunder, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Mount St. Mary’s at Robert Morris, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Milwaukee at Wright State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: BYU vs. Gonzaga, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: North Dakota State vs. IPFW, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Capitals at Penguins, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB preseason: Mets at Cardinals, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Mariners vs. Angels, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: UEFA CHampions: Arsenal at Bayern Munich, 3:30 p.m. (FS1)


— Home run king Barry Bonds, looking much thinner than during his playing days, showed up at Giants spring training in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Monday to begin serving as a hitting instructor for a week.

“It feels really good to be back,” Bonds said in a 30-minute meeting with about three dozen media members. “It feels good to give back to the game that I love. Hopefully I’ll be a part of this longer. … I’m enjoying it.”

“I am more nervous at this than I was playing, because it was only my mind and me. Hopefully I can bring good value to the ball club. We’ll see how it works out. I don’t even know if I’m good at it.”

Bonds, who played 15 seasons with the Giants before retiring after the 2007 season with 762 home runs and a cloud of suspicion regarding PED use, was known for his lack of cooperation with the media when he played. Now 49, he appears to have mellowed.

“I’m just a different character. I was a different character playing,” he said. “Now I’ve had time to slow down, do other things. I needed that guy to play, it’s who I was at the time. I’m the same person, just a different character. … Teammates used to say, you don’t play when you’re nice. It worked. Whatever it was, it worked.”

Bonds said “without a doubt” he belongs in the Hall of Fame, but he offered no opinion regarding those who won’t vote for him. “You guys are all adults,” he said. “I have no advice for you.”

— The Minnesota lawmaker who sent out a tweet about the NBA that was criticized as racist apologized Monday after initially standing by his comments.

State Rep. Pat Garofalo, a fifth-term Republican from Farmington, tweeted Sunday: Let’s be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/ possible exception of increase in streetcrime.

Garofalo eventually acknowledged his mistake.

“I sincerely apologize to those who I unfairly categorized,” said Garofalo, who’s seeking a sixth term in the fall. “The NBA has many examples of players and owners who are role models for our communities and for our country. Those individuals did not deserve that criticism and I apologize.”

Garofalo, who is known for speaking his mind and stirring up controversy, insisted his comments were not racially motivated.

“I don’t have a racist bone in my body. I pride myself on the fact I’ve tutored in inner-city Minneapolis,” Garofalo told reporters, adding that there are “no excuses. I apologize. I’m responsible for my actions.”

— A youth hockey referee in Connecticut was arrested over the weekend for being too aggressive in escorting a player off the ice after an ejection.

Stephen Levins called a match penalty on a player who, according to a member of the other team, “took a shot at the ref’s head with the puck,” after becoming angry during a game Saturday at Champions Ice Rink in Cromwell.

According to police, Levins then physically escorted the player off the ice, upsetting parents and teammates. Parents tried to get onto the ice to confront Levins, while others attempted to calm matters. Some called 911.

Levins, 55, was charged with breach of peace and risk of injury to a minor. He posted $5,000 bond and was released.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 11, 1976, which Bruins winger scored the 300th goal of his career with a hat trick in a 6-2 victory over the Maple Leafs?

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Read More: Barry Bonds, Pat Garofalo,
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Kicker Alan Gendreau bids to be first openly gay NFL player 04.24.13 at 8:06 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Athletics at Red Sox, 4:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Nationals, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Indians at White Sox, 2:10 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Dodgers at Mets, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA playoffs: Rockets at Thunder, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Hawks at Pacers, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA playoffs: Lakers at Spurs, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL: Kings at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Sharks at Coyotes, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)


‘™¦ Former Middle Tennessee State kicker Alan Gendreau, the leading scorer in the history of the Sun Belt Conference, is aiming to become the first openly gay NFL player. Gendreau, who was not drafted when he graduated a year ago after an inconsistent senior season, reportedly has drawn interest from a couple of NFL teams.

The 23-year-old, who is a devout Christian, came out to family and friends in his hometown of Orlando when he was 16. His homosexuality was known to his teammates at Middle Tennessee.

“Everyone just saw him as a football player,” former teammate Josh Davis told Outsports. “He was just one of the guys. The fact that he proved himself on the field, there was a respect for him. He’s a good guy. He’s a lot of fun to be around. With all the coaches and players, he had a good relationship.”

After a year working on his game, Gendreau is ready to take a shot at the pros. And he’s not afraid to break barriers and send a message to young players in his situation.

“All those kids playing sports in the South or anywhere else, kids who are afraid to be themselves, I just want to put my arm around them and help them,” Gendreau told Outsports. “And if my story can do that, I figure I owe it to them to give it the best ending I can.”

‘™¦ Liverpool soccer star Luis Suarez, who bit Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in Sunday’s 2-2 draw, accepted a charge of violent conduct from the Football Association but said he does not deserve a suspension of more than three games. His case is due to be heard on Wednesday.

Suarez, who apologized after the game, was suspended seven matches for a similar incident when he played for the Dutch team Ajax in 2010.

Meanwhile, Mike Tyson, who famously bit the ear of Evander Holyfield during their 1997 bout, downplayed this week’s incident.

“[Suarez] bit someone, it happens,” Tyson said during an appearance on the David Glenn radio show. “I am sure he will make amends with this guy. I made amends with Evander and we got on with our lives.”

‘™¦ The commemorative plaque at San Francisco’s AT&T Park that honors Barry Bonds‘ record-setting 756th home run is gone. The plaque hung on the brick facade in right-center field until a few days ago, and the team is investigating.

“We’re in the process of replacing it,” team spokeswoman Staci Slaughter said. “We’re not sure what happened. We’re reviewing video but haven’t found anything yet.”

Bonds broke Hank Aaron‘s career record on Aug. 7, 2007, during the last of his 22 major league seasons. He finished with 762 home runs.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 24, 1983, which player scored 1:52 into overtime to give the Bruins a 3-2 victory over the Sabres in Game 7 of their Adams Division finals series at Boston Garden?

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Read More: Alan Gendreau, Barry Bonds, Luis Suarez, Mike Tyson
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Jaguars say no to Tim Tebow 01.11.13 at 8:10 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Rockets at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Bulls at Knicks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Thunder at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Fairfield at Loyola (Md.), 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Wright State at Loyola (Ill.), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: New Hampshire at Boston College, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: Union at Princeton, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: Nebraska-Omaha at Denver, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)


‘™¦ So much for speculation about Tim Tebow‘s triumphant return to Florida.

New Jaguars general manager David Caldwell, speaking at his introductory press conference Thursday in Jacksonville, said Tebow, expected to be traded or released by the Jets this offseason, does not fit into the team’s plans.

“I can’t imagine a scenario in which he’ll be a Jacksonville Jaguar — even if he’s released,” Caldwell said.

Owner Shad Khan previously has expressed an interest in the former University of Florida standout, but on Thursday he said he’s standing behind his new GM.

“I’m telling them to take a look at Tebow, and they’re saying, ‘We’re going to go in a different direction,” Khan said. “That’s the difference.”

Blaine Gabbert might survive as the starting QB, but the Jaguars will have a change at coach, however, as Mike Mularkey was fired after one season and a 2-14 record, the worst in franchise history.

“We needed a rebuild from the ground up,” Khan said.

‘™¦ The Lakers continue to struggle along at 15-20 and on a five-game losing streak while they deal with injuries to four key players (Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Steve Blake), but executive vice president Jim Buss said he has no plans to rebuild the aging roster.

“We still like this team a lot,” Buss said Thursday in an interview with ESPNLA 710 radio in Los Angeles. “How can you not believe in this team? This team is built to win. It’s a very, very solid team. We haven’t seen them all together and play together for games. In my mind, we would not consider a temporary fix or blow it up. Why blow up something we have a future with?

“It’s very difficult to talk this way because we’re five games under or six games under .500, and we’ve dug ourselves a hole. But at the same time, I feel that if we put it together, we can string seven or eight games in a row and dig ourselves out of this hole. If we play with the energy we’ve seen in the last two games, then I think you go into the playoffs with momentum.”

It cost the team $99.2 million to assemble this roster, but Buss said he doesn’t regret going all in.
“We stuck our neck out with this payroll because Kobe [Bryant] is in the twilight of his career and we want to win championships,” Buss said. “Now, am I upset that we might not make the playoffs? Of course. I’d be upset if I had a $10 payroll or a $200 million payroll. I want to make the playoffs and I want to win championships. But to panic? No, we’re not going to panic.”

‘™¦ Hall of Fame reliever Goose Gossage, who previously has voiced his opinion that players linked to performance-enhancing drugs should join him in the Hall, took things another step Thursday when he said he might boycott the Hall if such players were to be enshrined.

“What kind of a society and what kind of world are we living in where we reward these guys for cheating?” Gossage said on New York sports radio station WFAN. “What kind of message does that send? And you know what? If any of these guys ever get in, I probably will never go back to the Hall of Fame.”

Added Gossage: “Nobody got in [this year], and the guys that are performance-enhancing drug users ‘€¦ I think [the voters] sent them a statement that they didn’€™t get in, and nor should they ever get in. They’€™ve got to make an example [of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens]. If they let them into the Hall of Fame, they might as well forget about testing and everything else.”

However, former Astros star Craig Biggio, who fell 39 votes shy of election, said if he had a vote he would have tabbed Bonds and Clemens.

“Barry Bonds was the greatest hitter that I’ve ever played against, the greatest players I ever played against. … Roger was one of the greatest pitchers of all time,” he said, adding. “I would have [voted them in]. Yes. I think those guys are Hall of Fame players. There’s not doubt about it, Barry and Roger, their numbers speak for themselves. And what they did on a baseball field speaks for themselves.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Jan. 11, 1977, with a 3-2 victory over the Capitals, which player became the fifth goaltender to record 100 career wins with the Bruins?

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Read More: Barry Bonds, David Caldwell, Goose Gossage, Jim Buss
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Manny Ramirez not ready to return to majors 05.29.12 at 7:44 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Tigers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Yankees at Angels, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA playoffs: Thunder at Spurs, 9 p.m. (TNT)


‘™¦ Manny Ramirez is eligible to return from his 50-game suspension Wednesday, his 40th birthday, but the Athletics announced Monday night that the former Red Sox slugger will instead continue to play for Triple-A Sacramento.

Assistant general manager David Forst said the A’s “will continue to monitor Manny’s progress on a day-to-day basis in hopes of bringing him to Oakland just as soon as he is ready to contribute at the major league level.”

Ramirez is 8-for-32 with no extra-base hits and seven strikeouts in nine games at Triple-A. He had two singles Monday and sounded encouraged. “The more pitches I see, the better I get,” he said.

Ramirez, who hasn’t appeared in a major league game since last April with the Rays, preached patience and said he wants to make the most of this opportunity to return to the game.

“When you’re doing something for so long, almost 19 years, and you don’t have it, you’re going to miss it,” Ramirez said. “But thanks to God, God gave it to me back. And every day, doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, I enjoy myself.”

‘™¦ Barry Bonds made an appearance Monday at AT&T Park in San Francisco, stopping in the Giants clubhouse before the game and being surprisingly polite to the media. Although he apparently has no close relationships with any current Giants players, Bonds was a welcome visitor.

“We enjoy it when he comes around,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “If Barry wants to do that, that’s great. If he wants to get back in the game. I’m sure he misses it.”

Bonds, the all-time home run leader in the majors, never officially retired from baseball.

“I’m not playing anymore, so whatever you want to call it,” Bonds said. “I don’t know. I’ll let the Giants figure that one out for me.”

As for his legal troubles, Bonds was asked if he had regrets about being involved with BALCO.

“I’m a convicted felon for obstruction of justice, and that’s who I am,” he said. “I live with it. ‘€¦ I went through the system. That’s what they gave me. I’m in appeal right now. I was never convicted of steroids.”

‘™¦ Inspired by the Spurs’ perfect record in this year’s NBA playoffs, Real Clear Sports has a list of the top 10 most dominant postseasons. The 1976 Reds are No. 1, ahead of the 2001 Lakers and the 1989 49ers. No local teams made the list, but a few squads that beat Boston teams in the playoffs did, including the 1985 Bears (5), the 1999 Yankees (7), the 1968 Canadiens (9) and the 2005 White Sox (10).

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 29, 1984, the Red Sox held their first official number retirement ceremony, honoring two men: Ted Williams (No. 9) and who else?

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Read More: Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez,