|Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Kicker Alan Gendreau bids to be first openly gay NFL player||04.24.13 at 8:06 am ET|
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
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)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ 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?
|Friday’s Morning Mashup: Jaguars say no to Tim Tebow||01.11.13 at 8:10 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
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)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ 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?
|Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Manny Ramirez not ready to return to majors||05.29.12 at 7:44 am ET|
TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
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)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ 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?
|Judge upholds Barry Bonds’ obstruction of justice conviction||08.27.11 at 1:05 pm ET|
A federal judge has denied Barry Bonds‘ appeal for a new trial on the obstruction of justice charges he was convicted on last April.
Bonds was charged with making false statements to a grand jury in 2003 about taking steroids and human growth hormone, but jurors only convicted him of responding with rambling, evasive statements.
According to U.S. district judge Susan Illston, Bonds “repeatedly provided non-responsive answers to questions about whether [Greg] Anderson had ever provided him with injectables, resulting in the prosecuting attorneys asking clarifying question after clarifying question, and even once resulting in one prosecutor interrupting another.”
Bonds’ lawyers argued that the slugger’s steroid use was not relevant to the grand jury, but Illston disagreed. Bonds is reportedly likely to appeal the decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. If the decision stands, the MLB’s all-time leader in career home runs could spend anywhere between one and 10 years in prison.
|Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Alex Rodriguez offers support for LeBron James||06.15.11 at 7:32 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY WEDNESDAY:
NHL Playoffs: Bruins at Canucks, 8 p.m. (NBC)
MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who, like LeBron James, went from an admired young player to a reviled superstar, encouraged people to lighten up on the NBA standout. “Winning a championship is not an easy thing to do regardless of talent,” Rodriguez said Tuesday night. “LeBron is a once-in-a-lifetime player, especially the last year. … We need to remember this kid is 26 years old and admire his talent.”
♦ The Peoria Chiefs, a Single-A affiliate of the Cubs, are having a tribute to the 1990s Bulls’ NBA dynasty Thursday. The team also decided to add a LeBron James 2011 NBA championship replica ring giveaway. The commemorative rings, like LeBron’s, are non-existent. All fans entering the park will be “handed” the non-existent rings. The team also said it is looking into skipping the fourth inning of the game, to commemorate James’ disappointing fourth-quarter performances in the Heat’s NBA finals loss to the Mavericks.
♦ Greg Anderson, the trainer who sat in prison for three weeks this year while refusing to testify against Barry Bonds, was told he is not welcome to continue coaching in his son’s youth baseball league outside of San Francisco. The Burlingame Youth Baseball Association said Anderson, who has coached for years, is not registered with the league and thus is prohibited from being on the field. Anderson can register next season but will have to undergo a background check like all volunteers.
♦ The FBI has talked to the owner of a restaurant in Aspen, Colo., and inquired about getting surveillance tapes from an incident in which Lance Armstrong allegedly confronted former cycling teammate Tyler Hamilton. Hamilton accused Armstrong of using performance-enhancing drugs, and Hamilton’s lawyer said Armstrong made threats when the two crossed paths Saturday night.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 15, 1992, which Red Sox reliever set a major league record with his 342nd career save in a 1-0 victory over the Yankees?
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Barry Bonds funds college tuition for children of beaten Giants fan||05.26.11 at 7:49 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY THURSDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Tigers, 1:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Controversial Giants legend Barry Bonds apparently has formed a bond with the family of Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was beaten after a game in Los Angeles. Bonds visited Stow in the hospital and wrote on his website: “I look forward to taking Bryan and his kids to a Giants game when he recovers.” Bonds also indicated that he will be funding a college tuition fund for Stow’s two children.
And in a note from The New York Times, former Bonds trainer Greg Anderson, a convicted felon who sat in jail rather than testify against his longtime friend, is a coach for a youth baseball team outside of San Francisco. Some parents aren’t happy about this situation.
♦ The Lakers hired former Cavaliers coach Mike Brown to succeed Phil Jackson. In The Los Angeles Times, Bill Plaschke writes that the team made the wrong hire. At Yahoo! Sports, Adrian Wojnarowski writes that the Lakers should have consulted Kobe Bryant, who had no comment on the hiring after offering his support for assistant Brian Shaw.
♦ In the latest from Charles Barkley‘s feud with the Heat, the TNT analyst said that he got a call from Nike questioning his criticism of LeBron James. These athletes today are all wussified,” Barkley said. “I’ve been saying LeBron’s been the best player in the league for three years. And I say one thing criticizing “The Decision,” and I get a phone call from Nike saying why don’t I like LeBron? It’s interesting how this [expletive] works. These groups today, if you don’t say 100 percent positive about their guy or their team, they overreact.”
♦ Forbes magazine has a piece on how sports attendance figures speak lies, with an explanation of how teams fudge the numbers to work to their benefit.
♦ In The Washington Post, Sally Jenkins writes about 61-year-old Diana Nyad, who is preparing to swim from Cuba to Key West.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 26, 1987, Celtics legend Larry Bird stole Isiah Thomas‘ inbounds pass and fed which teammate for the game-winning layup to beat the Pistons, 108-107, in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals?
|Monday’s Morning Mashup: Autographed football helmet sells for $2 million||04.18.11 at 7:40 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY MONDAY:
MLB: Blue Jays at Red Sox, 11:05 a.m. (NESN; WEEI)
NHL Playoffs: Bruins at Canadiens, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ In what is believed to be the highest price paid for a piece of football memorabilia, an autographed Houston Oilers helmet was auctioned for $2 million late last week. Houston lawyer Steve Mostyn outbid his wife Amber for the helmet signed by coach Bum Phillips and players.
♦ Manny Ramirez was a bust, but the Rays hit it big with Johnny Damon, their other major free agent signee with a Red Sox connection. Damon has two walkoff hits already this season, and he helped Tampa Bay beat the Sox twice last week. In the St. Petersburg Times, John Romano writes that Damon is the Rays’ first rock star.
♦ With Barry Bonds‘ trial over and Roger Clemens‘ trial upcoming, Katie Thomas in The New York Times compares the two and ponders whether Clemens will have a tougher road because of the situation in which he is accused of lying.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 18, 1966, Red Auerbach named Bill Russell as his replacement as coach of the Celtics (Russell also continued to play). How many seasons did Russell go on to coach the C’s?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Once it starts to go all together, it’ll be scary.” — Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, after the Red Sox beat the Jays on Sunday for their second straight win
STAT OF THE DAY: 1-for-11 — Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony‘s shooting numbers in the second half of the Celtics’ 87-85 victory Sunday
‘NET RESULTS: A member of the Mariners grounds crew fell victim to the tarp roller at a game last week.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Three seasons, of which two ended with NBA titles
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Country Joe McDonald turns 70 Monday.
|Barry Bonds jury to deliberate for fourth day||04.13.11 at 10:02 am ET|
The jurors in the Barry Bonds perjury trial will return to the San Francisco courthouse for a fourth day of deliberations Wednesday. After failing to reach a verdict for a third day Tuesday, the eight women and four men on the jury will resume deliberations at 8:30 a.m. Pacific time.
Bonds is charged with three counts of lying to a grand jury in 2003 and one count of obstruction.
|Friday’s Morning Mashup: LeBron James’ mother arrested for assaulting valet||04.08.11 at 7:24 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY FRIDAY:
MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 2:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
NBA: Wizards at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
NHL: Senators at Bruins, 1 p.m. (NESN)
MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 1:10 p.m. (Fox; WEEI)
MLS: Real Salt Lake at Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 8:05 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI)
NBA: Celtics at Heat, 3:30 p.m. (ABC; WEEI)
NHL: Bruins at Devils, 3 p.m. (NBC)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Gloria James, mother of Heat star LeBron James, was released from jail Thursday after being arrested early in the morning outside a Miami hotel for allegedly assaulting a valet. Gloria James, who pleaded no contest to DUI in 2006, had a strong odor of alcohol on her breath and had bloodshot eyes when officers arrived on the scene at 4:47 a.m. Thursday, police said. The valet and witnesses told police that he brought the car to the front of the hotel but turned it off after waiting 30 minutes for Gloria. When she walked out to the ramp, she started screaming profanities when she didn’t immediately see her car and then slapped the valet.
“It’s a sensitive subject,” LeBron said after the Heat practiced Thursday afternoon. “It’s a personal matter. It’s being taken care of.”
♦ Forbes magazine has a list of baseball agents “who rip off teams the most.” Scott Boras is No. 1, with a “total waste” of $69.1 million.
♦ Former Reds reliever Rob Dibble said that Barry Bonds‘ teammates with the Pirates in the late 1980s/early 1990s asked opposing pitchers to hit the slugger. Meanwhile, with the Bonds federal trial in the jury’s hands, Mark Purdy at the San Jose Mercury News writes that no matter the outcome, the Giants need to have a plan for dealing with their former star. He suggests that they keep their distance.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 8, 1991, which new Red Sox player hit a grand slam on Opening Day in a 6-2 victory over the Blue Jays in Toronto?
|Judge dismisses 1 of 5 charges against Barry Bonds||04.06.11 at 12:43 pm ET|
A federal judge on Wednesday granted a request by the prosecution to dismiss one of the five charges against Barry Bonds in his federal trial. In the charge, the prosecution asserted that Bonds lied to a grand jury when he denied that personal trainer Greg Anderson induced him “to take anything before the 2003 season.”
Bonds has admitted to inadvertently taking steroids in 2003 but not before then.
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