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Thinking Out Loud: Red Sox owe Don Orsillo opportunity to seek other employment immediately 08.28.15 at 6:41 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering what has made this world go mad?

— My thoughts and prayers are extended to the families of the two TV journalists (Alison Parker and Adam Ward) who lost their lives simply doing their jobs this week, and to their fellow employees at WDBJ in Roanoke, Virginia. As someone who has made his living doing exactly what they were doing at the time they were attacked, words simply cannot express all of my thoughts. Like many, I’m asking only one question: Why?

— What a scary, scary world this has become. Mental health issues need to be discussed, certainly as much as gun control is talked about. Isn’t it about time we tackle this?

— After this disaster of a baseball season at Fenway, to have NESN and Red Sox brass make the move to remove Don Orsillo from the broadcast booth simply shows the side of this business that too many people don’t see. It’s ugly, largely unfair, and the price many ultimately pay for following a dream. Don is truly one of the good guys in a field full of mines, trap doors and insincerity, as well as insecurity. But he’s a big boy, too, and undoubtedly understands the business side of the equation.

— All too often, moves are made just for the sake of making them. Just to change things up. Poor ratings? Come on now, the team’s performance had more to do with that. There really isn’t any other way to rationalize the irrational. Blame it on a contract, new management, ratings, whatever you want. Everyone in the broadcast business is hired to be fired, eventually.

— Dave O’Brien, who will move over from the WEEI radio broadcast into the TV booth, will do a fantastic job. Another good guy, and superb pro — no matter the venue. I can assure you no one in this line of work likes to reap the benefit from someone else’s misfortune.

David Ortiz‘€™s reaction probably put this rather sordid tale in its proper context. He told the Boston Herald, “No one is safe unless you are your own boss.” These days, I question that too, Papi.

— Orsillo is apparently under contract through December, and reportedly can’t look for another gig until then. Does that seem fair? Welcome to the realities of the broadcast world. NESN needs to do the right thing, today, and allow him the ability to seek other employment. Tom Werner and John Henry should step up and own this.

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Read More: Curt Schilling, Don Orsillo,
Friday’s Morning’s Mashup: Former VP candidate Sarah Palin defends Curt Schilling, rips ESPN at 8:07 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 Mets, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Rockies at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cardinals at Giants, 10:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NFL preseason: Patriots at Panthers, 7:30 p.m. (WBZ-TV)
WNBA: Sparks at Shock, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: Stars at Storm, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)

AROUND THE WEB:

Curt Schilling has been quiet since being yanked from the air by ESPN for retweeting a comment comparing Muslims to Germans when Nazis took over the country before World War II, but his defenders are out in full force.

The latest is former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who posted a message on Facebook titled “ESPN is a journalistic embarrassment.”

Wrote Palin: ESPN – what happened to you? Your intolerant PC police are running amok and making a joke out of you!

By picking and choosing who they’ll tolerate and who they’ll try to destroy, ESPN has zero credibility as a round and reasonable media outlet.

There’s been crude, rude bile spewing from the once-great sports network for years now. Trust me. I know. My name and reputation’s been in it. One ESPN affiliate’s on-air rant featuring their misogynist, animalistic “analysts” grunting and giggling through an entire x-rated celebration of violence against women didn’t even draw a chirp from ESPN’s wussified leaders. Look it up; I don’t want to have to recount it. ESPN radio affiliate in Las Vegas got its kicks out of convicted rapist Mike Tyson describing the next rape he’d want to see. (Warning, graphic language throughout that Sept. 20, 2011 broadcast.)

Palin went on to write that the stats in Schilling’s tweet — claiming “only 5-10 percent of Muslims are extremists” — likely is “too generous in estimating Muslims’ attitudes.”

Added Palin: By denying the accuracy of Schilling’s tweet, ESPN shows its weakness as it buys into the propaganda of ISIS and other terror organizations, helping mislead the public about the very real threat of terrorism. It shows once again that ESPN would rather concentrate on liberal global politics instead of report well on our beloved sports.

From those of us who used to LOVE the network (to the point of addiction, some would confess!), I say to ESPN – you are awful in this. Stick to sports.

— The NBA community expressed shock and sadness after learning of the death of Darryl Dawkins, the former 76ers star who was known for his thunderous dunks and larger-than-life persona.

Dawkins died Thursday at a hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, of a heart attack, according to his family. He was 58 years old.

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Read More: Curt Schilling, Darryl Dawkins, Johnny Manziel, Sarah Palin
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Curt Schilling accepts ESPN punishment after inflammatory tweet about Muslims 08.26.15 at 7:50 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 White Sox, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Astros at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Twins at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Giants, 10L15 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA: Sparks at Fever, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Manchester United at Club Brugge, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Curt Schilling was removed from ESPN’s coverage of the Little League World Series on Tuesday after he retweeted an inflammatory comment about Muslims, and the former Red Sox pitcher — scheduled to join the Dennis & Callahan show at 9:05 a.m. — said he understands it. [UPDATE: Schilling postponed his D&C appearance, indicating he hopes to talk later in the week.]

The tweet featured a graphic with a photo of Adolf Hitler saluting. The text read: IT’S SAID ONLY 5-10% OF MUSLIMS ARE EXTREMISTS. IN 1940, ONLY 7% OF GERMANS WERE NAZIS. HOW’D THAT GO?

Above the graphic was a line that read: The math is staggering when you get to true #’s.

ESPN yanked Schilling and released a statement that read: “Curt’s tweet was completely unacceptable and in now way represents our company’s perspective. We made that point very strongly to Curt and have removed him from his current Little League assignment pending further consideration.”

Schilling removed the graphic and followed with a tweet acknowledging a lapse in judgment, writing: I understand and accept my suspension. 100% my fault. Bad choices have bad consequences and this was a bad decision in every way on my part.

Michael Vick has gone from one Patriots rival to another, landing with the Steelers after playing for the Jets last season.

The 35-year-old signed a one-year deal Tuesday night to back up Ben Roethlisberger — or serve as a third-stringer behind third-year pro Landry Jones.

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Read More: Curt Schilling, michael vick, Steve Sarkisian,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Gabby Schilling supports father’s campaign against Twitter harassers 03.06.15 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:
NBA: Celtics at Pelicans, 8 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Suns at Nets, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Yale at Harvard, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Akron at Kent State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Morehead State vs. Murray State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Texas Tech at Baylor, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Belmont vs. Eastern Kentucky, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: Minnesota at Ohio State, 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: North Dakota at Miami (Ohio), 6:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College hockey: Denver at Saint Cloud State, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
MLB exhibition: Yankees at Phillies, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: Women, United States vs. Norway, noon (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Curt Schilling acknowledged he was concerned how his daughter would feel when he decided to go after the Twitter trolls who made vulgar comments about her. Any hesitation on her part, however, appears to have subsided.

“It means a lot that [my dad] defended me, but that’s just what father do for their daughters,” Gabby told People.com. “He has been, and always will be, there for me no matter what.”

Schilling’s wife, Shonda, said it was “devastating” to see Gabby return home from school in tears Monday after learning of the comments.

“I was stunned that anyone would say these things, knowing people would see them,” Shonda told People.com. “Then angry they ever felt it was OK to ever say those things to my daughter. … No one deserves this! It’s never OK to speak to anybody like that, especially a 17-year-old girl.”

The backlash against the Twitter harassers has been severe, with suspensions and widespread humiliation for the offenders, allowing the Schillings to take some solace that a strong message has been delivered.

“I’m very glad that this all happened,” Gabby said. “The amount of awareness that’s being spread right now about cyberbullying and bullying in general from this situation is incredible. I’ve had girls and parents and adults reaching out to me saying, ‘Thank you so much for what you and your dad are doing, spreading awareness to these kids about what their words can do and what consequences they have.’ ”

Gabby said she has mixed feelings about how much the harassers have been punished.

“I do and I don’t feel bad,” she said. “It’s really sad that one thing they said could cost them their entire career on a sports team or their job, but I think it’s even sadder that they don’t think that should have happened. … They think, ‘Oh, it’s just social media. It’s just a tweet.’ People don’t realize how serious social media is.”

— The NBA acknowledged Thursday that its on-court officials erred in not calling a foul with four seconds remaining in Wednesday’s game in Houston, when Rockets guard James Harden was hit on the arm as he drove to the basket by Grizzlies big man Zach Randolph.

On the Grizzlies‘ ensuing possession, Marc Gasol hit a 10-footer with less than a second remaining to give his team a two-point victory.

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Read More: Craig Sager, Curt Schilling, James Harden,
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees fire ticket-seller involved in Curt Schilling Twitter controversy 03.03.15 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:
NBA: Celtics at Cavaliers, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
College basketball: Rhode Island at Dayton, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Iowa at Indiana, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: North Carolina at Georgia Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Georgetown at Butler, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Kentucky at Georgia, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: West Virginia at Kansas, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Texas A&M at Florida, 9 p.m. (ESPNU
College basketball: Villanova at Creighton, 9 p.m. (FS1)
NHL: Sabres at Lightning, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB exhibition: Red Sox vs. Boston College/Northeastern, 1 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
MLB exhibition: Pirates at Blue Jays, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: Premier League, West Bromwich at Aston Villa, 2:40 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

The Yankees announced Monday afternoon that they have fired the part-time ticket-seller who posted vulgar tweets about Curt Schilling’s daughter, saying they have “zero tolerance for anything like this.”

A number of individuals made vile comments on social media after Schilling tweeted congratulations to his 17-year-old for committing to play for the Salve Regina University softball team next year. Sean MacDonald was one of the most offensive tweeters, and Schilling called him out.

Yankees director of communications Jason Zillo said MacDonald worked a few days for the team in January, but, “We’ve terminated him.”

MacDonald is a former vice president of the Theta Xi fraternity at Montclair State University, from where he recently graduated. The fraternity acknowledged his “inappropriate and offensive tweets” and posted that “cyberbullying is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.”

Another tweeter, identified as Adam Nagel, a student at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey who hosted a one-hour show on his school radio station’s student radio streams, was suspended by the school and is being investigated by local police.

Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning to discuss the situation.

— More details are emerging about why Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski dismissed Rasheed Sulaimon in January, making him the first player kicked off the team in the coach’s 35-year tenure.

According to a report in The Duke Chronicle, the school’s newspaper, two students accused Sulaimon of sexual assault last school year, and the team was aware of the allegations for at least a year before Sulaimon was dismissed. According to a statement from Krzyzewski at the time, Sulaimon “has been unable to consistently live up to the standards required to be a member of our program.”

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Read More: Adrian Peterson, Curt Schilling, Mike Krzyzewski, Rasheed Sulaimon
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Curt Schilling lashes out at ‘vulgar’ tweeters who mock his daughter 03.02.15 at 7:44 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: Suns at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Boston College at Virginia Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPNU; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: Virginia at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Baylor at Texas, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oklahoma at Iowa State, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Curt Schilling is on the attack after his congratulatory email to his daughter for her acceptance to college led to some vile tweets.

Schilling tweeted Wednesday: Congrats to Gabby Schilling who will pitch for the Salve Regina Seahawks next year!!

The former Red Sox pitcher said he expected some jock humor to follow, and he was not disappointed. However, when he started to see tweets “with the words ‘rape,’ ‘bloody underwear’ and pretty much ever other vulgar and defiling word you could likely fathom,” he decided to act.

Schilling wrote a response Sunday on his 38 Pitches blog in which he expressed his disgust with the behavior. He identified two of the offenders as a Brookdale Community College (Lincroft, N.J.) radio host [Editor’s note: The school emailed to say the student was a member of the Student Radio Club and had a one-hour slot on one the of the station’s student radio streams until being suspended Monday] and a Montclair State University fraternity vice president, and seven others as college athletes.

The ESPN analyst (who accepted an invitation to join Dennis & Callahan at 9 a.m. Monday) noted that he expects to be the subject of insults from Democrats, Yankees fans and “people that don’t like the sound of my voice,” and he notes that “that’s a pretty big group.” But, he questions, are putrid comments about his daughter “even remotely OK? In ANY world? At ANY time?”

Wrote Schilling: My daughter comes to me beyond upset. She didn’€™t do anything, she never said anything, yet she’€™s now receiving personal messages with guys saying things to her, well let’€™s just say I can’€™t repeat and I’€™m getting beyond angry thinking about it. Her boyfriend, a wicked good hockey player who has a fighting streak I absolutely love is going out of his mind to be let off his leash but unlike the athletes tweeting this stuff he understands the potential consequences of his actions and knows the time and place will hopefully come when he can make it right on his own terms.

These boys have yet to understand one of life’€™s most important lessons. In the real world you get held accountable for the things you say and if you are not careful that can mean some different things.

How on earth do you guys know who’€™s on the other end? What they’€™re thinking?

This is a generation of kids who have grown up behind the monitor and keyboard. The real world has consequences when you do and say things about others. We’€™re at a point now where you better be sure who you’€™re going after.

Added Schilling: The ignorance and pathetic lack of morals or of any integrity is astounding.

Kevin Garnett is showing his appreciation to Timberwolves fans for welcoming him home by purchasing 1,000 tickets to the team’s next home game, Monday night against the Clippers.

The first 500 fans to log on to the team’s website at 9 a.m. Monday each will get a pair of tickets.

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Read More: Barack Obama, Curt Schilling, kevin garnett, Minnie Minoso
Friday’s Morning Mashup: LeBron James receives mostly positive welcome back from Miami fans 12.26.14 at 8:26 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: Nets at Celtics, 1 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Hornets at Thunder, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
College football: Heart of Dallas Bowl, Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Quick Lane Bowl, Rutgers vs. North Carolina, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: St. Petersburg Bowl, NC State vs. Central Florida, 8 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
Soccer: Premier League, West Ham at Chelsea, 7:40 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Premier League, Newcastle at Manchester United, 10 a.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Premier League, Queens Park at Arsenal, 12:25 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Heat welcomed LeBron James back to Miami on Christmas Day before sending him home to Cleveland with a loss.

James hugged and high-fived his former teammates, taking extra time to joke around with Dwyane Wade, then saw Wade score 24 first-half points en route to a 31-point night in the Heat’s 101-91 victory.

James, who finished with 30 points and eight rebounds, was the first player introduced of Cleveland’s starters, and the crowd wasn’t given much time to react before the next player’s name was called. However, he received an ovation when a video tribute was played during the first timeout of the game. There were some boos but mostly cheers for his first game in South Florida since his four-year stint there.

“We only play this game for so long,” James said. “You’ve still got life afterwards. For us we’re going to compete, we’re going to go about our business and do what we need to do in our profession. You’ll never let friendship come in between that.”

James expressed dismay that people criticize his decision to switch teams as a free agent.

“The question I have, which is kind of bothering me sometimes, is when a player decides to decide his own fate, there is always questions about it?” James said. “And, ‘Why did this guy do that, do that and do this?’ When an organization decides to go elsewhere for a player, it’s that they did what’s best for the team. Let’s figure that out some time.”

James said he has not had any contact with team president Pat Riley since announcing his plans to sign with the Cavs, but he spent Christmas Eve at Wade’s house.

“We didn’t have a bad breakup,” Wade said. “We played against each other for seven years, man. The weirdness just wasn’t there. It wasn’t like we played against each other our whole career and the breakup happened. We played against each other for seven years, then with each other for a period of time, then he went back to the same situation and I’m in the same place.”

Said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: “Couple of the best in this generation. Spectacular. I wish I could sit back and enjoy it like a fan, because it’s just fantastic basketball. … However long these two guys play, you’ll get your money’s worth.”

Rex Ryan might soon be headed out of town, but Geno Smith believes he can be with the Jets for the foreseeable future.

“I see myself being the quarterback here for a long time,” Smith said. “I see myself helping this team turn things around. Obviously, I’m a part of the reason why we are in this position, so I’d love to be a part of the solution.”

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Read More: Curt Schilling, Dwyane Wade, Geno Smith, Johnny Manziel
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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Read More: Adam Jones, Curt Schilling, The Ultimate Warrior,
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Jonathan Papelbon says Red Sox promoted controversial drug Toradol, but not PEDs 02.11.13 at 7:58 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 Bobcats, 7 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Spurs at Bulls, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Marquette at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Old Dominion at Delaware, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: TCU at Oklahoma, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kansas State at Kansas, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Alcorn State at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Kings at Blues, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: Beanpot final, Boston College vs. Northeastern, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon told ESPN that he was regularly injected with Toradol, a legal but controversial anti-inflammatory drug, during his time in Boston. Papelbon said his current team, the Phillies, told him he no longer would use the non-steroidal drug when he signed as a free agent after the 2011 season.

“They told me, ‘We don’t do that here. That kind of surprised me,” Papelbon said. “I haven’t had a single Toradol shot since.

“But here’s the thing you have to understand. There are so many organizations that do it. Not only baseball, but every sport. Football, basketball, hockey. It’s not just the Red Sox.”

The drug was the subject of some discussion last year when Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz was hospitalized with esophagitis, said to be a side effect of Toradol. In December 2011, some retired NFL players filed a lawsuit accusing the league of indiscriminately administering the drug before and during games.

Following Curt Schilling‘s accusation that a member of the Sox’ medical staff recommended he consider performance-enhancing drugs, Papelbon said he did not have a similar experience.

“No, no, no — never,” Papelbon said. “I think that would be pretty asinine for any team doctor or trainer to say that don’t you?”

‘™¦ An autobiography from former Mets catcher Mike Piazza reveals details about his feud with pitcher Roger Clemens, who beaned Piazza with a 98 mph fastball in 2000. Piazza said he refused an apology from Clemens and took karate lessons to prepare for another altercation, which occurred in the 2000 World Series when Clemens threw a piece of a broken bat at Piazza. However, only words were exchanged.

“There were complications,” Piazza explained. “The least of them was the realization that Clemens was a big guy, and I stood a pretty fair chance of getting my ass kicked in front of Yankee Stadium and the world. That was a legitimate concern.”

Piazza regrets his failure to act in that situation.

“It was not only possible but — circumstances be damned — it was in order.” Piazza said. “It was the story of the Series. I couldn’t deliver a punch.”

Also in the book, Piazza denies rumors that he took illegal steroids, although he admits to using muscle-building supplements and stimulants.

‘™¦ Rapper Lil Wayne claims he was kicked out of Sunday’s Lakers-Heat game in Miami because he was cheering for the visiting team.

Tweeted the rapper:

So I’m @ da Heat game right, rootin 4 da Lakers kuz dats my team & would u believe they got police 2 make me leave?! Wow [expletive] da Heat.

Wayne previously made news during the 2012 Western Conference finals when he complained he was “denied by the team to be in their arena” in Oklahoma City to see the Thunder play the Spurs in Game 3. However, a Thunder spokesman explained that Wayne demanded a front-row seat but was told there were none available.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 11, 1973, which 35-year-old rookie goalie recorded his first NHL shutout in the Bruins’ 2-0 victory over the visiting Kings?

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Read More: Curt Schilling, Jonathan Papelbon, Lil Wayne, Mike Piazza
Top Stories of 2012, No. 2: Bobby Valentine leads woeful Sox to 93 losses, gets fired 12.31.12 at 11:30 am ET
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Over the final week of 2012, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year in Boston sports. This entry in the countdown is No. 2: Bobby Valentine’s nightmare season as Red Sox manager.

Check out our previous entries:
No. 10: NHL lockout
No. 9: Wes Welker’s up-and-down year
No. 8: Bruins’ early playoff elimination
No. 7: Ray Allen’s departure from Celtics
No. 6: Tim Thomas’ political controversy and sabbatical
No. 5: Celtics’ Eastern Conference finals loss to Heat
No. 4: Red Sox’ megatrade with Dodgers
No. 3: Tom Brady’s MVP-caliber season

In a forgettable season, the 2012 Sox finished 69-93, their worst record since 1965, and in last place in the American League East for the first time since John Henry and Tom Werner bought the team.

According to multiple reports, Bobby Valentine was not the preferred choice of first-year general manager Ben Cherington, but team president and CEO Larry Lucchino made the hire to replace Terry Francona.

As Valentine was formally introduced to Boston, nobody could have foreseen the outcome of the season.

‘€œI am honored, I’€™m humbled and I’€™m pretty damn excited,’€ Valentine said at his introductory press conference. ‘€œThis day is a special day, and it’€™s more than a special day. It’€™s the beginning of a life that I think is going to extend beyond anything else that I thought of doing. The talent level and the players that we have in this organization, I think, is a gift to anyone. And I’€™m the receiver of that gift.’€

Valentine, 62, would become the first Red Sox manager since 1934 (Bucky Harris) to be fired after just one season with the team.

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