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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon defends Robinson Cano after criticism from Yankees coach 02.19.14 at 7:43 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:
NBA: Celtics at Suns, 9 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Pacers at Timberwolves, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Rockets at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Boston College at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPN2; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: Cincinnati at UCF, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Saint Louis at George Mason, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Northwestern at Ohio State, 7 p.m. (BTN)
College basketball: DePaul at Xavier, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Creighton at Marquette, 8 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Houston at SMU, 8 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Notre Dame at Miami, 9 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: TCU at Kansas State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: La Salle at Dayton, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Washington at Oregon, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Illinois at Minnesota, 9 p.m. (BTN)
College basketball: Arizona at Utah, 10 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Arizona State at Colorado, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: New Mexico at UNLV, 11:05 p.m. (ESPN2)
Olympics: Men’s hockey quarterfinal, Finland vs. Russia, 7:30 a.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Women’s curling semifinal, 9 a.m. (MSNBC)
Olympics: Women’s figure skating, 10 a.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Men’s hockey quarterfinal, United States vs. Czech Republic, noon (USA)
Olympics: Men’s hockey quarterfinal, Canada vs. Latvia, noon (MSNBC)
Olympics: Men’s curling semifinal, 2:30 p.m. (MSNBC)
Olympics: Women’s speedskating, men’s cross-country, women’s cross-country, 3 p.m. (NBC)
Olympics: Men’s curling semifinal, 5 p.m. (CNBC)
Olympics: Women’s figure skating, men’s Alpine, women’s bobsled, men’s snowboarding, 8 p.m. (NBC)
Olympics: Men’s biathlon, women’s biathlon, 1 a.m. (NBC)
Olympics: Men’s Nordic combined, women’s curling bronze medal game, 3 a.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

– A day after Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long made comments about Robinson Cano being unable to break his habit of loafing it to first base during his time in New York, Cano’s new manager with the Mariners defended his second baseman.

“I was very disappointed,” Lloyd McClendon said. “I’ve been in this game a long time, particularly at the major league level. And one thing I was taught was you worry about your players and getting them ready. I didn’t know [Long] was the spokesman for the New York Yankees.”

Long had many good things to say about Cano — who left the Yankees to sign a $240 million deal with Seattle this offseason — but he noted that the team could not convince him to run hard to first all the time.

“I just said he loafed sometimes,” Long said. “I’ve said 9,000 good things about him. He just had one issue.”

Cano didn’t seem too offended, telling the New York Post that Long texted him to make sure there were no hard feelings, and, “I told him, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ ”

McClendon said he wants all of his players to play hard, but as a former player, he understands why sometimes they don’t.

“My talk with Robbie was real simple,” McClendon said. “I expect all my players, including Robinson, to give me a fair effort down the line. I’€™m not too far removed from playing. I could remember the days when I hit a pop-up and I’€™m pissed off and you don’€™t run to first. Is that dogging it? I don’€™t think so.

“There’€™s a human element that comes with this game. You roll over, hit a ground ball to second base, your head drops, you’€™re a little disappointed. In the big scheme of things, would I rather have a guy out there for 160 games, hitting .300 and driving in over 100? I’€™ll take that.”

– CBS Sports announced Tuesday that retiring Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez will be joining “The NFL Today” pregame show, and veteran analysts Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe are no longer part of the crew.

James Brown will continue to host, and panelists Bill Cowher and Boomer Esiason are sticking around.

“Having just stepped off the playing field, Tony brings a fresh and insightful perspective,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said. “As a future Hall of Famer, we are excited for him to share his knowledge, experiences and opinions with our viewers. Tony was one of the most respected and hardworking players in the NFL and a tremendous teammate. We look forward to him bringing these attributes to CBS Sports.”

Added McManus: “While we welcome Tony, we want to acknowledge Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe who have contributed greatly to the success of ‘The NFL Today’ for more than a decade. Dan and Shannon are true Hall of Famers on the field and in front of the camera. As they pursue other professional opportunities, we thank them for their hard work and dedication and wish them nothing but the best.”

– Veteran major league reliever Tim Byrdak is looking for a job, and he’s taking an unconventional route to get one. The 39-year-old lefty, a 12-year MLB veteran who spent the past three seasons with the Mets but was limited to eight games in 2013 due to injuries, posted a picture of a note on Twitter. The note reads:

Attention: MLB GMs

For sale, late model LHR, high mileage but VERY serviceable! Doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of newer models (i.e. 97 mph) however I can still break a pane of glass with my fastball! Comes with warranty, too (I will sign medical release!!!). Please call ASAP. I am driving my wife crazy being home during spring training.

Thank you,
Tim Byrdak

 

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 19, 1972, which Bruin became the first player in NHL history to record 100 points in a season three times when he assisted on a goal in a 6-4 victory over the Minnesota North Stars?

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Read More: Dan Marino, Kevin Long, Lloyd McClendon, Robinson Cano
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Terrell Suggs says Ravens would accept gay teammate 02.01.13 at 7:49 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: Magic at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Heat at Pacers, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Lakers at Timberwolves, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Manhattan at Siena, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Youngstown State at Detroit, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Blues at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: UMass-Lowell at Merrimack, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: Dartmouth at Union, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Terrell Suggs

♦ While 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver continued to apologize for his anti-gay remarks from Tuesday — “That’s not what I feel in my heart,” he said Thursday — Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs went out of his way to say that his team would have no issue with a gay teammate.

“We wouldn’t have a problem with it,” Suggs told reporters in New Orleans for the Super Bowl. “We don’t care. Our biggest thing in the locker room is to just have fun and stay loose. We don’t really care too much about that. We’re a football team. I said it [Wednesday], everybody deserves a certain amount of privacy. Who cares? Whatever a person’s choice is, it’s their choice.”

Added Suggs: “On this team, with so many different personalities, we just accept people for who they are and we don’t really care too much about a player’s sexuality. To each their own. You know who you are, and we accept you for it.”

Culliver spent most of an hour-long media session Thursday trying to mend fences, saying, “I’m sorry if I offended anyone. They were very ugly comments. Hopefully I learn and grow from this experience and this situation. … I treat everyone equal. That’s not how I feel.”

Meanwhile, Seahawks punter Jon Ryan weighed in and opined that commissioner Roger Goodell should suspend Culliver.

Tweeted Ryan: If Chris Culliver isn’t suspended by Goodell then I am absolutely embarrassed to be part of a league that accepts this type of behavior.

♦ Following rumors that the Yankees would attempt to get out from under the final five years of Alex Rodriguez‘ contract, perhaps with the player’s cooperation following his latest PED controversy, the New York Post reports that A-Rod continues to work toward returning to the team following his offseason hip surgery.

“Alex is working diligently on his rehabilitation and looks forward to getting back on the field as soon as possible,” a source told the paper.

The report indicates that the team and the league are being patient regarding Rodriguez’ situation, and preparing for the possibility that an investigation into the South Florida situation ends up failing to prove anything.

♦ CBS Sports NFL studio panelist Dan Marino confirmed a New York Post report that he had an affair with a CBS production assistant in 2005 that led to the birth of a daughter. Marino, who has six children with his wife, agreed to a settlement with the woman and kept the secret from the network and his own agent for seven years.

“This is a personal and private matter. I take full responsibility both personally and financially for my actions now as I did then,” the Hall of Fame quarterback said in a statement. “We mutually agreed to keep our arrangement private to protect all parties involved.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 1, 2004, which Bruin recorded a hat trick in a 4-1 victory over the Penguins and in the process set a team record by scoring six consecutive Bruins goals over three games?

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Read More: Chris Culliver, Dan Marino, Pau Gasol, Ricky Rubio
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Joe Namath questions Rex Ryan’s preparation of Jets 09.27.11 at 7:35 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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY TUESDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

♦ Jets legend Joe Namath apparently puts the blame for his old club’s loss to the Raiders Sunday on coach Rex Ryan. Appearing on ESPN Radio Monday, Namath questioned Ryan’s method of preparing his players. “It’s rather alarming,” Namath said. “It starts at the top. Coach Rex Ryan, he’s been doing a great job, getting us to two conference championship games, but there’s one thing about the athlete: You keep telling him how good he is, he’s going to start believing it to the point that he may not be preparing quite the way he should. He may be losing some respect for the other team.”

Responded Ryan: “I’m not going to change who I am because Joe Namath said something. Joe Namath can come in here and if he can still throw we’ll have him as a backup quarterback. But you know what? He doesn’t know our team. He’s on the outside, even though he’s a Jet and once you’re a Jet you’re always a Jet. But he’s on the outside. He’s not in these meetings. I think if he was he’d be shocked at the preparation.”

♦ With Cam Newton off to a fast start with the Panthers, Real Clear Sports has a list of the top 10 rookie quarterbacks of the Super Bowl era. The list includes No. 10 Rick Mirer, who the Patriots passed over for Drew Bledsoe, and No. 5 Matt Ryan, who starred at Boston College before joining the Falcons. The top three are all AFC rivals of the Patriots: No. 3 Peyton Manning, No. 2 Ben Roethlisberger and No. 1 Dan Marino.

♦ With people flocking to see “Moneyball,” the movie about the A’s front office that stars Brad Pitt, Sports-Kings.com has its list of the 10 best baseball movies of all-time. The top three are “Field of Dreams” followed by “Major League” and “Bull Durham.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Sept. 27, 1977, which player recorded his 30th save to break the Red Sox single-season record set in 1964 by Dick Radatz?

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Read More: Ben Roethlisberger, Brad Pitt, Cam Newton, Dan Marino
LEEInks list: Most accomplished non-champions 07.19.10 at 7:15 am ET
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When LeBron James made the televised “Decision” on July 8 that he was headed to South Beach to join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to play for the Heat, he left millions of devastated Cavs fans renouncing their love for the King and a few other disappointed franchises who were hoping LeBron would help lead them to a title.

“Winning is a huge thing to me,” he said to Jim Gray in the ESPN special watched by 7 million viewers.

After weeks of nationwide scrutiny and speculation about where James would end up, it didn’t come as such a shock to many questioning the King’s star status without a single title to his name.

James, a two-time NBA MVP who has yet to capture an NBA championship in his seven seasons with Cleveland, left over $30 million on the table in his decision to head south and play with former gold medalist Olympic teammates Wade and Bosh in a Miami power trio.

“The major factor was this is the best opportunity for me to win and win now and in the future. The No. 1 thing with me is to help my teammates get better and to win,” he said explaining his “Decision.”

Here’s a list of the most accomplished athletes without a title in sports history. Though they’ve graced the record books and their respective games as some of the best players to touch the field, court, or ice, they can never call themselves champions.

King James can win all the accolades around, but he’ll stay stuck in a category with these guys until he adds an NBA crown to that list.

MLB: Ty Cobb

Since Cobb took the field in 1905, he has been etched in MLB record books as one of the greatest baseball players of all time and still maintains the record for the highest career batting average (.367). Many of his other professional records, including most career hits, most career runs, most career runs, and most career games played, he held for a half-century or more. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Barry Bonds, Barry Sanders, Charles Barkley, Dan Marino