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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Pedro Martinez sparks David Ortiz comeback rumors, Ortiz denies return 06.06.17 at 8:37 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Tuesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Pittsburgh at Baltimore, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Boston at NY Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)
WNBA: Washington at Dallas, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
WNBA: Chicago at Los Angeles, 10:30 (NBA TV)

AROUND THE WEB:

  — Pedro Martinez hinted at a David Ortiz baseball comeback on Twitter Monday night and fans were hopeful this tease had some truth to it.

Unfortunately for many, Ortiz will not be returning to baseball and said he is happy with retirement.

A few hours before this tweet, Ortiz spoke with the media at CC Sabathia’s charity event in New York City and was asked if he has any regrets.

“No, not at all man,” Ortiz said. “I‘m happy.”

Martinez later clarified his original tweet with a follow-up post:

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Read More: David Ortiz, Joe Paterno, Pedro Martinez,
Monday’s Morning Mashup: David Ortiz receives honorary doctorate degree from Boston University 05.22.17 at 9:34 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Monday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB:
 San Francisco at Chicago Cubs, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Golden State at San Antonio, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Anaheim at Nashville, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— David Ortiz stole the show at Boston University’s graduation on Sunday and all he said was “Thank you very much.”

Ortiz received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letter from the university in front of more than 20,000 people at Nickerson Field.

BU president Dr. Robert A. Brown introduced Ortiz by highlighting his career stats, his leadership, charitable endeavors and speech after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.

The crowd chanted “speech!” as Ortiz accepted his degree but Ortiz only said those four words when he took the mic and then returned to his seat.          

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Read More: David Ortiz, LeBron James,
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: David Ortiz tells Mike Francesa he never used steroids; Wizards fan knocks out Celtics fan during Game 7 05.16.17 at 8:13 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Tuesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB:
NY Yankees at Kansas City, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Boston at St. Louis, 8:15 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)
NBA: NBA Draft Lottery, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: San Antonio at Golden State, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Anaheim at Nashville, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— David Ortiz made an appearance on WFAN on Monday afternoon to talk with Mike Francesa about his new autobiography, Papi: My Story, which he wrote with WEEI’s Michael Holley. When the conversation turned to Ortiz’s career, Francesa asked Ortiz if he ever used steroids.

“Never. That wasn’t my purpose. I was a guy that I worked extremely hard to get better,” Ortiz said.  “I keep on saying to people that I got more drug testing than anybody ever has in baseball, and I never failed one.”

It was reported in 2004 Ortiz and 109 other players failed PED tests six years earlier. The tests were supposed to be anonymous.

“It was just a rumor on the street,” Ortiz said. “Nobody ever came to me and told me, ‘This is what you tested positive for.’ … And you saw what the commissioner say: ‘This was inconclusive.’ I mean, it was their word against mine basically.”

Francesa then asked him about Manny Ramirez and Ramirez’s 2009 suspension for violating the league’s PED policy.

“Manny’s last name is Ramirez. My one is Ortiz,” Ortiz said. “So if Manny go out there and kill somebody, should I be guilty?”

Francesa also asked Ortiz about his favorite Yankee Stadium memory, called him Pedro by mistake and asked what Ortiz thinks about his steroid uncertainty keeping him out of the Hall of Fame.

“That’s something that I can’t control. What I can control is what I was able to do in the field,” Ortiz said. “Being in the Hall of Fame one day, it’ll be an honor for me and my family and all my fans, you know what I’m saying. But that’s something that I can’t really control. I can’t vote for myself. I did what I was supposed to do. And honestly, I tell you, I never used the steroids.”

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Read More: David Ortiz, Mike Francesa,
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Athletes swarm the Kentucky Derby; Matt Harvey suspended for violating team rules 05.08.17 at 9:58 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Monday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB:
San Francisco at NY Mets, 7:10 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA:
Golden State at Utah, 9 p.m. (TNT)
NHL:
Washington at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The 143rd Kentucky Derby took place on Saturday and the event was loaded with celebrities, including a flock of well-dressed athletes.

Of course, Tom Brady and his contingent of Patriots were there, along with David Ortiz.

Came to watch the 🐎 and ran into the 🐐#kentuckyderby

A post shared by David Ortiz (@davidortiz) on

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Read More: David Ortiz, Matt Harvey, Tom Brady,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees writer gives David Ortiz lone 1st-place AL MVP vote; Doc Rivers praises Kate Upton’s tweets 11.18.16 at 8:22 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Friday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Golden State at Boston, 8 p.m. (CSN; ESPN)
NBA: LA Clippers at Sacramento, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Memphis at Cincinnati, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: UNLV at Boise State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Loyola Chicago at Saint Joseph, 12:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Oral Roberts at Mississippi, 3 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Women: UConn at LSU, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Montana at NC State, 6 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Washington State at Creighton, 8:30 p.m. (CBSSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— David Ortiz got one first-place American League MVP vote in this year’s balloting, and it came from an unlikely writer.

New York Daily News Yankees beat writer Mark Feinsand gave Ortiz the first-place vote, and he explained why in a column published on Thursday.

“After much deliberation, I voted David Ortiz in the top spot on my ballot. And I don’t regret it for one moment,” Feinsand wrote. “Before you ask, yes, I’m aware that he doesn’t play in the field. Voting for a designated hitter was not something I did without serious thought, but after examining all the numbers, talking to players, coaches and managers around the league and crunching the numbers some more, I felt Ortiz was the most impactful player in the AL this season.”

Feinsand said his vote was swayed partially by a comment someone once made to him about Ortiz.

“One manager told me something that stuck with me as I struggled with my vote. ‘Every time Betts comes up with two guys on base and two outs, I feel confident that my pitcher will get him out,’ the manager said. ‘When Ortiz comes up with two on and two out, if I’m dumb enough not to walk him, the only question is whether he’s going to hit a double or a home run. He’s terrifying.'”

Feinsand said he believes Mike Trout, the AL MVP winner, deserves the award, but he believes Ortiz deserved it more.

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Read More: David Ortiz, doc rivers, Von Miller,
Thinking Out Loud: Bill Belichick offers further proof of his supremacy 09.23.16 at 5:44 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to Mikey, and does he still like it?

— Lou Merloni tweeted this week: Would the Sox get more attention if Brady weren’t suspended? Maybe, but hey, Lou? Would the Sox get more attention if they weren’t up against the Patriots playing?

— Or if most MLB games didn’t last more than three hours? Or if the season were shorter? Or if players stayed in the batter’s box? Or if pitchers stopped scratching and adjusting themselves before pitches? Or if the sport actually allowed home plate or basepath collisions to happen again? Just sayin’.

— We now resume our regularly scheduled football discussion. Find me on Twitter under the hashtags #killeverybodytour and #scorchedearthtour.

— What did we witness Thursday night? Two things, the way I see it. One, if there was ever any doubt that Bill Belichick is one of the best to have ever plied his trade (I’m looking at you, Steve in Fall River), it has been snuffed out. Or, you’re just ignorant (again, straight at ya, Steve).

— Two, Houston, you still have a problem. Turtling in big games won’t earn you any more respect than those letter jackets you wore a couple of years ago.

— I love Thursday night games. And I hate them, too. I’ll wager if you polled NFL players on “love or hate,” hate would conquer overall. Part of that is, of course, the short recovery time they get after a Sunday beatdown.

— Chris Gasper of The Boston Globe wrote an excellent piece this week on the double standard the league has with instituting new injury prevention rules and making $$$ on Thursday nights. All you need to know is if the league really cared about its on-field employees’ health and well-being, they’d do away with TNF. Spot-on stuff.

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Read More: David Ortiz, Jimmy Garoppolo,
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: President Barack Obama calls David Ortiz post-Marathon bombing speech ‘one of my proudest moments’ 03.23.16 at 8:11 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Bruins at Rangers, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Raptors at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Knicks at Bulls, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Lakers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NIT, Florida at George Washington, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NIT, Georgia Tech at San Diego State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— While attending the Rays-Cuban national team exhibition baseball game Tuesday in Cuba, President Barack Obama gave David Ortiz a shout-out, saying the Red Sox outfielder’s speech to fans after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings ranks high on his list of memories from his time in office.

In his team’s first game back at Fenway Park after the bombings, Ortiz famously proclaimed, “This is our [expletive] city.”

“One of my proudest moments as president was watching Boston respond after the marathon [attack] and when Ortiz went out and said — probably the only time that America didn’t have a problem with cursing on live TV — when he talked about how strong Boston was and was not going to be intimidated,” Obama said during an in-game interview with ESPN. “And that is the kind of resilience and the kind of strength that we have to continually show in the face of these terrorists.”

Asked if there was any concern about going through with Tuesday’s game after the terrorist attacks in Belgium, Obama said: “It’s always a challenge when you’ve got a terrorist attack anywhere in the world, particularly in this age of 24-7 news coverage, you want to be respectful and understand the gravity of the situation. But the whole premise of terrorism is to try to disrupt people’s ordinary lives and one of my most powerful memories.”

The Rays beat the Cubans, 4-1, on a day when Obama was warmly received by fans in Havana. He sat in the front row, next to Cuban president Raul Castro, before leaving in the third inning.

Red Sox legend Lus Tiant, a native of Cuba, threw out one of the ceremonial first pitches.

— The NFL finally acknowledged a link between football and the brain disease known as CTE, but that’s not enough to convince Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

“We don’t have that knowledge and background, and scientifically, so there’s no way in the world to say you have a relationship relative to anything here,” Jones said Tuesday (via The Washington Post) from the NFL owners’ meetings. “There’s no research. There’s no data. … We’re not disagreeing. We’re just basically saying the same thing. We’re doing a lot more. It’s the kind of thing that you want to work … to prevent injury.”

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Read More: Barack Obama, David Ortiz, Jerry Jones, Jordan Clarkson
Thinking Out Loud: URI starts to regroup after devastating injury to star guard E.C. Matthews 11.20.15 at 4:41 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering where in the world is Donnie McGrath?

— So much to look forward to, and then “bam!” E.C. Matthews’ knee injury is a kick in the groin for the URI Rams, no question. But the season doesn’t have to end before it starts, and that’s the task at hand for Dan Hurley — pick up the pieces and shattered dreams, and weave them back into something special.

— Rhody’s ultimate fate undoubtedly will be carried by several players, but for my money the most important one is sophomore Jared Terrell. Four McGlynn certainly can shoot it, but like most shooters he can be streaky. Hassan Martin will have teams give him the “hack-a-Shaq” treatment until he learns to make free throws with some regularity. Terrell will need to be a consistent presence as a scorer and defender for the Rams to remain relevant in the Atlantic 10.

— We saw all of the above come into play Tuesday morning in URI’s matchup with Valparaiso at the Ryan Center. It seemed to me they spent much of the game looking for Matthews’ ghost on the floor, which they never found. They’ll need some time to re-tool, and re-learn. But I’m not betting against Hurley, or this team.

— McGlynn’s near-buzzer beater that could have tied the score with Valpo was a left-handed heave at its intended target. Good grief. Can he do that and make one without desperation? That would be some weapon.

— Bryant has made it a habit in recent years to test its mettle in the season opener, and this year was no exception with the Bulldogs’ opener at Duke — the defending national champs. Lesson learned in a 113-75 loss? That schools in the power conferences operate on a different plane than those in the NEC — but Tim O’Shea’s players also learn quickly what it takes to be nationally competitive. Nothing like a cold slap of reality to start your year. And a nice paycheck, too.

— Here’s the reality for Providence Saturday — Brown has beaten the Friars twice in the past three seasons, including by an astounding 10 points last year at the Dunk. Brown isn’t a “gimme,” and the Bears aren’t necessarily coming to take their guarantee check and head back across town. They know they can win, and that’s a dangerous attitude.

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Read More: David Ortiz, Donnie McGrath, Doug Flutie, E.C. Matthews
Thinking Out Loud: Rhode Island loses legend with death of George Duffy 05.29.15 at 5:37 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to Dick Pole?

— Rhode Island sports lost a true shining star in George Patrick Duffy this past week. He was 94 years young, and every time I’d see him and ask how he’s doing, he’d always reply, “I’m still vertical!” Mr. Duffy (and he was NEVER “George,” by the way) spent a part of four decades working for the Rhode Island Reds AHL hockey club as an announcer and PR man, and his radio work for the Reds helped him gain induction into the RI Radio Hall of Fame in 2009. But it was his work as a coach and mentor in Pawtucket, where he touched the lives of so many students and athletes for more than 70 years in various youth sports — and at St. Raphael Academy as well — that he really left his mark.

— One of my friends, Davies softball coach Scott Cooper, told me Mr. Duffy coached him on the 1980 Pawtucket Darlington American Little League team that reached the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Cooper says, “As a player, he made us feel like we were 9 feet tall and we could do anything!” If you ask me, that’s a heckuva legacy.

— Through his extraordinary 71-year run as a coach, it seems only fitting that one of his former American Legion players, former St. Ray’s, University of North Carolina and current Los Angeles Angels catcher Chris Iannetta, hit a home run for the Angels while Mr. Duffy listened to the game the night before he passed away. Here’s a man who served in the Coast Guard during World War II, stayed married to his bride Helen for 71 years, called Reds games on local radio for another 25 years and had such an impact on local sports that Pawtucket’s Slater Park Athletic Complex and baseball fields were re-named the George Patrick Duffy Athletic Complex. Whoa.

— Godspeed, Mr. Duffy. His signature radio sign-off phrase, “Keep the sports parade moving by being a good sport,” is legacy enough for everyone to remember.

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Read More: David Ortiz, Dick Pole, George Duffy, John Rooke
Top 10 plays in Boston sports history: Is Malcolm Butler’s interception the best? 02.04.15 at 4:55 pm ET
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Where does Malcolm Butler’€™s interception at the end of Super Bowl XLIX rank among the greatest plays in Boston sports history? It seemed like a question worth asking and a top 10 list worth making. Here we go:

10. Flutie’€™s hail mary – Nov. 23, 1984
The game itself didn’€™t really mean a ton. Neither Boston College nor Miami were in contention for the national title, and BC had already accepted an invitation to the Cotton Bowl. But it was a great game with a great finish. Doug Flutie and Bernie Kosar combined for more than 900 yards passing, and Flutie’€™s 48-yard hail mary to Gerard Phelan on the final play will forever be one of the most memorable and most incredible finishes in college football history. Dan Davis’€™ radio call and Flutie winning the Heisman Trophy that year add to the play’€™s legacy.

9. Ortiz’€™s grand slam – Oct. 13, 2013
Going into the bottom of the eighth in Game 2 of the 2013 ALCS, the Red Sox trailed the Tigers 5-1 and were in serious danger of falling into an 0-2 hole in the series. They had scored just one run in the first 16 innings of the series. But then Will Middlebrooks doubled, Jacoby Ellsbury walked and Dustin Pedroia singled to load the bases with two outs. On the first pitch he saw, David Ortiz ripped a changeup just out of Torii Hunter‘€™s reach and into the Sox bullpen to tie the game at 5-5 and give us that iconic photo of Officer Steve Horgan throwing his hands up in celebration as Hunter flipped over the wall in front of him. The Sox would go on to win the game, win the series and win their third World Series in 10 years. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: adam vinatieri, Bobby Orr, Carlton Fisk, Dave Roberts