|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|
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.
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Indiana basketball legend Bobby Knight welcomes ‘honest politician’ Donald Trump||04.28.16 at 8:16 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Braves at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, MLB Network; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Athletics at Tigers, 1:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Marlins at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA playoffs: Hawks at Celtics, 7 p.m. (CSNNE, TNT)
NHL playoffs: Ducks at Predators, 8 p.m. (CNBC)
NFL: Draft, 8 p.m. (ESPN, NFL Network)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Liverpool at Villareal, 3 p.m. (FS1)
AROUND THE WEB:
— Legendary former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight introduced Donald Trump at a Wednesday campaign rally in Indiana, and he did it in typical Bobby Knight style — with profanities, sarcasm and rambling, off-topic remarks.
The 75-year-old Knight told Trump supporters they were changing the nation’s path for the better and would be recognized for doing so.
“They’re going to take all you people and put you next to our Founding Fathers and George Washington. That’s the hell they’re going to do with you people,” Knight said.
Knight, known for his tyrannical ways when he coached, said Trump doesn’t suffer fools.
“He does a great job of finding good people and teaching good people,” Knight said. “And even as important, he’s really good at getting rid of people.”
Knight went on to claim that Trump would have a better relationship with the military, and then bragged that his Indiana teams beat Navy eight straight years. Toward the end of his speech, he told a joke about a father being strict about his son’s haircut, purportedly as an example of how Trump “gets things done.”
Added Knight: “There has never been a more honest politician than Donald Trump.”
Trump responded by calling Knight “a cool cat” and a “winner.” He then mocked rival Ted Cruz, who earlier in the day attempted to pander to the state’s hoop fans but misspoke when talking about a basketball rim.
“He called the rim a ‘ring,’ so he doesn’t know too much about basketball,” Trump said.
— It’s been a rough week for Clippers coach Doc Rivers, and his emotions came out before Wednesday’s Game 5 loss to the Trail Blazers.
With Game 4 injuries knocking out his two best players — Blake Griffin and Chris Paul — for the remainder of the series, Rivers was asked who he leans on to make sure he doesn’t get discouraged at times like this.
Rivers struggled to compose himself, explaining that the question reminded him of his mother, who passed away last June.
“I’m not crying about being discouraged,” he explained. “[That] made me think about my mom. That would have been the person.”
|Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Clippers coach Doc Rivers bemoans ‘bum’s luck’ after injuries KO Blake Griffin, Chris Paul||04.27.16 at 8:30 am ET|
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Braves at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Padres at Giants, 3:45 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Yankees at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA playoffs: Hornets at Heat, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Trail Blazers at Clippers, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA playoffs: Rockets at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Islanders at Lightning, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Predators at Ducks, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLS: Timbers at Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Bayern Munich at Club Atletico de Madrid, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
AROUND THE WEB:
— A bad week got worse for the Clippers on Tuesday, as Blake Griffin was ruled out for the rest of the playoffs after aggravating his partially torn left quadriceps tendon, and Chris Paul underwent surgery on his broken hand that will sideline him indefinitely.
Both players were injured in Monday’s Game 4 loss to the Trail Blazers that left the first-round series tied heading into Wednesday’s Game 5. One day after it appeared things might finally be lining up for a long playoff run after three years of disappointing finishes, the team appears headed for another frustrating ending.
“It’s bum’s luck three years in a row,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “What can you do? All you can do is you’ve just got to keep going.”
It seemed likely that Paul would not return this postseason after he got his hand caught in Gerald Henderson’s jersey and suffered a broken third metacarpal in his right hand. However, now there is speculation that he might return in a few weeks, if the team was able to reach the Western Conference finals.
“It’s not as long as I think some may think it would be,” Rivers said. “That’s the good news, but we don’t know how long yet.”
Rivers attempted to stay positive despite the setbacks, insisting: “We have won games before without key guys, and I think we can win games in the future without key guys.”
Added Rivers: “I get down for like five minutes, and I was [Monday] night, but you wake up in the morning and you feel like we’re going to find a way, and it’s my job to try to get them to feel like I feel. If we do that, I think we’ll have a fighting chance.”
— Assuming Tom Brady’s four-game suspension holds, one of the games he’ll miss will be a home game against the Dolphins. But there is no rejoicing in Miami, as the Dolphins have their own issues.
Tuesday was the first day of voluntary veterans minicamp under new coach Adam Gase, and it was marked by a couple of noticeable absences.
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: NBA mourns Thunder assistant Monty Williams’ wife, who dies after car crash||02.11.16 at 8:07 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Bruins at Jets, 8 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Pelicans at Thunder, 8 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: VCU at UMass, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: St. Francis (Pa.) at Robert Morris, 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UConn at Temple, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Florida State at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Eastern Kentucky at Morehead State, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Iowa at Indiana, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Oregon at California, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Illinois State at Evansville, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Radford at UNC Asheville, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Gonzaga at Portland, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oregon State at Stanford, 11 p.m. (FS1)
AROUND THE WEB:
That’s because the wife of Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams, Rivers’ longtime friend, died Wednesday night from injuries sustained the night before in a car crash.
Ingrid Williams, 44, was hit while driving just outside Oklahoma City by a car that crossed the center line. The other driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
Rivers has known the couple since before they were married, and his son Austin played for Williams for 2 1/2 seasons before being traded to the Clippers. Rivers was informed of Ingrid’s death after Wednesday’s game, and he fought back tears when speaking to the media.
“I’m heartbroken,” Rivers said. “Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair. There’s no better human being in the world than Monte and Ingrid. Sometimes you question everything, and this is one of those times.”
Condolences poured in for Williams from around the NBA.
Tweeted Pelicans star Anthony Davis: Completely devastated. Ingrid Williams was like a 2nd mother to me when I got to NOLA. My thoughts & prayers are with Monty & the family.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone let his emotions show when coaching his team to a win over the Pistons.
“I apologized to the team. The first half, I coached very angry,” Malone said. “I don’t know if you guys heard, Monty Williams, a good friend of mine, his wife was killed in an accident. … So I apologized to them because it’s taking my anger out on them, and they don’t deserve that.”
— Terrell Owens was not selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, his first year of eligibility. He undoubtedly eventually will get in, but it won’t be because he campaigned for it. According to him, that’s behavior better left to Cris Carter.
Speaking on ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike” show, Owens expressed his displeasure with Carter’s frequent criticism, dating back to when they both played. Owens referred to a 1998 playoff game in which Owens’ 49ers team eliminated Carter’s Vikings from the playoffs, after which Carter referred to Owens as “mediocre.”
“For somebody like that, for Cris Carter to come out and say something like that, I just felt like it was disrespectful,” Owens said. “And so now, you look at where I am statistically, I’ve surpassed him. And from what I heard, from a lot of guys, he begged his way into the Hall of Fame.”
|Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Clippers star Blake Griffin apologizes for breaking hand in fight; Doc Rivers ‘not satisfied’||01.27.16 at 8:08 am ET|
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Nuggets at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Rockets at Spurs, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Mavericks at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Pittsburgh at Clemson, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: DePaul at Butler, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Rutgers at Michigan, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: St. John’s at Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Texas A&M at Arkansas, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Tulsa at Houston, 8 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Baylor at Oklahoma State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Purdue at Minnesota, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Loyola-Chicago at Wichita State, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Stetson at Marquette, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: California at Utah, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Boise State at UNLV, 11 p.m. (CBSSN)
NHL: Flyers at Capitals, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Avalanche at Kings, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
— Blake Griffin tweeted an apology for his indiscretion that left him with a broken hand, but Clippers coach Doc Rivers still was far from satisfied after learning he’ll be without his star forward for at least another month.
Griffin, who was close to returning from a quadriceps injury that had sidelined him since Dec. 26, broke his fourth metacarpal in his shooting hand when he reportedly punched a member of the team’s equipment staff at a Toronto restaurant over the weekend.
Tweeted Griffin: A situation among friends escalated and I regret the way I handled myself towards someone I care about. I want to apologize to the Clippers organization, my teammates and the fans for creating a distraction. I am working with the team on a resolution and getting back in the game as soon as possible.
Griffin returned early from the team’s road trip to have a procedure on the hand and receive treatment from an orthopedic surgeon. He is expected to be punished after a team and league investigation.
“I’m not satisfied,” Rivers said before Tuesday’s game against the Pacers in Indianapolis. “I’m not satisfied with anything. I’m talking about a non-basketball issue right now, so I’m not satisfied with anything.”
Griffin is said to have gotten into a fight with equipment manager Matias Testi, with whom he has been friendly — at least until this incident.
“It happened, but it shouldn’t happen. They were good friends,” Rivers said. “It’s frustrating. You don’t want it to happen to anyone. You don’t want it to happen during the season. You don’t want it to happen after the season. This type of stuff shouldn’t happen, but it did, and it’s real lift, and you have to deal with real life sometimes in our make-believe world.”
Rivers and team owner Steve Ballmer earlier released a statement denouncing Griffin’s behavior.
“This conduct has no place in our organization and this incident does not represent who we are as a team,” the joint statement read.
— Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson will not go to jail for his run-in with police last summer in Missouri, but the 25-year-old is likely to be punished by the league.
|Clippers PG Chris Paul speaks out about female referee after technical foul||02.06.15 at 10:10 am ET|
After being given a technical foul in the third quarter by referee Lauren Holtkamp, Clippers guard Chris Paul was not happy.
With 10:17 left in the penultimate frame, the Clippers tried to inbound the ball quickly after a Cleveland free throw and Holtkamp said no. When Paul questioned her, he was assessed the technical. It was one of Los Angeles’ five on the night, four of which came in the third quarter and three in a 52-second span.
“The tech I got was ridiculous,” Paul said. “That’s terrible. There’s no way that can be a technical. We try to get the ball out fast every time down the court. When we did that, she said, ‘Uh-uh.’ I said, ‘Why uh-uh?’ and she gave me a technical. That’s ridiculous. If that’s the case, this might not be for her.”
Holtkamp is one of two active female officials in the NBA.
Coach Doc Rivers and forward Matt Barnes also got technicals. Barnes had two on the night and so was ejected in the third after his second in complaining to the ref about his teammate, Jamal Crawford, receiving a charging foul. He implored referee Eric Lewis to not “give [Cleveland] the game.”
“It keeps happening,” Barnes said. “Some of these I earn, some of them I don’t.”
|Clippers CEO says Doc Rivers to quit if Donald Sterling stays; Sterling files suit against wife, NBA||07.23.14 at 8:51 am ET|
Clippers interim CEO Richard Parsons testified Tuesday that coach Doc Rivers told him he will quit from his position if Donald Sterling remains owner of the team.
Parsons testified at a trial to determine whether Sterling’s wife, Shelly, can sell the team for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Parsons said he not only fears the possibility of Rivers’ departure, but also the loss of some key players, including Chris Paul.
“Doc is troubled by this maybe more so than anybody else,” Parsons said. “If Mr. Sterling continues as owner, he does not want to continue as coach.”
Sterling was active in court Tuesday as well. The Clippers owner filed a new lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court that names Shelly Sterling, the NBA and commissioner Adam Silver. Sterling said they committed fraud and violated corporate law in their attempt to sell the team to Ballmer.
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Clippers reportedly pursue Paul Pierce||07.03.14 at 7:50 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Cardinals at Giants, 3:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Yankees at Twins, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
College baseball: Home run derby, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 8 a.m. (ESPN)
AROUND THE WEB:
According to ESPN.com, Pierce, a free agent, likely would move via a sign-and-trade, even though Los Angeles has available its midlevel exception of $5.3 million.
MASHUP POLL: Should the Celtics attempt to sign Paul Pierce?
- No, not worth the investment and/or not a good fit with this young team (55%, 227 Votes)
- Yes, bring him back and let him finish his career as a Celtic (46%, 188 Votes)
Total Voters: 411
However, the Clippers are one of the teams courting premier free agents LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, so they’re hesitant to make any major moves until they know their status regarding those two stars.
The Nets this week parted ways with coach Jason Kidd, who helped convince Pierce and Kevin Garnett to accept the trade to Brooklyn last year. Lionel Hollins was hired as his replacement Wednesday. Garnett has not yet announced if he will return for the final year of his deal (worth $12 million).
The Celtics reportedly had interest in sending Pierce and/or Garnett to the Clippers last year, but the NBA prohibited any such move because of Rivers’ involvement.
There also have been rumors that Pierce would consider a return to the Celtics.
— The Rockets made their push for Carmelo Anthony on Wednesday, including putting up billboards in and around Toyota Center with Anthony pictured in a Rockets No. 7 uniform.
However, the team already has a No. 7: Jeremy Lin, who stole the spotlight from Anthony when he became a phenom with the Knicks midway through the 2011-12 season. It’s been speculated that Houston would have to trade Lin — who has a nearly $8 million cap hit — in order to fit Anthony’s contract.
In typical Lin fashion, the former Harvard star relied on his faith to pull him through this latest controversy, tweeting: Luke 6:29 – If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.
|Doc Rivers named Clippers president of basketball operations||06.17.14 at 9:10 am ET|
Rivers, who previously served as senior vice president of basketball operations, will continue to coach the Clippers.
“Our goals are not only to become a championship team, but a championship organization as well,” Rivers said in a news release. “I feel with the new structure of the basketball operations department, we have taken a positive step in that direction.”
Rivers isn’t the only Clippers front-office member getting a new title. Assistant Kevin Eastman takes over as vice president of basketball operations, pro scouting director Dave Wohl was named general manager and former GM Gary Sacks was demoted to assistant GM.
|Friday’s Morning Mashup: Donald Sterling’s lawyer reportedly tells NBA ‘no punishment is warranted’||05.16.14 at 8:00 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Tigers at Red Sox, 7 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Brewers at Cubs, 2 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Pirates at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL playoffs: Kings at Ducks, 9 p.m. (NBCSN)
Hockey: IIHF World Championships, United States vs. Kazakhstan, 9:30 a.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Draft combine, 10 a.m. (ESPNU), 1 p.m. (ESPN2)
Softball: NCAA tournament, Boston University at Arizona, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
AROUND THE WEB:
— National legal experts weighed in this week and said the NBA appears to be positioned to win its fight against Donald Sterling, but the suspended Clippers owner reportedly made it official: He’s not going away quietly.
According to a Sports Illustrated story by legal analyst Michael McCann, prominent antitrust litigator Maxwell Blecher informed the league that Sterling would not pay the $2.5 million fine commissioner Adam Silver imposed (and is past due). The letter asserts that “no punishment is warranted” for Sterling despite the racist comments he made on a secretly recorded tape that was made public by TMZ.
“We reject your demand for payment,” the letter to NBA executive vice president and general counsel Rick Buchanan reportedly reads.
Despite Sterling’s admission in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper earlier this week that he “made a terrible, terrible mistake,” Blecher apparently insists that the longtime owner has done nothing wrong and is prepared to sue the NBA if it persists in violating his “due process rights” and banning him.
If Sterling attempts to fight the league it might lead to a player boycott next season. Players union vice president Roger Mason Jr. said earlier this week that Heat star LeBron James indicated he’s prepared to lead such a protest, although Mason later backtracked and James publicly reaffirmed his support for the commissioner and his handling of the situation.
— In other Clippers news, coach Doc Rivers was fined $25,000 on Thursday for criticizing the officiating after Tuesday’s 105-104 loss to the Thunder, and Rivers acknowledged, “I thought it was deserved.”
After the game, in which some key calls went against Los Angeles in the closing minutes, Rivers said his team was “robbed.” On one play, Clippers forward Matt Barnes slapped the ball out of Reggie Jackson‘s hand as the Thunder guard was going in for a layup with 11 seconds remaining, and the officials awarded the ball to Oklahoma City. Rivers was sure the ball went off Jackson’s hand, but after a video review the ruling stood as initially called.
“In order to reverse the call made on the court, there has to be ‘clear and conclusive’ evidence,” NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said. “Since no replay provided such evidence, the play correctly stood as called with the Thunder retraining possession.”
The Clippers were eliminated by the Thunder in Game 6 on Thursday night, 104-98. As the Thunder took control in the fourth quarter , fans showed their frustration, with a couple of them throwing drinks at referee Ed Malloy after an offensive foul on Blake Griffin with just over three minutes remaining.
“We’ve gone through a lot of stuff over the last three or four weeks,” Rivers said. “I don’t think that was why we didn’t win. I don’t think we should use that as an excuse. We’re a team in process. I believe we were good enough to win it this year. Oklahoma City told us we were not.”
— UConn coach Kevin Ollie, rumored to be a candidate for some NBA openings, acknowledged that he is willing to listen to job offers, but he insists he has no desire to leave Storrs after leading the Huskies to the national championship last month.
“I love this university,” Ollie said at an event in New York City. “I am not looking for another job. Of course, you listen to different things. I’ve got two ears, I’m going to listen, but I’m not running out there soliciting any other job. I want to be here at the University of Connecticut.”
Ollie is signed through the 2017-18 season, and he said he’s talking to athletic director Warde Manuel about a new deal. He made $1.6 million last season, including bonuses for the team’s postseason success.
“We are talking and hopefully we can get together once all this quiets down,” he said. “Have a nice talk and hopefully get everything situated.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 16, 1989, Mike Milbury was hired as Bruins coach, replacing which former teammate?
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