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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees manager Joe Girardi expects Alex Rodriguez to be his third baseman next year 09.30.14 at 8:05 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:
MLB playoffs: Athletics at Royals, 8 p.m. (TBS)
NHL preseason: Islanders at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL preseason: Rangers at Flyers, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
Basketball: FIBA World Championship for Women, United States vs. Angola, 2:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Roma at Manchester City, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Derek Jeter is gone, and Alex Rodriguez is coming back. And manager Joe Girardi said he’s planning to insert A-Rod at third base assuming he proves he’s ready.

The oft-injured Rodriguez, who will turn 40 next July, was suspended for all of 2013 for violating baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract.

“We’ve got to see where he’s physically at, and if he can play the field, how many days he can play the field and how many days he needs to DH,” Girardi said at a news conference Monday. “I don’t think really any of us know about him until we actually get him into games in spring training.”

Added Girardi: “He hasn’t played in a year. That’s not easy to do, to sit out a year. Do we expect him to be a player on our team? Absolutely. Do we expect him to play third base? Yes. But in fairness I think you have to see where he’s at.”

MASHUP POLL: Will Alex Rodriguez return to the Yankees lineup in 2015?

  • Yes, they're paying him, so they'll play him (69%, 228 Votes)
  • No, they'll either trade or cut him (31%, 103 Votes)

Total Voters: 331

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There were reports that some players were upset with Rodriguez when he initially fought his suspension. Girardi said he does not anticipate any issues in the locker room.

“Our teammates enjoy Alex, his presence in the clubhouse, the way he likes to teach the game and talk about the game. So I don’t think that will be an issue,” Girardi said. “Will he have to deal from some angry fans? Yeah, but we’ll help him get through that. When was the last time Alex hasn’t had to deal with that? So it’s not like it’s something that he’s not used to, and sometimes players thrive on that.”

— According to an ESPN report, a neutral arbitrator will rule on the NFL Players Association’s appeal of Ray Rice‘s indefinite suspension, rather than someone appointed by commissioner Roger Goodell.

“For the first time ever, the league in the Rice appeal has agreed to a neutral arbitrator” in a personal conduct disciplinary case, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said in an email to the union’s executive board that ESPN obtained.

Wrote Smith: “This occurs in the context of a difficult set of facts and circumstances [but] it is a positive movement on the overall question of neutral arbitration and a fair personal conduct discipline process.”

The appeal was filed Sept. 16, and the league said at that time that Goodell did not intend to arbitrate the matter.

Smith also told his board that the NFLPA is reaching out to league sponsors to let them know the majority of players represent the league positively, and “that we will address the process issues that have caused them concern.”

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t mince words Monday when discussing a report from NFL Network’s Deion Sanders that his players don’t want to play for him anymore.

“Personally, I think that’s a bunch of crap,” Harbaugh said.

Earlier in the season, ESPN’s Trent Dilfer said the locker room was “toxic.”

“I haven’t seen Trent or Deion around much,” Harbaugh said. “If someone has a good story to tell, they want to put their name to it. If I had a good story to tell, I’d want to put my name to it, so I don’t put a lot of credibility to the unnamed source.”

During Sunday’s “NFL GameDay Final,” Sanders said: “They want him out. They’re not on the same page. I really want to know if they’re really playing for the head coach. I got a question with that. Are you really down with your head coach, San Francisco 49ers? Because they way it looks and what I’m hearing, you’re really not down for your head coach. And that’s a problem.

“They really got some problems that we hear rumblings. We all know people inside locker rooms.”

Harbaugh, whose 49ers are 2-2 after Sunday’s 26-21 win over the Eagles, is signed through the 2015 season.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Sept. 30, 1962, which Red Sox player wrapped up the season with a .326 average to capture his second American League batting title?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “There’s a lot of negativity. Everyone is going to tell us how terrible we are. That’s just the NFL.” – Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, after Monday’s 41-14 rout at the hands of the Chiefs

STAT OF THE DAY: 303 – Yards of offense in the first half by the Chiefs, the most allowed by any Bill Belichick-coached team

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): A Missouri middle school football team pulls off a trick play it calls the “Ugly Kardashian.”

TRIVIA ANSWER: Pete Runnels

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Marilyn McCoo was born on this day in 1943.

Read More: alex rodriguez, deion sanders, Jim Harbaugh, Joe Girardi
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees irate at Rays after Derek Jeter gets hit again 09.17.14 at 7:59 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 Pirates, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Giants at Diamondbacks, 3:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Nationals, at Braves, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Mariners at Angels, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Manchester City at Bayern Munich, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Prior to Tuesday night game in St. Petersburg, Fla., the Rays honored Derek Jeter on the Yankees captain’s final trip to Tropicana Field. However, things deteriorated a few hours later.

Joe Girardi was not pleased after Derek Jeter was hit by an inside pitch from the Rays. (Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

Yankees manager Joe Girardi was not pleased after Derek Jeter was hit by an inside pitch from the Rays. (Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

In Jeter’s final at-bat, he was hit on the hands by an eighth-inning pitch from reliever Steven Geltz. The Yankees retaliated in the bottom of the inning, as David Phelps threw a brushback pitch at Kevin Kiermaier, leading to the benches emptying.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who was ejected after arguing with the umpire and then yelling at Geltz after Jeter’s HBP, voiced his frustration with the Yankees being hit five times in the past four games against Tampa Bay (with no Rays being hit during that time). Jeter was the victim twice, while Chase Headley missed four games after taking a ball off the chin.

“I don’€™t know what they expect; you hit five of our guys in four games, you don’€™t think we’€™ll be pissed?” Girardi said. “I’€™m tired of my guys getting hit and where they’€™re getting hit. I’€™m tired of it. If you’€™re going to pitch inside, learn how to pitch inside.”

Rays manager Joe Maddon said he understood the Yankees’ point of view.

“I really don’€™t blame the Yankees for being upset right there,” Maddon said. “We’€™ve hit a couple of their guys — obviously none of it intentional. It’€™s called baseball. It happens once in a while.”

MASHUP POLL: With Derek Jeter in an 0-for-26 slump and the Yankees still in the playoff hunt, should the team bench the retiring legend?

  • No, he's earned the right to be in the lineup for the final two weeks of his career (57%, 243 Votes)
  • Yes, the focus has to be on making the playoffs, and he is hurting the team's chances (43%, 187 Votes)

Total Voters: 430

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Jeter’s slump continues, as the shortstop — who was benched Monday — is without a hit in his last 26 at-bats after his 0-for-2 effort Tuesday. He was down 0-2 in the count when he was hit, and the fading Yankees lost the game 6-1. New York is 1-5 on this road trip, scoring just seven runs in the six games.

Said Phelps: “I think our team as a whole is frustrated about a whole lot of stuff right now.”

— Hours after singer Rihanna blasted CBS for pulling her music video last week in the wake of the Ray Rice incident, the network announced that it would no longer include her as part of its intro.

Rihanna, who was the victim in a domestic incident involving singer Chris Brown in 2009, had recorded a special version of the song “Run This Town” for the network. CBS did not use the video last week, instead spending more time discussing the Rice situation.

Rihanna took that as an insult, and she lashed out at the network via Twitter, writing: CBS you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday? NO, [expletive] you! Y’all are sad for penalizing me for this.

CBS senior vice president of communications Jen Sabatelle released a statement shortly thereafter, reading: “Beginning this Thursday, we will be moving in a different direction with some elements of our ‘Thursday Night Football’ open. We will be using our newly created ‘Thursday Night Football’ theme music to open our game broadcast.”

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Read More: Derek Jeter, Joe Girardi, Josh Gordon, Rihanna
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees ‘disappointed’ with elbow injury to Masahiro Tanaka 07.11.14 at 8:18 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 Astros, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Braves at Cubs, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cardinals at Brewers, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
Softball: World Cup, United States vs. Japan, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
MLS: DC United at San Jose Earthquakes, 11 p.m. (NBCSN)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka was diagnosed with a small ligament tear in his pitching elbow, but general manager Brian Cashman said Thursday the pitcher will not have Tommy John surgery — at least for now.

“All three doctors agree on the diagnosis and the rehab protocol,” Cashman told reporters in a conference call. “We are going to follow their recommendation, and none of them recommend surgery at this time. They’re all hopeful that in roughly maybe a six-week period that we will have a pitcher back if he responds positively.”

Added Cashman: “If he’s a failed rehab, certainly it does not rule out that Tommy John would be the recommendation. If the pain doesn’t subside or it comes back like he’s currently experiencing right now, continuing to reappear, then I think the rehab and recommendation factors would change.”

Manager Joe Girardi said he is keeping his “fingers crossed” that Tanaka returns this season to a rotation that saw CC Sabathia ruled out for the season only days earlier. Already, the team lost starters Ivan Nova for the season and Michael Pineda until at least August.

Tanaka has not been the same since allowing a game-deciding home run to Mike Napoli in the ninth inning of New York’s 2-1 loss to the Red Sox on June 28. Since then, he’s allowed 20 hits and 10 runs in 13 2/3 innings. After starting the season 11-1 with a 1.99 ERA, he’s 1-3 with a 4/25 ERA in his last four outings — the last two of which came on the standard four days’ rest after he was given an additional day off between nine of his first 14 starts.

“I think we managed him the best we could,” Girardi said. “We were careful. We did everything we could to give him extra rest and not have him throw too many pitches. And we’ll continue to do that because we know we’ve got to keep him healthy.”

Tanaka was signed to a seven-year, $155 million deal in January after being posted by his Japanese team, and he had rejuvenated the Yankees before his recent struggles.

“I’m certainly disappointed for our player,” Cashman said. “I’m disappointed for our organization. He’s an important piece.

“It’s a disappointing situation and one that none of us wanted to be talking about or experiencing. Unfortunately, the facts are the facts.”

— The trial in Los Angeles regarding the sale of the Clippers was postponed Thursday for two weeks, putting the closing date past the deadline to finish the $2 billion sale as set by buyer Steve Ballmer.

However, Ballmer’s attorney said there is a provision to extend the deadline assuming there is progress in court.

The delay was due to two of Donald Sterling‘s lawyers having plans for personal time — a vacation and a wedding anniversary. The next hearing is set for July 21 and closing arguments will be heard one week after that.

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Read More: brian cashman, Donald Sterling, Joe Girardi, Masahiro Tanaka
Yankees look to retain manager Joe Girardi amid reports of interest from Cubs 10.02.13 at 11:38 am ET
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Despite missing the playoffs for the first time since Joe Girardi took over the Yankees in 2008, New York wants its manager back.

The Yankees finished 85-77 and in third place in the AL East. But between injuries to key players like Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Kevin Youkilis; the departures of a number of vital players from the 2012 AL East winning team; and the intense battle between Alex Rodriguez, MLB and the Yankees, the fact that Girardi kept New York in contention for a wild card spot was an impressive accomplishment.

“He knows we’d like to have him stay and continue as manager of the New York Yankees as we move forward,” general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday. “I feel we hired a good one. He’s been a world champion player for us. He’s been a coach, a broadcaster and obviously a world champion manager. So we’ve benefited from having him and we’d like to do that going forward, but we’ll have to speak with him and see how it plays out.”

Girardi, 48, signed a three-year, $9 million extension at the end of the 2010 season, which expires on Oct. 31. New York may have to compete with the Cubs who recently fired coach Dale Sveum, and are believed to be interested in Girardi.

Girardi has posted a 564-408 record as the Yankees manager, and his team claimed the 2009 World Series.

Read More: alex rodriguez, brian cashman, Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Mariano Rivera bids emotional goodbye to Yankee Stadium 09.27.13 at 7:56 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 Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
College football: Utah State at San Jose State, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Middle Tennessee at BYU, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL preseason: Flyers at Capitals, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NHL preseason: Rangers at Kings, 10:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
MLS: Philadelphia at Kansas City, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘€¢ Throughout his farewell tour in the major leagues this year, Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has been reserved and unemotional. Thursday night, however, the tears were flowing as he left the Yankee Stadium mound for the final time.

Rivera entered the game in the eighth — with the voice of late PA man Bob Sheppard introducing him and “Enter Sandman” blaring over the speakers — to a standing ovation from the 48,675 fans, his teammates and the Rays players.

Then, with two outs in the ninth inning of New York’s 4-0 loss, longtime teammates Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte walked to the mound to take out Rivera. He laughed at first, then shared a long embrace with Pettitte, burying his head into Pettitte’s shoulder as he sobbed.

“I was bombarded with emotions and feeling that I couldn’t describe,” Rivera said afterward. “Everything hit at that time. I knew that was the last time. Period. I never felt like that before.”

Said Pettitte: He didn’t say anything at first, and I didn’t expect for him to be quite so emotional. He broke down, gave me a bear hug, and I bear-hugged him back. He was really crying. He was weeping. ‘€¦ I felt like he didn’t want to let go.”

The 43-year-old Panamanian, who has an MLB-best 652 saves, a 2.21 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP in his 19-year career, shared hugs with his coaches and teammates in the dugout before being guided back out to the field for another ovation.

“He made my job fun,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He made my job easy. And he made all of our lives better.”

‘€¢ Former Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was in the running for an analyst job with TBS for the Major League Baseball playoffs. However, when the network announced its lineup earlier this week, Valentine’s name was absent.

According to New York Newsday, Valentine lost the opportunity due to his bizarre, self-serving comments on Sept. 11 when he criticized the Yankees for not being as visible as the Mets in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York City in 2001.

The studio crew consists of Keith Olbermann, Tom Verducci and Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez.

Said a TBS spokesman: “Bobby was one of a number of candidates being considered for the role, but we elected to go with the team of Keith, Pedro and Tom, and we’re very excited about that combination in studio for us.”

‘€¢ Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig announced that he will retire in January 2015 after 22 years at the helm.

Selig, 79, has made previous statements about retiring only to change his mind. This time, he offered a specific date and said he will offer a transition plan soon.

Selig has his critics, but revenue has grown from $1.7 billion when he took over to $8 billion now.

“I look forward to continuing its extraordinary growth and addressing several significant issues during the remainder of my term,” he said.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): 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: Andy Pettitte, bobby valentine, bud selig, Derek Jeter
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Alex Rodriguez booed, lifted as Yankees eliminated 09.26.13 at 7:47 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’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.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: 49ers at Rams, 8:25 p.m. (NFL Network)
College football: Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Iowa State at Tulsa, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)
NHL preseason: Bruins at Jets, 7:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
NHL preseason: Rangers at Canucks, 10 p.m. (NHL Network)
WNBA playoffs: Indiana at Atlanta, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
WNBA playoffs: Phoenix at Minnesota, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘€¢ The Yankees were officially eliminated from postseason contention during Wednesday’s loss to the Rays, and Alex Rodriguez left the game at Yankee Stadium early because of continued problems with his legs.

Rodriguez, limited to designated hitter due to a strained calf and tight hamstring, was lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning after going 0-for-3 and hearing boos after a fifth-inning strikeout.

“He just told me his legs weren’t great and he was going to take care of them,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I said, OK, go take care of them.”

It might have been A-Rod’s final appearance in a Yankees uniform, as he faces a 211-game ban from Major League Baseball, with an appeal hearing slated to begin Monday.

The team has decisions to make about a number of other players, including pending free agents Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Hiroki Kuroda, Boone Logan, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, as well as the manager.

Said Girardi: “I’m not to the point where I’m looking ahead really beyond today. I don’t know what tomorrow holds or the next day holds. I’m not really worried about the future or next year. My focus is to do the job this year.”

‘€¢ It’s been a rough few days for the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens. Yes, they managed to win their last two games after being embarrassed in the season opener against the Broncos, but an incident on a party bus early Monday morning that included Jacoby Jones getting hit over the head with a champagne bottle swung by a stripper has left the team in damage-control mode.

Retired Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, now an ESPN analyst, weighed in on the situation Monday night, saying the team “is missing leadership right now.” That didn’t sit well with the current players.

Responded quarterback Joe Flacco: “Ray knows better than that. Things happen. I think we’re usually a pretty good team with stuff like that. If you look around the league, there are probably a lot of leadership problems then. So, like I said, Ray knows better.”

Lewis was inducted into the Ravens Ring of Honor on Sunday, but Flacco said he’s crossed over to the other side.

“Ray is one of them [in the media] for a couple of minutes a well now,” the QB said. “It is what it is.”

Some of the team’s players said they were having fun with Lewis’ comments, but they were careful not to say anything inflammatory about their ex-teammate.

“I didn’t hear the comments, but no, it doesn’t bother me, because we all understand the leadership that we have with our team guys and our team,” offensive lineman Marshal Yanda said. “Obviously, Ray, he was a huge vocal leader and stuff like that and very enthusiastic, and we all love him and miss him. But it’s going to be a different type of leadership [now], obviously. Nobody is going to be able to just jump into Ray Lewis’ role and just try to be exactly the same. But we all have a lot of really good leaders on this team, and we’re not sweating it one bit.”

‘€¢ The Athletics want to move out of O.co Coliseum, which has had flooding and sewage backup problems this year. Commissioner Bud Selig wants the team to move as well, but a proposed relocation to San Jose is being blocked by the neighboring Giants.

Selig didn’t hide his frustration in an interview with CBS Radio’s John Feinstein on Wednesday.

“It’s a pit,” Selig said of the park. “It reminds of old County Stadium [in Milwaukee] and Shea Stadium [in New York]. We need to deal with that. I’ve had a committee working on it for two or three years, and there’s no question we’re going to have to solve that problem.”

Added Selig: “It’s far more complex. Look, you have one team that wants to move and the other team doesn’t want them to move, and it’s a very complicated situation. Before I leave, I’m satisfied we’ll work out something.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Sept. 26, 1973, which Red Sox speedster stole his 52nd base of the season to tie Tris Speaker‘s single-season club record?

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Read More: alex rodriguez, bud selig, Joe Flacco, Joe Girardi
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees, Orioles managers have angry confrontation 09.10.13 at 8:03 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:
MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Orioles, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: World Cup qualifier, Mexico at United States, 7:40 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘€¢ Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who famously went on a hypocritical, holier-than-thou rant against Ryan Dempster after the Red Sox pitcher hit Alex Rodriguez with a pitch last month, continued his crusade against the American League East on Monday, sparking a confrontation with Orioles manager Buck Showalter during the teams’ game in Baltimore.

In the first inning, Girardi walked to the end of his dugout and started yelling at O’s third-base coach Bobby Dickerson, accusing him of stealing signs. That didn’t sit well with Showalter, who stormed out of his dugout after the frame, angrily yelling and gesturing at his counterpart. Girardi left his dugout as well, as did the players, before the umpires interceded and issued warnings to both teams.

“He was yelling at the third-base coach,” Showalter said. “Somebody’s wearing black and orange, I’m not going to let that happen.”

Girardi would only say: “It was something that I saw. I’m going to leave it at that.”

Showalter and Dickerson strongly denied any sign-stealing. Dickerson said Girardi yelled at him, “I know what you’re doing.”

“I’m a grown man. I don’t see why he was yelling at me,” Dickerson said. “I just said, ‘You don’t know anything. You don’t even know me to be yelling at me.’ I’m just trying to do my job over there and nobody’s going to yell at me for nothing.”

The O’s won the game, 4-2, putting another dent in New York’s chances to earn a postseason berth. The Yankees trail the Rays by three games for the second wild card, with the Orioles and Indians in their way as well.

‘€¢ Talk after the 49ers’ 34-28 victory over the Packers on Sunday centered on Clay Matthews‘ late hit on Colin Kaepernick and the way the officials handled it.

After Matthews dove and collided with Kaepernick out of bounds on a run in the second quarter, San Francisco lineman Joe Staley got in Matthews’ face and the two had an angry exchange, with Matthews appearing to be more aggressive, punching and smacking Staley. The officials gave Staley an unsportsmanlike penalty that matched the one on Matthews for the hit, and they negated the play entirely.

The NFL on Monday announced that it was handled incorrectly, that Staley should not have been penalized and the run should have stood.

Niners coach Jim Harbaugh, meanwhile, voiced his disappointment with Matthews, who had said before the game that Green Bay would target the scrambling Kaepernick.

“Like I said last week, usually a man will tell you his bad intentions if you just listen,” Harbaugh said. “That certainly was a cheap shot, launching, clotheslining to the neck-head area. Bad play.”

Harbaugh also took a shot at Matthews for slapping Staley.

“If you’re going to go to the face, come with knuckles, not an open slap,” the coach said. “I think if that young man works very hard on being a tough guy, he’ll have some repairing to do to his image after the slap.”

Responded Packers coach Mike McCarthy: “Clay Matthews is not a dirty player, by no means. I addressed Harbaugh’s comments in the team meeting, and as always, we’ll stay above it.”

‘€¢ The U.S. men’s national soccer team plays Mexico on Tuesday night in Columbus, Ohio, in a World Cup qualifying match, and U.S. defender Matt Besler will miss the match after receiving a controversial yellow card in Friday’s loss to Costa Rica.

Costa Rican winger Joel Campbell walked behind Besler, bumped into him and flopped to the ground, claiming to be injured. Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez, who was not near the play as the ball was up the field, jogged over and gave Besler a yellow card after communicating with his linesman. Because it’s Besler’s second yellow in World Cup qualifying play, he has to sit out a game.

Tweeted Besler: It’s difficult putting into words the feeling, but watching the video confirms what I already knew. ‘€¦ I’m extremely disappointed this is the reason I won’t get a chance to represent my country in another Mexico match, with a chance to qualify.

The United States sits in second place in the final CONCACAF qualifying round, one point behind Costa Rica. The top three teams earn automatic berths in the World Cup, while the fourth-place finisher faces New Zealand for another spot.

The incident can be seen at the 5:40 mark.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Sept. 10, 1999, Pedro Martinez pitched perhaps his best game ever — a one-hitter with 17 strikeouts and no walks at Yankee Stadium, leading the Red Sox to a 3-1 victory. Which Yankee had the lone hit, a home run in the second inning?

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Read More: Buck Showalter, Clay Matthews, Colin Kaepernick, Jim Harbaugh
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Mariano Rivera adamant about retiring after picking up 40th save 09.04.13 at 8:03 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: Tigers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Rays at Angels, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA: Los Angeles Sparks at Minnesota Lynx, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
Tennis: U.S. Open, noon, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘€¢ During a discussion about Mariano Rivera‘s career Tuesday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he would like the legendary closer to reconsider his retirement plans.

“I don’t see any reason why he couldn’t do it next year, I don’t,” Girardi told ESPN. “He’s made it pretty clear that he doesn’t want to [return], but I always say, you know, January rolls around and sometimes you have a different feel about what you want to do.”

Added Girardi: “I’m sure I’ll talk to him at some point in the offseason, and … I’ll tell him when the season’s over, ‘Take a month. Take a month and a half, two months, and make sure this is really what you want to do. Because once you do go, it’s hard to come back.’ ”

Rivera, for his part, had no interest in talking about another season, even after he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close out his team’s 6-4 comeback victory over the White Sox and pick up his 40th save.

“I told you guys already. I don’t know why we’re talking about this. I’ve already made my decision [to retire at the end of the season],” Rivera said.

‘€¢ It’s been a rough preseason for Jets coach Rex Ryan, and it got more difficult this week as he was forced to defend himself against criticism of his decision to attend his son’s first game as a walk-on wide receiver at Clemson on Saturday, the same day the NFL required rosters to be trimmed to 53.

During an appearance on ESPN Radio in New York on Tuesday, Ryan said he accepts that he’s going to be harshly judged following the team’s 6-10 record last season.

“We had a terrible year, so that’s to be expected,” Ryan said. “When you win in this town, in New York and New Jersey area, shoot, everybody’s happy. If you don’t, hey, I understand the criticism. But the beauty of it is we have a brand new season right in front of us.”

The biggest story around the team has been the quarterback battle. With Mark Sanchez ailing, it appears that Geno Smith is in line to start Sunday’s opener against the Buccaneers. But Ryan said he won’t be pushed into making the decision earlier than he chooses.

“When we want to announce it, we’ll announce it,” he said. “Not you guys, not somebody else. When we’re comfortable making the decision, we will.”

‘€¢ Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel remains off-limits to the media, following his memorable debut in Saturday’s victory over Rice. Manziel was suspended for the first half of the game following his “inadvertent” violation of NCAA rules for allegedly signing autographs for a fee, and then he was yanked late in the game after picking up a penalty for taunting his opponents.

Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin said Manziel will talk eventually, but now is not the time.

“I think it’s important now based on where he is that his focus is to try to be our quarterback and a student-athlete,” Sumlin told reporters Tuesday. “That’s his biggest challenge right now. [It’s] not his challenge to be here [in front of the media].”

Added Sumlin: “I don’t think right now that him coming here and saying the words would change some people’s opinion about who he is. At the appropriate time, he’ll be able to speak for himself.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Sept. 4, 2000, the Red Sox retired a former Sox player’s number for the first time in 11 years, with which legend taking his place among the all-time greats?

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Read More: Joe Girardi, Johnny Manziel, Mariano Rivera, Rex Ryan
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Alex Rodriguez’s Yankees teammates promise support if he’s suspended 07.23.13 at 8:04 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:
MLB: Rays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Rangers, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Diamondbacks, 9:30 p.m. (WGN)
WNBA: New York Liberty at Indiana Fever, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ With Ryan Braun‘s season-ending suspension in the books, the expectation is that Alex Rodriguez‘s day of reckoning is coming soon.

His Yankees teammates voiced support for him Monday, but they also expressed a desire for cheaters to be punished.

“If he’€™s admitted that he did something wrong, he knows what the league is going to do,” Mariano Rivera said, via the New York Daily News. “It’€™s not rocket science here.

“The good thing about this is we’€™re cleaning the game. That’€™s the way it should be. This is a message for whoever tries to do this again; he’€™s going to get caught. You know that if you do something like that, you’€™re going to get caught and you’€™re going to pay the consequences. Simple as that. If you did it and you don’€™t get caught, then good luck. But if you get caught — and 99.9 percent of the time you’€™re going to get caught — you know you’€™re going to pay the consequences.”

Added Rivera: “I have to support him. He’€™s my teammate. He’€™s my brother. I’€™m not saying he did or didn’€™t do it, but if it happens. I can’€™t throw him in the street. He’€™s still my brother.”

Said Andy Pettitte: “We’€™re going to back him up; we’€™re his teammates, there’€™s no doubt. But if he did something wrong, you have to be punished for it. But I’€™ll still back him up. I’€™m still going to love him because I built the relationship with him. He’€™s a teammate of mine. You just wish nothing but the best for him.”

Manager Joe Girardi has lost patience with those who are cheating the game.

“I think I’€™m tired of steroids. I’€™m tired of that. Just do things the right way; bottom line. Everyone should do things the right way, but that’€™s not the world we live in,” Girardi said in reference to Braun. “You get tired of talking about it. There’€™s a lot of guys that are doing it the right way and I respect those guys.

“You don’€™t accept a deal unless you were guilty. It’€™s disappointing. It’€™s just another black eye for our game. I know this game is very resilient and there have been a lot of scandals over the years, but you get tired of it.”

‘™¦ Cornerback Eric Wright, traded from the Buccaneers to the 49ers last week for a conditional draft prick in 2014, failed his physical with San Francisco, nullifying the trade. Wright then was released by Tampa Bay.

Wright, who was arrested in 2012 on felony DUI charges and suspended four games last year for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, reportedly was arrested earlier this month on a misdemeanor charge.

Niners coach Jim Harbaugh declined to discuss the reason for Wright’s failed physical.

“We don’t ever talk about that,” Harbaugh said Monday. “The information is he didn’t pass his physical, he’s not on the team.”

‘™¦ Heat star Dwyane Wade reached a settlement with his ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches, who made news last week when she protested outside a Chicago courthouse with a sign criticizing Wade for a lack of a support and implying she was homeless.

“Ms. Funches has made a mockery of homelessness which is a serious and personal issue for Mr. Wade as his mother was homeless for a period of time when he was a child,” Wade’s attorney, James B. Pritikin, said in a statement, adding that Wade has been providing $25,000 in monthly support..

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Wade — who filed from divorce from Funches, the mother of his two sons, in 2007 — will pay Funches $5 million, and there is a non-disparage agreement . Funches’ lawyer claims his client did not agree to the agreement, but the judge determined otherwise.

Wade won a court battle in 2011 that gave him full custody of his children. Funches was arrested last year on misdemeanor charges of attempted child abduction, unlawful visitation interference and obstruction of a peace officer after an incident related to visitation. According to the Sun-Times, all the charges except obstruction of a peace officer were dismissed, and she faces a court date in September.

“The safety and well-being of his children are [Wade’s] main priority,” Pritikin said. “Due to Ms. Funches’ current unstable mental state, her visitation will be determined by the court. Mr. Wade continues to hope that one day he will have a civil relationship with his ex-wife for the sake of their sons.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 23, 2002, which Red Sox player hit three two-run home runs in a 22-4 rout of the Devil Rays and tied a major league record with five home runs in two games?

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Read More: alex rodriguez, Dwyane Wade, Eric Wright, Joe Girardi
Yankees captain Derek Jeter returns from DL, batting second vs. Royals Thursday 07.11.13 at 12:19 pm ET
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He’s baaa-aaack.

Nine months after breaking his ankle in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Tigers last October, Derek Jeter has been activated from the disabled list and is batting second as the designated hitter in the Yankees‘ Thursday matinee against the Royals, the finale of the four-game set.

First baseman/designated hitter Travis Ishikawa was designated for assignment to make room for Jeter.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters in New York that the captain and 13-time All-Star, who next week will miss the All-Star Game for the first time since 2005, could return to his usual position of shortstop as soon as Friday.

“It is fair to say,” general manager Brian Cashman also told reporters, “with his age and with a double break that he’d lose a step or a half a step.”

Jeter, 39, managed just one hit in nine minor league at-bats with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He also walked four times and struck out twice while making the necessary plays at shortstop.

Jeter’s debut is the first of what the Yankees hope is a handful of comebacks that would bolster their lineup for the second half. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez, recovering from hip surgery, could return later this month pending a reported possible suspension for PEDs. Center fielder Curtis Granderson is out with a broken finger, his second extended DL trip of the season, and could return in August.

The Yankees, who sit in fourth place and six games behind the Red Sox in the AL East at 49-42, had lost three in a row before beating the Royals, 8-1, Wednesday night.

Read More: alex rodriguez, brian cashman, Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter