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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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Yankees manager Joe Girardi meets the media at spring training Tuesday in Tampa, Fla. (AP)

Yankees manager Joe Girardi could be a popular free agent this offseason. (AP)

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:

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez

• 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:

Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth inning Tuesday night against the White Sox for his 40th save of the season. (AP)

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth inning Tuesday night for his 40th save of the season. (AP)

• 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:

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez

♦ 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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Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter

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
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: With Alex Rodriguez in New York, Yankees open spring training under cloud 02.13.13 at 7:40 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: Bulls at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Rockets at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Wake Forest at Boston College, 7 p.m. (NESN: WEEI-AM)
College basketball: Nebraska at Indiana, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Miami at Florida State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Syracuse at UConn, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Oklahoma State at Texas Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Central Florida at Memphis, 8 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
College basketball: West Virginia at Baylor, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Purdue at Illinois, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Providence at South Florida, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: North Carolina at Duke, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: San Diego State at Colorado State, 10 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
College basketball: Cal State Fullerton at Long Beach State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oregon at Washington, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Blues at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Yankees manager Joe Girardi meets the media at spring training Tuesday in Tampa, Fla. (AP)

♦ With Alex Rodriguez rehabbing in New York, the Yankees opened spring training in Tampa, Fla., insisting that A-Rod’s latest PED scandal won’t divert their focus from the task at hand.

“I don’t think I’ve ever really come to a Yankee camp where there hasn’t been something that people might call a distraction,” manager Joe Girardi said. “This club’s used to it.

“A lot of times, it’s a two-day event, a three-day event, then the story kind of goes away. It may change for a day or two, but there will be something else that comes up that we’ll have to deal with. Him being in New York has nothing to do with trying to get rid of a distraction. It’s the best place for him to be.”

Added pitcher CC Sabathia: “We’ve dealt with a lot around here since I’ve been here, and this is my fifth year. It’s been a lot to deal with, but you learn to be a professional and go out and do your job.”

Catcher Francisco Cervelli, also linked to the controversial Biogenesis clinic in South Florida that allegedly prescribed PEDs to a number of major leaguers, is slated to address the issue publicly Wednesday.

“Of course that can weigh on his mind, but it’s a distraction that he’s going to have to block out to be able to perform,” Girardi said of Cervelli, who is competing for the starting catcher’s job. “There are other things that come up in a person’s life that can be distracting if you let them be. In a sense, this is a test for him, how he’s able to block this out.”

♦ Four University of Alabama football players were arrested and face charges for their involvement in two violent assaults and robberies of fellow students Monday. According to the police report, linebacker Tyler Hayes, safety Eddie Williams and running back Brent Calloway admitted their participation in the crimes that allegedly also included defensive lineman D.J. Pettway.

The players are said to have punched and kicked the victims, knocking them out, before stealing their wallets and at least one computer. The players then used a stolen credit card to buy snacks from vending machines in a dormitory.

The players, all backups, were suspended by the team, which is coming off its second straight national championship.

“This behavior is unacceptable for any student-athlete at the University of Alabama and not representative of our football program,” coach Nick Saban said in a statement.

♦ The 21-year-old son of Celtics legend Larry Bird was arrested Sunday after allegedly trying to run over his ex-girlfriend with his car. Conner Bird, a student at Indiana University, is accused of throwing a cell phone at the woman and then driving his car at her during an argument.

Bird faces preliminary charges including intimidation with a deadly weapon, battery with injury and possession of marijuana.

“It is a private matter we are hoping to resolve as quickly as possible,” said Bird’s attorney, John Tompkins. “We are happy no one was seriously hurt.”

♦ The international Olympic Committee voted Tuesday to drop wrestling starting with the 2020 Games. Wrestling was voted out from a final group that included modern pentathlon, taekwondo and field hockey, accordion to an Associated Press report.

Eliminating one of the 26 sports allowed the IOC to add a new sport later this year. Wrestling can attempt to be reconsidered for inclusion, but it faces an uphill battle, competing with seven other sports also hoping to be in the 2020 Games: baseball/softball, karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu (martial arts).

“This is a process of renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. “In the view of the executive board, this was the best program for the Olympic Games in 2020. It’s not a case of what’s wrong with wrestling, it is what’s right with the 25 core sports.”

Wrestling, which includes freestyle and Greco-Roman events, has been held in every modern Olympics, starting with the Athens Games in 1896. There were 344 wrestlers at least year’s London Olympics, competing in 11 medal events.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 13, 1985, the Bruins fired coach Gerry Cheevers. Who replaced him for the remainder of the season?

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Yankees manager Joe Girardi: Alex Rodriguez remains team’s ‘everyday third baseman’ 10.24.12 at 6:25 pm ET
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Alex Rodriguez

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the club will be sticking with Alex Rodriguez at third base next season.

Girardi, who benched Rodriguez during three of the Yankees’ nine postseason games, said Rodriguez wouldn’t have to compete for the everyday starting position during spring training.

“I expect Alex to be our everyday third baseman,” Girardi said during his end-of-the-year news conference. “What is he going to have to show me? That he is healthy and ready to go.”

Rodriguez was without a hit in 18 at-bats against righties in the postseason and finished the season without a home run in his final 93 at-bats.

Girardi said he would meet with Rodriguez in the offseason to talk about his health and the upcoming season.

The Yankees could try to trade the 14-time-All-Star, but Rodriguez could block any deal. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman previously said that he would consider trade offers for any player but isn’t actively trying to move A-Rod.

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Yankees manager Joe Girardi asks for more instant replay after Game 2 blown call 10.15.12 at 12:31 pm ET
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Robinson Cano tags out Omar Infante at second base during Sunday's night's ALCS Game 2 at Yankee Stadium. Umpire Jeff Nelson called Infante safe, and Infante went on to score the second run in the Tigers' 3-0 victory. (AP)

While much of America was watching football, a blown call in the eighth inning of the ALCS game at Yankee Stadium aided the Tigers in a 3-0 victory that gave them a 2-0 series lead.

With two outs and Omar Infante at first base, Austin Jackson singled to right field. Nick Swisher fielded it and threw it to Robinson Cano at second. The Yankees second baseman tagged out Infante, who had overrun the bag and was attempting to dive back, but umpire Jeff Nelson called Infante safe.

On the following play, Infante scored on a bloop single to right field. As Yankees manager Joe Girardi came out to make a pitching change, he again argued with Nelson, who then ejected him from the game. A second run scored later in the inning, leaving the offensively challenged Yankees in a 3-0 hole they could not overcome.

After the game, Nelson admitted he blew the call.

“I had the tag late and the hand going into the bag before the tag on the chest,” Nelson said. “The hand did not get in before the tag. The call was incorrect.”

After the game, Girardi didn’t blame Nelson, but questioned MLB for not instituting more instant replay so umpires can take a second look at controversial plays.

“It’s frustrating. I don’t have a problem with Jeff’s effort. I don’t, because he hustled to get to the point. But in this day and age, when we have instant replay available to us, it’s got to change,” Girardi said. “These guys are under a tremendous amount of pressure. It’s a tough call for him because the tag is underneath and it’s hard for him to see. It takes more time for me to argue and get upset than [if] you get the call right. There’s just too much at stake. I mean, we played 235 days to get to this point.”

To see the video of the play, click here.

Read More: ALCS, Jeff Nelson, Joe Girardi, MLB