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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Dwyane Wade insists Heat ‘have no reason not to be proud’ after being routed out of NBA Finals 06.16.14 at 8:04 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’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.

MLB: Twins at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN: WEEI-AM)
MLB: Mets at Cardinals, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College baseball: World Series, Texas vs. Louisville, 3 p.m. (ESPN2)
College baseball: World Series, UC Irvine vs. Vanderbilt, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
World Cup soccer: Ghana vs, United States, 6 p.m. (ESPN, Univision; WEEI-AM)
World Cup soccer: Germany vs. Portugal, noon (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
World Cup soccer: Iran vs. Nigeria, 3 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-AM)


– Heading into Sunday night’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Heat star LeBron James looked at a 3-1 series deficit no team had ever overcome in Finals history and said, “Why not us?”

The answer came swiftly: Because the Heat’s supporting cast was not up to the challenge.

San Antonio roared back from an early 16-point deficit and routed the Heat for the third straight game, 104-87, clinching its fifth title and denying the Heat a three-peat.

“They played exquisite basketball this series and in particular these last three games and they are the better team. There’s no other way to say it,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

James recorded 31 points and 10 rebounds, including 17 points in the first quarter. Miami raced out to a 22-6 lead but was trailing by halftime, 47-40.

Ray Allen started in place of the slumping Mario Chalmers and scored five points on 1-of-8 shooting with four turnovers.

Chris Bosh — who before the game insisted, “We’re not going down. We’re going to win this game” — finished with 13 points on 6-of-14 shooting. He was 0-for-5 on 3-pointers.

Dwyane Wade shot 4-for-12 and finished with 11 points and three turnovers. He shot 7-for-25 in the last two games as the Heat’s fourth consecutive appearance in the NBA Finals ended badly.

“We’d love to be 4-for-4,” Wade said, “but we have no reason not be proud of each other.”

Said James: “We went to four straight Finals in four years. We’€™re not discrediting what we were able to accomplish in these four years. We lost one, we won two, and we lost another one. [We will] take 50 percent in four years in championships any day. Obviously, you want to win all of them, but that’€™s just the nature of the game. You win some,  you lose some. You’€™ve just got to come back the next year and be better as an individual, as a team, and go from there.”

The Spurs, meanwhile, celebrated their first title since 2007 and made amends for last season’s collapse vs. the Heat in the Finals.

“It makes last year OK,” Tim Duncan said.

– Mets starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka tried to play with a “severe upset stomach” Sunday — delaying the start of the game before taking the mound — but he lasted just one inning before leaving the game.

Matsuzaka, who is not aware of what he might have eaten that caused his issues, said he’s hoping to pitch in relief Monday.

“I’m fine physically,” he said through his translator (via the New York Daily News). “I’d definitely like to help the bullpen.”

Manager Terry Collins might take the former Red Sox hurler up on that offer.

“We’re going to talk about possibly [Monday] if he’s feeling good,” Collins said. “If he feels all right [Monday] we could use him for a couple of innings.”

– Former Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent, who was convicted of intoxication manslaughter in the death of teammate and friend Jerry Brown, was released from jail Sunday, one month before his six-month sentence was to end.

Brent, 26, had been sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years probation. He had faced up to 20 years in prison.

Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, asked for leniency for Brent, saying at the trial, “You can’t go on in life holding a grudge.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On June 16, 1978, which Red Sox player announced he was quitting the team, directing his anger at manager Don Zimmer and general manager Haywood Sullivan, only to return the following day?

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Read More: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Dwyane Wade, Josh Brent, LeBron James
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Ex-Cowboys DL Josh Brent convicted of intoxication manslaughter in teammate’s death 01.23.14 at 7:59 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.

NBA: Lakers at Heat, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Nuggets at Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Seton Hall at St. John’s, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Florida at Alabama, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Illinois at Ohio State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Houston at Memphis, 8 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Nebraska at Penn State, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Colorado at Arizona, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UCF at Cincinnati, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: San Diego at Gonzaga, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Oregon at Washington, 11 p.m. (FS1)
NHL: Penguins at Islanders, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Kings at Ducks, 10 p.m. (NHL Network)
Tennis: Australian Open, 3:30 a.m. (ESPN)


– Former Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent was convicted of intoxication manslaughter Wednesday in Dallas for the accident that caused the death of teammate and close friend Jerry Brown. Jurors took about nine hours over two days to reach their verdict.

Brent, who turns 26 next week, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.18 percent — more than twice the legal limit — when he drove home from a nightclub in December 2012 and crashed his vehicle on a suburban Dallas highway with Brown as his passenger.

Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, who has said she’s forgiven Brent, showed no visible reaction as the verdict was read. She walked out of the courtroom with Brent’s family, offering no comment to reporters.

“If being mad at Josh would bring Jerry back, I would be the No. 1 person. I would be mad as hell at him,” Jackson told the Dallas Morning News last month.

Brent, who announced his retirement in July, faces up to 20 years in prison, although he is eligible for probation. The punishment phase of the trial begins Thursday.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones released a brief statement Wednesday expressing “our concerns for all the families and individuals that have been affected by the tragedy of Jerry Brown’s death.”

– A member of the Raiders cheerleading squad filed suit against the team for failing to pay minimum wages.

In a proposed class action filing, the woman identified as Lacy T. says the cheerleaders get $125 per home game, or $1,250 per season, which amount to less than $5 per hour when factoring in rehearsals, charity events and the team’s swimsuit photo-shoot. She also says the team withholds pay until the end of the season, in violation of state law.

“I love being a Raiderette, but someone has to stand up for all of the women of the NFL who work so hard for the fans and the teams,” she said in a statement released through her lawyer, Sharon Vinick. “I hope cheerleaders across the NFL will step forward to join me in demanding respect and fair compensation.”

Vinick said the Raiders — apparently aware of the lawsuit — tried to offer the cheerleaders a bump in pay last week, but the $2,780 it offered Lacy still was less than the promised contractual rate of $125 for an eight-hour shift in a home game.

– With the Super Bowl headed for snow-covered New Jersey in 10 days, Real Clear Sports has a list of the top 10 sports events affected by weather.

No. 1 is the Packers-Cowboys NFL championship game in 1967, known as the Ice Bowl for the frigid conditions in Green Bay. No. 2 is the Bengals-Chargers AFC championship game in 1982 that’s become known as the Freezer Bowl. No. 3 is the 1988 playoff game in Chicago between the Bears and Eagles that was played in a fog.

There are two games with Boston connections:. No. 4 is the Patriots’ playoff victory over the Raiders in the 2002 Tuck Rule game, as New England rallied in the snow for the overtime victory. No. 8 is the Stanley Cup finals in 1988, when the Bruins-Oilers game at Boston Garden was cut short due to a power outage caused by the hot May day.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 23, 1981, the Red Sox traded Fred Lynn and Steve Renko to the Angels for pitchers Frank Tanana and Jim Dorsey and which outfielder/designated hitter?

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Read More: Jerry Brown, Josh Brent,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Lakers say improving Kobe Bryant could return for preseason 07.19.13 at 8:04 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.

MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, MLB Network; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cubs at Rockies, 8:30 p.m. (WGN)
Soccer: Liga MX, Morella vs. Queretaro, 8:25 p.m. (ESPN2)
Cycling: Tour de France, 6 a.m. (NBCSN)
Golf: British Open, 4 a.m. (ESPN)


‘™¦ Kobe Bryant, who last week expressed optimism about his recovery from a torn Achilles he suffered during the playoffs in April, might be back even earlier than expected.

“I would bet a lot of money on him coming back in the preseason,” Lakers vice president Jim Buss said Thursday in an interview with NBA TV at the Las Vegas Summer League (via the Los Angeles Times). “He’s going to come back when he is right. I see him coming back at the beginning of this season.”

Following the departure of Dwight Howard (free agent) and Metta World Peace (amnesty waiver), the Lakers are in need of a boost. An early return from Bryant would provide just that.

For what it’s worth, commissioner David Stern rejected a suggestion that the Lakers are conceding that they’re in for another long season.

“I expect that the Lakers aren’t thinking about the premise of your question, which implies that they’re not going to do better next year than they did the last year,” Stern told reporters in Las Vegas. “I don’t want to speculate beyond that, but I can tell you that’s not the basis upon which the Lakers are functioning. They expect to have a much better year.”

‘™¦ Josh Brent retired from the Cowboys as he prepares to face an intoxication manslaughter charge in the car crash that caused the death of teammate and close friend Jerry Brown.

Brent, 25, has not played since the Dec. 8 accident. He was placed on the reserve non-football injury list at the end of last season. He is free on bond, despite twice testing positive for marijuana.

“I am at a point where my main focus is all about getting the priorities in my life in order,” Brent said in a statement from the team. “Those priorities are more important than football. Doing the right things in life are more important than football. I love the game very much. I love my teammates, but this is the right thing for me to do.”

Team owner Jerry Jones said he remains supportive of Brent.

“I promised Jerry’s mother that we would support Josh in every way we could,” Jones said. “That’s been our only thought since the accident is to support him and support our team in their support of him.”

‘™¦ Comedian Jerry Seinfeld, a well-known Mets fan, expressed his disappointment with fellow fans at Citi Field who booed some of baseball’s best players during Tuesday night’s All-Star Game.

“This is one of the lowest moments of my lifetime of Mets fandom, when the Citi Field crowd was booing [players] that they see as rivals to their Mets team,” Seinfeld said in an interview with New York sports radio station WFAN (via CBS 2 New York). “And I’€™m standing there, I was in shock. I was embarrassed. I thought it was horrible manners. ‘€¦ These are the best players, in the game you love, that have come here to put on a show for you, and we’€™re booing them like 5-year-olds. As if there’€™s some sort of real animosity.”

“The American League is not the Taliban,” he added. “What are we booing Miguel Cabrera [for]? ‘€¦ So, I was very embarrassed by that.”

On the positive side, Seinfeld said he was happy to see the stadium show some class late in the game toward a crosstown rival.

“I felt redeemed by the reception that we gave Mariano Rivera,” Seinfeld said, “and that brilliantly staged farewell.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 19, 1933, when the Red Sox played the Senators, brothers on opposing teams hit home runs for the first time in major league history. Who were the brothers (who later teamed up on the Sox)?

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Read More: Jerry Seinfeld, Josh Brent, kobe bryant,
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Manny Ramirez singles in first at-bat in minors 07.08.13 at 7:53 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’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.

MLB: Red Sox at Mariners, 10:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Nationals at Phillies, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA Summer League: Thunder vs. Magic, 11 a.m. (NBA)
NBA Summer League: 76ers vs. Pacers, 1 p.m. (NBA)
NBA Summer League: Celtics vs. Pistons, 3 p.m. (NBA)
NBA Summer League: Nets vs. Heat, 5 p.m. (NBA)


‘™¦ Manny Ramirez singled on the first pitch he saw and went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout in his debut for the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock, Texas, on Sunday night.

The 41-year-old Ramirez, who is trying to return to the majors after retiring on controversial terms early in the 2011 season, batted cleanup as the Express’ designated hitter in a 4-0 victory over Omaha.

“I am just happy, my wife is happy,” Ramirez told reporters after being welcomed by 8,910 fans who chanted his name. “I am working very hard and we’ll see where it goes. But it is a fun ride.”

The former Red Sox star expressed confidence he get get back to the majors and finish on his terms, rather than with the threat of a suspension from Major League Baseball for performance-enhancing drugs being the reason he stopped playing.

“We all do a lot of things when we are young, but if you can make it through the fire, you are changed, made better and ready for anything else,” he said.

‘™¦ Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent, whose bail was revoked June 27 after two failed drug tests, was released from jail on Sunday pending his trial for intoxication manslaughter.

Brent allegedly was driving his truck on Dec. 8 when it crashed, killing teammate Jerry Brown. Authorities said Brent’s blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

Brent, who remains on the Cowboys roster, tested positive for marijuana and May and again in June.

‘™¦ Giants linebacker Don Connor became the latest NFL player to be arrested this offseason, as he was taken into custody at Philadelphia International Airport on Saturday after a switchblade was found in his luggage.

Connor, 27, was charged with possession of an offensive weapon and released on his own recognizance.

A team spokesman said Connor is “cooperating with the authorities in Philadelphia.”

Connor, who played last season with the Cowboys before signing with the Giants in March, is the 30th active NFL player to be arrested since the Super Bowl. Four free agents also have been arrested.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 8, 1994, which Red Sox infielder turned an unassisted triple play in the top of the sixth — and then homered to lead off the bottom of the inning — during a 4-3 victory over the Mariners?

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Read More: Dan Connor, Josh Brent, Manny Ramirez,
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Tim Tebow reportedly will ask out of New York if Jets continue to bypass him 12.19.12 at 7:57 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.

NBA: Cavaliers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE: WEEI-FM)
NBA: Nets at Knicks, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Bucks at Grizzlies, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Cornell at Duke, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Mount St. Mary’s at Indiana, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Xavier vs. Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Oregon at UTEP, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: North Carolina at Texas, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Oakland at West Virginia, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Souther Carolina State at Iowa, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Mississippi at Loyola Marymount, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)


‘™¦ Greg McElroy was named Jets starter following Mark Sanchez‘ five-turnover performance Monday night, and apparently that’s not sitting well with Tim Tebow. According to a report from the New York Daily News, Tebow will ask to be traded or released after the season if he does not get more of an opportunity in the last two games.

Jets coach Rex Ryan said Sanchez respected the coach’s decision to bench him, but Ryan has not publicly addressed the Tebow situation.

“I want to put Greg out there,” Ryan said Tuesday. “I’m going to put Greg out there. In my opinion, that’s what’s best for our team.”

Meanwhile, a Jets fan who sent Sanchez death threats on Twitter following the team’s Monday night loss to the Titans told the New York Daily News that he wasn’t serious and doesn’t understand why people are angry about his behavior.

The man, who identified himself as 25-year-old Bravee Grandcu, said he lost $700 when Sanchez fumbled away the Jets’ chances at winning, and he claims Sanchez did it on purpose, so he tweeted:


Grandcu told the Daily News that he doesn’t own a gun and was never going to be violent.

“I don’t know why everyone’s making such a big deal about the death threats,” he said. “I guess it’s just because he’s Mark Sanchez and he’s famous.”

‘™¦ The bond for Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent, who faces a charge of intoxication manslaughter in the death of teammate Jerry Brown, was reduced from $500,000 to $100,000 on Tuesday. Brent also was ordered to wear an electronic monitor.

Brent appeared on the Cowboys sideline for Sunday’s game against the Steelers, but he will not be allowed back on the field this season, according to an ESPN report. Team owner Jerry Jones said he didn’t know about Brent’s appearance until he saw him on television. The team and the league reportedly agreed that Brent would not return.

‘™¦ Albert Elias, a 41-year-old agent who founded Elias Sports Management and represents eight current NFL players, reportedly died while on a skiing trip.

Free agent safety Chris Harris confirmed the news on Twitter, as did a number of fellow agents.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 19, 2001, the Red Sox traded catcher Scott Hatteberg to the Rockies for a player they did not tender a contract to, making him a free agent. Two years later, they signed the same player to a one-year deal and he played for the Sox’ 2004 World Series championship team. Who is he?

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Read More: Albert Elias, Greg McElroy, Josh Brent, Mark Sanchez
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Some NFL players reportedly turn in guns after KC tragedy 12.10.12 at 7:30 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’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.

NFL: Texans at Patriots, 8:30 p.m. (WCVB, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Pistons at 76ers, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)


‘™¦ At least seven NFL players have surrendered their guns to team personnel in the wake of last week’s murder-suicide in Kansas City, according to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King.

King, who revealed the information on NBC’s “Football Night in America” pregame show Sunday night, reported that one player turned in multiple weapons, saying that he didn’t trust himself with the guns.

Following last week’s incident involving Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, it’s been speculated that about 70 percent of NFL players own at least one gun, with many owning more than one.

‘™¦ The Cowboys managed to win Sunday, posting a 20-19 road victory over the Bengals one day after the death of linebacker Jerry Brown and the arrest of defensive lineman Josh Brent on charges of intoxication manslaughter (Brent was released on bond Sunday afternoon).

“It’s a hard, hard situation we’re in,” quarterback Tony Romo said. “There’s no playbook for this sort of thing in life.”

Added defensive end Marcus Spears: “This was a step in the healing process for us. But we haven’€™t dealt with a lot yet — remembering Jerry and keeping his memory alive, dealing with Josh and supporting him in whatever way we can. That’€™s still to come.”

Meanwhile, according to a report from Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan, injured Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff had a “volcanic” argument with team owner Jerry Jones last week.

Ratliff, who signed a five-year, $40 million extension last year, had just 25 tackles and 10 quarterback pressures this season before sitting out the last three games. He’s missed seven games in all this year with join, ankle and foot problems.

Jones, a familiar figure in the locker room after games, reportedly approached Ratliff after last Sunday’s victory over the Eagles and said, “We need you.” Ratliff’s response was an angry one.

“They’re both passionate men and great men and they want to win, that’s all it is,” a source told the station. “But they were in each other’s faces. People had to intervene.”

‘™¦ Spurs guard Stephen Jackson was fined $25,000 by the NBA and apologized for his threatening tweet toward Thunder center Serge Ibaka. Jackson sent his message after Ibaka tangled with Jackson’s friend and former teammate, Lakers forward Metta World Peace, on Friday night.

Wrote Jackson: Somebody tell serb Abaka. He aint bout dis life. Next time he run up on me im goin in his mouth. That’s a promise. He doin 2 much.

After the NBA and the Spurs condemned Jackson’s comments, Jackson sent out a much more well-written apology:

Tweeted Jackson: I apologize to Serge Ibaka, the NBA, and to all my fans for the comments I made. It was unprofessional and childish. I’m not a thug just a man who speaks his mind. It was not appropriate. I do apologize. Only a man can admit when he’s wrong.

Jackson and the former Ron Artest were teammates with the Pacers in 2004, when they both took part in the infamous brawl in the stands in Detroit that led to long suspensions.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 10, 1980, the Red Sox sent the left side of their infield — shortstop Rick Burleson and third baseman Butch Hobson — to the Angels for which three players?

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Read More: Jerry Brown, Josh Brent, Jovan Belcher, Metta World Peace