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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Andy Pettitte latest Yankee to go down with injury 05.17.13 at 8:07 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 Twins, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Mets at Cubs, 2:10 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Dodgers at Braves, 7:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL playoffs: Senators at Penguins, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA playoffs: Knicks at Pacers, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA: Scouting combine, 10 a.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte leaves Thursday's game with a back injury. (AP)

♦ The Yankees, who have managed to overcome a rash of injuries and grab first place in the American League East, continued their march to the trainer’s room Thursday, as veteran pitcher Andy Pettitte left a 3-2 loss to the Mariners in the fifth inning with a tight left trapezius muscle in his back.

“It was affecting his velocity, and that’s why I took him out. It’s muscular, but I don’t know what that means moving forward,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He works through a lot, that’s the bottom line. But when I saw the arm speed …”

Pettitte, 40, missed a start earlier in the season with another back issue, but he’s not sure if this is related.

“I couldn’t get extension at all,” Pettitte said. “I felt like I was cutting almost everything off. It’s trying to throw it in there almost slower than slow, to tell you the truth.”

Added Pettitte: “There’s no doubt I’m getting old, but I don’t want to sit here and say that’s the exact reason for this. I feel good, and you’d think that at the intense level I had to compete last year [beginning spring training late in his comeback season], that’s when I would have broken down.”

Catcher Chris Stewart also departed Thursday’s game early, leaving for an MRI on his left groin after pulling up while running the bases in the seventh inning.

“You’ve got to move forward. That’s the bottom line,” Girardi said. “Injuries are a part of the game, and some years you’re going to have more than others. Right now we have more than a few. … It’s no excuse. You have to find a way to get it done.”

Sacramento appears set to remain an NBA city, as the Maloof family reportedly agreed to sell a 65 percent share of the Kings to a local group headed by software tycoon Vivek Ranadive. The NBA, which has pushed for the team to remain in Sacramento despite the Maloofs efforts to sell to a group that wanted to move the franchise to Seattle, is expected to approve the deal next week.

“It’s the start of a new era,” Ranadive said.

The plan includes a new $447 million downtown arena that already has been approved by the Sacramento City Council, after urging from Mayor Kevin Johnson.

♦ Former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle died Thursday in North Carolina, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 71.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said Trickle called and said “there would be a dead body and it would be his.” His body was found near his pickup truck at a cemetery in Boger City, N.C., about 40 miles northwest of Charlotte.

Trickle was the Winston Cup Rookie of the Year in 1989 at age 48 and competed in more than 300 Cup races.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Dick Trickle on his passing today,” NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said. “Dick was a legend in the short-track racing community, particularly in his home state of Wisconsin, and he was a true fan favorite. Personalities like Dick Trickle helped shape our sport. He will be missed.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 17, 1971, the Red Sox signed which pitcher who was released by the Twins in March and then signed and released by the Braves?

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Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson vows to fight to keep NBA’s Kings from moving to Seattle 01.23.13 at 9:44 am ET
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Sacramento Mayor (and former NBA player) Kevin Johnson remains committed to keeping the Kings. (AP)

Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson warned Seattle basketball fans not to celebrate the return of their SuperSonics just yet, because he and a group of Sacramento investors are aiming to make a counteroffer to the offer from the group that intends to move the Kings to Seattle.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Johnson announced that 19 local investors had pledged to contribute at least $1 million to the bid to keep the Kings in town, and a 20th reportedly joined in later in the day.

“Let me be very clear,” Johnson said to the crowd gathered in the lobby of Sacramento City Hall. “We are going to do everything that we can to create an environment where we can keep what’s ours, our team, here in Sacramento.”

In addition to those 20 local investors, Ron Burkle, the billionaire owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins who helped keep them from moving to Kansas City, and Mark Mastrov, the founder of 24 Hour Fitness, have also reportedly expressed interest in the Kings. According to The Sacramento Bee, city officials are calling them a potential ownership “dream team”.

Johnson, who played in the NBA for 12 years as a point guard, mostly with Phoenix, said he hopes to present a plan to the NBA Board of Governors in April when they meet to decide whether to sell the Kings to the Seattle-based group led by Chris Hansen.

Sacramento managed to keep the Kings from moving to Anaheim in 2011. Michael McCann, a sports law expert at the University of New Hampshire and a legal analyst for NBA TV, told the Seattle Times it’s unlikely, but not impossible, that the Kings will stay in Sacramento this time.

“I think that the odds are very high that the Kings will be moving to Seattle,” McCann said Tuesday. “I think clearly there is an agreement between the relevant parties in terms of Hansen and the Maloofs [current controlling owners of the Kings] to make that happen. I also think there seems to be support from other NBA officials and owners, that this is going to be OK with them. So it seems like it’s well set up for succeeding. But it’s not a done deal, and Kevin Johnson, if there is a mayor out there that has influence in the NBA, none have more than Kevin Johnson.”

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Singer tells Jonathan Papelbon to get new closer song 03.07.12 at 7:35 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: Celtics at 76ers, 7 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI)
NBA: Hawks at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Grizzlies at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Big East tournament, West Virginia vs. UConn, noon (ESPN)
College basketball: Big East tournament, Georgetown vs. Pittsburgh, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Big East tournament, Louisville vs. Seton Hall, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NEC championship, Robert Morris at LIU, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Big East tournament, Villanova vs. South Florida, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Big Sky championship, Weber State at Montana, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Maple Leafs at Penguins, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon needs a new entrance song to go with his new team. (AP)

♦ Dropkick Murphys lead singer Ken Casey said Jonathan Papelbon can no longer use “Shipping up to Boston” as his entrance song now that the closer has left the Red Sox for the Phillies. “That’s not Pap’s song,” Casey said. “That’s the [Boston] closer’s song.”

Casey, a huge Boston sports fan, said he plans to meet with Papelbon to finalize plans for the player to be a spokesman for the Philadelphia branch of The Claddagh Fund, a charity Casey founded. Casey also said he’ll help Papelbon find a new song, while offering “Shipping up to Boston” to new Sox closer Andrew Bailey.

♦ Jets free agent receiver Plaxico Burress, who last week expressed an interest in playing for the Eagles, said it’s a “great possibility” that he would return to his previous team, the Giants. Burress was a member of the Giants when he received a prison sentence for bringing a loaded gun to a nightclub (and accidentally shooting himself).

The 34-year-old claimed it was his decision not to sign with the Giants last offseason, after he was released from prison.

“I don’t have any regrets at all,” Burress said in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “It was a decision that I made personally not to go back at that time. … I just kind of said to myself I just wanted to go somewhere and have a fresh start, and just go out and let everything kind of be new to me. That was basically the reason I didn’t turn to the Giants. I don’t have anything against them personally. Just for those guys to bring me back and talk to me and see if I wanted to come back, I have enough respect for those guys just off of that alone. But I just made a decision to go somewhere and have a fresh start.

“And I made the decision to go to the Jets. Like I said earlier, they’re a championship-caliber football team and I believe they will win a Super Bowl one day. And when free agency starts, we’ll see who the guys are who are knocking on the door.”

♦ The city of Sacramento officially approved the deal to build a new arena and keep the Kings, with the City Council voting 7-2 Tuesday to approve the plan. That set off a celebration outside the chambers and downtown. “Long live Sacramento, and long live the Kings!” shouted Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star who returned home and helped broker the deal.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On March 7, 1995, which Celtic became the ninth NBA player to record 25,000 career points when he netted 19 during a 115-10 loss to the Knicks?

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Sacramento Kings reach long-term arena deal 02.27.12 at 3:23 pm ET
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Since 1985, the Kings have stood as Sacramento’s only professional sports franchise, but over the last couple of years, the team’s future in northern California appeared to be in jeopardy, largely because the the franchise and city had yet to reach an agreement over a new arena to replace the aging Power Balance Pavilion.

Those doubts, at least for the time being, can now be laid to rest as the franchise has reached a tentative deal with the city of Sacramento that will keep the team in the city long-term with a new arena to be built.

Team co-owner George Maloof told The Sacramento Bee Monday that his family will put in close to $75 million up front to finance the project and then likely another $75 million over the term of the agreement.

Sacramento mayor and former NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson, and NBA commissioner David Stern had announced a joint work plan Wednesday for the team and city to reach an agreement to finance the arena by a March 1 deadline.

Kings co-owner Joe Maloof was relieved that the team was able to reach an arena deal and is looking forward to staying in Sacramento.

“I’m excited; (I’m) sure the fans are excited,” he told The Bee. “We aways said we wanted to stay. It worked out.”

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Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson says Kings are in ‘final weeks’ 03.23.11 at 10:34 am ET
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In a blog post Tuesday night, Sacramento mayor and former NBA player Kevin Johnson wrote that the franchise’s possible relocation to Anaheim “feels like a slow death” and that this “will likely be the Kings’ final weeks in Sacramento after 26 years.”

Johnson met with Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof in February and has said since then that he expects the team to leave Sacramento after the season.

The Maloofs began talking to Anaheim officials about moving the team there after years of not receiving public funding to build a new arena in Sacramento. A Kings attorney has already filed for at least four federal trademark registrations: Anaheim Royals, Anaheim Royals of Southern California, Orange County Royals and Los Angeles Royals.

The Kings were previously known as the Rochester Royals, Cincinnati Royals, Kansas City-Omaha Kings and Kansas City Kings before moving to Sacramento in 1985.

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