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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Manny Ramirez homers in home debut for Triple-A Iowa Cubs 07.01.14 at 8:01 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: Cubs at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Brewers at Blue Jays1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Athletics at Tigers, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
World Cup soccer: United States vs. Belgium, 4 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
World Cup soccer: Argentina vs. Switzerland, noon (ESPN; WEEI-AM)
WNBA: Indiana Fever at Atlanta Dream, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
WNBA: Chicago Sky at Los Angeles Sparks, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 8 a.m. (ESPN, ESPN2), 11:30 a.m. (ESPNews)

AROUND THE WEB:

Manny Ramirez made his home debut for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs on Monday night and it was a good one. The former Red Sox star went 3-for-4, including a two-run home run off Royals prospect Sugar Ray Marimon. The Cubs rallied to beat the Omaha Storm Chasers, 7-6, in 10 innings, although Ramirez was not around for the comeback as he was removed in the eighth for a pinch runner.

Ramirez played in his first game for the team last Thursday (going 0-for-4 but reaching base on an error) after working out for a few weeks to get back in game shape. He’s serving as a player-coach, scheduled to make occasional appearances in the lineup while mentoring the team’s top prospects.

Asked Monday what he’s advising the young players, Ramirez — who twice was suspended by MLB for violent the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs — said: “Do the right thing, bro. Follow the rules. That’s it.”

Added Ramirez: “When you love the game and you want to help young players and give them your testimonial and the things that you went through so they don’t go through that, it’s easy,” Ramirez said. “When you come here and you’re helping young players grow up and see them go to the next level, I think that’s such a joy for yourself, to come and help somebody else. It doesn’t matter who you are. It’s who you’re going to be.”

Cubs president Theo Epstein joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning and spoke glowingly of Ramirez, who claims to be a new man after finding religion.

“Manny gave me as many problems as he gave anyone, probably besides [former Red Sox manager Terry Francona] in his time in Boston. He’s responsible for most of the gray hairs on my head. So it’s not something that we entered into lightly,” Epstein said. “But people do change. I talked a lot to Manny, and he seemed like a completely different guy. ‘€¦ He’s grown for the better. He’s open and honest about all the mistakes he’s made in the past and he wants to fix that by being a positive influence on young players.”

— The trial pitting Donald Sterling against his estranged wife will begin next Monday after lawyers for both sides agreed to no longer make an issue of the banned Clippers owner’s mental capacity.

Donald Sterling had been examined by two doctors called by Shelly Sterling who declared him incapacitated, but he since has found a physician to indicate he is competent following a weekend examination, his lawyer said.

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Read More: Donald Sterling, Manny Ramirez, ncaa, Theo Epstein
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Manny Ramirez calls return to baseball ‘blessing’ after going 0-for-4 in minor league debut for Cubs 06.27.14 at 7:37 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 Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-AM)
MLB: Rays at Orioles, Game 1, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Nationals at Cubs, 4 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Rays at Orioles, Game 2, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL: Draft, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
Track and field: U.S. Outdoor Championships, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 7 a.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Manny Ramirez made his debut as player/coach for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs on Thursday, playing left field in the second game of a doubleheader on the road against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Wearing No. 44 and batting sixth, the former Red Sox star went 0-for-4, reaching base on an error in his first at-bat before striking out twice and lining out in a 7-6 loss.

“They just made good pitches,” Ramirez told MLB.com. “But it’s been such a long time since I faced a pitcher, so it felt great.”

Said Ramirez: “It feels great just to be here … and to help the young guys [by] just telling them my experiences and the things that I’ve went through. It’s a blessing just to be here.”

It was Ramirez’s first professional game since playing in Triple-A for the Rangers last summer. He’s expected to play 1-2 times per week and possibly make additional appearances as a pinch-hitter.

“He’s a coach first and a player second,” Iowa manager Marty Pevey said. “He’s here to help our young players make the transition from the minor leagues to the big leagues and to show them how hard he works, how well he works, which he does an unbelievable job.”

Ramirez has 555 home runs in 19 major league seasons, but he also has a legacy of odd and offensive behavior. However, he claims he’s learned from his mistakes after finding religion, and apparently Cubs president Theo Epstein believes him. Epstein made it clear that Ramirez’s job is to mentor the organization’s top prospects, and the 42-year-old will not be called up to the majors, although Ramirez doesn’t sound convinced of that.

“As long as I’m here and I keep working, you never know what could happen,” Ramirez said. “I think God has a reason for me to be here. … He opened the door and I’m just here.”

— NBA commissioner Adam Silver already won over many players and fans when he banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling, and on Thursday night he made another positive statement by honoring Baylor center Isaiah Austin at the NBA draft.

Austin, the 20-year-old who had to give up basketball after recently being diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, was “drafted” by the NBA and had the chance to walk up on the stage like the other selections. It was an emotional moment for Austin and those watching.

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Read More: Adam Silver, Isaiah Austin, Manny Ramirez, Tony Gwynn
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur criticizes Habs’ postseason effort 06.05.14 at 8:01 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:
MLB: Athletics at Yankees, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA Finals: Heat at Spurs, 9 p.m. (ABC; WEEI-AM)
Tennis: French Open, 9 a.m. (ESPN2), 11 a.m. (NBC)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Canadiens knocked off the Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinals, but their conference finals loss to the Rangers did not sit well with Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur.

While members of the organization have spoken highly of the team’s solid regular season and playoff run, Lafleur told the French-language newspaper La Presse that he was not satisfied.

“Do not settle for a good season,” Lafleur said. “You do not play hockey for good seasons. You play to win the Stanley Cup, it has to be the objective. You can’t win [Game 5] and then not show up the next night.”

Lafleur was especially disappointed with the effort in the 1-0 loss in Game 6 that ended Montreal’s postseason.

“Looks like it’s as if everyone had given up,” he said. “You can’t win [Game 5] and then not show up the next night.”

Lafleur was especially critical of Thomas Vanek, whose agent said Tuesday that he will test the free agent waters, and Max Pacioretty, who just finished the first year of a six-year deal worth $27 million. Pacioretty scored a career-high 39 goals in the regular season then scored five goals in 17 playoff games (including the game-winner in Game 7 against the Bruins).

“Guys like Vanek and Pacioretty, you cannot keep them on your team,” Lafleur said. “They should stay home if they are not willing to pay the price. Your team will never win with players that fade when there is adversity.”

Manny Ramirez made his debut with the Cubs organization a memorable one, hitting a home run that reportedly traveled 450 feet during an extended spring training game in Tempe, Ariz.

The new player-coach for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs also gave the youngsters a lesson in how to show off, flipping his bat after crushing the ball.

Ramirez, 42, was signed by Cubs president Theo Epstein last week to play a couple of days per week and work with the Triple-A team’s hitters. Epstein said Ramirez will not play for the major league Cubs.

— Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes admitted he was involved in a car race on city streets with teammate Marcell Dareus, who crashed his Jaguar into a tree during Friday’s incident, which happened a few hours after practice ended. Dareus, who was not injured, was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment.

“I was there. I was involved in it,” Hughes said after Wednesday’s practice, noting that he could not elaborate because of the ongoing police investigation.

Dareus, a 2011 first-round draft pick, is taking a two-week break from OTAs after meeting with coach Doug Marrone. Dareus was arrested in his native Alabama one month earlier for possession of synthetic marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On June 5, 1989, the Red Sox had a productive draft, selecting which two players who would go on to win MVP awards — one in the American League and one in the National League?

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Read More: Guy Lafleur, Jerry Hughes, Manny Ramirez, Marcell Dareus
Manny Ramirez on PED suspensions: ‘Everybody makes mistakes’ 03.13.14 at 12:23 pm ET
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As he works out on his own and attempts to get another shot at the major leagues, former Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez finally appears to be taking personal responsibility for his two suspensions related to the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

“When you make a mistake in life, no matter what you do, you’re going to pay the price,” Ramirez told Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal in a phone interview from Miami. “That’s what happened to all of the players that did it. I’m not going to judge people. Everybody is human. Everybody makes mistakes. …

“You’re going to feel guilty about what you did. But you did it. You move on. And you learn from it.”

Added Ramirez: “In your life, you’re going to mature. Sometimes you’ve got to fall and get up to know who you really are. That’s what happened to me. I fell. I got up. Now I know what I really want in life.”

Ramirez, who indicated he’d like to become a hitting coach after he retires, said all players can learn from his mistakes — not just younger ones.

“I use myself as an example to my son who is in college, playing baseball: ‘Look what daddy went through because daddy didn’t do things right,’ ” Ramirez said. “When you do things right, you don’t have to look back. You always look forward.

“Sometimes, we get caught up in the moment. We start hanging out with the wrong people. But you know, everything in life happens for a reason, so you can appreciate what you are.

“Now I appreciate it more and I’m so hungry to get back, just to get that feeling that I used to have before. I appreciate my family more, my kids, everything that God gave me.”

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Manny Ramirez still looking for team to call him back to majors 03.07.14 at 9:59 am ET
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Manny Ramirez is not ready to retire.

While major league and minor league players go through spring training drills and games in Arizona and Florida, Ramirez is spending his spring in a community park in the area of Hialeah in Miami training.

The 41-year-old former Red Sox slugger, who had minor league deals with the Athletics and the Rangers during the past two years, does not have a team, and has not played a major league game since he was served a second suspension for violating the league’€™s anti-doping policy in 2011. Ramirez requested a release from his contracts with Oakland and Texas when the teams did not call him up to the majors.

Despite this, Ramirez, who had 555 home runs in 19 seasons, still believes he has something major league teams can use.

“My qualities are still there, and I just need an opportunity to continue showing that the “Super Manny” can help a team,” Ramirez said Thursday on “Grandes en los Deportes” on ESPN Radio.

“For now, I have no team interested, but I’€™m still working. Maybe I don’€™t have anything this week, but who knows? Maybe next week I could get a call.”

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Manny Ramirez released by Rangers 08.14.13 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.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Reds at Cubs, 2:10 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Orioles at Diamondbacks, 3:40 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Pirates at Cardinals, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Softball: Little League World Series championship, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Exhibition, U.S. vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2:25 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Exhibition, Mexico vs. Ivory Coast, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Golf: U.S. Amateur, 3 p.m. (TGC)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘€¢ The Rangers released Manny Ramirez from his minor league contract Tuesday, just over five weeks after he joined the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock, Texas.

“Based on our evaluation, there was not a spot for Manny on the club at this time,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “We released him so he could pursue other opportunities if he so chooses.”

Ramirez, 41, hit .259/.328/.370 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in 30 games, but he was without a homer in his last 22 games. The onetime Red Sox star, whose career was derailed by penalties for performance-enhancing drugs after he left Boston, began the season in Taiwan but returned to the States for another chance at the majors. He has not played in the majors since a stint with the Rays in April 2011 that ended with him retiring rather than serve a 100-game suspension for a second positive drug test.

‘€¢ Police said Tuesday that the death of Braves fan Ronald Homer Jr. at Monday’s game in Atlanta appears to have been an accident. The 6-foot-6 Homer fell over a 42-inch railing about 85 feet to a parking lot below just as the game was set to begin following a rain delay of almost two hours.

Homer, 30, fell just after ending a phone call with his mother.

“He said, ‘I love you, mom,’ and I said, ‘I love you, too,’ and that was it,” Connie Homer told The Associated Press.

Said his father, Ronald Homer: “This is going to hurt us for the rest of our life. When you lose a kid, not only your kids but your best friend, too, it’s bad.”

The Braves showed a picture of Homer on the scoreboard and held a moment of silence before Tuesday’s game.

‘€¢ ESPN fired “Numbers Never Lie” co-host Hugh Douglas following the network’s investigation into an incident last week when Douglas allegedly threatened fellow host Michael Smith at a nightclub in Orlando. The pair were at a party as part of the National Association of Black Journalists Convention when, according to reports, an inebriated Douglas attempted to climb on stage to join the DJ and became incensed when Smith refused to help, calling him a “house [N-word]” and an “Uncle Tom” and grabbing Smith before others stepped in to separate them.

The 41-year-old Douglas, who played 10 seasons at defensive end in the NFL, joined ESPN in 2011.

Douglas sent out a tweet Tuesday afternoon that read: I am very disappointed to be leaving ESPN and will have more to say about this situation and my future at the appropriate time.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Aug. 14, 1991, which Red Sox reliever recorded his 30th save in a 2-1 win over the Indians, giving him six 30-save seasons in seven years (with three teams)?

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Read More: Hugh Douglas, Manny Ramirez, Michael Smith, Ronald Homer
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Manny Ramirez wins over teammates, fans with Triple-A team 07.22.13 at 8:05 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.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Rays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Rangers, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA Summer League: Las Vegas championship, Warriors vs. Suns, 9 p.m. (NBA TV)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Manny Ramirez is hitting just .227 with three home runs in 12 games since joining the Triple-A Round Rock (Texas) Express, but the 41-year-old former Red Sox slugger is winning over teammates and fans during his stint with the Rangers’ minor league affiliate.

“The first day he came in here and said anything we want to do, just tell him,” Round Rock manager Bobby Jones told The New York Times. ‘€œI guess he had some things Texas talked to him about: his hair, his uniform was loose-fitting, it had to be right. So he comes in: ‘Does my uniform look O.K.?’ I said it looks fine to me. ‘How about my hair?’ I said it looks fine to me.

“He comes in a couple days later and I guess he had the dreadlocks out. Nolan was sitting here and he comes walking by and he asks Nolan, ‘Do you like my hair?’ And Nolan says, ‘No, I don’€™t like it at all.’ So the next day he comes in and his head was shaved.”

Added pitcher Jake Brigham: “He’€™s an incredible person. From the minute he walked in here, he was accessible. He was coming up and putting his arm around you, and he didn’€™t even know your name. Every day, he’€™s high-fiving you, excited to be here, excited to get to work.”

Ramirez, twice suspended for violating MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy, started the season in Taiwan, hitting .352 with eight home runs before heading back to the States for another shot at the majors — and a more comfortable life.

“He was saying they had to wash their own uniforms,” Jones said of Ramirez’s three months with the EDA Rhinos of the Chinese Professional Baseball League. “It was miserable. At least here, he doesn’t have to wash his own uniform.”

‘™¦ Mark Sanchez has expressed confidence that he will be the starting quarterback for the Jets when they open the season against the Buccaneers, but rookie Geno Smith isn’t giving in.

“I feel like I have a great shot,” Smith told the Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette. “I did a pretty good job overall of just adapting to the [Jets'] system and playbook and felt very comfortable with it by the end of OTAs and mandatory [minicamp].”

Smith said he thinks his steady improvement since leaving West Virginia gives him a chance to unseat Sanchez, who struggled with inconsistency and turnovers and was benched last season.

“I have a goal in mind and I’m really going to go after that,” said Smith, who fell to the second round in April’s draft. “I want to be the best. It’s going to take time and effort, and that’s what I’m willing to put in. Once I step on the field, it’s about business. I’m really appreciative to have made it to this level, but there’s a lot more for me out there, and I’m going to try and strive for it.”

‘™¦ The hits keep coming for the University of Florida football team. The program has been painted in a negative light since the arrest of Aaron Hernandez and the revelation that he was involved in an incident that ended with two men being shot while Hernandez was a Florida freshman. On Sunday morning, Gators linebacker Antonio Morrison was arrested for the second time in five weeks and was suspended by the team for at least the first two games of the season.

Morrison, who was arrested June 16 for allegedly punching a bouncer, was out walking with friends early Sunday morning when they came upon a police car and Morrison barked at the K-9 dog inside (Morrison claims the dog barked at him first and he was merely responding). Police said Morrison then resisted attempts to handcuff him.

“I’m extremely disappointed in Antonio Morrison’s decision-making,” Florida coach Will Muschamp said in a statement.

Morrison, a sophomore from Bolingbrook, Ill., was released on his own recognizance.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 22, 2004, which minor league call-up became the only left-hander to start a game for the Red Sox all season?

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Read More: Antonio Morrison, Geno Smith, Manny Ramirez, Mark Sanchez
LEEInks List: Top 10 Red Sox All-Star moments since 2000 07.16.13 at 9:46 am ET
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Baseball’€™s biggest names and top talent ‘€” including David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Clay Buchholz ‘€” are descending upon The Big Apple in preparation for the 84th annual MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field. As your own prep for the exhibition that counts, take a walk down memory lane with a look at the top 10 Red Sox All-Star moments since 2000.

10. 2002: Johnny Damon voted in as 30th man

In his first season as a Red Sox, Damon was elected as the “The All-Star 30th man,’€ the inaugural version of what has become the ‘€œFinal Vote,’€ for his first of two All-Star appearances. Damon, who joined Manny Ramirez to land two-thirds of the Sox outfield in the Midsummer Classic, started a four-run, seventh-inning rally when he singled and stole second before scoring.

9. 2007: Hideki Okajima gets in on Final Vote

The Red Sox brought in two Japanese pitchers prior to the 2007 season, but only one of them was an All-Star. Okajima, a left-handed reliever known in part for his unorthodox delivery that featured him looking away from home plate, beat out Roy Halladay and three other pitchers in that year’€™s Final Vote to join fellow Sox hurlers Josh Beckett and Jonathan Papelbon.

8. 2006: With all-Red Sox/Yankees infield, AL wins again

With Yankees Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter starting on the left side of the infield, Ortiz was voted the AL’€™s first baseman (the game was played under NL rules at PNC Park in Pittsburgh) and Mark Loretta, in his only season as a Red Sox, played second. Jeter, Ortiz and Rodriguez were 2-3-4 in the batting order, but the foursome went hitless.

In the fifth, Loretta gave way to the Rangers’€™ Michael Young, whose two-run triple in the top of the ninth was enough to earn him MVP honors and give the AL a 3-2 win.

7. 2005: Four Red Sox voted in as starters

A year after winning the World Series, four Red Sox ‘€” Jason Varitek, Manny Ramirez, Ortiz and Damon ‘€” were selected by fans to be starters for the AL squad managed by Terry Francona. (Right-hander Matt Clement also made the team after a 10-win first half.)

The Red Sox crew went a combined 4-for-8 with two runs scored, an RBI and a walk. Ortiz drove in Damon with a line-drive single to right in the third as the AL won, again, 7-5.

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Read More: David Ortiz, Derek Lowe, hanley ramirez, jason varitek
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.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
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)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ 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,
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Manny Ramirez agrees to minor league deal with Rangers 07.04.13 at 8:23 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:
MLB: Padres at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Brewers at Nationals, 11 a.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Athletics, 4 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Mariners at Rangers, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
Canadian Football League: Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Montreal Alouettes, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 8 a.m. (ESPN)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Manny Ramirez is getting another shot at the majors, and he even agreed to cut off his dreadlocks for the opportunity.

Ramirez, the former Red Sox star who was twice suspended for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, agreed to a minor league deal with the Rangers. He’s slated to report to Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday to start working out, and he’ll serve as designated hitter when he is activated. He agreed to “comply with our minor league rules on appearance and discipline,” said Rangers general manager Jon Daniels.

“[My salary] is the minimum wage, but for me it’s too much money,” Ramirez told ESPNDeportes.com, adding: “I feel blessed spiritually; I have no words to describe how happy I am.”

The 41-year-old has not played in the majors since early in the 2011 season with the Rays. He recently returned from Taiwan, where he hit .352 with eight home runs and 43 RBIs for the EDA Rhinos of the Chinese Professional Baseball League.

“It’s kind of a no-risk flier,”Daniels said. “We like giving guys second chances. We know on and off the field the good and bad in Manny’s career. But we’re inclined to give him an opportunity here.”

Added Daniels: “We’re really just kind of going off the resume here a little bit. If he’s productive and we feel he fits our culture here in the clubhouse, we’ll give him an opportunity. If either of those ends don’t pan out, then kind of no harm, no foul.”

Ramirez was traded from the Red Sox in 2008, when Dave Magadan was in his second year as Red Sox hitting coach. Magadan, now the Rangers hitting coach, filled in his new team about Ramirez’s questionable behavior at Fenway.

“There were some bridges that were burned in Boston,” Magadan said. “It was unfortunate the way it ended up there because he did a lot of good things while he was there. But in the end it wasn’t pretty.”

‘™¦ Alex Rodriguez grounded out twice in his second rehab start for the Class-A Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs, leaving him without a hit in two games.

“I don’t mind if I save all my hits for New York,” joked Rodriguez, who is recovering from January hip surgery.

Rodriguez, who is scheduled to play for the Yankees‘ minor league team in Tampa on Friday, started a double play in the field, one day after coming up short on two bunts to him at third base.

“It wasn’t too bad,” he said. “That’s the first time in eight months I’ve gone out there back to back.”

The RiverDogs, who lost to the Rome (Ga.) Braves in 10 innings, 8-5, had a crowd of 7,667 after drawing 8,255 for A-Rod’s first game back on Tuesday. Rodriguez signed autographs for fans after leaving Wednesday’s game. He also posed for pictures with singer Darius Rucker, best known as the lead singer for Hootie and the Blowfish.

“I love this place,” Rodriguez said.

The feeling isn’t completely mutual. Here’s the reaction when A-Rod was introduced Tuesday.

‘™¦ Bulls guard Derrick Rose, who came under some criticism when he sat out the postseason after receiving medical clearance, admitted he was “selfish,” but he insisted he made “the right decision.”

“I’m not a selfish guy at all, but having this injury and going through what I had to go through and being smart, it’s something that I had to be selfish with,” he said in a story on the team’s website. “I couldn’t worry about anyone else but myself and my health.”

Rose called sitting out “one of the hardest things I’ve had to go through in my life.” He said fans eventually will understand why he chose that route, once he returns to action.

“I think me going on the court and showing them and letting them know it was the right decision,” he said.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 4, 1983, Yankees left-hander Dave Righetti no-hit the Red Sox, allowing just two walks. Which Sox player struck out to end the game?

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