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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Robinson Cano respects Mariano Rivera’s opinion that he lacks drive to be best 05.07.14 at 8:00 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Reds at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Dodgers at Nationals, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at White Sox, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA playoffs: Wizards at Pacers, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Clippers at Thunder, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Penguins at Rangers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Aston Villa at Manchester City, 2:40 p.m. (NBCSN)


— Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano was asked Tuesday for his reaction to criticism from former Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera, who questioned Cano’s desire.

Rivera writes in his forthcoming book, “I don’t think Robby burns to be the best,” like most elite players. Rivera also said he would take Dustin Pedroia as his second baseman if he had to win one game.

Cano, who left New York to sign a free agent deal with Seattle in the offseason, took the high road.

“Everybody has a different opinion. That’s his opinion and I have to respect his opinion,” Cano told reporters Tuesday before the Mariners played the A’s in Oakland. “I’€™m not going to go too far into this. That’€™s the only thing that I can say. My focus right now is this team. I’€™m here, we’€™re winning. I was over there already and now I’€™m here and now I’€™m focused on the team. I’€™m going to be excited for my teammates.”

Added Cano: “How does Mariano feel? I respect that and I’€™m always going to have respect for him, a guy that I spent nine years with and for me is always going to be the best closer. That’€™s how I feel.”

— The NBA announced Tuesday that Clippers president Andy Roeser is taking an indefinite leave of absence as the league restructures the franchise following the ban handed out to owner Donald Sterling.

“This will provide an opportunity for a new CEO to begin on a clean slate and for the team to stabilize under difficult circumstances,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said.

Roeser, who came under fire when he released a statement questioning whether it was Sterling’s voice on the recording from V. Stiviano, has worked for the Clippers since 1984 and was named president in 2007.

“I knew they were going to bring in a new CEO eventually, but it is [a surprise],” coach Doc Rivers said of the timing, as his team is in a second-round playoff series against the Thunder. “I just didn’t know about it. I’m glad I didn’t know about it, actually. I think the NBA is doing their job, and we’re just trying to keep this thing together.”

— The Jets are the latest NFL team to be sued by a former cheerleader claiming the club pays less than minimum wage, following similar suits against the Raiders, Bengals and Bills.

NBC Bay Area reports that a plaintiff identified as Krystal C. filed a class-action suit Tuesday against the team. The Jets appear to be more accommodating than the other teams facing suits — paying $150 per game and $100 per special event — but Krystal alleges that her salary dropped to $3.77 per hour after factoring in the “off the clock” hours the cheerleaders are expected to work, such as showing up to games 3 1/2 hours early, selling calendars and helping at junior cheerleader camps. Adding hair, makeup and transportation expenses drops the wage to $1.50 per hour.

“Cheering in that field in that live stadium with thousands of fans and players is an experience you’ll never forget,” said Krystal, a 25-year-old Connecticut resident who worked for the team in 2012. “But I started feeling that there is this unfairness. I did all the math, and our paycheck wasn’t summing up.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 7, 1997, which Red Sox catcher — who would go on to greater fame as a member of the Athletics’ “Moneyball” team in 2002 — hit his first career home run (along with his second) in an 11-3 rout of the Twins?

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Read More: Andy Roeser, Dustin Pedroia, Mariano Rivera, Robinson Cano
Mariano Rivera to David Ortiz in documentary: ‘No desire anymore’ for baseball 10.16.13 at 11:27 am ET
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A documentary detailing Mariano Rivera‘€™s final year as a major leaguer will reveal a surprise to some when it airs on Sunday on Fox: Rivera couldn’€™t wait for the season to be over.

The legendary Yankees closer was videotaped airing his anticipation for the end of the season when he and David Ortiz went out to dinner in Boston during a Red Sox-Yankees series in September.

‘€œI can’€™t wait for the moment when this is over,’€ Rivera tells the Red Sox slugger in Spanish in the documentary, as reported by the New York Post. ‘€œI’€™m ready for it already, brother. I’€™m ready for it. Mentally and physically, I’€™m ready for it. There’€™s no desire anymore.’€

The documentary, titled ‘€œBEING: Mariano Rivera,’€ follows Rivera throughout 2013, chronicling his life both on the playing field and at home.

Rivera announced before the start of the year that the 2013 season would be his last. Opposing teams at every ballpark he visited honored him and left him with parting gifts.

His career was put in doubt last season when he tore his ACL shagging fly balls during batting practice in early May at Kansas City. But Rivera was determined to avoid making the image of him clutching his knee in pain on the warning track of Kaufmann Stadium the last.

He looked like vintage Rivera this season, as he posted a 2.11 ERA, a 1.047 WHIP and 44 saves, but the Yankees failed to make the playoffs.

Read More: David Ortiz, Mariano Rivera,
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 home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

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)


‘€¢ 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
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees fans irate after Mariano Rivera bobbleheads arrive late 09.25.13 at 8:17 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Rockies, 8:40 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Nationals at Cardinals, 1:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Pirates at Cubs, 2:10 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Rays at Yankees, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Dodgers at Giants, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL preseason: Penguins at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NHL Network)


‘€¢ The Yankees were blanked by the Rays, 7-0, on Tuesday night, putting them on the brink of elimination from the playoff race, but that’s not what had the New York crowd upset.

Fans poured into Yankee Stadium expecting to receive a Mariano Rivera bobblehead doll in honor of the legendary reliever who is retiring after the season, but the figurines did not arrive at the park in time due to transportation problems. The first 18,000 fans instead were given vouchers to redeem when the collectibles showed up.

In the third inning, the bobbleheads finally were ready for distribution, and fans proceeded to wait for more than an hour in line to get theirs. Some fans were still in line at the end of the game. Incensing some in the park, fans in the most expensive seats had their bobbleheads delivered to them.

“It’s a disgrace that this is how the Yankees treat their fans,” Dennis Houston of Queens told the New York Post, after waiting line through the end of the game and beyond.

Yankees media relations director Jason Zillo tried to take a positive approach.

“It’s a testament to so many people in the organization that we accomplished what we did, given the hand that we were dealt,” he said.

‘€¢ NBA stars Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade star in a Gatorade commercial in which both players have nightmares about losing a one-on-one battle against each other. On Tuesday, their real-life rivalry became more interesting after Wade took offense at a slight from the Thunder star.

Asked about Sports Illustrated’s list of the top 100 NBA players of 2014, Durant (ranked second behind LeBron James) said he would move up former teammate James Harden from No. 11 into the top 10. Asked which player he would displace to include Harden, Durant replied: “Dwyane Wade.”

Wade, whose Heat beat the Thunder in the 2012 NBA Finals and repeated as champs this year, posted his response via a handwritten letter he photographed and posted on Instagram. The letter read: Kevin Durant said James Harden should replace me in the Top 10’€¦ Note to self* Make him respect your place in history’€¦ again’€¦

Tweeted Durant: “Show me don’t tweet me..


‘€¢ Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson is expected to miss at least a month after breaking both bones in his left forearm in an early morning car accident Tuesday caused by a falling box of pizza. According to Michigan State Police (via The Detroit News), Burleson crashed his GMC Yukon SUV into a center median wall around 2:25 a.m. after being distracted by pizza falling off his front seat. Police also said there was no probable cause to suspect Burleson was intoxicated.

Burleson, who has a team-high 19 receptions through three games, was scheduled to have surgery Wednesday morning.

“Anytime you’€™re in a highway accident, there’€™s potential for worse than broken bones,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. “I think he was fortunate in this case, and we were fortunate in this case, that it wasn’€™t more than that.

“I think we’€™ve all dealt with some sort of distraction driving before. I’€™ve cured myself of texting and driving. I did it for about two months. Now I got that SYNC thing with the Fords. I never even touch my cell phone in the car, but the thing I probably need to cure myself of is eating and driving. There’€™s too many times I leave the office real late at night, and you grab something and I’€™ve had it happen, drop it on your lap or do something else. That’€™s stuff we all need to learn from. So yeah, we were lucky in that case. We’€™ll miss him for the time he’€™s out. We’€™ll see how long that’€™ll be, but we know it’€™s not a career-ender, it’€™s not a season-ender, at least at this point.”

‘€¢ NBA veteran Lamar Odom emerged from hiding — reportedly he’s been getting help for his substance-abuse problem — to take a shot at his father. Joe Odom got the ball rolling when he gave an interview to Radar Online and expressed his dissatisfaction with his son’s wife, reality TV star Khloe Kardashian, and her family, especially Kardashian’s mother, Kris Jenner.

“I blame Kris in particular, she’s been through a lot of stuff herself,” said Joe Odom, a former heroin addict who abandoned his family when Lamar was very young. “She’s no Cinderella. I can’t really say if the Kardashians are doing drugs, but my son would never use hard drugs. I can’t pinpoint right now who’s giving it to him, but I’m going to investigate. The Kardashians haven’t been a good influence on my son.”

Lamar responded with a Twitter diatribe in which he took his father to task, noting that Joe “was absent ALL of my life due to his own demons.”

Wrote Lamar: He is my downfall! His own demons may be the ONLY thing he gave 2 me. He disrespecting the ONLY FAMILY that has loved me without expecting anything in return. They are the ONLY ones that have been here consistently 4 me during this dark time. Only person 2 blame is myself. Say what you want about me but leave the ones who have done nothing but protect and love me out of this! This goes out to everyone!

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Sept. 25, 1965, the legendary Satchel Paige pitched three shutout innings for the Kansas City Athletics against the Red Sox. The 59-year-old former Negro Leagues star, who was making his first major league appearance since 1953, allowed only one hit — a first-inning double to which Sox player?

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Read More: Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, Lamar Odom, Mariano Rivera
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees defend post-9/11 actions after criticism from Bobby Valentine 09.12.13 at 8:29 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Yankees at Orioles, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Pirates, 7 p.m. (WGN)
NFL: Jets at Patriots, 8:25 p.m. (Ch. 5, NFL Network)
College football: Troy at Arkansas State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: TCU at Texas Tech, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Tulane at Louisiana Tech, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)
WNBA: Minnesota at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)


‘€¢ Bobby Valentine is at it again. During an interview with New York radio station WFAN on Wednesday, the former Red Sox manager was talking about his recollections of the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, when he was serving as manager of the Mets. The only problem is, his recollections continue to be different than reality.

Valentine criticized the Yankees for what he claims was a lack of effort helping the city heal after the terrorist attacks. The Yankees captured the attention of the nation after advancing to the World Series that fall, but Valentine claims his Mets were more deserving of praise.

“Let it be said that during the time from 9/11 to 9/21, the Yankees were [AWOL],” he said. “You couldn’t find a Yankee on the streets of New York City. You couldn’t find a Yankee down at Ground Zero, talking to guys who were working 24/7. Many of them didn’t live here, and so it wasn’t their fault. Many of them did not partake in all that, so there was some of that jealousy going around [from Mets players]. Like, ‘Why are we so tired? Why are we wasted? Why have we been to the funerals and the firehouses, and the Yankees are getting all the credit for bringing baseball back? And I said, ‘This isn’t about credit, guys. This is about doing the right thing.’ ”

Mariano Rivera, one of the Yankees players who did in fact spend time with families of victims in the weeks after the attacks, struggled to understand Valentine’s comments.

“It’s ridiculous,” Rivera said, via the New York Daily News. “For him to say that, I don’t know what basis he has to say that. I was there. I’m part of the Yankees. And it wasn’t just myself; a bunch of players and front office [personnel] were there.”

Added Rivera: “I don’t want to get into a ‘he said, I said.’ We know what we did. I’ll leave it at that. We know exactly what we did.”

Yankees president Randy Levine said it was “sad” that Valentine chose to “seek credit” on the 12th anniversary of 9/11. General manager Brian Cashman also questioned Valentine’s motive.

“I don’€™t know what to say to that, to be honest,” Cashman said. “I would point anybody who was covering us to go back and look what we were doing because that’€™s not what I remember. I don’€™t know what the purpose of him raising those issues is. I don’€™t agree with him. I personally was proud of our team. We did everything we thought we should be doing.

“I don’€™t understand the conversation, why we’€™re even having it here. It’€™s hard to speak to it, given everything else that’€™s going on. ‘€¦ I like Bobby. But in this case, I don’€™t understand it.”

‘€¢ A Massachusetts man attending Tuesday night’s Red Sox-Rays game was arrested Tuesday after grabbing Tampa Bay’s fuzzy blue mascot, Raymond, and was charged with disorderly intoxication, according to police in St. Petersburg, Fla. (via the Tampa Bay Times).

Trevor James Martin, 27, twice reached over a railing and grabbed Raymond by the neck, police said. The mascot pushed back and broke free.

Martin admitted that he had been drinking beer, and he was staggering and slurring his words, according to the arrest affidavit. He was released from jail early Wednesday on $100 bail.

Raymond declined to press battery charges.

‘€¢ Grambling State coach Doug Williams became the first casualty of the college football season when he was fired Wednesday after the Tigers opened the season with two losses.

Williams, a former Super Bowl-winning quarterback (Washington, 1988), led Grambling to a Southwestern Athletic Conference title in 2011, his first season in his second stint as coach at his alma mater, but he went 1-10 last year.

Williams, whose son, D.J., is a quarterback on the team, said he learned of his fate during a meeting Wednesday morning in the office of school president Frank Pogue.

“There wasn’t a lot of conversation. I told him, ‘OK,’ and I was gone,” Williams told The News Star of Monroe, La.

Running backs coach George Ragsdale, another former NFL player, is the interim head coach.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Sept. 12, 2005, David Ortiz hit his 40th home run of the season, a solo shot in the 11th inning to give the Red Sox a 6-5 victory over the Blue Jays in Toronto. With that clout, he became just the second Red Sox player to have back-to-back 40-home run seasons. Who was the first?

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Read More: bobby valentine, brian cashman, Doug Williams, Mariano Rivera
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 home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

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)


‘€¢ 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
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees’ Mariano Rivera blows three straight saves for first time in career 08.12.13 at 8:17 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Angels at Yankees, 7 p.m. (ESPN)


‘™¦ When Mariano Rivera was mowing down hitters with regularity earlier in the year, there was speculation that the legendary Yankees closer would reconsider his decision to retire at the end of the season.

That talk has quieted down, especially after Rivera blew his third consecutive save Sunday — the first time in his career he’s squandered three straight — by allowing solo home runs to Tigers sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez that tied the game at 4. The Yankees managed to pull out the win when Brett Gardner homered in the bottom of the ninth.

“Mo has bailed us out quite a few times,” said Gardner, who also had the winning single in the ninth inning Friday night after Rivera’s second straight blown save.

Rivera now has five blown saves in 40 opportunities this season.

Explained the 43-year-old: “Those balls were up, not where they were supposed to be. I didn’t throw the ball where I wanted. [On Friday] we won, and this one we won, and that’s the main thing.”

Also in the game, Alex Rodriguez hit his first home run, calling it “a step in the right direction” as he moved with 12 homers of Willie Mays for fourth all-time and broke a tie with Stan Musial for sixth on the all-time RBIs list.

Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander offered limited praise for A-Rod.

“I thought he looked great, the pitch he hit for a homer, a pop-up in most ballparks,” Verlander said with a laugh. “I don’t know. It could’ve gone out in some other parks, but here it is kind of a no-doubter.”

The Yankees, who won their first series in over a month, are 10 games behind the AL East-leading Red Sox and seven games behind the A’s for the second wild card spot.

‘™¦ After helping the Orioles to a 10-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Sunday, outfielder Adam Jones tweeted that a fan threw a banana into the outfield during the game. Jones, who is black, lashed out at the unknown perpetrator.


A Giants spokesman said the team received no reports of the incident but that it would review security video.

Later Sunday night, Jones sent out two more tweets apparently related to his earlier comment.

Tweeted Jones: I love how some ppl are defending the actions by someone today. Shows how u really are also, All good wit me. I just #StayHungry.

And: Good chance this means I get off social media soon.

‘™¦ Kevin Durant might be playing in Oklahoma City, but he hasn’t forgotten where he got his start in the NBA. The Thunder star returned to Seattle on Sunday and scored 62 points in a game as part of the Jamal Crawford Summer Pro-Am.

“I just want to say I miss you guys,” Durant told a crown about 3,000 at Seattle Pacific University. “Thank you for the warm welcome. I can’t wait to come back.”

Durant was the NBA Rookie of the Year for the SuperSonics in 2008, the last year the team played in Seattle.

“It’s huge. Seattle feels like he was stolen from us. He’s arguably the second-best player in the NBA, some say he’s the first, so for us to get to see him up close and personal again; it was special for me to get to play with him,” said Seattle native Will Conroy, a journeyman pro who played in the game. “I overpassed it to him like 10 times, but I didn’t care. It was special. Even me, I couldn’t sleep last night. I was excited.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Aug. 12, 1986, which Red Sox pitcher pinch hit and singled in a 6-5 loss to the Royals in Kansas City?

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Read More: Adam Jones, alex rodriguez, Kevin Durant, Mariano Rivera
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 home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

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)


‘™¦ 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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Monday’s Morning Mashup: LeBron James gets defensive after criticism from Bulls 05.13.13 at 7:59 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL playoffs: Maple Leafs at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN, CNBC)
NHL playoffs: Rangers at Capitals, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA playoffs: Heat at Bulls, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Thunder at Grizzlies, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
MLB: Mets at Cardinals, 7 p.m. (ESPN)


‘™¦ Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was fined $35,000 by the NBA on Sunday, following his comments about the officiating after Friday night’s Game 3 loss to the Heat.

In the first half of the game, Bulls forward Nazr Mohammed was ejected after shoving LeBron James. The Bulls accused James of embellishing when he fell to the floor. Said Thibodeau: “I just saw a guy basically flop.” Thibodeau also said Chicago wasn’t “going to get calls” from the officials.

James insisted he wasn’t going to be rattled by the Bulls’ accusations.

“When you’re comfortable with who you are as a player and as a person, nothing really bothers you,” he said. “I don’t need to flop. I play an aggressive game. I don’t flop. I’ve never been one of those guys.”

Game 4 is Monday night in Chicago, where the shorthanded Bulls will attempt to even the series. Luol Deng, who is recovering after suffering complications from a spinal tap. is not expected to play, as he said he did not respond well to attempts to practice over the weekend after leaving the hospital. Kirk Hinrich and Derrick Rose are expected to remain on the sideline as well.

‘™¦ Joba Chamberlain feuded with a Yankees teammate over the weekend — and no, it wasn’t Kevin Youkilis. Surprisingly, it was respected reliever Mariano Rivera.

Rivera was giving an interview in the dugout before Saturday night’s game in Kansas City — where, one year ago, he blew out his knee shagging fly balls and was lost for the season. Chamberlain, meanwhile, was standing next to the dugout and yelling to his family in the stands. After losing his train of thought, Rivera said to Chamberlain: “Joba! Yo! Bro! Shhh.”

Chamberlain responded that he was talking to his family, something he doesn’t do as often as Rivera speaks to the media. Later, Chamberlain warned Rivera in front of the press: “Don’t ever shush me again. ‘€¦ Seriously. Don’t ever shush me again. I don’t get to see my family very often.”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said later that teammates shouldn’t disrespect each other. “When you look at situations that happen, if people could do things differently, sometimes they would do it differently,” he said.

However, Chamberlain, while admitting it was his fault, insisted it wasn’t a big deal and said: “I wouldn’t change it, I wouldn’t change anything I do in life.” He said there was no need to apologize, although he apparently did in private.

Rivera, on the other hand, apologized to reporters Sunday, saying: “These are not things that we need to bring in front of you guys or anybody. But it happened. ‘€¦ This is in-house and we keep it like that.”

‘™¦ Former Lions wide receiver Titus Young, arrested twice in one day last Sunday, made it three times in a week when he was nabbed late Friday in San Clemente, Calif., for allegedly breaking into a home. Young also fought with deputies after a foot chase.

Young was charged with attempted burglary, assaulting a police office and resisting arrest.

The 23-year-old was drafted in 2011 but released in February after a decline in production and disputes with teammates.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 13, 1991, which two former Celtics — teammates in Boston in the late 1970s — were inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame?

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Read More: joba chamberlain, LeBron James, Mariano Rivera, Titus Young
Report: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera will retire after 2013 season 03.07.13 at 1:19 pm ET
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According to multiple reports, Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is set to announce that he will retire after the season.

The Yankees reportedly have planned a press conference for 10 a.m. Saturday at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla.

Rivera, a 12-time All-Star, has 608 saves, 1,119 strikeouts and a 2.21 ERA in 18 seasons, all with the Yankees. The 43-year-old Panamanian missed most of last season after tearing his ACL on May 3 while shagging fly balls in the outfield before a game in Kansas City.

Rivera helped the Yankees win five World Series. He was named MVP of the 1999 World Series as he recorded two saves and a win in New York’s sweep of the Braves, allowing no runs in 4 2/3 innings.

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