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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Oscar Pistorius takes stand in trial, apologizes to family of Reeva Steenkamp 04.07.14 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.

MLB: Rangers at Red Sox, 7 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Orioles at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Reds at Cardinals, 4:15 p.m. (MLB Network)
College basketball: NCAA championship, Kentucky vs. UConn, 9:10 p.m. (CBS; WEEI-AM)
Soccer: Premier League, Tottenham vs. Sunderland, 3 p.m. (NBCSN)


– Double-amputee track star Oscar Pistorius took the stand Monday morning at his murder trial in Pretoria, South Africa, and apologized to the family of Reeva Steenkamp for shooting her through a bathroom door, claiming it was an accident and that “I was simply trying to protect Reeva.”

Said an emotional Pistorious: “There hasn’t been a moment since this tragedy happened that I haven’t thought about your family. I wake up every morning and you’re the first people I think of, the first people I pray for.”

Pistorious, 27, denies prosecutors claim that he killed his 29-year-old girlfriend in a fit of rage the morning of Feb. 14, 2013, and he said he now struggles to sleep because of the incident.

“I’m just in a complete state of terror,” he said.

Pistorious faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham was arrested twice in the past four days, as he was detained Sunday on suspicion of making terrorist threats three days after he was charged with felony domestic assault.

In the initial incident, the 26-year-old Cunningham is accused of attacking his girlfriend at his suburban Minneapolis home, kicking down a bedroom door, slamming her against a wall and choking her.

Cunningham was released Friday and joined the team in time to play in Saturday’s loss to the Magic in Orlando, scoring 12 points in 34 minutes as a starter.

The Timberwolves released a statement Sunday saying: “We reiterate that the Minnesota Timberwolves do not condone the behavior described in the accusations. We continue to wait for the legal process to run its course and will have further comment when appropriate.”

NCAA president Mark Emmert said Sunday the organization has plans to change the way student-athletes are treated by their schools by allowing big conference to write their own rules.

Speaking at his annual press conference at the Final Four in Arlington, Texas, Emmert said unionization is not the answer.

“To be perfectly frank, the notion of using a union-employee model to address the challenges that exist in intercollegiate athletics is something that strikes most people as a grossly inappropriate solution to the problems,” Emmer said.

The idea to have the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC put together their own regulations began about three years ago, after Emmert’s proposal for a $2,000 stipend for athletes was rejected. as smaller schools made it clear they could not afford the additional expense.

“I think most of Division 1 memberships see that we’re standing at a fork in the road,” Kansas State president Kirk Schulz said. “What we’re going to put out there again is not perfect, but I believe that the vast majority of members recognize that some of these things must change and that we need to do it rapidly.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 7, 1986, which Red Sox player got a memorable season off to a memorable start when he hit a home run off Tigers ace Jack Morris on the first pitch on Opening Day in Detroit?

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Oscar Pistorius plans personal memorial service for Reeva Steenkamp 02.27.13 at 9:05 am ET
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Oscar Pistorius is planning a personal memorial service for Reeva Steenkamp, the woman he shot at his home on Feb. 14.

Pistorius’ reputation management firm said Pistorius had requested the service, “as he remains in deep mourning for the loss of his partner Reeva,” whom he says he shot by accident when he thought she was an intruder.

The service was planned for his uncle Arnold‘s home, where Pistorius, a 26-year-old Olympic double-amputee track athlete, has been staying since being released on bail, awaiting trial for premeditated murder.

A memorial service was held a week ago for Steenkamp, where her body was cremated after a private service. It’s uncertain what Pistorius’ private memorial was to involve.

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Kobe Bryant gets last laugh vs. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban 02.25.13 at 7:55 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.

NBA: Celtics at Jazz, 9 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
College basketball: Syracuse at Marquette, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Texas Tech at Kansas State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Villanova at Seton Hall, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kansas at Iowa State, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Stars at Predators, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB preseason: Tigers at Phillies, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Nationals at Mets, 6:10 p.m. (MLB Network)


Kobe Bryant splits the Dallas defense during the Lakers' victory Sunday. (AP)

♦ Mavericks owner Mark Cuban suggested Friday during a radio interview that the Lakers might consider releasing Kobe Bryant on the amnesty provision because of the harsh penalties the team would face for being over the salary cap. Cuban later insisted he was speaking hypothetically, but the damage was done.

First, the Lakers called the remark inappropriate, although they implied they have no plans to file a formal complaint. Then, Bryant went out and recorded 38 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in Sunday’s 103-99 victory over the Mavs in Dallas, hitting all five of his shots in the fourth quarter.

Tweeted Bryant after the game: Amnesty THAT.

Responded Cuban: Nice to know there is a least one team and their players, outside of the Mavs, that listen to everything I say. … But I do have to give props to @kobebryant for a great tweet. #Welldone.

♦ It was revealed over the weekend that Oscar Pistorius is not the only member of his family facing charges for the death of a woman. Older brother Carl Pistorius faces a charge of unlawful, negligent killing for the death of a female motorcyclist in a traffic accident near Johannesburg in 2008. The charge of “culpable homicide” was dropped and then reinstated, the family’s lawyer said Sunday.

Lawyer Kenneth Oldwage said that Carl “deeply regrets the accident” and noted that a blood a test showed Carl was not drunk at the time.

Oscar Pistorius, who was released on bail Friday, must report to the police station Monday and sign in as part of his bail conditions.

♦ The jersey Mike Eruzione wore in Team USA’s “Miracle on Ice” victory over the Soviet Union at the 1980 Winter Olympics was sold for $657,250 at an auction Saturday, while the stick he used to score the winning goal in that game went for $262,900. Combined with the sale of some other Olympic memorabilia, the total haul was more $1.3 million, which Eruzione said he will use to establish a “nest egg” for his children and grandson and benefit his Winthrop-based charity.

Eruzione was at the auction in New York and congratulate winners who were in attendance. The 58-year-old Boston University product, who works as BU’s director of special outreach, has insisted that he’s not struggling financially. He also said there’s one piece of Olympic memorabilia he won’t part with: “As long as I’m alive, the gold medal won’t be sold,” he said.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 25, 1998, which onetime Celtics coach passed Red Auerbach to become the second-winningest coach in NBA history with 939 career wins?

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Oscar Pistorius granted bail 02.22.13 at 10:09 am ET
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Oscar Pistorius was granted bail Friday in Pretoria, South Africa, and is expected to be freed pending his trial in the shooting death of his girlfriend.

The ruling by Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair was delivered Friday, following four days of arguments in Pistorius’ bail hearing.

Pistorius’ supporters shouted “Yes” when the ruling was announced in court.

The inspirational Olympic sprinter, who runs with artificial legs, claims he killed Reeva Steenkamp on Feb. 14 only after mistaking her for an intruder. Prosecutors charged him with premeditated murder.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Kobe Bryant guarantees playoffs for sub-.500 Lakers at 7:44 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.

NBA: Celtics at Suns, 9 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Timberwolves at Thunder, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Spurs at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Saint Louis at Butler, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: North Dakota State at Akron, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Stephen F. Austin at Long Beach State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Sharks at Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: New Hampshire at Vermont, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: Yale at Quinnipiac, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: North Dakota at Denver, 10 p.m. (NBCSN), 10 p.m.


It's been a frustrating season in LA, but Kobe Bryant promises the Lakers will turn it around. (AP)

Kobe Bryant is confident the sub-.500 Lakers will put things together — so sure, in fact, that he’s guaranteeing his team will qualify for the postseason.

“It’s not a question of if we make the playoffs. We will,” Bryant told Sports Illustrated. “And when we get there, I have no fear of anyone — Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Denver … whoever. I have zero nervousness about that.”

The Lakers, coming off Wednesday’s rout of the Celtics, have won six of their last nine games to improve to 26-29. They are 3 1/2 games behind the Rockets for the final Western Conference playoff spot.

“We will make the playoffs,” he said. “And we will compete. And part of the reason I have that confidence is the Miami game (a 107-97 loss on Feb. 10). We had control of the game. That was no fluke. We were playing very, very well. We were reading the defense, making the extra pass.

“OK, they have two great players [LeBron James and Dwyane Wade] who scored eight straight buckets and took control of the game. But we were right there. We can do it.”

♦ The lead police investigator in the Oscar Pistorius case was replaced Thursday, after reports emerged that he was facing seven counts of attempted murder.

Hilton Botha and two other police officers were involved in a 2011 incident in which they allegedly fired shots at a minibus they were trying to stop. The charges against Botha had been dropped, but after more evidence was gathered they were reinstated on Feb. 4.

Pistorius’ lawyers have criticized the police investigation and insisted Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend after mistaking her for an intruder.

The defense and prosecution completed their arguments Friday in the bail hearing, and the magistrate soon will decide if Pistorius will be freed or held in jail pending his trial.

Alex Rodriguez, rehabbing his hip in New York while his teammates are at spring training in Tampa, Fla., issued a statement Thursday indicating his desire to rejoin the team. He did not comment on the accusations that he was involved with a South Florida man who is being investigated for distributing performance-enhancing drugs.

“Right now I’m dedicating 100 percent of my energy and focus on my rehabilitation,” A-Rod said. “I am conducting two rehab sessions each and every day in an effort to get back on the field and rejoin my Yankees teammates. I think we have a great team and I want to be a part of it.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 22, 1934, which Bruins defenseman played his final game and then became the first NHL player to have his number retired?

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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Cornerbacks Darrelle Revis, Richard Sherman in Twitter war of words 02.21.13 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.

NHL: Bruins at Lightning, 7:30 p.m. (NESN, NHL Network)
NBA: Heat at Bulls, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Spurs at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Cincinnati at UConn, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Georgia at Arkansas, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Drexel at Delaware, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: La Salle at Temple, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Penn State at Illinois, 8:15 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Iowa at Nebraska 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Duke at Virginia Tech, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: California at Oregon, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Stanford at Oregon State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: BYU at Saint Mary’s, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)


Darrelle Revis

♦ Two cornerbacks who have given the Patriots headaches are in a Twitter war with each other. Jets veteran Darrelle Revis on Wednesday finally responded to Seahawks second-year player Richard Sherman, who has been tweaking Revis since Super Bowl week.

Sherman, who had an All-Pro season in which he had numerous confrontations with opposing players, including Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, tweeted Wednesday the same kind of line he’s been writing for weeks:

One season u will get 8 picks…. But it won’t happen anytime soon… I did it in my second season… So u have something to chase. Got off my flight to this hilarious convo. So I have 8 picks and 3 ff and a sack. My season stats looking like Revis career stats.

Revis, a four-time Pro Bowler who missed most of 2013 after tearing his ACL, answered with this tweet: I’ve never seen a man before run his mouth so much like a girl. This dude just steady putting my name in his mouth to get notoriety. Sit down young pup and wait your turn.

Sherman quickly responded: Don’t need ya name … Ur name will be irrelevant once u step back on the field bruh. Get ya picks up!

Revis answered back: Child please lol!!! Your still taking baby steps son. Don’t get to a head of yourself.

♦ It might not have the same intensity in American, but the World Baseball Classic is a big deal to some Asian countries. That was made clear Tuesday, when four Taiwanese scouts masqueraded as umpire trainees and sneaked into a South Korean practice game to gather information. The countries are the co-favorites in Pool B for next month’s tournament and will play in the Taiwanese city of Taichung on March 5.

The four men were discovered after they started timing the delivery of the pitchers.

“We had our suspicions because there seemed to be too many people in the umpires’ room,” a Korea Baseball Organization official said. “They kept saying they were umpire trainees. But we later learned that they were really scouts and we ejected them from the stadium [in the fourth inning].”

A KBO official said the Taiwanese pro baseball governing body apologized via e-mail, saying the scouts did not have approval to go to the game and that there will be “proper punishment for their improper behavior.”

♦ The Oscar Pistorius case took an odd turn Wednesday when it was revealed that lead police investigator Hilton Botha faces attempted murder charges, leading to calls for him to be removed. Botha and two other police officers allegedly fired at a minibus they were trying to stop in 2011, and they are due in court in May to face seven counts of attempted murder.

Botha testified Wednesday in the Pistorius case, admitting that the Olympian’s claims how the shooting of his girlfriend took place did not contradict what police had discovered.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 21, 1982, which Bruins goalie recorded his only career shutout in a 1-0 victory over the Flyers in Philadelphia?

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Double-amputee Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius charged with murdering his girlfriend 02.14.13 at 9:19 am ET
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Oscar Pistorius was charged with murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend. (AP)

Inspirational Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius was charged with murder Thursday in Pretoria, South Africa, accused of shooting his girlfriend inside his home.

Pistorius, a 26-year-old double-amputee who competed in the London Olympics with two artificial legs, allegedly shot Reeva Steenkamp four times in the predawn hours. The 30-year-old model died at the house.

A police spokesperson said there previously had been “allegations of a domestic nature” at the home, and “there is no other suspect involved.”

Early reports indicated Pistorius might have mistaken Steenkamp for a burglar.

“It would be premature and very irresponsible of me to say what actually happened,” Brigadier Denise Beukes said. “There have been allegations. We are not sure.”

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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Rejuvenated Kevin Youkilis delivers game-winner for White Sox 07.05.12 at 7:55 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.

MLB: Rangers at White Sox, 2 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Giants at Nationals, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 8 a.m. (ESPN)


Kevin Youkilis is mobbed by his White Sox teammates after hitting the game-winning single in the 10th inning Wednesday night to beat the Rangers. (AP)

Kevin Youkilis is feeling right at home in Chicago. One day after homering in his first at-bat in his U.S. Cellular Field debut as a member of the White Sox, the former Red Sox third baseman hit a walk-off single in the 10th inning Wednesday for a 5-4 victory over the Rangers.

“I’m having a great time with this team,” said Youkilis, who is 5-for-10 with five RBIs the last two days and is hitting .305 with nine RBIs since being traded from Boston. “It’s always a lot more fun when you do stuff like that.”

Youkilis was down 0-2 to Rangers reliever Mike Adams before extending the at-bat to nine pitches and ending it with a single over the shortstop’s head that scored Alejandro De Aza.

“For me, you try to describe to people the importance of Youk coming over. That at-bat really describes it the best, he is 0-2, he is grinding and it’s just continuous and that is the kind of stuff is infectious throughout the lineup for us, just grinding out at-bats,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It’s good for everybody to see that. We have a lot of young guys. It’s good for them to see it, but it shows just how good of a player he is.”

The White Sox, in first place in the American League Central, have won six of their last eight games after winning two straight against the AL West-leading Rangers.

♦ Former Patriots receiver Chad Ochocinco tweeted updates during his wedding Wednesday evening to former “Basketball Wives” reality star Evelyn Lozado. The wedding was held in Miami, where Ochocinco is set to begin his stint with the Dolphins.

Ochocinco indicated that he was nervous as he waited for his bride-to-be, tweeting: I’m breathing like a pregnant lady in lamaze class right now… I was hoping continuing to tweet with y’all support would calm me down.

Ochocinco scored some points with his fans earlier in the week when he sent a wedding invitation to a female follower who had tweeted him that she was depressed following the death of her husband two weeks ago.

Oscar Pistorius will become the first amputee track athlete to compete in the Olympics as the South African sprinter was selected Wednesday to run the 400 and the 4×400 relay.

“Today is truly one of the proudest days of my life,” Pistorius said.

Pistorius, who had both of his legs amputated below the knees when he was 11 months old, uses carbon fiber blades to help him race around the track. The 25-year-old just missed South Africa’s strict qualifying criteria for the 400 but was named to the team after meeting the Olympic standard and showing recent improvement. He will be South Africa’s only entrant in the 400.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On July 5, 1970, which player just acquired from the Brewers made his Red Sox debut pinch-hitting in the fifth inning and hit a game-tying inside-the-park home run in an 8-4 victory over the Indians?

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Read More: Chad Ochocinco, kevin youkilis, Oscar Pistorius,