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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Jets coach Rex Ryan brushes off criticism about blitzing Bengals backups 08.20.14 at 8:11 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: Angels at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Mets at Athletics, 3:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Padres at Dodgers, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
Little League Baseball: World Series, South Korea vs. Japan, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
Little League Baseball: World Series, Nevada vs. Pennsylvania, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

– The Jets won Saturday night’s preseason game over the Bengals, 25-17, but the Cincinnati coaching staff wasn’t pleased with the strategy New York used.

Jets coach Rex Ryan had his team employ a variety of blitzes against the Bengals backups after Cincy starting quarterback Andy Dalton lit up New York’s struggling secondary, going 8-for-8 for 144 yards and a touchdown, with a perfect passer rating of 158.3.

“Notice he didn’t bring that stuff when our starters were out there,” Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander said (via Cincinnati.com). “We’d have scored quicker. If he wants to put his starting defense out there and blitz all that garbage against our third-stringers, if he feels good about it, then all the power to him.”

Said Bengals backup quarterback Jason Campbell (who was inactive, leaving third-stringer QB Matt Scott to deal with the blitzing): “Some of it was a little extreme. I remember back in the day, preseason games you didn’t see any blitzes. Everyone was so vanilla all the way to the regular season. Now it’s a different day and age and teams really just throw it all out there.”

Ryan brushed off the comments.

“I don’t know why they’d be shocked,” he said. “I don’t worry about their team.”

– Former punter Chris Kluwe, who accused the Vikings of releasing him after the 2012 season because he was a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage, reached a settlement with the club Tuesday to avoid a lawsuit.

Kluwe will not receive any money, but the Vikings will donate to five gay rights-related charities over the next five years.

“This will help a lot of people that really do need that help,” Kluwe said at a press conference, adding that team owners Zygi and Mark Wilf “want to make this a reality where there is no discrimination in sports, there is no homophobia.”

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Read More: Chris Kluwe, Rex Ryan, Steve Moore, Todd Bertuzzi
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: As Jets suffer multiple injuries at CB, coach Rex Ryan insists, ‘This is not a panic situation’ 08.12.14 at 8:19 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: Red Sox at Reds, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Dodgers at Braves, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: White Sox at Giants, 10 p.m. (WGN)
Soccer: Exhibition, Valencia vs. Manchester United, 2:25 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: UEFA Super Cup, Real Madrid vs. Sevilla, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

– The Jets have been their usual cocky selves this offseason, but there is some concern at training camp as two of their top three cornerbacks have gone down with serious injuries.

Rookie Dexter McDougle tore his ACL on Sunday and is out for the season, and Dee Milliner might miss the opener what an apparent high left ankle sprain. Dimitri Patterson, expected to start opposite Milliner, has been battling multiple injuries and missed Monday’s practice.

All this for a team that finished 22nd in the league in pass defense last season — and allowed Antonio Cromartie to leave as a free agent.

“This is going to work,” coach Rex Ryan insisted. “We just don’t necessarily know how yet. But this defense, one thing we know for a fact, that this defense will be an outstanding defense.”

Added Ryan: “To me, it’s not a panic situation.”

MASHUP POLL: In what place will the Jets finish in the AFC East?

  • 3 (51%, 327 Votes)
  • 4 (38%, 241 Votes)
  • 2 (10%, 62 Votes)
  • 1 (1%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 636

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Ryan reportedly was desperate to sign Darrelle Revis — now with the Patriots — but was overruled by team management. He supported his bosses Monday.

“I never said I had to have the best corner in football. That’s not it,” Ryan said. “My defenses work, period. I don’t care what it is. We take what we have and then we work around it. We work to the strength of our players. It’s always players over system. We’ve been around enough that it will work out.”

Meanwhile, the Jets are seeking fans to fill the role of the retired Fireman Ed and lead the crowd in the J-E-T-S chant. The team announced an online contest to pick eight season ticket-holders to lead the cheer at each of the home games.

– As is often the case, a celebrity Twitter Q&A turned ugly, this time when Florida State put Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston front and center.

Winston has had several off-field incidents during his time in Tallahassee — most notably a sexual assault allegation last fall for which he was not charged and a shoplifting incident this past spring for which he was cited by police — and the Twitterverse reminded him that his issues haven’t been forgotten.

“I knew there was going to be some negativity going into it,” FSU sports information director Elliott Finebloom said. “The goal of the Twitter Q&A was to continue to find ways to connect our fans and the players they support. That’s important to us … and social is a big way of doing it these days.”

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Read More: Jameis Winston, Rex Ryan, Tony Stewart,
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Michael Vick says Jets QB Geno Smith ‘going to to be great’ 08.06.14 at 8:14 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 Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
Little League Baseball: Midwest Regional semifinal, 11 a.m. (ESPN2)
Little League Baseball: Southeast Regional semifinal, 1 p.m. (ESPN2)
Little League Baseball: Midwest Regional semifinal, 3 p.m. (ESPN2)
Little League Baseball: Southeast Regional semifinal, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
Little League Baseball: Southwest Regional semifinal, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: MLS All-Stars vs. Bayern Munich, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

– Today in Jets blustering news, Michael Vick predicts big things from fellow quarterback Geno Smith, who is heading into his second NFL season.

“He’s going to be great,” Vick said after Tuesday’s practice in Cortland, New York. “He’s going to be 10 times better than where he was last year, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Coach Rex Ryan sounds like he’s ready to see some of that promise come to fruition, especially after the offense failed to score in last weekend’s intrasquad scrimmage.

“I want to see some production,” said Ryan, whose team opens the preseason Thursday against the Colts. “I think we’ll see it. I know [Smith] will have the command. Let’s have the production, too.”

MASHUP POLL: How many wins will the Jets have this season?

  • 8 (36%, 57 Votes)
  • 7 (29%, 47 Votes)
  • 9 (15%, 24 Votes)
  • 6 (9%, 14 Votes)
  • 5 or less (8%, 12 Votes)
  • 10 (3%, 4 Votes)
  • 12 or more (1%, 1 Votes)
  • 11 (0%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 160

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For his part, Smith said he’s matured since last season.

“Physically, I’m bigger and stronger,” Smith said. “The mental side of it, I’m not thinking as much, not swimming as much. I have a better grasp of the offense. … Ultimately, it’s about proving it on the field, going out there Thursday night and being sharp and having a good showing.”

Johnny Manziel showed some positive signs during his one day with the Browns starters Monday, and on Tuesday he returned to second string behind former Patriots backup Brian Hoyer on the depth chart.

Both players had good practices Tuesday, and coach Mike Pettine has not announced who will start in Saturday’s preseason opener against the Lions in Detroit.

“I thought there was some good competition out there,” Browns coach Pettine said. “I was glad that the guys responded the way they did.”

Added Pettine: “Where you see where Hoyer’s ahead is his ability to throw a ball before a guy breaks open, but we certainly see Johnny making strides in that direction.”

– College of Charleston basketball coach Doug Wojcik is the latest to be punished for allegedly verbally abusing players, as he was fired by school president Glenn McConnell.

Wojcik’s lawyer, however, says the charges against the coach are false and the school is trying to find a way to avoid having to pay him the $1.2 million he is owed for the final three years of his five-year contract he signed after being hired from Tulsa.

“Today’s action by the College of Charleston will not bring closure to the College, the basketball program, or the student-athletes and their families,” attorney Scott Tompsett said in a statement.

The school produced a 50-page report after conducting interviews with Wojcik, assistant coaches, athletic department staffers and current and former players. The investigation found that it was likely many players believe Wojcik’s behavior toward them is “generally insulting and degrading.” He allegedly used name-calling such as “dumb,” “idiot” and “stupid,” made negative comments about players’ parents and upbringing, and directed at least one homophobic slur, and likely more, at a player.

Wojcik, 50, guided the Cougars to a 14-18 record last season, their first in the Colonial Athletic Conference. The team reached the Southern Conference tournament final in his first season there.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Aug. 6, 2001, which Red Sox player lined into a triple play in the fourth inning of a game against the Rangers at Fenway Park, but then atoned with a grand slam in his next at-bat to rally his team to a 10-7 victory?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “He is not a doctor. He is a drug dealer.” Mark R. Trouville, chief of the Miami Drug Enforcement Administration office, on former Biogenesis owner Tony Bosch, who was arrested Tuesday

STAT OF THE DAY: 41 – Games this season in which the Red Sox have scored two or fewer runs, following Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Cardinals

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Indians baserunner David Murphy is thrown out at third base when he sees a ball that was thrown out of the Reds bullpen and thinks it’s the game ball.

Yankees second baseman Brendan Ryan deflects a line drive with his glove and then catches it with his bare hand for an out against the Tigers.

The Muppets visit Citi Field to cheer on the Mets, and Kermit and Miss Piggy are caught on the Kiss Cam.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Scott Hatteberg

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Randy DeBarge was born on this day in 1958. Here he is starting off as the lead singer in this performance with his siblings in the group DeBarge.

Read More: Doug Wojcik, Geno Smith, michael vick, Rex Ryan
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees fan finds, returns Red Sox World Series ring 07.28.14 at 7:54 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: Blue Jays at Red Sox, 7 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Padres at Braves, 12:10  p.m. (MLB Network)
MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at Seattle Sounders, 10 p.m. (ESPN2)
WNBA: Indiana Fever at Los Angeles Sparks, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)

AROUND THE WEB:

– A Red Sox 2013 World Series ring is back with its owner thanks to a Yankees fan who found it in his New York restaurant.

Drew Weber, a New York businessman who owns the Lowell Spinners, took the ring on a rare outing and left it on the sink of the bathroom at Luke’s Bar and Grill on Thursday night.

Luigi Militello, who owns the Manhattan establishment, found the ring.

“I was like, ‘Geez, it’s big. Who would leave this here?’ ” Militello told The Associated Press. “I’m a big Yankee fan. What are the chances of this happening?”

Weber called the restaurant after realizing he couldn’t find his keepsake.

“I went looking around my apartment and started having palpitations. Sweat was pouring off my forehead,” he said. “I’m looking at my finger and it’s not there.”

After some teasing followed by some baseball talk, Militello insisted he did not want a reward for finding the ring. However, Weber and the Red Sox will host him for the regular-season finale at Fenway on Sept. 28 — which is against the Yankees and is Derek Jeter‘s last scheduled game. Weber also will make a donation to a charity Militello chose.

– Jets cornerback Dee Milliner has only one year of NFL experience, but he’s showing that he’s an old pro when it comes to acting like a Jet.

Despite being benched multiple times last season before being named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month, Milliner claims he’s the best in the league at his position.

“The best corner in the league? Me,” Milliner told the New York Daily News. “I ain’t gonna say that somebody else is better than me.”

Added Milliner: “I’m not going to say somebody that plays the same position is better than me. Don’t care if they’ve been in the league 10 years and I’ve been here five months. That’s how it’s going to go. I’m the best. I’m not going to say that another man that plays the same position … and say he’s better than me? I can’t do that.”

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Read More: Dee Milliner, Rex Ryan, Vincenzo Nibali,
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Clippers reportedly review bids worth well over $1B 05.29.14 at 8:09 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: Braves at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Rangers at Twins, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Mets at Phillies, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA playoffs: Thunder at Spurs, 9 p.m. (TNT; WEEI-AM)
NHL playoffs: Canadiens at Rangers, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: French Open, 10 a.m. (Tennis Channel)

AROUND THE WEB:

Shelley Sterling reportedly has received bids from five groups interested in buying the Clippers, with the sale price appearing likely to end up well over $1 billion.

Initial bids were due by Wednesday afternoon. The Associated Press quotes a source as saying the price “appears to be increasing to an unbelievable number.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, a group that includes former NBA star Grant Hill offered $1.2 billion.

The highest price ever paid for an NBA team is $550 million, which is the price the Bucks sold for earlier this month.

Donald Sterling‘s representatives, meanwhile, continue to insist the team will not be sold unless the banned owner approves, despite a letter from Sterling that gives his estranged wife permission to handle the sale.

“Mr. Sterling is an owner of the team, and there will be no sale of the team without his involvement,” attorney Bobby Samini said.

Attorney Max Blecher acknowledged that Sterling consented to the sale last week before changing course.

“On May 22, that’s what he wanted to do,” Blecher told ESPN. “But as time has evolved, he’s come to a much more hard-line position.

“The May 22 letter was something he wouldn’t think of doing today. It’s an evolutionary process; he’s gone from ‘shock and awe’ to ‘go get ‘em and kill ‘em.’ ”

The league’s owners have a meeting scheduled for next Tuesday to formalize their banishment of Sterling, by which time there could be an agreement in place for a new owner. The league also must approve a potential new owner.

Michael Vick, who signed with the Jets this offseason after his release from the Eagles, continue to maintain that incumbent Geno Smith is the starting quarterback, claiming Wednesday, “It’s not an open competition.”

Coach Rex Ryan, however, is looking at things differently.

“There is competition — there’s no doubt,” Ryan said after the team ended the second day of organized team activities. “We’ve got two guys who are really pushing to be a starting quarterback.”

Added Ryan: “One thing we know for certain: The guy that we think will give us the best opportunity to win will be there.”

The 33-year-old Vick struggled through another injury-plagued season in Philadelphia in 2013, playing just seven games and competing 54 percent of his passes for 1,215 yards and five touchdowns with three interceptions.

Smith, forced into starting duty as a rookie after a preseason injury to Mark Sanchez, played all 16 games, completing 55 percent of his passes for 3,,046 yards and 12 touchdowns, although he threw 21 interceptions.

“I’ve said from Day 1 I think Geno’s going to be hard to beat out,” Ryan said. “But I’ve also said that Mike’s going to have an opportunity to compete, and he definitely will.”

Malcolm Glazer, who owned the NFL’s Buccaneers as well as English soccer powerhouse Manchester United, died Wednesday at the age of 85, eight years after a pair of strokes left him debilitated.

Glazer, who once made a bid to buy the Patriots, purchased the Buccaneers in 1995 for a then-NFL-record $192 million and oversaw the turnaround of a struggling franchise into a Super Bowl winner in the 2002 season.

Malcolm Glazer was the guiding force behind the building of a Super Bowl-champion organization. His dedication to the community was evident in all he did, including his leadership in bringing Super Bowls to Tampa Bay,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “Malcolm’s commitment to the Bucs, the NFL and the people of the Tampa Bay region are the hallmarks of his legacy. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Linda, their six children and the entire Glazer family.”

Glazer’s purchase of Manchester United in 2005 for $1.47 billion was not well received by the team’s fans. Although the team has won five English Premier League titles since then, the Glazer family’s relationship with some sections of the fan base remains strained.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 29, 1984, the Red Sox held their first official number retirement ceremony, honoring two men: Ted Williams (No. 9) and who else?

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Read More: Donald Sterling, Geno Smith, malcolm glazer, Mike Vick
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Controversial CB Antonio Cromartie bids farewell to Jets after release 03.10.14 at 8:00 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 preseason: Rays at Red Sox, 1 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Suns at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: CAA final, William & Mary vs. Delaware, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: MAAC final, Manhattan vs. Iona, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: WCC semifinal, St. Mary’s vs. Gonzaga, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Southern final, Western Carolina vs. Wofford, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: WCC semifinal, San Francisco vs. BYU, 11:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Penguins at Capitals, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
Soccer: Premier League, Sunderland at Liverpool, 3:55 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

– One year after they traded Darrelle Revis, the Jets cut ties with the other cornerstone of their once dominant defensive backfield, releasing controversial cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

Cromartie, 29, was slowed by a hip issue in 2013, and the team decided to cut him now rather than pay him a $5 million roster bonus upon the start of the new league year. He would have carried a salary cap charge of just under $15 million in 2014. The team will save $9.5 million against the cap.

The New York Daily News reports that Cromartie would be willing to consider a return to New York at a cheaper rate, but the team appears to be ready to move on.

“Cro is one of the finest athletes I’€™ve ever coached,” coach Rex Ryan said in a statement. “He was willing to contribute wherever the team needed him to win games, be it defense, special teams or offense. He has a passion and enthusiasm for the game and I wish him and his family the best.”

Cromartie played four seasons with the Jets, recording 13 interceptions, after being acquired from the Chargers in 2010. He went to the Pro Bowl in 2012 after stepping up in place of the injured Revis.

Cromartie tweeted his farewell Sunday, writing: I would like 2 thank the Jets organization so much with helpin me grow as leader and a player. S/O 2 my teammates I wish u guys the best.

Added Cromartie: It’€™s time for a new chapter in my life and now it’€™s time to let my lord and savior lead my steps every step of the way.

 

– There is excitement in New York regarding the Knicks, but it has nothing to do with what’s happening on the court. NBA coaching legend Phil Jackson reportedly will decide Monday whether he will accept a position with the team.

The 68-year-old Jackson is said to have turned down an offer to coach, and it’s not clear if he would be willing to run the team or if he would prefer to serve as a consultant. He also is believed to have an interest in returning to the Lakers in some capacity.

Said one unidentified general manager to the New York Daily News: “The Knicks and Phil are getting exactly what they want out of this. The Knicks are showing that they want to do something and this is a chance for Phil to get the Lakers to make a move. If they don’€™t, he can take the Knicks’€™ money.”

Jackson has won 11 NBA titles — nine as a coach and two as a player. He was a forward on the Knicks’ only two championship squads in 1970 and ’73.

– A Minnesota State Representative is taking some heat for a tweet Sunday night in which he implied NBA players would resort to crime if they weren’t playing basketball.

Republican Pat Garofalo tweeted: Let’s be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/ possible exception of increase in streetcrime.

 

Garofalo did not back down despite receiving hundreds of negative responses, many of them accusing him of being racist. One tweeter had a clever response, writing: there’s more criminals in your profession than the nba buddy.

Garofalo later explained to the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he was “talking about NBA’s high arrest rate and that they are the only major pro league that testing positive for marijuana is not a substance abuse violation.”

Added Garofalo: “No intent beyond that.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 10, 1986, the veterans committee voted which Red Sox legend into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

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Read More: Antonio Cromartie, Pat Garofalo, Phil Jackson, Rex Ryan
Rex Ryan plans on ‘kicking some butt’ after getting new deal with Jets 01.21.14 at 10:05 am ET
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Just a few days after signing a contract loaded with an ultimatum to win, Jets coach Rex Ryan has shown just how happy he is with the deal.

The multi-year contact extension guarantees Ryan’€™s salary through 2015, a deal that gives Jets owner Woody Johnson and general manager John Idzik the option to fire Ryan if the team is unsuccessful next season.

Ryan said the extension does not change his mindset for the next year.

“My mentality is never going to change,” Ryan said in an interview with the New York Daily News on Monday. “I plan on kicking some butt. I just want to be a part of this team.

“This is where I want to coach.”

When asked whether or not he needed to make the playoffs next season to maintain his position, the coach said he just wanted to make it to the postseason.

“That’€™s all I think about,” Ryan said. “Whether you make it or not make it — there’€™s no guarantee how many wins we have to get — I can tell you this: We want to make the playoffs. We want to be in there. It’€™s a disappointing season if you don’€™t make the playoffs.

“That’€™s three years in a row that we haven’€™t made the playoffs. So, heck, do I have to make [the playoffs]? I don’€™t know. All I know is I have to make them for my own … for how I feel.”

Read More: Rex Ryan,
Report: Rex Ryan has new multi-year deal with Jets 01.16.14 at 12:25 pm ET
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Rex Ryan has agreed to a multi-year deal with the Jets, according to a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The move does not come as a surprise, as the expectation of an extension was reported when the team announced after the final game of the regular season that Ryan would return. He had one year remaining on his previous deal, paying him $3.3 million in 2014.

“To finish the way we did, in our estimation, a playoff-type atmosphere for us, guys responded,” Jets general manager John Idzik said on Dec, 29 in announcing Ryan’s return. “Suffice it to say, we’re very happy with Rex as our coach.”

 

 

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Jets players elated after owner announces Rex Ryan will return 12.30.13 at 8:09 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:
NBA: Bulls at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Virginia at Tennessee, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Robert Morris at Oklahoma State, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Saint Louis at Vanderbilt, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Kings at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
World Juniors: Czech Republic vs. Germany, 7:30 a.m. (NHL Network)
World Juniors, Canada vs. Slovakia, 11:30 a.m. (NHL Network)
College football: Armed Forces Bowl, Middle Tennessee State vs. Navy, 11:45 a.m. (ESPN)
College football: Music City Bowl, Mississippi vs. Georgia Tech, 3:15 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Alamo Bowl, Oregon vs. Texas, 6:45 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Holiday Bowl, Arizona State vs. Texas Tech, 10:15 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Rex Ryan will get another chance with the Jets.

Owner Woody Johnson announced after Sunday’s victory over the Dolphins that the bombastic coach will return for another season. Johnson said he had already decided to retain Ryan before the team won its final two games — its first two-game winning streak of 2013 — to finish 8-8.

“I couldn’€™t be prouder of our team, the effort and the passion and everything they put into this game. Coming down here to Miami, Geno [Smith] and the offense putting another great game together, two in a row, so we’€™re clearly on the ascent,” Johnson said. “And a lot of it is due to our coach. So we’€™re going to keep Rex Ryan, and he’€™ll be our coach next year.”

The players erupted in the locker room after Johnson made the announcement to them, and general manager John Idzik gave Ryan the game ball. (To see the video, click here.)

“That’s what we wanted to hear,” defensive end Sheldon Richardson said. “The whole team was elated for that.”

“I mean, it was up there with going to the AFC championship games, just the joy that everybody had,” linebacker Calvin Pace said. “Everybody genuinely wanted Rex back. And he’s the right man for the job. It’s a great day all around.”

Ryan has one year remaining on his contract but is expected to work out an extension.

“I love being the head coach of the New York Jets. Plain and simple,” Ryan said. “You put everything you’ve got into it. I never wanted to go out this way.”

– The Dodgers issued a statement Sunday criticizing Yasiel Puig after the outfielder was arrested in Florida a day earlier for driving 110 mph, 40 mph over the speed limit, seven months after he was arrested on similar charges in Tennessee.

“We have spoken to Yasiel and made it clear that we, as an organization, are very disappointed in his recent behavior,” the team said in the statement. “This is a very serious issue to us and we will continue to educate him and strive to further develop his growth off the field and as a member of this community.”

Puig, the 23-year-old Cuban who had a standout rookie season in Los Angeles, was pulled over Saturday morning on Interstate 75 between Naples and Fort Lauderdale and taken to Collier County jail, according to Florida police. Puig, who has an offseason home in Miami, was cooperative.

The Tennessee charges — speeding, reckless driving and driving without proof of insurance — were dismissed last month, in large part due to community service Puig performed in Los Angeles.

Michael Schumacher, the most successful driver in Formula One history, was in critical condition after a skiing accident in the French Alps over the weekend. Schumacher, 33, underwent brain surgery after arriving at a Paris hospital in a coma on Sunday.

According to a release from the Meribel resort, Schumacher was skiing off-piste with his 14-year-old son when he hit his head on a rock. He was wearing a helmet and was conscious when rescuers arrived at the scene.

Schumacher has seven Formula One drivers’ championships and 91 victories. He retired this year after making a comeback in 2010 following a four-year layoff.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 30, 1973, which Bruin became the first rookie in team history to score four goals in a game?

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Read More: Michael Schumacher, Rex Ryan, Woody Johnson, Yasiel Puig
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Jets coach Rex Ryan reportedly inspires team by saying he expects to be fired 12.23.13 at 7:56 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:
NHL: Bruins at Predators, 8 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Wild at Flyers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NFL: Falcons at 49ers, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
College football: Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, Ohio vs. East Carolina, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Pelicans at Kings, 10 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: George Mason vs. Oregon State, 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Iowa State vs. Akron, 4:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Morehead State at Tennessee, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: South Florida vs. Santa Clara, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: South Carolina vs. Boise State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Mississippi State vs. UNLV, 10:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Saint Mary’s at Hawaii, 11:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Soccer: Arsenal vs. Chelsea, 2:55 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

– Jets coach Rex Ryan is either preparing for his dismissal, or he will resort to anything to motivate his team.

According to Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, Ryan told his team in a meeting Saturday night that “word on the street” is he’ll be dismissed at season’s end, and he wants the team to put it on the line for him in the final two weeks. The Jets responded with a 24-13 victory over the Browns to improve to 7-8.

After the game, Ryan, his fellow coaches and the players high-fived fans in the front row at MetLife Stadium as they headed off the field in the team’s final home game of the season. He wouldn’t discuss his future in the postgame press conference, but he insisted the team has a bright future, using the victory over the 4-10 Browns as Exhibit A.

“I told you this team’s on the climb, it’s on the rise,” Ryan said. “I think it was pretty clear, at least to me, that that’s what we saw today.”

Regarding next season, he said: “What I do know, guys, is that I’m coaching this team, and my job is to focus on the present, what’s right now.”

The Jets players wouldn’t discuss Ryan’s reported comments from Saturday, but they continued to show their support for their coach.

“We were picked to be the worst team in the NFL,” linebacker Calvin Pace said. “It says a lot about this team’s character and the way we rallied under Rex. I guarantee you everyone loves playing for Rex.”

– The Lions dropped a 23-20 decision to the Giants on Sunday after losing a fourth-quarter lead for the fifth time in six games, and the Detroit fans let the team know how they felt even before the game went to the extra session.

Following an interception that gave them the ball at their own 25 with 23 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, the Lions ran out the final seconds of regulation rather than attempt to throw the ball down the field. Anxious fans at Ford Field booed the decision.

“I was disappointed to hear boos,” said Lions coach Jim Schwarz, who appeared to yell obscenities toward the crowd. “We’re getting ready to go to overtime right there, and our crowd is great for us and they support us. The team needed a lift right there. We didn’t need to feel bad at that point. We just intercepted a ball that got us to overtime. I thought that I was just trying to get our team ready.

“That’s tough, the situations when your players are getting booed and you want them fired up. That’s what I was trying to do right there.”

Said receiver Nate Burleson: “Fans are frustrated, but what do you think we are? I get it, you come in and sit down and you cheer lout and occasionally want to get upset and boo. But if the fans are frustrated, just imagine what we feel on the field. And I think maybe Schwarz was just speaking out because the same fans that boo turn around and go crazy when we get the lead.

“So, I get it. I’ve been playing long enough to where I don’t get upset when fans boo. You pay a ticket, you buy the jerseys, you have your right to go out there and show your emotions.”

– The bad news keeps on coming for the Nets. Already off to a terrible start at 9-17, Brooklyn lost leading scorer Brook Lopez for the rest of the season when the center broke his right foot for the second time in just over two years.

Lopez, who only recently had returned from a sprained left ankle, was averaging 20.7 points per game.

“It’s almost like we can’t catch a break,” guard Joe Johnson said. “It’s always something every day, every other day somebody goes down. One man comes back, somebody goes down.”

Added Johnson: “It’s been tough because it’s hard to gain any chemistry with guys in and out, but I just hate it for the big fella because I know he worked so hard to try to come back and prepare himself for this season, and then coming off an All-Star season I know he wanted to get back to that.”

Paul Pierce compared the Nets‘ situation to that of last season’s Celtics after Rajon Rondo went down with a season-ending torn ACL in late January. The Celtics responded by winning their first seven games following Rondo’s injury and earned a playoff berth.

“I mean, we just collectively came together pretty much. Everybody pretty much had written us off not to make the playoffs, which was kind laughable at the time to me,” Pierce said. “But like I said, we’ve got guys in here that are capable and I think the mentality is not going to change in here. We can’t use that as an excuse. We have to come out here and continue to do our jobs each and every day regardless of who’s out there. We dealt with the injury bug all year.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 23, 1986, which Red Sox player whose batting average declined each of his seven seasons in Boston signed as a free agent with the Mariners?

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