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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay trade barbs about Hall of Fame candidacy 01.08.16 at 8:04 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.

NHL: Bruins at Devils, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: Western Michigan at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Cavaliers at Timberwolves, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Thunder at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Buffalo at Kent State, 6:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Valparaiso at Oakland, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Western Michigan at Akron, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UIC at Detroit, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Utah at Colorado, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Women, UConn at Houston, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: FA Cup, Liverpool at Exeter City, 3 p.m. (FS1)


— Roger Clemens generally has taken the high road as sportswriters continue to deny him entrance to the Baseball Hall of Fame, insisting Thursday, “I have distanced myself from the subject and moved on.” However, a dismissive comment from a former teammate caused him to go on the offensive.

Roy Halladay, who played his first season in 1998 alongside Clemens on the Blue Jays and went on to win two Cy Young Awards and appear in eight All-Star Games during his 16-year career, tweeted Wednesday that he agreed with writers who leave Clemens and Barry Bonds off their ballots.

Wrote Halladay before the balloting was announced: When you use PEDs you admit your not good enough to compete fairly! Our nations past time should have higher standards! No Clemens no Bonds!

Clemens, who received 45.2 percent of the vote — 7.7 percent more than last year but well short of the 75 percent needed — texted a Houston TV reporter with his response.

“What is disheartening is getting a call or a text from family or friends about an ill-informed player making an asinine statement. The latest coming from a former Blue Jays pitcher,” Clemens wrote.

“Just to enlighten him, he was accused of using amphetamines by the ‘strength coach.’ You should be very careful when putting tweets out while not having your facts on the matter at hand.”

Answered Halladay on Twitter: I’ll let my reputation speak for itself.

— As expected, the Broncos will go with Peyton Manning at quarterback when they open the playoffs a week from Sunday. And backup Brock Osweiler says he’s OK with it.

“I stand behind Peyton. I stand behind Coach. I stand behind this team,” Osweiler said Thursday. “You’re going to see the same exact guy out of me as you’ve seen the whole season. Bottom line: I just care about this football team winning games. If coach thinks Peyton gives the team the best chance, then I fully support that.”

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Read More: Brock Osweiler, Peyton Manning, roger clemens, Roy Halladay
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia ‘always going to be recovering’ from alcoholism 12.17.15 at 8:15 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.

NFL: Buccaneers at Rams, 8:25 p.m. (NFL Network; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Thunder at Cavaliers, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Rockets at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: West Virginia at Marshall, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)


— Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, speaking to the media Wednesday about his battle with alcoholism while at a charity event at Yankee Stadium, said he’s in the “early stages” of his recovery but optimistic he can continue stay sober with the held of family and friends.

“I’m always going to be recovering,” Sabathia said. “But I have the support of my family, my organization, my team, friends, so I feel pretty good about where I’m at.”

Sabathia left the team on Oct. 5, a day before the Yankees‘ wild card loss to the Astros. While the timing was difficult, Sabathia said he needed to go public with his problem and get immediate help.

“I think that was the biggest thing, is that it’s not a secret anymore,” Sabathia said. “I’m able to get help with different people. I think if people see my personality change or things changing, then they’ll be able to help me.”

Manager Joe Girardi agreed.

“I think that’s important,” Girardi said. “I don’t think anyone wants to carry a weight around. If you’re hiding something it’s difficult to go through life. Hopefully it allows him to be more effective.”

The 35-year-old left-hander, who has two years remaining on his five-year, $122 million contract, appeared lighter than he looked at the end of the season and said he’s been healthy this offseason. He’s coming of his worst career year, as he went 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA while battling injuries.

— U.S. women’s soccer legend Abby Wambach was feted as she played her final game — Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to China in New Orleans that ended the Americans’ decade-plus run without a loss on home soil.

“Tonight is a celebration,” Wambach said. “The result, obviously, is annoying. It would be better if we had won, but the reality is I played in so many games. This result doesn’t shape or determine or define my career.”

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Read More: Abby Wambach, Brian McNamee, cc sabathia, Joe Girardi
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Roger Clemens insists Hall of Fame ‘doesn’t really make a difference in my life’ 07.24.15 at 8:17 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: Tigers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Nationals at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
Cycling: Tour de France, 7 a.m. (NBCSN)


Roger Clemens stopped by the NESN booth during Thursday night’s Red Sox-Astros game in Houston and continued to claim that he played the game the right way despite evidence that he used performance-enhancing drugs, adding he does not need the validation of the Hall of Fame to feel complete.

“Congratulations to the guys that go,” he said of the Hall, which will welcome fellow Sox legend Pedro Martinez this weekend. “It doesn’t really make a difference in my life, not that it would matter.”

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner has never received more than 37.6 percent of votes (75 percent is needed for induction) despite his 354 wins and 4,672 strikeouts for the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees and Astros. He said he appreciates those who have written his name on the ballot but claims it’s not a big deal to him.

“It’s not something that I went to, to play — play the game to make the Hall of Fame. It was the furthest thing from my mind. I played the game because I loved to play it,” Clemens said.

“I knew early in my career that once I seized that moment that I could make a little money and take care of my family. Then it started to get to a World Series and playoffs in Boston and the history that came along with it. That’s really it.”

— Another player likely to be kept out of the Hall is Alex Rodriguez, who continues to have a stellar comeback season, helping the first-place Yankees to a 9-3 victory over the Orioles on Thursday for a sweep of their three-game series.

Former Yankees manager Joe Torre credits Rodriguez for turning things around after missing last season while on suspension for his role in the Biogenesis PED scandal.

“I think what’s surprising is Alex,” Torre said from a charity golf tournament in New York on Thursday. “I’m happy for him. Miss a whole year at that age — there was never an issue of his ability to work at it. But with all the physical problems that he’s had and missing a year, it’s been, I think, remarkable how consistent he’s been and his power numbers.”

Torre, now an MLB executive, said Rodriguez called him in January as he reached out to people in baseball trying to mend fences before his comeback. Torre, in his autobiography “The Yankee Years,” was critical of A-Rod, but he says they now are “friendly.”

“I had heard that he was calling some people, so I really wasn’t surprised,” Torre said of their offseason conversation. “Actually, it started out with a text and he asked me if it would be all right to call me. I said, ‘Sure, anytime.’ I’m there for any player who wants to pick my brain over anything and for any team. He had some issues with what he thought I said in the past. I think he just wanted to make sure that all the air was clear. He asked about some advice and I said, ‘Just go play baseball.’ ”

Added Torre: “He paid his debt. He was suspended. He did that. Hopefully he learned something from it. He’s been determined to come back and play the game that he’s loved. I know baseball’s been a huge part of his life. He just craves it. He’s been a force, no question. People in New York love it. That’s what’s important for us. Once people pay their penalty, you can’t root against them. It’s not the right thing to do.”

— Outgoing ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd drew the ire of Blue Jays star Jose Bautista for a disparaging comment he made about Dominican players Thursday.

During his midday show, Cowherd was trying to make a point that baseball is a relatively easy sport to manage. He went on to say:

“The game is too complex? Like, I’ve never bought into that, ‘Baseball is just too complex.’ Really? A third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic has not been known in my lifetime as having world-class academic abilities A lot of those kids come from rough backgrounds and have not had opportunities academically that other kids from other countries have. Baseball is like any sport, it’s mostly instincts.”

After Cowherd’s comment made it around the web, Bautista, a Dominican native, tweeted: Dear Mr. @ESPN_Colin before i rip you a new one i would like for you to explain what u meant to say about baseball and dominicans, please.

Cowherd is headed to Fox Sports when his contract with ESPN expires later this year. He discussed his departure during Wednesday’s show, crediting ESPN for taking a chance on him in 2003 and calling his stint with the company “the best 10 years of my life.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 24, 2004, Jason Varitek fought with Alex Rodriguez as the Red Sox and Yankees played an intense game at Fenway Park. The Red Sox got the last laugh when which player hit a three-run home run off Mariano Rivera for an 11-10 Red Sox victory?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “The results haven’t been nearly good enough. We’re responsible for that and we have to get better quickly.” — Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, during a Thursday morning appearance on Dennis & Callahan, on the team’s struggles

STAT OF THE DAY: 8 — Consecutive losses by the Red Sox, a season high, following Thursday’s 5-4 loss to the Astros on Jose Altuve’s walkoff home run in the ninth inning

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez makes a diving stop behind second base and throws the ball with his glove to get the out against the Indians.

A’s right fielder Josh Reddick races into foul territory to make a diving catch against the Blue Jays.

A Japanese high school baseball player puts on a show in the batter’s box with a series of creative and artistic movements.

Spurs guard Tony Parker gets up close with a tiger during an appearance on a French game show.


SOOTHING SOUNDS: Former Extreme drummer Paul Geary was born on this day in 1961.

Read More: alex rodriguez, Colin Cowherd, Joe Torre, Jose Bautista
Lawyers seek deposition from Roger Clemens in defamation suit filed by former trainer Brian McNamee 06.11.14 at 9:22 am ET
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Roger Clemens is going back in court.

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner will be under oath for the first time since he testified before Congress in 2008 when the attorneys of Clemens’s former personal trainer, Brian McNamee, depose him in connection to McNamee’s defamation case.

Richard Emery, one of McNamee’s lawyers, who participated in a conference call with Clemens’ legal team and U.S. Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak, told the New York Daily News on Tuesday that it’s “not clear yet” when depositions will begin.

“We’€™re going to be starting depositions soon,” Emery told the Daily News. “We’€™re going to be pressing ahead.”

Clemens and his advisers are accused by McNamee of waging a smear campaign against him in the wake of the 2007 Mitchell Report. McNamee testified to congressional investigators that he obtained performance-enhancing drugs for Clemens, who was acquitted on all counts in his 2012 federal perjury and obstruction of Congress trial in Washington.

Both Emery and Clemens’ agent, Randy Hendricks, told the Daily News that there were no discussions of settlement during the conference call with Pollak. Emery said he’s not optimistic a deal could be reached.

The next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 27, but Emery said, “We’ll be doing depositions before then.”

Read More: Brian McNamee, roger clemens,
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Rockets owner suggests NBA make Clippers players free agents to punish Donald Sterling 04.29.14 at 8:06 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: Mariners at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA playoffs: Wizards at Bulls, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Grizzlies at Thunder, 9 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA playoffs: Warriors at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Rangers at Flyers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Real Madrid at Bayern Munich, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


— As the NBA prepares to make an announcement Tuesday afternoon regarding sanctions for Clippers owner Donald Sterling, one NBA owner has an idea that he says commissioner Adam Silver is considering: Make the players free agents in an effort to force Sterling to sell the team.

Sponsors have started to end or suspend their relationships with the team, but it might take more to push Sterling out the door following racist comments that he allegedly uttered in a conversation with his girlfriend. Rockets owner Leslie Alexander told the Houston Chronicle he recommended to Silver that he void the players’ contracts with Los Angeles.

“I told Adam I don’€™t think he can be removed because the constitution [of the NBA] only allows him to be removed except for gambling. I’€™m not sure that legally can be done,” Alexander said. “But if he loses his players, nobody is going to want to go there. He’€™ll only be able to get a player that is worth $2 million and will play for [$]12 [million]. And who is going to want to coach there?

“If you’€™re a player in the NBA you don’€™t want to play for somebody like that. If you worked for a company, you would walk away and say, ‘I’€™m gone.’ I think the players should have that right.”

The Clippers and Warriors resume their series Tuesday with Game 5 at Staples Center. Warriors coach Mark Jackson suggested that fans boycott the game.

“I believe if it was me, I wouldn’t come to the game,” Jackson said. “I believe the fans, the loudest statement that they can make as fans is to not show up to the game. ‘€¦ To me, it will make the noise of it not being tolerated. That this is a different time. It’s unfortunate, and we cannot allow someone with these feelings to profit.”

Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who indicated he declined an offer to speak with Sterling, said he hopes the arena is “packed and people are cheering for us.” He said he isn’t sure what the team will do before the game in terms of addressing the controversy, but he acknowledged it’s a consideration for him or a player to address the crowd “if we feel that’s something will help our fans.”

Rogers Clemens is due in court in Brooklyn on Tuesday morning as part of the defamation suit brought by his former trainer, Brian McNamee, after a federal appeals court on Monday denied Clemens’ bid for an emergency intervention.

Clemens’ request for a stay of proceedings also was denied, with U.S. District Court Judge Sterling Johnson expressing disgust with the former pitcher’s legal tactics.

“Clemens’ attempts in stalling this litigation are a threat to the administration of justice,” Sterling wrote, adding that Clemens “has chosen to file frivolous motions and appeals to perpetuate the delay of this five-year-old litigation.”

The ruling means Clemens will have to share about 900 emails that detail his strategy in dealing with accusations that he used performance-enhancing drugs following the release of the Mitchell Report in 2007, when he was described as a user of steroids and human growth hormone.

— Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper reportedly will have surgery Tuesday on his left thumb, which he injured on a headfirst slide into third base on a triple in Friday’s game against the Padres.

Harper, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, is expected to be out until at least July.

“I slid into the bag and I caught it a little bit,” Harper said after Friday’s game. “Went into the dugout, swing a couple in the cage, felt fine. Went out to the outfield, it swelled up a little bit.”

Harper is hitting .289/.352/.422 with one home run and nine RBIs. He was yanked from a game a little over a week ago for a lack of hustle running out a ground ball.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 29, 1986, Roger Clemens set a major league record by striking out 20 Mariners. The Red Sox were in jeopardy of losing the game, however, as Gorman Thomas hit a home run in the top of the seventh inning. Which Red Sox player answered with a three-run home run in the bottom of the inning for a 3-1 Sox lead that would stand up as the final score?

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Read More: Adam Silver, Brian McNamee, Bryce Harper, doc rivers
Roger Clemens handed setback in case against former trainer Brian McNamee 02.06.14 at 8:55 am ET
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When the Mitchell Report named Roger Clemens as an abuser of steroids and human growth hormone in 2008, the famed Yankees pitcher attempted to clear his name. According to former trainer Brian McNamee, Clemens’€™ subsequent efforts to clear his name was a smear campaign that pegged McNamee as dishonest. Some six years later, Clemens and McNamee are still fighting this battle in court.

A U.S. District Court Magistrate ruled on Jan. 30 that Clemens’ baseball agent Randy Hendricks and public relations strategist Joe Householder are not covered by attorney-client privilege. The decision stymies Clemens’€™ attempt to stop McNamee from using the trio’€™s communication in his defamation lawsuit, according to the New York Daily News.

According to Judge Cheryl Pollak, the majority of the documents Clemens claimed were shielded because they were part of preparation for litigation were not protected because they mostly deal with the former pitcher’€™s public relations problems. Pollack added that since Clemens did not give an appropriate log of documents, the court could not deem if the documents were in fact privileged. Pollack ordered Clemens to hand over the documents in September.

“If the assertion of privilege or work product has been frivolously claimed with respect to any document, the court will consider imposing sanctions in the former of waiver as to all documents and/or award costs and attorneys’€™ fees incurred by plaintiffs counsel,” Pollack said in her court order.

Clemens has until Friday to produce the documents, and both Clemens and McNamee will need to appear in Brooklyn federal court to go over the documents on March 7. The judge also ordered that Clemens and McNamee discuss a settlement of the suit that McNamee filed in December 2008.

“It’€™s a ringing endorsement of the court’€™s unwillingness to tolerate Clemens’€™ attempts to hide the truth and facts of the case,” said McNamee’€™s attorney, Richard Emery. “It’€™s more attempts to deflect from the core for the case — which is whether Clemens lied.”

Read More: Brian McNamee, roger clemens,
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Former Northeastern hockey star Wade MacLeod suffers seizure during AHL game in Springfield 02.18.13 at 7:44 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: Predators at Avalanche, 3 p.m. (NHL Network)
NHL: Hurricanes at Canadiens, 7:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
College basketball: Notre Dame at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Hofstra at Drexel, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Norfolk State at Hampton, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Bucknell at Lehigh, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Rutgers at Villanova, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: West Virginia at Kansas State, 9 p.m. (ESPN)


‘™¦ Former Northeastern University star Wade MacLeod had a seizure during Sunday’s minor league hockey game at the MassMutual Center in Springfield after he was checked from behind into the glass, and he was in stable condition at an area hospital Sunday night.

MacLeod, a 26-year-old forward for the AHL’s Springfield Falcons, collapsed while he was skating toward the bench. According to the Springfield Republican, MacLeod lay on the ice for several minutes, his legs flailing at times, while medical personnel attended to him.

“We would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming show of support for Wade tonight,” MacLeod’s family said in a statement Sunday night. “Wade is alert, in good condition, in positive spirits, and is resting comfortably at Baystate Medical Center. He will remain at the hospital while he undergoes tests. We are deeply appreciative of all the caring and kind words we have received from family, friends, and fans.”

Adirondack defenseman Brandon Manning received a two-minute penalty for boarding on the play, which occurred late in the second period with MacLeod’s Falcons trailing 2-1. The coaches agreed to suspend the game at that point.

Manning tweeted later: would like to give my best to Wade MacLeod and his family. never had any intention of every hurting another player.. hope for a speedy recovery and see him back on the ice soon. thoughts and prayers to him and his family

MacLeod, who had an assist Sunday, has four goals and seven assists in 20 games this season for the Falcons, an affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets. At Northeastern, MacLeod played four years, leading the team in scoring his final three seasons. The native of Coquitlam, British Columbia, totaled 61 goals and 76 assists at NU while setting the school record for games played (149).

‘™¦ Former Mets catcher Mike Piazza wrote in his new book that he took karate lessons to be prepared for a fight with Roger Clemens after the then-Yankees pitcher beaned Piazza in 2000.

Clemens responded Sunday, telling the Houston Chronicle that Piazza wasn’t the only one who wanted revenge, noting that even some of his own teammates had issues with him.

“He’d have to stand in line,” said Clemens, who is serving as a spring training instructor for the Astros. “I think there were about three guys on the Yankees that wanted a piece of me more than [Piazza] did.”

Clemens, who said has not read the book, claims he has become friendly with Piazza after playing with him at golf events.

“Some of these guys, once you get to know some of them, they’re fine. But like I said, there was no intent there,” Clemens insisted of his famous run-ins with Piazza, including the 2000 World Series incident in which Clemens threw a piece of a broken bat at the catcher. “And Mike’s a good hitter and I think he hit every breaking ball I threw to him and he hit them hard. But he’s not the first power hitter who’s got me. So, we had some good times. But, yeah, somebody just texted me the Cliffs notes of [the book], so we thought that was pretty good.”

‘™¦ Tiger Woods might not be the world’s best golfer anymore, but he’s still a major drawing card. On Sunday, he played a round with President Barack Obama at the Floridian, an exclusive yacht and golf club on Florida’s Treasure Coast. The White House prohibited media coverage of the round, which included the participation of Astros owner Jim Crane, who owns the golf club, and outgoing U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

Obama, who is spending Presidents Day weekend in Florida, spent the day Saturday with Butch Harmon, Woods’ former swing coach. That apparently was preparation for his round with Woods, who visited the president in the Oval Office of the White House in 2009.

“Just to see the interaction between the two on the range was pretty neat,” Harmon told Golf Digest. “The President said to Tiger: ‘The last tournament you played was fun to watch. It’s good to see you play well again.’ You could tell he meant it. It just wasn’t a throw-it-out compliment.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 18, 1930, which Bruins goaltender set an NHL record for most wins in a season when he recorded his 31st with a 3-2 victory over the visiting Canadiens?

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Read More: Barack Obama, Jim Crane, Mike Piazza, roger clemens
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Jonathan Papelbon says Red Sox promoted controversial drug Toradol, but not PEDs 02.11.13 at 7:58 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.

NBA: Celtics at Bobcats, 7 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Spurs at Bulls, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Marquette at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Old Dominion at Delaware, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: TCU at Oklahoma, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Kansas State at Kansas, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Alcorn State at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Kings at Blues, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: Beanpot final, Boston College vs. Northeastern, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)


‘™¦ Former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon told ESPN that he was regularly injected with Toradol, a legal but controversial anti-inflammatory drug, during his time in Boston. Papelbon said his current team, the Phillies, told him he no longer would use the non-steroidal drug when he signed as a free agent after the 2011 season.

“They told me, ‘We don’t do that here. That kind of surprised me,” Papelbon said. “I haven’t had a single Toradol shot since.

“But here’s the thing you have to understand. There are so many organizations that do it. Not only baseball, but every sport. Football, basketball, hockey. It’s not just the Red Sox.”

The drug was the subject of some discussion last year when Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz was hospitalized with esophagitis, said to be a side effect of Toradol. In December 2011, some retired NFL players filed a lawsuit accusing the league of indiscriminately administering the drug before and during games.

Following Curt Schilling‘s accusation that a member of the Sox’ medical staff recommended he consider performance-enhancing drugs, Papelbon said he did not have a similar experience.

“No, no, no — never,” Papelbon said. “I think that would be pretty asinine for any team doctor or trainer to say that don’t you?”

‘™¦ An autobiography from former Mets catcher Mike Piazza reveals details about his feud with pitcher Roger Clemens, who beaned Piazza with a 98 mph fastball in 2000. Piazza said he refused an apology from Clemens and took karate lessons to prepare for another altercation, which occurred in the 2000 World Series when Clemens threw a piece of a broken bat at Piazza. However, only words were exchanged.

“There were complications,” Piazza explained. “The least of them was the realization that Clemens was a big guy, and I stood a pretty fair chance of getting my ass kicked in front of Yankee Stadium and the world. That was a legitimate concern.”

Piazza regrets his failure to act in that situation.

“It was not only possible but — circumstances be damned — it was in order.” Piazza said. “It was the story of the Series. I couldn’t deliver a punch.”

Also in the book, Piazza denies rumors that he took illegal steroids, although he admits to using muscle-building supplements and stimulants.

‘™¦ Rapper Lil Wayne claims he was kicked out of Sunday’s Lakers-Heat game in Miami because he was cheering for the visiting team.

Tweeted the rapper:

So I’m @ da Heat game right, rootin 4 da Lakers kuz dats my team & would u believe they got police 2 make me leave?! Wow [expletive] da Heat.

Wayne previously made news during the 2012 Western Conference finals when he complained he was “denied by the team to be in their arena” in Oklahoma City to see the Thunder play the Spurs in Game 3. However, a Thunder spokesman explained that Wayne demanded a front-row seat but was told there were none available.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 11, 1973, which 35-year-old rookie goalie recorded his first NHL shutout in the Bruins’ 2-0 victory over the visiting Kings?

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Read More: Curt Schilling, Jonathan Papelbon, Lil Wayne, Mike Piazza
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Jaguars say no to Tim Tebow 01.11.13 at 8:10 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.

NBA: Rockets at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Bulls at Knicks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Thunder at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Fairfield at Loyola (Md.), 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Wright State at Loyola (Ill.), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: New Hampshire at Boston College, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College hockey: Union at Princeton, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: Nebraska-Omaha at Denver, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)


‘™¦ So much for speculation about Tim Tebow‘s triumphant return to Florida.

New Jaguars general manager David Caldwell, speaking at his introductory press conference Thursday in Jacksonville, said Tebow, expected to be traded or released by the Jets this offseason, does not fit into the team’s plans.

“I can’t imagine a scenario in which he’ll be a Jacksonville Jaguar — even if he’s released,” Caldwell said.

Owner Shad Khan previously has expressed an interest in the former University of Florida standout, but on Thursday he said he’s standing behind his new GM.

“I’m telling them to take a look at Tebow, and they’re saying, ‘We’re going to go in a different direction,” Khan said. “That’s the difference.”

Blaine Gabbert might survive as the starting QB, but the Jaguars will have a change at coach, however, as Mike Mularkey was fired after one season and a 2-14 record, the worst in franchise history.

“We needed a rebuild from the ground up,” Khan said.

‘™¦ The Lakers continue to struggle along at 15-20 and on a five-game losing streak while they deal with injuries to four key players (Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Steve Blake), but executive vice president Jim Buss said he has no plans to rebuild the aging roster.

“We still like this team a lot,” Buss said Thursday in an interview with ESPNLA 710 radio in Los Angeles. “How can you not believe in this team? This team is built to win. It’s a very, very solid team. We haven’t seen them all together and play together for games. In my mind, we would not consider a temporary fix or blow it up. Why blow up something we have a future with?

“It’s very difficult to talk this way because we’re five games under or six games under .500, and we’ve dug ourselves a hole. But at the same time, I feel that if we put it together, we can string seven or eight games in a row and dig ourselves out of this hole. If we play with the energy we’ve seen in the last two games, then I think you go into the playoffs with momentum.”

It cost the team $99.2 million to assemble this roster, but Buss said he doesn’t regret going all in.
“We stuck our neck out with this payroll because Kobe [Bryant] is in the twilight of his career and we want to win championships,” Buss said. “Now, am I upset that we might not make the playoffs? Of course. I’d be upset if I had a $10 payroll or a $200 million payroll. I want to make the playoffs and I want to win championships. But to panic? No, we’re not going to panic.”

‘™¦ Hall of Fame reliever Goose Gossage, who previously has voiced his opinion that players linked to performance-enhancing drugs should join him in the Hall, took things another step Thursday when he said he might boycott the Hall if such players were to be enshrined.

“What kind of a society and what kind of world are we living in where we reward these guys for cheating?” Gossage said on New York sports radio station WFAN. “What kind of message does that send? And you know what? If any of these guys ever get in, I probably will never go back to the Hall of Fame.”

Added Gossage: “Nobody got in [this year], and the guys that are performance-enhancing drug users ‘€¦ I think [the voters] sent them a statement that they didn’€™t get in, and nor should they ever get in. They’€™ve got to make an example [of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens]. If they let them into the Hall of Fame, they might as well forget about testing and everything else.”

However, former Astros star Craig Biggio, who fell 39 votes shy of election, said if he had a vote he would have tabbed Bonds and Clemens.

“Barry Bonds was the greatest hitter that I’ve ever played against, the greatest players I ever played against. … Roger was one of the greatest pitchers of all time,” he said, adding. “I would have [voted them in]. Yes. I think those guys are Hall of Fame players. There’s not doubt about it, Barry and Roger, their numbers speak for themselves. And what they did on a baseball field speaks for themselves.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Jan. 11, 1977, with a 3-2 victory over the Capitals, which player became the fifth goaltender to record 100 career wins with the Bruins?

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Andy Pettitte on Roger Clemens’ comeback: ‘He loves to compete’ 08.22.12 at 10:10 am ET
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When Roger Clemens announced that he would pitch in an independent minor league game in Texas this week, former close friend and teammate Andy Pettitte was caught off guard — until he thought about it.

“I guess you could say it kind of surprised me, but I guess it doesn’€™t surprise me with him,”Pettitte told reporters Tuesday in Chicago, where his Yankees were playing the White Sox. ‘€œI know he loves to compete and I wish him nothing but the best.’€™’€™

Pettitte, whose testimony in Clemens’ perjury trial this summer was supposed to help prosecutors but ended up making the case more confusing when he backed off the certainty of his initial claims that Clemens admitted using performance-enhancing drugs, said he wouldn’t be surprised if Clemens’ Saturday night start for the Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters leads to something more — maybe even the majors.

Said Pettitte: ‘€œI don’€™t know, but you would guess, ‘€˜Why not do it unless you are trying to get back there.’€™ I am not real sure to tell you the truth, but he is definitely somebody who can pull it off.’€™’€™

The 40-year-old Pettitte, who returned this season after sitting out 2011 in retirement, is 3-3 with a 3.22 ERA for the Yankees. He’s been sidelined since June 27 as he recovers from a broken ankle, and he said this week he has not ruled out returning next season.

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