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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Rangers coach John Tortorella advises Sharks’ Joe Thornton to ‘just shut up’ 11.02.11 at 7:51 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.

No games scheduled


‘™¦ After the Sharks lost on Monday to the Rangers, 5-2, Joe Thornton lamented San Jose’s missed opportunity. “They were probably the softest team we played against on this road trip, and we should have had the two points,” the former Bruin said.

Rangers coach John Tortorella initially brushed off the comments, but on Tuesday he responded with more vigor.

“Joe hasn’€™t won a damned thing in this league,” Tortorella said. “He could go down as one of the better players in our league never to win anything. So what he should do is just shut up. It was uncalled for. It was classless. I’€™ve never had it happen like that before.”

Meanwhile, the Rangers got a little less soft Tuesday when they recalled controversial forward Sean Avery from the AHL after no other NHL team claimed the veteran.

‘™¦ Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo‘s comments last month about ESPN’s role in conference realignment (which he attempted to retract) has fueled conspiracy theories. USA Today takes a closer look at the network’s affect on the college sports landscape.

‘™¦ Yale quarterback Patrick Witt is a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship, and his interview is scheduled for Nov. 19 in Atlanta. The problem is, that’s the same day as the Harvard-Yale game. “If the Rhodes Committee is willing to work with me, in a perfect world, I can interview first thing in the morning and get on a flight to be back in time for the game on Saturday,” he told the Yale Daily News. “But I don’€™t know if that will be possible.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 2, 1969, the Patriots won their first game after opening the season with seven straight losses. Which now-defunct team did the Pats shut out, 24-0?

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Read More: Gene DeFilippo, Joe Thornton, John Tortorella, Patrick Whitt
Rangers set to waive NHL veteran Sean Avery 10.05.11 at 10:22 am ET
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The Rangers will waive infamous instigator Sean Avery on Tuesday, first reported in a tweet from New York Post columnist Larry Brooks. Entering his 13th year in the league, Avery played for New York for five of the last six years, his only other team being the Stars for the 2008-09 season.

Avery’s agent Pat Morris confirmed the move to Sporting News. Morris said that Avery “will pursue whatever the options are once he is put on waivers, and clears or doesn’t clear.”

The controversial left winger struggled to find a place in the Rangers lineup in training camp and was scratched from the final two exhibition games for New York. If Avery is not claimed by another team off of waivers, he would likely be sent to the Rangers’ AHL affiliate in Connecticut.

Read More: Rumor Mill, Sean Avery,
Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds avoids punishment for alleged slur 09.28.11 at 8:54 am ET
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Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds will not be punished for his alleged use of a homophobic slur toward Rangers agitator Sean Avery, as the NHL cited a lack of evidence that Simmonds said the slur.

The incident occurred in a Monday night preseason game between the Flyers and Rangers. In the first period, television cameras caught Simmonds jawing at Avery when he appeared to say the slur. When asked about the incident by reporters after the game, Avery confirmed that Simmonds used the anti-gay insult.

But NHL senior executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell said that because of “conflicting accounts of what transpired on the ice, we have been unable to substantiate with the necessary degree of certainty what was said and by whom.”

Campbell explained that because none of the officials at the game heard Simmonds say the slur, the Flyer could not be punished by the NHL. But if anything else was revealed about incident, Campbell said that the NHL would have the right to revisit the matter.

On Tuesday, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation implored Simmonds to apologize for the remark while calling for the NHL to educate its fans about why the use of homophobic slurs are unacceptable.

“Hate speech and anti-gay slurs have no place on the ice rink,” GLAAD acting president Mike Thompson said in a statement. “The word that Simmonds used is the same word that is hurled at LGBT youth on the playground and in our schools, creating a climate of intolerance and hostility.

Read More: Rumor Mill, Sean Avery, Wayne Simmonds,
Sean Avery accuses Wayne Simmonds of homophobic slur 09.27.11 at 9:44 am ET
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Notorious Rangers agitator Sean Avery said that Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds called him a homophobic slur during the first period of a physical preseason game Monday night in Philadelphia.

Television cameras caught the incident, in which Simmonds appeared to say the offending words to Avery in a bout of verbal jousting between the two. After the game, a 5-3 Flyers victory, reporters asked the Rangers winger if Simmonds said the slur and Avery confirmed it, saying, “Yeah, yeah.”

Simmonds did not deny Avery’s claim.

“Honestly, we were going back and forth for a while there,” Simmonds said. “I don’t recall everything that I did say to him, but he said to me some things I didn’t like. And maybe I said some things that he didn’t like.”

The incident is the second controversy that has involved Simmonds in the last two weeks. Last week a fan tossed a banana at Simmonds — who is black — while the Flyers winger took a penalty shot during a preseason game in London, Ontario.

Read More: Rumor Mill, Sean Avery, Wayne Simmonds,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Georgetown basketball team brawls with Chinese club 08.19.11 at 7:52 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.

MLB: Red Sox at Royals, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

MLB: Red Sox at Royals, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLS: Revolution at Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)

MLB: Red Sox at Royals, 2:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)


‘™¦ The Georgetown basketball team’s goodwill tour of China lacked goodwill Thursday night. A chippy game against the Bayi Rockets in Beijing ended with about 9½ minutes left when a huge brawl broke out. In a video of the incident (below), Chinese players appear to be the aggressors, throwing punches, swinging chairs and tossing water bottles. That led Georgetown coach John Thompson III to pull his team off the court. Thompson, who was berated by a Chinese player early in the game, did his best to downplay the incident after retreating to his hotel.

“Tonight, two great teams played a very competitive game that unfortunately ended after heated exchanges with both teams,” Thompson said in a statement. “We sincerely regret that this situation occurred. We remain grateful for the opportunity our student-athletes are having to engage in a sport they love here in China, while strengthening their understanding of a nation we respect and admire at Georgetown University.”

‘™¦ NHL agitator Sean Avery will not face charges after being arrested for battery on a policeman who visited Avery’s Hollywood Hills house to break up a loud party, according to TMZ. The Rangers winger was arrested Aug. 5 after reportedly slamming a door on officers before eventually cooperating, but a source told TMZ no charges will be filed.

‘™¦ A former Connecticut congressman who participated in Roger Clemens‘ 2008 hearing wants the government to move on from the controversy and not attempt to retry the pitching legend. But Chris Shays is positive Clemens is guilty. “We literally pleaded with [Clemens] not to commit perjury,” Shays told the New York Daily News. “It’s pretty evident he did. It’s pretty evident to everyone that he did commit perjury.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Aug. 19, 1921, which baseball legend recorded his 3,000th hit against the Red Sox?

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Read More: Bayi Rockets, Chris Shays, Georgetown, John Thompson III
Rangers forward Sean Avery reportedly arrested at party 08.05.11 at 8:52 am ET
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Rangers forward Sean Avery was arrested early Friday morning for pushing a policeman who tried to break up a party at Avery’s Los Angeles-area home, accord to TMZ.com. Police were responding a call from a Hollywood Hills neighbor about a loud party that was going on after midnight. Avery allegedly shoved an officer and slammed the door shut, but then cooperated with authorities after a second knock on the door. Avery was booked for battery on a peace office and held on $20,000 bail.

Avery was the subject of another controversy earlier this week when teammate Alex Frolov was quoted by a Russian newspaper as saying that Avery had used racial slurs against black players in games. Frolov later claimed he was misquoted.

Read More: Rumor Mill, Sean Avery,
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: New York voters say no to Islanders 08.02.11 at 7:55 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.

MLB: Indians at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)


‘™¦ Voters on Long Island, who already have among the highest property taxes in the nation, rejected a proposal to borrow $400 million to build a new arena for the Islanders. Despite a low turnout that would seem to offer hope if enough Islanders supporters hit the polls, the proposal was rejected handily. “I’m disappointed,” said Islanders owner Charles Wang, who has hinted the team might need to relocate if voters said no. “To put it bluntly, I’m heartbroken.”

‘™¦ Rangers forward Alex Frolov insists he was misquoted when a Russian newspaper reported that Frolov said teammate Sean Avery has used racial slurs to agitate opponents. Frolov was quoted as saying Avery used the term “black monkeys,” although it was in the context of saying that Avery no longer crosses the line like that. Said Frolov in response to the controversy: “He wouldn’t say something bad about black people or Asian people or any kind of people. I guess it’s just some kind of misunderstanding.”

‘™¦ Former Patriots receiver Randy Moss announced through his agent that he is retiring. At Yahoo! Sports, Jason Cole questions whether Moss really will retire, insisting that he’s just upset that the Patriots and Jets signed other receivers. At SI.com, Michael Rosenberg writes that Moss is a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

‘™¦ The Cubs continue to underachieve, and they were quiet at the trade deadline. First baseman Carlos Pena is hopeful the situation eventually will improve. “Obviously, there are some things that need to change,” he said Sunday. “It’s not so much moving a piece here and there will make a huge difference. I’m talking more about our culture, our way of being, [our] way of thinking, our energy. We have talent. There’s no doubt about it. It’s the other stuff. The intangibles need to change, and I think as we go along, they are.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Aug. 2, 1923, Harry Frazee‘s controversial tenure as Red Sox owner officially with the installation of a new ownership group led by which man who also served as team president?

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Read More: Alex Frolov, Carlos Pena, Charles Wang, Randy Moss
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Rangers’ Sean Avery wants NHL to get behind gay marriage 06.28.11 at 6:23 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.

MLB: Red Sox at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)


‘™¦ Rangers forward Sean Avery, who aggressively supported gay marriage in New York ‘€” a bill making gay marriage legal in the state was passed last week ‘€” now wants the league to get behind him. “It would be great for the NHL to take the lead among professional sports leagues in terms of social equality and justice and be out front and progressive regarding issues like this,” he said.

As for the fact that he is one of the most disliked players in the league due to his obnoxious behavior yet now is campaigning for “social equality,” Avery explained: “It’s like I have a split personality on and off the ice, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. People who only know me as a player don’t know me at all.”

‘™¦ Maxim Lapierre, one of the players who made the Canucks genuinely unlikable in the Stanley Cup finals with his taunting and faking, re-signed with the team Monday for two years and $2 million. The Canucks also signed pending unrestricted free agent Kevin Bieksa.

‘™¦ With Davey Johnson taking over as manager of a contending Nationals team, Real Clear Sports has a look at the top 10 championship coaching changes in midseason. Pat Riley holds two spots: No. 1 for when he took over the 1981-82 Lakers from Paul Westhead, and No. 5 for when he took over the 2005-06 Heat from Stan Van Gundy.

‘™¦ Lorenzo Charles, whose catch and dunk at the buzzer lifted NC State to an upset victory over Houston in the 1983 NCAA championship game, died Monday when the bus he was driving crashed in North Carolina. No passengers were aboard the bus driven by the 47-year old Charles, who had a brief NBA career.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 28, 2003, which outfielder made his debut with the Red Sox after being purchased from the Rockies and went 4-for-5 with three RBIs, although the Sox blew a seven-run lead in the eighth inning and fell to the Marlins, 10-9?

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Read More: Davey Johnson, Jerod Mayo, Kevin Bieksa, Lorenzo Charles
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Toronto sportscaster fired after weighing in on gay marriage 05.13.11 at 7:39 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.

MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

NHL Playoffs: Lightning at Bruins, 8 p.m. (VERSUS)
MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:10 p.m. (FOX; WEEI)
MLS: Whitecaps at Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)

MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 8:05 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI)


‘™¦ Toronto broadcaster Damian Goddard was fired by Rogers Sportsnet Wednesday after tweeting his opinion on same-sex marriage. The studio host wrote that he backed hockey agent Todd Reynolds, who had criticized Rangers forward Sean Avery for publicly supporting the cause. “I completely and whole-heartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage,” Goddard wrote.

After issuing its own tweet indicating that Goddard’s comments did not represent the views of Rogers Sportsnet, the company announced: “Mr. Goddard was a freelance contractor and in recent weeks it had become clear that he is not the right fit for our organization.”

In the Toronto Sun, Steve Buffery said the backlash against Reynolds and Goddard is “disturbing.”

‘™¦ Chicago sportscaster Daryl Hawks was found dead in his Atlanta hotel room Thursday morning. Police said no foul play is suspected in the death of the 38-year-old Hawks, who was following the Bulls during their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

‘™¦ Packers president Mark Murphy said the team will retire Brett Favre‘s jersey, but the honor won’t happen for a few years, because, “We want to make sure that he’s retired first.” At NFL.com, Vic Carucci writes that Favre deserves the recognition sooner rather than later.

‘™¦ The city of Glendale, Ariz., voted to give $25 million to the NHL to operate the Coyotes for another year while the league tries to find a buyer. At the Arizona Republic, Dan Bickley writes that this saga needs a quick resolution.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 13, 1991, which two former Celtics were inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame?

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Read More: Damian Goddard, Daryl Hawks, Mark Murphy, Sean Avery
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Magic Johnson comes down hard on ‘classless’ Lakers 05.09.11 at 7:37 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 Playoffs: Heat at Celtics, 7 p.m. (TNT; WEEI)
MLB: Twins at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN/ESPN; WRKO)


‘™¦ The Lakers bowed out of the playoffs in embarrassing fashion Sunday, getting routed by the Mavericks to complete a four-game sweep and having two players thrown out of the game for blatant cheap shots. While ejected players Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom showed no remorse, Lakers legend Magic Johnson did not hold back, calling the players “classless” and “thuggish” and saying they embarrassed him.

Said Johnson in a TV interview: “That should never happen. You have to show class when you win and you have to show class when you lose, and the Lakers did not show class in Game 4.”

Before Game 4, Johnson ‘€” who sold his ownership stake in the team last fall but still is listed as a vice president ‘€” said the Lakers need to address the fact that they are “too slow and [have] no athletes,” and suggested they will need to trade Bynum, Odom or fellow big man Pau Gasol and “blow this team up.” Responded coach Phil Jackson: “I thought [Magic’s comments] were unnecessary at this time.”

‘™¦ Renowned agitator Sean Avery hasn’t won much support with his play on the ice for the Rangers, but he’s now a friend to the gay community after recording a video supporting same-sex marriage.

‘™¦ Big-name hitters throughout the major leagues continue to struggle in the early part of the season. In the New York Daily News, Bill Madden looks at the situation, noting that Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has plenty of company in the underperforming department.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 9, 1989, which Red Sox catcher dropped a foul ball for his first error after a major league-record 159 error-free games?

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Read More: Derek Jeter, Magic Johnson, Phil Jackson, Sean Avery