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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Pete Rose jokes about Alex Rodriguez dating Jennifer Lopez; Ichiro on retirement: ‘I think I’ll just die’

03.30.17 at 9:42 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Thursday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

MLB: Detroit vs. Baltimore, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Washington at Boston, 1 p.m. (WEEI-AM 850)
MLB: Chicago Cubs at Houston, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL: Dallas at Boston, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Cleveland at Chicago, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Houston at Portland, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)


— In their first show back from the baseball offseason, the hosts of the MLB on Fox are already taking jabs at each other.

Pete Rose routinely made jokes about his co-host A-Rod during the postseason last year and it seems things are no different this year.

In their return Monday night, Pete Rose made a joke about A-Rod’s relationship with Jennifer Lopez.

“You’re about as close to J-Lo as you’re gonna get,” Rose said to the former Yankee.

Fox was apparently ready for this joke.

“I found a tabloid in New York that says differently, Pete,” Kevin Burkhardt said. “This was in the papers recently.”

They then showed a graphic of a fake magazine cover showing J-Lo and Rose reported to be dating.

All four co-hosts, including Frank Thomas, laughed and A-Rod said, “You didn’t tell me about that, Petey.”

“I didn’t know about it,” Rose replied.

I bet A-Rod is thrilled he took this job full time.

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Read More: A-Rod, Ichiro Suzuki, Pete Rose,

NFL owners have reportedly fallen in love with Roger Goodell again

03.29.17 at 11:08 am ET
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Owners reportedly have a favorable view of Roger Goodell once again. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Owners reportedly have a favorable view of Roger Goodell once again. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Towards the end of the interminable Deflategate saga, some NFL owners were reportedly souring on Roger Goodell. Several influential league executives, including Falcons owner Arthur Blank and 49ers CEO Jed York, even publicly expressed a desire to see the commissioner vacate his unilateral disciplinary power.

But now, following another year of monstrous profits, Goodell is reportedly back in the good graces of his billionaire overlords.

According to Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, Goodell’s standing among owners has increased recently. They respect the way he was able to navigate past the Ray Rice and Deflategate fiascos, while serving as a fall guy for the league. The owners are also reportedly thrilled with the way Goodell has handled the league’s concussion crisis. Last year, the Supreme Court left the NFL’s $1 billion settlement with thousands of ex-players who accused the league of masking the dangers of head trauma in place. It’s a favorable deal for the NFL, because it doesn’t cover CTE, which at this point can only be diagnosed posthumously.

With league revenue reaching $14 billion, the NFL seems poised to enter another period of prolonged financial growth. The league gained a whopping $1.65 billion in relocation fees from the Rams, Chargers and Raiders, which will be divided up among all 32 franchises. Every team will receive $53 million as a result of the moves, with none of the money going to the players.

That’s probably a reason why Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who continues to jab at Goodell for Deflategate, expressed support for the Raiders’ relocation at the league meetings this week.

“Now, they have an opportunity to be a very solid, vibrant team,” he said, via “In the end, we’re in a competitive league, and you can’t compete at the highest level if you don’t have a first-rate stadium. I think that’s what this is really all about.”

As long as the money keeps pouring in, Goodell will likely remain popular among owners. He continues to deliver for them.

Read More: Roger Goodell,

Michael Irvin under investigation for sexual assault after woman says he drugged and raped her

03.29.17 at 10:07 am ET
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Michael Irvin is no stranger to legal trouble. (Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports

Michael Irvin is no stranger to legal trouble. (Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports)

A woman says NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin sexually assaulted her in a Florida hotel last week, according to TMZ.

The 27-year-old accuser told law enforcement she was in a bar with Irvin until the early hours of the morning before returning to his room at the W Fort Lauderdale March 21. Once they got there, the woman says she felt sick and remembers trying to fight off the former NFL star before falling asleep. She told police she believes Irvin drugged and raped her.

Irvin’s attorney, Larry Friedman, says his client isn’t guilty of any wrongdoing.

“The allegations are completely false,” he said, via TMZ. “In the few hours since we’ve learned about them we’ve already discovered many red flags about this young woman’s background and the allegations she made against Michael. Even the complaint that she made specifically says she does not recall the events that took place. She was very drunk that night. Nothing happened and there was no assault.”

The New York Post reports Irvin was at a bar with the alleged victim until roughly 4:30 a.m. The former wideout claims he was only in the room with the woman for 15 minutes, and another man was present as well.

Irvin, who played 12 seasons for the Cowboys, is currently an analyst at NFL Network. He settled a civil suit in 2011 with a woman who accused him of sexual assault.

Read More: Michael Irvin,

Bomani Jones: Only way Tom Brady plays 6 or 7 more years is if he takes steroids

03.29.17 at 9:29 am ET
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Tom Brady won his fourth Super Bowl MVP last season.  (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady won his fourth Super Bowl MVP last season. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Earlier this week, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Tom Brady hopes to play for another six or seven more years. Given that Brady will turn 40 in August, that means he expects to stand under center until he’s 46 or 47. It would be a superhuman feat.

On ESPN’s “Around the Horn” Tuesday, panelist Bomani Jones insinuated he doesn’t think Brady can last that long unless he takes illicit substances.

“At his age, the only people you’re playing six or seven more years is not legal as things stand right now,” Jones said. “I’m saying to play until you’re 45 years old, you can’t quite do that naturally.”

Jones didn’t back down when he was pressed about whether he was implying Brady would be forced to turn to performance-enhancing drugs to realize his goal.

“That is exactly what I’m saying, because nobody can play NFL football until they’re 45 years old unless they’re a kicker,” he said. “That is an insane thought to have. But part of him being so good is being insane.”

While Brady shows no signs of slowing down –– he led the AFC in passer rating last season –– it’s unfathomable to imagine him continuing to play quarterback into his late 40s. But then again, it is rather reckless to preemptively accuse somebody of using PEDs.

The only time Brady has even been remotely linked to steroid use was in 2006, when Barry Bonds’ former personal trainer Greg Anderson revealed to prosecutors he once spoke briefly with the Patriots’ quarterback on the phone. Anderson said he didn’t have any conversations with Brady afterwards.

Read More: ESPN, Tom Brady,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Jay Cutler’s wife posts nude picture of him on Instagram; Draymond Green rips Raiders for Las Vegas move

03.29.17 at 8:17 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Wednesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

MLB: Minnesota at Boston, 1 p.m. (WEEI-AM 850)
MLB: Philadelphia vs. Detroit, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: LA Dodgers vs. Seattle, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Oklahoma City at Orlando, 7 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Milwaukee at Boston, 7:30 p.m. (CSN)
NBA: Golden State at San Antonio, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Chicago at Pittsburgh, 8p.m. (NBCSN)


— While on vacation in Mexico, Jay Cutler’s actress wife Kristin Cavallari posted a picture of her husband’s bare behind on Instagram with the caption, “Good times, no tan lines. Let the sea set you free.” 

Click here to see the post.

She also posted this picture of the two together in the Mexican town of Tulum.

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Read More: Draymond Green, Jay Cutler,

Donald Trump reportedly declines Nationals offer to throw first pitch on Opening Day

03.28.17 at 12:17 pm ET
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Donald Trump, a native New Yorker, is known as a big time Yankees fan. (Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool Photo via USA Today Sports)

Donald Trump will be the first president since 1910 to not throw out a first pitch on Opening Day. (Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool Photo via USA Today Sports)

The last 18 presidents have thrown out a ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day. Donald Trump is apparently bucking that tradition.

According to the Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga, Trump declined the Nationals’ offer to throw out the first pitch at Nats Park next Monday. Earlier Tuesday, POLITICO reported Trump was in talks with the Nationals to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Given the divisiveness of Trump’s presidency, the Nationals would’ve probably faced backlash if they had welcomed Trump to the ballpark. But that apparently didn’t deter the organization from extending an invitation.

The White House didn’t provide a reason why Trump turned down the Nationals. One possible explanation is that he didn’t want to subject himself to facing a hostile crowd in D.C. Trump lost the District of Columbia to Hillary Clinton by more than 86 points.

This post has been updated. 

Read More: Donald Trump,

Jose Canseco takes TV baseball analyst gig

03.28.17 at 11:01 am ET
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  CBS SportsJose Canseco is back in baseball.

According to Joe Stiglich of CSN Bay Area, Canseco is joining NBC Sports California as an on-air analyst for their pre- and postgame coverage of the Oakland Athletics, one of his former teams.

From Stiglich: “I’ve got quite a bit of experience. I’ve pretty much been there, done all of that whether it’s on or off the field,” Canseco said. “I think the fans can expect the truth — an honest opinion, honest analysis — and hopefully in some shape or form we expand the fan base.”

“He’s enthused about taking on his first role as an analyst, and he joins NBC Sports California at a time of budding excitement surrounding the A’s and the expectation of them building a new ballpark in Oakland. Canseco, the 1986 AL Rookie of the Year, played for the A’s when they were one of the Bay Area’s hottest sports stories.”

Canseco has been mostly persona non grata around Major League Baseball since his book Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big was released in 2005. The book documented performance-enhancing drug use by both Canseco and several other big name players in the league.

On Twitter, Canseco has lobbied for managerial jobs and even chances to resume his playing career over the years. He hasn’t played in the big leagues since 2001, though the now 52-year-old Canseco has played in several independent leagues since 2006.

Canseco is part of NBC Sports California’s new analyst lineup of former Athletics players. Alex Rodriguez, another former star with PED ties, was recently hired as a full-time analyst by Fox .

Canseco hasn’t even started this job yet and I’m already sick of him.

He is a lunatic who will do literally anything for attention. This is a guy who pretended to lose a finger in a poker game and the saga became national news before he revealed it was a hoax. 

Yes, he will probably say some insane things on TV and will be more animated than traditional baseball analysts. But he is grasping for relevancy and that is a recipe for a pathetic performance on television. There’s a good chance he’ll say outrageous things for the sake of saying outrageous things.

Here is his series of tweets announcing his new job:

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Bears’ Deonte Thompson testifies in Aaron Hernandez trial; Tim Tebow still can’t hit a fastball

03.28.17 at 9:23 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Tuesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

MLB: St. Louis vs. NY Mets, 1:10 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: San Francisco vs. Chicago Cubs, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Boston at Pittsburgh, 6 p.m. (NESN Plus, WEEI-AM 850)
NHL: Nashville at Boston, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Washington at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (NHL Network)
NBA: Golden State at Houston, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Washington at LA Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Bakersfield vs. Georgia Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: TCU vs. UCF, 9 p.m. (ESPN)


— Deonte Thompson, a receiver for the Chicago Bears, took the stand on Monday in the Aaron Hernandez double murder trial.

Thompson, who was a teammate of Hernandez at the University of Florida, played for the Ravens in 2013 when Baltimore beat Hernandez’ Patriots in the AFC Championship game.

“That’s my guy,” Thompson said about Hernandez, who smiled in response.

Thompson said he doesn’t remember much about the night Hernandez allegedly shot Alexander Bradley in the face on Feb. 13, 2013. Thompson and Hernandez went to Tootsie’s, a strip club in Miami, that night for Thompson’s birthday and Thompson left before Bradley was shot.

“It’s kind of a blur. We were every day partying,” Thompson said. “We were kids … I had just won the Super Bowl.”

He said he thought Bradley and Hernandez “were just homies and whatnot. I thought they were pretty close.”

Hernandez and Thompson seemed happy to see each other and Thompson laughed as he was told to point out Hernandez in the courtroom and identified him by his purple tie.

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Tim Tebow,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Indians GM’s son blurts out Francisco Lindor contract info on radio; Roger Goodell rips Oakland’s proposal to keep Raiders

03.27.17 at 8:10 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Monday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

MLB: Boston vs. Baltimore, 1:05 p.m. (ESPN, WEEI-AM 850)
MLB: Seattle vs. San Diego, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland, 9 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Cleveland at San Antonio, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: New Orleans at Utah, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL: Chicago at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Wyoming at Coastal Caroli, 8:30 p.m. (ESPNU)


— During an appearance in the Indians’ radio broadcast booth during a spring training game on Saturday, the son of the team’s general manager, Mike Chernoff, accidentally revealed some inside information about Francisco Lindor’s contract.

When Indians play-by-play announcer Tom Hamilton asked six year-old Brody Chernoff which players his dad is working to get, Brody gave a very honest answer.

“He’s trying to, um, get Lindor to play for seven more years,” Brody blurted.

“OK. We better not talk anymore Brody. There you have it folks, we’ve finally had a scoop on the Indians’ radio network,” Hamilton responded.

So now we know Chernoff is possibly trying to keep the shortstop in Cleveland with a seven-year contract extension. Of course, it’s possible Brody misspoke but this is very specific information that likely has some truth to it.

The Indians posted the audio in the tweet above but neither confirmed nor denied Brody’s comment.

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Read More: Cleveland Indians, Oakland Raiders, Roger Goodell,

Thinking out Loud: College basketball offseason can be tough time for some

03.24.17 at 7:35 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud…while wondering whatever happened to The Gong Show?

— The off-season for college basketball can be a tumultuous time. Player transfers. Coaching changes. It’s a good thing PC’s off-season begins with the celebration of accomplishment from the year just gone by – and Ed Cooley’s selection as the NABC District 5 Coach of the Year.

— What is this? It’s your peers (the National Association of Basketball Coaches) recognizing what you’ve done in your own backyard. And out of the six seasons Cooley has had the Friar program, reaction has been universal. It’s been his best work yet.

— Although, it isn’t (and hasn’t) been without some bumps on the road map. Sophomore Ryan Fazekas is leaving the team, aced out of playing time largely by transfer Isaiah Jackson and freshman Alpha Diallo. It is unfortunate, but Fazekas was never the same after his freshman year bout of mono took him from the team after his first month of play.

— This is also the reality of big time, high-major college sports. Those who produce, play. And even though Fazekas contributed in spots this season (most notably at Marquette) there simply wasn’t the consistency needed from his position. And his situation wasn’t going to improve.

— I recall visiting with Fazekas’ father last year at Butler as Ryan was prepared to return to the team from his illness. He told me Ryan loved Providence, loved the guys on the team, and was very anxious to make an impact. He should know his son’s attitude is what stood out, if not his ability to shoot the ball, and I wish him well.

— This means an open scholarship is now available for next season. It may very well go to a freshman-to-be scoring guard, but I’d be surprised if the Friars don’t seriously dig for a graduate transfer at the spot. Someone who can shoot, but also break down a defense and compliment Kyron Cartwright’s ability to penetrate is what next year’s team will need. Just sayin’.

— ICYMI, the Providence-USC First Four game in Dayton was the most-watched of the first round/First Four games on TV. More than 1.6 million viewers tuned in at some point. They missed a heck of a show on the radio, don’t ya’ know.

— Who else thought URI’s finish in the 2nd round against Oregon was eerily similar to what happened to PC against USC? Once the game started to slip from their grasp, you knew it would be hard to get it back.

— What’s next for Rhody? Finding a replacement for Hassan Martin’s inside game and toughness must be at the top of the list. E.C. Matthews is staying on for his 5th year. That’s as good, or better, than anything else.

— Did it dawn on you how much “fun” it was to have two schools dancing at the same time? That hadn’t happened in 20 years, and should happen a lot more often than that. I’ll wager that it will, and perhaps as soon again as next year.

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