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CBS analyst Jim Spanarkel should feel no shame for calling Allie LaForce a ‘pretty woman’

03.17.17 at 11:26 am ET
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CBS hired Allie LaForce in 2014. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

CBS hired Allie LaForce in 2014. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

CBS analyst Jim Spanarkel called a woman “pretty.” As a result, he must be shamed.

During the West Virginia-Bucknell matchup Thursday, reporter Allie LaForce relayed comments from Bisons’ head coach Nathan Davis on how the Mountaineers’ offensive rebuilding hurt them in the first half. Spanarkel, in a seemingly benign back-and-forth, briefly discussed LaForce’s report with play-by-play man Verne Lundquist.

“I agree with Allie. I always agree with Allie, though,” he said. “Eight offensive rebounds, well, I’ve learned not to argue with pretty women. Like the people in my house. I don’t get in trouble with the people that are in my house, either, so eight offensive rebounds, Allie, when you think about it, is really a problem, from the standpoint of Bucknell.”

It didn’t take long for Spanarkel to feel the wrath of Twitter’s social justice warriors. ESPN’s Bomani Jones, who strongly hinted earlier this year Celtics fans cheered for Jazz forward Gordon Hayward because he’s white, said the former Duke star is going to “wish he had that one back.” Others called Spanarkel misogynistic, because he acknowledged LaForce’s appearance.

The backlash against Spanarkel is similar to the pushback play-by-play announcer Brent Musberger faced in 2013, when he called former Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend, Katherine Webb, a “lovely lady” during the national title game. When the cameras panned to the former Miss Alabama USA, Musberger remarked to color analyst Kirk Herbstreit, a former quarterback at Ohio State, “You quarterbacks get all the good-looking women.”

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WATCH: Manny Ramirez hit a double for his new Japanese team

03.17.17 at 9:41 am ET
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Manny Ramirez is more than a special attraction for his new Japanese ball club. He can still rake.

The now-44-year-old slugger stepped up to the plate Thursday for the Kōchi Fighting Dogs of the Shikoku Island League Plus. He promptly smacked a double to center field.

Details of Ramirez’s contract were revealed earlier this week. In addition to being entitled to unlimited sushi, he’ll have access to his own hotel suite for away games and Mercedes with a personal driver. Practices are optional as well.

Ramirez, who will wear a No. 99 jersey with “Manny” stitched on the back, last played at the Major League level in 2011. The Cubs hired him in 2014 to serve as a hitting consultant.

(h/t @BenBadler)

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: CBS Sports’ website crashes on first day of NCAA tournament, viewers attack; Mike Francesa explains NCAA matchup mix-up

03.17.17 at 9:24 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Friday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Houston at Boston, 1 p.m. (WEEI-AM 850)
MLB: NY Yankees vs. Detroit, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Kansas City vs. Milwaukee, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
World Baseball Classic: US vs. Puerto Rico, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Boston at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m. (CSN)
NBA: Minnesota at Miami, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
NHL: Florida at NY Rangers, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
College basketball: Oklahoma State vs. Michigan, 12:15 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: New Mexico State vs. Baylor, 12:40 p.m. (tru TV)
College basketball: Seton Hall vs. Arkansas, 1:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Iona vs. Oregon, 2 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: Jacksonville State vs. Louisville, 2:45 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: USC vs. SMU, 3:10 p.m. (tru TV)
College basketball: Texas Southern vs. North Carolina, 4 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: URI vs. Creighton, 4:30 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: UC Davis vs. Kansas, 6:50 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Wichita State vs. Dayton, 7:10 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: Troy vs. Duke, 7:20 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: Kansas State vs. Cincinnati, 7:27 p.m. (tru TV)
College basketball: Michigan State vs. Miami, 9:20 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Northern Kentucky vs. Kentucky, 9:40 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: Marquette vs. South Carolina, 9:50 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: Kent State vs. UCLA, 9:57p.m. (tru TV)

AROUND THE WEB:

— In a case of terrible timing, CBS Sports’ website crashed on Thursday morning, leaving many college basketball fans in the lurch on the first day of the tournament.

When thousands of fans logged on to the website to submit last-minute brackets, they found the website had gone down around 11 a.m. It remained down for about two hours, which angered fans because the first game tipped off at 12:15.

And fans let CBS Sports know about it on Twitter.

“During the hour before the first tip, service was down due to overwhelming demand,” CBS Sports Digital said in a statement. “We certainly regret the outage but are pleased to say that service has since been restored.”

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Max Kellerman’s 3 stupidest Patriots hot takes

03.16.17 at 4:23 pm ET
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It feels dirty to write about Max Kellerman. The “First Take” co-host is the most transparent troll on sports television, surpassing the man he replaced, Skip Bayless. Those who grant him attention, even if it’s negative, are giving him exactly what he wants –– and thus encouraging him to continue.

But even feigned stupidity deserves to be called out. And Kellerman, who over the last year has predicted Tom Brady’s imminent demise and Bill Belichick’s forthcoming retirement, is in a class all by himself. Ever since taking over for Bayless, he’s spouted a bevy of insane Patriots hot takes. The three most ridiculous are below:

1) Tom Brady ‘will be a bum in short order

Roughly six months after Kellerman predicted the end of Brady’s career, the Patriots quarterback led his team on the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. Brady completed 21-of-27 passes in the fourth quarter and overtime against the Falcons, spearheading the 25-point come-from-behind victory.

With five Lombardi Trophies and four Super Bowl MVPs on his resume, there’s little question Brady is the greatest of all-time. And the scary part is, he’s never been better. Brady led the AFC in passer-rating last season at 39 years old.

Kellerman, who said last summer Brady is “just about done,” couldn’t look more ridiculous right now. His obtuseness was highlighted in the second quarter of Super Bowl LI, when he took a premature victory lap on Twitter.

In the immediate aftermath of Brady’s late-game heroics, one would think Kellerman would’ve admitted defeat on ESPN the next day. But instead, he doubled-down.

“Tom Brady threw a pick six in yesterday’s game, and tried to throw a couple more –– two or three more in the second half of a tight game,” he said. “Look, I love Eli Manning. He’s an incredible clutch performer. But Giants fans know, you need to get lucky as well. Then you have to make the most of the opportunity, which Tom Brady did. But had the DB’s just held onto a few of those balls, we don’t have this conversation right now about Tom Brady’s performance. So it is also somewhat lucky.”

It’s offensive to the audience when you refuse to admit you’re wrong –– even when evidence is slapping you in the face. Kellerman is Bayless without the nuance.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: ESPN, New England Patriots,

Aaron Hernandez told a prison pen pal he’s ‘very angry all the time’

03.16.17 at 12:40 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez is already serving a life sentence for Odin Lloyd's murder. (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA Today Sports)

Aaron Hernandez is already serving a life sentence for Odin Lloyd’s murder. (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA Today Sports)

The prosecution may have gotten a big break in the Aaron Hernandez double murder trial.

On Thursday, assistant Suffolk County district attorneys Mark Lee and Patrick Haggan read aloud statements from one of Hernandez’s pen pals. The female, who corresponded with Hernandez in 2015 as he was awaiting trial for the slaying of his friend Odin Lloyd, said the former Patriots tight end told her about the dark state of his mind.

“At one point during their conversations, the defendant told her that incidents in his life caused him to be ‘very angry all the time,’ ” the prosecutors wrote, via the Boston Herald. “The defendant’s statements … are probative of his state of mind to explain his anger over a spilled drink.”

According to law enforcement, Hernandez shot and killed Daniel Abreu, 29, and Safiro Furtado, 28, in the South End in 2012 following a nightclub incident. Apparently, one of the two men spilled a drink on Hernandez, which set him off. He allegedly pulled up next to Abreu and Furtado at a stoplight after leaving the club, and started to open fire.

This followed the prosecution’s presentation Wednesday, when they questioned a tattoo artist who did extensive work on Hernandez in an attempt to argue the ex-football star got ink to commemorate the deaths of the two victims. After the murder, Hernandez got a front view of a handgun, a design of a six-cylinder revolver with one bullet missing and the words “God Forgives” written backwards tattooed on his body.

In defense of their client, Hernandez’s lawyers said the tattoo artist’s testimony was different than what he had told police. They also said the pen pal’s statements were “cherrypicked.”

Read More: Aaron Hernandez,

There’s no racial double-standard between Rob Gronkowski and Ezekiel Elliott

03.16.17 at 11:46 am ET
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Rob Gronkowski is perceived as a good-natured party boy. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Rob Gronkowski is perceived as a good-natured party boy. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

There’s no racial double-standard when it comes to the way Ezekiel Elliott’s bra-pulling incident has been portrayed in comparison to Rob Gronkowski’s off-field shenanigans. Context matters, and given Elliott’s alleged history of violence against women, his behavior can’t be excused as harmless debauchery.

At a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dallas last weekend, Elliott exposed a woman’s breast while he was partying on a rooftop. It’s apparent the act may not have been consensual, because the woman slaps away Elliott’s hands when he goes for her cleavage a second time.

Two years ago, Gronkowski was also involved in a breast-touching incident. He buried his face into a woman’s cleavage at a nightclub in Charleston, while she danced with a half-empty bottle of liquor in her hand.

If the female on the receiving end of Gronkowski’s motorboat felt victimized, she didn’t show it. The woman who Elliott touched, however, seemed uncomfortable with his hands on her. The evident differences between the two episodes means they’re not comparable. But that didn’t stop some from trying.

On ESPN’s “First Take” Wednesday, Max Kellerman said he thinks race plays a factor into the way Elliott’s actions were perceived.

“Why are we asking about the double-standard in the first place, given the differences in the set of facts?,” he asked. “We’re asking because it does play into stereotypes. On the one hand, good-natured party guy, who tends to be white –– at least as depicted in popular culture –– versus more menacing.”

Orlando Sentinel columnist David Whitley seems to agree. In an op-ed, he asks his readers to imagine if Gronkowski and Elliott were to switch places.

“Imagine if Elliott’s history included countless displays of public intoxication; videos of him gyrating his pelvis into women; getting naked and exposing himself to a bikini-clad babe in a GQ photo spread; organizing a party cruise where he autographed women’s bottoms, breasts and who-knows-what-else?,” he wonders.

It’s worth noting one of Elliott’s representatives told TMZ Sports the woman wasn’t upset, and continued partying with the Cowboys running back afterwards. But before taking that as gospel, one should consider the source. Also, the woman’s apparent decision to keep hanging with Elliott doesn’t mean she gave him permission to expose her breasts in public. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

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Read More: Ezekiel Elliott, rob gronkowski,

Investigators find Jose Fernandez was driving boat in deadly crash

03.16.17 at 10:10 am ET
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Miami HeraldMiami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, drunk and speeding, was behind the wheel and to blame when his boat plowed into a jetty off South Beach, killing two others, police concluded in a report released Thursday.

Had Fernandez lived, he would likely have been charged with a host of crimes including manslaughter, according to the final report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Investigators made the conclusion because the physical damage to Fernandez’s body matched the damage on the boat’s center console. His DNA was also found on the throttle and steering wheel.

The boat, investigators concluded, was traveling at more than 65 miles per hour — just over the top speed of the vessel.

“Fernandez operated [the boat] with his normal faculties impaired, in a reckless manner, at an extreme high rate of speed, in the darkness of the night, in an area with known navigational hazards such as rock jetties and channel markers,” the report concluded.

The release of the report comes nearly six months after Fernandez and two others were killed when the pitcher’s boat plowed into a jetty at Government Cut off South Beach just before down on Sept. 25.

Two others on the boat with him, Emilio Jesus Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25, also were killed.

Yikes.

By all accounts, Fernandez was a great guy who made a mistake. A HUGE mistake.

After his death, he was honored by the Marlins and mourned by other teams around the league. If this information had been known at the time, he might have been honored differently. Maybe not as enthusiastically.

He did a lot for baseball and it’s sad he died, but he also killed two people. He knew better than to risk his life driving a boat drunk and on cocaine, especially with a baby on the way.

Fernandez’ daughter, Penelope, was born in February to his girlfriend, Maria Arias.

Fernandez’ lawyer had claimed all along Fernandez was not behind the wheel of the boat. This finding will certainly help the lawsuits filed against the Fernandez estate by the families of the other two men who were killed.

 

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Mike Francesa previews NCAA matchup that doesn’t exist; Adrian Gonzalez rips World Baseball Classic

03.16.17 at 9:52 am ET
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Good morning! Here is your Thursday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Pittsburgh vs. Boston, 6:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-AM 850)
MLB: Minnesota vs. St. Louis, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Chicago Cubs vs. LA Dodgers, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
World Baseball Classic: Venezuela vs. Dominican Republic, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Utah at Cleveland, 7 p.m. (NBATV)
NHL: Nashville at Washington, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NHL: Boston at Edmonton, 9 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Princeton vs. Notre Dame, 12:15 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: UNCW vs. Virginia, 12:40 p.m. (tru TV)
College basketball: Winthrop vs. Butler, 1:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: South Dakota State vs. Gonzaga, 2 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: Bucknell vs. West Virginia, 2:45 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: East Tennessee State vs. Florida, 3:10 p.m. (tru TV)
College basketball: Middle Tennessee vs. Minnesota, 4 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Vanderbilt vs. Northwestern, 4:30 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: Xavier vs. Maryland, 6:50 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Mount St. Mary’s vs. Villanova, 7:10 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: VCU vs. Saint Mary’s, 7:20 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: Vermont vs. Purdue, 7:27 p.m. (tru TV)
College basketball: FGCU vs. Florida State, 9:20 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Virginia Tech vs. Wisconsin, 9:40 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: North Dakota vs. Arizona, 9:50 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: Nevada vs. Iowa State, 9:57 p.m. (tru TV)

AROUND THE WEB:

— While discussing the NCAA tournament on Wednesday, Mike Francesa pulled a classic Mike Francesa Move and previewed a college basketball matchup that does not exist.

Francesa battled his way through guessing what will happen in the Florida State vs. Maryland game, which is not happening at all.

After an extended period of dead air, Francesa said he thinks this game could go either way. “I could see them winning this game, or losing this game, one way or the other,” he explained.

Florida State is playing Florida Gulf Coast and Maryland is facing Xavier on Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Adrian gonzalez, Mike Francesa,

All charges dismissed against Darrelle Revis from February street fight

03.15.17 at 3:15 pm ET
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Darrelle Revis will no longer have criminal charges hanging over his head. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

Darrelle Revis will no longer have criminal charges hanging over his head. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

A judge Wednesday dismissed all charges against Darrelle Revis stemming from a Pittsburgh street fight last month. The veteran cornerback was facing four felonies, including two counts of aggravated assault, one count of robbery and a conspiracy to commit aggravated assault.

Revis turned himself into local authorities days after the altercation had occurred. TMZ Sports subsequently released a video of the incident, which showed the two victims laying unconscious on the sidewalk while an unidentified man boasts about punching them out.

In court Wednesday, one of Revis’ childhood friends said he was the aggressor. According to him, the two accusers jumped Revis at 2:30 a.m. on a Monday morning in February.

Law enforcement originally implicated Revis, saying he got violent after two men had recognized him and approached him on the street. But his Pittsburgh-based attorney, Blaine Jones, told the NFL Network last month Revis was the victim.

The Jets released the 31-year-old Revis prior to the start of free agency. He signed a five-year, $70 million deal with the team in 2015, and was owed $15.3 million this season.

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Man gets butt tattoo to commemorate Falcons’ blown lead against Patriots in Super Bowl LI

03.15.17 at 1:30 pm ET
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Last month, a Patriots fan made headlines when he got Tom Brady’s face tattooed on his butt to commemorate the team’s historic comeback win over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Though that’s an odd spot to put some ink, the sentiment is understandable.

The same can’t be said for an Instagram user named ““orrazib_,” who recently got a tattoo on his tush of a Fox chyron that shows the Falcons leading the Patriots 28-3 in the third quarter.

In an interview with SB Nation, the man says he went forward with the tattoo so he could stick it to Patriots fans. Huh?

“I just live in Connecticut and cant stand these Pats fans so when i tell them to kiss my ass they will be reminded that they were gettin blownout !,” he said.

That’s all well and good, but he knows the Patriots wound up winning the game, right? Also, if he wants to make the ink visible to all, the buttocks may not be the best place.

Read More: Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, Super Bowl LI,