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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Tiger Woods pulls out of Safeway; Derrick Rose headed back to stand in rape trial

10.11.16 at 8:13 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 from our news wire.

MLB playoffs: Washington at Los Angeles, 5:05 p.m. (FS1)
MLB playoffs: Chicago at San Francisco, 8:40 p.m. (FS1)
WNBA Finals: Los Angeles at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA preseason: Oklahoma City at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA preseason: Portland at LA Lakers, 11 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: FIFA World Cup qualifying, Romania at Kazakhstan, 11:45 a.m. (FS2)
Soccer: FIFA World Cup qualifying, Armenia at Poland, 2:30 p.m. (FS2)
Soccer: FIFA World Cup qualifying, England at Slovenia, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Exhibition, United States vs. New Zealand, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

MLB playoffs: Indians 4, Red Sox 3
MLB playoffs: Nationals 8, Dodgers 3
MLB playoffs: Giants 6, Cubs 5
NFL: Buccaneers 17, Panthers 14


— After announcing he would play in this week’s Safeway Open in Napa, California, Tiger Woods abruptly withdrew on Monday.

“After a lot of soul-searching and honest reflection, I know that I am not yet ready to play on the PGA Tour or compete in Turkey,” Woods, 40, wrote on his website. “My health is good, and I feel strong, but my game is vulnerable and not where it needs to be.”

This would have been Woods’s first PGA Tour event in over a year.

Woods also withdrew from next month’s Turkish Airline Open, and it seems his reason is performance anxiety.

“After a lot of hours, I knew I wasn’t ready to compete against the best golfers in the world,” Woods said on his website.

Woods has won 14 major events and has been taking a break from golf after having back surgery last year.

Time will tell if we have seen the last of Tiger Woods, but he hopes to play in the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in December.

— Derrick Rose’s rape trial is set to continue Tuesday with the Knicks player is back on the witness stand.

Rose and two of his friends, Randall Hampton and Ryan Allen, are accused by an anonymous woman, who dated Rose on and off, of gang rape in August 2013.

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Athletes react to presidential debate; Steelers WR Antonio Brown threatened with ejection

10.10.16 at 8:18 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 from our news wire.

MLB playoffs:
Cleveland at Boston, 6:08 p.m. (TBS; WEEI-FM)
MLB playoffs: Washington at Los Angeles, 4:08 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB playoffs: Chicago at San Francisco, 9:38 p.m. (FS1)
NFL:  Tampa Bay at Carolina, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA preseason: Washington at New York, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: FIFA World Cup qualifying, Bulgaria at Sweden, 2:30 p.m. (FS2)
Soccer: FIFA World Cup qualifying, France at Netherlands, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

Patriots 33, Browns 13
NFL: Vikings 31, Texans 13
NFL: Steelers 31, Jets 13
NFL: Lions 24, Eagles 23
NFL: Falcons 23, Broncos 16
NFL: Packers 23, Giants 16
NFL: Cardinals 33, 49ers 21
NFL: Redskins 16, Ravens 10
NFL: Cowboys 28, Bengals 14
NFL: Bills 30, Rams 19
NFL: Colts 29, Bears 23
NFL: Titans 30, Dolphins 17
NFL: Raiders 34, Chargers 31
MLB: Red Sox-Indians, postponed
MLB: Nationals 5, Dodgers 2
MLB: Blue Jays 7, Rangers 6


— People all over the world tuned into Sunday’s second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and athletes were no exception.

Dwyane Wade and Brett Anderson were not enjoying it so much:



Brandon McCarthy is usually very active on Twitter and weighed in on the debate:


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Thinking Out Loud: Should we have seen Patriots’ letdown vs. Bills coming?

10.07.16 at 5:40 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to Bernie Kosar.

— We should have been reading the tea leaves. Or, at the least, we should have been reading between the lines of last week’s buildup to Buffalo. The Patriots were due for a letdown against the Bills, but no one wanted to admit it was even possible. It was.

— This isn’t revisionist history as much as it is finding clues or signs within a single chapter of the 2016 NFL season. The Patriots played with very little emotion against the Bills, almost as if they were waiting for something — or someone — to join them. Just sayin’.

— Could they have possibly just thought “Let’s bag this, and protect ourselves for the long haul?” There is precedent for this theory, and all you have to do is look back at the end of last season to find it (Miami, hello). It didn’t work well there, either. But last year’s team at that time was far too beat-up to matter.

— The Bills had the proper game plan, but it wasn’t a world-beater. The Patriots simply didn’t adjust to it, as if they accepted their fate with the realization that TB12 returns in a week and there’s still three-quarters of the season to play.

— Rex Ryan knew he escaped with one in Foxboro, and probably knew he escaped with his professional life intact. Ryan needed that win much, much more than did New England. His team was able to shut out a rookie, third-string QB. Attaboy Rex, and we still have you to kick around in the AFC East. Life is still good.

— At least, it should be good for Patriots fans, because Tom Brady is back. That’s what we’ve all been waiting for — and that includes his teammates. Like they were last week.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Giants reportedly fed up with Odell Beckham Jr., threatening suspension

10.07.16 at 8:53 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Friday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB playoffs: Boston at Cleveland, 4:38 p.m. (TBS; WEEI-FM)
MLB playoffs: Toronto at Texas, 1:08 p.m. (TBS)
MLB playoffs: Los Angeles at Washington, 5:38 p.m. (FS1)
MLB playoffs: San Francisco at Chicago, 9:15 p.m. (FS1)
College football: Clemson at Boston College, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: SMU at Tulsa, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: Boise State at New Mexico, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)

MLB: Indians 5, Red Sox 2
MLB: Blue Jays 10, Rangers 1
NFL: Cardinals 33, 49ers 21


Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham Jr.

— The Giants apparently have had enough of Odell Beckham’s antics.

If the wide receiver has another outburst during Sunday’s game against the Packers, the team reportedly will consider benching and/or suspending him.

Beckham is prone to meltdowns. On Monday he was flagged for taunting and scuffled multiple times with Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes. This prompted Beckham to say after the game he no longer enjoys playing football.

Giants punter Brad Wing, who also was Beckham’s teammate at LSU, has a theory as to what causes Beckham to fly off the handle.

“I think it’s from within himself,” Wing said. “I think it’s when he gets frustrated that he’s not performing to the height of his level. It’s not what anyone else is doing.’’

The only person who can get Beckham back on track is Beckham himself, and he looks to do so in Week 5.

“I think I just have to control what I can control,” Beckham said Thursday. “I can control myself. I can’t control anything else but what I do. I definitely know I can do a better job at that.”

— On the topic of Beckham, Giants coach Ben McAdoo got into a heated exchange with WFAN sports radio host Mike Francesa on Thursday afternoon when Francesa asked McAdoo about Beckham’s behavior.

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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Astros minor leaguer under fire for sexist Jessica Mendoza tweet

10.06.16 at 8:04 am ET
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Good morning, here’s your Thursday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB playoffs: Boston at Cleveland, 8:08 p.m. (TBS; WEEI-FM)
MLB playoffs: Toronto at Texas, 4:30 p.m. (TBS)
NFL: Arizona at San Francisco, 8:25 p.m. (NFL Network)
College football: Norfolk State at North Carolina A&T, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Temple at Memphis, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Western Kentucky at Louisiana Tech, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
NBA preseason: Washington at Philadelphia, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: World Cup 2018 qualifying, Austria vs. Wales, 2:30 p.m. (FS2)
Soccer: World Cup 2018 qualifying, Ireland vs. Georgia, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: World Cup 2018 qualifying, Italy vs. Spain, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

MLB playoffs: Giants 3, Mets 0


— Astros minor leaguer Brooks Marlow found himself in hot water Wednesday night when he sent out an offensive tweet about ESPN broadcaster Jessica Mendoza.

Tweeted Marlow tweeted from his @Bmarlow8 account: No lady needs to be on espn talking during a baseball game especially mendoza sorry

@astros Here is the screenshot

Marlow, a 23-year-old second baseman who was drafted in the 29th round in 2015 out of the University of Texas and hit .205 in 74 games this year for Single-A Lancaster in the California League, deleted the tweet minutes later.

Mendoza is a member of the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth and has received both praise and criticism for her performance calling games.

Backlash against Marlow was swift, and he has since deactivated his account. The Astros responded by tweeting out an apology.

— The Ravens fan who was critically injured during a brawl with two Raiders fans at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday is showing signs of improvement.

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Arnold Palmer remembered in memorial service

10.05.16 at 8:04 am ET
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Good morning, here’s your Wednesday morning mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB playoffs: San Francisco at NY Mets, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA preseason: Oklahoma City at Barcelona, 2:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA preseason: Orlando at Cleveland, 7 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA preseason: Utah at Phoenix, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
College football:Georgia Southern at Arkansas State, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

MLB playoffs: Blue Jays 5, Orioles 2


— Legends of golf gathered on Tuesday to pay their respects to Arnold Palmer in a memorial service at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson were some of the game’s greatest in attendance.

Nicklaus was one of the speakers at the service and spoke about Palmer’s incredible character.

“He was an everyday man,” Nicklaus said. “Everyone’s hero. Arnold managed to remove the ‘I’ from icon and instead let the world share in his greatness.”

“Remember when Arnold Palmer touched your life, and touched your heart,” Nicklaus said to end his speech, “please, don’t forget why.”

Other speakers included CBS Sports broadcaster Jim Nantz, retired LPGA golfer Annika Sorenstam, Palmer’s grandson Sam Saunders and Royal & Ancient Golf Club former chief executive Peter Dawson.

Palmer won 62 PGA Tours and seven majors championships.

People turned out in droves to honor Palmer. Monitors were set up in several locations on campus for those who couldn’t get into the basilica, and giant screens were set up for spectators to watch the service.

Palmer’s longtime friend, singer Vince Gill, sang and ended the service with Carole King’s, “You’ve Got A Friend.”

“This man was my favorite person,” Gill said of Palmer. “Not my favorite golfer, my favorite person I ever met.”

Palmer died at the age of 87 on Sept. 25 in Pittsburgh.

— Andy Murray told reporters he was stalked by a hotel maid who followed him to many of his European tennis events and entered his hotel room and stroked his arm while he slept.

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Diamondbacks fire manager Chip Hale, GM Dave Stewart

10.04.16 at 8:07 am ET
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Good morning, here’s your Tuesday Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB wild card playoff: Orioles at Blue Jays, 8 p.m. (TBS)
WNBA playoffs: Sparks at Sky, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA preseason: Knicks at Rockets, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA preseason: Clippers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL preseason: Sabres vs. Hurricanes, 7 p.m. (OLN)

NFL: Vikings 24, Giants 10


Chip Hale is out as Diamondbacks manager. (Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports)

Chip Hale is out as Diamondbacks manager. (Joe Camporeale/USA Today Sports)

— After finishing the season close to the basement, the Diamondbacks have cleaned house.

Arizona fired manager Chip Hale and general manager Dave Stewart on Monday afternoon after the team finished the season with a dismal 69-93 record.

“We are very grateful to Dave and Chip, who are widely respected throughout the game of baseball,” Arizona managing general partner Ken Kendrick said in a statement. “Ultimately, the results have not been what we had hoped, and while that responsibility is shared by all of us, we have decided that a change is necessary.”

Stewart doesn’t seem to be heartbroken over getting axed.

“They may think I’m going to blast people, but I’m not,’’ Stewart told USA Today Sports. “It is what it is. It’s that side of the business. To be honest with you, I’m kind of relieved. Quite frankly, I’ve got better things to do.’’

“I don’t have anything bad to say about Ken Kendrick,” Stewart said. “I’m not mad at this guy. He’s different. I’m different. Really, we were oil and water.”

In a press release on Monday, the team announced it will discuss another role for chief baseball officer Tony La Russa in the future, but Kendrick said La Russa will not be the manager.

— Barry Bonds reportedly has been fired after just one season serving as the Marlins hitting coach.

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HBO premiers ‘Westworld’ with guns blazing

10.03.16 at 12:46 pm ET
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Westworld (HBO)

James Marsden and Evan Rachel Wood star in “Westworld.” (HBO)

My favorite video game of all time is “Red Dead Redemption,” a 2010 PS3 game overlaid “open world” gameplay onto a cowboy movie. When it came time to upgrade to a PS4, I held off for six months longer than I should have largely in part because PS4 can’t play PS3 games and I wasn’t ready to hang up my digital spurs yet.

As “Red Dead Redemption” was an open world concept, you could go anywhere and do anything. It featured hundreds of extra missions you could play based on the characters you interacted with. You couldn’t help but wonder what happened to the storylines you didn’t engage in or the missions you chose to skip. “Westworld” answered that question in its premiere and the answer is when “newcomers” (real people) don’t engage the “hosts” (robots/AI/characters at the theme park), they get woke.

Based on the 1970s movie written and directed by “Jurassic Park” author Michael Crichton, “Westworld” arrives on HBO just as the endgame has been announced for “Game of Thrones.” Whether “Westworld” is the successor to Westeros remains to be seen. If not, it won’t be for lack of trying. This world is HUGE. The possibilities extend as far as the eye can see, or at least as far as the meticulously crafted landscape have been designed to go.

Despite being a high-concept sci-fi show, “Westworld” opens — not surprisingly — like a western. The first 15 minutes of the show looks like an homage to John Ford’s technicolor classic “The Searchers” right down to the do-gooder audience proxy, Teddy (James Marsden) and wide-eyed, optimistic, dusty rose of the old West, Delores (Evan Rachel Wood). It’s obvious we’re watching a fantasy be played out in front of us in all of its classic Western trope gloriousness, but it isn’t until the end of the first act that we’re sure whose fantasy it is. What is set up to be a completely immersive experience for some guests is a chance for others to explore the darkest fantasies they can dream up. Regardless of which camp is occupying “Westworld,” our “hosts” deal with the consequences. It’s a real TV funhouse mirror type of realization once we meet the other half of the cast, lead by Jeffrey Wright and Anthony Hopkins, as we watch them reset all of their walking, talking set pieces for another day of making the dreams of “newcomers” come true.

“Westworld” feels more realized and cinematic than its HBO contemporaries, and maybe that’s because there is just so much history and recognizable stereotypes to pull from given the genres on display. The performances — specifically by Marsden and Wood — are so good, but given that we know we’re watching a play-within-a-play, they seem almost over the top. This is no mistake, either; it’s a genre-bending gift. It’s a very clear signal for the audience to look for glitches in the matrix and to start to wonder just how deep in trouble the creators and patrons of this park will be when the programs they have designed start to do their job too well.

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Thinking Out Loud: Red Sox’ AL East title celebration an embarrassment

09.30.16 at 5:44 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering how Arnold Palmer actually came up with the idea for an Arnold Palmer.

— I am not one for wild celebrations when it comes to winning championships. Always have preferred the “Been there, done that” philosophy of carrying yourself like a champion should — with grace, maturity and some modicum of sportsmanship. And I’ve never been more convinced of this after watching the Red Sox flop their way into one of the most awkward, ill-placed, ill-timed victory celebrations I’ve ever seen.

— Do the Sox deserve to celebrate winning the AL East? Of course they do. After two last-place finishes in a row since their last one, I’d ask: What took you so long?

— But does that give you the right to appear as if you’ve been unleashed from the La Brea Tar Pits, replete with foul language bombs going off every 10 seconds during an amateurish, ungraceful and coerced locker room celebration after getting walked-off by the New York Yankees on Wednesday night?

— “Hey, at least they won. Better than the alternative,” says the overwhelming majority of Red Sox Nation. Fine, I certainly can accept that. But personally, it’s embarrassing. Having had the chance to be in a few locker rooms where champagne with beer chasers were wild and plentiful, none of those moments compared to the unbridled, ill-mannered exhibition witnessed Wednesday night by a regional/national audience.

— NESN is just as bad as the players, in terms of the lack of class and decorum the network happily allowed to be displayed. I’m all for celebrating titles, but try to stay classy Boston, will ya? You just had your butts beaten, by your arch rivals. Families with kids watch this, you know. No need to resort to Cro-Magnon-like behavior. We’ve advanced as a species — I think — over the past few centuries, haven’t we?

— Maybe I should lighten up. It’s all in fun. But maybe we all should continue to subscribe to the “dumbing down of America” we’re witnessing every day during this election period, too? Does anyone care about raising our collective level of intelligence and decorum around here?

— Not for nuthin’, but it’s as if our brains and our common sense have begun a slow, spiraling descent into various forms of lawlessness and disorder, all melting into a giant cesspool of greed, avarice and feeble simplemindedness. Pardon me, pass the pabulum.

— And speaking to that, the pitching meltdown displayed by alleged closer Craig Kimbrel and fellow reliever Joe Kelly on Wednesday night was a perfect example of precisely why I don’t believe this team has the legs to win it all. Or the arms, either.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Kevin Garnett considers offer to be assistant coach with Cavaliers

09.30.16 at 8:03 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: Blue Jays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, ESPN2; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Dodgers at Giants, 10 p.m. (MLB)
College football: Penn at Dartmouth, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College football: Stanford at Washington, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Toledo at BYU, 10:15 p.m. (ESPN2)
WNBA playoffs: Mercury at Lynx, 8 p.m. (ESPNews)
WNBA playoffs: Sky at Sparks, 10 p.m. (ESPNews)
Soccer: Bundesliga, Augsburg at RB Leipzig, 2:20 p.m. (FS2)


Editor’s note: This will be the final Morning Mashup. Thanks for spending your mornings here with us the past seven years. We hope you continue to check out’s other offerings.

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

— Kevin Garnett might be done as a player, but you might still see him around the NBA this season. Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said the recently retired Timberwolves legend is considering his offer to join the Cleveland coaching staff.

“I talked to him about it. I know his wife is pushing for it a lot,” Lue told reporters after Thursday’s practice. “Brandi is pushing for it, trying to get him to come and coach. He says he’s not ready yet. He goes back, ‘I might do it,’ but he’s back and forth. We’ll see. But I’d definitely make a spot for him if he wanted to come back and coach.”

Lue was an assistant for the Celtics under Doc Rivers during Garnett’s last four seasons in Boston, and he said KG is inspiring to other players.

“Everything he’s done, he’s been a trendsetter,” Lue said. “Just seeing him leave the game and the way he played every night on a night-to-night basis, every practice from me being with him in Boston, just how he approached the game every single day. He was just like LeBron [James]. One of the easiest guys to coach as far as being a superstar, as far as telling him what to do, they would do it. If they didn’t like what you were doing, they’d pull you out to the side and tell you. They’d never call you out in front of everybody.

“Just having respect for everybody from the janitor to the owner. Him, Kobe [Bryant] and [Tim] Duncan [retiring] at the same time is bad for the game. But we all get old. It’s all part of the game.”

— Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon, who appeared to be on track to make his return to the NFL against the Patriots in Week 5 after serving a year-long suspension in 2015 and another ban for the first quarter of this season, instead will enter a rehabilitation facility as he tries to get his issues under control.

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