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Thinking out loud: Looking back at events of past week at Fenway Park

05.06.17 at 7:11 am ET
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Rooke_John— Damn Tom Yawkey. Honestly. His legacy, and that he left on the city of Boston and the Red Sox for being the last team to integrate in the major leagues (in 1959) continues to haunt even right-minded fans to this very day.

— What happened at Fenway Park this week with Baltimore’s Adam Jones and a select few fans choosing to hurl objects and/or racial epithets – and I hesitate to call them fans, because they’ve gone well beyond being “fanatical” – shouldn’t happen today. But it does, and the sad part is, it happens in many places. It happens in many other stadiums, ballparks, cities and towns. I’ve seen it, lived it, covered it, reported it.

— Boston gets more than its fair share of the blame here, because of the legacy Yawkey left behind, and the reputation of racism that travels with that legacy. It hurts all of us, even if some of us (most of us?) aren’t racists.

— The Red Sox responded correctly, but when you think about it, how else could they have reacted? Anything less than utter outrage would have been met with the same standard of prejudice that has been applied to Boston for decades. And even outrage was met this week around the country with “same ol’ racist Boston.” That should upset every one of you who know you don’t have a racist bone in your bodies.

— The only way something positive comes out of this latest episode is for the Red Sox to mean what they say. Kick people out of the park for such behavior. No tolerance. Rat on your neighbor in the stands if you must, if only to protect your own pride and reputation, and to know you did the right thing.

— I tend to believe the answer to most puzzling questions lies in the middle of two extremes, as in this case. I think back to well-known athletes of color and race in this area who for years never had an apparent problem with their nationality or skin color. But I’m no fool. I know some had problems with race relations. Do they still? But as in many cases from the past – and into the future – if you’re not a part of the solution, you’re merely part of the problem to begin with.

— Many fans stood and gave Jones an ovation Tuesday night at Fenway in response to the incident he reported, but there were more than just a few boos also mixed into the reaction. One thing we can’t do – is turn into the judgment police on someone’s beliefs before we let anyone into the park. Stupid is as stupid does, and the stupid have a right to their stupidity.

— I’ve come to the rather sad, inevitable conclusion – we’ve all lost our collective minds. It’s ok for people of color to use the “N” word, but white people can’t go there – because white people forced the use of the “N” word on blacks in the first place. So that makes the word ok to use in the first place, if you’re black? ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said as much this week. Yeah, that’ll fix things right up, Mike. Read above.

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Aaron Hernandez tells fiance ‘tell my story fully’ in suicide note; was a member of the Bloods, documents say

05.05.17 at 4:03 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez was involved (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

Aaron Hernandez was a member of the Bloods, according to documents. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

In a prison note to his fiance Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez released on Friday, Aaron Hernandez wrote she is his “soul-mate” and told her to “tell my story fully.”

He wrote: “You have always been my soul-mate and I want you to live life and know I’m always with you. I told you what was coming indirectly! I love you so much and know you are an angel – literally! … We split into two to come change the world! Your characteristics is that of a true angel and the definition of Gods love! Tell my story fully but never think anything besides how much I love you. This was the supremes, the almighty’s plan, not mine! I love you! Let (redacted) know how much I love her! Look after (redacted) and (redacted) for me – those are my boys (You’re Rich).”

“I knew I loved you = Savage Garden,” the note ended.

Additional official documents provided to the Boston Herald state Aaron Hernandez was a member of the “Bloods Street Gang.”

According to the Herald, the “Gang Profile” section of the Massachusetts State Police form, which was filled out on April 24, 2017, notes Hernandez as a “Bloods Street Gang member.”

Back in 2015, it was reported that Hernandez’s neck tattoo of a five-pointed star was a reference to the Bloods.

The newly released documents also include reports from officers at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center who had trouble cutting Hernandez down from the noose with which he hung himself in April. Officers said they struggled to free his body because of the shampoo he spread on the floor and it took “2 sets of shears by 2 officers” to cut him down and administer CPR.

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Warriors coach Mike Brown cracks up over Lonzo Ball’s $500 shoes

05.05.17 at 2:14 pm ET
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Brown’s reaction to this exactly the same as everyone else’s. His laughter speaks for all of us.

As soon as the reporter asks “Would you buy a pair of shoes for $500…?” Brown laughs like a crazy person at how ridiculous that price tag is and then the reporter goes on: “… from an unproven NBA player after college?” and Brown literally says, “Uhhhh no.” And then he gets up to leave and he’s STILL laughing. But that is actually how dumb these shoes and their promotion are. LaVar even tweeted, “Big Baller’s loose! If you can’t afford the ZO2’S, you’re NOT a BIG BALLER!” So basically, “if you can’t buy our shoes you’re poor.” The new poverty line has been drawn by LaVar Ball and it separates Big Ballers and Poor People. 

Shaq even jumped in today with this tweet: 

But it’s not really surprising that LaVar Ball thinks people care enough about Lonzo right now to spend $995 on autographed sneakers or $220 for the ZO2 Signature Slides sandals (the ugliest shoe design in history, in my opinion). His ego about his son who hasn’t played a second in the NBA yet is unparalleled.

Big Baller Brand’s tweet introducing the sneaker even said, “The Sports World is Forever Changed.” Not so much, LaVar.

But if people actually buy these it shows LaVar knows what he’s doing. I cannot wait to see the sales numbers for these shoes and see how many, or few, people are stupid enough to buy them and then wait until November for them to ship.

We know this guy is on board though:

Aaron Hernandez racked up multiple violent offenses while in prison, records show

05.05.17 at 11:39 am ET
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Aaron Hernandez was charged with 12 offenses while he was in prison. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

Aaron Hernandez was charged with 12 offenses while he was in prison. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

The attorney for Aaron Hernandez’s close prison friend, Kyle Kennedy, portrayed the disgraced ex-NFL star at a press conference last week as a kind and gentle individual while he was behind bars. But prison records show he was anything but.

CNN reporters Eric Levenson and Evan Simko-Bednarski obtained Hernandez’s disciplinary records through a public records request. The paperwork shows Hernandez was charged with roughly a dozen offenses while he was an inmate at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley: Three for fighting, two smoking-related incidents, two prison tattoos and possession of a nearly six-inch sharpened metal shiv.

The first reported violent episode involving Hernandez occurred May 17, 2015, roughly one month after he was convicted of first-degree murder for the Odin Lloyd shooting. Hernandez served as a lookout while two inmates fought in his cell, entering and exiting multiple times.

Three months later, while living in a different area of the prison, Hernandez started a fist-fight with an inmate who wanted to shake his hand. Officials blamed the altercation on an “ongoing feud” between unnamed parties.

Hernandez’s last recorded fight happened on June 10, 2016, when he was swapping punches with another prisoner. The former Patriots tight end lost visitation privileges for 45 days after the incident.

Interestingly enough, Hernandez appeared to become more religious while he was incarcerated. An alleged close friend of Hernandez’s told investigators he was “very spiritual” and “always quoting the bible.” His body was found hanging from a bed sheet in his cell with the biblical verse “John 3:16″ written in ink on his forehead and in a “substance consistent with blood” on the walls. A drop of blood was placed on the verse in an open bible near him as well.

Though Hernandez may have immersed himself in the bible, he didn’t seem to practice its teachings. Shortly after arriving at the maximum security facility, he reportedly told guards he was “going to run this place.” But judging by his lengthy disciplinary record, it appeared to be the other way around.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Curt Schilling says Adam Jones is lying about racism at Fenway; LaVar Ball debuts Big Baller Brand signature shoe

05.05.17 at 8:55 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 and scores from our news wire.

NY Yankees at Chicago Cubs, 2 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cleveland at Kansas City, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Boston at Minnesota, 8:10 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Cleveland at Toronto, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: San Antonio at Houston, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Nashville at St. Louis, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Edmonton at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)


— While making an appearance on Breitbart Radio Network on Thursday, Curt Schilling said he does not believe Adam Jones heard racial slurs at Fenway Park earlier this week.

“I think this is bull—-,” Schilling said. “I think this is somebody creating a situation … I say he’s lying. If he isn’t, I will apologize. I will absolutely apologize on the air and I will be sincere about it if it happens.”

Schilling also said he believes “for somebody to talk loud enough for Adam Jones to hear the N-word in center field, other people would have heard it.”

“I don’t believe the story, given the world we live in,” he continued. “I don’t believe it, for this reason: Everybody is starving and hungry to sit in front of a camera and talk and be social justice warriors. And if a fan yelled loud enough in center field for Adam Jones to hear the N-word, I guarantee you we would’ve heard and seen fans around on CNN on MSNBC, they would’ve found multiple fans to talk about what a racist piece of junk Boston is.”

Schilling also tweeted about his position on the matter:

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ESPN’s Sara Walsh announces lay off news on day she would’ve returned from maternity leave

05.04.17 at 3:10 pm ET
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ESPN laid off dozens of reporters last week. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

ESPN laid off dozens of reporters last week. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

It must have been a whirlwind couple of weeks for ESPN’s Sara Walsh.

The “SportsCenter” anchor was slated to return from maternity leave Thursday. But instead, she announced she was a part the company’s layoffs.

“I was truly excited to return to work today from maternity leave with the twins,” she said in an Instagram post. “Unfortunately, I will not be coming back as I was included in the recent layoffs. Much appreciation to those I worked with, and especially those who watched.”

Walsh joined ESPN in 2010. She previously worked in Georgia, Nashville and Washington D.C.

Several “SportsCenter” anchors have been included in the mound of layoffs, such as Jay Crawford, Jaymee Sire and Jade McCarthy. ESPN plans to pay laid off employees for the duration of their contracts, provided they don’t take another job in sports media.

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Jay Cutler reportedly wants to announce football games now

05.04.17 at 1:44 pm ET
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Jay Cutler only played in five games last season. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Jay Cutler only played in five games last season. (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

It appeared unlikely Jay Cutler was going to get a job playing quarterback this year. So now, he’s reportedly setting his sights towards the announcer’s booth.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson, Cutler, 34, flew to Los Angeles and auditioned with Fox on Thursday about a role next season on the network’s NFL coverage. NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo was the first to report Cutler’s interest in broadcasting.

With John Lynch being named general manager of the 49ers, Fox has been looking for a color analyst to join its No. 2 team with Kevin Burkhardt. Last month, CBS signed former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to replace Phil Simms as its lead analyst.

Few players are more polarizing than Cutler, whose eight-year career in Chicago was mired by turnovers and silly off-field controversies. Though he owns almost every Bears passing record, they only reached the playoffs once under him.

Numerous clubs, including the Jets and Browns, have been in contact with Cutler this offseason. But as training camp inches closer, it doesn’t seem as if he’s any closer to landing a gig. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported last week the Texans never even returned his calls.

Fortunately for Cutler, he doesn’t appear too stressed about his unemployment.

“Good times, no tan lines. Let the sea set you free” – @tony2coats

A post shared by Kristin Cavallari (@kristincavallari) on

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SNL’s Michael Che invites Adam Jones to Boston show, says audience will be frisked for ‘racist contraband’

05.04.17 at 12:04 pm ET
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“Saturday Night Live” weekend update host Michael Che once called Boston the “most racist city he’s ever been to.” This week’s alleged racial incident involving Adam Jones at Fenway Park has only seemed to embolden him.

In an Instagram post, Che invites Jones to his show at the Wilbur Theatre June 13, pledging the audience will be frisked for “batteries, bananas and all other old timey racist throwing contraband.” Che also asked Mayor Marty Walsh to attend.

In March, Walsh proposed meeting with Che to discuss the comedian’s grievances.

“He’s clearly had some bad experiences in this city, in this state, because I think it’s more than Boston,” he said on Boston Public Radio. “But, hopefully, I’d love to sit down and talk to him about it and express what we’ve done in the city and the things that we’ve done over the last three years with the race dialogues and diversity office. That won’t erase his experience but what it will do is help us understand better.”

Jones said fans at Fenway Park called him the N-word a “handful” of times and threw a bag of peanuts on him following Monday night’s game between the Red Sox and Orioles. On Wednesday, Red Sox president Sam Kennedy said a fan has been banned for life after he had directed a racial slur at another fan.

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LeBron James says he’s never heard racism in Boston

05.04.17 at 10:12 am ET
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TMZLeBron James says he’s never been target of racist taunts in Boston — but he feels for athletes who have — and says he’s PROUD of the fans and athletes trying to put a stop to it.

The NBA superstar addressed the media after his Cavs stomped the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of their playoff series … and said the incident at Fenway Park with Adam Jones is a “delicate situation.”

“Racism we know exists,” said LeBron who also explained why it’s important to talk about these matters in the media.

He also talked about what he says to his kids when it comes to dealing with racism — and why superstars like himself need to be leaders when it comes to racial issues.

“I’ve been to Boston, I’ve played in Boston a lot,” LeBron said. ” … I can’t recall me ever hearing something that was racism towards me.”

LeBron did a good job giving a well-rounded response to this issue. He could have simply moved on and refused to talk about it, especially since he said he’s been out of the loop recently, but he didn’t. He addressed it head-on and gave his honest experience of Boston and its sports fans. Good for him.

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Sean Spicer uses Patriots to bash Hillary Clinton; Woman hit by bullet during Cardinals game

05.04.17 at 8:49 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.

Oakland at Minnesota, 1:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
Philadelphia at Chicago Cubs, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
Baltimore at Boston, 7:10 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Boston at Washington, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Utah at Golden State, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Ottawa at NY Rangers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)


— During his daily press briefing earlier this week, friend of WEEI Sean Spicer referenced the Patriots when answering a question about Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Clinton said recently she believes she could have won the election over Donald Trump had FBI director James Comey not announced he was reopening the investigation into her emails so close to Election Day. She said she thinks she would have won if the election had been held on October 27, before Comey did this.

In response to a question from the press about these comments, Spicer said, “I’m a Patriots fan and I think if games ended in the 3rd quarter, there would have been a different team here last week. But you play a game 4 quarters and you play an election until election day.”

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