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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Broncos coach Gary Kubiak reportedly spoke with Johnny Manziel, preparing to draft QB

04.08.16 at 8:13 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.

NBA: Bucks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Grizzlies at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (NESN, MLB Network; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Phillies at Mets, 1:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
Golf: The Masters, 3 p.m. (ESPN)


Gary Kubiak

Gary Kubiak

— The Broncos’ quarterback situation remains muddled, and coach Gary Kubiak added a new wrinkle Thursday when he said Denver is preparing to select a quarterback in the upcoming draft, while rumors spread that Kubiak recently spoke to troubled former Browns QB Johnny Manziel about joining the team.

The Broncos have the 31st pick in the draft later this month, moving up one spot due to the Patriots losing their pick as part of their Deflategate punishment. Kubiak said the draft “is extremely important” as far as the quarterback position is concerned.

“It’s a good group [of QBs] and we’ll do our work on all of them,” Kubiak said, “but hopefully when we come out of the draft we’ll be a better football team at a lot of positions, not just there.”

The Broncos acquired veteran Mark Sanchez after Brock Osweiler defected to Houston last month, and 2015 seventh-round pick Trevor Siemian also is on the Denver roster. The Broncos reportedly were working on a deal to land disgruntled 49ers veteran Colin Kaepernick, but San Francisco apparently is not willing to pay a chunk of his $11.9 million salary to unload him, and Kapernick refused to accept a pay cut next year, leaving the situation on hold.

Kubiak said he does not feel a pressing need to add a veteran.

“I feel good about the two guys that we have,” he said. “We’ll see what happens. You know, you continue to move forward and try to get better, but I’m going to stay focused on Mark and Trevor right now and doing everything I can to get ready for this draft right now, which is extremely important.”

As for the Manziel rumor, The Associated Press reports that it was more of a courtesy call from Kubiak to check up on his fellow former Texas A&M quarterback rather than an attempt to lure him to Denver. However, ESPN credits two sources as saying Kubiak did discuss the possibility of Manziel eventually joining the Broncos, although his legal issues might be a problem. Manziel, who spent 10 weeks in a rehab facility last offseason, is dealing with a domestic abuse allegation that was referred by police to a grand jury in late February.

— Princeton fired lacrosse coach Chris Bates on Wednesday after he elbowed a Brown player during a game Saturday.

Early in the second half, as Brown midfielder John Yozzo-Scaperrotta was running by the Princeton sideline heading for the substitution box, Bates stepped up and pushed the player with his right elbow. Yozzo-Scaperrotta continued to run out of bounds but looked back at the coach in apparent disbelief as Bates walked away.

“Following a University review of an incident in the men’s lacrosse game at Brown on April 2, Chris Bates is no longer employed by Princeton University,” the school said in a statement.

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Read More: Gary Kubiak, Johnny Manziel,

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Female ESPN hosts criticize network, Greg Hardy after Adam Schefter interview

04.07.16 at 8:20 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Indians, 6:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Astros at Yankees, 4:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Twins at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Rangers at Angels, 10:05 p.m. (FS1)
NHL: Red Wings at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: Frozen Four, Boston College vs. Quinnipiac, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
College hockey: Frozen Four, Denver vs. North Dakota, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA: Bulls at Heat, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Spurs at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Liverpool at Borussia Dortmund, 3 p.m. (FS1)
Golf: The Masters, 3 p.m. (ESPN)


— ESPN’s Adam Schefter defended his interview with controversial defensive end Greg Hardy during an appearance with Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday, but he’s not getting much support from some of his female co-workers.

Michelle Beadle, co-host of “SportsNation,” criticized her company for allowing Hardy — convicted of domestic abuse in 2014 — a platform to profess his innocence. Hardy refused to explain how his ex-girlfriend ended up with bruises all over her body, insisting only that he’s “an innocent man.”

“I feel dirty in that this guy has no job right now, and for some reason we’ve decided as a network that we’re going to give him the stage for his redemption tour as he basically goes out and tries to find some employment,” Beadle said Tuesday. “I don’t understand why we’re doing that. If he wants to figure out a way to get his message out there — which by the way, he hasn’t said he did anything wrong, so how a man is supposed to convince anybody he’s changed and yet not admit to actually doing anything? I have no idea. But why we’re giving him the forum to go out there and tell anybody that is where I’m a little bit confused.”

Added Beadle on Twitter: For the love of f&$@. Dude doesn’t admit to wrongdoing. Dude has changed? I give the hell up.

Meanwhile, Jemele Hill, co-host of ESPN’s “His & Hers,” focused her criticism on Hardy, who apparently is trying to repair his image as he seeks a new employer.

“Greg Hardy is despicable. And I hope he never wears another NFL uniform again,” she said Tuesday.”And if you choose to sign him I hope you get exactly what the Cowboys got, which is absolutely nothing and little to no return for somebody who honestly has no redeeming value.”

Hill was not swayed by Hardy’s insistence that he’s never laid his hands on a woman.

“For me, to have shown remorse and contrition and at least accountability is an important part of the forgiveness process or, for that matter, showing people that maybe you’re not what we think that you are,” she said. “Greg Hardy time and time again shows us exactly who we all think him to be.”

— Comedian John Oliver’s campaign to embarrass the Yankees continued Wednesday night, when women dressed in shark and unicorn costumes occupied four expensive seats behind home plate during New York’s game against the Astros.

Oliver hatched his plan in response to Yankees COO Lonn Trost saying the team discouraged secondary ticket purchases from StubHub because fans who pay full price for premium seats wouldn’t feel comfortable sitting next to someone “who has never sat in a premium location. So that’s a frustration to our existing fan base.”

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Read More: Adam Schefter, Greg Hardy, Jemele Hill, Michelle Beadle

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Blue Jays manager John Gibbons irate after new double-play slide rule costs his team, says, ‘Maybe we’ll come out wearing dresses tomorrow’

04.06.16 at 8:02 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Indians, 6:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Mariners at Rangers, 2:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Phillies at Reds, 7:10 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLB: White Sox at Athletics, 10:05 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA: Pelicans at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Cavaliers at Pacers, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Rockets at Mavericks, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Flyers at Red Wings, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Women’s exhibition, Colombia at United States, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Manchester City at Paris Saint-Germain, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


— Baseball’s new double-play slide rule played a key role in Tuesday’s Blue Jays-Rays game, and Toronto manager John Gibbons is not happy about it.

“It turned the game into a joke,” Gibbons said. “That’s flat-out embarrassing. That cost us a chance to win a major league game.”

Added Gibbons: “Maybe we’ll come out wearing dresses tomorrow. Maybe that’s what everybody’s looking for.”

In the ninth inning of the Jays’ 3-2 loss, Jose Bautista was called for hindering Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe after a short video review. Instead of the Rays scoring the tying and go-ahead runs, the game ended on the call.

As evident on the video, Bautista slid over the bag, but he stuck out his left hand and made contact with Forsythe’s right foot.

“I felt something on the slide,” Forsythe said. “When I first saw him coming in, I thought he was going over the bag, but then I didn’t know if he kicked his foot out to try and catch a back foot. He kind of swung me around a little bit, the throw went a little left.”

Bautista, however, had a different viewpoint.

“I feel like I respect the rule, that it was an absolutely clean slide,” Bautista said. “And it’s just disappointing to lose a major league baseball game, with so much at stake every day here. We put a lot into the game since we were little kids and then to all of a sudden have everything taken away like that is just strange.”

— To no one’s surprise, UConn captured its fourth straight national championship Tuesday night, routing Syracuse 82-51 for its 75th consecutive victory — all of which have been by double figures.

The title is the 11th for UConn coach Geno Auriemma, giving him one more than legendary UCLA men’s coach John Wooden.

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Read More: Brianna Stewart, Geno Auriemma, John Gibbons, Jose Bautista

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Free agent DE Greg Hardy insists he’s ‘innocent’ of domestic abuse despite 2014 conviction

04.05.16 at 7:54 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Indians, 1:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Mets at Royals, 4:15 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Tigers at Marlins, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: White Sox at Athletics, 10:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL: Hurricanes at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Lightning at Rangers, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Bulls at Grizzlies, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Lakers at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Women’s NCAA championship, Syracuse vs. UConn, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)


— Greg Hardy, who remains a free agent after a rocky season with the Cowboys, insisted that he is innocent of domestic violence despite being convicted by a judge in 2014.

“I’ve never put my hand on any women,” the defensive end told ESPN’s Adam Schefter in a sit-down interview Monday. “In my whole entire life, no sir.”

Hardy said his conviction in the bench trial was “a flimsy situation,” despite the fact that girlfriend Nicole Holder accused him of a violent attack and had visible bruises on her body afterward.

“Pictures are pictures, and they can be made to look like whatever they want to,” he said, adding: “I didn’t say I didn’t do anything wrong. That situation occurred and that situation was handled, but as a man you can’t avoid situations that aren’t your fault or are your fault. … Saying I did nothing wrong is a stretch, but saying I’m innocent is correct, sir.”

Hardy, who played his first five seasons with the Panthers, was suspended 10 games by the league for his transgression, although it was reduced to four games by an arbitrator.

He appealed his guilty verdict and the case was thrown out in February 2015 when Holder refused to cooperate with authorities.

Steve Smith Sr., Hardy’s former Panthers teammate, questioned Hardy’s claims, posting an excerpt from the interview and writing above it: So I guess she Tripped on the carpet or something… my mom is a Survivor #DV and I am advocate against #DV.

— Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe, whom you might remember as the player who allegedly threatened to eat Tom Brady’s children (according to teammate T.J. Ward), might be in some trouble (again).

Wolfe, who was suspended for the first four games of last season due to a violation of the league’s policy against performance-enhancing drugs, reportedly got into a fight at a Denver nightclub over the weekend.

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Read More: Derek Wolfe, Greg Hardy, LeSean McCoy,

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Royals have ‘strange’ World Series celebration as Mets look on

04.04.16 at 8:14 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

College basketball: NCAA championship, Villanova vs. North Carolina, 9 p.m. (TBS)
MLB: Red Sox at Indians, 4:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Astros at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Mariners at Rangers, 4:05 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Dodgers at Padres, 7:05 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Cubs at Angels, 10:05 p.m. (ESPN2)


— The Royals raised their 2015 World Series banner prior to Sunday night’s opener, and for the first time in Major League Baseball history, the game pitted the defending champion against the team that it beat for the title. That did not go unnoticed in the Kansas City dugout.

“It was just strange, the pregame ceremony,” Royals manager Ned Yost said, adding: “I think I would have enjoyed it more if we played another team.”

The schedule was released last September, so schedule-makers at the time did not know Sunday’s interleague game would be a rematch of last season’s finale.

As it turned out, the Mets ended up watching highlights of the World Series they lost in five games, then started this season with matchup of the same pitchers who started the deciding Game 5: Edinson Volquez and Matt Harvey.

Said Yost: “For them to relive that, it’s a little awkward.”

As for Sunday’s game, Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes dropped a first-inning line drive that led to the Royals’ first run, and Kansas City went on to grab a 4-3 victory. Cespedes, the onetime Red Sox outfielder who is known for making stellar plays in the outfield (especially with his arm) but also for an occasional miscue (including in Game 1 of the World Series), told reporters afterward, “I just dropped it. I am human.”

Said Mets manager Terry Collins: “That was about as shocking as anything. You’ve got a Gold Glove out there. It surprised everybody.”

— Recently retired U.S. women’s soccer star Abby Wambach apologized via Facebook on Sunday after being arrested a night earlier for investigation of driving under the influence.

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Read More: Abby Wambach, Ned Yost, Troy Smith, Yoenis Cespedes

Thinking Out Loud: Why can’t other women’s basketball teams keep up with UConn?

04.01.16 at 5:52 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering how many April Fools must we endure this year.

— Is he an April Fool? The Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessey is simply a fire-starter. I happen to enjoy his work, however, because of his ability to tweak the sports public consciousness around here almost at will. That’s impressive. Especially when he can do it on a national level, like this week.

— But his innocuous tweet on the UConn women’s basketball team being “bad” for the rest of the sport? Frankly, it was funny. I understand the thought process, however. But here’s what few are talking about as the “real story”: Exactly why is it that no other program seems to be able to keep up with the Huskies juggernaut? It’s not that UConn is knocking everyone else down, it’s that no one is capable of rising to its present level.

— That, above almost anything else, is why Geno Auriemma’s work as coach is nearly incomparable, except for legendary UCLA coach John Wooden. Auriemma’s prowess may have more to do with selling his program to the women’s game’s best players than it is with X’s and O’s on the floor. And he’s not bad there, either.

— I would argue that few looked at those 1960s-’70s UCLA teams like they look at UConn’s dominance today for one major reason: media proliferation. No one covered the men’s game back then like it is covered today. We didn’t have 24-hour sports channels. There was no Internet. We were lucky to get the final on network TV! Had we had the kind of scrutiny then as we do today, I’ll wager the Wizard of Westwood and his program would have had its detractors, too.

— UConn’s inexorable march to and through the madness was watchable, only in that the curiosity factor crept in for me. Could anyone mount a challenge? Could anyone give Goliath a game? Those are storylines beyond whether or not you actually “like” watching women’s basketball, or not. And I do love a good storyline.

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Read More: Ben Bentil, Ed Cooley, Geno Auriemma, Kris Dunn

Friday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees lefty Andrew Miller plans to pitch on despite broken right wrist

04.01.16 at 8:22 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.

NHL: Bruins at Blues, 8 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Celtics at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (CSNNE, ESPN)
NBA: Cavaliers at Hawks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: CBI finals, Morehead State at Nevada, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
MLB preseason: Red Sox vs. Blue Jays, at Montreal, 7:05 p.m. (NESN, MLB Network; WEEI-FM)
MLB preseason: Brewers at Astros, 2:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Athletics at Giants, 10:15 p.m. (MLB Network)


— Yankees reliever Andrew Miller is downplaying the severity of his broken right wrist, as the left-hander says he plans to pitch through the injury.

“It’s my right hand. I don’t really need it,” the former Red Sox hurler said. “I don’t see any reason I can’t work around it unless for some reason the doctor tells me I have to protect it for some reason that we don’t foresee. I plan to be able to manipulate my glove around it and not really worry about it.”

Added Miller: “I’m not that concerned about it. I think I can work around it when it comes to fielding the ball, catching the ball from the catcher. Catching the ball in play, I guess maybe a hard comebacker or something like that if I’d need more protection. We’ll see what the options are. I’m not too concerned. It’s my right hand.”

Miller was injured when he was hit by a line drive in Wednesday’s spring training game against the Braves.

“It hurt pretty bad,” Miller said. “It got me pretty square, I could tell. It was at least going to be a pretty good bruise. I think all things considered, it couldn’t be a better spot. I’ll survive.”

Miller is slated to visit a hand specialist Friday, and if he doesn’t get the go-ahead to pitch, he won’t be happy.

“I’d probably find another doctor,” Miller said. “I can’t imagine not playing because of something on my right hand.”

Keeping Miller in the bullpen would be a big help to the team, as new closer Aroldis Chapman will miss the first month of the season due to his league-issued suspension, so Miller is expected to reprise his closing role from last season in the interim. Manager Joe Girardi, for one, appreciates Miller’s approach.

“Winning and helping his teammates; that’s what he cares about,” Girardi said. “We’ve seen that in the year that we’ve had him. His attitude toward Chapman coming in and just the way he’s gone about his business. He cares about winning.”

Meanwhile, fellow reliever Brian Mitchell is not as optimistic. He broke his left big toe while covering first base in the same game. He will see a specialist Monday to determine if he’ll need surgery.

“It’s crazy,” said Mitchell, who was wearing a walking boot on his left foot Thursday. “I’m not trying to be too roller coaster right now. Just have to roll with it. It’s just a bump in the road and we’ll get past it, hopefully quicker than later.”

— The U.S. Soccer federation defended itself from an accusation that it does not fairly compensate women’s soccer players, shortly after five U.S. women’s national team players filed an action with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

“We are leaders in developing the game, and we’re going to continue to do that and take a leadership role on the women’s side of the game,” U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said Thursday during a conference call with reporters. “We are committed to working with the players’ association to address some of the issues they’ve raised and getting an agreement done starting in January of 2017. I’m confident that will happen.”

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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Lakers rookie D’Angelo Russell booed by home fans, feels ‘as sick as possible’ for alienating teammates

03.31.16 at 8:25 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Celtics at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Bulls at Rockets, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Clippers at Thunder, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: NIT championship, Valparaiso vs. George Washington, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB preseason: Cardinals at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Mets at Cubs, 8:05 p.m. (MLB Network)


— One day after the Lakers’ inner turmoil became public, rookie D’Angelo Russell apologized in a news conference before Wednesday’s game against the Heat.

Russell, who secretly taped teammate Nick Young talking about his relationships with women but said he did not intend for the video to go public, reportedly has been iced out by his teammates since the incident and said feels terrible about how it went down.

“I feel as sick as possible,” Russell told reporters. “I’ve been asked that question 110 times, and my answer is my feelings stay the same. I wish I could make things better right away, but I can’t.”

The 20-year-old said he “cherished” his friendship with the veteran Young, and, “For me to have an incident like this come up and put it in jeopardy is not what I was intending to do. … I reached out to [Young], let him know my apologies. I don’t know if they were accepted. I wouldn’t blame him.”

Lakers fans booed Russell during pregame introductions and in the opening minutes, and some fans shouted, “Snitch!” and “Traitor!”

“I can’t really show my face anywhere without people hating me right now,” Russell said after the game, a rare Lakers win. “I don’t know. I try to handle it the right way and remember why I’m here, which is to play basketball.”

In a separate press conference, Young, who is engaged to rapper Iggy Azalea, said he did not want to discuss his personal life.

“I think it’s best that me and D’Angelo handle the situation we have in a private manner, outside the media,” Young said. “I think it’s something we really do need to sit down and talk about. That’s about it. What happened is what happened. We’ve got to work on it.”

Kobe Bryant said after the game that Russell can survive once the hard feelings subside.

“I had a chance to talk to him earlier today. All I can do is just do my best Yoda impersonations and give him that kind of sage advice, I guess. One day pass, this shall — or something like that,” Bryant said. “Adversity is always tough, especially with a group of young guys. There’s always light, even when it’s the darkest. Even when you can’t see it at all.”

Some former players were less optimistic about Russell’s future in Los Angeles.

“That’s lower than low,” said former NBA forward Antonio Davis, now an ESPN NBA analyst. “It says so much about [Russell]. I think it might get so bad that he’s going to have to be traded. If I’m on that team, I’m not playing with him. It would literally be hard for me to sit in the locker room with him.”

— Right-hander Andrew Miller, expected to be a key part of the Yankees’ highly regarded bullpen, broke his left wrist when he was struck by a line drive during Wednesday’s spring training game.

Miller immediately walked off the field after getting hit, throwing his hat in frustration before he entered the dugout.

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Read More: Andrew Miller, D'Angelo Russell, Jose Reyes, Nick Young

Mets ace Matt Harvey to start opener after passing blood clot in bladder

03.30.16 at 10:21 am ET
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Matt Harvey

Matt Harvey

After a slight scare, Mets fans can rest easy. Ace right-hander Matt Harvey will not miss any time after passing a blood clot in his bladder and is on track to take the mound in Sunday night’s season opener at Kansas City.

Harvey first noticed something was wrong on Sunday, when he felt pain and discomfort that only grew worse throughout the night.

“I didn’t really know what was going on,” Harvey told reporters Tuesday. “I was having trouble using the restroom and, obviously, any time there’s discoloration in your urine, it’s not a great feeling. So I didn’t know what was going on with my stomach, but we had some tests yesterday and everything is fine now.”

After alerting the team of what he was experiencing, he wound up in the hospital instead of in Jupiter, Florida, for the Mets’ spring training game against the Cardinals. After a day of testing and procedures, however, he appears to be back pain-free.

“I guess it started with a bladder infection that created a blood clot in the bladder,” Harvey said. “Passed it yesterday. It wasn’t a great first day of my 27th birthday, but I cleared that and we had a little procedure done this morning just to go in and check the bladder, and everything was clear. I’m cleared to go, cleared to do some minor activities today, and then we’ll be back to normal tomorrow.”

For the Mets, not losing Harvey for any extended time is a relief to say the least. He led the team to the World Series last season after posting a record of 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA in 29 starts.

Team captain David Wright was happy to hear the news Tuesday, after the team was tight-lipped the day before regarding particulars of the situation.

“Obviously from a personal standpoint it’s a relief because you want to see guys in good health,” Wright said. “You never want to see anything else. And then from a baseball standpoint it’s good news as well. Good news on all fronts. Should be ready to roll, and glad it’s basically a non-issue.”

Read More: Matt Harvey, New York Mets,

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Lakers’ internal strife hits new low as teammates reportedly isolate rookie D’Angelo Russell

03.30.16 at 8:22 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Hawks at Raptors, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Heat at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: CBI finals, Morehead State at Nevada, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Vegas 16 championship, Old Dominion vs. Oakland, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)
High school basketball: McDonald’s All-American Game, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Capitals at Flyers, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB preseason: Red Sox at Pirates, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: White Sox at Reds, 4:05 p.m. (MLB Network)


— This Lakers season is supposed to be remembered as Kobe Bryant’s farewell, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to dismiss the team’s internal strife.

On Tuesday it was revealed that guard D’Angelo Russell, the No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft, is being isolated by his teammates after an incident in which he asked teammate Nick Young about his sexual exploits while secretly taping the conversation.

A video surfaced of Russell taping Young, who is engaged to rapper Iggy Azalea, and the resulting tension reportedly played a role in the team’s embarrassing 48-point loss to the Jazz on Monday night, tied for the most lopsided loss in franchise history.

“It’s bad,” a source told ESPN. “It’s about as bad as it can get. There were trust issues already. Now there’s no trust.”

Said another source: “This was a prank gone wrong and a mistake by [Russell], and he has to be held accountable, but I would hope he isn’t overly criticized for it.”

Russell was heralded as a future superstar when he was drafted after one year at Ohio State, but he was moved to the bench after starting the team’s first 20 games. He has battled maturity issues all season.

“He’s such a kid,” coach Byron Scott said in February. “I told him the other day ‘You’re 19, but sometimes I think you’re 14.’ ”

Russell is averaging 13.1 points, 3.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds while playing 27.5 minutes per game.

The Lakers are 15-59, second only to the 76ers for the worst record in the NBA.

— Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith appears likely to for a suspension after he swung his stick at Wild center Charlie Coyle’s face in the first period of Tuesday’s game.

Keith was lying on the ice after a check from Coyle when he responded with a one-handed swing that nailed Coyle and drew blood. Keith was given a five-minute major and a match penalty for intent to injure, which means he is automatically suspended until the league reviews the incident.

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Read More: D'Angelo Russell, Duncan Keith, Montrezl Harrell,