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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Alex Rodriguez opens up, admits he ‘acted like an ass’ in fighting PED suspension

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

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Padres at Pirates, 12:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Orioles at Athletics, 3:35 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cardinals at Cubs, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
Little League Baseball: New England semifinals, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
NFL preseason: Saints at Patriots, 7:30 p.m. (WBZ-TV, NFL Network)
Olympics: Men’s volleyball, United States vs. Brazil, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Women’s field hockey, United States vs. India, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Men’s beach volleyball, United States vs. Italy, 10 a.m. (NBC)
Olympics: Women’s beach volleyball, United States vs. Russia, 10 a.m. (NBC)
Olympics: Women’s water polo, United States vs. China, 10 a.m. (NBC)
Olympics: Women’s gymnastics individual all-around, 8 p.m. (NBC)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Alex Rodriguez finally made a plate appearance at Fenway Park, pinch-hitting in the seventh inning Wednesday and flying out during the Yankees’ 9-4 victory. He was received with loud boos from the Fenway crowd, which for the second straight night implored manager Joe Girardi to play the retiring slugger with chants of “We want A-Rod.”

Before the game, New York radio station WFAN aired an interview with Rodriguez in which he acknowledged he “acted like an ass” two years ago after his connections to the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug facility in Florida were revealed, leading to him being suspended for the entire 2014 season. Rodriguez sent his attack dogs after a number of people to whom he was close, including his cousin and confidante Yuri Sucart, and filed lawsuits against the Yankees, Major League Baseball, then-commissioner Bud Selig and the MLB Players Association in a desperate attempt to avoid punishment.

“I’m upset about the mistakes, and I’m disappointed,” Rodriguez told WFAN’s Suzyn Waldman. “But I’m even more disappointed that I acted like an ass.”

Added A-Rod: “I hope to be able to pay it forward and let youngsters know about my mistakes.”

Rodriguez said he remembered Waldman encouraging him after his ban was over.

“You said to me, ‘Alex, I want to see that young man who was full of life with a great smile,’ ” Rodriguez recalled. “I’ve done everything in my power to try to be that kid again.”

Meanwhile, Yankees manager Joe Girardi was peppered with questions about his decision not to start Rodriguez for the first two games of this series after saying at Rodriguez’s Sunday press conference that A-Rod would play. Girardi has admitted getting caught up in the emotion Sunday before changing his mind.

“My job description does not entail a farewell tour,” Girardi said Wednesday. “My job description is to try to win every game and to try to put everyone in the best possible position to do that, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Added Girardi: “I have a responsibility to the game of baseball. No one individual is ever bigger than this game. No one. No one. No one.”

— Wichita State basketball coach Gregg Marshall was suspended by the school for his actions in an exhibition game Tuesday against McGill University in Montreal. Marshall, frustrated with the officiating, became irate and caused a scene on the court after receiving his second technical foul and being ejected. Assistant coaches and players tried to hold back Marshall, but he pushed them away and appeared to become angry with them, not leaving until he got his chance to have his say with the officials.

“I’m definitely not proud of my reaction to that situation, but at some point your players have to know you’re going to stand up for them and you’ve got some fight in you,” Marshall told the Wichita Eagle after the game, which Wichita rallied to win. “Once I reacted, I said, ‘I might as well get my money’s worth.’ ”

Asked if he might have gone too far, Marshall responded, “Perhaps. I wasn’t going to do anything physical, but I wanted to make sure they understood what I felt was happening was incorrect and wrong.”

The school reacted quickly, suspending Marshall for Wednesday’s final game of the tour.

“I visited with Coach Marshall this morning to inform him that he is suspended for this afternoon’s final exhibition game in Canada,” WSU interim athletic director Darron Boatright said in a news release Wednesday. “While I understand the competitive spirit that accompanies coaching, there remains a standard of professional behavior that is inherent in a position of leadership that we all must meet. That standard was not met last night.”

Marshall said in a statement that he accepted his punishment, noting: “I will gladly sit out tonight’s game in hopes that a lesson can be learned that it’s not just about doing the right thing, but doing it the right way.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Aug. 11, 1979, Jim Rice hit his 30th home run of the year, making him the third Red Sox player with three consecutive 30 home run seasons. Who were the first two?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “He was one of the most significant and influential members of the ESPN family, as a colleague and mentor, and he will be sorely missed.” — ESPN president John Skipper, on the death of longtime anchor and announcer John Saunders

STAT OF THE DAY: 12 — Years since the U.S. men’s basketball team trailed at halftime of an Olympic game until Wednesday, when the Americans fell behind Australia by five before rallying in the closing minutes for a 10-point victory

‘NET RESULTS: Lorenzo Cain lines a walk-off single to center field as the Royals top the White Sox in 14 innings.

Padres baserunner Travis Jankowski steals home against the Pirates, taking off when the catcher throws the ball back to the pitcher.

Cubs third baseman Javier Baez makes a nifty snag of Albert Pujols’ one-hopper and throws to first for an out against the Angels.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Jimmie Foxx (who did it five years in a row) and Ted Williams (four)

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Eric Carmen was born on this day in 1949. Here he is singing lead for the Raspberries.

Read More: alex rodriguez, Gregg Marshall, Joe Girardi,