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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Rob Manfred says nothing about baseball needs to be fixed, then offers ideas to fix it 02.17.17 at 9:10 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:
NBA: NBA All-Star celebrity game, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: NBA All-Star Rising Stars Challenge, 9 p.m. (TNT)
NHL: Pittsburgh at Columbus, 7 p.m. (NHL)
College basketball: Kent State at Akron, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Valparaiso at Oakland, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Fairfield at Quinnipiac, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: VCU at Richmond, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: California at Stanford, 10 p.m. (FS1)
Women’s college basketball: Xavier at Villanova, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— MLB commissioner Rob Manfred spoke at the Grapefruit League media day Thursday and said nothing about the current state of baseball “needs to be fixed.”

He then went on to say the game needs to be changed “so that baseball means as much to the next generation as it does to our generation” and offered some ideas for changes.

Those ideas included requiring managers to stick to a time limit when deciding whether to challenge a call, “reasonable limits” on how long umpires in the replay center can look at replay angles before deciding whether to overturn a call and raising the strike zone.

Manfred also said he is in favor of experimenting with starting extra innings with a runner on second in the minor leagues, but said “we don’t expect to ever apply at the major league level.”

“Whenever you change something, there’s a risk,” Manfred went on. “We know that, even from the little rule changes that we’ve made … There’s a period of adjustment. But you know what? We get through those periods of adjustment. Modern civilization does not come to an end. And the game is better at the end of it.”

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Read More: Greg Maddux, Kris Bryant, Rob Manfred,
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Potential Aaron Hernandez trial juror dismissed for wearing Patriots hat; Fenway Park bids for 2018 Army-Navy game 02.16.17 at 9:07 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: 
NBA: Indiana at Cleveland, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Philadelphia at Boston, 7:30 p.m. (CSN)
NBA: New York at Oklahoma City, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: St. Louis at Detroit, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Florida at San Jose, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: LIU Brooklyn at St. Francis Brooklyn, 6 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Xavier at Providence, 6:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Cincinnati at South Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Iowa State at Kansas State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Maryland at Northwestern, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Temple at East Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Creighton at Seton Hall, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: St. John’s at Butler, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Duke at Virginia, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Indiana at Minnesota, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Oklahoma State at TCU, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: San Diego State at Utah State, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— A potential juror in Aaron Hernandez’ second murder trial showed up to Suffolk Superior Court wearing a Patriots hat on Tuesday.

Officers made the man take off the hat and he was, obviously, not selected as a juror. 64 other potential jurors, including a self-proclaimed Trump supporter and woman due to give birth in April, were also dismissed.

Hernandez was present in the courtroom and said “good morning” to the jury prospects.

The trial is set to begin on March 1.

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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Fenway Park,
Tiger Woods is a mess, cancels rescheduled press conference 02.15.17 at 5:18 pm ET
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USA TodaySo just how bad is Tiger Woods’ injured back that he cited it as the reason for withdrawing from the Genesis Open here this week? Apparently so bad he’s incapable of holding a news conference.

On Monday, a Q&A session with the media scheduled for Tuesday was postponed until today. On Tuesday, the news conference was scrapped altogether.

Woods, who has undergone three back surgeries, returned to the PGA Tour last month after an 18-month layoff. Making his debut in January at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, he missed the cut for the first time in his career on that course. Then, citing back spasms, he withdrew from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic the following week after an opening-round 77.

Next move: On Friday Woods posted an update on his website announcing that he would not be playing in the Genesis Open or the Honda Classic next week in Florida.

It is unclear whether Woods has remained at his home in Florida this week or has flown to Los Angeles to be at the tournament, which benefits his foundation.

He’s been advised to limit activities like sitting and talking? This must be bad. Or he just doesn’t want to talk about it. If I’m him, I would retire. Enough of this.

The Masters is in about seven weeks and as of two days ago, the odds of him winning it were 100/1. But now it seems people should be betting on whether he’ll even play in it.

How the mighty keep falling.

Arizona Wildcats baseball team recreates ‘Major League’ spring training scene 02.15.17 at 10:19 am ET
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The Score The Arizona Wildcats may be dealing with a few different faces this season.

With pitchers and catchers beginning to report to spring training across MLB this week, the Pac-12 conference baseball side decided to channel their best “Major League” impressions for the occasion Tuesday with a reenactment of the film’s most memorable scenes.

As the video’s caption points out, the Wildcats’ home diamond is Hi Corbett Field, formerly the spring training home of the Cleveland Indians and back drop of the 1989 baseball film, which explains the spot-on parody.

Good effort, but I wouldn’t call this spot-on. The coach’s voice is a pretty accurate impression and they even used a Mercedes in the recreation. But the Wildcats are not No. 1 in the Pac-12 for their acting skills. When the guy playing Willy Mays Hayes says he’s going to put on a hitting clinic, I do not believe him.

And check out the player at the end of the Wildcats’ version on the right during the sprint. He clearly unbuttoned the top half of his jersey for the camera.

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Atlanta zoo names cockroach after Tom Brady; Royals pitcher falls through barn roof, out 8 weeks 02.15.17 at 8:40 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Wednesday 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.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Indiana at Cleveland, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Philadelphia at Boston, 7:30 p.m. (CSN)
NBA: New York at Oklahoma City, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: St. Louis at Detroit, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Florida at San Jose, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: LIU Brooklyn at St. Francis Brooklyn, 6 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Xavier at Providence, 6:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Cincinnati at South Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Iowa State at Kansas State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Maryland at Northwestern, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Temple at East Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Creighton at Seton Hall, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: St. John’s at Butler, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Duke at Virginia, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Indiana at Minnesota, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Oklahoma State at TCU, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: San Diego State at Utah State, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)

AROUND THE WEB:


— A zoo in Atlanta announced on its Facebook page earlier this week it has named a baby cockroach after Tom Brady.

Zoo Atlanta named the Madagascar hissing cockroach after Brady to fulfill a bet with Rhode Island’s Roger Williams Park Zoo. The bet made by the two zoos was for the Super Bowl loser to name a baby animal after the winning team’s quarterback. Both zoos agreed the baby animal would be a cockroach, as they knew feelings on the loss would be salty.

Zoo Atlanta introduced little Tom Brady and his family of other cockroaches in this Facebook video.

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Read More: Kansas City Royals, Tom Brady,
Danny Amendola walks the runway in NYC fashion show 02.14.17 at 11:08 am ET
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Forget fishing, Danny Amendola is spending his offseason smizing … strutting the catwalk at a NYC fashion event in front of some HUGE celebrities.

The Patriots star sashayed down the runway for the Philipp Plein show at the New York public library Monday night … and from the look of these photos he had his fierce face down Pat (get it?).

Madonna, Kylie Jenner, Sofia Richie, Paris Hilton, Nicky Hilton (remember her?) and Danny’s girlfriend, Olivia Culpo, were all in attendance, making this a pretty big moment for the wideout.

BTW, no Falcons were spotted at the event … because no Falcons want to be seen in public, (it was 28-3, c’mon).

He doesn’t quite have the runway strut down correctly, but he looks like he could make a nice post-playing career out of this. He’s got the face down perfectly.

This is the kind of stuff that happens when you date a model. Just look at what he let them do to his ear.

Another example:

 

       

Tom Brady’s 2015 Man of the Year GQ photoshoot had Gisele’s influence all over it.

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Patriots missing Super Bowl game-winning football found; UConn Women reach record 100-game win streak 02.14.17 at 8:45 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Tuesday 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.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Cleveland at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Sacramento at LA Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NHL: Vancouver at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. (NHL)
College basketball: Saint Joseph’s at VCU, 6 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Notre Dame at Boston College, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Rutgers at Purdue, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Tennessee at Kentucky, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Tulsa at UCF, 7 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Wake Forest at Clemson, 7 p.m. (NESN)
College basketball: Dayton at Saint Louis, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Mississippi State at Georgia, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Ohio State at Michigan State, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Penn State at Nebraska, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Texas at Oklahoma, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Boise State at New Mexico, 10 p.m. (CBSSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Patriots running back James White said after the Super Bowl he forgot to take the game-winning touchdown football and didn’t know what happened to it.

“I wasn’t thinking in that moment,” White said. “I was too busy sprinting down the field.”

Thankfully, we now know, according to a team spokesman, an equipment manager picked it up and it is safe and sound and on display in the Patriots’ Hall of Fame.

The missing football was worrisome at the time because Tom Brady’s game-worn jersey was also missing and still has not been found.

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Read More: James White, New England Patriots, UConn women's basketball,
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Former Celtics center Fab Melo dead at 26; Jose Fernandez estate sued by families of other boat crash victims 02.13.17 at 8:23 am ET
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Good morning, here is your Monday 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.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: San Antonio at Indiana, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Boston at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. (CSN)
NBA: Atlanta at Portland, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL: NY Rangers at Columbus, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Baylor at Texas Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Colgate at Bucknell, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Louisville at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Morgan State at Howard, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Villanova at DePaul, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: West Virginia at Kansas, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Women’s college basketball: Texas at Florida State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Women’s college basketball: South Carolina at Connecticut, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Former Celtics and Syracuse center, Fab Melo, was found dead in his home in Brazil on Saturday.

According to reports, Melo went to bed Friday night and was found Saturday morning by his mother. The cause of death has yet to be determined.

“We don’t know the cause yet. It’s so hard right now, so hard to believe. It’s a sad, sad day. He was a really good kid, and it’s not fair that he will be defined by one thing: a 10-page paper,” said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim to ESPN. He was referring to Melo’s academic ineligibility during his final season at the school. “He worked his tail off to become a really good player and was a nice kid.”

Melo was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year during the two seasons he spent with Syracuse before he was drafted in the first round by the Celtics in 2012. He spent a year with the Celtics before he was traded to the Grizzlies. He then left the NBA in 2014 to play in Brazil.

Current and former Celtics and others around the sports world reacted on social media to Melo’s death.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Jose Fernandez,
ESPN writers writing book about Roger Goodell, NFL 02.10.17 at 2:47 pm ET
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Awful AnnouncingThough a date hasn’t been announced, ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham have collaborated on Powerball, an investigative look at Roger Goodell, NFL owners, and the league’s modern-day power structure.

That’s a very promising starting point, and the synopsis is very intriguing:

“From the commissioner’s office on down, the NFL serves the interests of those who really have the power. Beginning in 2006, when Roger Goodell was elected NFL Commissioner on a secret ballot by the NFL team owners, POWERBALL will trace how the league’s owners evolved from a mainly cohesive group of legacy owners’ families to a raucous, divisive membership that has splintered into cliques, and it will examine how what happens in the inner circles of the league affects the games watched by millions every season.

Both separately and together, Van Natta and Wickersham have written definitive pieces for ESPN The Magazine—about Roger Goodell, Jerry Jones, the Ray Rice domestic violence incident, the connection of Deflategate to Spygate, the relocation of the Rams to Los Angeles, and many of the league’s biggest stars, from Tom Brady to Peyton Manning.”

Fewer sports organizations have been more maligned in recent years than the NFL league office. Something goes wrong at seemingly every turn, and even incidents in which they’re on the right side of common sense (like the various New England scandals) turn into bumbling investigations.

And this is a multi-billion dollar enterprise! It’s astounding how much of a disconnect there is between the stern, competent face the league seems to want to present (respect the shield!) and the Keystone Cops routine into which things inevitably devolve.

Van Natta and Wickersham both contribute to ESPN: The Magazine and Outside the Lines. OTL regularly offers some of ESPN’s best journalism, and both men appear well-suited to this particular task.

Crown didn’t announce a release date yet, but smart money is later this year, perhaps around opening week for the league.

It should be an interesting read.

Before I even get to the part about these two particular ESPN writers authoring this book, look at this article itself.

“Something goes wrong at seemingly every turn, and even incidents in which they’re on the right side of common sense (like the various New England scandals) turn into bumbling investigations.”

THE RIGHT SIDE OF COMMON SENSE.

Stuff like this will never end. I know that. “It should be an interesting read.” No, it should not be. It should be a biased, infuriating read because these are the two guys who wrote that trash “Spygate to Deflategate: Inside what split the NFL and Patriots apart” piece for ESPN in Sept. 2015. It included lines like this: “Then the Patriots’ coach, Bill Belichick, the cheating program’s mastermind, spoke.”

If this book is anything like that, expect it to make the Patriots look bad and Goodell look less like the devil.

 

NBA is cracking down on Twitter feuds between teams 02.10.17 at 2:08 pm ET
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ESPNThe NBA, citing concerns about provoking exchanges between players that could damage the league’s reputation, issued a memo to all 30 franchises this week emphasizing rules prohibiting “mocking and/or ridiculing” opponents or officials by official team social media accounts.

The memo was issued in the wake of an exchange between Memphis Grizzlies small forward Chandler Parsons and Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum that started with the official Trail Blazers Twitter account posting a GIF of Parsons air-balling a 3-pointer during the Jan. 27 game between the teams.

Parsons, who received maximum-contract offers from Portland and Memphis before choosing to go to the Grizzlies in free agency last summer, replied after the game: “Good luck in the lottery show this year.”

McCollum quoted that tweet and added a snarky one-liner directed to Parsons, who has struggled while coming back from knee surgery this season: “We hit the lottery by not signing you.”

Parsons later laughed about the exchange and said an apology the next day from Blazers CEO and president Chris McGowan was not necessary, but the league office was clearly not amused.

Here is the memo:

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