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In a Twitter fight, Curt Schilling tells Rosie O’Donnell she’s spewing ‘poop and lies’ 03.02.17 at 4:35 pm ET
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Curt Schilling has been a steadfast supporter of President Donald Trump. (Howard Smith/USA TODAY Sports)

Curt Schilling has been a steadfast supporter of President Donald Trump. (Howard Smith/USA TODAY Sports)

Curt Schilling and Rosie O’Donnell might be two of the most loudmouthed and opinionated people in the United States. It’s only fitting they’ve been entangled in a Twitter war with each other.

The war of words started when a random user named Mike shared a video with Schilling of O’Donnell calling for Donald Trump’s impeachment at a rally Tuesday. The liberal comedian led an anti-Trump event in front of the White House before the President spoke in front of a joint session of Congress.

“The evidence against Trump and Russia is huge and mounting every day. We see it, he can’t lie about it,” she said. “He is going down and so will all of his administration. The charge is treason.”

The FBI continues to investigate ties between Trump and Russia, after 17 federal intelligence agencies concluded last year the Kremlin interfered in the election on his behalf. Three Trump officials –– former campaign manager Paul Manafort, ex-foreign policy advisor Carter Page and short-lived national security advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn –– have all been forced to step down due to their ties to Vladimir Putin’s autocracy. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is now also under scrutiny, after the Washington Post reported he met twice with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. while he was serving on Trump’s campaign. In his confirmation hearing, Sessions denied having any contact with Russian officials.

In response to O’Donnell’s claims, Schilling said she was spewing “poop and lies.”

Schilling then brought up O’Donnell’s disparaging comments about Trump’s 10-year-old son, Barron. The bombastic actress questioned in December whether Barron Trump is autistic, saying it potentially represented an “amazing opportunity” to bring attention to the epidemic. She apologized after Melania Trump threatened legal action.

O’Donnell tweeted “f— u” to Schilling, ending the conversation.

It’s been a busy stretch on Twitter for Schilling, who was smacked down earlier this week by former Missouri Secretary of State and U.S. army veteran, Jason Kander. He also recently defended right-wing troll Milo Yiannopoulos, then retreated after hearing the former Breitbart editor’s rationalization of pederasty.

Add his beef with O’Donnell to the list of greatest hits.

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Curt Schilling tries to flaunt his military credentials on Twitter, gets smacked down by an U.S. army veteran 02.28.17 at 12:04 pm ET
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Curt Schilling is no stranger to Twitter wars. (David Manning/USA TODAY Sports)

Curt Schilling is no stranger to Twitter wars. (David Manning/USA TODAY Sports)

It’s been a rough stretch for Curt Schilling on Twitter. Last week, he defended right-wing troll Milo Yiannopoulos, then retreated after hearing the former Breitbart editor’s rationalization of pederasty. But that fleeting moment of embarrassment pales in comparison to the pummeling Schilling took Tuesday, when he tried to explain away Donald Trump’s degradation of the U.S. military.

In a speech Monday about his plans to increase defense spending, President Trump said U.S. soldiers are hapless in combat.

“We must ensure that our courageous servicemen and women have the tools they can be to deter war, and when called upon to fight in our name, only do one thing: win,” he said. “We never win and we don’t fight to win. We don’t fight to win. We’ve either got to win or don’t fight it at all.”

After those remarks, former Missouri Security of State and Afghanistan war veteran Jason Kander condemned Trump on Twitter. Schilling fired back, saying Trump was talking about military leadership, not the troops on the ground.

Trump routinely lambasted the U.S. armed forces during his ascent to the Oval Office. Last year, he claimed to know more about defeating ISIS than our country’s generals. He’s extended his ire towards the intelligence community in recent months, comparing it to Nazi Germany.

Later in the unsolicited Twitter exchange, Schilling cited his military credentials, saying he once spent 18 days with troops in the Middle East. Kander, who was a decorated intelligence officer in the Army National Guard, responded in kind.

Stop the match. Kander wins in a knockout.

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Curt Schilling tries to defend Milo Yiannopoulos, then apologizes after hearing his pedophilia comments 02.21.17 at 10:00 am ET
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Curt Schilling was hired by Breitbart News in October. (David Manning/USA TODAY Sports)

Curt Schilling was hired by Breitbart News in October. (David Manning/USA TODAY Sports)

Breitbart News radio host Curt Schilling appeared ready to defend his colleague, Milo Yiannopoulos, for supporting sexual relationships between young boys and men. Then he heard Yiannopoulous’ comments, and took everything back.

In a series of tweets Monday, Schilling first attempted to point out a double standard when it comes to how pedophilia is viewed. He cited Woody Allen and Roman Polanski as examples of stars who remain revered despite their sordid pasts.

But then Schilling apparently watched video of Yiannopoulos’s appearance on the “Drunken Peasants” podcast, which was posted on Twitter Sunday by a conservative group called the Reagan Battalion. In it, the senior Breitbart editor seems to dismiss the seriousness of pedophilia –– even joking that he performs better sexually because he was molested as a child.

“We get hung up on this child abuse stuff. … This is one of the reasons why I hate the left, the one size fits all policing of culture, this arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent,” he said. “I’m grateful for Father Michael. I wouldn’t give nearly such good head if it wasn’t for him.”

Yiannopoulos, who’s spouted inflammatory views against Muslims, immigrants and transgender people, also attempts to differentiate between pedophilia and pederasty.

“Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody who is 13 years old and sexually mature. Pedophilia is attraction to children who have not reached puberty, who do not have functioning sex organs yet, who have not gone through puberty,” he said. “In the gay world, some of the most important enriching, and incredibly life-affirming, important, shaping relationships are between younger boys and older men. They can be hugely positive experiences very often for those young boys.”

Schilling apologized once he became aware of Yiannopoulos’s actual comments, saying he’ll accept any criticism that comes his way.

Schilling is far from the only conservative who’s distanced himself from Yiannopoulos this week. The alt-right megastar and prominent Donald Trump supporter was disinvited Monday from this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, where he was slated to give the keynote address. His book deal with publisher Simon & Schuster was cancelled as well.

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ESPN still ignores apparent double-standard that resulted in Curt Schilling’s firing 02.14.17 at 4:12 pm ET
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Curt Schilling was dismissed from ESPN last March. (David Manning/USA TODAY Sports)

Curt Schilling was dismissed from ESPN last March. (David Manning/USA TODAY Sports)

ESPN public editor Jim Brady published a column this week about the company’s policy when it comes to social media use and political discourse. He addresses a wide swath of controversies, including a recent string of comments from ESPN hosts who have insinuated Boston is a racist city. But he fails to mention Curt Schilling, who was fired from the network last year after sharing an anti-transgender post on Facebook.

The omission is significant, and it’s not just because Schilling is the most high-profile employee who’s ever been terminated for his behavior on social media. It also provides a glimpse into the apparent double-standard that exists at ESPN when it comes to who’s allowed to speak out, and who must stay silent.

In his piece, Brady says the WorldWide Leader should let its personalities express themselves with few restrictions.

“Barring something truly beyond the pale, it’s unlikely any ESPN personality would be terminated over a single comment or social media post,” he writes. “And, in a world where patience for opposing viewpoints seems to be evaporating, I think that’s a good position for the company to take.”

When asked why Schilling wasn’t included in the article, Brady said on Twitter it’s because he was a multiple time offender, having served a suspension in 2015 for comparing radical Muslim jihadism to Nazism. That’s fair, but several of his colleagues habitually make inflammatory statements, only to see their profiles rise.

Jemele Hill, who co-hosts the highly promoted “SC6″ with Michael Smith, was reprimanded in 2008 for saying rooting for the Celtics is akin to calling Adolf Hitler a victim.  Last summer, in the wake of the Orlando Massacre, she admonished Americans who condemn homophobia in Islamic cultures, because gay people face discrimination in the U.S. as well. While that may appear to be a nuanced take on the issue of LGBTQ rights, it’s mindless and insulting.  In at least 10 majority Muslim nations in the Middle East and Africa, homosexuality is punishable by death. It’s difficult to see how that equates to the U.S., where same-sex marriage is legal and federal contractors are barred from discriminating against LGBTQ workers.

While gay rights in the U.S. can still be expanded, and are in danger of being rolled back during Donald Trump’s administration, the comparison Hill made is invalid. Or, at the least, it’s not any less nonsensical than comparing Islamic jihadism to Nazism.

But Hill is now one of the most visible hosts on ESPN, free to label Boston as the “gold-standard of racism” during a recent podcast with NBA analyst Amin Elhassan. In that same episode, Elhassan called Boston the most bigoted city in the country north of the Mason-Dixon line.

It seems to be acceptable at ESPN to smear Bostonians and call them racist. When Celtics fans cheered Jazz forward Gordon Hayward last month, Bomani Jones implied on “Highly Questionable” that race may have been a factor in his warm reception. (Never mind that Celtics fans have also applauded Kevin Durant and other potential free agents in recent years, as an apparent effort to recruit them to Boston.)

“Is there another arena in the whole country that would get this charged about Gordon Hayward maybe coming as a free agent?,” he asked. “Clapping for Kevin Durant is one thing. But if you put Gordon Hayward on the same level as Kevin Durant, you might be the city that had the Kevin Love welcoming tour when he wasn’t even a free agent yet.”

On “Around the Horn,” Israel Gutierrez issued a similar statement.

“It’s Boston. They’re famous for having Larry Bird on their team. Gordon Hayward looks more like Larry Bird than other players in the league. So maybe there’s that Boston connection there,” he said.

In an interview with Brady, Jones said he was talking about how Boston has a “particular affection for white players.” But it’s unclear how that’s different than other cities that support talented white athletes. Skin color isn’t the barometer for Celtics fan appreciation, or else Kelly Olynyk would probably be the most popular player on the squad instead of Isaiah Thomas. Rather than clarify his remarks, Jones fired off another cheap shot.

At ESPN, there appear to be different sets of rules for each personality. Stephen A. Smith, for example, was welcomed back after hinting in 2014 that women sometimes bring domestic violence upon themselves. Last summer, he strongly hinted that Stephen Curry’s outspoken wife, Ayesha, should know her place and not bring any negative attention to herself.

In isolation, none of these comments should result in anybody’s firing. Opinionated personalities should be allowed to speak their minds both on- and off-air. But it remains difficult to see how Schilling’s statements crossed a line, while others are deemed acceptable.

Schilling was politically outspoken throughout his tenure at ESPN, including when he got into a spat with Keith Law about the theory of evolution and said Hillary Clinton should be “buried under a jail.” So it’s unlikely his political leanings were the ultimate reason he was fired. It’s more plausible Schilling was canned for his crassness. The anti-transgender meme he shared featured a burly man in drag, and below it, he said the “men’s room was designed for the penis.” Classy stuff.

But then again, it’s not all that classy to compare Celtics fans to Nazi sympathizers or label Boston racist with nothing more than decades-old anecdotal evidence –– such as citing the break-in at Bill Russell’s house during his playing days in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

When it comes to ESPN’s policies on social media use and political commentary, Schilling stands out as someone who may have fallen victim to a double-standard. But apparently, it’s easier for ESPN to ignore that instead of address it head-on.

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Curt Schilling’s status as a right-wing icon grows with each lost Hall of Fame vote 01.19.17 at 11:13 am ET
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Curt Schilling's opinions have hurt his Hall of Fame candidacy, but helped his brand. (David Manning/USA Today Sports)

Curt Schilling’s opinions have hurt his Hall of Fame candidacy, but helped his brand. (David Manning/USA Today Sports)

Curt Schilling may never get into the Hall of Fame, but his status as a right-wing icon only grows with each lost vote. The end game is no longer getting a plaque in Cooperstown. Instead, it’s martyrdom.

The three-time World Series champion received only 45 percent of the vote this year, more than a seven-point decrease from his 52.3 percent total in 2015. In the months leading up to the election, several sportswriters who previously supported Schilling’s candidacy said they could no longer vote for him following a string of incendiary statements. The final straw for many, including the Boston Globe‘s Dan Shaughnessy, was when Schilling tweeted a photo of a t-shirt that advocates the lynching of journalists.

“Schill has transitioned from a mere nuisance to an actual menace to society. His tweet supporting the lynching of journalists was the last straw for this voter. Curt later claimed he was joking. Swell,” Shaughnessy wrote.

It’s disingenuous for Shaughnessy, or anybody else, to say Schilling actually wants to lynch journalists. The t-shirt is a joke, representing the disdain many conservatives hold for what they feel is a venal left-wing press. The fact that Schilling, who statistically is a superior pitcher to Tom Glavine, lost Hall of Fame votes this year only emboldens his case. If he’s serious about running for senate in 2018, his first campaign ad is already written.

“No, it’s not about about being yourself,” Schilling said on Kirk & Callahan Thursday when asked about losing Hall of Fame support. “It’s about being someone the left doesn’t like. That’s the difference.”

It’s smart business for Schilling to portray himself as a victim who’s been persecuted for his conservative viewpoints. President-elect Donald Trump rode this narrative all the way to the White House, even though the media awarded him with $5 billion in free advertising –– adding instant legitimacy to his campaign. Earlier this month, Schilling said he would be in the Hall of Fame if he disparaged Trump instead of Democrats and journalists.

“If I had said, ‘Lynch Trump,’ I’d be getting in with about 90% of the vote this year,” he told TMZ.

It’s insincere for Schilling to say his conservatism is the reason he’s losing Hall of Fame support, because he’s been politically outspoken for years. In 2004, just hours after the Red Sox had won their first World Series in 86 years, he decided to endorse George W. Bush for reelection during an interview with Good Morning America.

“And make sure you tell everybody to vote, and vote Bush next week,” he said.

But in recent years, Schilling’s political musings have become increasingly contemptuous. ESPN put up with a lot during his six years with the company: He wasn’t reprimanded in 2014 for railing against the theory of evolution on Twitter or for saying Hillary Clinton should be “buried under a jail.” Schilling was suspended two summers ago for tweeting a meme that compares radical Muslims to Nazis, but he returned to work afterwards. The end finally came last spring, when he shared an anti-transgender meme on Facebook featuring a burly man in drag.

Schilling was fired for his crassness, not his politics. But in the aftermath of his ESPN dismissal, he’s been playing up his role as a culture warrior, saying the WorldWide Leader employs “some of the biggest racists in sports commentating.” Now a host at Breitbart News, Schilling is wise to further exploit the right-wing persecution complex that Fox News and other outlets have ridden to incredible success.

“Shaughnessy has been calling me names since ’04. He’s just pissed, because he built his entire career on a fallacy and we beat it in 2004 and he’s been inconsequential and irrelevant ever since,” Schilling said on K&C, putting him down in Trump-like fashion. “[Jon] Heyman is a liar. I’ve watched him write lies about us in ’04, because I was one of them he lied about.”

As a player, Schilling’s ultimate goal may have been to get inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. But now, he’s better off sitting out, because he can present himself as a real victim of the so-called liberal takeover. The campaign stump speeches write themselves.

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Curt Schilling says he’s considering run for Elizabeth Warren’s U.S. Senate seat 08.16.16 at 8:44 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’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.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
Soccer: Champions League, BSC Young Boys vs. Borussia Monchengladbach, 2:30 p.m. (FS2)
Soccer: Champions League, Dinamo Zagreb vs. Salzburg, 2:30 p.m. (FSN)
Soccer: Champions League, Steaua Bucuresti vs. Manchester City, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Olympics: Track and field, 7:30 p.m. (NBC)

AROUND THE WEB:

Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

— A week after indicating he was considering entering politics, former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling said in an interview on WRKO radio that he might target Elizabeth Warren’s U.S. Senate seat.

“I’ve thought about it, and I think one of the things I would like to do is be one of the people responsible for getting Elizabeth Warren out of politics. I think she’s a nightmare,” the conservative Schilling told host Jeff Kuhner. “The left is holding her up as the second coming of Hillary Clinton, which Lord knows we don’t even need the first one.

“She’s a woman who has clearly and comfortably milked the system to her advantage and then, much like Hillary, is going to stand up on the highest surface and talk about people being oppressed and poverty and how she wants them to be helped. We all know that the liberal agenda is to keep poverty-stricken people in poverty because they need to rely on a government full of liberals.”

Like Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, whom he supports, the outspoken Schilling took a shot at the media for what he says is clear bias.

“It’s turned surreal, that’s the only way I can describe it, in that the liberal media is actively and not quietly advocating for Hillary Clinton,” said Schilling, who was fired from ESPN earlier this year after his conservative rants on social media despite a warning to all ESPN employees to avoid political commentary. “That once-sacred group of people who would do what they could do to the very best of their ability to be objective have thrown in the towel and basically they’re saying, ‘Listen, we’ll do anything we can do.’ And I think they’re doing it because I think finally we’re realizing that the left and the right are both bad.”

Schilling, who discussed his political ambitions last Wednesday during his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan with Minihane, said that his political future ultimately will be determined after he consults with his wife.

“At the end of the day, it comes down to a conversation with the boss. And the boss of my house, like most men, is my wife, Shonda,” he said. “If my family wasn’t comfortable and OK with it, then it would never happen. But it’s certainly something, if I was going to run, my first path, that would be the target.”

— Following a report Sunday that the Marlins were considering reaching out to Alex Rodriguez as a replacement for the injured Giancarlo Stanton, Rodriguez’s publicist released a statement saying the 41-year-old will not play again this season.

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista ‘pretty surprised’ by Rougned Odor’s punch to his face 05.16.16 at 8:12 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’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.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Royals, 8:15 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
NBA playoffs: Thunder at Warriors, 9 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Lightning at Penguins, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— It’s not secret that the Rangers were not happy with Jose Bautista’s bat flip during the playoffs last season. On Sunday they got some revenge, courtesy of second baseman Rougned Odor’s right hand to Bautista’s jaw.

In the eighth inning of Texas’ 7-6 victory, Rangers pitcher Matt Bush — the 30-year-old rookie whose career was derailed by a 3 1/2-year stint in prison for a drunken driving accident — plunked Bautista.

On an ensuing grounder, Bautista slid through second base and forced a wild relay throw from Odor (but the runner was called out due to Bautista’s obstruction). As Bautista got up, Odor pushed him in the chest, and they both took a fighting stance. Odor then connected with a strong right that knocked off Bautista’s helmet and glasses and appeared to stun him.

“I was pretty surprised,” Bautista said. “I mean, obviously, that’s the only reason that he got me and he got me pretty good, so I have to give him that. It takes a little bit bigger man to knock me down.”

Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre grabbed Bautista and pulled him away as players from both teams rushed in.

Bautista and Odor were ejected along with another representative from each team.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, who had been ejected during a third inning argument with umpires, returned to the field during the fight and exchanged words with Rangers manager Jeff Banister.

“I didn’t want to sit here and drink too much wine,” Gibbons joked. “You’ve got to go out there. I’m sure the league will say something about that, but it’s kind of the manager’s responsibility.”

When the game resumed, Blue Jays reliever Jesse Chavez hit Prince Fielder with the next pitch and was ejected along with bench coach Demarlo Hale, who had replaced Gibbons.

Gibbons said he didn’t appreciate that the Rangers waited until Bautista’s last at-bat of the series to start something.

“It was ugly and unfortunate,” Gibbons said. “To me, it was gutless. The other 29 teams, they come at you right away, but to wait until the end, it just sort of tells you something. Everybody is going to say, ‘Oh, it was a one-run game. The ball got away.’ That ain’t going to fly.”

— The Mayor of Manchester, England, expressed his frustration with Sunday’s postponement of a Premier League soccer game due to a fake bomb left apparently behind after a training exercise.

After the Manchester United-Bournemouth match was called off and the stadium cleared of fans, the device — found in a toilet — was blown up in a controlled explosion. It was later determined to be a fake.

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Curt Schilling fires back after ESPN edits out bloody sock game from Red Sox documentary 05.02.16 at 8:11 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’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.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Cubs at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA playoffs: Hawks at Cavaliers, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Thunder at Spurs, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Capitals at Penguins, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— A week and a half after ESPN fired Curt Schilling, the network ran a documentary Sunday about the Red Sox’ memorable comeback against the Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series, and Schilling’s heroics in Game 6 were conspicuously absent. The network edited out Schilling’s bloody sock game, claiming it was due to time constraints.

Not surprisingly, Schilling didn’t take kindly to his former employer’s latest slap in the face, and he used the network’s slanted coverage of the Patriots’ Deflategate controversy and Tom Brady to make his point.

Tweeted Schilling Sunday night: Wow, full one year complete fabrication to defame greatest QB, now omitting about 4 hours of a game I think I played in. Hmm #integritymuch?

Added Schilling later: Btw, please don’t make me victim. You saw it, I lived it, still got the ring. This is what happens when you embarrass powerful people. And … Nothing more. It’s why we are where we are at as a people and as a nation. Time to change that #standup

Schilling, who has the hashtag #ESPNLIES alongside a quote on his Twitter bio, also noted that he liked the hashtag #boycottespn offered by another tweeter.

ESPN’s public relations department released a statement explaining that a softball game earlier in the day went over its time slot, forcing the editing of the 30 for 30 documentary “Four Days in October” prior to Sunday night’s Red Sox-Yankees game.

“When a live event runs long, it’s standard procedure to shorten a taped program that follows,” the statement read. “In this case, we needed to edit out one of the film’s four segments to account for the extra length of the softball game.”

— Capitals defenseman Brooks Opik received a three-game suspension from the NHL on Sunday for his late hit to the head of Penguins forward Olli Maatta during Saturday’s Game 2 of their second-round series.

Orpik, a former Boston College star who played 11 seasons for the Penguins before leaving as a free agent after the 2013-14 season, was called for interference for the hit, which came well after Maata fired a shot from the left side early in the first period. Maata was woozy after the hit and did not return to the game.

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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Clippers coach Doc Rivers bemoans ‘bum’s luck’ after injuries KO Blake Griffin, Chris Paul 04.27.16 at 8:30 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’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.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Braves at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Padres at Giants, 3:45 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Yankees at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA playoffs: Hornets at Heat, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Trail Blazers at Clippers, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA playoffs: Rockets at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Islanders at Lightning, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Predators at Ducks, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLS: Timbers at Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Bayern Munich at Club Atletico de Madrid, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— A bad week got worse for the Clippers on Tuesday, as Blake Griffin was ruled out for the rest of the playoffs after aggravating his partially torn left quadriceps tendon, and Chris Paul underwent surgery on his broken hand that will sideline him indefinitely.

Both players were injured in Monday’s Game 4 loss to the Trail Blazers that left the first-round series tied heading into Wednesday’s Game 5. One day after it appeared things might finally be lining up for a long playoff run after three years of disappointing finishes, the team appears headed for another frustrating ending.

“It’s bum’s luck three years in a row,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “What can you do? All you can do is you’ve just got to keep going.”

It seemed likely that Paul would not return this postseason after he got his hand caught in Gerald Henderson’s jersey and suffered a broken third metacarpal in his right hand. However, now there is speculation that he might return in a few weeks, if the team was able to reach the Western Conference finals.

“It’s not as long as I think some may think it would be,” Rivers said. “That’s the good news, but we don’t know how long yet.”

Rivers attempted to stay positive despite the setbacks, insisting: “We have won games before without key guys, and I think we can win games in the future without key guys.”

Added Rivers: “I get down for like five minutes, and I was [Monday] night, but you wake up in the morning and you feel like we’re going to find a way, and it’s my job to try to get them to feel like I feel. If we do that, I think we’ll have a fighting chance.”

— Assuming Tom Brady’s four-game suspension holds, one of the games he’ll miss will be a home game against the Dolphins. But there is no rejoicing in Miami, as the Dolphins have their own issues.

Tuesday was the first day of voluntary veterans minicamp under new coach Adam Gase, and it was marked by a couple of noticeable absences.

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Curt Schilling fired by ESPN after transgender controversy 04.20.16 at 10:03 pm ET
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Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

During his Wednesday morning appearance on Dennis & Callahan with Minihane, baseball analyst Curt Schilling claimed he was “blindsided” when his bosses at ESPN called to talk to him about his latest firestorm, insisting his comments about the transgender controversy were “as innocuous and as non-aggressive as anything anybody can say.”

ESPN obviously did not agree, ending Schilling’s relationship with the network later Wednesday.

“ESPN is an inclusive company,” the network said in a statement. “Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.”

On Tuesday, Schilling reposted a graphic that pictured a burly man dressed in suggestive women’s clothing with the words: Let him in! To the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow minded, judgmental, unloving, racist bigot who needs to die!!!

He followed that by writing in a separate post: A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.

The posts were a response to the controversy in North Carolina, where a law was passed directing individuals to use bathrooms based on their biological sex. Companies and entertainers have responded by boycotting the state or threatening to pull their business.

Defending himself to D&C, Schilling said, “That [graphic] wasn’t my post. “I commented on that. … I replied to the post. I didn’t post that. I made a comment paraphrasing it would be people that go to the bathroom standing up use one, and people that go the bathroom sitting down use the other. That’s turned into somehow I’m transphobic. I don’t know.”

When asked about the possibility of discipline, he said: “I have not even thought that. I don’t want to say it snuck up on me, but it did. I know that might be hard to believe for some people, but I swear to God. My comment was as innocuous and as non-aggressive as anything anybody can say. I’m still kind of trying to figure out how the hell this all happened. But if that is the case, then I”l deal with that when the time comes.”

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