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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Manny Ramirez released by Rangers 08.14.13 at 7:57 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: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Reds at Cubs, 2:10 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Orioles at Diamondbacks, 3:40 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Pirates at Cardinals, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Softball: Little League World Series championship, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Exhibition, U.S. vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2:25 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Exhibition, Mexico vs. Ivory Coast, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Golf: U.S. Amateur, 3 p.m. (TGC)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘€¢ The Rangers released Manny Ramirez from his minor league contract Tuesday, just over five weeks after he joined the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock, Texas.

“Based on our evaluation, there was not a spot for Manny on the club at this time,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “We released him so he could pursue other opportunities if he so chooses.”

Ramirez, 41, hit .259/.328/.370 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in 30 games, but he was without a homer in his last 22 games. The onetime Red Sox star, whose career was derailed by penalties for performance-enhancing drugs after he left Boston, began the season in Taiwan but returned to the States for another chance at the majors. He has not played in the majors since a stint with the Rays in April 2011 that ended with him retiring rather than serve a 100-game suspension for a second positive drug test.

‘€¢ Police said Tuesday that the death of Braves fan Ronald Homer Jr. at Monday’s game in Atlanta appears to have been an accident. The 6-foot-6 Homer fell over a 42-inch railing about 85 feet to a parking lot below just as the game was set to begin following a rain delay of almost two hours.

Homer, 30, fell just after ending a phone call with his mother.

“He said, ‘I love you, mom,’ and I said, ‘I love you, too,’ and that was it,” Connie Homer told The Associated Press.

Said his father, Ronald Homer: “This is going to hurt us for the rest of our life. When you lose a kid, not only your kids but your best friend, too, it’s bad.”

The Braves showed a picture of Homer on the scoreboard and held a moment of silence before Tuesday’s game.

‘€¢ ESPN fired “Numbers Never Lie” co-host Hugh Douglas following the network’s investigation into an incident last week when Douglas allegedly threatened fellow host Michael Smith at a nightclub in Orlando. The pair were at a party as part of the National Association of Black Journalists Convention when, according to reports, an inebriated Douglas attempted to climb on stage to join the DJ and became incensed when Smith refused to help, calling him a “house [N-word]” and an “Uncle Tom” and grabbing Smith before others stepped in to separate them.

The 41-year-old Douglas, who played 10 seasons at defensive end in the NFL, joined ESPN in 2011.

Douglas sent out a tweet Tuesday afternoon that read: I am very disappointed to be leaving ESPN and will have more to say about this situation and my future at the appropriate time.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Aug. 14, 1991, which Red Sox reliever recorded his 30th save in a 2-1 win over the Indians, giving him six 30-save seasons in seven years (with three teams)?

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Read More: Hugh Douglas, Manny Ramirez, Michael Smith, Ronald Homer
Hugh Douglas reportedly pulled off air by ESPN after threatening co-host Michael Smith 08.07.13 at 8:27 am ET
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Hugh Douglas, a former Eagles defensive end who appears on the ESPN show “Numbers Never Lie,” was yanked off the air by the network after an altercation with show co-host Michael Smith over the weekend, according to a report at bigleadsports.com.

Douglas reportedly was inebriated during an event at the House of Blues in Orlando on Friday night and tried to get on the stage where a DJ was playing music. When Smith, a former Boston Globe reporter, refused to help, Douglas threatened him numerous times, calling him an “Uncle Tom” and a “house [N-word],” before onlookers broke it up and another ESPN employee pulled Douglas aside to calm him down. Douglas then left the party, which was a fundraiser hosted by the National Association of Black Journalists.

ESPN released a statement Sunday saying, “We are aware there was a disagreement between Hugh Douglas and Michael Smith on Friday. We are looking into the situation.”

Smith returned to “Numbers Never Lie” on Monday while Douglas was absent.

Douglas was a first-round draft pick of the Jets in 1995. After three seasons in New York, he spent five years with the Eagles and one season with the Jaguars before closing out his 10-year career with a final year in Philadelphia as part of the Eagles team that lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.

Read More: Hugh Douglas, Michael Smith,
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Patriots third-most valuable in Forbes NFL rankings 09.08.11 at 7:55 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.

WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY THURSDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Forbes magazine published its annual ranking of the most valuable franchises in the NFL. Based on 2010 evaluations, the Patriots are worth $1.4 billion and rank third behind the Cowboys ($1.85 billion) and Redskins ($1.55 billion).

The Cowboys are second in the world to only the English soccer team Manchester United, valued at $1.9 billion. The Yankees top baseball and sit third in the world at $1.7 billion.

‘™¦ Former NFL defensive end Hugh Douglas did not hold back when criticizing Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio for his handling of the team’s quarterback situation and alleged lack of trustworthiness. Douglas is not pleased that the Jags released veteran David Garrard just days before the season, after presenting him as the starter in the preseason.

“This is not unlike Jack because he did Byron Leftwich the same way,” Douglas said on Scott Van Pelt‘s ESPN Radio show. “My statement is this: If there was ever a head coach that needs to be punched in the face for not being truthful to his players, it has to be Jack Del Rio.” Added Douglas: “How can I follow you into battle and believe in what you’re doing when you’re pulling stuff like that.”

‘™¦ At Real Clear Sports, Jeff Neuman has 11 predictions for the NFL season. He goes with the Saints (behind MVP Drew Brees) beating the Chargers in the Super Bowl, and he predicts the Colts and Ravens will fade from contention.

‘™¦ Wednesday’s tragic plane crash in Russia claimed the lives of 36 members of the hockey team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. In the Toronto Star, Dave Feschuk has the story of the team’s goalie coach, Jorma Valtonen, who was told to stay behind and work with the organization’s youth team. “I don’€™t know what to say. It seems I was lucky. But it’€™s horrible. Horrible,” Valtonen said. “I’€™ve been answering emails and text messages from my friends asking if I am alive or not.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Sept. 8, 1966, the Red Sox fired manager Billy Herman. Who replaced him for the rest of the season but turned down an offer to manage the following year?

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Read More: Byron Leftwich, David Garrard, Hugh Douglas, Jack Del Rio