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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Bills coach Doug Marrone fed up with team’s fighting in practice 08.22.14 at 8:01 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.

MLB: Mariners at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Orioles at Cubs, 2:20 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Braves at Reds, 7:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NFL preseason: Panthers at Patriots, 7:30 p.m. (WBZ-TV)
NFL preseason: Raiders at Packers, 8 p.m. (CBS)
NFL preseason: Bears at Seahawks, 10 p.m. (NFL Network)
Basketball: Exhibition, United States vs. Puerto Rico, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
WNBA playoffs: Sky at Dream, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA playoffs: Sparks at Mercury, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
MLS: Real Salt Lake at FC Dallas, 9 p.m. (NBCSN)


Doug Marrone

Doug Marrone

— Fights are not uncommon in NFL training camps, but the Bills’ inability to avoid confrontations has pushed coach Doug Marrone to the breaking point.

During Thursday’s final practice of training camp in Pittsford, New York, Marrone lit into his players about the fights and shoving matches. After a few players got into a skirmish, he stopped a drill and had those players run sprints. He then barked in the direction of starting defensive end Jerry Hughes on the sideline.

“Why can’t you handle it as players,” he said while looking toward Hughes. “Do you want to play on this team? … If you’ve got a problem with me, you need to come and tell me.”

Marrone and Hughes had a meeting after practice, although Marrone later told the media he was not singling out Hughes.

“That’s directed at anyone who doesn’t want to be part of the team,” Marrone said. “I told Jerry that I love the way he practices and I love the way he plays special teams and how he goes about it. And we’ve got to get some other guys who are starters to do that.”

A day earlier, rookie defensive end Bryan Johnson knocked off center Eric Wood‘s helmet and punched him repeatedly before being wrestled to the ground by two other offensive players.

MASHUP POLL: Are fights between teammates OK in NFL training camp?

  • Only if it involves the Jets (56%, 14 Votes)
  • No, it would get a player thrown out of a game, so they shouldn't do it in practice (28%, 7 Votes)
  • Yes, it shows a level of seriousness and high intensity (16%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 25

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Marrone, himself a former NFL offensive lineman, expressed his disappointment with the fighting.

“Figure it out. We’re responsible for the integrity of the game,” Marrone said. “There is no use for fighting in the game of football. Period. End of discussion.”

— Steelers running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount played in Thursday night’s preseason game against the Eagles after being charged with misdemeanor marijuana violations one day earlier.

“[I] didn’t consider it a punishment to send them home,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “I’d rather them play more.”

Blount, who played for the Patriots last season, rushed seven times for 32 yards.

“I’m sorry for the distraction I caused my team,” he said. “I apologized to the team and the coaches.”

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Read More: Doug Marrone, Jerry Hughes, Jurgen Klinsmann, Le'Veon Bell
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur criticizes Habs’ postseason effort 06.05.14 at 8:01 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: Athletics at Yankees, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA Finals: Heat at Spurs, 9 p.m. (ABC; WEEI-AM)
Tennis: French Open, 9 a.m. (ESPN2), 11 a.m. (NBC)


— The Canadiens knocked off the Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinals, but their conference finals loss to the Rangers did not sit well with Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur.

While members of the organization have spoken highly of the team’s solid regular season and playoff run, Lafleur told the French-language newspaper La Presse that he was not satisfied.

“Do not settle for a good season,” Lafleur said. “You do not play hockey for good seasons. You play to win the Stanley Cup, it has to be the objective. You can’t win [Game 5] and then not show up the next night.”

Lafleur was especially disappointed with the effort in the 1-0 loss in Game 6 that ended Montreal’s postseason.

“Looks like it’s as if everyone had given up,” he said. “You can’t win [Game 5] and then not show up the next night.”

Lafleur was especially critical of Thomas Vanek, whose agent said Tuesday that he will test the free agent waters, and Max Pacioretty, who just finished the first year of a six-year deal worth $27 million. Pacioretty scored a career-high 39 goals in the regular season then scored five goals in 17 playoff games (including the game-winner in Game 7 against the Bruins).

“Guys like Vanek and Pacioretty, you cannot keep them on your team,” Lafleur said. “They should stay home if they are not willing to pay the price. Your team will never win with players that fade when there is adversity.”

Manny Ramirez made his debut with the Cubs organization a memorable one, hitting a home run that reportedly traveled 450 feet during an extended spring training game in Tempe, Ariz.

The new player-coach for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs also gave the youngsters a lesson in how to show off, flipping his bat after crushing the ball.

Ramirez, 42, was signed by Cubs president Theo Epstein last week to play a couple of days per week and work with the Triple-A team’s hitters. Epstein said Ramirez will not play for the major league Cubs.

— Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes admitted he was involved in a car race on city streets with teammate Marcell Dareus, who crashed his Jaguar into a tree during Friday’s incident, which happened a few hours after practice ended. Dareus, who was not injured, was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment.

“I was there. I was involved in it,” Hughes said after Wednesday’s practice, noting that he could not elaborate because of the ongoing police investigation.

Dareus, a 2011 first-round draft pick, is taking a two-week break from OTAs after meeting with coach Doug Marrone. Dareus was arrested in his native Alabama one month earlier for possession of synthetic marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On June 5, 1989, the Red Sox had a productive draft, selecting which two players who would go on to win MVP awards — one in the American League and one in the National League?

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Read More: Guy Lafleur, Jerry Hughes, Manny Ramirez, Marcell Dareus