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Jose Fernandez should not be honored with a statue 04.14.17 at 10:06 am ET
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ESPNThe mixed legacy of Jose Fernandez will include a bronze statue on the plaza at Marlins Park.

The Marlins are planning a memorial to their late ace that will stand at least 9 feet high, team president David Samson said Thursday.

Fernandez and two others died in a boat crash last September. The Marlins decided to go ahead with the statue even after a state investigation determined Fernandez was the probable operator of the boat, and had he survived the crash he could have been charged with multiple crimes, including boating under the influence manslaughter.

In an unfiltered discussion, the Marlins owner goes deep on the pain of losing Jose Fernandez, selling his franchise and the idea of promoting baseball in France as a potential U.S. ambassador.

“It doesn’t change the legacy of Jose in our view,” Samson said. “It is very disappointing. It’s a tragedy. But it doesn’t change our love for him or the fact we want him to be memorialized here at Marlins Park, because he is forever a Marlin.”

The statue will be sculpted by William Behrends, who was responsible for the Willie McCovey and Willie Mays statues in San Francisco, and won’t be finished for at least six months, Samson said.

Miami owner Jeffrey Loria chose the image for the statue, which wasn’t disclosed, and hired Behrends.

“It’s something Jeffrey wanted to do personally for Jose and his family and his fans — to have something that would permanently represent what Jose was,” Samson said.

Jose Fernandez does not deserve this statue.

This article pretty much explains why: If he had survived the boat crash, he would have been charged with manslaughter. But because he could throw a baseball pretty well and now never will again because of terrible decision he made, he gets a statue.

Even knowing his girlfriend was pregnant with his child and he had a whole promising baseball career ahead of him, he chose to drink and use cocaine and drive a boat. Fernandez was a charitable person who did some good, but he was also incredibly irresponsible. It was his fault two people died and he gets a statue because he also died.

It’s fine if the Marlins want to consider him a Marlin forever but they should not be giving him a statue.

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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,
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Brandon Marshall goes after Joe Namath for criticism of Jets; Seahawks’ Earl Thomas penalized for hugging referee 10.31.16 at 8:24 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 from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: Minnesota at Chicago, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Denver at Toronto, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
Soccer: Premier League, Swansea City at Stoke City, 3:55 p.m. NBCSN

SUNDAY’S RESULTS:
NFL:
Patriots 41, Bills 25
NFL:
Bengals 27, Redskins 27
NFL: 
Texans 20, Lions 13
NFL:
Chiefs 30, Colts 14
NFL:
Chargers 27, Broncos 19
NFL:
Cowboys 29, Eagles 23
NFL: 
Panthers 30, Cardinals 20
NFL:
 Saints 25, Seahawks 20 
NFL:
Jets 31, Browns 28
NFL:
Raiders 30, Buccaneers 24
NFL:
 Falcons 33, Packers 32
MLB:
 Cubs 3, Indians 2
NBA:
Warriors 106, Suns 100
NBA:
 Pistons 98, Bucks 83
NBA:
 Grizzlies 112, Wizards 103
NBA:
Spurs 106, Heat 99
NBA: Thunder 113, Lakers 96
NBA:
 Rockets 93, Mavericks 92
NBA: Clippers 88, Jazz 75
NHL: Panthers 5, Red Wings 2 
NHL: Sabres 3, Jets 1 
NHL: Rangers 6, Lightning 1 
NHL: Senators 2, Oilers 0
NHL: Flyers 4, Hurricanes 3
NHL: Islanders 5, Maple Leafs 1
NHL: Blackhawks 3, Kings 0
NHL: Capitals 3, Flames 1 

AROUND THE WEB:

Brandon Marshall

Brandon Marshall

— Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall wants Joe Namath to pump the brakes on tweeting his critiques of the team before the game is over.

The Jets beat the Browns, 31-28, on Sunday, but were trailing by 13 at halftime when Namath took to Twitter to suggest the Jets put in another quarterback.

Tweeted Namath: Who thinks we should see Bryce Petty start the 2nd half? I know I do. It hurts to say this, but we’re not goin anywhere with Fitzpatrick.

Ryan Fitzpatrick went 3-for-14 with 30 yards in the first half when Namath sent the tweet. And Brandon Marshall had a problem with him jumping the gun.

“I ain’t going to fight with Joe, they’ll throw me out of the city,” Marshall said, before expressing his true feelings about Namath’s tweet. “Joe can’t say that! Come on Broadway.”

“I mean, it’s four quarters. I would ask Joe, can you reserve your comment until after the game,” Marshall went on. “That’s two weeks in a row that you’ve been wrong, Joe!”

Namath went after Jets quarterback Geno Smith last week for not re-entering the game after suffering a knee injury.

“I like Joe. I have his number, we talk,” Marshall said. “[But] come on, Joe. He got on Geno, too, last week when Geno had an ACL! But Joe I’m not fighting against you. For all the New York fans, I’m not going against Joe. But Joe, come on, you can’t say that.”

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Read More: Brandon Marshall, Earl Thomas, Joe Namath, Jose Fernandez
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: 76ers anthem singer claims she was barred after wearing ‘We Matter’ shirt 10.27.16 at 8:19 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 from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA:
Boston at Chicago, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: LA Clippers at Portland, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College football: Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Appalachian State at Georgia Southern, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Ohio at Toledo, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: California at USC, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: MLS playoffs, Kansas City at Seattle, 10:30 p.m. (FS1)

WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS:
NBA: 
Celtics 122, Nets 117 
NBA: Pacers 130, Mavericks 121
NBA: Nuggets 107, Pelicans 102
NBA: Hornets 107, Bucks 96
NBA: Kings 113, Suns 94
NBA: Heat 108, Magic 96
NBA: Raptors 109, Pistons 91
NBA: Grizzlies 102, Timberwolves 98
NBA: Thunder 103, 76ers 97
NBA: Lakers 120, Rockets 114
NHL: Rangers 5, Bruins 2
NHL: Oilers 4, Capitals 1
NHL: Canadiens 3, Islanders 2
NHL: Ducks 6, Predators 1
MLB: Cubs 5, Indians 1

AROUND THE WEB:

— Singer Sevyn Streeter was set to sing the national anthem at Wednesday night’s 76ers game, but the team allegedly nixed her performance once it saw what she was wearing.

Streeter showed up for her performance in a “We Matter” tank top and claims she was barred from stepping foot on the parquet.

Wrote Streeter on Twitter: Was suppose to sing the anthem at @sixers & @okcthunder game but minutes b4 @sixers said I couldn’t because I was wearing a “We Matter” jersey.

“I was angry, extremely, extremely angry and disappointed and honestly brought to tears by all of it. It broke my heart,” she told The Associated Press. “Honestly, I was very excited about being able to perform the national anthem. I was really looking forward to that.”

Streeter, who is African-American, also said she was never given a dress code for her performance.

The Sixers did not directly address the controversy.

“As we move from symbolic gestures to action, we will continue to leverage our platform to positively impact our community,” the team said in a statement.”The Philadelphia 76ers organization encourages meaningful actions to drive social change. We use our games to bring people together, to build trust and to strengthen our communities.”

A 76ers dancer sang the anthem in Streeter’s place.

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Read More: Jose Fernandez, Philadelphia 76ers, Rob Manfred,
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Theo Epstein agrees to 5-year extension to remain Cubs president 09.29.16 at 8:01 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: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Indians at Tigers, 1:10 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Reds at Cardinals, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Rockies at Giants, 11 p.m. (MLB Network)
NFL: Dolphins at Bengals, 8:25 p.m. (NFL Network)
College football: Hampton at North Carolina A&T, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: UConn at Houston, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Kansas at Texas Tech, 8:30 p.m. (FS1)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, Canada vs. Europe, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Europa League, FSV Mainz at Gabala, 11 a.m. (FS2)
Soccer: Europa League, Internazionale Milano at Sparta Praha, 1 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Europa League, Red Bull Salzburg at Schalke 04, 1 p.m. (FS2)
Soccer: Europa League, Astra Giurgiu at AS Roma, 3 p.m. (FS2)
Soccer: Europa League, Zorya Luhansk at Manchester United, 3 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Theo Epstein apparently is finding it a lot easier to work for management in Chicago.

The Cubs announced Wednesday that the former Red Sox general manager agreed to a five-year extension to continue as president of baseball operations of the long-suffering franchise. Epstein, who was GM when the Red Sox ended their 86-year championship drought in 2004, has turned the Cubs into 100-game winners for the first time since 1935 as they pursue their first World Series title since 1908.

“In the five years under Theo’s leadership, he has brought in a strong executive team and acquired and developed some of the best players in the game,” Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said. “Now, the results are on the field.”

General manager Jed Hoyer and senior vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod — also former Red Sox employees — will receive extensions as well, Ricketts said.

Rickets explained that he and Epstein first discussed an extension over dinners in early March, although the deal was not finalized until this week.

“We sat down at spring training, had a nice dinner, talked about getting an extension done,” Ricketts said. “Basically, I told him I thought he was the best in the game at what he did. He told me no matter what I paid him he wasn’t going to leave Chicago, so we were off to a good start. We checked back in on it a couple times during the summer. There was no real time pressure.”

— Marlins players walked alongside as a hearse carried the body of Jose Fernandez, the pitcher who died over the weekend in a boating accident in Miami.

During the Wednesday procession, the players and coaches wore T-shirts featuring Fernandez’s image and the letters “RIP.” Crowds along the route chanted “Jose! Jose!” while some waved Cuban flags in honor of the 24-year-old Cuban-American.

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Read More: Jose Fernandez, Theo Epstein,
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Jose Fernandez’s teammates discouraged him from taking boat ride 09.28.16 at 8:09 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 Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN, ESPN2; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Mariners at Astros, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, Canada vs. Europe, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Champions League, Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Monaco, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Champions League, Real Madrid at Borussia Dortmund, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Champions League, Tottenham at CSKA Moscow, 2:30 p.m. (FS2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— More details are emerging about Jose Fernandez’s fatal boat trip in Miami over the weekend, and apparently some of his teammates warned the pitcher not to go.

Center fielder Marcell Ozuna said he and a couple of teammates were invited to join Fernandez but declined the offer, and they tried to discourage the 24-year-old from going on the midnight ride.

“It was a bad decision for him,” Ozuna told reporters. “He heard everybody say, ‘No, go back to your house and take it easy.’ Then you wake up and see the news.”

Also killed in the accident were 27-year-old Emilio Jesus Macias and 25-year-old Eduardo Rivero. A friend of Rivero’s posted on social media texts he exchanged just before the boat left the dock.

Will Bernal texted his friend to be careful and “keep Jose cool.” Rivero texted: Trust me, it’s not my time yet.

The Marlins announced that a funeral procession will start at 2:16 p.m. Wednesday at their ballpark, followed by a public viewing at a Miami church.

— Meanwhile, in St. Louis on Tuesday night, Cardinals Aledmys Diaz, Fernandez’s childhood friend, returned from spending time with Fernandez’s family and hit his first career grand slam.

Diaz had attended a private ceremony for Fernandez on Monday in Florida, where he made a promise to Fernandez’s family.

“I told them that every single time I put on the uniform, I would be thinking of him,” Diaz said. “And that I would give 100 percent because that’s how he played the game.”

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Emotional Marlins pay tribute to Jose Fernandez in win over Mets 09.27.16 at 8:13 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 Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Mariners at Astros, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
Hockey: World Cup of Hockey, Canada vs. Europe, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Champions League, Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Monaco, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Champions League, Real Madrid at Borussia Dortmund, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: Champions League, Tottenham at CSKA Moscow, 2:30 p.m. (FS2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Marlins held a pregame ceremony Monday night to honor Jose Fernandez, the 24-year-old pitcher who died in a boating accident early Sunday morning. The players all wore jerseys with the number 16 and “Fernandez” written on the back as they played the Mets on a night when Fernandez had been schedule to pitch.

Things really got emotional when Marlins leadoff batter Dee Gordon took his first pitch batting from the right side while wearing Fernandez’s helmet, as a tribute to his late friend. He then switched helmets and switched to the left batter’s box — and proceeded to hit his first home run of the season. Gordon started crying as he rounded the bases. He tapped his chest and looked skyward after crossing home plate, and he was greeted in the dugout by his equally emotional teammates.

Gordon, who called it the most difficult game he’s every played, said he didn’t even remember circling the bases.

“It seemed like it took forever,” he said. “I was trying to get back to my teammates as fast as possible. I was just wondering why Jose wasn’t there standing on the top step cheering for me.”

Teammate Giancarlo Stanton said he had trouble seeing the ball during his plate appearances.

“We were hitting balls underwater pretty much,” Stanton said after Miami’s 7-3 victory. “Our eyes were full of water.”

Stanton gave a speech to his teammates just before the start of the game, but he said he can’t remember the content.

“Honestly I went kind of numb in that moment,” Stanton said. “I don’t know if I was stuttering. I don’t even know if I was saying the right stuff. A lot of us were talking about ‘Why are we here right now? What’s the main purpose of this? How do we get through this together?’ I was trying to ease all that, telling them we’re all here for Jose. We’re the last hope and the last heart for him, and we need to come together, as hard as it’s going to be.”

Mets players joined the Marlins for hugs after the national anthem, which was preceded by a slow version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” played by trumpet.

“Hearts are heavy,” Mets outfielder Jay Bruce said. “From a professional standpoint, you just try to prepare and play the game and respect the game. But I can’t even imagine what it’s like over in that other clubhouse.”

— Former Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy remains a free agent, and Monday’s arrest for possession of cocaine won’t help his bid to return to the NFL.

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Read More: Dee Gordon, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Hardy, Jose Fernandez
Rays OF Wil Myers, Marlins P Jose Fernandez win MLB Rookie of the Year awards 11.12.13 at 11:01 am ET
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The two MLB franchises in Florida now have the bragging rights of having the two best rookies in the league this season, as Rays outfielder Wil Myers was named the AL Rookie of the Year while Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez nabbed NL Rookie of the Year honors.

Traded from the Royals to Tampa Bay in a Dec. 9 deal that sent James Shields and Wade Davis to Kansas City, Myers spent almost half of the 2013 season in the minor leagues before being called up on June 17. Despite playing in only 88 games this year, Myers hit .293 with 13 home runs and 53 RBIs.

“Honestly, when I was called up that didn’t even cross my mind. As the season went on I could see I would have a chance,” Myers said. “To be able to win is just a huge honor and I’m very excited about it.”

The 22-year-old outfielder received 23 out of 30 first-place votes, besting Tigers (and former Red Sox) shortstop Jose Iglesias and Tampa pitcher Chris Archer.

Myers had an immediate impact with Tampa Bay this year, as the Rays posted a sluggish 36-33 record before Myers’ arrival but then went 56-38 after his call-up. The Rays now have won the AL Rookie of the Year award three out of the last six years (Jeremy Hellickson in 2011 and Evan Longoria in ’08).

Drafted 14th overall in the 2011 MLB draft, Fernandez was thrust into the Marlins starting rotation at the end of spring training despite having not pitched above the Single-A level in his brief baseball career. Just 20 years old at the start of the season, Fernandez was the youngest starting pitcher on a MLB roster this season.

However, Fernandez did not look like a 20-year-old rookie at all this year, as the Cuban went 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA and 187 strikeouts in 172 2/3 innings. Fernandez, a finalist for the 2013 Cy Young Award, finished ahead of Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig.

AL and NL Manager of the Year will be announced Tuesday, the Cy Young Awards on Wednesday and the MVPs on Thursday.

Read More: Jose Fernandez, Jose Iglesias, Miami Marlins, MLB