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.

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: White Sox at Tigers, 1 p.m. (WGN)
Soccer: Exhibition, Bayern Munich vs. Guadalajara, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

– With Ravens running back Ray Rice scheduled to meet the media Thursday for the first time since being suspended two games for a domestic violence incident with his now-wife, coach John Harbaugh threw his support behind the beleaguered player.

“I hate what happened. What happened was wrong. Flat out,” Harbaugh told reporters after Wednesday’s training camp practice. “The thing I appreciate about it is how Ray has handled it afterward by acknowledging it was wrong and he’ll do everything he can do to make it right. That’s what you ask for when someone does a wrong thing. So, I’m proud of him for that.”

Added Harbaugh: “I’m there for Ray as a friend and I also think an older male figure in his life and try to give him advice and wisdom. And just be there for him. A friend is born from adversity. That’s what it is really about with Ray. I love the way he’s handled it.”

Many have criticized the NFL’s suspension as being too short, but Harbaugh indicated he’s comfortable with how those in charge handled the situation.

“Those that make those decisions do so with great seriousness,” Harbaugh said. “They aim to be just and fair. They aim to do right by all parties involved. Public opinion will often push those decisions in certain directions. But both of those decision makers — not the opinion makers, but the decision makers — who know all the knowable facts of the case came from the same direction on it. So, we said all along that the circumstances will then determine the outcome of this and we said all along that we will respect the outcome. That’s going to be tough for us. That’s going to be two games without one of our very best players. But we’ll move forward and deal with it.”

– Former Red Sox infielder Jose Offerman was ordered to pay $940,000 to Johnathan Nathans, who clams he suffered a career-ending head injury during a rampage by a bat-wielding Offerman in an independent minor league baseball game in 2007.

Nathans’ attorney, Josh Koskoff, said his client, now an attorney in Portland, Maine, still is affected by the injury. He was seeking $4.8 million.

“What we really were looking for after seven years was accountability for Mr. Offerman,” Koskoff said (via The Associated Press).

Offerman, who at the time was playing for the Long Island Ducks, denied that he swung his bat at Nathans, then a catcher for the Bridgeport Bluefish. Offerman charged the mound after being hit by a pitch. The jury found Offerman guilty of assault for charging pitcher Matt Beech but not battery, according to Offerman’s lawyer, who said he is considering an appeal.

“I think the verdict is inconsistent and a bit perplexing,” attorney Frank Riccio II said. “Mr. Offerman is certainly happy seven years later that a jury said he did not strike Mr. Nathans. … How is Mr. Offerman liable for damages if [the] jury found he never struck him? It’s an interesting question that has to be resolved before it gets to its final end.”

Offerman played 3 1/2 seasons for the Red Sox as part of a 15-year major league career that ended in 2005.

– A video making its way around the web shows a 13-year-old basketball player from Romania said to be 7-foot-4. Robert Bobroczky, son of 7-foot-1 former professional player Zigmond Bobroczky, recently joined Stella Azzurra Rome, the European program that produced NBA player Andrea Bargnani.

As the video below shows, the wiry Bobroczky isn’t very athletic, but the fact that he’s already taller than every player in the NBA works in his favor.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 31, 1997, in one of the most favorably one-sided deals in Red Sox history, Boston acquired catcher Jason Varitek and pitcher Derek Lowe from the Mariners for which reliever?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We were well aware of it, heard it. Wouldn’t expect anything less. This is a fan base that is very much in tune with what we’re doing, good and bad, and I think it’s a clear sign of support for Jon.” – Red Sox manager John Farrell, on fans chanting Jon Lester‘s name during Wednesday’s 6-1 loss to the Blue Jays

STAT OF THE DAY: 8 – Consecutive losses for the Revolution before Wednesday’s 3-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): The Pirates run into a double play — on a walk. As Chris Stewart trots down to first base on his free pass from Giants pitcher Jean Machi, Travis Snider wanders off second and is caught in a rundown that ends with him being tagged out, and Gaby Sanchez is tagged as well after leaving third base to make room for Snider.

Rangers left fielder Jim Adduci snags a foul fly ball down the line while crashing into the wall.

Matt Kemp delivers an RBI single to give the Dodgers a walkoff win over the Braves in the 10th inning.

Diamondbacks right fielder Gerardo Parra dives to catch a line drive off the bat of Reds hitter Todd Frazier.

For those who missed the “Sharknado 2″ premiere Wednesday night, here’s a clip of the Mets’ CitField being caught in the sharknado storm that terrorizes New York.

A running track in China, apparently a rush job as it had to be finished before a visit from Communist Party officials, has rectangular lanes, making the turns a little tricky.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Closer Heathcliff Slocumb

SOOTHING SOUNDS: On July 31, 1975, three members of the popular Irish group the Miami Showband were massacred on their way home from a performance as part of The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

LeBron James was showered with praise for the way he handled his announcement in a Sports Illustrated essay that he was returning to the Cavaliers.

Now James officially has Kevin Durant‘s approval.

“I thought it was well-thought-out. It was classy. It was a great move to do it as a letter,” Durant said after a training camp session with USA Basketball on Tuesday. “That was pretty cool. It’s funny seeing guys think about more than just basketball for once. He thought about the city where he comes from, about Northeast Ohio and how he can affect so many of the kids just being there playing basketball. I love that. So many guys get criticized for making the decision that’s best for them, instead of what’s best for everybody else. He’s a guy that did that. You gotta respect that. I applauded him, I texted him and told him congratulations on the decision and told him I was happy for him. As a fan of the game, it’s going to be pretty cool to see him back in Cleveland.”

James’ homecoming inspired reporters to ask Durant if he’ll consider a similar return home — Durant is from Seat Pleasant, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. — when he hits free agency in two years.

“I’m going to do what’s best for me,” Durant said. “It’s hard to talk about that right now when I’ve got two years left in Oklahoma City. I’m just going to focus on that. I’m not going to make a decision based on what anybody else does. I grew up watching the Bullets/Wizards. I grew up taking the train to that arena, all the time, to watch Georgetown, the Bullets, the Washington Mystics. That whole city is a part of me. It’s in my blood. I love going back home, seeing my family and playing there, but I love Oklahoma City too.”

Durant is has become close friends with James over the years. The two were Olympic teammates and even trained together in Akron, Ohio, during the 2011 lockout. Durant has two years remaining on a five-year, $86 million extension he signed with the Thunder in 2010.

Blog Author: 
Nick Canelas

On Wednesday’s edition of Three For All on Middays With MFB, Lou Merloni, Christian Fauria and Tim Benz discussed the latest celebrity to be ticked off by musician Justin Bieber and tried to differentiate the Canadian pop singer from Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel. To listen to the segment, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

“It’s pretty embarrassing that we’re both on the same wavelength on that. … As soon as we see some Bieber stuff, we’re all over it,” Fauria said.

Bieber and actor Orlando Bloom allegedly got into a fight early Wednesday morning outside of a restaurant on the Spanish island of Ibiza. After Bieber and Bloom exchanged words., the 37-year-old actor is said to have thrown a punch at Bieber.

“How old is Orlando Bloom anyway, isn’t he like 50? … He’s beating up a kid,” Fauria said.

“I’m in favor of anybody who goes after Justin Bieber,” Merloni responded.

Said Fauria: “If two guys needed to be punched, Justin Bieber would be No. 1. No. 2, slowly bringing up the ranks, would be Johnny Manziel.”

Fauria then brought up an online quiz offered on SI.com, which lists quotes that were said by either Bieber or Manziel, and offered the challenge to Benz and Merloni.

The first quote: “I want my world to be fun, no parents, no nothing. Like no one can stop me. No one can stop me.” It was guessed correctly by both Benz and Merloni, who said it was Bieber.

“Is that a song?” Fauria asked.

“I don’t know, it sounds like lyrics,” Merloni answered.

“I don’t think Johnny, for all of his faults, is still bringing Daddy into the picture,” Benz said. “That was the tip-off for me there.”

The next quote: “I can’t hear you. There’s too much money in my [expletive] hands.” This was a challenge for the duo, as both Merloni and Benz incorrectly guessed that Bieber said it.

“Do you see how these two worlds are merging?” Fauria said. “This guy, Johnny Manziel is being compared to Justin Bieber, who no one can stand right now.”

“What if Johnny Manziel has a good year this year, are you going to be OK?” Merloni asked Fauria.

“I might have a Mr. Furious moment like you’re about to have tomorrow. I might just go crazy,” Fauria said. “The guy is becoming irritating. Now when I see stuff like this, it just makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. But he’s not going to have a great year. When he does play, he’s going to make some awesome plays, he’s going to make some plays where you’re like, ‘Whoa, how did he do that, how did he get out of that situation,’ but then he’s going to have so many colossal meltdowns where he’s throwing the ball into the wrong direction, just carelessly just going crazy. That’s more of what you’re going to see with Manziel.”

Blog Author: 
Conor Ryan
As news looms about a possible Jon Lester trade, we sit down with the skipper of your Sox live from Fenway park.
As news looms about a possible Jon Lester trade, we sit down with the skipper of your Sox live from Fenway park.

[0:01:09] ... that goes on an inside of each. Don't we're beyond speculation with Jon Lester if you know hypothetical there's a move made -- he's gone. Speak candidly yourself as watching him managing him. Being a part ...
[0:02:17] ... as possible John you specifically we're very. Open about tonight's start with Jon Lester talking about before yesterday's game that may not happen -- and saying after the game that it wouldn't happen. What was that ...
[0:08:25] ... of those conversations. If you can what was the conversation you and Jon Lester had yesterday in a ballpark for about fifteen minutes just out there in the outfield candidates how to have a conversation what ...
[0:09:07] ... and just kind of ended up talking with John for you blob. Jon Lester gets most of the attention right now because of his pedigree in the organization. How long he's been here there are other players whose names have been. Out there in the media as well. Are you having similar conversations with John Lackey in my car and Andrew Miller and other guys like that we've we've met with all of all the players mentioned and even a greater number than than ...






We check in with Alex on the eve of the trade deadline.

[0:03:49] ... ultimately. Any team -- a contender I can understand I'm looking at Jon Lester in saying that guys difference maker any of the teams in the NL central another the cardinals already made their move. They ...
[0:05:42] ... has about who he is a road a lot about this today. Jon Lester is in the best state of mind of his life. And certainly has based bunker but I think maybe even as light. ...
[0:06:52] ... A massive part in his departure. If as we all believe that Jon Lester has gone in the Red Sox are actively seeking something form does it make sense then as well to deal John Lackey and not do. You know sign an extension for next year and forget about that 500000 yeah I had a really hard ...
[0:07:36] ... do that after 2004 when they let. When they let Pedro in Derek Lowe walk for instance. Let this be a little bit more dramatic with so much unsettled about the future. State and he does ...






We check in with Alex on the eve of the trade deadline.

[0:03:49] ... ultimately. Any team -- a contender I can understand I'm looking at Jon Lester in saying that guys difference maker any of the teams in the NL central another the cardinals already made their move. They ...
[0:05:42] ... has about who he is a road a lot about this today. Jon Lester is in the best state of mind of his life. And certainly has based bunker but I think maybe even as light. ...
[0:06:52] ... A massive part in his departure. If as we all believe that Jon Lester has gone in the Red Sox are actively seeking something form does it make sense then as well to deal John Lackey and not do. You know sign an extension for next year and forget about that 500000 yeah I had a really hard ...
[0:07:36] ... do that after 2004 when they let. When they let Pedro in Derek Lowe walk for instance. Let this be a little bit more dramatic with so much unsettled about the future. State and he does ...






We respond and react to the news that Jon Lester may no longer be a member of the Boston Red Sox once the trade deadline passes.
We respond and react to the news that Jon Lester may no longer be a member of the Boston Red Sox once the trade deadline passes.