UKZayn Malik’s departure from British boyband One Direction has caused such consternation amongst fans that employers have been inundated with requests for compassionate leave.

Mr Malik announced that he was leaving the band two days ago, prompting a flurry of calls to employment law firm Peninsula, which provides advice on staff rights in the workplace, as employees sought time off to grieve. …

Since Wednesday, Peninsula has received 480 calls to its helpline from employers seeking advice on their staff requesting compassionate leave because of the Zayn Malik furor.

Requests are being submitted by employees of all ages, according to Peninsula, and both male and female employees have been asking for time off.

This has to be the easiest workplace issue since the Industrial Revolution when they outlawed child labor, limited work hours and started regulating the robber barons’ factories.

Of course people need time off right now. We all do. How can any employer ask its wageslaves do to work in wake of a loss like this? How are any of us Directioners expected to focus on anything other than our grief right about now?

Since I’ve signed on with Entercom, I’ve put up with a lot. And I’ve kept my mouth shut because I’m a go-along-to-get-along kind of guy. I’m a team player and want to be a good employee. But the fact that they’re making me blog and go on the air to talk about sports at a time when all I want to do is curl up on the floor next to the bed and sing “Story of My Life” through my tears is and outrage.

I mean, I’ll do it, because they’re making me. But it’s really unfair. And if I get over the sorrow, believe me I’m going to get in touch with Peninsula and find out what I can do to make compassion leave in cases like this mandatory. But I’m warning the bosses: If Harry Styles ever leaves the band, you’ll just have to make other arrangements because 1D4eva.



Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox

David Ortiz defiantly answers his critics who say he’s taken PEDs. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

David Ortiz in The Player’s TribuneIn some people’s minds, I will always be considered a cheater. And that’s [expletive]. Mark my words: Nobody in MLB history has been tested for PEDs more than me. You know how many times I’ve been tested since 2004? More than 80. They say these tests are random. …. I have never failed a single one of those tests and I never will. 

But that doesn’t matter to some people. Some people still look at me like I’m a cheater because my name was on a list of players who got flagged for PEDs in 2003. …

Most MLB players take a dozen pills a day just to get them through the season — multivitamins, creatine, amino acids, nitric oxide, all kinds of stuff. Whatever you tell them is legal, they’ll take it. …

In 2003, MLB wanted to measure what players were taking and figure out some kind of standard. We all got tested and MLB sealed the results. The next year, they said, “Okay, you can’t take any pills with this, this and this,” — all kinds of stuff that was previously in supplements that anybody could buy. They used our tests to figure out what should be considered a performance-enhancer. …

In 2013, I came off the DL and started hot. My first 20 games I was hitting like .400. And the reporter with the red jheri curl from The Boston Globe comes into the locker room says, “You’re from the Dominican. You’re older. You fit the profile of a steroid user. Don’t you think you’re a prime suspect?”

He’s saying this with a straight face. I had taken like 70 at-bats. Anybody can get hot and hit .400 with 70 at-bats. I was stunned. I’m like, I’m Dominican? I fit the profile? Are you kidding me?

Man, I get tested 10 times a year and I’ve helped win this town two World Series titles in 2004 and 2007 and this guy who has never played a game of professional baseball in his life is telling me I’m a suspect.

My test was clean just like the other 8 or 9 tests that season. My batting average settled down to .300, because of course it did. I hit like 30 home runs and we won the World Series. Was that acceptable for the reporter? Were my numbers too high for a player from the Dominican? Should I have taken another blood test before popping the damn champagne?

He never apologized. …

I’ll never forget coming into the clubhouse before a day game against Oakland in 2009 … when I see my face pop up on the TV. I see “Failed Test. 2003.” No one had ever told me I’d failed any test. Now six years later some documents get leaked and they’re saying I’m dirty. I called my agent and asked what was going on. He didn’t have any answers for me. I called the MLB Players’ Association and they didn’t have any answers for me. To this day, nobody has any answers for me. Nobody can tell me what I supposedly tested positive for.

I apologize for the long excerpt, but this was one of those articles that’s so jam-packed with goodness that cutting any of it out is like hacking off a limb. A few thoughts on this:

— I like defiant, rage-aholic David Ortiz as much as the next guy. I get that he gets motivation from hearing every criticism and taking every doubt to heart. I feel like the blend of pride and resentment that fuels him to prove people wrong also drove him to drop that perfectly placed F-bomb on Boston Strong Day.

— That said, I never really get why he’s so angry. When it comes to being beloved, he’s breathing some rarefied air. Fans, teammates, management, opposing players … everybody loves the man. In terms of popularity, he’s a combination of Derek Jeter, Justin Timberlake and Nelson Mandela. If you absolutely had to switch lives with someone else, he’s on a short list of guys you wouldn’t mind trading places with. But he’s got rabbit ears when to those very few voices serving up the HaterAde.

— The crux of this is his claim he never took banned performance-enhancers. That the test in 2003 was just to give Major League Baseball a baseline of what guys were using and there was nothing in his system but stuff you’d buy at GNC. I know I’m in a minority on this, but I couldn’t care less either way. I lost my innocence on PEDs a long time ago. There is literally no one in baseball over the last generation that you could tell me was on steroids and it would surprise me. Or with any other sport, for that matter. If the Olympics have proven time and again, testing is a joke. I’ll take Papi’s word for it, but honestly I’m fine either way. If taking something helps you drive in runs, fine. All I ask is that you have a really good masking agent.

— MLB players take a dozen pills a day? Are they playing baseball or running the Kentucky Derby?

— It’s always comforting to know another of our fellow human beings is motivated by his contempt for Dan Shaughnessy. Ortiz’ “Dominican, older, fit the profile” is my “fan-boy comedian.’‘€ And make no mistake, “the reporter with the red jheri curl from The Boston Globe” is going right into the lexicon for later usage.

— The timing of this is really odd. I mean, this is pretty much an answer to a question no one was asking. But it’s obvious he had never gotten over the slight of having his reputation harmed by that leak in 2009. This is the equivalent of telling your wife you’ve been working hard and she brings up the time three years ago you went out and had a good time while she was home all day taking care of the kids. Some old grudges never die.

— I suppose his motivation is to start laying the groundwork for him to get into the Hall of Fame. Which seems like a curious thing to be worried about with Opening Day coming up in a week and a half. But I’ve just learned to accept with Papi that he’s never not thinking about his legacy or whatever. This isn’t that far removed from busting into a Terry Francona press conference to gripe about an official scorer’s decision. It’s not what you want, but if it’s what he needs to turn on sliders in on his fist and hit them into the bullpen, well that’s just the price we pay.

— I wish there was something I could take to make me write as well as David Ortiz does.

— Actual baseball can’t get here fast enough.


Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
The latest edition of the highly rated segment.

[0:05:01] ... like X where you know anything. Kirk does Jerry's beard irritate your inner thighs 'cause that's. Kraft I find out what a pretty. Absurd. And me personally there's enough here for now it's night. Expert a ...
[0:09:04] ... real moment I make something up what talked about my. Crap hole North Hollywood value department tools disgust. It was a Morton Owen and look it was one of the movie. Looked at myself licenses its. ...
[0:10:26] ... scream it. I'll remember that bartenders there was electric co op that Google Earth I was actually blackouts yet all the time. I was a cook outs or alcohol draw or metric. That I would. I ...
[0:11:08] ... for a conflict of Florida to see if our. You know what Bobby Orr but. The heart to talk about Bobby war. I once purchased think. And it which option. Even your beard. If that's when ...

The great Lisa Scherber joined us to discuss today's trip to Fort Myers with 46 Jimmy Fund patients.

[0:00:01] ... It is quite a project to pack up 46 teenagers from the Jimmy Fund clinic. And policy and 24 shop girls who take care of them for a traveling party of seventy. Lol the modern airplane Logan Airport flight a spring training at Fort Myers, Florida and spend a tremendous. Weekend in the sun where these kids are no longer just kids with cancer their kids having a great time that's. What's on Lisa short burst late this morning she joins us on the AT&T outline accordingly sour you. And that I guy this is the thirteenth spring training trip you've taken the young people from the Jimmy Fund clinic ought. Are you used to what are you nervous are you excited are you overwhelmed what are you this morning as you get rid of Portland. You know I don't think ever get nervous and think IIA. Really excited I think it's one of those things you never get used to it because every year it's. We know that it's going to be these new memories of these kids and a carrot. I can't wait to can't wake all 46 of them come into the lobby of Dana Farber and and they divided their moms and dads and they all look a little nervous and we know what's gonna happen the minute they board that bus and head to look at airport is just the connection. I. Store your phrase a long time ago and it's been very effective and that is this weekend in the sun where there at a nice hotel with a water park. Negotiate a Red Sox gamer too they actually play on that ways self field they meet and greet the players they get ...
[0:04:49] ... last year and he'd be the last fund their. But of course Tim Wakefield mean you know I think that's so we've had a happy and say that anymore. But I think I it will be ...
[0:05:45] ... into this long weekend with these kids for these kids. There's a water park a penalty into the heck out of there's a mini golf tournament they watch a game thanks to the Red Sox actually ...
[0:09:28] ... main presenting sponsor stepped up brought a big check they love the Jimmy Fund they love this idea they are in whip. With both feet bowl fans all the way. I would implore anybody what you ...

D&C's favorite author joined the show to discuss his new book.

[0:01:50] ... it doesn't really capture what the strangers trying to yeah. Yeah Harlem's new book is now all in bookstores it is called simply the stranger. It is a massive cast of characters I mean that in ...
[0:07:01] ... and I let him get in the same common by the best reviewed book described it never had to get the same kind of comment. The from you do think it was one of those really ...
[0:12:09] ... that but most people don't moan was my first New York Times best seller. You see the movie on on that what we're watching subtitles but it's on Amazon prime. Most people Blanchard Tomo I always ...
[0:12:42] ... put in on the question we used to ask. Who gives a Michael Jackson the creeps yeah who keeps Harlan co open up all night. A pilot Michael Conley elect which are open. I looked very ...

The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

[0:02:03] ... that won't fly Elizabeth Warren Genesis part Cherokee but Chile Jamaica. Lies Jamaica Plain woman who claims to be a Boston Marathon bombing victims accused of stealing from the one point two elite. Was indicted after fraudulently getting almost 40000 dollars and now it's ...
[0:10:55] ... French Fries three or four double cheeseburgers so that's six or eight beef patties yeah. It's a price so it's my son came on this. And the bad day traffic school. When he won that some ...
[0:16:52] ... a long weekend to Red Sox spring training. Where they're gonna be water park the mistakenly gave to us yet. Autographs in the player's gonna have the I'm of their life as we like to say ...

Ortiz writes a column defending his career.

[0:10:13] ... could be wrong sources. Hold huge lines. Anyway it's in players Tribune Derek Jeter website it's. Very slick web site. The website. Packed Walter you folks. Pictures of Qatar the depiction ice Cold War photographer. But ...
[0:11:33] ... with some sort of heavy object and bludgeon you to death. Was David Ortiz his version of bludgeoning Shaughnessy and others to set him off. I think that accumulation. Of one Patrick Odyssey of shops yeah ...
[0:17:25] ... don't bring this up alone. If this change this by line. From David Ortiz to Roger Clemens you know we're doing right now were laughing and mocking him and what a joke. So he passed tests. ...
[0:18:02] ... about steroids and Sammy Sosa if that's in this is and by David Ortiz the story in the players' tribute if it's by Sammy Sosa when he says he bleached his skin he has no credibility. ...

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.

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.

NBA: Celtics at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, UCLA vs. Gonzaga, 7 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, N.C. State vs. Louisville, 7:15 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Utah vs. Duke, 9:30 p.m. (CBS)
College basketball: NCAA Tournament, Michigan State vs. Oklahoma, 9:55 p.m. (TBS)
College basketball: Women’s NCAA Tournament, North Carolina vs. South Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Women’s NCAA Tournament, Iowa vs. Baylor, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Women’s NCAA Tournament, Arizona State vs. Florida State, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Women’s NCAA Tournament, Stanford vs. Notre Dame, 9:55 p.m. (ESPN2)
College hockey: NCAA Tournament, Yale vs. Boston University, 2 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: NCAA Tournament, Minnesota vs. Minnesota-Duluth, 5:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: NCAA Tournament, Quinnipiac vs. North Dakota, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
MLB exhibition: Red Sox at Braves, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB exhibition: Diamondbacks at Angels, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB exhibition: Mariners at Royals, 9 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: European Championship qualifying, Ukraine at Spain, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN2)


— Prosecutors will call Aaron Hernandez‘s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, to testify in the former Patriots tight end’s murder trial Friday, according to an Associated Press report.

It had been unclear if Jenkins would be called to the stand. The 25-year-old, who has been in a relationship with Hernandez since high school and is the mother of his 2-year-old daughter, was granted immunity by the court in February, so she could face jail time if she does not testify.

Hernandez is accused of the June 1013 murder of Odin Lloyd, who was dating Jenkins’ sister. Prosecutors showed the jury surveillance video of Jenkins removing a box from the North Attleboro home she shared with Hernandez, and they have said they believe the box contained the murder weapon, which has never been found. Jenkins was accused of lying to a grand jury that was investigating the murder, but she pleaded not guilty to perjury.

The prosecution has tried to paint Hernandez as an unfaithful, dishonest fiancee, but Jenkins has appeared supportive of him when she has attended the trial, sitting behind him and whispering “I love you.” However, she has not appeared in court since March 6.

Jenkins’ sister, Shaneah, who testified early in the trial, has been sitting with Lloyd’s family in court.

— West Virginia freshman Daxter Miles Jr., who promised an upset of top-seeded Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16, was quiet Thursday night after his team was routed by the Wildcats, 78-39.

Miles responded to every question after the game by saying, “Kentucky played good.”

That was an understatement. The Wildcats jumped out to an 18-2 lead and were up by as much as 26 in the first half.

“They did what they had to do,” West Virginia forward Devin Williams said. “You can’t stop something that’s destined.”

Some Kentucky players said they were fired up after hearing Miles’ comments and wanted to win by 50 points.

“Well, that didn’t come from me because that’s not how I coach,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “I mean, what, someone’s going to come in and say we’re going to lose and they’re going to say they’re going to win. But we say at some point you have to step in the ring, we’ll lift the rope, you’ve got to come in here.”

Kentucky next plays Notre Dame on Saturday, with the winner earning a berth in the Final Four.

“They were what I thought they were,” WVU coach Bob Huggins said. “That’s the best defensive team I think that I’ve ever coached against. And when they’re making shots, there’s nobody going to beat them.”

Added Huggins: “They’re going to have to have a bad day [to lose],” They had a good day today and we had a miserable day, so we lose by 40.”

— Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart acknowledged that Major League Baseball is looking into his alleged connection to a gambler, related to direct tweets he purportedly sent before deleting his account.

“Obviously, I was caught off guard by the whole situation,” Cosart said Thursday. “All I’m really saying to everyone is I’m following the MLB protocol and just talking with MLB security, and they are taking care of the rest.”

Cosart, a 24-year-old right-hander, claims that someone hacked his original account before he deleted it after the tweets made their way across the web.

“Anything else that happened after that is not me,” he said. “My other one is completely deleted and being looked at by Major League Baseball, and all of the new ones, that’s not me.”

Players are not barred from gambling, except on baseball games. However, placing bets with an illegal bookmaker is against the law, and a player could be disciplined for that.

Cosart was scheduled to pitch Friday, but he was scratched because of a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand, the team said.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 27, 1984, which Bruin scored a goal in a 6-4 victory over the Quebec Nordiques to give him 100 points on the season?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Terrible, terrible feeling obviously, but we played a great game and had a good kill there in the overtime and then, a loss, tough to swallow. When you battle until the end, you know you might get rewarded and they did.” Tuukka Rask, after the Bruins gave up a goal in the last minute of regulation and another in overtime to fall to the Ducks, 3-2

STAT OF THE DAY: $200 – Amount the late Dean Smith left in his will to every letterwinner he coached during his time at North Carolina

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek makes an impressive glove save of a hard wrist shot from Sharks forward Tomas Hertl.

Lightning forward Cedric Paquette checks Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm into the Tampa Bay bench.

Bucks forward John Henson skies and finishes an alley-oop with one hand.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Rick Middleton

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie was born on this day in 1975.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
The guys discuss the latest Bruins shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks

[0:03:39] ... there all right before that just. Bar funnel popped. Came right to Corey Perry. I think it was a trotman came over prevent them from slide in and he ran up skated off the border to ...
[0:11:21] ... of still vying for. I will be home ice advantage in the Western Conference that they should face the predators in the finals throughout so they had some that played for saint louis' 99 point so ...
[0:18:41] ... camp on the road. It is with a two games or so final tally so I've got them with 123. Or five wins the current. I get them with a five wins in their remaining what ...