Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland, who apologized for asking draft prospect Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute, has his defenders and detractors. The legendary Mike Ditka falls into the latter category, telling a radio host that "somebody ought to whack him in the head." For more on that, plus videos, trivia and more, check out Thursday's Morning Mashup.

The International Olympic Committee stripped China of a women's gymnastics bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics on Wednesday for fielding an underage competitor. The United States, which had finished fourth, now receives the bronze.

 

"I'm really just proud to know that justice prevailed," U.S. gymnast Dominique Dawes said. "I will say that I never imagined in all my years of gymnastics that, a decade after one of my Olympic Games, I'd actually get a medal possibly shipped to me in the mail. I'm thrilled."

 

Yankees pitcher Javier Vazquez was asked what he thought of Curt Schilling's comments that he is a better fit in the weaker National League and would have been better off not returning for a second stint in pinstripes. He chose to take the high road, although the New York media does its best to make it more of a controversy. Plus, Kobe Bryant takes some hits for his petulant behavior during the Lakers-Thunder series.

David Ortiz might be a proud man, but if he can't produce, his pride should be shown the door. (AP)As much as we here in Boston have a reputation for being a tough crowd to play for, I honestly think that if an athlete comes here, plays hard and delivers a championship, we’re pretty much never going to stop appreciating what he’s done.



JERRY THORNTON

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The statement Ben Roethlisberger released to the media Monday, in which the Steelers quarterback apologized and said he will not appeal his league suspension, did not win over at least one columnist. Also, a couple of New York writers do their best to get under Red Sox fans' skins. One speculates that David Ortiz will be released within a month and takes some shots at Big Papi for the steroid controversy. The other polls some baseball people and determines that Robinson Cano is a better second baseman than Dustin Pedroia.

The New England Revolution released a statement Monday indicating that midfielder Shalrie Joseph has been granted an indefinite leave of absence from the team to attend to personal matters. He left the team on Saturday. The Revolution lost over the weekend to Colorado and will take on FC Dallas this Saturday at Gillette Stadium.

One website breaks down national prognosticators' mock drafts and grades them on their performance. One regular WEEI guest turned in an impressive effort and another did not fare so well. And in another NFL draft story, University of New Hampshire tight end Scott Sicko did not get drafted over the weekend, and as the draft wound down he decided he would prefer to focus on his education.

Opinions continue to be mixed -- and strong -- about Tim Tebow after the quarterback was taken in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night by the Denver Broncos. One writer insists Broncos coach Josh McDaniels just punched his ticket out of town, while others give him credit for relying on character. Get the details on that, plus additional links, videos, trivia and more, at Friday's Morning Mashup.

The results are mixed regarding NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's suspension of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Some feel Goodell overstepped his authority, while others say Roethlisberger got the intervention he desperately needed. Read more about that, plus get additional links, videos, trivia and more, at Thursday's Morning Mashup.

I don't know how else to put it, so I'll just say it as simply as I can.

It seems that Roger Goodell went into his chambers, crunched the numbers and decided that four games is ample punishment for buying a couple of 20-year-old girls some alcohol. 

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I just don't know how he figured it out. Could be he has a chart similar to the one that shows general managers how many points each draft pick is worth when weighing a potential trade.

But I suppose there must be some system.



KIRK MINIHANE

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