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.

MLB: Red Sox at Royals, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Reds, 12:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Rays at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NFL: Steelers at Ravens, 8:25 p.m. (CBS, NFL Network)
College football: Louisiana Tech at North Texas, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: Houston at BYU, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Basketball: FIBA World Cup, United States vs, Lithuania, 3 p.m. (ESPN)


– A South African judge ruled Thursday that Oscar Pistorius did not intentionally kill his girlfriend when he shot her in their home last year, but the former Olympic hero still could be convicted of culpable homicide.

Judge Thokozile Masipa, who is deciding Pistorius’ fate along with two other judges, began the verdict portion of the trial Thursday morning as a tense Pistorius sat listening. Pistorius broke down and started crying when Masipa said he was not guilty of premeditated murder in the death of Reeva Steenkamp.

The verdict portion could last for hours or even days as the judge explains her analysis of the evidence and testimony.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

Masipa called Pistorius a “very poor witness” during the trial, noting that he avoided answering some of the prosecution’s questions, but said that it does not mean he is guilty. Pistorius claimed he thought Steenkamp was a burglar when he shot her repeatedly through the bathroom door in the middle of the night.

The trial has lasted five months, including a one-month break so that Pistorius could be examined by mental health specialists.

Pistorius, who uses prosthetic legs, participated in the 2012 London Olympics, inspiring people worldwide.

– Cardinals linebacker John Abraham was granted a leave of absence from the team to consider his future in football. Abraham, in his 15th NFL season, suffered a concussion in Monday’s win over the Chargers, but coach Bruce Arians said that was not the main reason Abraham was considering retiring.

Abraham, who missed most of training camp because he was receiving treatment for an alcohol problem following a DUI arrest in Atlanta, has five days to mull things over before he must be either reinstated or ruled out for the rest of the season.

Arians said the 36-year-old “will determine if he wants to continue playing football, whether his heart’s still in it and he has the fire and desire to do it,” while going through the NFL-mandated concussion protocol.

Said Arians: “I think with all the things that he’s gone through in the last month, he’s got a lot of things outside of football that he’s never dealt with before. There are some people that can help him in that regard. I’m not one of them. ‘€¦ There are things I’m not clinically smart enough to know what depression is and things like that, so there’s many issues that could be involved.”

– A former Mets employee is suing the team, claiming she was fired because co-owner Jeff Wilpon did not approve of her having a baby while single.

Leigh Castergine, who was promoted to senior vice president for ticket sales and service the same month she became pregnant, alleges that Wilbon repeatedly made comments about his disapproval of her marital status. She said she reported Wilpon’s behavior but no action was taken and the team’s executive director of human resources advised her to quit.

The lawsuit states that Castergine was fired on Aug. 20 after being told she failed to reach her sales goals and was not being as aggressive as she had been.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Sept. 11, 2005, which Red Sox pitcher was the hard-luck loser in a 1-0 loss to the Yankees, pitching a complete-game three-hitter with 12 strikeouts and one walk but allowing a home run to Jason Giambi?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We have no knowledge of this. We are not aware of anyone in our office who possessed or saw the video before it was made public on Monday. We will look into it.” – NFL spokesman Brian McCarty, responding to an Associated Press story in which a law enforcement official says he sent a copy of the Ray Rice videotape to the NFL

STAT OF THE DAY: 9 – Consecutive decisions lost by Red Sox pitcher Brandon Workman, who fell to 1-9 after Wednesday’s 10-6 loss to the Orioles

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Pirates star Andrew McCutchen hits an inside-the-park home run — without even needing to slide — against the Phillies.

Nationals third baseman Kevin Frandsen bare-hands a one-hopper and fires to first baseman Adam LaRoche, who nonchalantly scoops the one-hop throw to get the out against the Braves.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Tim Wakefield

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Kay Hanley of Letters to Cleo was born on this day in 1968.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
Reports now say that the NFL league offices did have access to the tape, and now all hell is breaking loose in what appears to be a massive cover-up by the NFL.
Reports now say that the NFL league offices did have access to the tape, and now all hell is breaking loose in what appears to be a massive cover-up by the NFL.
Lou, Christian and Tim talk about the shortcomings of Roger Goodell and his staff regarding the situation surround Ray Rice and his suspension. Tim thinks Goodell should be fired and Christian doesn't. The callers weigh in as Lou builds his own opinion.

[0:05:51] ... don't like our guy was not a whether -- Family -- so hot dogs. I don't care what is the -- guide people rushing to judgment and wanna take somebody's job I don't think it's a ...
[0:11:15] ... it's it's like. When who was the first person through actually interviewed Tiger Woods to that whole scandal broke. I'm -- -- all at the wasn't assists over hers every question was. It was a it ...
[0:14:43] ... that somebody had email records somewhere download some information on some hard hard drive and they kept it maybe they're pissed. Off the ligament and need this at some point that's what you're gonna know because. ...
[0:23:00] ... he is lying. Took us you know thing because if they hear Robert Kraft. He be lying to the owners. So what he's telling the owners isn't true in the owners will yes you'll lose his ...

In a controlled interview, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke to Norah O'Donnell on CBS to address the video that TMZ released. The video showed Ravens RB Ray Rice knocking out his fiance.

[0:01:24] ... backfiring. Because now everybody knows he is the base of the National Football League. And the National Football League is way more at all the way to handle it racist situation. -- what Andy but he couldn't imagine when -- first -- Well you're saying. -- -- -- is huge cover this pelican brief this was Tom Cruise star in this movie to be made clear in the middle of the cover yes. It's delayed its work to be a ...
[0:13:45] ... asking under what circumstances. Can Ray Rice is be reinstated the National Football League which is topic of conversation we had yesterday during our show. So under what circumstances. Do you see that you would lift. ...
[0:21:03] ... to come on the Roger Goodell interview from yesterday on CBS. Also John Farrell manager of the Boston Red Sox will try to get an update from him on Dustin Pedroia. That's coming up as well 937 W. ...

The Bills reached a “definitive agreement” Tuesday to sell the team to the owners of the NHL‘s Sabres.

The Pegulas, who already have substantial clout in the Buffalo area, bid an NFL-record $1.4 billion to buy Bills from late owner Ralph Wilson‘s estate, much higher then the team’s estimated $935 million value. The previous high came when Stephen Ross bought the Dolphins for $1.1 million in 2009. The Bills’ new owners plan to keep the team in Buffalo.

“It is gratifying to reassure these great fans that the two franchises, so important to our region are here to stay,” Terry Pegula said in a statement released by the Sabres. “Ralph Wilson left an indelible mark on our community and we will strive every day to honor his legacy.”

Other prospective owners included groups headed by rock star Jon Bon Jovi and one led by Donald Trump. Some feared that the Bills would move to Canada if Bon Jovi took control of the franchise. Mary Wilson, the team’s controlling owner, said her late husband would have been happy with the Pegulas’ decision to keep the team in Buffalo.

“Ralph would have been pleased with the sale of the team to the Terry Pegula family, who have been so committed to Buffalo and the western New York region,”Wilson said. “He loved his team and he cherished the fans, and his legacy will remain for all time.”

Blog Author: 
Andrew Battifarano
John Farrell joined the midday show due to the early game, and confirmed that Dustin Pedroia will likely be inactive for the rest of the season. Farrell also spoke the need to get Rusney Castillo into the majors before the end of the year, and where the team stands with Koji Uehara's situation.

The sports world is still reacting to the shocking Ray Rice video and the player’s subsequent release from the Ravens.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell claimed in a CBS interview Tuesday he had not seen the video of Rice punching his then-fiancee Janay Palmer inside an elevator in Atlantic City. Goodell and the league had only suspended Rice for two games before the second video was released.

“We had not seen any video tape of what occurred in the elevator,” Goodell said in the interview. “We assumed that there was a video, we asked for the video, we asked for anything that was pertinent, but we were never granted that opportunity.” 

The Ravens and coach Jim Harbaugh initially supported Rice after the incident occurred in February. In July, Harbaugh said he would “stand behind” Rice and was “proud” of how the running back handled the situation. After the TMZ video was released this week, though, Harbaugh said his feelings on the matter were swayed in the other direction.

“[The video] is something we saw for the first time today. All of us,” Harbaugh said. “It changed things, of course. It made things a little bit different.”

Jets backup quarterback Mike Vick, who spent more than a year in jail for organizing a dog-fighting ring, said Rice’s actions have no place in the game.

“It’€™s very sensitive,” Vick said. “I think we all got to realize as professional athletes that we are professionals. And we have to be able to maintain our poise in all situations, on and off the field. There’€™s just no room for that.”

While most have disapproved of Rice’s actions, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. said he thinks the NFL overreacted. Mayweather, who previously pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges and spent two months in jail in 2012, said there are other things people do that aren’t seen by the cameras.

“I think there’s a lot worse things that go on in other people’s households, also,” Mayweather said. “It’s just not caught on video, if that’s safe to say.”

Blog Author: 
Andrew Battifarano
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

[0:00:00] ... Headlines which bishop Desmond Tutu once said an important cultural milestone. In North American civilization these biscuits and is brought to you -- You are you -- ...
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[0:02:21] ... when politicians you know Juan. The -- for hanging fruit yes and Martha Coakley never ever ever that. And I want you to help me get a big shout out to those fabulous market basket workers ...
[0:02:57] ... back and alert and I am hum hum who holds a football. Charlie brown and Lucy Charlie Brown Lucy Lucille -- that ultimately. I'm Charlie Brown because I got all excited -- Silly me yeah I thought that if you were a district attorney in under your watch ...

The guys discussed Roger Goodell's performance last night.

[0:03:00] ... it it is there something to be gleaned from the fact that Robert Kraft went on CBS yesterday morning. Well if Roger Goodell is no BS and showtime to C Gladys -- no I mean that's a safe landings but but. I will say you know if it's that Chris Berman hands warm somebody you don't trust. Norah O'Donnell I thought I -- -- -- and the second part of this war will ...
[0:10:05] ... they -- I'll come back to the the people by Genesis of Major League Baseball. And -- this -- while we don't do that. We go to law enforcement. Well at some point. Especially when you have ...
[0:10:54] ... was wrong about but he said he does something like this past The Beatles say. Hey that's not right no one in the league told him that throughout the entire process once -- reported in July ...