the top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
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Mike Reiss via ESPN Boston – Patriots quarterback Tom Brady didn’t attend Thursday’s ceremony at the White House because of a prior family commitment. But one theory floated in the Boston Herald’s ‘Inside Track’ gossip column was that his absence might also be tied to comments made by White House press secretary Josh Earnest in the aftermath of Brady’s Deflategate news conference in January when Earnest criticized Brady’s public-relations skills. If so, that would reflect how deeply Brady was hurt by the widespread questioning of his integrity, including from those at the White House. For what it’s worth, I’m told Brady was present at the stadium for a stretch of time Thursday while many in the organization were at the White House.
I haven’t written a word about Tom Brady skipping out on the White House until now. Mostly because the whole issue just doesn’t move the needle for me. It seems like whenever someone gets hacked off about some athlete skipping out on the chance the meet the president, it has a lot more to do with the politics of the person talking than it does with the player himself. It’s not about “respecting the office,” it’s about who’s ox is being gored. I mean, if you’re going to go after Brady on this and demand an explanation, you better be ready to say the same thing to dozens of other White House no-shows. Not just the controversial ones like Tim Thomas or Mark Chmura. But guys who took no flak for their decisions like Vince Wilfork, Theo Epstein, Larry Lucchino, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and so on.
Or you can do what I do, which is to acknowledge that a bunch of brave lads bled the ground red at Lexington and Concord just so their descendants would have the right to tell who’s ever in charge to go piss up a rope with no explanation necessary and celebrate it as a good thing.
That said, I have to admit I did wonder what Brady was up to while the team was in D.C. Just as a fan and out of a celebrity-culture sort of curiosity, I am interested to hear if this was some form of protest, what his reasons were and where he was instead. And out of all the possibilities I’d speculated on, this is the absolute best case scenario.
I love the idea of an angry, defiant Tom Brady doing this. After he had to endure the most ridiculous, farcical press conference in the history of football (“The question they’re asking themselves is, ‘What’s up with our hero?’ So can you answer right now: Is Tom Brady a cheater?”) he gets mocked by some sleazy, obsequious White House public relations hack, and now he’s supposed to play nice with them?
Screw that. And I love even more that he sent everyone else on their way and went to the stadium instead. Not to Costa Rica with the wife and kids. Not to California to visit his folks. He went to go lift weights, hit the film room and eat avocado ice cream because he’s got missile lock on winning Lombardi V next season and nothing is going to take his focus off of it. Not even a chance to go play grabass with the leader of the free world.
I literally could not dream up a better explanation than this. And there is nowhere I would rather have him be than where he was. Just a man on his own, living a spartan life of self-denial because he’s obsessed with being champion again.
OK, maybe I’d add a scream from a mountaintop because it works every time it’s tried. But I don’t want to split hairs. Brady skipping out on the president because he was working out at Foxboro is still the best explanation I could ever hope for.
A video posted by Karla H.Ã°Ã°ºÃ° (@ine3) on
Whatever else you think about the chaos going on in Baltimore or what you think should be done about it, the one thing we can all agree on is that this mom has the situation well in hand. Let other people argue where the line between legitimate civic protest and rampant lawlessness begins or ends. With a mother it’s no more complicated than she doesn’t want her son getting involved in that crap and if keeping him out of it means smacking some sense into him, then she’s smacking him upside the head.
This is exactly how Irene Thornton would’ve handled it if her baby boy was going out of the house with his riot gear on. Strike that, it never would’ve gotten to that point because one, “I’m very disappointed in you” from her always hurt a thousand times worse than my dad’s belt across the pockets of my toughskins. Which is why I was never much into the whole looting thing. I’m sure this kid will never try it again, either. And when he’s the CEO of some Fortune 500 company someday instead of adding pages to his CORI, he’ll have one woman to thank for it.
Well done, Baltimore mom. At least someone knows what they’re doing.
Marc Fucarile threw out the first pitch at a game at Fenway Park last year. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
Boston Marathon bombing survivor Marc Fucarile joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Tuesday morning to talk about the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial and what his life is like two years after the tragedy. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
The Tsarnaev trial is now in the penalty stage, with the jury deciding between life in prison or the death. Fucarile says he goes back-and-forth as to he what he would like to happen.
“To be honest, I don’t know,” Fucarile said. “I really don’t know. I really don’t know what I would do. That is a tough decision they have to make. I kind of sway both ways. I think our death penalty, it’s tough. I think the way we put people down is a little too easy. We actually put dogs down like that because it’s humane. I’m undecided. I think it would be more torturous for him to sit in prison and him being a young man and having to stay there the rest of his life would be pretty torturous.
“But, at the same time, what do you actually have to do in this country to get the death penalty if this guy doesn’t get it? He terrorized the city. Dropped a bomb. Killed little Martin Richard. Killed Lingzi Lu and injured hundreds of people. And executed a cop and went on a wild chase. Hijacked a guy. What do you actually have to do to get the death penalty? That is why I kind of sway both ways. I’m undecided.”
Tsarnaev’s family is now in America as they are witnesses in the case. Taxpayers are funding their trip and accommodations while they are here, which angers many people, including Fucarile.
“I think it’s ridiculous, to be honest,” he said. “I think it’s absolutely absurd. Our country and the people that are even considering that and doing that, signing that paper work should be ashamed. This is a convicted terrorist. He got found guilty on 30 charges. He executed a police officer. Him and his brother. Their rights should be stripped of them.”
Fucarile also had a message for the protestors who have been set up outside the courthouse.
“Those protestors out there — pick another location,” he said. “Go down to City Hall and protest. get away from the front door. ‘¦ To have to walk by that and deal with that and see that and hear about it, it’s unacceptable in this country. They should be ashamed. Go protest of the stairs of the White House or wherever — City Hall. Wherever they want to go, just get away from the court. We don’t need to hear these people. I understand, but just go somewhere else.”
Fucarile has endured numerous surgeries — to the point he doesn’t even know the exact number. He already has had one leg amputated and is currently in the process of figuring out what will happen to his other leg.
“They are in favor of keeping it unless the pain doesn’t get fixed,” said Fucarile. “If the pain doesn’t get fixed then it’s going to be a big, big decision because if the pain doesn’t go away after a few corrective surgeries then, yeah. The option comes take it off for quality of living and unfortunately in my situation, I was just told pre-op yesterday at the hospital that I would definitely be above the knee — double amputee if I chose that I couldn’t live with it. I deal with other things on the back of my legs that are severely burnt and skin graphed, so it would be pretty difficult for me to get two prosthetics to fit properly without the skin breakdown that I am already enduring on my right leg. I am actually going in for three surgeries on May 5 minimum.”
He said the support he’s received is what keeps him going every day.
“It’s a choice, you just choose to do it,” Fucarile said. “I have a 7-year old boy and a wife, a family and all the support. The support — everybody is supporting you. You don’t want to let them down as well. It’s also a chance and opportunity to encourage others. That’s why you do it.”
TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Blue Jays at Red Sox, 6:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: White Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Giants at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. (MLB Network) NBA playoffs: Mavericks at Rockets, 8 p.m. (TNT) NBA playoffs: Spurs at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
Soccer: Premier League, Liverpool at Hull City, 2:40 p.m. (NBCSN)
Hamilton signed a five-year, $125 million contract with the Angels in 2012 after five consecutive All-Star seasons with the Rangers, including an MVP season in 2010.
“If I could change the past, I would not have left,” Hamilton said at his introductory press conference in Arlington, Texas, on Monday. “But you can only learn from it, and I’ve learned a lot the last couple of years. … I’m excited to be back home. I had a lot of good memories here.”
After two disappointing seasons in Anaheim, Hamilton had shoulder surgery this past offseason and suffered a relapse with drugs and alcohol. However, an arbitrator ruled that Major League Baseball could not discipline Hamilton, frustrating Angels owner Arte Moreno.
On Monday, the Angels reportedly agreed to pay about $68 million of Hamilton’s remaining salary to shed themselves of the problem.
“He knew what the deal was when he signed me. Hands down,” Hamilton said. “He knew what he was getting, what the risks were. Under the [joint drug agreement], it is what it is.”
Hamilton acknowledged his production was disappointing — just 31 home runs in two seasons — but the 33-year-old questioned Moreno’s comment about him not being accountable.
“I have no clue what he is talking about,” Hamilton said. “I showed up every day. Played hard every day I was there. Going into this season, I hadn’t been the player they wanted me to be. But I worked my butt off to be that player this year for the Angels. They just didn’t want it to happen to me for some reason. It doesn’t hurt my feelings, doesn’t make me mad. But I’m prepared.”
The Rangers said Hamilton will reported to extended spring training in Arizona on Tuesday and could return to the majors later in May.
In the seventh inning, Cubs rookie Addison Russell, making his Wrigley Field debut, lost control of the bat on a swing. The bat went into the stands on the third-base side and hit the fan, who started bleeding.
“When the bat was in mid-flight, my mind was screaming, ‘Watch out! Watch out!’ ” Russell said. “I saw the kid’s glasses fly and it wasn’t pretty. I feel very bad.”
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, seated nearby, went over to help the fan until paramedics arrived. The team said the fan was conscious and was taken to a nearby hospital.
The incident comes eight days after an incident in Pittsburgh where Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro fouled a ball that hit a fan in the head as she was walking behind the protective screen behind home plate. She was carried out on a stretcher and taken to the hospital, then released after undergoing tests.
“It’s awful, but when you come to the game, please pay attention,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s a crazy game, things fly in the stands and it’s awful. But we all know it can happen.”
— UFC heavyweight champion Jon Jones turned himself in to police in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Monday night after being sought in connection with a hit-and-run accident Sunday morning.
Jones, the brother of Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, allegedly struck a car driven by a 25-year-old pregnant woman, leaving her with a broken arm and wrist injury.
According to the police report, witnesses said a man fitting Jones’ description left his rented silver SUV after the accident, only to return to the car to grab a “large handful of cash,” which he shoved into his pants before fleeing. Marijuana was found in the car.
Jones, who tested positive for cocaine in December while training for his successful title defense against Daniel Cormer, recently moved full-time to Albuquerque, where his longtime gym, Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA, is based. He is due to fight Anthony Johnson on May 23 in Las Vegas.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 28, 1990, in Game 2 of an Eastern Conference first-round series, the Celtics set NBA single-game postseason records for field goal percentage (.670) and scoring in a 157-128 victory over which opponent?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “What I am saying is, you are the President of the United States of America. You respect the office, and if the man requests you, you show up. And if you don’t show up you either be straight up and honest and tell us, ‘You know what? This is why I’m not coming.’ Or you show up. What you don’t do is sit up there and say, ‘a family commitment.’ If it was a family emergency or something along that line, that would be different. I’m quite sure the owner, Mr. Robert Kraft, had commitments. I’m quite sure coach Bill Belichick, the de facto GM as well, had commitments. They showed up.” – Stephen A. Smith, during a Monday morning appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show, explaining his criticism of Tom Brady for missing the Patriots’ White House ceremony last Thursday
‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek makes an incredible stick save on Lightning forward Brian Boyle, although Tampa Bay went on to win.
Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak goes behind the net to play the puck only to see it take a strange bounce right to Capitals forward Jay Beagle, but Halak recovers in time to scramble back into the crease and make a pad save.
Giants right fielder Justin Maxwell dives to make a catch on a sinking liner and save two runs against the Dodgers.
A couple of fans in Cincinnati pay it forward, as an older fan grabs a foul ball and tosses it to a younger man, who in turn throws it to a young boy.
TRIVIA ANSWER: The Knicks, who would come back from a 2-0 deficit to win the best-of-five series
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Ann-Margret was born on this day in 1941.