.

“I first and foremost need to apologize to our fans because I truly believe what I did in May given the actual evidence of this situation and the league’s history on discipline matters would make it much easier for the league to exonerate Tom Brady. Unfortunately I was wrong. I was wrong to put my faith in the league.” – Robert Kraft

Holy schneikies. Every time I think the Deflategate saga holds no more surprises for us, it takes another shocking turn. Mr. Kraft could have gone to that podium, stared out at the assembled media horde for a second and said, “I am Iron Man,” and I wouldn’t have been more surprised than I was at this.

For Patriots fans, this is a moment, perhaps not of triumph, but definitely one to embrace. Pats fans on the whole felt betrayed back in May when their Dear Leader took the dreaded high road at that press conference in San Francisco. Particularly since the Kraft-pitulation came as it did 24 hours after Peter King published an interview with him that was all full of great vengeance and furious anger, which is what fans wanted. Mr. Kraft had given the troops a phenomenal pre-battle speech, whipped them into a frenzy and then suddenly told them to stand down. It felt like running full speed on a treadmill then having someone hit the emergency stop button. Only way more painful.

So while this doesn’t take the bitter aftertaste of the surrender away altogether, it does help a little. It can’t be easy for powerful people to admit they were wrong and the great unwashed public was right. If it were, they’d do it a lot more often than they do. And it has to be especially hard when you’ve asked that same public to trust your judgment and they rip your decision anyway even though you’re the sole reason they have a team to bellyache about in the first place.

But more than anything, this latest development tells Pats fans they were right all along. They didn’t trust the NFL to do the right thing. Saw no benefit to Mr. Kraft playing nice with the other owners. And basically looked at him like you would some loved one who was running with the wrong crowd of people who take advantage of his good nature, are only nice to his face and treat him like garbage behind his back every chance they get. And now that he’s been sufficient burned by these back-stabbing Dorito Dinks, he’s big enough a man to admit we were right all along.

It won’t bring those draft picks back. But it means we do have the owner back defending the wall with us. And that is a pure good.

Apology accepted.

@JerryThornton1

DraftKings Play fantasy baseball every day at DraftKings — official daily fantasy partner of the Boston Red Sox — and win part of $300 million in prizes being paid out this baseball season! FOR FREE ENTRY TO THE $10,000 FANTASY BASEBALL CONTEST, CLICK HERE.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

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In the days and weeks to come, the Deflategate War is going to rage on. Roger Goodell launched a major offensive Tuesday by upholding Tom Brady‘s draconian suspension. Brady, his agent Don Yee and the Patriots have launched a three-pronged counteroffensive and vowed to continue the attack.

And if you’re a Brady loyalist who’s defended the wall from the beginning of this campaign, you’re going to have to arm yourself. The enemies of all that is good will continue to press the attack. And you’ll need ammo. So with that, I present to you in handy list form the five core counterarguments to Goodell’s decision. Memorize them. You’ll need them as the battle rages on.

1. The appeal process was a rigged game all along.

Read through Roger Goodell’s decision and I defy you to find even one instance where he gave credit to Brady’s arguments or deviated even slightly from either Ted Wells’ report or Troy Vincent’s punishment. Scratch that. Let me save you the trouble. There isn’t one. The entire document is nothing but a Spark Notes version of the Wells report. All 243 pages boiled down to 20.

Even with respect to Wells’ most ridiculous conclusions, like the claim that Walt Anderson misremembered which gauge he used to measure the footballs before the AFC title game, Goodell found Wells’ logic “unassailable” (see footnote 1). For all the attention he paid to Brady’s appeal, he could have saved everybody in that room 10 hours of their lives and taken them to a Dave & Busters instead because he completely rubber stamped everything that came from the league prior. Or better yet, he could have saved himself a lot of time working on this damn report and just wrote, “You’re right, Ted!”

As the saying goes, when two people agree on everything, only one of them is doing the thinking.

2. Goodell completely ignored the science.

As I’ve said from the day the Wells Report came out, the science firm Ted Wells went all the way across the country to find is a notorious Junk Science R Us hired gun who will tell their clients anything they want to hear, from smoking won’t kill you to rainforests are the perfect dumping grounds for toxic waste. Virtually no one supports their findings on Deflategate except Wells. And now, to the shock of none of us, Goodell.

Brady’s team brought in Dean Snyder, an expert from Yale, to rip Exponent’s laughably pseudo-science apart. They might as well have brought in Rob Schneider for all the weight Goodell gave his testimony. As a side note, I’m going to suggest that the next time a Patriots player is fighting for his reputation in the face of garbage science, his lawyers bring in an expert who wears a lab coat and glasses and talks with a German accent. Maybe then the commissioner will actually listen to him.

3. The destroyed phone is a red herring.

As Brady said in his Facebook post Wednesday, he wasn’t going to hand over his phone. He was under no obligation to hand over his phone. His phone broke, so he replaced it. The fact that he had an assistant destroy it is no more relevant than if he put it in a sock drawer, donated it to the troops, chucked it into his coy pond or sleeps with it under his pillow every night. The football world will forever act like he pulled an Aaron Hernandez with it. But the phone is his to do with what he pleases. And if it was still intact, neither Wells nor Goodell would have a single byte more evidence than they do without it. Which leads me to …

4. Brady did cooperate.

Wells’ investigators and Goodell have all the information they requested. Or need. Goodell himself says in footnote 11 that he was given a spreadsheet with all 10,000 texts Brady sent over the four months in question (that is about 85 per day, by the way. Is he a quarterback or a 15-year-old girl?), and the contact info for everyone he had texted with. Goodell was told his staff was free to reach out to anyone on the list to find out what Brady had texted to them, but he says that “is simply not practical.”

So after an investigation that took over 100 days and has cost more than $10 million, an appeal process that took over a month, and a punishment to one of the greats ever to play the game that is unprecedented in NFL history, Goodell couldn’t be bothered to follow up and find out what exactly Brady said in those messages he’s being suspended for. Got it.

Also, we need to keep in mind that the NFL has all the texts between Brady, Jim McNally and John Jastremski. But somewhere in those other 10,000 messages must be the smoking gun. Not that anyone should take the time to look for it. Let’s just assume it is and continue to watch the commissioner not earn his $44 million.

5. The punishment still doesn’t fit the alleged crime.

Even if every conclusion Goodell reached is true — which it is not, but just play the game with me — there is no justification for a four-game suspension. He compares altering the footballs to PED use, while ignoring the fact that when footballs have been tampered with before, it was met with little more than a “Hey, you kids, knock that off” from officials. The Carolina Panthers put balls in front of the sideline heaters in Minnesota last year and were simply told to stop it. The San Diego Chargers put stickum-covered towels on their game balls, then hid the towels, and they were fined $10,000. Then that fine was dropped.

And if Goodell wants to hang his noose on the gallows of “non-cooperation,” he’s not only ignoring the fact that he was handed all the information he needed, when Brett Favre refused to hand over his phone after sending pictures of his Li’l Gunslinger to a female Jets employee, he got a small fine. The Ravens pretended the Ray Rice “Elevator of Domestic Abuse” video didn’t exist and got nothing. Tom Brady destroys his phone and gets four games, Ray Lewis destroyed a white suit splattered with blood at a crime scene, and he gets zero games, a statue and a plum job at ESPN.

Memorize them. Use them. And by all means, stay with me on that wall.

@JerryThornton1

DraftKings Play fantasy baseball every day at DraftKings — official daily fantasy partner of the Boston Red Sox — and win part of $300 million in prizes being paid out this baseball season! FOR FREE ENTRY TO THE $10,000 FANTASY BASEBALL CONTEST, CLICK HERE.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
Stephen A. joined us to discuss Brady's punishment.

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[0:04:32] ... lateral. Lot it. Stephen Haywood not be fascinating to know exactly what Bill Belichick thinks about craps motives and motivation and his actions if indeed this banishment thing is brilliant play in his mind I can't ...
[0:06:51] ... and and I don't look at you bet there. That leaked. That Bill Belichick got all. Because rock rap apple looked up or that that the leak I'd definitely have a body explain it. And what ...
[0:07:29] ... it got to. Look out. The net interest hopefully. Parts. So. Great Tom Brady. And it what you love your organization. And you all your. Image you obligate it irked at all. We'll look out port ...






Pats fans called in with their thoughts on the Brady suspension.
Callers give their reaction to Tom Brady's suspension being upheld.

Welcome to Wednesday’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 Wednesday’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.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: White Sox at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Rockies at Cubs, 2:20 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Angels at Astros, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
MLS: All-Star Game, 7 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Jonathan Papelbon‘s trade to the Nationals would appear to be a boost to Washington, but not everyone is thrilled with the team landing a new closer.

Drew Storen, who has 29 saves in 31 chances and a 1.73 ERA, was informed Tuesday that he’ll be replaced by the former Phillies closer, demoted to fill-in closing and set-up responsibilities.

“All I’m going to say is obviously I’m aware of the move,” Storen told reporters. “Talked to [general manager] Mike [Rizzo] about it, talked to my agent. We’ve had some ongoing discussions. Until those have progressed, I’m just going to leave it at that.”

As part of the trade, the Nationals agreed to pick up Papelbon’s option for 2016 (albeit reportedly for $11 million, less than the original $13 million). The Phillies, who received pitching prospect Nick Pivetta, are said to be paying the remainder of Papelbon’s 2015 salary ($4.5 million).

While Storen has been solid, the rest of Washington’s relievers have not been as impressive. The team is 42-7 when leading after six innings (46-0 when leading entering the ninth). The bullpen combined has a 3.39 ERA, 12th in the majors. Adding Papelbon and altering Storen’s role should, on paper, make the Nationals much stronger overall.

Rizzo acknowledged that the news “was difficult to take” for Storen, but the 27-year-old “took it like a pro, and he’s going to be a professional in the clubhouse and on the mound.”

As for the 34-year-old Papelbon, a six-time All-Star who starred for the Red Sox before signing as a free agent with Philadelphia, he carries a 1.59 ERA and saved all 17 of his chances for the last-place Phillies this season.

“This guy wants to win,” Rizzo said. “First and foremost, he wants to win. … He excels in pressure situations, and that’s his personality. Does it grate on the opposition at times? Yes, it does. But he comes with high credentials, high praise from his teammates and guys who’ve been around him.”

— Mets management was in disbelief Tuesday after relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia — just weeks back from an 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs — was suspended 162 games for another violation.

Mejia first was suspended April 11 after testing positive for Stanozolol, and at the time insisted that he had “no idea how a banned substance ended up in my system.”

According to MLB, Mejia again tested positive for Stanozolol as well as Boldenone, costing him a season’s worth of games.

“I was totally shocked,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said. “Incredulous — whatever the right term is — that this could happen so swiftly on the heels of a past suspension. Couldn’t understand it.”

Added Alderson: “I think not surprisingly there’s a tremendous amount of disappointment. I think to some extent, anger. To some extent, amazement that this could happen so soon after a previous suspension was completed. And some sadness, in the sense that this is having a tremendously adverse effect on a very promising major league career — and that’s a shame. But the rules are the rules. We support the rules. And this is the consequence of making bad choices.”

Mejia, who returned to action July 12, pitched 7 1/3 scoreless innings and posted a 1-0 record this season.

— Mexico national soccer team coach Miguel Herrera probably thought his job was safe after his team won the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament Sunday.

However, the fiery Herrera was ousted Tuesday after allegedly hitting a media member at Philadelphia International Airport a day earlier. TV Azteca’s Christian Martinoli, who has been critical of Herrera, said the coach walked up from behind and punched him in the neck, then challenged him to a fight while being separated by another commentator.

“Our values, our principles, are above any result,” incoming Mexico Football Federation president Decio de Maria said at a news conference. “In our profession, our industry, the matches are never over, and as public figures who represent an institution we must be absolutely clear on that.”

Herrera apologized in a statement, adding that the decision to remove him “saddens me greatly.”

“It is clear to me that this is not the attitude that a coach for the Mexican national team should take, despite having received all manner of criticisms, offenses and mockery of my family and my person,” he said.

Herrera took over the national team in November 2013, initially as interim coach, and guided El Tri to a record of 18-7-11. Although the Mexicans won the Gold Cup, they were not that impressive, finishing second in group play and advancing to the final only after two very late penalty kicks on controversial calls by the officials.

Said De Maria: “We all saw what happened on the pitch. … We won at the Gold Cup, but none of us liked how it happened.”

Following two friendlies in September, Mexico will play the United States on Oct. 9, with the winner advancing to the 2017 Confederations Cup.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 29, 1988, the Red Sox traded Brady Anderson and Curt Schilling to the Orioles for which player?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We are extremely disappointed in today’s ruling by Commissioner Goodell. We cannot comprehend the league’s position in this matter. Most would agree that the penalties levied originally were excessive and unprecedented, especially in light of the fact that the league has no hard evidence of wrongdoing. We continue to unequivocally believe in and support Tom Brady.” — The Patriots, in a statement after the NFL upheld Tom Brady’s four-game suspension

STAT OF THE DAY: 5 — Runs the White Sox scored in the first inning of Tuesday’s 9-4 victory over the Red Sox, after scoring four runs in the opening inning of Monday’s win

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts makes a nice running catch but drops the ball after he jumps over the wall and lands in the Red Sox bullpen, giving White Sox batter Jose Abreu a home run.

Royals second baseman Omar Infante ranges to his right field a grounder, then backhands it with his glove to shortstop Alcides Escobar, who throws to first for the out against the Indians in the ninth-inning of a one-run game.

New Clippers player Paul Pierce throws out the first pitch before the Dodgers game, bouncing it in after taking extra time on the mound.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Pitcher Mike Boddicker

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Geddy Lee of Rush was born on this day in 1953.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
Law Professor Michael McCann joins the show to talk about Roger Goodell not reducing Tom Brady's suspension and how this will play out in court.

[0:00:11] ... McCain and sports latte Michael I don't. So opt out better than Tom Brady is right now your your just initial thoughts when you saw the decision today from Roger Goodell and sought the information that ...
[0:01:02] ... earlier why. Why is that the only issues are too big deal Tom Brady can simply say no I'm not gonna give it to you. And I'm gonna move on so why would he volunteer that ...
[0:05:04] ... know that just doesn't seem like it's sensible idea. We're talking to Michael McCann sports law expert law professor at the University of New Hampshire writes for Sports Illustrated and SI dot com. The National Football ...
[0:07:31] ... an arbitrary as to the fact that the organ suspension light and Brett Favre should keep thousand dollars what is Tom Brady get four game suspension. I think that you know that there's enough there to bring it to make an argument that this ...






Law Professor Michael McCann joins the show to talk about Roger Goodell not reducing Tom Brady's suspension and how this will play out in court.

[0:00:11] ... McCain and sports latte Michael I don't. So opt out better than Tom Brady is right now your your just initial thoughts when you saw the decision today from Roger Goodell and sought the information that ...
[0:01:02] ... earlier why. Why is that the only issues are too big deal Tom Brady can simply say no I'm not gonna give it to you. And I'm gonna move on so why would he volunteer that ...
[0:05:04] ... know that just doesn't seem like it's sensible idea. We're talking to Michael McCann sports law expert law professor at the University of New Hampshire writes for Sports Illustrated and SI dot com. The National Football ...
[0:07:31] ... an arbitrary as to the fact that the organ suspension light and Brett Favre should keep thousand dollars what is Tom Brady get four game suspension. I think that you know that there's enough there to bring it to make an argument that this ...






Peter King joins the show to talk about Roger Goodell not reducing Tom Brady's suspension.

[0:01:19] ... and burn itself. Number two. Somewhat saint. That they hear it wherever Tom Brady sent our own a cell phone. Either to patriots employee or anybody is recoverable. Anyway. Tom so what why is this such ...
[0:02:08] ... of an exclamation point in the eyes of those people that. That Tom Brady absolutely guilty now feet repeat history cellphone that that at the you know that the relative and applicable date. In there. Our Peter yeah you for your five talked with Tom Brady many times interviewed him many times. I've had so much interest thing out stories on him as you step back and just look at what's happened in 2015. From. The day after the AFC championship game to his press conference to the Super Bowl to the suspension and the appeal. What's your take on it I mean a lot of people are saying I didn't expect this from Tom Brady I think he's guilty I think he's innocent. What word you stand now after just taking in the previous. Six now almost ...
[0:04:30] ... go out again. But as to what. What I think of of Tom Brady I mean I have I personally hurt for Tom. But it's certainly it's troubling to mean knowing that. You know their could ...
[0:06:00] ... they find out that the the New England Patriots football it. The Green Bay Packers football the Buffalo Bills football teams that play in cold climates. And an average outdoor December gain or 43 degrees. What happens if the difference between ...