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.

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.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Rockies at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Marlins at Rays, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cardinals at Nationals, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA playoffs: Thunder at Warriors, 9 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Lightning at Penguins, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Eric Decker

Eric Decker

— Jets receiver Eric Decker commented earlier this month that the AFC East — which the Patriots have dominated the past decade and a half — is “up for grabs,” and the Jets are “ready to make the run now.”

That was before he elected to skip New York’s voluntary OTAs this week, reportedly in protest of the fact that the team has not re-signed quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The cash-strapped Jets have been negotiating with Fitzpatrick for a while but have yet to reach an agreement, despite Fitzpatrick’s optimism that it will happen.

Last week, Decker showed some of his frustration in an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio, saying he felt like the drawn-out negotiations were some kind of prank.

“We’re waiting for that day. It’s like April Fool’s, wondering when he’s coming back,” Decker joked. “All I have to say is we have to move on without him right now. They’re stuck where they are. It’s a business decision. Where do they want to go with the money? Who’s going to break?

“We have a job to do and that’s to field the best football team with who we have in the locker room right now. I have a lot of respect for Ryan Fitzpatrick, but we don’t have a ton of time left. We’re all getting older.”

Meanwhile, Geno Smith, the likely starter if Fitzpatrick does not return, became annoyed with questions about the unsigned veteran. Speaking to reporters after the team’s second OTA practice Wednesday, Smith made it clear he had no interest discussing Fitzpatrick’s situation.

“That’s up to the front office,” he said. “Why would I speak on that.”

— Bills general manager Doug Whaley backtracked Wednesday, one day after questioning what football does to players’ bodies.

During an interview Tuesday morning on Buffalo radio station WGR 550, Whaley was responding to a question about whether Bills receiver Sammy Watkins is injury-prone, and he replied, “This is the game of football. Injuries are part of it. It’s a violent game that I personally don’t think humans are supposed to play.”

After that quote took off, Whaley issued a statement playing down the issue.

“Clearly I used a poor choice of words in my comment yesterday morning,” the statement read. “As a former player who has the utmost respect and love for the game, the point that I was trying to make is that football is a physical game and injuries are a part of it.”

Added Whaley: “Playing football no doubt is very physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging, and that is all part of what makes the game so compelling to play and watch. The game has more protection for players now than ever, thanks largely to the safety advancements and numerous rule changes made by our league and promoted to all levels of football.

“I believe our game continues to have a bright future and I hope that this statement provides clarity as to the intent of my earlier comment.”

— Alex Rodriguez is expected to return to the Yankees for Thursday’s game, as he appears ready for action following a stint on the disabled list with a hamstring injury.

However, with the team playing well in his absence, there are questions about how much he should play. Despite a loss to the Blue Jays on Wednesday, New York is 13-6 in its last 19 games, erasing its worst start in a quarter-century.

The 40-year-old Rodriguez, who homered for Double-A Trenton on Wednesday, was batting .194/.275/.444 with five home runs and 12 RBIs in 20 games when he went on the DL May 4.

“I think it’s been funny the way everyone’s been talking about what’s going to happen,” Rodriguez said Wednesday. “You know, one of the things I’ve learned from playing on a championship team is that depth and options are a great thing for Joe [Girardi]. Joe does a great job of not only communicating with us but also shuffling everybody around. Whoever is hot, plays. That’s pretty good.”

Added Rodriguez: “It’s funny when people talk about what’s going to happen if Alex plays or not. Those are awesome issues. The fact my team is playing so well, guys are swinging the bat well, you just want to go in and contribute when you can.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 26, 1987, in the Celtics’ 108-107 victory over the Pistons in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, Larry Bird stole Isiah Thomas’ inbounds pass and fed which player for the game-winning layup with one second remaining?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Unbelievable, especially to do it at home. These guys have been waiting 25 years for this. . . . It’s pretty sweet.” — Sharks forward Joe Thornton, after San Jose advanced to its first Stanley Cup final in franchise history with a 5-2 victory over the Blues

STAT OF THE DAY: 8 — Starts (out of nine) in which Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright has allowed three or fewer runs, after Wednesday’s 10-3 victory over the Rockies

‘NET RESULTS: Brandon Crawford rips a ball to the base of the wall in center field to give the Giants a walk-off win over the Padres in the 10th inning.

Rangers batter Nomar Mazara crushes a ball an estimated 491 feet, the longest home run in the majors this season.

From a minor league baseball game Tuesday night, Frisco RoughRiders manager Joe Mikulik — known for his histrionics with umpires — puts on another display in arguing a call.

Darlington Nagbe scores in the 90th minute to give the U.S. men’s soccer team its first victory over Ecuador since 2007.

Duke football coach David Cutcliffe interrupts a team meeting to take a phone call from walk-on Danny Doyle’s parents, who let the junior defensive end know he’s been awarded a scholarship.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Dennis Johnson

SOOTHING SOUNDS: The Band lead singer/drummer Levon Helm, who died in 2012, was born on this day in 1940.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
Mut recaps the Sox 10-3 win over the Rockies.
A report says that late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle exaggerated his accomplishments during the Iraq War. Does it affect hero status for one of Gerry's all-time favorite people?
Gary Tanguay, in for Dino, turned 52-years-old on Wednesday and got a unique video gift. Also, the 1986 Red Sox celebrated at Fenway and the guys react.
Gary Tanguay, in for Dino, turned 52-years-old on Wednesday and got a unique video gift. Also, the 1986 Red Sox celebrated at Fenway and the guys react.
Gary Tanguay continues his defense of Patriots owner Robert Kraft and tries to talk up the importance of the team filing an amicus briefing in support of Tom Brady and the NFLPA's case.

[0:03:53] ... came out when he got off the plane in where was that Super Bowl beat these you have to go to places like a reasonable ago one of an apology how long ago that was scared ...
[0:06:28] ... they were talking about this case is being this case in and Tom Brady got screwed we believe that I believe that I'm in order to get him but it does. And and on top of that you don't drive me even crazier book craft. Have to commit the dollars he thinks he's guy is innocent. He had the right to check for a million bucks he would give a first round pick how did not outraged fans. Disposed to say we've Boyd point provost for super balls which any owner conducted Bill Belichick Tom Brady and not Mississippi while he was again. You and I've had this discussion right yeah I know deal of them Rodham together ...
[0:07:24] ... another thing if they drug free trip to tee Martin. And so Tom Brady did in the foreseeable for them knowable what he Amish who both of them would do it beat it probably wouldn't have anything it's zero that's right. But if you had Victor kind Stallone Timor if or when bush took the team this delay is just as early franchises don't exist. But traders were so so that was aware that I have I'd Bill Belichick it's that I disagree divide it went out and get Tom Brady and luckily I just I physically in the state of Massachusetts that's why some diapers you know it's because if I put ...
[0:08:28] ... when that one host to vilify us to destroy a roller. Just North Korea we're not allowed to be critical because it makes a mistake critical on somebody's abuse of them would respect you heard that ...






Gary Tanguay sits in for Dino and the guys review Ken and Paul's podcast debut on the 'Breaking Balls' cast. Also, Donald Trump tells JImmy Kimmel he'll debate Bernie Sanders for charity.

[0:06:20] ... the flesh of her bones offer high cheekbones. On tropical at her. Hillary Clinton has somebody did. You get your boat got. Smoked god it is Elizabeth warrant. It's folk on this he gets to Hillary's ...
[0:10:27] ... made him at any wish him well against the big banks. Relatives Wall Street's she made. Herself well like that you may hypocrite she made herself when he one million dollars making speeches through these banks ...
[0:12:01] ... Out of the clintons Rother used undue. It's. Like six hours ago Bernie Sanders. Game on I'll look forward to debating on trumpet California before June 7 well that is awesome is it that's the official Bernie Sanders to order to ensure it's gonna check mark next to a 2.2 seven million. Donation directly related to the growth of terrorism. ...





Gary Tanguay sits in for Dino and the guys review Ken and Paul's podcast debut on the 'Breaking Balls' cast. Also, Donald Trump tells JImmy Kimmel he'll debate Bernie Sanders for charity.

[0:06:20] ... the flesh of her bones offer high cheekbones. On tropical at her. Hillary Clinton has somebody did. You get your boat got. Smoked god it is Elizabeth warrant. It's folk on this he gets to Hillary's ...
[0:10:27] ... made him at any wish him well against the big banks. Relatives Wall Street's she made. Herself well like that you may hypocrite she made herself when he one million dollars making speeches through these banks ...
[0:12:01] ... Out of the clintons Rother used undue. It's. Like six hours ago Bernie Sanders. Game on I'll look forward to debating on trumpet California before June 7 well that is awesome is it that's the official Bernie Sanders to order to ensure it's gonna check mark next to a 2.2 seven million. Donation directly related to the growth of terrorism. ...





The guys talk about Wade Boggs' number being retired today by the Red Sox, which in Lou's mind is his number being retired. Lou also shares what he bought his wife for her birthday.

[0:00:24] ... think you'll be back he was good so we're climbing Joseph the ditch effort called the white line and didn't get what you think you know. I don't remember hearing did you ever want. Amnesia be ...
[0:02:40] ... quarterly birthday ridiculous a youth ball badly. Easy that's like giving her bowling ball because you won you know start bowl and you know she's not feel like you buy it for that she gives back ...
[0:03:14] ... stuff on it on here. But I detect so what does the Walt Whitman built like built in essence you just build stuff. Now which is on this not beat Roddick I think that's. All start ...
[0:07:13] ... meanwhile once forty are earning honor wrote Lou will be here. Our fault line for you to talk of the program right now 617779. 7372. Uncles but in gradually you know on his it was I ...