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: Twins at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Dodgers at Nationals, noon (MLB Network)
MLB: Orioles at Yankees, 3 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Tigers at White Sox, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Rays at Athletics, 11 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Fever at Liberty, 11 a.m. (NBA TV)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Mike Ditka (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

Mike Ditka downplayed the Deflategate controversy. (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

— Mike Ditka won’t be appearing at the Republican National Convention, but the ESPN NFL analyst isn’t hiding his support for Donald Trump.

The 76-year-old Ditka, who describes himself as “ultra-ultra conservative,” said he passed on an offer to speak at the RNC in Cleveland.

“I support Trump all the way, I really do. I just don’t think that’s where I belong, in Cleveland right now, I really don’t,” the former Bears coach told the Sporting News.

Ditka, who last year called Barack Obama the worst president in history, is aware that other analysts have run afoul of ESPN by speaking out on political issues (hello, Curt Schilling), but he said he has no plans to hide his opinions.

“I’m not going to change,” he said. “Eventually, I’ll say something that will probably aggravate people. That doesn’t work either, today, you know that?”

As for critics of America, he stated: “If you don’t like the way that our democracy was set up, haul your ass out of the country. Go somewhere else.”

Touching on Deflategate, Ditka said the issue is not worth the attention it’s been getting.

“I think it’s overblown, but that’s only my opinion,” he said. “I don’t think the New England Patriots or Tom Brady have to cheat to win. That’s only my opinion. You can spin it any way you want to and say, ‘Well, you can’t doctor the ball.’ … When I was playing, we played in the cold at Wrigley Field. Balls have kind of a wax on them when they’re new. We had a solvent solution. We had all the ball boys and managers scrub all the wax off of them. When we played with a ball at Wrigley Field, it didn’t have that shiny look. We took it all off. That was so you could grip it. It was only common sense. I mean, it was below-zero weather sometimes. You had this shiny stuff on it. That’s not conducive to good football, whether kicking it, throwing it or catching it. I could remember we did that. I can honestly say that. That’s when I was a player.”

— Four years after Linsanity gripped New York, Jeremy Lin was introduced Wednesday as one of five new members of the Nets, and the Harvard product looked back with mostly fondness on his breakthrough in the NBA.

“When it first started, I’m not going to lie, it was cool, and then it became a burden,” he told reporters in Brooklyn. “I didn’t really know what I had gotten myself into. One, two, three, four years later, every year I embrace it more. Every year I’m more appreciative, every year I love it more.”

Lin, 27, signed a three-year, $36 million deal after leaving the Hornets as a free agent. He returns to a New York that has moved on from Linsanity, and that’s fine with him.

“Not in a way that I’m offended, but it kind of dehumanizes me to refer to me as a phenomenon,” he said. “I’m going to be here, keep playing my game, and whatever you guys want to call it, it’s up to you guys.”

The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Lin returns to a metropolitan area with the largest Chinese population outside of Asia (more than a half-million). The Nets already have reached out to Asian groups around the city to stir up interest.

“Chinese people, Asian-Americans, Asians, they always have a special place in my heart,” Lin said. “Coming back here, I want to be able to try to inspire the next generation, reach out in the community.”

— Kelsie Whitmore, one of two members of the U.S. women’s national baseball team who are playing for a men’s independent league team in California, recorded her first hit with the team Wednesday.

Whitmore, playing for the Sonoma Stompers, hit a ground ball into right field and almost picked up an RBI, but the San Rafael Pacifics threw out her teammate at home.

After the hit, while a teammate retrieved the ball and handed it to her parents in the stands, Whitmore kept her emotions in check.

“A lot of the guys were asking why I wasn’t jumping up and down. My thought process was, ‘That’s just one hit. I need more.’ ” she told MLB.com.

Whitmore is scheduled to pitch Friday, and a third women’s national team player, Ann Kimbrel, will join the team to catch Whitmore, forming the first women’s battery in men’s pro baseball history.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 21, 1959, who became the first African-American to play for the Red Sox when he pinch ran and and stayed in to play shortstop in a 2-1 loss to the White Sox in Chicago?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I take it one day at a time. By tonight I’ll flush everything out, but that’s not me out there.” — new Red Sox pitcher Drew Pomeranz, after allowing five runs in three-plus innings in Wednesday’s 11-7 victory over the Giants

STAT OF THE DAY: 3 — Home runs Wednesday for Hanley Ramirez, who collected six RBIs in the process

‘NET RESULTS: Leonys Martin hits a walk-off home run in the 12th inning to give the Mariners a win over the White Sox.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Pumpsie Green

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, was born on this day in 1948.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

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: Twins at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Dodgers at Nationals, noon (MLB Network)
MLB: Orioles at Yankees, 3 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Tigers at White Sox, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Rays at Athletics, 11 p.m. (MLB Network)
WNBA: Fever at Liberty, 11 a.m. (NBA TV)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Mike Ditka (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

Mike Ditka downplayed the Deflategate controversy. (Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

— Mike Ditka won’t be appearing at the Republican National Convention, but the ESPN NFL analyst isn’t hiding his support for Donald Trump.

The 76-year-old Ditka, who describes himself as “ultra-ultra conservative,” said he passed on an offer to speak at the RNC in Cleveland.

“I support Trump all the way, I really do. I just don’t think that’s where I belong, in Cleveland right now, I really don’t,” the former Bears coach told the Sporting News.

Ditka, who last year called Barack Obama the worst president in history, is aware that other analysts have run afoul of ESPN by speaking out on political issues (hello, Curt Schilling), but he said he has no plans to hide his opinions.

“I’m not going to change,” he said. “Eventually, I’ll say something that will probably aggravate people. That doesn’t work either, today, you know that?”

As for critics of America, he stated: “If you don’t like the way that our democracy was set up, haul your ass out of the country. Go somewhere else.”

Touching on Deflategate, Ditka said the issue is not worth the attention it’s been getting.

“I think it’s overblown, but that’s only my opinion,” he said. “I don’t think the New England Patriots or Tom Brady have to cheat to win. That’s only my opinion. You can spin it any way you want to and say, ‘Well, you can’t doctor the ball.’ … When I was playing, we played in the cold at Wrigley Field. Balls have kind of a wax on them when they’re new. We had a solvent solution. We had all the ball boys and managers scrub all the wax off of them. When we played with a ball at Wrigley Field, it didn’t have that shiny look. We took it all off. That was so you could grip it. It was only common sense. I mean, it was below-zero weather sometimes. You had this shiny stuff on it. That’s not conducive to good football, whether kicking it, throwing it or catching it. I could remember we did that. I can honestly say that. That’s when I was a player.”

— Four years after Linsanity gripped New York, Jeremy Lin was introduced Wednesday as one of five new members of the Nets, and the Harvard product looked back with mostly fondness on his breakthrough in the NBA.

“When it first started, I’m not going to lie, it was cool, and then it became a burden,” he told reporters in Brooklyn. “I didn’t really know what I had gotten myself into. One, two, three, four years later, every year I embrace it more. Every year I’m more appreciative, every year I love it more.”

Lin, 27, signed a three-year, $36 million deal after leaving the Hornets as a free agent. He returns to a New York that has moved on from Linsanity, and that’s fine with him.

“Not in a way that I’m offended, but it kind of dehumanizes me to refer to me as a phenomenon,” he said. “I’m going to be here, keep playing my game, and whatever you guys want to call it, it’s up to you guys.”

The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Lin returns to a metropolitan area with the largest Chinese population outside of Asia (more than a half-million). The Nets already have reached out to Asian groups around the city to stir up interest.

“Chinese people, Asian-Americans, Asians, they always have a special place in my heart,” Lin said. “Coming back here, I want to be able to try to inspire the next generation, reach out in the community.”

— Kelsie Whitmore, one of two members of the U.S. women’s national baseball team who are playing for a men’s independent league team in California, recorded her first hit with the team Wednesday.

Whitmore, playing for the Sonoma Stompers, hit a ground ball into right field and almost picked up an RBI, but the San Rafael Pacifics threw out her teammate at home.

After the hit, while a teammate retrieved the ball and handed it to her parents in the stands, Whitmore kept her emotions in check.

“A lot of the guys were asking why I wasn’t jumping up and down. My thought process was, ‘That’s just one hit. I need more.’ ” she told MLB.com.

Whitmore is scheduled to pitch Friday, and a third women’s national team player, Ann Kimbrel, will join the team to catch Whitmore, forming the first women’s battery in men’s pro baseball history.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 21, 1959, who became the first African-American to play for the Red Sox when he pinch ran and and stayed in to play shortstop in a 2-1 loss to the White Sox in Chicago?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I take it one day at a time. By tonight I’ll flush everything out, but that’s not me out there.” — new Red Sox pitcher Drew Pomeranz, after allowing five runs in three-plus innings in Wednesday’s 11-7 victory over the Giants

STAT OF THE DAY: 3 — Home runs Wednesday for Hanley Ramirez, who collected six RBIs in the process

‘NET RESULTS: Leonys Martin hits a walk-off home run in the 12th inning to give the Mariners a win over the White Sox.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Pumpsie Green

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, was born on this day in 1948.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
We discuss the state of the Sox with manager John Farrell.
We discuss the state of the Sox with manager John Farrell.
Dale, Jerry and Andy Hart discuss the DH, and how it's time to have one system for both MLB leagues.
Dale, Jerry and Andy Hart discuss the DH, and how it's time to have one system for both MLB leagues.

[0:02:45] ... one of the guys got the biggest ever that ever remembered a World Series. Well we era but at a rally. To win a World Series. And I think of a guy Earl Watson all who actually which uses a budget that it was a great there. And it LL any act I'd like I'll play it. Some of the best in this audit assistance to them as it is in and our offbeat it's rich it's the act is what they get to the problems. It specializes in the. I got an embryo like. Well what's most memorable of all Louie Tiant the now World Series was on the bases it was a total clown show. Lake you didn't belong anywhere except on the mound HL. You know ...
[0:11:11] ... want any change John Iran. I want so ninety year old full World Series to be played some bad blood between these teams. Back to the calls we go Jeffs and rent them hey Jeff I ...




In the first four game swithout Tom Brady the Patriots obviously want to win, but is there a secondary incentive? Establishing good trade value for Jimmy G?
In the first four game swithout Tom Brady the Patriots obviously want to win, but is there a secondary incentive? Establishing good trade value for Jimmy G?

[0:00:53] ... quarterbacks. How much does Jimmy erupt a look at how much does Tom Brady yet how much does Jacoby preset yet is now the worldly looking for. Yeah no question and so you feel like to ...
[0:01:34] ... Reps with the ones starting job reps whether or more reps than Tom Brady yet at least a split at the very least bit I think you're doing that's not good enough well. If you're gonna get him ready to play for NFL football games you've got to get him right right but you also have to have Tom Brady ready when he returns and you know there are some new faces new things you know Nate Washington if he makes the team has a key role or Martellus Bennett. So I'm not sure it's as cut and dried as ...
[0:03:11] ... try to just watching kind of assessed. As I walked to meet Tom Brady was the start last year but that's how he was treated. And you know there's other factors here we know they quote ...
[0:05:08] ... that you know what it's be it gives them roster flexibility that Tom Brady you know won't be on the roster opened the season they'll get an extra guy making it I don't understand. That not nothing good comes from Tom Brady not being on the roster opening your army but. Yeah I think Nate Abdur technically they'll have an extra roster spot there when camp actually opens so maybe it to mean that your quarterback yet light on the top of a quarterback and what ever it's it's the goofy season it's the middle of July let me dear to live the dream. Any chance of Fitzpatrick of the I can't imagine it. I mean it's a great F you win both directions you know it's a Bill Belichick perfect he swoops in and takes a guy that should be the jets' starter and it's also Ryan Fitzpatrick best way to ...






Inspired by interleague play, we look at 4 things whose time may have come to pass in sports.

[0:07:45] ... in there isn't dole runs scored distant that was a disaster after Major League Baseball and gives us the other disaster whoever wins gets home field advantage. All Star Games in general pretty much suck right now ...
[0:08:34] ... touch. Ask and then one guy can decide he's gonna play like Adrian Peterson did a couple of years ago just run through people and it's like they're no longer brother in law you want guys playing. But I still like all star. Weekends. Shatter all you still need something. If you wanna tell me you're just gonna do the home run derby and have a weekend an awards show whatever you could sell me on that he's only to have the all star on her in weekend. I I hate All Star Games in general not enough to say to get rid of them. However they have to get rid of the idea that home field advantage in the World Series rides on the results of an of an all star game. Like it was some unmitigated unprecedented disaster that the all star game ended in a time. A phony baloney exhibition game ended in a tie and the world as we know what had to come to an end so why. And it hasn't made it one I owed a more competitive he is still get guys who've been around just go to guys and I'm gonna groove three pitches that David Ortiz but he didn't that add nobly and take some. I had any. You know. Interleague baseball on left side. Saturday baseball. Bitter ...
[0:10:27] ... keep it what do you guys do with those two rules in Major League Baseball. Well and it if you do what I want it doesn't matter what you do which is get rid of interleague play. ...
[0:12:15] ... way that AFC in the AFL in the NFL existed. And the World Series started is just the gentleman's agreement Haywood played this game and and you know let's let's have a series and decide which ...