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:
— 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.”
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.”
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
We sit down with the manager of the Sox John Farrell for our weekly discussion about all things Red Sox.
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We look at four instances where Roger Goodell flat out lies or twists himself into a pretzel when asked a question to which there is a definitive answer to... but he never answers them.
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