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: Rays at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Dodgers at Braves, 12:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Tigers at Royals, 7:15 p.m. (FS1)
MLB: Astros at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA playoffs: Thunder at Mavericks, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Raptors at Pacers, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA playoffs: Warriors at Rockets, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Ducks at Predators, 8 p.m. (CNBC)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw is known for getting under the skin of opposing players. On Tuesday he drew the ire of a whole lot more people when he made an inappropriate gesture (a double-middle-finger salute) and then uttered an anti-gay slur after being called for a penalty. That earned him a one-game suspension and a $5,000 fine.

After Tuesday’s game, a 4-3 loss to the Blues, Shaw said he did not know what he said because he was so mad at the time. After heading home and watching the video — which quickly went viral — his mistake was clear.

“It was hard to see,” he said Wednesday. “Emotions got the best of me.”

Shaw, who will miss Thursday’s Game 5 in St. Louis, also will have to undergo sensitivity training, although he claims he already has learned his lesson.

“I’ll never use that word again, that’s for sure … That’s not the type of guy I am,” he said.

Added Shaw: “I apologize to many people, including the gay and lesbian community, the Chicago Blackhawks organization, Blackhawks fans and anyone else I may have offended. I know my words were hurtful and I will learn from my mistake.”

— Controversial cornerback Josh Norman, one of the league’s top defensive backs, reportedly has heard from a large number of teams since he became a free agent Wednesday after the Panthers rescinded their non-exclusive franchise tag offer.

The 28-year-old All-Pro passed on signing the franchise tag — worth $13.9 million for 2016 — and instead was holding out for a long-term deal. However, the sides apparently were not close to an agreement.

“After a number of conversations with Josh’s agent we realized that a long-term deal was not attainable,” Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said in a release. “We have decided to rescind the franchise tag freeing Josh to immediately become a UFA. We thank Josh for all his contributions and truly wish him well.”

Norman had four interceptions in the first four games last season, returning two for touchdowns. He was a key cog on a Panthers team that captured the NFC championship before losing to the Broncos in the Super Bowl.

— DeMarcus Lawrence apparently is the latest Cowboys player to run afoul of the NFL, as the defensive end reportedly is facing a four-game suspension to start the 2016 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy by using amphetamines.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Lawrence received notice of the four-game ban and apparently is fighting it, because the team has not received official notification.

Lawrence led the Cowboys in sacks last year with eight and was tops among the team’s defensive linemen with 56 tackles. He was drafted 34th overall two years ago despite serving three one-game suspensions during his two years at Boise State for unspecified violations of team rules.

Said Lawrence the night he was drafted: “I let all the teams know that I put my childish behaviors behind me, and I’ve moved on and it’s time for me to become a Cowboy. It’s time for me to grow up and do my duties and play football.”

Assuming the suspension holds, Lawrence would join fellow defensive lineman Randy Gregory on the sidelines for the first four games due to league punishment. The team was in the same situation last year, with two key defenders suspended for the first four games in Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 21, 1990, in Game 2 of the Adams Division finals against the Canadiens, Garry Galley gave the Bruins a 5-4 victory when he scored 3:42 into overtime on a goal that was reminiscent of the Bobby Orr tally that clinched the 1970 Stanley Cup finals. Which Bruin had four assists in the game, including on the game-winner?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.” — ESPN, responding to Curt Schilling’s comments about the transgender rights issue

STAT OF THE DAY: 3 — Runs for the Red Sox before the Rays recorded an out Wednesday, as the Sox jumped out early en route to a 7-3 victory one night after being held to one hit and no runs in 10 innings

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Peter Bourjos beats out an infield single to give the Phillies an 11th-inning walk-off win over the Mets.

Tucker Barnhart pulls a liner down the right-field line to give the Reds a walk-off win over the Rockies in the ninth inning.

Padres left fielder Melvin Upton leaps over the fence to steal a home run from the Pirates.

Cardinals center fielder Randal Grichuk races back and reaches over the wall to make a catch against the Cubs.

Orioles center fielder Adam Jones makes a great diving catch to prevent the Rangers’ tying run from scoring in the seventh inning.

Astros right fielder George Springer lays out to make a nice catch against the Rangers.

Yankees left fielder Aaron Hicks uncorks a 105 mph throw home to nail an Athletics baserunner for an inning-ending double play.

LeBron James finishes with authority during the Cavaliers’ win over the Pistons.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Craig Janney

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Iggy Pop was born on this day in 1947.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

During his Wednesday morning appearance on Dennis & Callahan with Minihane, baseball analyst Curt Schilling claimed he was “

Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

During his Wednesday morning appearance on Dennis & Callahan with Minihane, baseball analyst Curt Schilling claimed he was “blindsided” when his bosses at ESPN called to talk to him about his latest firestorm, insisting his comments about the transgender controversy were “as innocuous and as non-aggressive as anything anybody can say.”

ESPN obviously did not agree, ending Schilling’s relationship with the network later Wednesday.

“ESPN is an inclusive company,” the network said in a statement. “Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated.”

On Tuesday, Schilling reposted a graphic that pictured a burly man dressed in suggestive women’s clothing with the words: Let him in! To the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow minded, judgmental, unloving, racist bigot who needs to die!!!

He followed that by writing in a separate post: A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.

The posts were a response to the controversy in North Carolina, where a law was passed directing individuals to use bathrooms based on their biological sex. Companies and entertainers have responded by boycotting the state or threatening to pull their business.

Defending himself to D&C, Schilling said, “That [graphic] wasn’t my post. “I commented on that. … I replied to the post. I didn’t post that. I made a comment paraphrasing it would be people that go to the bathroom standing up use one, and people that go the bathroom sitting down use the other. That’s turned into somehow I’m transphobic. I don’t know.”

When asked about the possibility of discipline, he said: “I have not even thought that. I don’t want to say it snuck up on me, but it did. I know that might be hard to believe for some people, but I swear to God. My comment was as innocuous and as non-aggressive as anything anybody can say. I’m still kind of trying to figure out how the hell this all happened. But if that is the case, then I”l deal with that when the time comes.”

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
We check in with Red Sox skipper John Farrell and discuss Joe Kelly, the reported meeting with Dave Dombrowski, Pablo's exam and injury prognosis, who fills the hole in the starting staff and more.

[0:01:52] ... through. I think a similar warm up last night and talking to Carl Willis but then when he got on that and tried to step on what some have a loss in the first inning it ...
[0:06:47] ... the mound it as often as possible. Recognizing the numbers against the Toronto Blue Jays over the course of David's career great pitcher. And yet at the same time we knew that there was going to be ...
[0:09:20] ... or could you see a situation like well you what you want Victor Martinez was here he split time between first and catcher could. Could that be done between left field and catcher might just talking ...





We check in with Red Sox skipper John Farrell and discuss Joe Kelly, the reported meeting with Dave Dombrowski, Pablo's exam and injury prognosis, who fills the hole in the starting staff and more.

[0:01:52] ... through. I think a similar warm up last night and talking to Carl Willis but then when he got on that and tried to step on what some have a loss in the first inning it ...
[0:06:47] ... the mound it as often as possible. Recognizing the numbers against the Toronto Blue Jays over the course of David's career great pitcher. And yet at the same time we knew that there was going to be ...
[0:09:20] ... or could you see a situation like well you what you want Victor Martinez was here he split time between first and catcher could. Could that be done between left field and catcher might just talking ...





We discuss the poor play of the Red Sox, and whether there's any hope for improvement on the horizon.
We discuss the poor play of the Red Sox, and whether there's any hope for improvement on the horizon.
We discuss the poor play of the Red Sox, and whether there's any hope for improvement on the horizon.
We discuss a dismal perfomance by the Celtics, and whether or not there's any hope for a comeback.
We discuss a dismal perfomance by the Celtics, and whether or not there's any hope for a comeback.