Butch Stearns and Rob Bradford join Kirk Minihane. They begin the show wondering and theorizing why the Patriots are playing Tom Brady in the third preseason game. They also delve into Bradfo's new house guest

Welcome to Friday’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.

MLB: Royals at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Orioles at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Braves at Giants, 11 p.m. (MLB Network)
NFL preseason: Browns at Buccaneers, 8 p.m. (CBS)
NFL preseason: Packers at 49ers, 10 p.m. (NFL Network)
College football: Hawaii at California, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA: Liberty at Stars, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: Sparks at Storm, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: Bundesliga, SV Werder Bremen at Bayern Munich, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow

— As he closes in on Tuesday’s showcase for major league teams, Tim Tebow has impressed at least one former major leaguer.

David Aardsma, a 34-year-old journeyman reliever who pitched for the Red Sox in 2008 and most recently played for the Blue Jays’ Triple-A team earlier this season, pitched to Tebow twice in practice sessions, and he told the New York Daily News’ Anthony McCarron that he came away believing the former quarterback has a chance with baseball.

“When I walked away, as a pitcher, I was pretty impressed,” said Aardsma, who has been working out at the same Arizona facility as Tebow, hoping to make a return to the majors. “He needs to see a lot more pitching and understand what the pitcher is watching and seeing from him and adjusting. That’s not something you know until you’re in it.

“I’d get him to instructs [instructional league], work his butt and get him to play winter league. Get him on the field every day, facing different pitchers. I would not be surprised if he’s in Double-A next year. I’d put the talent there right now.”

Aardsma said Tebow did a good job of adjusting to the right-hander’s pitches the first time they faced each other. One week later, the two again shared a field Thursday and Tebow further progressed to the point where the 29-year-old ESPN analyst took Aardsma deep.

“It actually really pissed me off,” Aardsma said of Tebow’s success against him, noting that he was throwing low-90s fastballs as well as breaking balls.

Added Aardsma: “He looked like a much different hitter today. He looked like he is midseason. He got tired at the end, but that was after a lot of work and probably 12 at-bats.”

Red Sox president Sam Kennedy acknowledged Wednesday on Ordway, Merloni & Fauria that Boston will be one of the expected 20 or so major league teams at Tuesday’s workout, although he didn’t sound optimistic about it being worthwhile. Aardsma said he can see why some in baseball have doubted Tebow’s chances of succeeding in his career change, but he doesn’t rule it out.

“It’s understandable,” Aardsma said. “If I’m a scout, outside looking in, I’d say no chance. But there’s always exceptions to that rule, some people who have innate talent. What’s the risk?”

— One day after North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora confirmed that Tim Beckman had been serving as a volunteer assistant coach despite being fired from Illinois for allegedly mistreating players, Beckman announced Thursday that he was leaving because he did not want to be a distraction.

“I appreciate the opportunity Coach Fedora gave me to stay connected to the sport and be around one of the best staffs in the country,” Beckman said in a statement. “His willingness to help a friend was a benefit both personally and professionally. I do not wish to be a further distraction to the team or University and I will no longer serve as a volunteer at UNC. I wish Larry and the program nothing but success going forward.”

Illinois fired Beckman last August after determining that he pressured players to play hurt. Beckman settled a wrongful termination suit in April for $250,000.

Fedora had defended his decision to have Beckman help the defensive staff, saying he heard Beckman’s side of he story and “didn’t believe everything I read.”

However, Fedora said Thursday that he agreed that Beckman’s departure would be the right move. UNC chancellor Carol L. Folt also said a statement that Beckman’s departure was “the right thing to do.”

— The NFL Players Association said Thursday that Steelers linebacker James Harrison met Thursday with NFL investigators regarding allegations of performance-enhancing drugs, one day after Packers defensive players Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers had their meetings.

The players had been threatened by commissioner Roger Goodell with suspensions if they did not meet with the league by Thursday to discuss why their names were included in an Al-Jazeera report late last year. The players were named — along with retired Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and former Packer/current free agent Mike Neal — by anti-aging institute intern Charle Sly, although he later recanted.

Harrison initially took a tough stance against the league’s order, then said via the NFLPA he would talk on Aug. 30 at the team’s facility, but he eventually agreed to meet the league’s deadline.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Aug. 26, 1945, which Red Sox pitcher won his 20th game of the season, winning the game for himself by hitting an RBI double in the bottom of the 10th inning to beat the Philadelphia Athletics, 4-3, in Game 1 of a doubleheader sweep?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It’s just not good. It’s just not good.” — Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones, after seeing a TMZ video that purports to show rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott visiting a Seattle marijuana dispensary hours before making his preseason debut in Thursday’s game against the Seahawks

STAT OF THE DAY: 34 — Consecutive hitless at-bats by Rays outfielder Mikie Mahtook before he hit a game-winning RBI double in the seventh inning Thursday to beat the Red Sox, 2-1

‘NET RESULTS: Giants left-hander Matt Moore loses a no-hit bid with two outs in the ninth inning on a flare to right field by Corey Seager (on a night when the Dodgers gave away Corey Seager bobbleheads).

Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson races back to the wall, times his last step perfectly and steals a home run from the Marlins.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Dave “Boo” Ferriss

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Valerie Simpson, of Ashford & Simpson, was born on this day in 1946.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
Shifting gears into Patriots talk, do Bill Belichick and Tom Brady create controversy on purpose? And if so, do you think they enjoy watching people freak out about it? All of these thoughts plus your Patriots calls.
The show starts with some Red Sox thoughts concerning Clay Buchholz and his role with the team. Danny discusses what this means for the bullpen as well as his thoughts on Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez. All of this and your Sox calls.
Kirk, Rob, and Butch discuss the impact of the injury to Andrew Benintendi. They continue their discussion about Tom Brady playing in tonights preseason game

[0:09:36] ... the report is read. Pages quarterback will indeed play Friday night against Carolina Panthers given bill Belichick's stated objective. Making Jimmy grapple with preparation for the season's first for games a priority it was uncertain whether ...
[0:14:08] ... how can anybody argue that what is best for the team is Tom Brady playing today is there anybody way to wrap. From Jimmy's or a player who is if they were spent for the first ...
[0:14:52] ... place cedars you know play cool specially on him on the team's Don Imus. The guy's gonna play a quarter of the federal pre season game. Against a really good defense were it actually helps a ...
[0:20:44] ... the most important pre season game B game where you have. If Tom Brady was playing in game one. You would have him play 13 quarters what two and a half quarter to would have brought ...

We discuss the Patriots latest acquisition, what they had to give up, and how Mingo will fit on this defense.
We discuss the Patriots latest acquisition, what they had to give up, and how Mingo will fit on this defense.

[0:01:51] ... and your bark TBS Minko Euro on the practice field for the Cleveland Browns. They call you at the office and say. Marquee B as we've just trade union in any looks at you know where. ...
[0:06:41] ... a couple sacks late nearer fills in for two ball sheared or Rob Ninkovich at some point. That's probably enough to get value they tell what you what mingle thing. About the quarterback controversy that's happening ...
[0:08:10] ... about eighteen minutes ago patriots on the way to the sharp. If Tom Brady's not on the plane he's probably not going to be happy. Because he made it very clear when he did speak a couple of days ago. He wants to play. You know why he's not happy playing that's saying he wants to play let plays or not play he wants to play Tom Brady is gonna spend some part of August and September unhappy. It's the situation he's in it's the reality of his life until he gets to Cleveland. For the bark KV is Mingo reunion game in Atlanta. Rat I mean that's a reality right that's why this all fierce feels weird because Tom Brady has been. But got unquestioned as he said he missed time once. Any towards ACL when he didn't wanna miss time he wanted to go back and back year this is his job his team dammit. His dynasty he built and he wants to run it into the ground for as long as he can't. It's not gonna happen he's not going to be able to do that so he on some level is going to be uncomfortable upset. But the bottom line is Bill Belichick has made it quite clear the priority is what Jimmy problem James drop below getting him ready for September 11 and that's ...
[0:10:05] ... Powell tweeted out a little while ago that according to his sources Tom Brady is on the play. Now Todd and Bill Belichick is set in the past they don't take Taurus. And you know is he said Wes when we talked him earlier this ...

A discussion about the disappointing end of the Sox road trip turns into an ultimatum on whether or not pro baseball players are aloud to use fatigue as an excuse.
A discussion about the disappointing end of the Sox road trip turns into an ultimatum on whether or not pro baseball players are aloud to use fatigue as an excuse.
The up again, down again Red Sox are feeling down again after blowing two very winnable games to end this road trip. We discuss it with you.

[0:00:21] ... that point. He may nobody starting but he's playing the game the Bill Belichick wants him to play which is who knows you know I'm gonna be ready to start just like you always have to ...
[0:05:28] ... to be in the rotation here and and you know you hit Fort Myers next February he's one of your five starting pitchers. But short term you know when they're looking to try to eight get ...
[0:09:18] ... get it from Tampa who bought three day trip yet they're the Boston Red Sox you know they have pretty good resources and I think it. Please. And they're open. In oh it was. 6177797937. Is telephone ...
[0:09:48] ... to review coming up next 6177797937. I know the seven of four road trip frustrated after the last two losses. But going into this thing boarded the eleven games away from home. You've signed on for ...