The Cardinals traded outfielder Colby Rasmus to the Blue Jays on Wednesday, and that's fine with Rasmus' father, who tired of Cards manager Tony La Russa picking on his son. La Russa had claimed that Rasmus stopped listening to the coaches and implied he was going to his father for hitting advice. Responded Tony Rasmus, a high school coach in Alabama: "Evidently Tony has absolutely made that stuff up. He's got it on the brain. If I was working with my son I'd tell people. Tony needed pitching and wanted to force the GM into making a trade, so he belittled Colby to the fans."

Controversial Lakers star Ron Artest reportedly is considering an offer to appear on "Dancing With the Stars." Artest, who is in the process of changing his name to Metta World Peace, apparently is excited about joining the show, although the schedule might conflict with the early part of the NBA season should the work stoppage end.

Read more about that story and others, plus check out videos, trivia and more, at Thursday's Morning Mashup.

The Braves beat the Pirates 4-3 in a 19-inning classic Tuesday night, but the ending was a sour one. Former Red Sox infielder Julio Lugo sprinted home on a grounder and appeared to be tagged out by Pittsburgh catcher Michael McKenry. However, umpire Jerry Meals ruled that Lugo avoided the tag.

It was a surprise to much of the hockey world when the Flyers traded captain Mike Richards and Jeff Carter this offseason. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that it may have had more to do with the players' off-ice activities, with two unnamed ex-teammates implying Richards and Carter were partying and drinking to excess. The two refused to write their uniform numbers on a board in the locker room under a pledge to abstain from alcohol as per coach Peter Laviolette's request.

A hot rumor over the weekend was that 41-year-old Brett Favre would join the Eagles as a backup to Michael Vick. Sunday morning, this tweet appeared on Vick's account but was later removed: I would be honored to have Brett Favre as a backup. That will be amazing learning how to toy with defenses the way he did his whole career. According to The Inquirer of Philadelphia, the move is unlikely to happen, with an Eagles source referring to it as the longest of long shots.

Trevor Gretzky, son of NHL legend Wayne Gretzky, signed with the Cubs after deciding to pass up an offer to play baseball at San Diego State. The younger Gretkzy, who played high school baseball and football in Southern California, is a 6-foot-4, 180-pounder who was selected in the seventh round of the June draft.

The popular Disney Channel cartoon show "Phineas and Ferb" has a deal with the NHL. Characters from the show — which features the adventures of two creative stepbrothers and their pet platypus, who also is a secret agent — will appear on NHL merchandise, and videos from the series will be shown during games.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the sponsorship spectrum, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick not only has another endorsement deal, he's becoming part owner of a company that is hoping to break through in the sports drink and medical business.

Recently retired Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal made his debut as an television analyst a memorable one Tuesday night. During a show on NBA-TV announcing the 2011-12 schedule, O'Neal heaped praise on Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade but made it clear he doesn't consider Chris Bosh in their class. "The Miami Heat, they've got a lot of great players, the Big Two," he said. "They will be back."

Confession time. I’m sure those of you who’ve read my column before, heard me on WEEI and watched the Fanthropology videos I’ve done for this site just naturally assume I’m about the most suave, sophisticated guy in Boston.



JERRY THORNTON

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Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall came under fire in May after sending messages on Twitter criticizing Americans for celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden and insisting there's no evidence bin Laden was behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. As part of the fallout, athletic clothing company Champion canceled a sponsorship deal. Now, Mendenhall is suing the company, according to Pittsburgh's KDKA-TV.