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: Red Sox at Mets, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Rockies at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cardinals at Giants, 10:10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NFL preseason: Patriots at Panthers, 7:30 p.m. (WBZ-TV)
WNBA: Sparks at Shock, 8 p.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: Stars at Storm, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)


— Curt Schilling has been quiet since being yanked from the air by ESPN for retweeting a comment comparing Muslims to Germans when Nazis took over the country before World War II, but his defenders are out in full force.

The latest is former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who posted a message on Facebook titled “ESPN is a journalistic embarrassment.”

Wrote Palin: ESPN – what happened to you? Your intolerant PC police are running amok and making a joke out of you!

By picking and choosing who they’€™ll tolerate and who they’€™ll try to destroy, ESPN has zero credibility as a round and reasonable media outlet.

There’s been crude, rude bile spewing from the once-great sports network for years now. Trust me. I know. My name and reputation’s been in it. One ESPN affiliate’s on-air rant featuring their misogynist, animalistic “analysts” grunting and giggling through an entire x-rated celebration of violence against women didn’t even draw a chirp from ESPN’s wussified leaders. Look it up; I don’t want to have to recount it. ESPN radio affiliate in Las Vegas got its kicks out of convicted rapist Mike Tyson describing the next rape he’d want to see. (Warning, graphic language throughout that Sept. 20, 2011 broadcast.)

Palin went on to write that the stats in Schilling’€™s tweet — claiming “only 5-10 percent of Muslims are extremists” — likely is “too generous in estimating Muslims’ attitudes.”

Added Palin: By denying the accuracy of Schilling’€™s tweet, ESPN shows its weakness as it buys into the propaganda of ISIS and other terror organizations, helping mislead the public about the very real threat of terrorism. It shows once again that ESPN would rather concentrate on liberal global politics instead of report well on our beloved sports.

From those of us who used to LOVE the network (to the point of addiction, some would confess!), I say to ESPN – you are awful in this. Stick to sports.

— The NBA community expressed shock and sadness after learning of the death of Darryl Dawkins, the former 76ers star who was known for his thunderous dunks and larger-than-life persona.

Dawkins died Thursday at a hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, of a heart attack, according to his family. He was 58 years old.

“The NBA family is heartbroken by the sudden and tragic passing of Darryl Dawkins,” commissioner Adam Silver said. “We will always remember Darryl for his incredible talent, his infectious enthusiasm and his boundless generosity. He played the game with passion, integrity and joy, never forgetting how great an influence he had on his legions of fans, young and old.”

Known as “Chocolate Thunder” and claiming he came from the planet Lovetron, Dawkins made a name for himself by twice shattering backboards with ferocious dunks in the 1979-80 season. The first player to go directly from high school to the first round of the NBA draft when he was selected fifth overall by the 76ers in 1975, Dawkins took part in some memorable Celtics-Sixers clashes in the early 1980s.

He played 14 seasons in the NBA, averaging 12 points and 6.1 rebounds. His first seven seasons were spent in Philadelphia, where he helped the Sixers reach three NBA Finals. He then played five seasons with the Nets before late-career stints with the Jazz and Pistons. He continued to suit up until 2000, playing in Italy and in American minor leagues and even for the Harlem Globetrotters one season.

Posted Rockets center Dwight Howard on Instagram: You were one of my favorite players of all time. You were very inspirational to a lot of young players. Thank u for the long talks and great memories. I can’t believe that you’re gone. But you are in a better place. You were the originator of the dunk.

Dawkins named his favorite dunks, giving them terms such as the “Look Out Below,” the “In-Your-Face Disgrace,” the “Yo-Mama” and the “Rim Wrecker.”

“If you were a writer, he was a delight because everything that came out of his mouth was shocking or entertaining,” former teammate Jim Spanarkel said. “Win or lose, every night I could barely get to my locker.”

— Johnny Manziel, who has shown improvement this summer after a rocky rookie campaign, will miss the rest of the Browns’€™ preseason slate to protect his right elbow.

Manuel has been dealing with lingering soreness in his throwing elbow, and a recent flareup caused the team to sideline him since Sunday’€™s workout. Coach Mike Pettine said he isn’€™t sure when the former Heisman Trophy winner will return.

“At some point we’ll make the determination,” Pettine said. “Let’s see how it feels, and to me that’s a training room, doctor’s decision: Does he pick up a ball and start throwing again? And how many times does he do it? And how do we test it to make sure we’re not overdoing it and not rushing him back from it?”

Petting said Manziel is upset about being sidelined, but he understands the decision. The 22-year-old was slated to play in the second quarter of Saturday’€™s game at Tampa Bay and for a half in the final preseason game against the Bears.

“You can’€™t get those reps back,” Pettine said. “He will lose out on all that real-game experience, but we are very pleased at where he is currently.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Aug. 28, 1967, the Red Sox won a bidding war to sign which high-profile free agent?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I will add this, and I’ll let it be. [I] never implicated Tom Brady. Never had a source implicate Tom Brady in the original report. And also, didn’t even suggest that the balls were tampered with. … The first person who ever implicated Tom Brady — it was a non-media type and it wasn’t me. It was Bill Belichick.” — ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen, defending his coverage of Deflategate

STAT OF THE DAY: 1.61 — Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke‘€™s ERA, by far the best in the majors this season, after pitching seven shutout innings in Thursday’€™s 1-0 victory over the Reds

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): The Mets get lucky as a grounder deflects off pitcher Carlos Torres’€™ foot to first baseman Daniel Murphy, who flips it to a racing Torres for the out against the Phillies.

Rangers left fielder Will Venable sprints back and lays out for a terrific catch against the Blue Jays.

Legendary Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, waving to the crowd after winning his race at the Track and Field World Championships in Beijing, gets taken out by a photographer on a Segway.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Ken ‘Hawk’ Harrelson, who had been waived by the Kansas City Athletics after a dispute with controversial owner Charlie Finley

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Shania Twain was born on this day in 1965.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
We break news on the Patriots denying Mort's report of an apology by the Krafts.
Sets a caller straight on deflate-gate.

[0:00:41] ... the table as well. Certainly is big news there you wanna talk Curt Schilling in the the reason why he's not calling these Little League World Series games by the way if you're watching this Little League World Series game right now between I think Texas and California. This Texas third base coach is off the hook. This guy's fake. He's had shreds down to is down to his chest basically. White dude and he's is that they're going nuts for these kids and it's actually pretty entertaining. Pretty good game here in the Little League World Series BF you wanna talk about a showing in his well. His death the political insights that you can certainly go ahead and ...
[0:04:11] ... hates him you know on the picket congress successful at what the New York Giants collegiate builder Marty and the he's coaching changes dirty different quarterback changes. Cool cheated him and years couldn't beat it he might ...
[0:12:36] ... a key conclusion. Yet they're at and the page that it. Well Tom Brady Eli wants to George. At least he lied at least once you may have lied other times they don't know there's one confirmed lie on the record and that's when he said he didn't know Jim McNally was or what he does or anything like that. I bet he'd made. He may not have known. Even though his name was heard or whatever but then then just stripped its all the yet Brady knows that this guy is I mean he told them like there is you know is the text messages didn't seem like it was between. A guy who did note Tom Brady was a guy who did. I mean you can you can argue that when if you want to but I'm sort of ...

Christian discusses Mort's report and the his claim that the Pat's never fumble.

[0:00:03] ... say if you if you're prepared that way or the other one Jerome Bettis is the one appointed itself that very week. He says it's better for ball control. In terms of securing the ball not ...
[0:00:36] ... you. Sold more are more like no other allow all bulls series. Jerome Bettis what I'll more it was it was a dog the wolf there was and that. I don't wanna. That was the wolf he got a catalog the wolf the committee here fight on the plant from Arizona and and step the mere but while. I give everybody a real quick retort you're patriots fan view where you would have fumbles that here's I gotta say. For a lot for a lot of those years we had ...
[0:03:04] ... specific amount the conversation committee determines. His salary annually by the way Bob Kraft is on that committee very interesting stuff there. And I'd just insane Mort is just a big baby doesn't wanna get as ...
[0:07:23] ... them. Sidestepping. Was the second I think it was the second time Ben Roethlisberger got accused of a sexual assault. I remember them not running that on their feet that day after the story broke and ...

Chris Mortensen went on a sports radio station in Arizona today and talked about his deflate gate reporting, and said that the Krafts called him to apologize over the whole situation. Only thing is there's a report tonight from D&C saying their sources at the Patriots are saying that did not happen, could Mort be, dare I say, wrong?

[0:00:12] ... any anybody who work is thought that's where do that all scraps Robert Kraft and garlic grip on me and apologized war just the ladies this thing has gone down. What jury actions that last part ...
[0:04:59] ... he ever gonna call as you can call me like yours some high school teenager waiting for a call back me crush me is he going called yet he's going to call because. Every reporter is ...
[0:05:43] ... mark. 61777979371. More hour to go see somebody online wanted to talk Reggie Wayne we can definitely get into that the third pre season game tomorrow. End yes more reaction to Chris mortenson is explanation of sorts. For what went wrong or what happened the details. Behind ...

Chris Villani and Lenny Megs talk with
Villani is in for Mikey, he's talking about Chris Mortensen going on an Arizona station and talking about deflate gate and getting an apology from the Krafts.
We go inside the audio from 98.7 Arizona Sports Radio/ESPN and listen in as well as Chris Mortensen finally details the circumstances behind the infamous "11 of 12" footballs tweet, and also claims that the Patriots ownership called him personally to apologize... for what he doesn't specify.
We go inside the audio from 98.7 Arizona Sports Radio/ESPN and listen in as well as Chris Mortensen finally details the circumstances behind the infamous "11 of 12" footballs tweet, and also claims that the Patriots ownership called him personally to apologize... for what he doesn't specify.

[0:05:56] ... them true whatever his exclusives have been almost consistently wrong. Whether it's Bill Parcells is gonna take the job at Atlanta Michael Vick is not gonna get suspend him and there's a laundry list of these ...
[0:11:38] ... another thing in the transcript when you have Roger Goodell. Miss characterizing Tom Brady's testimony as to how often and what he was talking to join just riskier vote. When you have these inconsistencies between. That ...
[0:22:17] ... will add bit but I'll let go let it be. Never implicated. Tom Brady I never had a sort implicates number you know an original report and all who didn't even the debt load that the ball or hampered would it. I'd hit great the issue whether balding and the referee pull quote called leaked it and the first person who ever implicated Tom Brady. Over the non media type in what the committee. Worked so well objects. Did your right we sit good dog the top ...
[0:26:18] ... everybody has the stop saying it. Can we dropped this fiction that Bill Belichick. Haas Tom Brady under the bus up he was the first one it. Implicated in which was abandoned and he's done that before he used that as a he had that lying. We can go ten days away ever was when he first really came out and spoke about a that the second time he's run that Alter. Once you located Tom Brady Aztec cultures to extra Suez Canal on gun now an alliance with these guys work Cris Carter. Or anybody and then effect NFL had learned that that much less the media followed. Bill Belichick was asked how Tom Brady prefer is the footballs he said you'll have to talk to two probable that. Which is being portrayed ever so says he just said hey. I cannot do it this this is all Tom Brady. I would no sooner or be able to talk about how. You know you guys like your headsets I feel like you're ...

We discuss the snippet from the NFL films special 'Do Your Job' about how long Belichick plans to coach, which was expounded by well in a column by Tom E Curran on CSNNE