Good morning, here is your Wednesday Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories and scores from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: 
NBA: Boston at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m. (CSN)
NBA: San Antonio at Charlotte, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Minnesota at New Orleans, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Chicago at San Jose, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: LSU at Wichita State, 12 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: VCU at Baylor, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Michigan at South Carolina, 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Charleston at Villanova, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: William & Mary at Duke, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Buffalo at Alaska-Anchorage, 11 p.m. (CBSSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— While presenting Michael Jordan with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday, President Barack Obama couldn’t resist poking fun at the basketball legend’s status as a pop culture icon.

Obama praised Jordan for his accomplishments and said Jordan is “more than just a logo, more than just an Internet meme,” in reference to the popular “Crying Jordan” image.

The president went to joke about Jordan’s acting career.

“Today, we celebrate extraordinary Americans who have lifted our spirits, strengthened out union, pushed us towards progress,” Obama said. “I always love doing this event, but this is a particularly impressive class. We’ve got innovators and artists … public servants, rabble-rousers, athletes, renowned character actors, like the guy from ‘Space Jam.’ ”

Jordan starred in the 1996 hit movie “Space Jam” with Looney Tunes cartoon co-stars.

The other 20 honorees included Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Vin Scully.

— Reports are swirling that a Major League Baseball lockout might be on the horizon.

As the current collective bargaining agreement nears its Dec. 1 expiration, MLB owners “will consider” a lockout if a new agreement between the league and the MLB Players Association cannot be reached, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

With spring training not starting until February, there is no imminent threat to actual baseball games, but a lockout might interfere with the business of the offseason and lead to a freeze on transactions before the winter meetings.

Rosenthal’s report indicates the threat of a lockout comes from the owners’ frustration with the players union because of the slow pace of discussions.

“We don’t negotiate in the press,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said. “We remain committed to the idea that we’re going to make an agreement before expiration.”

— Bruce Arena was named coach of the U.S. men’s soccer team for the second time.

Arena’s first stint leading the team was from 1998-2006, during which time the team had a record of 71-30-29.

Arena replaces Jurgen Klinsmann, who was fired from the position on Monday.

The U.S. Soccer Federation announced the hire on Tuesday, and U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati praised Arena in a statement.

“When we considered the possible candidates to take over the men’s national team at this time, Bruce was at the top of the list,” Gulati said. “His experience at the international level, understanding of the requirements needed to lead a team through World Cup qualifying, and proven ability to build a successful team were all aspects we felt were vital for the next coach. We all know Bruce will be fully committed to preparing the players for the next eight qualifying games and earning a berth to an eighth-straight FIFA World Cup in Russia.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “That’s not uncommon in this league. We’ve dealt with this before whether it be whatever context the situation is. It could be injury related or it could be non-injury related. There are a lot of times we go into a game not knowing for sure if a player will be available for the game or not. Sometimes that decision isn’t made until a couple of hours before the game. We deal with it pretty much every week. I mean, so does every other team.” — Bill Belichick, on preparing for Sunday’s game not knowing if Alan Branch will play 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Luis Tiant (75), Jonathan Papelbon (35)

Blog Author: 
Lucy Burdge
Mut and John talk with SB Nation's Paul Flannery about some worries with the Celtics, particularly rebounding.
Mut and John are talking about the CBA with Major League Baseball and if another lockout is an actual possibility. They also talk about Red Sox pitcher David Price as he continues to self-deprecate over his lack of playoff wins.

[0:10:44] ... or multiple years the market some guys that we thought were good Julio Lugo Edgar Renteria to name a couple. Had to be shipped all together they could you playing in Boston so. You thought maybe David Price ...
[0:12:07] ... in a good way. I'll ask you this. Roger Clemens the out Pedro Martinez. Curt shell one maybe showing you losers on everything but but in all seriousness Schilling would not. Schilling would never be ONA ...
[0:14:50] ... up there and innings he fought through. What could have been a Josh Beckett style five to eight ERA disaster overseas and it was not back. Marcelo was ten times worse than that two years ago. ...





Mut and John are talking about the NFL finding ways of keeping viewers engaged more during the games
Mut is talking about the NFL's declining ratings and some suggestions that have been brought up to speed up the games, or shorten the length of the games. He also talks about the amount of commercials that air during a regular NFL game and how those could possibly be integrated into the broadcast.
We check in with Super Bowl champion and ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer to find out if this Patriots defense is as bad as people make it out to be, and whether or not they have enough to overcome that.
We check in with Super Bowl champion and ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer to find out if this Patriots defense is as bad as people make it out to be, and whether or not they have enough to overcome that.
Dale and Michael discuss the gutsy people in sports media who "aren't saying... but I'm just saying" that it isn't possible for Brady to get better at his age without some sort of performance enhancer.
Dale and Michael discuss the gutsy people in sports media who "aren't saying... but I'm just saying" that it isn't possible for Brady to get better at his age without some sort of performance enhancer.
Dale and Holley discuss the topic on all Pats fan's minds at this point in the season... is this defense good enough to win with?