LeBron James might be comfortable putting himself front and center Thursday night on ESPN as he announces his free agent decision in a prime-time special, but there is a growing contingent that is turning on him for the display of arrogance. Check out Thursday's Morning Mashup for a roundup of stories criticizing King James, along with videos, trivia and more.

Defender Carles Puyol's header past German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in the 73rd minute broke a scoreless tie and sent Spain to the World Cup Final. Spain will face the Netherlands on Sunday for the championship.

 

Goalie Iker Casillas handled Germany's two shots on goal. Since suffering a 1-0 loss to Switzerland in their first game of group play, Spain has won five straight matches, allowing just one goal in the process.

 

A fan fell 30 feet from the club level to the lower bowl at Tuesday night's Rangers-Indians game in Arlington, Texas. It's the second time a fan has taken such a fall at the Rangers' young ballpark. For more on that story and other news highlights, along with videos, trivia and more, check out Wednesday's Morning Mashup.

JaMarcus Russell, the former No. 1 overall pick who played his way out of a job with the Raiders, was arrested Monday at his home in Mobile, Ala., on drug charges. One Oakland columnist notes that this could explain a lot about the quarterback's lackadaisical effort in his three years in the NFL. Also in Oakland, A's pitcher Dallas Braden isn't happy that his team is selling shirts that play off his feud with Yankees star Alex Rodriguez.

Even Braves utility player Omar Infante himself was surprised at his selection to the National League All-Star team. He said he thought he was being traded when his general manager called him Sunday to tell him the good news. However, one columnist is baffled by the choice and calls Infante the "worst All-Star ever." Read more about that, plus check out additional stories, videos, trivia and more, at Monday's Morning Mashup.

With the semifinals set for this week, it’s time to look at who has impressed the most in the 2010 World Cup (stats are through the quarterfinals):

The formation that I created for my best XI is an attacking Christmas tree – the 4-3-2-1 in front of the keeper. These may not necessarily be the best 11 players in the world right now, but they are the players that I think have played the best in South Africa and have been the largest inspiration to their teams with points given for creativity, imagination and the fortitude to go forward.



JOHN SHIMER

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St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa spoke out this week in support of Arizona's new immigration law, despite the fact that major league players largely have railed against it. One columnist writes that La Russa's decision to make his stance public shows that he is "out of touch" with his players. Plus, the Dutch soccer team is bickering as it prepares to play Brazil in Friday's World Cup quarterfinals. Check out those stories and more at Friday's Morning Mashup.

Surveillance video reportedly does not back up the story Eagles quarterback Michael Vick told police about what happened when an associate was shot at a Virginia Beach nightclub. At least one Philadelphia columnist insists that the Eagles should cut Vick if he lied or they lose all credibility. Read more about that, plus check out more stories, videos and trivia, at Thursday's Morning Mashup.

Here is one man's take on the top five sports topics of the day…

1. Pierce opts out of final year of contract



KIRK MINIHANE

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Former Mets and Phillies center fielder Lenny Dykstra reportedly boasted that he was one of the original major league steroid users. “I was like a pioneer for that stuff,” Dykstra said, according to author Randall Lane. Read more about that, plus check out other stories, videos, trivia and more, at Wednesday's Morning Mashup.