Juror who voted to acquit Aaron Hernandez tells @AntonioPlanas1 that defense lawyer offered to pay for bus to have jury attend funeral. https://t.co/7RmzxvoNFm

— Jen Miller (@jenbmiller) April 25, 2017

Boston HeraldThe jury that acquitted disgraced Patriot Aaron Hernandez of a 2012 double-murder was invited to his funeral yesterday in the former NFL star’s hometown of Bristol, Conn., a juror told the Herald.

“I was invited, but I decided ultimately not to go,” said Robert Monroe, one of 12 jurors who on April 14 acquitted Hernandez of the murders of Cape Verdean immigrants Daniel de Abreu, 29, and Safiro Furtado, 28. Both were living in Dorchester.

“I received a message, if any of the jurors wanted to go to the Aaron Hernandez funeral, that Jose Baez would rent a bus to get us back and forth,” Monroe told the Herald today.

Monroe, 27, of Boston, would not disclose in what form, or who was behind the invite, but did say he received the message last week. Baez was Hernandez’s high-profile attorney.

Monroe is unsure if any of the jurors attended the funeral.

… Monroe said he initially was taken aback by the invitation. But also, if Baez was behind it, he probably had good intentions.

“I actually asked a bunch of my friends, should I go, and they thought it was strange. Initially I wanted to go and maybe get some closure, this whole, confusing thing … his suicide … I would have been out of place, I’m not family or a friend,” he said.

As for Baez, Monroe said the lawyer may have wanted to acknowledge their commitment to the case.

“If it was Jose Baez who set this whole thing up, I could see he recognized that we were in the same room with this guy (Hernandez), for about two months. That perhaps some of us would want that, maybe some of the religious juror members.”

This sounds like a total Baez move. It’s pathetic. Of course he’s the one behind the invite. You won the case, we get it.

And, yes, it was probably because of their “commitment to the case,” which translates to the fact that they acquitted Hernandez. If they were committed to the case but found him guilty, no way Baez would have invited them, obviously.

Monroe made the right decision to not go. He would have been WAY out of place and it would have looked like a spotlight grab. At least he understands what is and is not socially acceptable, unlike Baez.

Blog Author: 
Lucy Burdge
Derek Jeter reportedly won a bid Tuesday to buy the Marlins.  (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports)

Derek Jeter reportedly won a bid Tuesday to buy the Marlins. (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports)

Derek Jeter is taking his talents to South Beach.

Bloomberg reports the ex-Yankees great and former Florida governor Jeb Bush have won an auction to buy the Marlins. The value of their bid is unknown.

Earlier Tuesday, Forbes said the Jeter-Bush ticket was “running around trying to look for money.” Other bidders included a team headed by Mitt Romney’s son, Tagg, and ex-Braves hurler Tom Glavine. Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria almost sold the team to the Kushner family two months ago, but the deal fell through. Around the same time, Loria was also rumored to be named Ambassador to France. Jared Kushner is married to Ivanka Trump and serves as a special advisor to the President.

The loathsome Loria, who once dropped the Marlins payroll to $20 million, could receive nearly $1 billion from the sale. He bought the Marlins in 2002 for $158 million. Forbes says the franchise is currently valued at $940 million.

While 75 percent of owners need to approve the ownership change, it likely won’t be a problem for Jeter and Bush. Assuming the sale goes through, the failed Republican presidential candidate will finally have something to clap about.


Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer
HOUR 4 - The guys talked about Magic Johnson "tampering" with Paul George on Jimmy Kimmel, a potential Jae Crowder for Carmelo Anthony trade, Isaiah Thomas' growth as a playoff performer, and we ended the show with John Tomase's A-Hole acceptance speech.

[0:07:56] ... but it LA it's no time they're hot Rod Hood Rodman expenses. Carmelo Anthony is not a bad players pretty good players probably a whole flavor yet at this point. Would you give up if you're another team for Carmelo Anthony as other rumor last week about the Celtics. While the Celtics want a militia getting him for virtually nothing well let's net ...
[0:10:36] ... what do you do you really considered that yet still think you. Isiah Thomas is pretty active not think now you're you're under so overreacting. To the contact the constantly of these. So I don't know ...
[0:13:38] ... got to make some of them I'm not expecting him to be Isiah Thomas. Is this as a shoot two or score as it Thomas a thirty point guys gained. Expecting that but to you to ...
[0:16:16] ... what Fred Cory bird had said yesterday. About the hope calming. Of Isiah Thomas and pricing the video it's all doorways social and its effort there they because of player after player after player of the ...

ESPN layoffs could be announced as early as tomorrow. (Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports)

ESPN layoffs could be announced as early as tomorrow. (Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports)

It’s been reported for some time ESPN will undergo massive layoffs this spring. But the damage might be worse than expected.

According to the Sporting News’ Michael McCarthy, the WorldWide Leader could slash 70 employees, most of whom are on-air talent or digital reporters. This is a larger figure than the original estimation of 40-50 cuts, which media reporter James Andrew Miller mentioned last month on Richard Deitsch’s Sports Illustrated podcast.

Citing multiple sources, McCarthy says ESPN’s campus was “eerily silent” Tuesday and that it’s the “dead calm before the storm.” ESPN staff writer Paul Kuharsky, who covers the Titans, was laid off Monday.

On Facebook Tuesday, Deitsch said the majority of layoffs could come as early as Wednesday. Disney holds its second-quarter earnings call May 9.

The Sporting News also reports many ESPN anchors are offering to take pay cuts so they can keep their jobs at the network. The company is reportedly offering talent the choice to walk away with 50 percent of their pay, or hold out for what they’re owed and likely be sidelined from TV.

It’s no secret that ESPN has been hemorrhaging subscribers. In February 2011, the network was available in more than 100 million households. As of December 2016, that number was down to 88.4 million. The decreased advertising revenue coming out of Bristol is one of the reasons why Disney, ESPN’s parent company, reported lower-than-anticipated first quarter earnings earlier this year.

On the Deitsch podcast, Miller also mapped out what he thinks ESPN’s new weekday lineup will look like. Following the re-airing of Neil Everett and Stan Verrett’s west coast “SportsCenter,” he expects Mike Greenberg to host his own variety show from 7-10 a.m. Miller said he believes Bomani Jones and Pablo Torre will get their own afternoon show, with the afternoon block of programming staying in place along with Jemele Hill and Michael Smith’s “SC:6.” Scott Van Pelt’s solo “SportsCenter” would still air at midnight following live game coverage.

Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer
Robert Krafts sits on the board of a private-equity firm that owns shares in Caesars Entertainment. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports

Robert Krafts sits on the board of a private-equity firm that owns shares in Caesars Entertainment. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports

NFL reporter Bart Hubbuch, who was fired from the New York Post last year for comparing Donald Trump’s inauguration to September 11 and Pearl Harbor, wrote what appears to be a bombshell story about Robert Kraft brazenly defying NFL rules. The headline, “This is the story about Robert Kraft’s casino holdings that Rupert Murdoch’s paper never ran,” implies a mass cover-up between two Trump-loving billionaires to hide the Patriots owner’s unsavory business dealings. In other words, it’s the equivalent of crack cocaine to Deadspin’s left-leaning and Patriots-hating audience.

Except, the content of the article doesn’t live up to the grandiose headline. It might be one of the most boring hit pieces ever written.

Here’s the crux of the story: Since 2014, Kraft has sat on the board of directors for the Manhattan private-equity giant Apollo Global Management. At the time of Kraft’s arrival, Apollo owned a 60 percent stake in Caesars Entertainment, which operates 50 casinos and horse-racing tracks around the globe. Due to bankruptcy proceedings, Apollo now only retains a 16 percent share in the entertainment conglomerate.

According to NFL policy, league personnel can’t “serve as an officer or director” of a company that generates revenue from “gambling-related” operations. Since Apollo is financially tied to Caesars, and Kraft sits on the firm’s board, he appears to be in violation of the rule. But yet, commissioner Roger Goodell isn’t doing anything about it.

To further prove his point about how Kraft is getting away with this supposedly egregious act, Hubbuch points to the persecuted Tim Rooney, the son of Steelers founder Art J. Rooney. In 2008, the NFL forced Tim Rooney to sell his entire stake in the team, because one of the companies he owned, Yonkers Raceway, received a gambling license.

Of course, there’s a difference between heading a company that obtains a gambling license and sitting on the board of a private-equity firm that owns a 16 percent stake in a corporation that operates casinos. In a statement provided to Deadspin, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Kraft isn’t overstepping his bounds, because Apollo is a “diverse company” with assets of nearly $200 billion.

By the letter of the law, it seems as if Kraft is breaking the rules. NFL guidelines make no differentiation between companies with a lot of assets and businesses with few. But it’s not shocking an entrepreneur with an estimated $5.1 billion net worth is helping to manage a firm that controls a small share of another company that operates casinos. It would be nice to know if other NFL owners help direct private-equity firms that have some of their money invested in casino companies. Given the casino gaming market generates more than $70 billion in annual revenue, they probably do. But Hubbuch makes no mention of conducting the additional research.

This appears to be a minor violation, especially considering Kraft and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones are investors in DraftKings, the daily fantasy sports website. Goodell says daily fantasy isn’t gambling, a dubious claim that many attorneys general, including New York’s Eric Schneiderman, disagree with. The NFL’s corporate headquarters are located in Manhattan.

With the Raiders relocating to Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the United States, it’s impossible to take Goodell’s anti-betting stance at face value. At the owners’ meetings last month, he called Vegas an “entertainment mecca,” saying it’s not the same city it was 10 years ago. But at last check, all of the casinos on the strip still remain in operation, so it’s difficult to understand what Goodell means.

If anything, Hubbuch uncovered the NFL has a hypocritical stance towards gambling and billionaires have their money invested in private-equity firms that hold an array of assets. Stating the obvious doesn’t qualify as a groundbreaking scoop.

The most interesting part of the tale comes later, when Hubbuch insinuates Kraft called Murdoch to spike the story. Hubbuch says he was ready to run the piece in August 2015 after receiving an uncharacteristically quick response from Patriots PR honcho Stacey James. But then, shortly after getting off the phone with James, he says he received a phone call from his editor ordering him to stop pursuing the story. Hubbuch alleges he was told Murdoch didn’t want to publish the article. Kraft and the 21st Century FOX CEO are longtime pals, with Murdoch regularly appearing in the Patriots owners’ box.

The Patriots told Deadspin the notion that Kraft ordered the story to be pulled is “categorically false.” In an email to WEEI.com, the New York Post declined comment on the matter.

Given Hubbuch’s unceremonious ousting from the Post –– he writes it was a “relief” to get fired in the kicker of the Deadspin story –– it’s apparent he holds a grudge against the tabloid. Without confirmation from the Post or another source, Hubbuch’s accusations could be chalked up as little more than a disgruntled ex-employee trying to extract his revenge.

Of course, it’s possible that Kraft would phone Murdoch and ask for a story to be pulled. But if Murdoch listened, that’s more of a negative commentary on him as a newspaperman. If anybody acted nefariously in this situation, it appears to be the Post. Exposing the NFL’s hypocrisy on gambling or Kraft’s wide array of investments is nothing new.

Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer
Hour 3 - The guys review the remarks Dustin Pedroia made about siding with his teammates years ago compared to his lack of having Matt Barnes back. Lou has a stern response to David Price’s “Twitter Press Conference.” News breaks that Rondo may be able to play in game 6.
Hour 3 - The guys review the remarks Dustin Pedroia made about siding with his teammates years ago compared to his lack of having Matt Barnes back. Lou has a stern response to David Price’s “Twitter Press Conference.” News breaks that Rondo may be able to play in game 6.

[0:01:09] ... to go for his or her on their heels while diet food Paul Byrd from the audience down the hallway doing a spot and it was chaos. Chaos to chaos it was camp camp I missed ...
[0:05:52] ... he was hurt therefore you need to get hit. I don't think Matt Barnes tried to hit him in ahead but that does it matter because he get the ball up there now he's gonna serve ...
[0:07:06] ... you're when you make an onslaught as second I agree I think Matt Barnes was trying to throw the ball. On the lower extreme and instead the ball got away and got a pot right so. ...
[0:10:27] ... view it just me they hold serve Baltimore holds serve because because Matt Barnes wasn't accurate and hit the big of the the battle over shoulder. You're gonna hit him again. You're gonna try throwing at ...

Hour 4. Crazy Al calls in for the second day in a row. A terrible caller tries to make a point. The Arkansas inmates had interesting last meals. Tomase’s epic acceptance speech.
Hour 2 - Glenn, Lou, and Christian review at the Patriots busy backfield and debate on who will make the team, and why they didn’t value LaGarrette Blount anymore. The guys examine the Bart Hubbuch Deadspin article on Kraft being on the board of directors of private-equity Apollo Global Management, which is linked to Caesars.