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.

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.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Royals at Red Sox, 7 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Dodgers at Cardinals, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)
Golf: British Open, 7 a.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

LeBron James, whose return to Cleveland has been the feel-good story of the summer, was named the most popular male athlete in America in a Harris Poll of 2,241 people. It’s the first time James finished No. 1. He was second to retired NBA star Michael Jordan last year.

In 2011, the first poll after his infamous “Decision” to go to Miami as a free agent, James fell out of the top 10.

Following James and Jordan in the current poll is Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning and, in a tie for fifth, Kobe Bryant and Dale Earnhardt Jr. The only local representative in the top 10 is Tom Brady at No. 7.

James’ best scores came in the 18-36 and 49-67 age brackets, while Jordan was tops among ages 37-48.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

The most popular female athlete is Serena Williams, followed by Danica Patrick, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and Mia Hamm.

– Former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady‘s brief second career as a baseball pitcher has come to an end. The 35-year-old announced his retirement after striking out a batter to end his 1 1/3-inning stint in the independent Atlantic League All-Star Game on Wednesday.

McGrady, who had a 6.75 ERA in 6 2/3 innings over four appearances with the Sugar Land Skeeters this season, “got a little emotional” as he walked off the mound to applause from his teammates following his first strikeout of the season. He took the baseball as a keepsake.

“That is definitely going in the trophy case,” he told CBS Houston. “I told some of the guys that I am going to get strikeout before I stop playing. I got it in the second inning. Than you Jesus.”

Added McGrady: “It has been a tremendous ride. It is my last game today. I informed the team this would be my last outing and I appreciate them giving me this opportunity to start the game and enjoy this great midsummer’s classic.

“This has been an awesome year. Not having my basketball career end the way I wanted but having the opportunity to be friends with some of the guys and get to know them and compete with them, learn from them every day, it’s been an honor.”

– Brewers shortstop Juan Segura returned to the team following the death of his 9-month-old son in his native Dominican Republic. Segura was placed on the bereavement list a week ago to deal with the tragedy.

“He told me he felt like he needed to do it to take his mind off it,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “He’ll be doing something he enjoys.”

Added Roenicke: “I don’t know if this will be an on-again, off-again thing with him. Some days he may not be there to play. We’ll see how that goes.”

Segura’s son died after an undisclosed illness. A teammate gave him the news following last Friday’s game, after Segura’s mother, who was at the game, passed along the information.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 18, 1990, one day after the Twins turned two triple plays against the Red Sox, the same two teams combined to set a major league record by hitting into how many double plays?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We are going to do whatever we feel gives the Red Sox the best chance to be as good as possible and as quickly as possible and we are not conceding 2014 with that statement. We feel like the team that we have now is capable of being better than a lot of teams ahead of us in the standings. ‘€¦ We don’€™t see why we can’€™t win more games than most of the teams ahead of us.” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, during his Thursday morning interview with Dennis & Callahan

STAT OF THE DAY: 49 – Years that the NFL draft has been held in New York; commissioner Roger Goodell announced Thursday that it will be relocated to either Los Angeles or Chicago next year

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray makes a fool of himself for New Yorkers under guidance from a comedian.

Stars winger Tyler Seguin spices up his first golf tournament by allowing someone to tee off from his crotch.

TRIVIA ANSWER: 10 (of which six were hit into by the Red Sox)

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Martha Reeves was born on this day in 1941.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
We're live in Pawtucket and we check in with the manager of the Sox AAA affiliate, Kevin Boles.
We're live in Pawtucket and we check in with the manager of the Sox AAA affiliate, Kevin Boles.
Michael, Dale and Greg Dickerson talk Pats as we're now ONE week away from the start of training camp.
Michael, Dale and Greg Dickerson talk Pats as we're now ONE week away from the start of training camp.
TC stops by to talk about the Sox and their farm system, as well as the return of Shane Victorino, live from Pawtucket, RI

[0:00:08] ... the Red Sox return to action tomorrow night. At Fenway against the Kansas City Royals but that doesn't mean that -- and crew was sitting around. Eating bon bonds and get fat -- don't know when Tom ...
[0:03:28] ... up and think about going forward and if they do bring Greg Jon Lester but especially if they don't bring back Lester they say a group got to go with the kids. Two innings pitches a ...
[0:05:13] ... right field and -- he's pretty good. Much longer before we see Shane Victorino back rents out this weekend there's even talk of my guess is. Yeah of their home this weekend. I would think that I just wanna talk to but he said after BP so I don't have any inside information from him but he says I did the quick healthy game is volatile. Do they we -- for the weekend and take them on the road trip wouldn't -- that makes the most sense but you know we've seen this before they like to maybe polian and play it ...





TC stops by to talk about the Sox and their farm system, as well as the return of Shane Victorino, live from Pawtucket, RI

[0:00:08] ... the Red Sox return to action tomorrow night. At Fenway against the Kansas City Royals but that doesn't mean that -- and crew was sitting around. Eating bon bonds and get fat -- don't know when Tom ...
[0:03:28] ... up and think about going forward and if they do bring Greg Jon Lester but especially if they don't bring back Lester they say a group got to go with the kids. Two innings pitches a ...
[0:05:13] ... right field and -- he's pretty good. Much longer before we see Shane Victorino back rents out this weekend there's even talk of my guess is. Yeah of their home this weekend. I would think that I just wanna talk to but he said after BP so I don't have any inside information from him but he says I did the quick healthy game is volatile. Do they we -- for the weekend and take them on the road trip wouldn't -- that makes the most sense but you know we've seen this before they like to maybe polian and play it ...





We tackle four topics, all sparked by the great speech Stuart Scott gave at the ESPY's last night.
We tackle four topics, all sparked by the great speech Stuart Scott gave at the ESPY's last night.