OK, this kind of hurts. I can forgive the Yankees for a lot of things, but never for making me like them, and that’s exactly what they’ve done here.

Remember when there was bad blood between us and them? And I don’t mean just the institutional hatred where just seeing the uniform would give you a visceral, emotional reaction and despise the guy wearing it. I’m also talking about when it spilled over to the field and the players couldn’t stand each other. The glory days of Jason Varitek feeding his glove to Alex Rodriguez and Pedro Martinez body-slamming Don Zimmer to the ground by his flappy jowls. Or the golden age of my youth when they’d have a bench-clearing brawl like once a homestand. I loved that hatred. It fueled me. It was probably the most honest emotion I ever felt.

And now it’s gone. All the passion has gone out of it for me. I stopped hating them a few Red Sox championships and a couple of dozen 4 1/2-hour nine-inning games ago. And now it’s at the point I can’t watch Yankees players badly re-enact a scene from the “The Sandlot” with horrifically bad acting and not kind of love them for it. Because it really is fantastic.

Now stop it, Yankees. I want to hate you again, and this makes it pretty much impossible.

@JerryThornton1

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

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Every time I think I’ve got the sports fans of America figured out, I get slapped with the reality that I really don’t know squat. As Gandalf says about hobbits, “You can learn all there is to know about their ways in a month, and yet after a hundred years they can still surprise you.”

You’d think finding out the most popular throwback jersey by sales in every state would be a fairly simple exercise, but just look at this map. Does this make a lick of sense? I mean sure, some states do. Larry Bird in Massachusetts. John Elway a slam dunk in Colorado. Johnny Unitas in Indiana. Those and a few of the others would be your first guess. But most of the results are a mess. It’s like looking at an electoral map on election night and finding out most of the races were won by candidates from the Whigs, Communists, Prohibitionists and Pirate Party.

For example:

  • What’s with Kobe Bryant being the most popular in seven states? And none of them being the state he’s actually played his whole career in? And pardon me, but isn’t he still playing, only with a different number? If you’re a Kobe fan, why wouldn’t you buy his current jersey? And, I’ll ask editorially, why are you a Kobe fan?
  • I get Yaz in Vermont, but why is the most popular throwback in two other New England states Vince Carter? Did Vinsanity make a foothold right under our noses that we all missed? And what is the connection Maniacs feel toward Dave Winfield of all damned people?
  • Though I’m not questioning Mississippi’s Bird love by any means.
  • Joe Montana is the most popular jersey in America’s most populous state. But not in the state actually named Montana.
  • Ray Nitschke was born in Illinois, went to the University of Illinois and played his entire career in Green Bay. So naturally he’s the most popular throwback jersey in Kansas. Go figure.
  • I love Louisiana going with Steve Gleason and Arizona going with Pat Tillman. From the bottom of my heart I love it.
  • I also love (though for a very different reason) New Jersey still going with Joe Namath, because that one championship and that goofy guarantee from 47 years ago is the one good thing that ever happened to Jets fans. It’s the “867-5309″ to their Tommy Tutone.

But who am I to judge? The heart wants what the heart wants. And on the whole, the American public is doing a better job of picking throwback jerseys than we are electing leaders.

@JerryThornton1

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton
Ben Volin joined the show live from the owners meetings in Phoenix.

[0:02:41] ... opened her mouth about a player that you worried about temperature beat Bill Belichick ever returns he's been. Look a lot of sunshine about the other team in the at all but they are worried out camper he talked about having even more chilling effect on on what Bill Belichick said. I had to reject what I would think you're an appropriate punishment you apocalypse just pump picked. Have them in the ...
[0:08:19] ... Is is Bradley Fletcher of the starting left corner. I don't think Bill Belichick knows that he's got to just put him in a ball and shake them up and see what happens. It could be ...
[0:11:34] ... message to his players and like whatever like he just wants fourth Super Bowl Turkey whatever you're doing a certain work form. We're talking would embolden writes on football the Boston Globe and would bill's ideas ...
[0:14:27] ... final question for me Ben how much legitimacy is there to be Philip Rivers trade rumors. I I hope that much can't match. I don't I don't think I think they're just gonna take a wait ...






Joe Benigno of WFAN joined us with his thoughts on the tampering charges.

[0:03:42] ... out doubt that it will Balkan. You know or poitier between readers. Wes Welker rig he lost the list goes on endlessly Richard Seymour we automobile. You know which without the gulf built get ready to thanks for the memories and kick your deductible. So all. ...
[0:04:22] ... yet Lewis who is under. I was under Sena for you or New York Jets. Don't. I think so and for its networks we're at. And and what do jets fans what are you people think of that. Well I think it's still a Kalimba I mean in my role which you gulp. Not but I mean you know he's got two years and it's going to be probably best PB going to be odd I mean you don't expect that a wide receivers would decorated and Brandon Marshall. They know that they look at some help with skill position guys that he would let that in trip. You know he ...




The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

[0:00:33] ... should have an American pride it's when one company pride in the United States being in Lexington nothing really specific that their regarding American history so they. They said they seek juniors and seniors. Voted for a school dance on April 10 let's they wanted American pride and but the people were above the split work. So. Because you know with a book the other which. So debate begin the Lexington such unions on the doors discussions superintendent Paul actionable that he's not going to denied official policy is made by the high school principal should change. Yet I've talked to my school principal. I believe her so but there was. I can tell you perfect ...
[0:05:28] ... Herald on page one that is the date you have to slash Mark Austin 24. On its on its gravestone yes today it this month. This year. We can go through this for the next two ...
[0:07:41] ... that was great huge solar. Stacks. In the sex although he did Bob Kraft name did finally come up that's true signing the checks go to C one point 81 point eight million almost ten point ...





The guys opened the show discussing the latest tampering charges.

[0:11:56] ... I either he's hydrated seems just resting and Scott Glover said would've Tom Brady did that. You know what. Football players held such hire Stan baseball players football players. Injuries in the mean they're there that. ...
[0:18:20] ... I think Ecstasy but I don't detector offense is better because of Brandon Marshall it's open it's not worse at that but adding the anime just stating this is secondary worse. That's a good point produce ...
[0:18:53] ... spot in the ultra thin bendable wants it why would ever ask Sean Payton about the knowing the patriot defense let me say that. As the new lose their their relationship grow and got it figured ...





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Pro Football TalkOn Monday, Patriots owner Robert Kraft spoke about the departure of Revis for the Jets. The next day, the Jets filed tampering charges against the Patriots.

Per a league source, the Jets have submitted to the league office a letter tracking the language cited by the Patriots when making their tampering charge in January.

“I speak as a fan of the New England Patriots,” Kraft said Monday, via Tom Curran of CSN New England. “We wanted to keep him, we wanted him in our system. We have certain disciplines and we had hoped it would work out. It didn’t. We just don’€™t think about the short-term decisions. For example, next year we have three very good young defensive players coming up [for contracts] and we have to factor that we just don’€™t look at this year, we look out at the next few years. We’ve done OK doing that.

“[The Jets] are the team that drafted him. I think he feels a great commitment there, so we understand his going back and we’€™re sorry he didn’t stay with us.”

The tampering rules prohibit “[a]ny public or private statement of interest, qualified orunqualified, in another club’s player to that player’s agent or representative, or to a member of the news media.” The rule includes this example of prohibited statements: “He’s an excellent player, and we’d very much like to have him if he were available, but another club holds his rights.”

I swear to you when I first read this I thought it was a joke. I had to read it five times and check the source because I thought someone was taking a snarky, satiric piece from The Onion and posting it as real news. But no. This is real. This is actually happening.

Never mind that the Jets claiming Mr. Kraft’s comments amount to tampering demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the rule, it betrays a philistine pig ignorance about the concept of time. Dictionary.com defines “time” as “the system of those sequential relations that any event has to any other, as past, present, or future; indefinite and continuous duration regarded as that in which events succeed one another.”

I mean, where exactly are the “sequential relations” here? The cause and effect? In late December Woody Johnson mentions a guy who’s about to enter contract talks with his own team and says he’d love to get Revis back. Then on Super Bowl Sunday, Jets sources leak to Adam Schefter they’re preparing to take a run at Revis. Then in March they do so and they land him.

Mr. Kraft says Monday that the Patriots tried to keep Revis but couldn’t. The Jets were talking future tense; he was talking past tense. Revis was about to enter talks with the Patriots when Johnson spoke, and the ink hadn’t dried on his five-year deal with the Jets when Mr. Kraft spoke. By what insane, convoluted, pretzel logic are the two even remotely comparable?

Or to put it in simpler terms, what exactly did the Patriots tamper with? No one said, “Gee, we’re really interested in getting Darelle Revis back,” thus interfering with the Jets’ ability to re-sign him in 2020. On the contrary, Mr. Kraft made it clear the Patriots had no intention of paying that much for him. That they couldn’t afford him. Again, past tense. Calling that “tampering” would be like me saying, “I wish my date put out on prom night,” and her husband of 25 years calling that “cheating.”

Of course, just because this really happened doesn’t mean it’s not a joke. And to be honest with you, not only do I not mind, I’m glad the Jets have done this. I was getting worried the AFC East was so downtrodden there was no one left to hate. But this is so ridiculous and so blatantly personal that I’m glad the Jets have put the hatred right out in the open like this. And they’ve virtually assured a good old-fashioned, unnecessary-late-touchdown, run-up-the-score, blowout game this coming season. And that will NOT be a joke.

@JerryThornton1

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

Welcome to Wednesday’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 Wednesday’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.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Heat at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Bulls at Raptors, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Thunder at Spurs, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NIT, Murray State at Old Dominion, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NIT, Louisiana Tech at Temple, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Blackhawks at Flyers, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB exhibition: Mets at Yankees, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB exhibition: Athletics at Brewers, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB exhibition: White Sox at Royals, 9 p.m. (MLB Network)
Soccer: Exhibition, United States at Denmark, 3 p.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Paul Pierce probably would like to forget his one year in Brooklyn, as the Nets went into the 2013-14 season with high hopes after adding some big names but underperformed and ended up in another rebuilding phase.

However, his former landlords aren’t ready to move on as Pierce did when he signed with the Wizards last offseason.

Rejeev Tewari and Anuragini Pandey, who own the Tribeca condo where Pierce and his wife, Julie, lived last season, sued Pierce for failing to live up to his two-year lease and for making unauthorized changes — including replacing wood floors with pink carpet in all four bedrooms. They are seeking $425,000 plus back rent.

“[They] left the apartment in shambles, converting some of the items … to their personal gain and . . . ripping out carpeting, wooden floors … a washer and dryer and an expensive and unique stone hearth from the fireplace,” the court filing reads (via the New York Daily News).

The landlords, who live in Singapore, claim there was damage to radiator covers, halogen lights, kitchen tiling, a shower head, a towel hanger, a soap dish and a cabinet door, and that it took five months and $225,000 to fix the problems.

While the Pierces were paying $32,000 per month, the landlords say now they can only rent the Franklin Street condo for $23,000 due at least in part to the issues.

— Former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper pleaded guilty Tuesday to a sexual assault charge in Nevada, the third of four states in which he agreed to a plea deal that will have him serve about nine years in federal prison.

Appearing via the Internet from a courtroom in Los Angeles, Sharper said, “Guilty,” when asked for his plea. His lawyer issued a statement noting that Sharper accepted responsibility for his actions.

On Monday the 39-year-old Sharper pleaded guilty to sexual assault in Arizona and no contest to drugging and raping two women in California. He also faces charges in Louisiana. His deal allows him to serve his sentences at the same time.

Sharper played 14 seasons in the NFL with the Packers, Vikings and Saints, with whom he won a Super Bowl. He retired in 2011 and was working as an NFL Network when multiple cases of sexual abuse began to surface last year.

— Defensive end Ray McDonald, cut by the 49ers in December after he was accused of sexual assault, agreed to a one-year deal with the Bears on Tuesday.

The Santa Clara County district attorney has not decided whether or not to file criminal charges against McDonald for the incident at his San Jose house, but Bears chairman George McCaskey said he was comfortable with his team’s move after meeting the player.

“We have a 96-year tradition of doing things a certain way, of bringing a certain type of player into our team,” McCaskey told reporters at the NFL meetings in Phoenix. “And those were my concerns going into the conversation with Ray. But I think you look at every situation individually. You try to find out as much information as you can that’s reliable to make the best decision you can about whether to offer a player the privilege of becoming a Chicago Bear.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 25, 1984, the Red Sox acquired Bill Buckner from the Cubs by sending Mike Brumley and which player to Chicago?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It’€™s NFL free agency. It’€™€’s like that in the NFL. Players leave teams and go to teams in free agency every year. That’€™€’s not a big story.” — Patriots coach Bill Belichick, at the NFL owners meetings, on Darrelle Revis leaving New England to sign with the Jets

STAT OF THE DAY: 39 – Years since the Warriors last won a division title, until they clinched the Pacific Division with Tuesday’s 122-108 victory over the Trail Blazers

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Bucks forward Zaza Pachulia tracks down a loose ball and feeds Khris Middleton for a 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat the Heat.

Pistons guard Reggie Jackson makes a nice move before feeding forward Andre Drummond for an alley-oop against the Raptors.

Canadiens goalie Carey Price turns over the puck but then makes an impressive backward skate save against the Predators.

Yankees players reenact a scene from “The Sandlot.”

TRIVIA ANSWER: Dennis Eckersley

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Aretha Franklin was born on this day in 1942.

Jeff Healey, who died in 2008, was born on this day in 1966.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season

[0:04:13] ... come in on the patriots opener that Thursday night this now traditional Super Bowl winner gets to open up at home. Would you think thereupon would be and does that does that jets patriots off season ...
[0:09:07] ... on this part of that tonight Chris but I did think. That Bill Belichick today was playing the role of coach Bill Belichick you know when he was asked about. Vince Wilfork and so while hardy added. A statement about that I said enough fast about Darrelle Revis is not a big deal. Yup ...
[0:09:59] ... And we we found this out in 2002. You know after previous Super Bowl he's got to be. Avoid at least in the kind of brings everyone Baxter everywhere to stoke on human with the read ...
[0:14:14] ... which the final day of the draft which also they have the Kentucky Derby. And today at Pacquiao Mayweather and the day of NFL and NBA playoffs to be very busy couple days there Chris. The ...