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03/07/2012 - 12:59pm
Theismann on M&M: Peyton fits in Arizona

Former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann, now an NFL Network analyst, joined Mut & Merloni Wednesday morning to offer his thoughts on Peyton Manning's future.

Most of the talk about Manning has centered on his ability to come back from his neck issues. But Theismann, who retired at age 36, said the soon-to-be 36-year-old Manning faces a big challenge because of his age alone.

"The difference between 30 and 32 is not as significant as the difference between 34 and 36 going to 37," Theismann said. "Your eyes tell you where you want to go with the football, but the zip isn't quite there. And we all know that football is just really a game of inches -- just half-inches, quarter-inches, being able to get a pass in. You can see the route, you know where it's supposed to go, but the body isn't cooperating. And then it really becomes frustrating."

Asked to speculate on Manning's mindset as he prepares to return following a year...

03/07/2012 - 11:58am
Lester tosses three shutout 'innings'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Jon Lester extended his pitch count to 44 pitches while getting up and down three times in a 'B' game against the Twins at Hammond Stadium. The left-hander elicited consistently poor contact from Minnesota's lineup, which featured a number of big league regulars, including Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Alexi Casilla and Trevor Plouffe.

Lester faced 11 hitters over three frames (though the second inning was truncated after just two outs), allowing one hit (a single in the third inning), walking two, striking out one and incurring one ground ball after another. Of the eight balls in play against him, six were infield grounders, with one line drive single and one soft liner to short that turned into a double play.

Of Lester's 44 pitches, 26 were strikes. Because he did not reach his pitch limit, he went to the Red Sox bullpen to throw at the conclusion of his three frames.

For more Red Sox coverage, visit...

03/07/2012 - 8:37am
Mashup: Papelbon told to get new music

Dropkick Murphys lead singer Ken Casey said Jonathan Papelbon can no longer use "Shipping up to Boston" as his entrance song now that the closer has left the Red Sox for the Phillies. "That's not Pap's song," Casey said. "That's the [Boston] closer's song."

Casey, a huge Boston sports fan, said he plans to meet with Papelbon to finalize plans for the player to be a spokesman for the Philadelphia branch of The Claddagh Fund, a charity Casey founded. Casey also said he'll help Papelbon find a new song, while offering "Shipping up to Boston" to new Sox closer Andrew Bailey.

Read more about that story and others, plus check out videos, trivia and more, at Wednesday's Morning Mashup.


03/07/2012 - 2:02am
'Fortunate' KG passes Shaq in rebounding

With 13 rebounds in Tuesday's overtime win against the Rockets, Kevin Garnett passed Shaquille O'Neal for 12th place on the NBA's all-time rebounding list - and he did it on the day O'Neal turned 40.

“History is history,” Garnett said. “I'm very fortunate to be in a position to be part of NBA history. It's always been a big deal for me to leave a legacy or leave some footprints, if you will, or some type of mark on the game. And to play along one of the best, if not the greatest big man to ever play the game, it's more than a pleasure to be in the same category if not on the same list. So I'm more than honored. To all coaches and players that I've played with that have put me in the position to be able to create some of those footprints and some of those marks. So thank you.”

Garnett, now 35, now has 13,100 rebounds, exactly one more than O'Neal. Asked if he had heard from his teammate from last season, Garnett smiled and...

03/06/2012 - 11:19pm
Gut check: C's pull out stunning OT win

Behind 30 points from Paul Pierce, the tired Celtics posted one of their grittiest wins of the season, overcoming a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Rockets, 97-92, in their second straight thrilling overtime contest. Kevin Garnett, with 13 points and 13 rebounds, had another double-double for the Celtics, who improved to 20-17 on the season to move to within a game of the idle 76ers in the Atlantic Division. 

Ray Allen's 3-pointer from the left baseline with 35.4 seconds remaining put the Celtics up, 84-82. The Rockets missed a shot and Pierce came up with the rebound and found Rajon Rondo breaking wide open down the court. Rondo took the pass and instead of killing the clock, he attempted to go to the basket. His feet became tangled and missed the layup that would've iced the game. Instead, the Rockets came down the court and Goran Dragic nailed a baseline jumper with three seconds remaining to force overtime. The Celtics wiped out a 10-...

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