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05/23/2011 - 7:32am
Mashup: Bulls' Noah expects fine after slur

Bulls center Joakim Noah apologized after apparently using a gay slur toward a fan in the first quarter of the Bulls' 96-85 loss to the Heat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday night in Miami. Noah had just picked up his second foul and shouted at the fan after sitting on the bench. "I apologize," Noah said. "The fan said something to me that I thought was disrespectful, and I got caught up in the moment, and I said some things that I shouldn't have said. I was frustrated and I don't mean no disrespect to anybody. I just got caught up." Noah said he expected to be fined by the league, which docked Kobe Bryant $100,000 for similar behavior last month.

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


05/23/2011 - 12:56am
Wake: That was 'a huge gold nugget' for me

After becoming the oldest Red Sox pitcher in history to record a win, 44-year-old knuckleballer Tim Wakefield said he felt in a rhythm from the start Sunday night against the Cubs. Wakefield threw just 75 pitches, allowing four hits and one run over 6 2/3 innings in a 5-1 Red Sox win before a national TV audience. 

"I felt great," said Wakefield, who was given an extra day of rest after taking the place of Daisuke Matsuzaka in the Red Sox rotation. "The extra day obviously helps. I felt pretty good and I was throwing a lot of strikes tonight." 

Wakefield was in cruise control for most of the night, thanks in large part to the high percentage of strikes he was throwing. Through four innings, he had thrown just 35 pitches, 27 for strikes. Through five innings, he had allowed only an Alfonso Soriano single to open the third. 

"I take a lot of pride in that because you're asked to do a job and when you do...

05/23/2011 - 12:30am
Youk: 'We're even [for] 100 years'

Kevin Youkilis, the man who has been hit more than any other batter in Red Sox history, indicated he believes the Cubs might have been given an extra chance to equal the score on Sunday night from Saturday's beanball exchange that left Marlon Byrd with several fractures below his left eye. 

On Sunday night — with the Red Sox up, 5-1, in the eighth inning — Kerry Wood came inside on Jed Lowrie. He just missed hitting him. He didn't miss with the second pitch, drilling Lowrie on the back of the leg. Home plate umpire Ed Hickox warned both teams and no one was ejected. 

"I understand the whole thing," Youkilis said. "You throw it once and you miss, and you throw it again. I don't know why. I guess they felt like they needed to get another one in because we hit them twice. It's the game of baseball. 

"No, I didn't see that coming, but the other day they're upset, they didn't like the warning when I...

05/22/2011 - 10:54pm
Going Gonzo: A-Gon 4-4, Wake beats Cubs

Adrian Gonzalez went 4-for-4 and Tim Wakefield allowed just four hits and one run over 6 2/3 innings as the Red Sox beat the Cubs, 5-1, Sunday night at Fenway Park. Gonzalez raised his average 14 points to .342 with the performance while Jarrod Saltalamacchia belted his second homer in three games and his third of the season. 

While 1918 nostaglia was the theme all weekend long at Fenway Park, Wakefield did his part by turning back the clock and throwing a masterpiece. Wakefield threw just 50 pitches in his first five innings, allowing only an Alfonso Soriano single to center. In winning his first game of 2011, the 44-year-old knuckleballer struck out three and didn't walk a batter, lowering his ERA from 5.40 to 4.50. Wakefield was pulled by Terry Francona after allowing a two-out, RBI double to Jeff Baker in the seventh, his 75th and final pitch of the night. Daniel Bard came on to fan Soriano as the game's potential tying run with a 98 mph...

05/22/2011 - 9:30pm
Pats LB Mayo No. 62 in NFL's Top 100

Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo was slotted at No. 62 Sunday night in the NFL Network's list of Top 100 players, a list put together through a players-only vote. Mayo was presented by New England coach Bill Belichick, who praised Mayo as a “football guy.”

“He handles the whole front, the defensive line, the linebackers, stunts, adjustments — and in a lot of the cases, he controls the entire defense,” Belichick said. “Players elected him captain his second year. I think that speaks to his leadership and the respect that he has on this team.”

Belichick was asked if one particular play stood out when it came to Mayo, the 2008 Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year who has led the Patriots in tackles the last three seasons.

“When he leads the league in tackles like he did last year, it’s hard to single out one,” Belichick said. “But I think that some...

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