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Report: Bulls making late push for Kevin Love; Cavs set to sign Andrew Wiggins to contract

The Bulls are back in the mix for Kevin Love.

According to ESPN.com, Chicago is making a late push to try to get into discussions with the Timberwolves for the All-Star forward. But the Cavaliers continue to remain confident in their chances to outbid any other team.

Cleveland reportedly is willing to offer No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins, 2013 No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett and a future first-round pick for Love.

The Cavaliers continued to juggle the finances Tuesday when they sent the guaranteed contract of guard Carrick Felix, a future second-round pick and cash to the Jazz for guard John Lucas III and forwards Erik Murphy and Malcolm Thomas. The trade gives the Cavs more flexibility and trade assets to make a future move that could be related to acquiring Love. The combined salaries of Lucas, Thomas and Murphy total more than $3 million.

A trade for Love may have to wait, however.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Wiggins will sign his rookie contract with the Cavs, preventing any potential trade involving the team’s top pick for 30 days.

Meanwhile, LeBron James had cupcakes delivered to his neighbors to apologize for the traffic jams caused by his return.

“Dear Friend,” read a card that came with the cupcakes. “We know things have been hectic in our neighborhood these past few weeks and we are sorry for the chaos. We are so thankful to live in this wonderful community and we are so blessed to have understanding neighbors like you.”

Blog Author: 
Nick Canelas

Clippers CEO says Doc Rivers to quit if Donald Sterling stays; Sterling files suit against wife, NBA

Clippers interim CEO Richard Parsons testified Tuesday that coach Doc Rivers told him he will quit from his position if Donald Sterling remains owner of the team.

Parsons testified at a trial to determine whether Sterling’s wife, Shelly, can sell the team for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Parsons said he not only fears the possibility of Rivers’ departure, but also the loss of some key players, including Chris Paul.

“Doc is troubled by this maybe more so than anybody else,” Parsons said. “If Mr. Sterling continues as owner, he does not want to continue as coach.”

Sterling was active in court Tuesday as well. The Clippers owner filed a new lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court that names Shelly Sterling, the NBA and commissioner Adam Silver. Sterling said they committed fraud and violated corporate law in their attempt to sell the team to Ballmer.

Blog Author: 
Nick Canelas

Bill Belichick: Rob Gronkowski ‘cleared to play’

FOXBORO — Bill Belichick said Wednesday that Rob Gronkowski has been in the facility in the days leading up to training camp, and has been “cleared to play.”

As a result, the tight end — who ended last year on injured reserve after a knee injury against the Browns — apparently will not start the year on the physically unable to perform list.

“Rob has always worked hard. He worked hard as a rookie,” Belichick said of the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Gronkowski. “He’s been consistent.”

In four seasons with the Patriots, Gronkowski has 226 catches for 3,255 yards and 42 touchdowns. However, he’s been dogged by injury issues, including problems with his knee, back and forearm.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Wednesday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. R.A. Dickey

The Red Sox continue their four-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Wednesday when Clay Buchholz opposes R.A. Dickey.

Buchholz (5-5, 5.46 ERA) wasn’t at his best in his latest outing last Friday, but he was effective enough to lead the Red Sox to a 5-4 win over the Royals. The right-hander gave up four runs, scattered 10 hits and had three strikeouts over six innings for the win. According to MLB.com, he’s the first Sox starting pitcher to win the last two games the Red Sox have played since Don Schwall in 1961.

“I gave up some loud outs and some loud hits for the first couple of innings, but that’s another team that swings the bat, and they put some balls in play that found some holes and led to a couple of runs,” Buchholz said after the game.

Buchholz is 3-1 with a 3.28 ERA since returning from the disabled list June 25. He’s allowed just one walk to 26 strikeouts in his last five starts.

Buchholz will try to keep this stretch going strong against a Blue Jays team he’s had mixed results against in 2014. He’s 1-1 against Toronto this season, giving up eight runs in 11 2/3 innings.

Buchholz’s last start against the Jays was especially brief. He lasted just 4 2/3 innings at Fenway Park on May 21. He gave up five runs (four earned), nine hits and two walks in a 6-4 Red Sox loss. Buchholz is 10-6 with a 2.71 ERA against the Blue Jays.

After three straight quality starts, Dickey (7-10, 3.95 ERA) struggled in his first outing since the All-Star break last Friday. He gave up five runs on six hits and two home runs over six innings in a 5-1 loss to the Rangers.

Dickey has lost six of his last seven starts. Recently, it’s been thanks in large part to a lack of run support. The Blue Jays have scored just two runs for the righty in his last two starts.

Dickey’s lone start against the Sox was one of his better outings this season. He allowed just one run on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts over 6 1/2 innings in a 7-1 win April 27. Dickey is 3-3 with a 4.85 ERA in six starts and 12 total games against the Sox in his career.

R.A. Dickey

R.A. Dickey

Red Sox vs. Dickey (RHP)

Shane Victorino (27 plate appearances): .240 AVG/.296 OBP/.440 SLG, 1 HR, 2 doubles, 3 RBIs, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (16): .133/.188/.133, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

David Ortiz (14): .333/.429/.750, 1 HR, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (12): .364/.417/.545, 2 doubles, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Stephen Drew (10): .333/.400/.444, 1 double, 1 walk

Jackie Bradley (8): .286/.375/.714, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

David Ross (7): .143/.143/.143, 1 strikeout

Daniel Nava (6): .200/.167/.200, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Jonny Gomes (5): .200/.200/.200

Xander Bogaerts (3): .667/.667/1.000, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Mike Carp (3): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

Brock Holt got a hit in his only plate appearance.

Blue Jays vs. Buchholz (RHP)

Jose Bautista (43 plate appearances): .289 AVG/.349 OBP/.395 SLG, 1 HR, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 4 walks, 11 strikeouts

Melky Cabrera (23): .238/.304/.238, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Colby Rasmus (17): .154/.313/.154, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Jose Reyes (16): .357/.438/.500, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Anthony Gose (11): .300/.364/.300, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Dioner Navarro (9): .500/.364/.500, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Munenori Kawasaki (8): .125/.125/.125, 1 strikeout

Juan Francisco (6): .000/.333/.000, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Dan Johnson (3): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

Darin Mastroianni (3): .333/.333/.667, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Blog Author: 
Nick Canelas

Wednesday’s Headlines recap: Gun used by Marathon bomber linked to alleged heroin dealer; Auschwitz selfie teen explains herself to Meghan McCain; 79 hoarded cats removed from Arizona home

Here are the highlights from Wednesday’s Headlines with Kirk Minihane, John Dennis and Gerry Callahan. To hear the segment, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Gun used by Boston Marathon bomber linked to alleged heroin dealer

Stephen Silva, a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is believed to have provided the handgun used to kill MIT police officer Sean Collier during the manhunt, according to reports.

“So he’s in trouble,” Dennis said.

Silva initially appeared in federal court on charges related to heroin trafficking and possession of a handgun with an obliterated serial number.

“I love the fact that they’re onto these bums and they’re not messing around,” Callahan said. “These rats will all turn on each other and pretty soon we’ll know the lineup — because Dzhokhar doesn’t get a turn, he’s the last one — of witnesses and friends that will point the finger and say, ‘He did it, he knew what he was doing, he was doing it for Allah,’ and it’s going to be a slam-dunk case.”

Auschwitz selfie teen shows no regrets in appearance with Meghan McCain

Breanna Mitchell, the Alabama teenager who tweeted a smiling selfie from Auschwitz concentration camp, told Meghan McCain in an appearance on TakePart Live that she has no regrets.

Mitchell said she had studied the Holocaust with her late father and made the trip in his memory.

“That’s way she smiled in front of Auschwitz. You have a problem with that?” Minihane said sarcastically.

Callahan said: “It is the most embarrassing picture. You can see the barracks, or whatever you call them, in the background.”

“You can see the camps right behind her,” Minihane said. “She’s got her iPad or iPhone in her hand and she’s smiling like a dope.”

Nearly 80 cats hoarded in Arizona home retrieved by police

Police and animal rescue workers removed 79 cats from an Arizona home on Monday.

According to police, the house was foreclosed and and sold July 17 after previous homeowner Jean Whitaker was cited three days earlier for failure to maintain premises.

Authorities reportedly found that a number of the cats were dead, and there was some human excrement on the floor.

“Maybe they were saving it to play stoolball,” Callahan said, joking about the story regarding the English sport in Tuesday’s Boston Globe.

Said Dennis: “Imagine what that house must’ve smelled like.”

Starbucks barista faces firing over small tattoo

A Starbucks barista in Michigan is facing a difficult dilemma. The woman, whose first name, Kayla, was only provided, was told by her employer that she must get rid of her tattoo in 30 days or resign.

Kayla, 27, said she had the tattoo, which she described as a little heart that can be covered with a thumb, when she was hired by Starbucks five years ago.

Starbucks said the company policy bars baristas from having visible tattoos.

“They do a fine job, the baristas,” Callahan said. “They go to school and learn and get the orders right, but don’t they often kind of look, I don’t know, they look eccentric.

“Don’t they often have earrings, nose rings, fake glasses? You can’t have a little heart tattoo on your hand?”

Said Minihane: “You have to have the fake, non-prescription glasses.”

“They’re very nice people there,” Callahan said.

Minihane questioned their sincerity, saying: “They’re almost too nice.”

Blog Author: 
Nick Canelas

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Aaron Hernandez’s defense team resolves dispute with Patriots over records

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:
MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Indians at Twins, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Royals at White Sox, 2 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Giants at Phillies, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA: Connecticut Sun at Washington Mystics, 11:30 a.m. (NBA TV)
WNBA: New York Liberty at Los Angeles Sparks, 10:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
MLS: Chicago Fire at San Jose Earthquakes, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Exhibition, Liverpool vs. AS Roma, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Exhibition, Tottenham at Toronto FC, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Exhibition, Manchester City at Sporting Kansas City, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Exhibition, Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Manchester United, 11 p.m. (FS1)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

– A lawyer for Aaron Hernandez said during a hearing Tuesday that a dispute with the Patriots over team records has been resolved, and Hernandez’s trial for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd was set for Jan. 9.

Attorney Michael Fee said during a hearing in Fall River Superior Court that the issue with the Patriots was settled, although it was not clear if the team had turned over the requested files, which consist of a nine-page scouting report and a summary of a psychological assessment produced by an outside company. The team already had agreed to provide 317 pages of personnel records, including medical and training information.

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Hernandez’s defense team had said the full team records were necessary for its preparation for trial, saying they may have critical information about the former tight end’s mindset.

Patriots attorney Andrew Phelan said the scouting reports contain trade secrets and have no relevance to Hernandez’s case, and he noted that the team had offered the defense the opportunity to review the psychological assessment summary but not reproduce the forms. He suggested the defense contact the company that wrote the original report for the full assessment.

Judge Susan Garsh set Jan. 6 as the date for the start of jury selection, indicating that jurors will be selected from a pool of 1,000 candidates.

Hernandez also has been charged with a double-homicide in Boston in 2012.

– The Giants on Tuesday announced the hiring of former receiver David Tyree as director of player development, and the move was met with criticism by the Human Rights Campaign due to Tyree’s past ant-gay comments.

Tyree, best known for his “helmet catch” against the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, said in 2011 that he would trade in the catch if it would stop gay marriage. He also denied scientific evidence existed to support claims that people are born gay.

“The idea that someone can change their sexual orientation or gender identity is ludicrous, and the New York Giants are risking their credibility by hiring someone who publicly advocates this junk science,” the Human Rights Campaign said in a statement. “His opposition to basic legal equality aside, David Tyree‘s proselytizing of such dangerous practices goes against the positive work the Giants organization has done in recent years.”

The Giants said in response to the criticism that Tyree “was expressing his personal view, and that is not the view of the Giants organization.”

Jay Paterno is suing Penn State, accusing the school of irreparably damaging his career by failing to indicate that his firing last year was not related to the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Paterno, who for 12 years served as quarterbacks coach for his father, Joe Paterno, was dismissed by then-head coach Bill O’Brien in January 2012. Offensive line coach Bill Kenney also was fired and is part of the lawsuit.

The two allege that “the terminations ‘€¦ had the effect of branding and stigmatizing plaintiffs as participants in the Sandusky scandal, and, by so doing, maligned plaintiffs’ heretofore stellar reputations.” They are seeking more than $1 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

Paterno claims he was refused interviews for head coaching vacancies at UConn and James Madison along with several broadcasting positions. He has not worked since leaving Penn State. Kenney, however, did land another position, as offensive line coach at Western Michigan.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 23, 2002, which Red Sox player hit three two-run home runs in a 22-4 rout of the Devil Rays and tied a major league record with five home runs in two games?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Everything adds up pretty clearly to Tony Dungy being a homophobe. He does not agree with people being gay. He has a moral problem with me marrying my partner of 11 years and he does not want that in the locker room.” – Outsports co-founder Cyd Zeigler, during a Tuesday appearance on Middays with MFB, on Dungy’s comments about Michael Sam

STAT OF THE DAY: 9 – Consecutive losses for Red Sox starter Jake Peavy, who fell to 1-9 on the season with Tuesday’s 7-3 loss to the Blue Jays

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): In his first game with the Yankees since being acquired from the Padres earlier in the day, Chase Headley hits a walkoff single in the 14th inning to beat the Rangers.

Jonathan Lucroy hits a walkoff home run in the ninth inning to lift the Brewers over the Reds.

This umpire in Texas has a good time with his strikeout calls.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Nomar Garciaparra

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Tony Joe White was born on this day in 1943.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

Red Sox reportedly will open 2015 season in Philly, play Nationals in home opener

Based on the most recent version of the 2015 schedule, the Red Sox will open next season April 6 against the Phillies in Philadelphia followed by a three-game series at Yankee Stadium before playing the Nationals in the home opener April 13, according to an ESPNBoston report.

The schedule is being reviewed by all major league teams and could be revised.

The Red Sox will play all National League East teams, squaring off against the Braves in back-to-back two-game series in Boston and Atlanta in June, hosting the Marlins in July then playing in Miami in August, and visiting the Mets in late August. The last interleague series would be against the Phillies at Fenway in early September.

The Orioles are scheduled to play at Fenway for the annual Patriots’ Day game. The Yankees‘ first visit to Fenway is May 1-3. The Sox close the season Oct. 4 against the Indians in Cleveland.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

John Lackey on Jon Lester: ‘He’ll be just fine in five years’

TORONTO — John Lackey has a message for those fretting about Jon Lester living up to a contract stretching at least five years: don’t worry about it.

“Jon’s a different deal, man. He works his butt off,” Lackey said. “He’ll be just fine in five years.”

The debate surrounding the merits and pitfalls of signing a 30-something pitcher to a long-term deal has been in full force. Lester is setting himself up for a big payday –whether with the Red Sox or another team after the season — which would kick off with the lefty living life as a 31-year-old 0n Opening Day, 2014.

Lackey knows the mindset of a pitcher heading into such territory better than most.

The Red Sox starter was also 31 when he started his five-year, $82.5 million deal, which has a sixth-year option which will surely be picked up considering it is at the major league minimum. (“I haven’t even thought that far ahead. I’m just trying to get through this one first,” said Lackey of the contractual alteration born from missing the ’12 season due to Tommy John surgery.)

“I had multiple offers on four and five. I guess there were some teams that didn’t want to do it, but there’s always somebody who wants to do it,” he said. “I definitely wanted the five years, wanted the security at that time.”

As for the hesitation some clubs (including the Red Sox) seem to have when committing to a pitcher in their 30′s past four years, Lackey is an example of how free agency can sometimes alter what teams had hoped the market might be.

“That’s just an excuse for them not to give up money for an extra year,” he said regarding not going five years. “It’s their business. But there are exceptions to everything.”

As is the case with many pitchers’ long-term deals, Lackey hit a bump in the road while executing his deal. In his case it was the elbow operation. Cliff Lee is another example of a pitcher earning a long-term commitment despite heading through his 30′s. The Philadelphia lefty was dominant for the first three years of the deal, but is now battling elbow issues.

The reality is that such contracts may have unwanted hiccups. But Lackey insists that whatever team commits to Lester won’t have to worry about such a dynamic.

“He’s an example you want to be around the young guys. He’s how you do it. He’s a pro,” Lackey said of his rotation-mate. “You could take him and write a book about how to be a starting pitcher in the big leagues. He works his butt off. He handles his business. He never gets into any trouble. He’s not a guy you have to worry about. He doesn’t do anything dumb. He gets it.

“I’ve been fortunate to be around a lot of good guys who do things the right way, but performance-wise and ability-wise he’s better than those guys and does it the right way. He’s pretty good.”

And now that Lackey is winding down to the end of his big deal, how does he feel pitching on the other side of 35?

“Overall, especially with last year and the way things are going this year, I guess it’s worked out pretty good,” he said. “I definitely physically I have a few more years left in me, for sure.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

David Ross says plantar fasciitis won’t sideline him

TORONTO — It wasn’t difficult to identify that David Ross was in pain Tuesday night.

The Red Sox catcher seemed to pull up lame while running to first after lining a third-inning single, bringing out both Red Sox manager John Farrell and trainer Rick Jameyson. But Ross remained in the game, finishing with three hits in what resulted in a 7-3 loss for the Sox to the Blue Jays.

After the game, Ross explained that the diagnosis for the ailment is plantar fasciitis on his right foot.

Ross — who wears orthotics due to flat feet — said he suffered a similar injury for the final two months of the 2007 season, albeit to his left foot.

“In the off-season I ruptured it and that’€™s what they do when they do surgery, they just go in and cut it,” he said.. “So I ruptured it and it hasn’€™t been a problem since. I was running today with the intent of letting that thing blow out. It would feel a lot better if it would.”

The backstop believed that the injury was a result of taping his left ankle after injuring himself during a mid-May series in Minnesota, leading to over-compensating on his right foot.

Ross didn’t believe the injury would make his miss any time.

It is the same injury Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli dealt with for much of ’13. (Click here to read more about the particulars of the ailment.)

“It’s been going on for a few days,” he explained. “I was getting better. It was getting a lot better. I just aggravated on that one swing. It’s not going to keep me from playing I don’t think. It’s one of those things that’s going to effect my running a little bit, which is definitely not something Manager John [Farrell] is worrying about, my speed to help the teamif it would.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Closing Time: Same old story for Jake Peavy as Red Sox winning ways halted by Blue Jays

Jake Peavy was once again a victim of the long ball, Tuesday night. (AP)

Jake Peavy was once again a victim of the long ball, Tuesday night. (AP)

TORONTO — The Red Sox are officially not going to go undefeated in the season’s second half.

After plating 14 runs in the series opener, the Red Sox’ offense couldn’t keep pace with the Blue Jays this time, dropping a 7-3 decision, Tuesday night at Rogers Centre.

After 20 starts, Jake Peavy remains on one win for the season. This time the righty took his ninth loss thanks to a 6 1/3-inning outing in which he surrendered five runs.

Once again, Peavy’s cause wasn’t helped by his team’s bats. The starter came into the game with the second-worst run support in the majors, averaging just 2.91 runs from the Red Sox per start.

The Red Sox couldn’t solve Blue Jays’ starter J.A. Happ when it counted the most, stranding seven while going 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position against the lefty. Happ would finish his outing not allowing a run over six innings, giving up seven hits, striking out four and walking one.

The loss snaps the Red Sox’ five-game win streak, with John Farrell‘s team having won eight of nine heading into the night.

Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ 53rd loss (47-53) of the night:

WHAT WENT WRONG

- It looked like for a split second Peavy’s knee was going to save him a run in the third inning, with Melky Cabrera‘s two-out liner back up the middle ricocheting off of the pitcher’s leg. The ball, however, rolled back toward the visitors dugout just far enough that Peavy couldn’t gather it in and throw to first baseman Mike Napoli in time to get Cabrera. While the Blue Jays’ outfielder was ultimately gunned down at second, the hosts were able to plate the game’s first run — with Anthony Gose coming in — on the play.

- The Red Sox stranded the bases loaded in the fourth inning, having filled the bags after a David Ortiz double, Jonny Gomes hit-by-pitch, and Shane Victorino single. After Ortiz was forced to hold up at third on Victorino’s base-hit due to right fielder Jose Bautista’s throwing arm, Stephen Drew flew out to shallow left to end the threat.

- The Sox squandered another solid opportunity in the fifth, with David Ross on third and Dustin Pedroia standing at first via a walk. Ortiz jumped on the first pitch from Happ, flying out to left field to end the inning.

- Drew stranded another player at third base in the sixth inning, striking out with Napoli 90 feet from home. Napoli had led off the frame with a single, which was followed by a Gomes base-hit. But after a 6-4-3 double play off the bat off Victorino and Drew’s strikeout, the Red Sox still found themselves trailing by a run.

- After the sixth-inning squander by the Sox, the Blue Jays made it hurt a little more with Jose Reyes taking a 2-2 pitch from Peavy and lining it over the right field wall for a solo home run. Three batters later it was Dioner Navarro who was going deep, this one counting for a pair of runs to increase the Jays’ lead to four runs. The Sox’ starter has now surrendered 21 home runs, the second-most in the majors and two fewer for his entire ’13 total.

- Pedroia suffered through another hitless game, having now gone 1-for-20 since the All-Star break.

- Felix Doubront struggle din his inning of relief, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

- Ortiz went deep for the second straight game, this time launching a solo shot with one out in the eighth inning. The line-drive sailed over the left-center field fence and tied the Sox designated hitter with Adam Dunn on the all-time home run list with 454.

- Drew claimed a two-run homer in the ninth inning, giving him four for the season. (Read here for more on why the shortstop isn’t wearing glasses anymore.)

- Victorino and Ross each finished with three hits, while Ortiz totaled a pair.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford