Evidence to be Tossed in case against Aaron Hernandez

On Tuesday, a judge granted the request from former Patriots tight end, Aaron Hernandez, to suppress evidence that was set to be used against him in the 2013 slaying of semi-pro football player, Odin Lloyd.

The evidence being tossed are two iPhones and three iPads that were takenfrom Hernandez’s North Attleboro home during the investigation.

Bristol Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh made a ruling that police were not entitled to take those items since they were not specifically listed in the search warrant that was issued.

Garsh disagreed with prosecutors who said the seizing of these items was protected by the warrant, saying it authorized the seizure of any global positioning items.

According to the New York Daily News, Garsh wrote in her ruling that, “The police operated under the misimpression that the search warrant authorized the seizure of GPS devices when they seized the cellphones and tablets from Hernandez’s residence.”

Just last month, Garsh rejected to suppress other evidence from a different cell phone as well as surveillance video from Hernandez’s home.

Hernandez has also been charged of the 2012 killings of two Dorchester men, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. He has pleaded not guilty.

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Three NFL Stories Fans are Talking About

Get your popcorn ready!

The NFL season is among us and it has been an interesting off-season for some of the teams, and the NFL has had some notable story lines going on in the past few months.

Let’s start with Cleveland.

Cleveland Browns wide receiver, Josh Gordon, has been suspended for the entire season because his drug test tested positive for marijuana. Gordon appealed the suspension, claiming it was from second-hand smoke. Since the positive drug test, he had tested clean for multiple other tests that were given to him.

Gordon’s appeal hearing lasted hours, forcing people to think that maybe, just maybe, Gordon was being truthful about not smoking. After the appeal, there was no decision right away. In fact, the verdict was not given until today, four months after the suspension was announced.

The verdict wasn’t changed and Gordon still remained suspended for the entire 2014 season. The wide receiver served a two-game suspension last season for a failed drug test. However, during the four-month span the suspension was appealed, Gordon got himself into more legal trouble on two other separate occasions.

NFL insider Adam Shefter said the Browns had been confused as to why it took the league so long to come up with an answer as to whether or not Gordon’s suspension would be upheld.

There was much speculation the league may lessen the number of games due to Baltimore Ravens running back, Ray Rice, only received a two-game suspension for domestic abuse on his then-fiancee.

NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, told reporters he kept Rice’s suspension to a minimal two games because he’s a good guy who does a lot of charity and community work (which he does) and the fact that there was no action taken in the justice system also played a role in the suspension.

However, the reason the justice system did not take action was because Rice and his fiancee got married. Therefore, she didn’t have to testify and she chose not to. Rice apologized and admitted to making a mistake, but that doesn’t change the fact he knocked his wife unconscious and then proceeded to drag her body out of an elevator.

Nothing can be changed now, Gordon won’t partake in any club activity for 2014 and we’ll see Rice in Week 3.

Next up, my New England Patriots made an unexpected and surprising trade yesterday afternoon when they traded pro-bowl guard Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for tight end Tim Wright as well as a fourth-round draft pick in 2015. He was with the Pats for nine seasons, being the third-longest tenured player.

A source told the Boston Globe that Wright is, “as close as a player to Aaron Hernandez as the Patriots could get.”

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick has been known to make some surprising moves during the off-season. Some notable moves include releasing Lawyer Malloy before the 2003 season and in 2009, he traded Richard Seymour to Oakland just days before the season was slated to start. And how could any of New England forget the trade of Drew Bledsoe in 2002?

There’s no doubting that Makins was everything and more that Patriots could have asked for in a player. He missed just 14 games in his nine seasons, he played at left guard when teammate Nate Solder was out and he played a majority of the 2011 season with a partially torn ACL.

The last story is one that was covered by ESPN regarding St. Louis Rams Michael Sam. As we all know, Sam is the first openly gay NFL player. ESPN covered a story involving Sam, but not about his football skills.

The headline popped up and read, “How Michael Sam is fitting in with Rams teammates.” It really wasn’t much to think about because it’s normal to wonder how the newbie is doing with the veteran players. However, the story took a weird twist after that.

It was about Sam’s showering habits in the locker room, and how he supposedly was avoiding showering with certain teammates. I’m curious as to how this is news? And why it matters? Sam was drafted based on his football abilities, not his sexuality. The media wouldn’t be so wrapped up in him if he was not openly gay. The man is here to fulfill his dream as a professional football player. And that’s what he is going to do.

ESPN has since apologized for their portrayal of the story.

We’re just days away from Week 1, let’s make it a good season.

Go Pats!

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Shawn Thornton won’t re-sign with the Bruins. Set to become free agent.

Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli had a meeting with B’s enforcer Shawn Thornton on Monday afternoon to inform him the team would not be re-signing him for 2014-15 season. 

“Today I met with Shawn and we had a good meeting,” Chiarelli told bostonbruins.com. “I informed him that we wouldn’t be re-signing him. … “He was here from almost the beginning and I told him that he was one of the most significant acquisitions we made.”

Thornton is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 after spending seven years in Boston. He joined the team for the 2007-08 season, a year after Chiarelli joined the organization.

“It was nice to rehash his time, it was sad to tell him that he wasn’t coming back,” Chiarelli said. “But I wished him well.”  

Thornton had presence both on and off the ice, especially being known for dropping the gloves. 

“He came and he thrived and was really a common factor in every year, he contributed, he scored some timely goals, he’s got some surprising skill for what role he brings and of course, he won a Cup with us [in 2011] and went to the Final again.” 

Away from the ice, Thornton made an impact as well. “I see him doing a lot of stuff for charitable organizations,” Chiarelli said. “He enjoys it, he embraces it. He’s a very personable and very genuine guy, so he’ll be missed. 

Thornton finished the 2013-14 regular season with five goals, three assists and 74 penalty minutes in 64 games played. 

Back in May, after the Bruins were eliminated from the playoffs, Thornton was asked by the media about his future with the team. “I haven’t had my meetings yet, but if not, I am still going to be in the community. I am still going to be here. This is where we live now. This is home. That stuff will not change. … I love it here.”

Other unrestricted free agents the Bruins have on their roster are Jarome Iginla, Chad Johnson, Andrej Meszaros and Corey Potter. Restricted free agents include Reilly Smith, Torey Krug, Jordan Caron and Matt Bartkowski.

“He embraced the time that he was here,” Chiarelli said of Thornton. “And that’s how we look at it.”  

 

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BREAKING: Red Sox re-sign Stephen Drew to 1-Year deal

The Boston Red Sox have re-signed shortstop Stephen Drew to an estimated 1-year, $10 million contract.

Drew, who had 13 home runs last year with the Sox, rejected a $14.1 million dollar offer in November.

It seemed as if the Sox were ready o move on from Drew and ready to commit to Will Middlebrooks at third and Xander Bogaerts at short. However, Middlebrooks is on the disabled list for the second time this season and, even though Bogaerts is hitting solid, his glove has been the problem.

Because of his contract, a pro-rated version of the $14.1 million offer, Drew will not be eligible to receive a qualifying offer after this season. However, this could improve Drew’s chances of landing a multi-year deal.

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Bergeron, Chara, Rask all up for nominations for 2013-14 season performance

After a dominant, 54-19-9 record, the Boston Bruins have three players up for awards for their regular season performance during the season. 

For the third consecutive year, Patrice Bergeron was named a finalist for the Selke Trophy, which is awarded to the league’s “best forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game,” according to the NHL. Bergeron won the award in 2011-12.

He finished up the regular season ranked third in faceoff win percentage at 58.6, squaring off in the circle more than anyone else in the league. 

Bergeron also ranked second in the NHL with a plus/minus of plus-38, and capped off the regular season reaching the 30 goal mark while collecting 32 assists. 

“I can’t find a better candidate than him,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien told the Boston Globe. “And [he] certainly deserves the nomination. We’ll see where it goes, but in our regard he’s been the best.”

Bergeron is up against Los Angeles Kings’ Anze Kopitar and last year’s Selke winner, Chicago Blackhawks’ Johnathan Toews. 

Up next is the man between the pipes, Tuukka Rask, who was nominated for his first ever Vezina Trophy, awarded to the leagues best goalie. Former B’s goalie, Tim Thomas, took home the award in 2009 and 2011-the year Boston won the Stanley Cup. Rask had career bests in wins with seven, shutouts with 36 and games played with 58. 

His seven shutouts led all goalies in the league, while his goals against average (2.04) ranked him fourth. His save percentage was a ridiculous .930, putting him only behind Josh Harding (.933) from the Minnesota Wild. However, Harding only played half the number of games Rask played (29). 

Rask goes up against Ben Bishop from the Tampa Bay Lightning and Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche. 

Image

Photo courtesy of http://www.boston.cbslocal.com
From left to right: Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask and Patrice Bergeron have all been nominated for NHL awards this year.

On Monday, the NHL announced Zdeno Chara was nominated for the Norris Trophy, which he won back in 2009. The captain served as a crucial part to the B’s defense, helping the team to allow the leagues second least amount of goals with 171. Chara capped off the regular season with a plus/minus of plus-25 and 17 goals. This is the 37-year-old’s sixth nomination, going up against Duncan Keith from the Chicago Blackhawks and Shea Weber from the Nashville Predators. 

Will the three Bruins nominated sweep the trophy nominations and walk away with new hardware to add to their collections? Find out on June 24th when the awards are handed out in Las Vegas at the NHL Awards Show. 

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Why Pink Hat fans annoy the crap out of real fans.

What gets Matt Cook fired up about those pesky Pink Hat fans? I sat down with him to discuss this.

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Sox slow start, MLB replay, causes concern

After going from worst to first last season and doing the impossible by winning the World Series, the Boston Red Sox now find themselves with a 5-8 record to start the 2014 campaign. 

Yes, it’s still early and we’re not even through April yet and yes, the new MLB replay system hasn’t exactly been on Boston’s side. However, what the Sox are going through now is not what Red Sox Nation wants to see. 

Let’s take a look at what’s going wrong with the Sox.

1. Early injuries to key players

Starting with the most recent news, second baseman Dustin Pedroia has been battling a wrist injury since the series with the Milwaukee Brewers. He was sent back to Boston, on his own accord, to have the wrist checked out. 

Concerning? Yes. Especially because it was Pedroia who asked Sox manager John Farrell to be sent back to Boston. The good news? According to Bleacher Report, the injury he sustained does not appear to be serious. Other sources have told ESPN things “looked good,” but other further testing on the left wrist were scheduled. 

Pedroia is expected to avoid the disabled list, but there still isn’t any word on when he will see game action again.

Sox closer Koji Uehara has been unavailable for the last few games with what’s being reported as shoulder stiffness. This certainly is not what the Sox and their fans wanted to hear considering what he did for the team just a season ago. 

However, Uehara is 39 and pitched in Japan as a starter, his shoulder was bound to tighten up and give him issues at some point. Just two years ago, he suffered a shoulder injury while he was with the Texas Rangers. Farrell has been tight-lipped about their closer and there isn’t a timetable for his return. 

Third baseman Will Middlebrooks was placed on the 15-day DL with a calf strain while outfielder Shane Victorino also landed on the DL to start the season. Jonathan Herrera and Ryan Roberts have not done the best job of carrying the load of Middlebrooks at third. At least the outfield doesn’t look too bad without Victorino out there. But nonetheless, the Sox need these guys back. 

2. Hitting with runners in scoring position

The team has been hitting, just not when it counts. Try not to cringe, but after Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the New York Yankees, the Sox are hitting .190 (19-for-100) with runners in scoring position. I think that’s all that needs to be said about that. 

3. MLB replay system

I know there’s not a whole lot the Sox can do about the new replay system that was implemented in the off season, but after two questionable calls which both did not go in favor of Boston, you have to start wondering how reliable this new system is. 

Farrell ended up getting ejected from Sunday nights game because he lost his cool when the umpires overturned an out call at first base on what looked like a 5-4-3 double play. 

The Sox skipper told reporters it was hard for him to have faith in the new system after what had gone on. According to reports, he will be fined for what he said. 

It’s not all bad for the Sox, though. There are some positives to the team. 

1. Grady Sizemore

Believe it or not, Sizemore leads the team with a batting average of .343. He’s already gathered 12 hits and a stolen base. He also homered in his first place appearance in two years on March 31. the 31-year-old also made an attempt to catch fly ball and crashed into the center field wall. He got up and finished the game, which was a relief to Sox fans due to his injury history that kept him from the game for two straight seasons. 

2. Pedroia and Uehara rejoin the team

Remember earlier how I wrote that both Pedroia and Uehara were suffering from injuries? Well, they will be rejoining the team tomorrow night when they take on the Chicago White Sox. There’s no word on whether these two will be available or not, but it’s positive news knowing they’ll be with the team. 

3. Jake Peavy

Despite his record, Peavy has the lowest ERA of the starting rotation at 2.13. In two starts, he stands at 0-0 over 12.2 innings of work. Peavy has given up nine hits, three runs and has struck out 12 while having a WHIP of 1.18 

Peavy will take the mound Tuesday night against Erik Johnson as the Sox look to get back to their wining ways at 7:10 p.m.

 

 

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