Tuesday's Morning Mashup: Jason Collins received warmly by Brooklyn crowd, expected to be re-signed

March 04, 2014 - 3:02 am

Welcome to Tuesday'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. TUESDAY'S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: NHL: Panthers at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN) NHL: Lightning at Blues, 8 p.m. (NBCSN) NBA: Heat at Rockets, 8 p.m. (NBATV) NBA: Pelicans at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV) College basketball: Florida State at Boston College, 9 p.m. (ESPNU; WEEI-AM) College basketball: UCF at Temple, 6:30 p.m. (ESPNews) College basketball: Florida at South Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPNU) College basketball: Creighton at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (FS1) College basketball: Iowa State at Baylor, 7 p.m. (ESPN2) College basketball: Michigan at Illinois, 7 p.m. (ESPN) College basketball: South Florida at Houston, 8:30 p.m. (ESPNews) College basketball: Marquette at Providence, 9 p.m. (FS1) College basketball: Alabama at Kentucky, 9 p.m. (ESPN) College basketball: Arizona State at Oregon, 11 p.m. (FS1) MLB preseason: Astros at Mets, 1:10 p.m. (MLB Network) MLB preseason: Rangers at Angels, 3 p.m. (FS1) MLB preseason: Orioles at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network) AROUND THE WEB: -- Jason Collins, who was warmly received by the Brooklyn crowd during his home debut with the Nets on Monday night, will return to the team on a second 10-day contract after his current deal expires Tuesday, according to multiple reports. Collins, the league's first openly gay player, then is expected to be signed for the remainder of the season after his second 10-day deal. Late in Monday's 96-80 victory over the Bulls, fans at the Barclays Center chanted Collins' name. He checked in with 2:41 remaining and received a brief ovation. "It was cool, Collins said. "It was a lot of fun going into the game, but the most important thing was that we got the win." Playing in Brooklyn, where Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, Collins brushed off comparisons to the baseball legend. "I'm just trying to be Jason Collins," he said. "What Jackie Robinson did for the sport of baseball and our society [is] tremendous. But I am just trying to be Jason Collins." Collins' jersey has been a best-seller since shortly after he signed on Feb. 23. He wears No. 98 in honor of Matthew Shepard, the gay college student from Wyoming who was tortured and killed in 1998. "Honestly, I have been a little bit surprised," Collins said. "But it is great to see all that support for the jersey and all that it stands for and why I chose the number. It is one of those pleasant surprises in life, and thank you to all the people who have gone out there and bought the jersey." -- The U.S. Soccer team is scheduled to play Ukraine in an exhibition game Wednesday, and the game appears to be on despite the political violence ravaging the country. The match was moved out of Ukraine to Cyprus last week, but the head of Ukraine's soccer federation said Monday that the team would not go following Russia's intervention in the crisis over the weekend. However, that appears to have changed, as U.S. Soccer released a statement Monday night saying: "The Football Federation of Ukraine confirmed that their team will travel to Cyprus and the match will proceed as scheduled." Meanwhile, the referee slated to work the match had his car bombed in Cyprus on Friday. While Leontios Trattou was not in the car and escaped injury, Cyprus postponed all of its first-division matches over the weekend. Ukraine did not qualify for this summer's World Cup in Brazil. -- Fox Sports announced Monday that Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci will join Joe Buck in the booth for the network's Major League Baseball broadcasts, including the All-Star Game and World Series. A vacancy opened when Tim McCarver retired after last season, and Fox decided on Reynolds and Verducci a couple of months ago, after having them do a practice broadcast together in St. Louis late last season. "The people calling the World Series have a unique relationship with the game and a special responsibility to baseball," Fox Sports president Eric Shanks said (via Sports Illustrated). "The broadcasting side of baseball is kind of placed on a mantle, and with someone doing it for 30 years like Tim, it was the biggest decision in my time here." Former Red Sox outfielder Gabe Kapler and 2014 Hall of Famer Frank Thomas will be part of the pregame show, hosted by Kevin Burkhardt. ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 4, 1984, which standout Red Sox catcher from the 1930s was chosen for the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee? QUOTE OF THE DAY: "It's an atrocious idea. It's almost racist, to me. It's weird they're targeting one specific word. Why wouldn't all curse words be banned then?" -- Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, on the league considering instituting a rule against using the N-word during games STAT OF THE DAY: 61 -- Points for LeBron James in Monday's 124-107 win over the Bobcats, a Heat record 'NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Nets guard Deron Williams hits an impressive shot against the Bulls. University of Arizona football coach Rich Rodriguez pokes fun at coaches who want to slow down the game with this takeoff of the movie "Speed." In a New York State Amateur Hockey Association club tournament game, Robert Clerc from John Jay High School picks up the puck on his stick and stuffs it into the goal. TRIVIA ANSWER: Rick Ferrell SOOTHING SOUNDS: Chris Rea was born on this day in 1951.