Wednesday's Morning Mashup: With Alex Rodriguez in New York, Yankees open spring training under cloud

February 13, 2013 - 2:40 am

Welcome to Wednesday's Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire. WEDNESDAY'S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS: NBA: Bulls at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM) NBA: Rockets at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV) College basketball: Wake Forest at Boston College, 7 p.m. (NESN: WEEI-AM) College basketball: Nebraska at Indiana, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network) College basketball: Miami at Florida State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2) College basketball: Syracuse at UConn, 7 p.m. (ESPN) College basketball: Oklahoma State at Texas Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPNU) College basketball: Central Florida at Memphis, 8 p.m. (CBS Sports Network) College basketball: West Virginia at Baylor, 9 p.m. (ESPN2) College basketball: Purdue at Illinois, 9 p.m. (Big Ten Network) College basketball: Providence at South Florida, 9 p.m. (ESPNU) College basketball: North Carolina at Duke, 9 p.m. (ESPN) College basketball: San Diego State at Colorado State, 10 p.m. (CBS Sports Network) College basketball: Cal State Fullerton at Long Beach State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU) College basketball: Oregon at Washington, 11 p.m. (ESPN2) NHL: Blues at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN) AROUND THE WEB: '™¦ With Alex Rodriguez rehabbing in New York, the Yankees opened spring training in Tampa, Fla., insisting that A-Rod's latest PED scandal won't divert their focus from the task at hand. "I don'€™t think I'€™ve ever really come to a Yankee camp where there hasn'€™t been something that people might call a distraction," manager Joe Girardi said. "This club'€™s used to it. "A lot of times, it'€™s a two-day event, a three-day event, then the story kind of goes away. It may change for a day or two, but there will be something else that comes up that we'€™ll have to deal with. Him being in New York has nothing to do with trying to get rid of a distraction. It'€™s the best place for him to be." Added pitcher CC Sabathia: "We'€™ve dealt with a lot around here since I'€™ve been here, and this is my fifth year. It'€™s been a lot to deal with, but you learn to be a professional and go out and do your job." Catcher Francisco Cervelli, also linked to the controversial Biogenesis clinic in South Florida that allegedly prescribed PEDs to a number of major leaguers, is slated to address the issue publicly Wednesday. "Of course that can weigh on his mind, but it'€™s a distraction that he'€™s going to have to block out to be able to perform," Girardi said of Cervelli, who is competing for the starting catcher'€™s job. "There are other things that come up in a person'€™s life that can be distracting if you let them be. In a sense, this is a test for him, how he'€™s able to block this out." '™¦ Four University of Alabama football players were arrested and face charges for their involvement in two violent assaults and robberies of fellow students Monday. According to the police report, linebacker Tyler Hayes, safety Eddie Williams and running back Brent Calloway admitted their participation in the crimes that allegedly also included defensive lineman D.J. Pettway. The players are said to have punched and kicked the victims, knocking them out, before stealing their wallets and at least one computer. The players then used a stolen credit card to buy snacks from vending machines in a dormitory. The players, all backups, were suspended by the team, which is coming off its second straight national championship. "This behavior is unacceptable for any student-athlete at the University of Alabama and not representative of our football program," coach Nick Saban said in a statement. '™¦ The 21-year-old son of Celtics legend Larry Bird was arrested Sunday after allegedly trying to run over his ex-girlfriend with his car. Conner Bird, a student at Indiana University, is accused of throwing a cell phone at the woman and then driving his car at her during an argument. Bird faces preliminary charges including intimidation with a deadly weapon, battery with injury and possession of marijuana. "It is a private matter we are hoping to resolve as quickly as possible," said Bird's attorney, John Tompkins. "We are happy no one was seriously hurt." '™¦ The international Olympic Committee voted Tuesday to drop wrestling starting with the 2020 Games. Wrestling was voted out from a final group that included modern pentathlon, taekwondo and field hockey, accordion to an Associated Press report. Eliminating one of the 26 sports allowed the IOC to add a new sport later this year. Wrestling can attempt to be reconsidered for inclusion, but it faces an uphill battle, competing with seven other sports also hoping to be in the 2020 Games: baseball/softball, karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu (martial arts). "This is a process of renewing and renovating the program for the Olympics," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. "In the view of the executive board, this was the best program for the Olympic Games in 2020. It's not a case of what's wrong with wrestling, it is what's right with the 25 core sports." Wrestling, which includes freestyle and Greco-Roman events, has been held in every modern Olympics, starting with the Athens Games in 1896. There were 344 wrestlers at least year's London Olympics, competing in 11 medal events. ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 13, 1985, the Bruins fired coach Gerry Cheevers. Who replaced him for the remainder of the season? QUOTE OF THE DAY: "We kind of dug ourselves a hole of our own doing, but at the same time you have to appreciate that we never gave up. I don't think we're going to get carried away thinking this was a great situation." -- Bruins coach Claude Julien, after his team scored twice in the final 91 seconds of the third period to force overtime before losing in a shootout to the Rangers STAT OF THE DAY: 6 -- Consecutive games with at least 30 points and 60 percent shooting for Heat star LeBron James, an NBA record 'NET RESULTS: Raptors swingman DeMar DeRozan dunks on Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov during Tuesday night's game in Toronto. Actor Will Ferrell dressed up as a security guard for Tuesday night's Lakers game. Perhaps he was a distraction to Kobe Bryant, who scored just four points in LA's victory over the Suns. Senior goalie Austin Krause of Farmington High School in Minnesota, reportedly frustrated with losing his starting job to a sophomore, scores on his own goal and then flips off the coaching staff before leaving the ice. TRIVIA ANSWER: Harry Sinden SOOTHING SOUNDS: Peter Gabriel was born on this day in 1950.