Wednesday's Morning Mashup: Daisuke Matsuzaka returns to rotation (temporarily) for Mets

June 04, 2014 - 4:01 am

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 Indians, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM) MLB: Mariners at Braves, noon (MLB Network) MLB: Athletics at Yankees, 7 p.m. (ESPN2) MLB: Mets at Cubs, 8 p.m. (WGN) Stanley Cup finals: Rangers at Kings, 8 p.m. (NBC) Tennis: French Open, 8 a.m. (ESPN2), 1 p.m. (Tennis Channel) AROUND THE WEB: -- Former Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka has become a jack of all trades for the Mets, and on Wednesday he'll return to his roots when he starts against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Matsuzaka is expected to make at least two starts while teammate Dillon Gee is on the disabled list with a strained lat. The Japanese right-hander has been serving as a reliever since being called up from Triple-A on April 16 -- including a stint as a closer -- and made one start on May 25, picking up a win after allowing two runs over six innings against the Diamondbacks. In 17 appearances, he's 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA. "He's saved us in a lot of ways," manager Terry Collins said (via the New York Post). "He's pitched in every role you have asked him to pitch. He's pitched in the middle, he's saved a game, he's set up and he's started." While the Mets continue to struggle along at 28-30 and in fourth place in the National League East, Matsuzaka has been a rare bright spot, establishing a reputation as a team player in New York. "He and [Carlos] Torres have become valuable utility guys," pitching coach Dan Warthen said. "They have no complaints, they are wonderful people and do whatever is asked of them." -- Dan Marino is withdrawing from a concussion lawsuit filed against the NFL, saying he suffers no effects from head injuries and that he did not intend to be included as a plaintiff. "Within the last year I authorized a claim to be filed on my behalf, just in case I needed future medical coverage to protect me and my family in the event I later suffered from the effects of head trauma," Marino said in a statement Tuesday. "I did not realize I would be automatically listed as a plaintiff. ... I have made the decision it is not necessary for me to be part of any claims or this lawsuit, and therefore I am withdrawing as a plaintiff." Marino, 52, was one of 15 players included in the suit filed last week in federal court in Philadelphia. Almost 5,000 other players already have accused the league is misleading players and mishandling head injuries. "I am sympathetic to other players who are seeking relief who may have suffered head injuries," Marino said. Marino recently was let go by CBS after working as an analyst from 2002-13. He has talked to the Dolphins -- for whom he played his entire 17-year career -- about the possibility of joining their front office. It's been speculated that he might have withdrawn his name from the lawsuit because it could hurt his chances of landing a job in Miami. -- Rangers forward Dan Carcillo had his suspension reduced from 10 games to six by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, allowing him to return to action for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Kings. Carcillo was suspended for elbowing linesman Scott Driscoll in the head while trying to get at Canadiens winger Brandon Prust. "I respect the league's decision," Carcillo said Tuesday. "Gary called me this morning and dropped [the suspension] a category down, which is what I felt should have happened. The bottom line is, it was an emotional time in the game and I'۪m an emotional player. Sometimes you cross that line. Obviously -- whether it was an accident or not -- you can'۪t hit an official. I know I was wrong and I apologized and owned up to my part of it. Like I said before, I respect the league'۪s decision." Bettman took into consideration the fact that Carcillo apologized to Driscoll immediately after being told he hit the linesman, and there was no history of problems between the two. The commissioner also said he considered the importance of these games. "While there is no precise formula that places a 'premium' on playoff games, I note that the length of the suspension here might well have been longer had it involved regular-season games," Bettman wrote in a statement. ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On June 4, 1976, the Celtics outlasted the Suns in triple overtime, 128-126, in Game 5 of the NBA finals. Who led the C's with 33 points? QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I don'۪۪t even know what to say, you know? I mean, he started everything up and we'۪ve got to pay for it, basically. That'۪۪s the message that I'۪۪m getting, right? I don'۪۪t have any answer about that, but it'۪۪s like I say, way too much evidence now that he hit me on purpose, and the funny thing is that we are the ones that are getting fines, suspensions, all kind of stuff. I guess the rules are not for everyone." -- David Ortiz, on Red Sox teammate Brandon Workman receiving a suspension from MLB while Rays pitcher David Price goes unpunished despite clearly throwing a ball at the designated hitter in Friday's game STAT OF THE DAY: 5 -- Consecutive hits (all singles) by the Indians in their first at-bat against Red Sox starter Jake Peavy in Tuesday's game, a 5-3 Cleveland victory 'NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): From the Montana Class AA softball state championship game, with two outs in the bottom of the seventh (and final) inning and the game tied, Kendyl Boltz strikes out but starts running when the Missoula Big Sky catcher can't handle the pitch. The ball gets past the first baseman and then is thrown wild back to the infield as Boltz races all the way around the bases for a walkoff victory. A foul ball from Giants batter Pablo Sandoval destroys a reporter's laptop. The scoreboard operator at Tuesday's Mets-Cubs game in Chicago takes a nap during the Cubs' 2-1 victory. Major league legend Randy Johnson appears on a Japanese game show, in which a contestant attempts to get a hit off the now-50-year-old left-hander. TRIVIA ANSWER: Jo Jo White SOOTHING SOUNDS: Michelle Phillips, the last surviving original member of the Mamas & the Papas, was born on this day in 1944.