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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Daisuke Matsuzaka reportedly set to return to Japan

11.26.14 at 8:11 am ET

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.

NBA: Knicks at Mavericks, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: North Carolina vs. Butler, noon (ESPN2)
College basketball: Oklahoma vs. UCLA, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Missouri vs. Chaminade, 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Purdue vs. BYU, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Furman at Duke, 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Minnesota vs. St. John’s, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Campbell at Ohio State, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Kansas State vs. Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Lehigh at DePaul, 8 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Georgia vs. Gonzaga, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Pacific at Alaska-Anchorage, 11:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Tulsa vs. Oklahoma State, 11:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Missouri State vs. Colorado State, 2 a.m. (CBSSN)
NHL: Flyers at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Arsenal vs. Dortmund, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)


— Almost eight years after he arrived in Boston with great fanfare, Daisuke Matsuzaka reportedly is headed back to Japan.

The Japan Times reports that Matsuzaka has decided to return to his home country, with the reigning Japan Series champion Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks expected to sign him.

“Pitchers who can start are a valuable commodity, so we will do our best to get him,” Fukuoka team president Yoshimitsu Goto said in a Monday story. “We hope to get this done in the coming days.”

Matsuzaka starred for the Japanese Pacific League’s Seibu Lions from 1999-2006. He left Japan in 2007, barely beating a deadline to sign a six-year, $52 million contract with the Red Sox (the Sox also had to pay a $51 million posting fee).

Matsuzaka helped the Red Sox win the World Series in ’07, and he was fourth in American League Cy Young balloting in 2008 after winning 18 games and posting a 2.90 ERA. He never came close to matching that performance again, however.

The 34-year-old right-hander started the 2014 season in the minors but quickly earned a promotion to the Mets, for whom he appeared in 34 games and posted a 3.89 ERA.

— The feel-good story of the NFL season just got a little less positive.

Leah Still, the 4-year-old daughter of Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still, has been an inspiration as she has battled a rare form of pediatric cancer. Her father appeared to carry himself with grace and class while being thrust into the spotlight. Behind the scenes, however, he apparently has not been living up to his responsibility.

Civil right attorney Gloria Allred, representing Leah’s mother (Still’s ex-girlfriend), on Tuesday claimed Still has not paid child support for the past four months. She asked the NFL to investigate if this means Still has violated the league’s personal conduct policy.

“I don’t think it is fair that Devon Still, who is Leah’s father, has refused to pay any child support for her for the months of August, September, October and November of this year,” Leah’s mother, Channing Smythe, said in a note to the league. Smythe said she has not been able to work because of the time needed to care for Leah, and she would have been homeless if a family friend had not offered to let them live with her.

Smythe did acknowledge that Still has spent time with his daughter.

“I am happy that Devon visits Leah in the hospital and cares about her,” she said. “I have always encouraged Devon to be involved in her life. I know that he is a good parent to her and that he loves her, but she needs and deserves both love and child support.

“Every parent owes that to their child.”

Still responded to the accusation by tweeting out a quote: “Truth allows you to live with integrity. Everything you do and say shows the world who you really are. Let it be the Truth.”

— Outspoken Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman used his Tuesday press conference to criticize the league for fining Marshawn Lynch for his failure to cooperate with the media, and he noted the apparent hypocrisy regarding some other league matters.

With teammate Doug Baldwin alongside holding a cardboard cutout of himself, Sherman mocked the league for — among other things — talking about player safety and then scheduling the Seahawks for two games in five days. He also mentioned products he endorses, including Beats by Dre headphones, which the league will not allow any player to wear on the field because it has a sponsorship with Bose.

“It’s fun to use your time in the NFL to speak about something you care about, right? Right?” Sherman said to Baldwin. “Because then you don’t get fined $100,000. You don’t get fined at all for this. This is how they want us to talk, right? This is what they want us to do. They want us to advertise, right Doug?”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Nov. 26, 1962, the Red Sox traded reigning American League batting champion Pete Runnels to the Houston Colt .45’s for which player?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Why not go back where you belong? It worked out for the both of us: You guys won a couple of world championships. I haven’t won any, but that’s what I’m here for.” – New Red Sox player Hanley Ramirez, during his Tuesday press conference welcoming him back to the organization with which he started his professional career

STAT OF THE DAY: 17 – Goals this season for Stars forward Tyler Seguin, who had a pair in Tuesday’s 3-2 victory over the Oilers, as the former Bruin extended his league-leading total

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Paul Pierce, who had 25 points and 10 rebounds in the Wizards’ win over the Bucks, makes a Celtics fan’s day by autographing a pair of sneakers — while Tuesday’s game is still going on.

The Dude Perfect trick-shot crew teams up with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Outfielder Ramon Mejias, who, like Runnels, was done playing within two years

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Tina Turner was born on this day in 1939.

Read More: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Devon Still, Doug Baldwin, Richard Sherman