Wednesday’s Mashup: Ben Affleck ‘would be sad’ if Tom Brady left the Patriots

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WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:MLB: Exhibition: Detroit at Boston, 1:05 p.m. (WEEI-AM 850)NBA: Boston at Cleveland, 7 p.m. (NBCSB)AROUND THE WEB: 

-- Ben Affleck continued to publicly profess his love for Tom Brady recently when he joined CBS Sports Radio and said he would still be a Brady fan if he left New England.“It would be sad,” Affleck said on Tiki & Tierney. “It’d be the end of an era. Watching the Patriots, led by Tom Brady, it’s inspired me personally and I know so many people. Sports means a lot to people. They project a lot on to it. It gets people very emotional, and people really invest. I love Tom Brady as a Patriot, but he’s also a great guy and a great athlete and I’d root for him if he played somewhere else.”

“I think sometimes fans get this idea of sort of being possessive of a player,” he continued. “They got to do what’s best for them and their families. Tom’s brought so much joy and so much winning. When I grew up, my father was a little small-time bookie and just made a bunch of money because people would bet on Steve Grogan. That’s what bought us our first VCR. The Red Sox never won. The Patriots were so bad you couldn’t even watch them on TV because they couldn’t sell out the games. They were blacked out. Then all of a sudden, it’s like New England’s had these incredible winning franchises, and it’s a whole turnaround. A big part of that is Tom, so I think you have to be grateful. All things come to an end, but I think he’s definitely got a few more really good years.”

He also said he is “not sure” if he sees Brady leaving the Patriots. 

“Do I see [him leaving the Patriots]? I’m not sure,” Affleck said. “I don’t have a sense one way or another whether it’s going to happen. If it did happen, if we had to confront that terrible scenario, yeah, I’d want him to be closer so I could watch him play.”-- Major League Baseball is taking the coronavirus seriously. 

The league has established a task force dedicated to working through “possible complications” of the coronavirus ahead of the start of the season and also released a list of recommendations to limit the spread. 

The memo suggests:

— Players avoid taking balls and pens directly from fans to sign autographs, a suggestion that will be fleshed out in training materials the league intends to send to teams, and opt against handshakes. 

— Teams open lines of communication with the local public-health authority. 

— Front offices consult a local infectious-disease specialist who can serve as a conduit to health officials. 

— Medical personnel ensure all players have received the 2019-20 flu vaccine and are up-to-date on other vaccinations.

MLB also plans on informing teams about plans for "developing recommendations to mitigate the spread of coronavirus at ballparks” that “address proper hygiene, cleaning methods for the clubhouse and training room, and supplies that Clubs may seek to purchase.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I don’t sign as many autographs either because of it. It’s just tough. Obviously, you want to interact with the fans, but, unfortunately, the safety risks that are involved for not just us but the fans, as well. We want to try to limit it.” -- Marcus Smart, on coronavirus concerns