Morning Sports Update: Brady decision could be coming today; Orsillo all the rage at Fenway

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had his four-game suspension vacated by a judge Thursday.
Tom Brady could learn his fate as soon as today. –Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Deflategate decision waiting game should be coming to an end soon, Don Orsillo continues to be a hot topic at Fenway, Jonny Gomes in going to Kansas City, and the rest of the sports news you need to know to start your Tuesday.

NFL reportedly considered three-game suspension for Brady: “One source told the Daily News that the closest the NFL came to offering Brady a reduction of his four-game suspension was not much of a reduction at all. The source said Goodell’s people informally indicated the league would be willing to go down to three games as long as Brady admitted he was guilty of being the brains behind the tampering of footballs in the Jan. 18 AFC Championship Game against the Colts based on the Wells Report.’’ (New York Daily News)

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Brady was reportedly open to accepting one-game suspension: “For the first time, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was believed to be “open’’ to serving a one-game suspension for not cooperating with Ted Wells’ investigation as part of a potential settlement. It was a possibility heading into settlement talks in court Monday, according to someone briefed on his thinking. However, talks never got that far. (NFL.com)

NFL owner wants Brady to “accept some responsibility here’’: “Brady won’t admit guilt, and the NFL won’t let him off without some sort of admission of guilt. As one owner from out of town said last week, “[Brady] has got to accept some responsibility here.’’ He meant for the balls. But to Brady, that is the same as copping to a guilty plea…

“Somehow a third-rate misdemeanor, if it was even that, got turned into a war crime. And Judge Berman probably wonders how it all ended up in his lap, instead of Judge Judy’s. At least with her, we would have wrapped things up in a half-hour.’’ (Mike Lupica/New York Daily News)

Paolantonio would be “shocked’’ if Brady decision doesn’t come down Tuesday: ESPN NFL reporter Sal Paolantonio said he would be stunned if there is no decision on Tom Brady’s suspension appeal on Tuesday. (ESPN.com)

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The Josh Boyce era in Foxborough is over: “Third-year wide receiver Josh Boyce, a high fourth-round draft choice out of TCU whose solid testing skills in the pre-draft process never fully translated to on-field production, was one of five players waived by the New England Patriots on Monday. The move doesn’t come as a surprise given what has unfolded in training camp and the preseason, and highlights how Boyce didn’t seize a nice opportunity presented to him.’’ (ESPNBoston.com)

Is Rob Gronkowski the next great Patriots fullback? “Yeah, there are definitely similarities at each position – tight end, fullback. Sometimes you see the fullback lined up at tight end, the tight ends line up at fullback. It’s all what you can do as a player. You’ve got to do your job, so the more you can do the better off you are. If I ever got called to play fullback, I know I lined up a couple times in the backfield to play fullback. It’s definitely a position that interchanges and you can play both.’’ — Rob Gronkowski, Patriots tight end

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NESN moves pregame set; Red Sox hoped to keep Orsillo news secret: “To prevent a potentially embarrassing scene, NESN moved its pregame show from Yawkey Way to a more secure spot near the Red Sox dugout…

“Red Sox owners and NESN bosses like O’Brien (currently working Sox radio broadcasts) and didn’t want to lose him to another team network. In the second week of July, Orsillo — whose contract expires at the end of December — learned from a third party he would not be returning to NESN. When Orsillo confronted his NESN bosses with this rumor during the second week of August, he was told it was true. The Sox planned to keep the news secret until a team caravan in January. Keeping the news secret until January would have killed any chance of Orsillo getting another play-by-play job for next season.’’ (Dan Shaughnessy/The Boston Globe)

Sign of the times — Fans show support for Orsillo at Fenway: “A nasty rumor spread that the owners let the stadium’s security forces know any pro-Orsillo signs were to be confiscated, but a survey of six security personnel at an entrance gate and throughout the stadium said no special Orsillo signage edict was in effect. A team spokesman confirmed that like every night, signs would not be allowed in or confiscated once they were inside only if they blocked somebody’s view or contained profanities…

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“If NESN wants to not only re-energize its broadcasts but also refurbish its image, it would let Orsillo leave his job today so he can stop pretending like nothing has happened. Pay him in full for the remainder of his contract and then cut him a generous severance package that’s commensurate with the service he gave.’’ (Michael Silverman/Boston Herald)

Sandoval says it’s been a tough transition coming to the Red Sox: “’“I’ve had to get used to new pitchers and how they pitch me, where in the National League I knew the pitchers and how they were trying to get me out,’’ he said. “It’s taken me a while to make those adjustments, but I feel I’m getting there.’’ (The Boston Globe)

Survey said… Patriots are top local team, NESN decision unpopular: “The Patriots remain the region’s top team by almost a 2-1 margin over the Sox; fans also are united overwhelmingly in their support for Tom Brady and down on the NFL over Deflategate….

“A whopping 71 percent of fans rated the decision to part with Orsillo as ‘poor’ — the lowest grade allowed, with only 1 percent rating the move ‘excellent.’ ‘It’s one of the most unpopular decisions the Red Sox and NESN could have made,’ said Susan Mulcahy of Channel Media & Marketing Research. ‘And when you add it on to the other decisions they’ve made, they’ve infuriated the masses.’’’ (Boston Herald)

Big Papi goes deep for home run No. 495: “Continuing a second-half surge that has restored his place among the most feared sluggers in the game, Ortiz’s solo homer to left proved the winner and left him just five long balls shy of becoming the 27th player in history to reach 500. His 29th homer of 2015 also left him one shy of his ninth 30-homer season, which would break a tie with Ted Williams for most in Red Sox history.’’ (WEEI.com)

Hanley hampered by right shoulder: “What Ramirez knows is that the lack of strength in his right shoulder has rendered him unable to hit the way his track record suggest he can. A hitter with a lifetime .500 slugging percentage has slugged just .372 since May 9 — including a woeful .239 slugging percentage since the All-Star break.

“’It was hindering him from firing forward as strong and as quickly as he possibly can,’ interim manager Torey Lovullo said. ‘If we go back to Chicago, there were some pitches that he was just barely missing. There was plenty of bat speed, but I think he felt like he was one click off, missing those pitches, and that was the reason why.’’’ (Providence Journal)

Jonny Gomes is going to Kansas City: “’I’ve talked about it since the day I showed up in Atlanta, I was fully invested in this team, in the peaks and in the valleys,’ said Gomes, who signed a one-year, $4 million free-agent contract last winter that included a $3 million option for 2016. ‘I’ll go play a game for Kansas City just like I played today. It’s not like I’m leaving here and am going to go turn it on. I left everything I possibly had in between those lines when my number was called. With that being said, it’s a business. On to K.C.’’’ (Atlanta Constitution-Journal)

Photo Finish: Deflategate timeline

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