From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- The person Manti Te'o says was pretending to be his online girlfriend told the Notre Dame linebacker "I love you" in voicemails that were played during his interview with Katie Couric.Taped earlier this week and broadcast Thursday, the hour-long talk show featured three voicemails that Te'o claims were left for him last year. Te'o said they were from the person he believed to be Lennay Kekua, a woman he had fallen for online but never met face-to-face.After the first message was played, Te'o said: "It sounds like a girl, doesn't it?""It does," Couric responded.The interview was the All-American's first on camera since his tale of inspired play after the deaths of his grandmother and girlfriend on the same day in September unraveled as a bizarre hoax in an expose by Deadspin.com on Jan. 16.Te'o's parents appeared with him for part of the interview and backed up his claim that he wasn't involved in the fabrication, saying they, too, had spoken on the phone with a person they believed to be Kekua.Couric addressed speculation that the tale was concocted by Te'o as a way to cover up his sexual orientation. Asked if he were gay, Te'o said "no" with a laugh. "Far from it. Faaaar from that."He also said he was "scared" and "didn't know what to do" after receiving a call on Dec. 6 -- two days before the Heisman Trophy presentation -- from a person who claimed to be his "dead" girlfriend.The first voicemail, he said, was from what was supposed to be Kekua's first day of chemotherapy for leukemia."Hi, I am just letting you know I got here and I'm getting ready for my first session and, um, just want to call you to keep you posted. I miss you. I love you. Bye," the person said.In the second voicemail, the person was apparently upset by someone else answering Te'o's phone.The third voicemail was left on Sept. 11, according to Te'o, the day he believed Kekua was released from the hospital and the day before she "died.""Hey babe, I'm just calling to say goodnight," the person on the voicemail said. "I love you. I know that you're probably doing homework or you're with the boys. ... But I just wanted to say I love you and goodnight and I'll be ok tonight. I'll do my best. Um, yeah, so get your rest and I'll talk to you tomorrow. I love you so much, hon. Sweet dreams."Couric suggested the person who left those messages might have been Ronaiah Tuisasosopo, a 22-year-old man from California, who Te'o said has apologized to him for pulling the hoax."Do you think that could have been a man on the other end of the phone?" she asked."Well, it didn't sound like a man," Te'o said. "It sounded like a woman. If he somehow made that voice, that's incredible. That's an incredible talent to do that. Especially every single day."Tuiasosopo has not spoken publicly since news of the hoax broke. The Associated Press has learned that a home in California where Te'o sent flowers to the Kekua family was once a residence of Tuiasosopo and has been in his family for decades.Also on Thursday, the woman whose pictures were used in fake online accounts for Kekua said Tuiasosopo confessed to her in a 45-minute phone conversation as the scheme unraveled.Diane O'Meara spoke with The Associated Press in a telephone interview. She said Tuiasosopo told her he'd been "stalking" her Facebook profile for five years and stealing photos.O'Meara's attorney, Jim Artiano, said they had not decided on whether to take any legal action.The 23-year-old O'Meara, of Long Beach, Calif., said she knew Tuiasosopo from high school and he contacted her through Facebook on Dec. 16. She said that, over the next three weeks, Tuiasosopo got in touch with her several times, attempting to get photos and video of O'Meara. She said he made up a story about wanting them to help cheer up a cousin who was injured in a car crash.O'Meara learned her identity had been stolen on Jan. 13 when she was contacted by Deadspin.com.The next day she got in touch with Tuiasosopo."When I contacted Ronaiah I got a very bizarre vibe from him, he became very nervous, he wasn't asking the questions I expected. He was asking Who contacted you? What did they say?'" O'Meara said.Later that day, he confessed, O'Meara said. She said she asked Tuiasosopo why he didn't simply stop the hoax."He told me he wanted to end the relationship," O'Meara said. "He said he wanted to stop the relationship between Lennay and Manti, but Manti didn't want Lennay to break up with him ... He said he tried to stop the game many times."When news of the hoax broke a few days later, O'Meara said she received a text from Tuiasosopo asking her to call him as soon as possible. O'Meara said she didn't respond.
David Price has a chance for his first “ace” moment to show Boston he’s truly the pitcher they paid for.
The bullpen is spent after giving up the game late Saturday, to go with the team dealing with a three game skid -- the longest since their three-game losing streak from April 17th – April 19th.
On top of the Sox not having lost four-straight yet in 2016, Price is back at the Rogers Centre for the first time since his playoff run with the Blue Jays last year.
So this game should have a playoff feel to it -- as much as one can in late May -- especially with the Toronto picking up steam.
And lastly for Price, he’s started to figure things out since making a mechanical adjustment following his atrocious 4.2 inning start against the Yankees earlier in the month.
But he hasn’t had to throw against a top of the line offense yet.
The lefty dominated Houston, much like everyone has this year and also did well against Colorado.
In between those two he did face a strong opponent in Kansas City, but the Royals still haven’t completely gotten things together (although they did mount a ridiculous comeback Saturday against the White Sox).
Toronto’s scored over seven runs in three of their last four, winning all four of those games and seven of the last 10 contests -- putting them four games behind Boston in the AL East standings.
Price does have a few things going for him entering Sunday’s contest.
He threw well against his old team earlier this year -- seven innings, two earned runs, nine strikeouts and zero walks -- when his mechanics weren’t where he wanted them.
Also after being traded to Detroit from Tampa Bay in 2014, Price was dominant in his returning start at Tropicana Field.
Although he took the loss 1-0, the lefty dealt, chucking a one-hitter over eight innings, striking out nine without walking a batter -- and the one run off of him was unearned.
Price has yet to pitch at Comerica Park since leaving the Tigers, so that’s something Boston may deal with later in the year, too.
Now Price has to block all of this from his mind and execute pitches, in what is his biggest test this point in the season.
A lot for him to ignore in what could’ve easily been a regular start had Boston’s bullpen done its job Sunday -- but then again, this is a part of the price of being an ace.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while feeling like I was watching the Heart of a Champion in that Golden State/Oklahoma City game last night. That Klay Thompson is something else.
*PHT writer James O’Brien wonders what the next step is for Troy Brouwer now that he’s ready to hit free agency, and the ride has finally come to an for the Blues this season.
*Excellent piece by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Paul Dupont on the sad story of Kevin Stevens, and the drug addiction demons that have had him in their clutches for a long time. I’ve known about Stevens troubles for a while, and it’s too bad because he really is a gregarious guy when you get to know him.
*Allan Muir speculates on the future of Steve Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning now that the offseason has begun for both of them.
*P.K. Subban doesn’t sound like he’s got any hard feelings about being left off Team Canada for the World Cup of Hockey, and said he’ll still be rooting them along.
*Pat Hickey mentions the Subban snub, but is incredulous that Habs center Alex Galchenyuk was left off Team North America.
*Larry Brooks breaks down how exactly former Bruins head coach and New York Rangers assistant coach Mike Sullivan was able to emerge from John Tortorella’s shadow some 10 years later.
*For something completely different: sad story all around in Cincinnati where they had to had to shoot an endangered gorilla dead when a four year old child fell into his enclosure.
Highlights from Gillette Stadium as the New England Revolution went down early but came back to get the 2-1 victory over Seattle.