U.S. Fans Abound For WWC Final LeBron Praised For Role In Apatow's "Trainwreck" MLS Eyeing St. Paul For Expansion Club Angels Bad PR Continues With Dipoto Exit NBA Free Agency Begins With Money Flying Expectations High For NASCAR On NBC NBC Lands New Advertisers For Race Coverage Going Off The Grid Steelers Exploring '23 Super Bowl Bid GT To Benefit Financially From Ireland Game
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Cashman (r) Says Question Of Steroid Use Did
Not Come Up During Rodriguez Contract Talks
TIME TO MOVE FORWARD: On Long Island, Ken Davidoff reports the Yankees, who had "set the bar low" for Rodriguez' interview with ESPN's Peter Gammons Monday, came away "generally pleased" (NEWSDAY, 2/11). Cashman said that the Yankees "urged Rodriguez to tell the whole truth in his confession." Steinbrenner: "We support him and we're going to do everything we can to help make his season a successful one, to help him do that" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/11). In N.Y., Joel Sherman writes, "This is really just the first inning of the revelation phase. A-Rod, after all, has nine years left on his Yankee contract. That is a long time for an organization to hold its breath that its most expensive commodity does not further wreck his image -- and theirs." And it is "all about to get more complicated for both player and team" (N.Y. POST, 2/11). But in N.Y., Mike Lupica writes the Yankees "now want to act as if this is some kind of 'Texas' problem with Rodriguez," as he noted in his interview he only took PEDs during his time with the Rangers (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/11).
NOBODY WITHOUT FAULT: In Atlanta, Jeff Schultz noted Rangers Owner Tom Hicks has said that he "wants A-Rod to personally apologize to him." Schultz: "Try again. Hicks and every other owner should apologize for turning a blind eye to steroid use because they were more interested in selling tickets, souvenir jerseys and corporate sponsorships. ... The biggest problem with baseball's steroid era is the complete lack of responsibility anybody wants to accept -- starting with the owners" (AJC.com, 2/10). In Ft. Worth, Jim Reeves wrote under the header, "Hicks Has To Face His Own Failure." It was Hicks' responsibility to "know what was going on in his clubhouse, where steroid use was rampant during his ownership." Hicks has to "look himself in the mirror, too, just as those of us who were around the team and didn't 'get it' during those years have to do" (STAR-TELEGRAM.com, 2/10).
Beckham May Have To Fund Part Of The
Financial Settlement Himself
BECKHAM's IMPACT: SI.com's Franklin & Pickstone wrote Beckham joined the Galaxy "sincere in his belief that doing so would help Major League Soccer expand and, indeed, it was a huge coup for MLS to sign the world's most marketable player." But "from the perspective of his own soccer career, L.A. was the wrong destination" (SI.com, 2/9). But former Galaxy President & GM Alexi Lalas said, "I think if he leaves, you're delusional if you think this was a failure by any stretch of the imagination." Lalas: "The interest, the raise of the level on the field and of the brand in the United States is incredible" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/11).
Jordan's Desire To Grow As
An Investor Still Strong
Attanasio Said Ticket Sales At Miller Park Are
Best Indication Of The Economy's Impact
Huizenga Planning To Get Back Into Business
World, But Will Not Rule Out Return To Sports
FOOTING THE BILL: Huizenga indicated that hiring Dolphins Exec VP/Football Operations Bill Parcells in December '07 was "his best" decision while owning the team. Parcells originally had a 30-day window to opt out of his contract if Huizenga sold the franchise, but Huizenga said that he "acted three weeks before the sale to make the escape clause open-ended, explaining that he didn't want Parcells to feel pressured." Huizenga: "It was the right thing to do. It was good for Bill, good for Steve and good for the Dolphins. We want to see Bill stay" (PALM BEACH POST, 2/11). Huizenga added Parcells is "good for the Dolphins and obviously they proved themselves with the year they had this year." More Huizenga: "It does benefit the team because Bill; now he has no reason to leave. He's not forced to make a decision in a short period of time. He'll have plenty of time to stay as long as he wants to stay." Huizenga said that before changing the opt-out clause to an open-ended option, he consulted with Parcells, Ross, Dolphins President & COO Bryan Wiedmeier and Exec VP/Business & Administration Bill Pierce (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 2/11).
Tinsley Was Banished From
The Team In October
SETTING SUNS? FANSTER.com's Greg Esposito wrote if Suns Owner Robert Sarver "isn't willing to make moves that move the Suns and their fans closer to their ultimate goal it is time he step aside and sell the team to someone who will." Reports have indicated the Suns "may be trying to shed as much as $40[M] from their payroll" before the trade deadline, and Esposito wrote the Suns "need, no deserve, someone who will keep a competitive payroll and will make moves that are basketball savvy rather than business savvy." Esposito: "Trading talent to shave payroll, selling draft picks and being reluctant to pay the luxury tax just won't cut it" (FANSTER.com, 2/10).
COMING ATTRACTION: In Oklahoma City, Mike Baldwin cites sources as saying that a "Bison will be the Thunder's mascot." The mascot will be unveiled at halftime of Tuesday's Hornets-Thunder game (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 2/10).
Knicks Offering Discounts To Attract Fans
During Tough Economic Climate
PRICE WATCH: In Green Bay, Mike Vandermause notes Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy and the team's exec committee are "considering raising ticket prices this year." But with the economy "in shambles and the Packers coming off their worst one-season victory drop-off in team history, the last thing beleaguered fans need is more bad news." The Packers "have an opportunity to send millions of dollars worth of goodwill and good wishes into the community" by not raising ticket prices (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 2/11).
PAYMENT PLAN: The Vikings will begin offering season-ticket holders a noncredit-based payment option via eLayawaySports. The Saints are the only other NFL team to offer the plan (Vikings). In Minneapolis, Judd Zulgad reports the new payment plan "will enable purchases to be paid directly from bank accounts via a customized payment plan that can stretch into late July." There is a 1.9% transaction fee (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/11).
STAFF REDUCTION: In Cincinnati, John Fay reports the Reds have "slightly reduced their front office staff as a result of the economic downturn." Layoffs were "in the single digits." Reds Senior VP/Business Operations Karen Forgus "emphasized that the club's baseball operations had not been affected" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 2/11).