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Venus (l), Serena Williams Investing In Dolphins,
Announcement Expected Tuesday
Nationals Will Introduce
Strasburg Friday Afternoon
ON THE RIGHT PATH: SI.com's Jon Heyman wrote under the header, "Strasburg Signing Tops Off Nats' Recent Run To Respectability." The Nationals had "no choice" but to sign Strasburg. The leverage is "normally with the team," but in this case, with the Nationals "again holding baseball's worst overall record and coming off a year in which they failed to sign No. 1 pick Aaron Crow, Strasburg held a bit of leverage, as well." An exec from another MLB team said, "They did really well considering they had no choice but to sign the guy." However, another exec contends, "They probably could have gotten it done lower." Heyman wrote, "Perhaps that's so, but the Nats absolutely could not take that chance" (SI.com, 8/19).
A JOB WELL DONE: In DC, Mark Zuckerman reports the Nationals today at a 4:00pm ET press conference are expected to announce that acting GM Mike Rizzo has been awarded the "full-time job." Rizzo, who has served as acting GM since March, has "continued to make a strong impression on Washington's ownership group," and the "clincher" was his ability to negotiate with Scott Boras and sign Strasburg. This comes despite recent reports that the team was "on the verge of hiring" D'Backs VP/Player Personnel Jerry Dipoto (WASHINGTON TIMES, 8/20). An MLB source indicated that the team "made the decision that Rizzo was its man a couple of days ago" (MLB.com, 8/20). In DC, Chico Harlan writes the move eases a "major source of uncertainty within the organization" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/20). The AP's Howard Fendrich writes giving Rizzo the full-time job "lends a measure of stability to a franchise that rarely has enjoyed any" (AP, 8/20).
Balsillie Challenges NHL
On Character Ruling
AGREE TO DISAGREE: The GLOBE & MAIL's David Shoalts reports the NHL and Balsillie yesterday reached a partial agreement that will allow Balsillie's attorney, Richard Rodier, to "attend today's deposition of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and tomorrow's grilling of deputy commissioner Bill Daly." But the NHL "refused a request for Rodier to sit in on its questioning of Balsillie next week," and that decision will be up to Bankruptcy Court Judge Redfield Baum. Baum also will "have to decide which e-mail messages and other documents" between Rodier, Balsillie and Coyotes Owner Jerry Moyes "have to be turned over to the NHL." The various parties over the past three days have filed more than 60 documents, "some as long as 100 pages." Meanwhile, Research Edge LLC Managing Dir Daryl Jones, who serves as COO of Ice Edge Holdings' bid for the Coyotes, said that he is "confident they will meet Tuesday's deadline for NHL-approved bids to be filed with the court" (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/20).
JET LAGGED: In a front-page piece for the HAMILTON SPECTATOR, Ken Peters notes Daly Tuesday in a court filing argued that "any court directive that would force the Coyotes to play in Hamilton this season would disrupt the other 29 clubs' ticket sales and marketing, potentially breach contracts with broadcasters and 'severely damage' each club's relationship with fans." Daly noted that the '09-10 NHL schedule has teams playing the Coyotes in a "back-to-back situation 21 times." The opponents in those games would be "forced to travel an additional 24,446 miles if their away games against the Coyotes were played in Hamilton instead of Glendale" (HAMILTON SPECTATOR, 8/20).
Hurley Will Bring Outside
Experience To US F1
GETTING IN THE RACE: Hurley said the opportunity is "more than a business opportunity for me." Hurley: "I love all sports. I love competition, and it's just an honour to be involved in US F1 and to be racing next year in the world championship." Hurley said he sees "tremendous potential for all sports to integrate more media, more social connections, connect with the fans and build a fan base." Hurley: "And that's exactly what I hope to bring to US F1. ... Obviously video is something I am deeply involved with today, and that is going to be a big part of what we do at US F1." Hurley added what attracted him to the team is that it is "a start-up." Hurley: "And it's a very similar situation to one that would be in Silicon Valley -- it's a small team of talented, smart individuals trying to break the mould, trying to accomplish something that others think is impossible." Hurley said he is "definitely going to be involved in helping the team with sponsors, helping the team with business relationships, and helping the team with integrating technology" (AUTOSPORT.com, 8/19).
Murphy Says Lottery Deal Is Way For
Team To Tap New Revenue Stream
In Charlotte, Rick Bonnell reported Bobcats Owner Bob Johnson might take the team "off the market" after reportedly being within a couple weeks of a deal with The Postolos Group Owner George Postolos. Bonnell: "I don't think a final decision has been made, but it sounds like Johnson has misgivings, either about whether to sell or what he's been offered" (CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com, 8/19).
Blue Chip Hospitality Group Shopping Suite
For November 1 Vikings-Packers Game
RED BULL TAKES YOUR WINGS: In N.Y., Michael Lewis cites MLS sources as saying that the Red Bulls, who have a 2-16-4 record, are "primed to clean house after this abysmal season," which includes firing Sporting Dir Jeff Agoos and coach Juan Carlos Osorio. In addition, a source contends that F Juan Pablo Angel, the team's designated player, is "unhappy with the state of the team and he may not return for next season." An MLS source said of the Red Bulls, "It's a train wreck of a history. It's probably the worst year an MLS club has had" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/20).
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE: BENGALS.com's Geoff Hobson noted there has been a "huge reaction to the scene" in the first episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks" last week in which Bengals Owner Mike Brown is "sitting in front of a room leading a personnel meeting of coaches and scouts." The clip has fueled "criticism painting Brown as a dictatorial" GM, but Bengals coach Marvin Lewis Monday said that Brown "does ask for the coaches' input." Lewis: "From what I've heard, too much is being made out of that" (BENGALS.com, 8/17).