SBD/Issue 20/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Byrnes Scheduled To Interview
For Mets GM Position

The Mets early next week will "begin interviewing candidates" to be their next GM, announcing Thursday that they have received permission to interview White Sox VP & Assistant GM Rick Hahn and Red Sox Assistant to the GM Allard Baird. The team also has "scheduled an interview" with former D'Backs GM Josh Byrnes (, 10/7). In addition, sources indicated that MLB consultant Sandy Alderson "likely has the backing" of Commissioner Bud Selig "should Alderson decide to pursue the job" (, 10/7). However, Rays Senior VP/Baseball Operations Gerry Hunsicker, another rumored candidate, Thursday said that he "prefers to stay with the Rays" (N.Y. POST, 10/8).

AM I THAT TRANSPARENT? Wizards Owner Ted Leonsis earlier this week shared his plans for the NBA franchise in a blog entry titled, "The Wisdom of Our Crowds -- 101 To Do List Final." Leonsis posted his "List of 101 Signs of Visible Change," which includes fan suggestions and "what he has done." Leonsis noted one of the suggestions, to change the Wizards' colors back to red, white and blue, is "In-development," while a call for the team to revert to its Bullets nickname is "Under consideration" (, 10/6). ESPN's Michael Wilbon said he believes the name change back to Bullets "ultimately ... will happen" ("PTI," ESPN, 10/7).

TAKING THE BLAME: NBA Commissioner David Stern this week "admitted that he erred in August" by giving the Knicks "permission to hire" Isiah Thomas as a consultant. Stern said, "It's fair to say that I missed the issue. I told them they could do it. And when it was announced, I wasn't officially informed, but I knew and my guys said that's not allowed. Oh, I blew that one pretty good. And I called them up and told them." Stern redacted his approval six days later because Thomas is currently the head basketball coach at Florida Int'l Univ. (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/8).

STILL THE BOSS: In Newark, Rich Chere reports Devils President, CEO & GM Lou Lamoriello has "lost some of his widespread influence on the team's non-hockey matters." Devils Owner Jeff Vanderbeek "has become more hands-on with marketing decisions and has brought in people to run business aspects" such as Prudential Center. But Lamoriello "scoffed" at "those who think he's lost some of his clout as GM." Lamoriello: "Everything I'm doing today, is the same thing I've done in the past" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 10/8).

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