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MLB has established a new structure to oversee reform of operations in the Dominican Republic and throughout Latin America, naming JORGE PÉREZ-DIAZ, a partner in Puerto Rico law firm Pietrantoni Mendez and Alvarez, the interim head of Latin American Oversight. Pérez-Diaz succeeds SANDY ALDERSON, who recently became Mets GM. He will consult with a committee consisting of Alderson, Marlins President of Baseball Operations LARRY BEINFEST and Twins Senior VP & GM BILL SMITH (MLB).
EXECS: MI Developments Founder & Chair FRANK STRONACH has also taken on the role of CEO, replacing DENNIS MILLS, who was appointed CEO in '08. Mills will remain on the company's BOD (Baltimore SUN, 11/13)....Seahawks VP/Football Administration John Idzik has received a two-year extension. Idzik, in his fourth season with the Seahawks, is responsible for "making sure the team complies with the league salary cap" (SEATTLEPI.com, 11/12)....The Braves named former Orioles manager DAVE TREMBLEY Minor League Field Coordinator, LEE ELIA Special Assistant to the GM & Major and Minor League Instructor, and BOB JOHNSON Special Assistant to the GM and Major League Advance Scout (Braves)....The Triple-A PCL Oklahoma City RedHawks named Sporting News Radio Sales Coordinator DAVID GARSON Corporate Marketing Manager (THE DAILY).
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The ATP World Tour in a statement warned IMG Chair & CEO TED FORSTMANN "not to violate rules against gambling on the sport." Forstmann placed a $40,000 bet on ROGER FEDERER to defeat RAFAEL NADAL in the ’07 French Open final, and the statement read, "We consider his behavior inappropriate and ... he will be in violation of the rules if he engages in such activity in the future." The statement followed a "rigorous and confidential process" into the '07 bet conducted by the ATP's Tennis Integrity Unit (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 11/11). Meanwhile, in London, Richard Eden reported former U.K. Secretary of State for Justice JACK STRAW received about US$21,000 "worth of hospitality" from Forstmann. Straw and his wife, ALICE, "were flown business class to New York and then on to" Aspen, Colo., where Forstmann "paid their accommodation costs" (London TELEGRAPH, 11/14).
The Atlantic Names Suns' Sarver A "Brave
Thinker" For "Los Suns" Decision
TAKING A STAND: As part of THE ATLANTIC magazine's special issue on the year's "Brave Thinkers," Timothy Lavin notes Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver in response to Arizona's immigration law "came up with the idea of having the team take the court in jerseys bearing the moniker 'Los Suns' -- an unusually explicit political statement by a major sports franchise." Sarver noted, "A lot of people looked at the decision as an inappropriate mixture of sports and politics." But he added, "I think it's naive to say that sports and politics don't mix. I mean, how do stadiums and arenas get built? They get built through politics and political connections. ... To me, this law was more of a human-rights issue -- and just an issue of fairness -- than it was political" (THE ATLANTIC, 11/ '10 issue).
QUITE A ROADTRIP: In Newark, Dave D'Alessandro noted NBA Dir of Scouting RYAN BLAKE is "currently on a 3,000-mile journey on a Triumph motorcycle that will take him to 11 venues over the next 14 days, all while carrying the banner for Coaches vs. Cancer and the American Cancer Society." The journey "started Friday morning in a driveway in Northeast Atlanta, from where Blake headed for" Chapel Hill, N.C. U.K.-based Triumph is sponsoring the trip, and it "loaded up a $15,000 Thunderbird bike for him with every necessary feature, including a windshield and bag rack" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 11/13).
WHAT'S TAKEN SO LONG? In N.Y., Mike Lupica wrote former MLBPA Exec Dir MARVIN MILLER, who is eligible to be elected to the Baseball HOF by the veteran's committee, "should be in the Hall of Fame already" and "shouldn't have had to wait until he was in his 90s." Lupica: "This is about the man's body of work. And because of the remarkable work that he did strengthening his union, because of free agency and the fights to get it and keep it, he changed baseball as much as any figure since JACKIE ROBINSON" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/14). ESPN's Rick Reilly said, "Could somebody please explain to me why the late GEORGE STEINBRENNER is about to be voted into Cooperstown on greased rails? ... Forget Steinbrenner for now, induct Miller. He deserves it, and he deserves to stand there when we do it" ("The Sports Reporters," ESPN, 11/14).
Former NFLer Bokamper Launches Site Geared
Toward Sending Former Athletes To Events
CASHING IN ON THEIR NAMES: In Ft. Lauderdale, Sarah Talalay noted former NFLer KIM BOKAMPER in the past year has launched WannaPlaya.com, which for a fee "sends retired athletes to speak at luncheons, attend birthday parties or make other public appearances." Bokamper launched the site "after numerous requests from members of the public seeking ... once-in-a-lifetime experiences and retired athletes looking to make a few dollars and extend their fame" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 11/13).
NAMES: The Dolphins yesterday named their press box the Edwin Pope Press Box in honor of the Miami Herald columnist's 45 seasons of Dolphins coverage. The Dolphins, with the "blessing" of Owner STEPHEN ROSS, "will hang a plaque for Pope in the box where the media overlooks the field at Sun Life Stadium" (MIAMI HERALD, 11/15)....D'Backs manager KIRK GIBSON Saturday auctioned six items from the '88 World Series, and sales from the online auction totaled nearly $1.2M. Gibson "never really explained why he decided to sell the items now" (LATIMES.com, 11/14)....Golfer GREG NORMAN and his girlfriend, KIRSTEN KUTNER, "have wed in a secret Caribbean beach ceremony." The couple "walked down the aisle" earlier this month "on a private island in the British Virgin Islands in front of close friends and family." It is Norman's third marriage (New Zealand HERALD, 11/14).
IN MEMORY: JOHN ALDERSON, the father of Mets GM SANDY ALDERSON, Saturday night was "struck and killed as he walked across a street" in St. Petersburg, Fla. He was 87. Sandy Alderson said in a statement, "Our entire family is devastated by his loss" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 11/15).