Quote of the Day
"There is nothing worse than watching your team and being stuck with an announcer who is against them."
-- ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons, saying he will call the Heat-Warriors broadcast Friday down the middle despite being critical of the Heat earlier this season (MIAMI HERALD, 12/10).
Epstein Is Being Hailed
For Recent Acquisitions
The Red Sox stole the headlines at the MLB Winter Meetings by securing long-term commitments from two of the most coveted players in the league. After a challenging season that saw the club miss the postseason, deals to acquire Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez have excited the team’s fan base and rejuvenated interest in a city where the Patriots, Celtics and Bruins are increasingly pushing the Sox for the hearts and minds of the locals. The moves quash concerns that John Henry and Co.’s purchase of Liverpool will negatively impact the Red Sox’ ability to acquire elite talent. But the Sox’ gains come at the expense of smaller-market teams. Clubs such as the Rays and Padres, who are facing budget restrictions, are coping with the loss of key components to their successes last season.
FC Barcelona agrees to record shirt sponsorship with Qatar Foundation worth about $40M a year.
NFL ratings on NBC, CBS, Fox and NFL Net up through 13 weeks; ESPN down slightly.
Dressed For Success
Timbers unveil MLS uniforms as Alaska Airlines promises an increased involvement with club.
Packing Them In
"Big Chill in the Big House" hockey game could set Guinness record with over 100,000 fans.
N.Y. POST's Peter Vecsey writes it is "highly conceivable" NBA could contract Hornets.
Taking The Plunge
Bill Simmons, set to make game analyst debut, compares announcing style to Jeff Van Gundy.