SBD/January 6, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Ryan says Rangers are ready for payroll increase, having budgeted to be near $100M

MLB Rangers President Nolan Ryan acknowledged that the team's payroll in '11 could reach $100M for the first time since '03 "after they agreed to terms" with 3B Adrian Beltre on a six-year, $96M contract. Ryan said, "That's just where it's going to be. It's what we budgeted for. Obviously, a lot of factors come into play, but we feel positive about the ballclub and we feel positive about the way our fans have responded. You have to be aggressive and be positive, and that's the position we're taking" (, 1/5). In Ft. Worth, Randy Galloway writes the "free agency plunge on Beltre sent much needed word to a whole new world of adoring fandom that said, 'Hey, we're still here, still out here in Arlington. See you in April.'" The Rangers made an "off-season splash in an off-season momentum-building moment" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/6).

THIS BUD'S FOR YOU: In Nashville, John Glennon wrote the lack of a new NFL CBA "could impact Jeff Fisher's future" because Titans Owner Bud Adams "might be more prone to hold onto" his coach with fears of a work stoppage. Whether Adams "chooses to keep Fisher or not, he’ll be paying him $6.5 million during a 2011 season that could be shortened -- or canceled -- because of a lockout." Glennon: "Would Adams really want to pay two head coaches to potentially twiddle their thumbs during a lockout?" (, 1/5).'s Don Banks reported Adams is "said to be very hesitant to undergo a coaching change amid the uncertainty brought on by the league's looming CBA negotiation and potential labor unrest" (, 1/5).

CAT SCRATCH FEVER: In Charlotte, Tommy Tomlinson writes NFL Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson in his press conference Tuesday “simultaneously came off as irritable, cheap, confused, obstinate and a bit of a bully,” as he “batted away legitimate questions like blowflies.” Richardson indicated it was a “positive that the Panthers let go several key veterans” prior to the season and acknowledged that he knew former coach John Fox “preferred to play veterans.” But Richardson “kept Fox as coach anyway.” Tomlinson: “The only logical explanation is financial. The Panthers saved money on players this season and might save money on coaches next season, especially if there’s a player strike or lockout” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/6).

WE ARE WHO WE ARE: In N.Y., Steve Serby profiles Woody Johnson, who "loves being the Jets owner, and does not in the least hate the fact that after the Ines Sainz fiasco, after the Braylon Edwards DUI, after the Sal Alosi black eye, after the foot-fetish stories and most recently a lawsuit filed by former club massage therapists, and after all the braggadocio from [Rex] Ryan, his team is the Team They Love to Hate." Johnson yesterday said, "I think it's great. Whatever feeling they have, as long as it’s a vivid feeling. I think it’s more positive than having apathy or any of that. I’m glad they feel strongly about us." He added, "I don't mind it at all, no. People are gonna like us. People aren’t gonna like us. But we’re gonna be who we are" (N.Y. POST, 1/6).

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