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SBD/February 3, 2011/Franchises
Published February 3, 2011
SHOULD HE STAY OR SHOULD HE GO? On Long Island, Alan Hahn notes Knicks President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh’s contract “has a team option for a fourth season that must be picked up by April 30,” but neither Walsh nor his agent, Steve Kauffman, has been “given any indication from team owner James Dolan that the fourth year will be picked up.” Walsh “publicly has said he is not concerned about his future, and privately has told confidants the same.” A source said that Dolan “has always been honest with him and Walsh doesn’t expect that to change” (NEWSDAY, 2/3). However, YAHOO SPORTS’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported Florida Int'l Univ. men's basketball coach Isiah Thomas is “pining for his old job” with the Knicks. Sources said that Thomas “still speaks regularly” with Dolan, “sometimes several times a week.” Dolan “confers with Thomas about the job that Donnie Walsh has done as president” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/2).
GOING UP TO GO DOWN: YAHOO SPORTS’ Steve Henson noted the Reds spent more than $150M on contract extensions this offseason. But “despite the spending frenzy, the Reds reduced their payroll.” The club spent 13.4% more on its roster last season than in ’09, but payroll this season will decrease to about $73M, a “nifty sleight of hand accomplished through deferred salary and bonuses spread over several years.” Reds GM Walt Jocketty noted that “winning boosts attendance, attendance boosts revenue, and additional revenue means those deferred salaries and delayed bonuses won’t cripple the franchise a few years from now.” Reds officials believe that attendance at Great American Ball Park “could increase from two million to nearly three million this season” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/2).
OLD SCHOOL FLAVOR: The Mariners on their Twitter page announced that they will “wear throwback green jerseys for Monday and Friday home games this season.” Team officials said that “several players requested that the jerseys be brought back after they were worn in a throwback game last season.” The green jerseys were originally worn in the '90s (SEATTLEPI.com, 2/2).