ESPN's Jed Drake Talks World Cup Prep Miami (Ohio)Trustees OK $13M Facility Sporting Park Enjoys Banner Year SEC Network Launch Campaign Previewed Cobb County Getting Road Improvements More Big Free-Agent Deals In MLB Sources: Fox Keeps UEFA Champions League Sports World Pays Tribute To Mandela Classified Advertisements Financial Boon In Store For Arizona State?
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Red Sox manager BOBBY VALENTINE “has produced a film about baseball in the Dominican Republic, and that film, being released this week, is the subject of considerable controversy,” according to Loren King of the BOSTON GLOBE. The film, “Ballplayer: Pelotero,” has “not gone over well” with MLB. The league is “displeased with the film’s allegations of corruption and coercion in the signing process for young prospects from the Dominican Republic.” MLB Senior VP/PR PAT COURTNEY in an e-mail said the league “had a conversation with the Red Sox about the inaccuracies and misrepresentations that were in the documentary.” Valentine said that the film “simply reflects reality.” The new film tracks top prospects MIGUEL SANO and JEAN CARLOS BATISTA “as they prepare for the July 2, 2009, signing date for 16-year-old international players.” Dir TREVOR MARTIN said that Valentine “did more than bankroll the film.” Martin: “He’d come in and watch some footage and provide a professional baseball eye.” It is the “first funded by Makuhari Media, a sports film production company Valentine formed in 2010 with ANDREW J. MUSCATO.” Muscato tracked Valentine’s ‘07 season as manager of the Nippon Professional Baseball's Chiba Lotte Marines for the ESPN Films documentary “The Zen of Bobby V” (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/10).
In Baltimore, Jeff Barker notes the Univ. of Maryland has hired former Wizards Basketball Communications Dir ZACK BOLNO to "oversee its media relations." He will also be "designing and implementing strategic communication plans." Bolno had two stints with the Wizards and one with the Redskins. Prior to his return to the Wizards, he founded his own PR and consulting group. Bolno replaces DOUG DULL, who is "starting his own sports communications firm" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 7/9)....The Triple-A Int'l League Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees have named Triple-A PCL Omaha Storm Chasers Assistant GM ROB CRAIN President & GM (Storm Chasers)....The new MP & Silva regional HQs in Miami will be led by Founding Partner & CEO CARLO POZZALI. Also joining Pozzali's team will be EDUARDO BORGES, who recently resigned as IMG VP/Latin America, and former NBA Asia Head of Asia Development MARK GORSKI. Both will hold the title of Senior VP/Acquisitions & Sales. Borges will be mainly responsible for sales and distribution while Gorski will manage strategic partnerships and int'l projects (MP & Silva)....The Sports Car Club of America named BUTCH KUMMER to the newly created position of Club Racing Dir (SCCA).
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MLB.com's Mark Newman noted Baseball HOFer HANK AARON, his wife BILLYE, MLB Commissioner BUD SELIG and author GEORGE WILL participated in the Habitat For Humanity All-Star Build yesterday in K.C. The event is a partnership between MLB, the MLB Players Trust, State Farm and Holiday Inn, and “includes nine homes that are being built for the tornado-ravaged communities in Joplin, Mo., and Tuscaloosa, Ala.” Two of the homes are “being rough-framed during All-Star Week” (MLB.com, 7/9)….Baseball HOFer LOU BROCK yesterday accepted the ’12 Jackie Robinson Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (MLB.com, 7/9)....In K.C., Sam Mellinger noted Selig’s first time at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum comes during the “most important week” of its history. Fox is “working on a spot about the museum" for tonight’s ASG pregame show and over the last few days, media outlets have “helped spread the message” about the museum (K.C. STAR, 7/10)….Last night's State Farm Home Run Derby in K.C. generated $615,000 in donations for various charities, up 2% from last year's event in Phoenix (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal)….CATCH, a charity founded by late Baseball HOFer SPARKY ANDERSON, will “present the Doc Fenkell Excellence in Media Award, bestowed on someone whose significant career has stood for giving back and doing things the right way” to former Tigers radio announcer PAUL CAREY. Carey spent 19 years doing Tigers play-by-play (DETROIT NEWS, 7/10).
YOUNGEST SOX FAN: Red Sox GM BEN CHERINGTON and wife TYLER TUMMINIA welcomed their first child Saturday, a girl named ADWEN (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/10).
USA TODAY's Steve Berkowitz cites an NCAA tax filing as indicating that President MARK EMMERT received nearly $400,000 in compensation for his first three months in the position. The amount, which covered the final three months of '10, means Emmert was paid at a rate of nearly $1.6M annually -- nearly 40% more than predecessor MYLES BRAND in '08, his final full calendar year on the job. Data indicates that in his previous position as Univ. of Washington President, Emmert was paid $870,000 a year (USA TODAY, 7/10).
CAROLINA BOY: In Winston-Salem, Richard Craver profiled ESPN President JOHN SKIPPER, a Lexington, N.C. native who went to the Univ. of North Carolina and has a home in Winston-Salem which “allows him to be near his parents and in-laws.” Skipper said coming from a small town like Lexington "helped enrich my entrepreneurial skills and drawing on the common sense I was taught." Skipper: “I like to believe I am an example of what the UNC system is all about -- taking small-town kids with talent and giving them worldly exposure so that they can contribute in their communities and wherever opportunities lead them.” NBA Deputy Commissioner & COO ADAM SILVER calls Skipper "the least fussy, petty individual" he deals with in the industry. Silver: "It's never about himself or the pursuit of personal credit. He still carries his own bags, takes public transportation, doesn't have to have an entourage” (WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL, 7/8).
OLYMPIC TALK: A pair of U.S. Gold Medalists appeared on NBC's "Today" this morning. Former gymnast SHAWN JOHNSON promoted her new book, “WINNING BALANCE,” and NBC’s Natalie Morales said, “This book is really beautifully written. There are a lot of life lessons throughout the book and inspirations.” Johnson said, “I feel like throughout my whole career people have kind of covered my story from their point-of-view, what they thought and what they saw. Through my whole journey, I’ve kept diaries and journals and I just wanted to take that vulnerable side and really connect to people and let them know what I was really thinking." Meanwhile, tennis player VENUS WILLIAMS talked about dealing with Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease that “affects my whole life.” Williams: “It’s been a huge transition for me. I’ve learned so much. I’m still learning so much. It’s about being positive. I’ve changed my whole lifestyle.” Williams will become the first tennis player to compete in four Olympic Games and she said the Olympics have “been beyond my dream.” Williams: “The whole experience of just being an Olympian, it’s not about winning per se. If you can do that, that’s like icing on the cake” (“Today,” NBC, 7/10).
ANNUAL GIVING: The AP's Genaro Armas noted Penn State Univ. "received more than $208 million in donations for the fiscal year that just ended, the second-highest total in university history despite the upheaval after the arrest of JERRY SANDUSKY on child sex abuse charges." The school said yesterday that there was a "slight uptick in the number of alumni who donated money or gifts in the fiscal year that ended June 30 to more than 75,500, reversing two years of slight declines." The number of donors overall "also rose slightly to more than 191,000" (AP, 7/9).
WHO'S ON FIRST? The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Woo & Scheck note former NBAer MARK MADSEN is "one of several former-top-tier athletes aiming to extend their careers by joining recreational and beer leagues." It is "hard to tell how many athletes of Mr. Madsen's caliber play in recreational leagues." Former MLBer ERIC BYRNES, who plays in a recreational softball league, said that he "loves the league for its camaraderie, but he grouses about a rule that penalizes a team for belting more than three home runs a game" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/10).
BUFFALO SOLDIER: In Buffalo, Tim O'Shei in a profile of NBA Senior VP/Events & Attractions GAIL HUNTER examines her "career path from Buffalo Public School 63 to Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart to SUNY Fredonia and then, after working in Buffalo for a short time, law school at the University of North Carolina" (BUFFALO BUSINESS FIRST, 7/6 issue).
NAMES: Canucks G ROBERTO LUONGO Saturday played in the World Series of Poker's $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold'em World Championship in Las Vegas. Luongo's entry was funded by British Columbia Lottery Corp., which operates legal online poker games in the Canadian province (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 7/8)....Golfer RORY MCILROY "has been immortalized in the form of a mural" in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The two-story painting, by artist DANNY DEVENNY, was commissioned by Belfast-area private landlord DECLAN BOYLE (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 7/9)....Jaguars TE MARCEDES LEWIS has purchased a condo in L.A.'s Residences at W Hollywood for about $1.2M (L.A. TIMES, 7/10)....Lululemon Athletica has purchased the Newbury Street building that houses one of its Boston stores for $7.5M (BOSTON HERALD, 7/10).
IN MEMORY: Former Stanford Univ. basketball player PETER SAUER, the oldest son of former Blues and MLB Cardinals exec MARK SAUER, died Sunday night while playing in a recreational outdoor basketball game (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 7/10).
GAME CHANGERS: SportsBusiness Journal again this fall will shine the light on women who are making key contributions in sports business. If you know someone who should be considered for the second annual Game Changers: Women in Sports Business section, please send her name, company/title and -- in 300 words or less -- reason for consideration to email@example.com.