SBD/March 14, 2014/Franchises

Franchise Notes

In Detroit, Lynn Henning writes MLB teams that hold Spring Training in Central Florida are "left to roll their odometers and do the best with an increasingly limited number of Florida-based teams." Braves GM Frank Wren said, "The exodus from central Florida over the last 10 years is worrisome, to say the least. There’s less competition close by for both our (big-league) and our minor-league teams in the spring. We have lost Cleveland, Kansas City, and the Dodgers from the coast, and if Houston leaves (Kissimmee) -- with the potential for Washington to leave, as well -- it will be more difficult for us all.” Henning notes the Tigers for now are "content and committed to Lakeland," where they began training in '34. Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski: "Although spring training travel of more than an hour or so is not ideal, it is manageable." However, he added, "You do not want too many long travel days of two hours or more" (DETROIT NEWS, 3/14).

TIME FOR A CHANGE: The HUFFINGTON POST's Jennifer Bendery reported U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday said that it is time for the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to step in and tell the NFL it "can't keep its registered trademark" for the Redskins. Pelosi, speaking at an event hosted by the National Congress of American Indians, said, "The trademark office has rejected names which are considered offensive and they should do it now. They can keep their name on the team, but when it comes to all the stuff -- that's serious money. So I think that is one path that we can go. It’s time to choose another name. In fact, it’s long overdue" (HUFFINGTONPOST.com, 3/13).

SABRE RATTLING: In Buffalo, John Vogl reports the Sabres "are still in discussions to host the NHL Scouting Combine." The Sabres during the past three springs "supplemented the league’s combine in Toronto with one of their own." However, opposing teams, "especially those in the Western Conference or without the Sabres’ funds, felt this gave Buffalo an unfair advantage." The practice was discussed at the GMs' meetings this week, and the NHL "plans to strengthen the penalties against teams that conduct their own workouts" (BUFFALO NEWS, 3/14).

KING FOR A NIGHT: In L.A., Helene Elliott notes NHL Kings broadcaster Jim Fox, who "retired as a player" in '90, was honored Thursday by the team as part of its Legends Nights series. Fox credited Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille "for creating an event that provides links between past and present" (L.A. TIMES, 3/14). The Fox ceremony was "the third and final such occasion this season." Jay Wells was "recognized in October and Larry Murphy was honored in December." Fox also had a bobblehead in his likeness "given to fans attending to the game" (L.A. TIMES, 3/14).
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