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Morning Buzz

Padres Set To Close On Moorad's Purchase Of One-Third Share
Reps For '16 Games Bids To Give Presentations At Sportaccord
Oscars Moved Back To March To Accommodate '10 Olympics
Labor Talks Hover Over Construction Of Truman Sports Complex

PADRES CLOSE TO PARTIAL SALE OF TEAM TO GROUP LED BY JEFF MOORAD

 
Padres Owner John Moores' deal to sell a one-third interest in the team to former D'Backs General Partner & CEO Jeff Moorad's group is "on the verge" of closing. An announcement could come as early as today, "nearly three months after Moorad began" the process. Moores said that the sale value of the team will be about $530M, including debt (MLB.com, 3/26). The club also is expected to announce that Moorad is replacing Sandy Alderson as CEO (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 3/25).


DELEGATIONS FOR '16 GAMES BIDS TO MAKE PRESENTATIONS AT SPORTACCORD 

Representatives from Chicago, Madrid, Rio De Janeiro and Tokyo will be in Denver today, where they will "make their cases for hosting" the '16 Games before the IOC Exec Board and other int'l sports officials as part of the Sportaccord conference. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Chicago 2016 Chair Pat Ryan will be on site as part of the city's bid delegation and will take part in a 20-minute presentation before a gathering of officials (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/26).


OSCARS MOVED BACK TO MARCH TO ACCOMMODATE '10 WINTER GAMES

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has set Sunday, March 7, as the date for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards, moving the event to March to "avoid colliding with the Closing Ceremony" of the '10 Vancouver Games. Since '04, the Oscars "have generally been held on the last Sunday in February." This year's event was held on February 22 (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 3/26).


LABOR ISSUES EMERGE IN CONSTRUCTION OF TRUMAN SPORTS COMPLEX

The Jackson County (MO) Sports Complex Authority today will hold an emergency meeting to "discuss the labor issues" surrounding the Truman Sports Complex. Contracts with local carpenters and ironworkers unions expire Tuesday, and the groups are "locked in contract talks with the Builders Association." County officials said that they did not think the negotiations "would delay opening the baseball and football stadiums" at the complex (K.C. STAR, 3/26).


IRVING CITY COUNCIL VOTING ON DEMOLITION CONTRACT FOR TEXAS STADIUM

The Irving City Council today will vote on whether to pay Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. more than $710,000 to plan the demolition of Texas Stadium. The Cowboys are "slated to be moved out" by Monday as they "set up home" in their new stadium in Arlington. City officials "want the stadium gone and the site cleared" by August 2010 "to make way for redevelopment centered on a planned Dallas Area Rapid Transit light rail station" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/26). 


MLB.COM SET TO CONDUCT FREE PUBLIC BETA PREVIEW OF NEW MLB.TV PLAYER

By Eric Fisher, Staff Writer, SportsBusiness Journal

MLB.com today will conduct a free public beta preview of its new MLB.tv player for the Yankees-Phillies Spring Training game at 1:05pm ET. The video player, built in conjunction through MLBAM’s new partnership with Adobe, features higher resolution and DVR-type functionality.


VETERAN N.Y. BASEBALL WRITER/EXEC ARTHUR RICHMAN DIES AT AGE 83

Longtime N.Y. baseball writer and exec Arthur Richman died yesterday in his sleep at age 83. Richman was a basbeball writer for the New York Daily Mirror until the paper folded in '63. He joined the Mets as a publicist and worked for the club for 25 years until moving to the Yankees in '89, where he held positions of Senior VP and Senior Advisor in the media relations department (Yankees). 


SPEED READS….

A source indicated that former Knicks coach Isiah Thomas had "recent talks" with Clippers Owner Donald Sterling and GM and coach Mike Dunleavy about a "potential personnel job" with the team (N.Y. POST, 3/26).

Sports columnist Greg Couch is leaving the Chicago Sun-Times "after a dozen years" at the paper to write for AOL's FanHouse.com site. Sun-Times Sports Editor Stu Courtney said that he "did not know when Couch's last day at the paper would be" (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 3/25).

Kim Clijsters Today Expected To 
Announce Return To Competitive Tennis
Astros SS Miguel Tejada today will be sentenced in U.S. District Court in DC after pleading guilty last month to lying to congressional investigators. The federal prosecutor in the case "recommended probation" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/26).

Tickets for the NCAA men's basketball South Regional at FedExForum go on sale at 10:00am CT. The event "had been labeled as 'sold out,' but one or more of the participating schools" returned some of its ticket allotment (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 3/26).

Kim Clijsters today is expected to announce her return to competitive tennis. Sony Ericsson Open Chair Butch Buchholz said, "The WTA could use her. She's just a great ambassador for the sport" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 3/25).


QUICK HITS….

“I would hope that someone would provide me with an armed escort out of the building on the way to the airport after making those remarks” – NBC Sports & Olympics Chair Dick Ebersol, after saying the USOC should make some form of accommodation in its ongoing revenue-sharing dispute with the IOC (THE DAILY).

“This type of event is important to our advertisers and to our premium clients. The economic benefit is not really within our four walls but all around the city” – TD Banknorth Garden President John Wentzell, on the venue hosting NCAA Tournament games this weekend (BOSTON HERALD, 3/25).

“Xanadu is the epic discretionary story. It’s the epicenter of ‘not needed’” – Consulting firm Davidowitz & Associates President Howard Davidowitz, on the complex having plans for a skydiving simulator, an indoor wave pool and a 286-foot Ferris wheel (TIME, 3/30 issue).

“Everyone makes mistakes, but he has to show that genuine remorse in his ability to be a positive influence to correct things that he did wrong publicly” – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, on what Michael Vick must do before he is reinstated into the league (USA TODAY, 3/26).

“We’re not going to do a seven- or eight-year contract with one of Scott Boras’ pitchers or anybody like that because we don’t believe in that” – Rangers Owner Tom Hicks, on plans to look for a marquee pitcher next season (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/26).

“The economic climate has got to be taken into consideration; you just aren’t going to have the huge spectacle that Beijing was” – U.K Trade & Investment’s Andrew Bacchus, on why future Olympics are unlikely to rival the ’08 Beijing Games (DENVER POST, 3/26).


A LIGHTER BUZZ….

Kornheiser Appears On NBC's "Today"
To Discuss Lauer's Bike Accident
After NBC’s Matt Lauer hit a deer while riding his bike and injured himself, the co-hosts on ESPN’s “PTI” made light of the situation and said the story was made up. In response, NBC’s “Today” had ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser on the show this morning via satellite to discuss his comments. Kornheiser: “Let me say this: He looks great. For a guy that got into this terrible accident with a deer, Matt, you look great and it is a good story and you should stick to it. Do I understand it correctly? You were riding a bicycle in the Hamptons and this happened?”

Lauer: “I’m sorry, it wasn’t Rock Creek Park where you live, and I didn’t say it attacked. I didn’t say a knife-wielding deer jumped me out of the bushes.” Kornheiser said “our favorite theory” as to how Lauer was injured was “Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Spring Break and something goes terribly wrong.” Lauer: “I’m just happy I did something to be worthy of ‘PTI’” (“Today,” NBC, 3/26).


TODAY’S EVENTS….

The Phillies, Aramark and Global Spectrum will host a media event at Citizens Bank Park to showcase new concessions, retail and “Red Goes Green” initiatives being introduced at the ballpark this season.

The American Advertising Federation will host the 60th annual Advertising HOF luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria in N.Y. Late Coca-Cola CMO Chuck Fruit is part of the induction class.

Ducks D Bret Hedican and his wife, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, will appear at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, California. The pair will be part of an exhibit that compares figure skates and ice skates. Look for Yamaguchi today in THE DAILY's "What I Like" feature.

76ers F Elton Brand will read to a group of about 50 children at the Philadelphia Public Library at 4:00pm ET, while G Kareem Rush will be at the Wilmington Free Library and G Royal Ivey will be at the Camden Free Library.


IN OTHER NEWS….

The CBC has told employees that “it will cut about 800 jobs in an effort to save [C$171M] amid a flagging economy that has seen advertising revenues plummet.” The network also hopes to sell C$125M in assets “in order to raise crucial short-term cash” (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/26).

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution plans to lay off “nearly 30% of its news staff and scale back its delivery distribution area” as part of expected cost-cutting moves (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/26).

A European Union court has rejected A-B InBev’s claim to register “Budweiser” as “an exclusive Europe-wide trademark.” Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar registered the “Budweiser” name with the EU trademark agency in ‘91 (AP, 3/25). The two brewers have been haggling over the “Budweiser” name since 1911.


THE BACK PAGES….

The Morning Buzz offers today’s back page sports covers from some of the nation’s major metropolitan tabloids:

N.Y. Post
N.Y. Daily News
Newsday
Philadelphia Daily News
Boston Herald

FINAL JEOPARDY!

Last night’s “Final Jeopardy!” category was “Authors.”

“In 1865 he wrote the line ‘You're nothing but a pack of cards!’”


LAUGH TRACK….

THE MONOLOGUES:

CBS’ David Letterman: “It's Spring here in New York City. … I saw today on my lunch hour, I took my little sandwich up to Central Park and I saw … a guy asleep on a bench. A couple of the squirrels had hopped up on the guy, and they were going through his pockets looking for loose change. God, it was cute. … Anybody here on spring break? What? Did they close the Bahamas? I mean, is this really where you want to be on Spring Break? I have to tell you now, as a parent, I worry about this. Think about this: You send your teenaged daughter down to Spring Break some place. Nine months later she comes back with octuplets. I mean, honestly, is that what you want? … George W. Bush was our President before Barack Obama. He signed, over the weekend, a deal to write a book for $7(M). $7(M) to write a book. It makes sense because when you think George W. Bush, you think book. Don't you, really? I do. In the book, Bush will discuss his twelve toughest decisions. Like, should I heed Al Roker's warning about Katrina? That would be one tough decision. Should I let Cheney carry a loaded shotgun? … Once again it's circus time. Ringling Brothers Circus in town here in New York City. … What's more American than eating cotton candy and watching animal abuse? You can't beat it” (“Late Show,” CBS, 3/25).

NBC’s Jay Leno: “Last night President Obama went on primetime TV and urged the nation to be patient. He said, ‘American Idol’ will be back tomorrow. Don't worry about it.’ People were mad that the President preempted ‘American Idol.’ They were mad. I mean, halfway into the news conference, fans called in and tried to vote him off. … How many watched the President's news conference last night? He got a little testy there, you know. When he was asked why he waited three days to speak out against the AIG bonuses, President Obama said he likes to know what he's talking about before he speaks, so yet another reversal of the Bush policies. … Police in Huntington Beach, California, have released a photo of a 30-year-old bleach blonde woman who used a stolen ID to obtain breast implants from a plastic surgeon before going on the lam. Police say they are looking for a blonde woman in Southern California with fake breasts. Well, good luck with that! That narrows it down! Police are warning people the woman is armed and perky. ... Actually, today the woman turned herself in. She’s not the brightest girl. At first she tried to seek political asylum at Hooters. … Saudi Arabia is becoming even more fundamentalist. Clerics now in Saudi Arabia said they want women banned from appearing on television. They don't want women appearing on television. So apparently they get ‘The View’ over there, too.” Leno, on the cost of seats at the new Yankee Stadium: “The only ones that can afford to sit and watch a Yankee game now are the New York Yankees. But then again, it's nice to know that a family of four can still attend a ball game for less than $15,000. Of course, once you throw in a hot dog and a couple soft drinks, you're looking at what, 20 or 30 grand? Unbelievable” (“The Tonight Show,” NBC, 3/25).

LATE NIGHT LAUGHS:

Last night’s Top Ten list was “Top Ten Signs You Work For A Bad Company” (“Late Show,” CBS, 3/25).

10) “Workday begins with a pledge of loyalty to Kim Jong Il.”
9) “If you haven’t used your sick days, they infect you with tuberculosis.”
8) “They claim an excellent rating from the ‘Better Bidness Bureau.’”
7) “Only office perk is free oxygen.”
6) “Instead of raises, everyone is given raisins.”
5) “CEO recently advised employees to fake their deaths and move to Costa Rica.”
4) “Blew $40(B) in government bailout funds on a state-of-the-art taco bar.”
3) “You spend a lot of time opening for Deep Purple (sorry, that’s a sign you work for the band Bad Company).”
2) “Corporate logo is a handcuffed executive being put in a police cruiser.”
1) “Company gave George W. Bush $7(M) for his memoirs.”

Kournikova Plays Fallon In Beer Pong
During "Late Night" Appearance
Former WTAer Anna Kournikova appeared on NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” last night where the line of questioning focused on her boyfriend, Enrique Iglesias. Fallon: “He’s a sexy man.” Kournikova: “Just like you.” Fallon: “Oh please. He can make making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich … sexy.” Kournikova noted that all the years they’ve been together, she has only played Iglesias in tennis once. Kournikova: “He doesn’t have the patience. He likes something really fast.” Fallon responded with, “He does it really quick,” which elicited a laugh from the audience. Fallon: “I’m talking about sports.” Kournikova promoted her relationship with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and their efforts to get children to become more active. Kournikova: “It’s something that gives me huge satisfaction and in a way it’s like myself going back to childhood.” After getting “crushed” by WTAer Serena Williams in a game of beer pong during an earlier appearance on the show, Fallon challenged Kournikova to a game. After they each made a shot, Fallon said, “You have to drink your root beer and I have to drink my Bud Light Lime” (“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” NBC, 3/25).

Last night’s edition of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” featured a “game show” where contestants must identify a sound. After hearing glass break, a President Bush impersonator correctly answered, “That’s the sound of A-Rod getting to second base with himself in the mirror.” The photo of Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez staring at himself in a mirror that appeared in Details magazine was then shown (“The Tonight Show,” NBC, 3/25).

 
Last night’s edition of CBS’ “Late Show” featured a segment called “Cool/Not Cool.”  Letterman: “It’s a comparison. We'll show you something that's cool and then something that's not cool. I hope you enjoy this.” A clip was then shown of President Obama from his appearance on ESPN where he picked Louisville in his NCAA Tournament bracket. President Obama: “I think Louisville is an outstanding team. They play great defense.” The word “Cool” then appeared on-screen. Then a clip of former President Bush posing for a photo with various NBA players was shown where he attempts to bounce a basketball, but the ball doesn’t bounce. The words “Not Cool” then appear on-screen (“Late Show,” CBS, 3/25).


FINAL JEOPARDY….

“Who was Lewis Carroll?”


If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know at:
pbounds@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

The Morning Buzz provides an early update of the news and headlines each Monday through Friday at approximately 9:00am ET. If you would like to sign up for an e-mail alert to the Morning Buzz, go to My Account and personalize your e-mail alert options.

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