• TV Timeout: Bud Selig, Knockout Artist?

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    Former MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent appeared on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” this morning to discuss the upcoming vote to name the successor to Bud Selig, saying, "I think Bud is going to try to leave it with Rob Manfred. I think the odds are very high he'll pull that off. I say, he's the Rocky Marciano of baseball politics. He's undefeated. My bet would be that he'll continue to be undefeated.” Vincent added of the issues facing the next commissioner, "The general problem of performance-enhancing drugs is the most serious problem for all of sports. Secondly, baseball has a special problem: It’s got to deal with the enormous appeal of its programming. But with the Dodgers having trouble selling out, the enormous deal that was made in California, that's obviously a major concern for baseball. ... Thirdly, I think obviously the overall relationship with the union is critical. The union controls baseball, but Bud after ‘94 recognized the importance of peace" (“Mike & Mike,” ESPN Radio, 8/13).

    I WANT TO RIDE MY BICYCLE: Last night's edition of HBO's "Hard Knocks" featured a segment on Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff mountain biking, including video of him biking in Colorado with Lance Armstrong. Dimitroff said he spent three days riding with Armstrong "so it was really cool. It was just he and I riding." Dimitroff later told a staffer on the practice field, "One of my biggest challenges with this gig is the incessant tug on your time. Sometimes it gets out of hand and yet no one's looking for you to complain. They're like, 'Wait a minute, man, you signed up for it.' But this is where you find the most solace, out on the field or you're watching video" ("Hard Knocks," HBO, 8/12).

    MOTORSPORTS TRAGEDY: NBCSN's Kyle Petty said of possible rule changes in NASCAR after the death of sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. over the weekend, “I had hoped there wouldn't be a lot of kneejerk reactions because I think when you make a rule like this, or you throw something out there after a tragedy like this, that's not necessarily the best fix. You need to think it through. We need to think about what the ramifications of sitting in the car are, compared to getting out of the car. We see what tragedy can happen by walking across the racetrack, but we're just talking about getting in cars or sitting in cars, getting in and out. ... I think a lot of times as a driver in that car you get emotional. You just go crazy. I've been crazy in a race car. My brain has popped out of gear and just gone psychotic in a car. What I do have is a radio with a crew chief and a spotter talking to me, telling me what's going on the racetrack, telling me where cars are coming. That's a safety issue. That’s a safety thing that almost all racing has except for sprint cars and some of these other types of cars we've seen" (“NASCAR America,” NBCSN, 8/12).

    ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: FS1’s Ray Dunlap, on track safety improvements needed at Watkins Glen: "The $400 million that’s happening at Daytona is to improve for the fans. It’s going to be a real cool area with escalators. We’re racing at a track where the Armco barrier is less than ten feet from the racing surface. There is a reason why there is no Armco barrier on interstate highways anymore because when a car would hit it, it’d either flip over or it’d get shot right back into traffic" (“NASCAR Race Hub,” FS1, 8/12).

  • Podcast: What the SEC Net means to schools

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    College writer Michael Smith and Assistant Managing Editor Tom Stinson discuss what SEC schools needed to do in preparation for Thursday's launch of the SEC Network as well as what the network means to the conference's schools, which is the focus of a front-page story this week in SportsBusiness Journal.

    Tags: SEC, Colleges, Media
  • TV Timeout: Allow Me To Introduce Myself

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    ESPN’s Howard Bryant, on White Sox Chair Jerry Reinsdorf attempting to enter his name into the search for Bud Selig's replacement: “Let’s look at the scorecard. You’ve got 20 years where baseball hasn't had a labor stoppage. You’ve have this sport making money hand over fist with MLB Advanced Media. Finally, it looks likes like they know how to play the game without walking out every year. Jerry Reinsdorf has always felt he was the kingmaker behind the scenes anyway. I don’t like this. It would not surprise me at all to see Reinsdorf try to step in because he’s always felt like he was the commissioner anyway” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN2, 8/10).

    SNEAKER WARS: L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said of Thunder F Kevin Durant withdrawing from Team USA after witnessing the gruesome leg injury to Pacers G Paul George, "He had to think to himself, 'Listen, my championship window is closing in Oklahoma City, my sneaker window is opening and I've got a chance to make a lot of money because I'm a sneaker free agent'" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 8/8). Boston Globe's Bob Ryan said there is a "strong rumor or assertion that he will be switching sneaker companies from Nike to Under Armour for an unprecedented, mind-boggling" $30M a year and "this announcement might be coming up very soon. In fact, even while this World Cup is taking place he wants to be here" ("PTI," ESPN, 8/8).

  • Podcast: Addressing the 'summer of soccer'

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    Executive Editor Abraham Madkour and staff writer Tripp Mickle analyze the "summer of soccer," what it means for the sport in the U.S. and what it could mean for Major League Soccer, which is the focus of a front-page story in this week's SportsBusiness Journal.

    Tags: Soccer, SBJSBD Podcast
  • Podcast: Analyzing Little League, youth sports

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    Senior writer Bill King and Assistant Managing Editor Mark Mensheha, who both have backgrounds coaching youth baseball, discuss Little League Baseball, the pressures it's facing and how youth sports have changed and continue to change.

    Tags: Baseball, SBJSBD Podcast
  • TV Timeout: Raiders Of The Lost Park?

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    CBS Sports Network's Jim Rome said, "San Antonio is all about the Spurs and rings and doing things the right way. In Oakland, they’re about the Raiders and the Raiders getting punched in the face and usually doing things the wrong way. ... If I had to bet, I would say London will get two NFL teams before San Antonio gets one of the NFL’s worst teams." Yahoo Sports’ Rand Getlin added, “I cannot imagine the Raiders’ culture being imported to clean-cut San Antonio" (“Rome,” CBSSN, 7/30). S.F. Chronicle's Ann Killion: "In Texas they love two things: They love football and they love building stadiums with taxpayer dollars. So that works out pretty well for Mark Davis. I'm pretty sure that the Houston Texans and the Dallas Cowboys are not going to be opening their arms to have another team in Texas" ("Yahoo Sports Talk Live," CSN Bay Area, 7/30).

    NO BROTHERLY LOVE: ESPN's Jason Whitlock said the 76ers "are more than annoyed" with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's "interest in tweaking the draft lottery process." Whitlock: "The Philadelphia Tankers have gone all in on rebuilding the franchise through the draft and orchestrated effort to stink for a sustained period." Michael Wilbon added, "The NBA should not be in the business of guaranteeing the Philadelphia 76ers a top three pick because they choose a completely flawed and offensive approach" ("PTI," ESPN, 7/30). Denver Post columnist Woody Paige said, "They've got a plan in place to tank for three or four years? I don’t think you protect their rights. I think you move on and you make it fair for everybody, not a team that is tanking intentionally over a period of time" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 7/30).

    RUN FOR YOUR LIFE: Marathoner Meb Keflezighi and tennis player Caroline Wozniacki appeared together live in-studio on "CBS This Morning" today, announcing that they will both run in the N.Y. Marathon this year, as NYRR's Team for Kids Ambassadors. Wozniacki said the event has "always been in my bucket list" ("CBS This Morning," CBS, 7/31).

    GET WELL SOON: MLS President & Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott, on MLS Commissioner Don Garber’s health: “He is doing well. He unfortunately won’t be at the (MLS All-Star Game) next week, but he’s doing well” (“The Bald Faced Truth,” KXTG-FM, 7/29).

  • TV Timeout: Vampires In Hollywood?

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    ESPN’s Dan Le Batard, on Donald Sterling: “He is a little bit of a racist vampire. He keeps coming back from the dead. He does have fewer legal options right now than he has ever had, but we haven't heard the last of him. Because he’s angry, because he’s not all there, he’s going to keep trying to make messes. He just has less legal recourse today than he’s ever had” (“Highly Questionable,” ESPN2, 7/29).

    I'M NO BILLY HUNTER: Newly elected NBPA Exec Dir Michele Roberts: “I work for them. This is no longer an opportunity for someone to operate the union without regard for what is in the best interest of the union” (“NBA GameTime,” NBA TV, 7/29).

    THE PRICE IS WRONG? Boxer Chris Algieri, on his November HBO fight with Manny Pacquiao in Macau: "The market has changed a little bit and the pay-per-view buys recently haven't been as big as they were in the past, although I think this one is going to be a big pay-per-view buy. I think we're going to market this the right way" ("Varney & Company," Fox Business, 7/29).

    OPEN HAND OR CLINCHED FIST? Yahoo Sports’ Rand Getlin said of the NFL's looming discipline of Colts Owner Jim Irsay, “This is a guy dealing with severe addiction issues, I’d like to see them move towards rehabilitation, make it less punitive, but make sure the players and owners are held to the same standards across the board. They’re all adults” (“Rome,” CBSSN, 7/29).

    DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE: SI's Peter King said of recent comments by Eagles coach Chip Kelly about the NFL Draft and NFL Combine being over-hyped, "Behind the scenes there's a lot of cheering for Chip Kelly. ... His point is very simple: We're making these guys big stars and I don't even know if they're going to start." King: "He's got a lot of people around the NFL giving him a standing ovation for it" ("PTI," ESPN, 7/29).

    EXPANDING THE PARAMETERS: ESPN's Alexi Lalas, on the efforts to build an MLS stadium in downtown Miami: “If they don't go to Miami because that stadium isn't there, what happens to David Beckham and that group? Does he go to a different location? Or hey, Chivas USA, last time I checked, is still for sale" ("Sounders-Galaxy," ESPN2, 7/28).

  • John Skipper Details Stephen A. Smith Suspension In Internal Memo

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    An internal memo from ESPN President John Skipper on the Stephen A. Smith suspension was obtained by SportsBusiness Daily.

    "ESPN announced today that Stephen A. Smith will not appear on First Take or ESPN Radio for the next week. He will return to ESPN next Wednesday.

    As many of you know, there has been substantial news coverage in the past few days related to comments Stephen A. made last Friday in the wake of the NFL's decision to suspend Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for two games following charges of assaulting his then fiancée, now wife, a few months ago.

    We've said publicly and in this space that those remarks did not reflect our company's point of view, or our values. They certainly don't reflect my personal beliefs.

    We have been engaged in thoughtful discussion about appropriate next steps. Those conversations have involved a diverse group of women and men in our company. Our women's ERG has added to the conversation and going forward, I know they will help us continue constructive discussion on this and related issues.

    Stephen has called what took place 'the most egregious mistake' of his career. I believe his apology was sincere and that he and we have learned from what we've collectively experienced.

    I'm confident we will all move forward with a greater sense of enlightenment and perspective as the lasting impact of these last few days. I want to thank all those whose thoughts have contributed along the way."

  • TV Timeout: Calling It Like They See It

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    ESPN's Pablo Torre said of the NBA scheduling the Spurs at the Cavaliers for the '14-15 season-opener, "This is almost an example of the NBA getting real with itself in terms of realizing, 'Look, we're about stars and storylines. This is what our league is fueled by.' That's why we've been talking about LeBron one billion times more than the San Antonio Spurs" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 7/28).

    NO SIR, I'M NOT IMPRESSED: The opening monologue from Keith Olbermann last night: "We begin tonight with disturbing information about how the National Football League investigated the Ray Rice case. It is information that suggests Commissioner Roger Goodell is guilty of an ethical breach so profound that it brings into question whether or not he should have been entitled to rule on how Ray Rice should have been punished, let alone been permitted to handout a perfunctory two-game suspension. Goodell still has not commented on the nearly unanimous backlash against his decision last Thursday to impose the laugh and cry out loud two-game pat on the wrist. Today, however, he did send out his unfortunate senior vice president in charge of being a tackling dummy, Adolpho Birch, to make it all worse and worse and worse" ("Olbermann," ESPN2, 7/28). Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw said, "We haven't heard much before from Adolpho Birch on the national TV or national radio stage. I doubt we'll hear much from him in the future. He was just not up to answering these questions" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 7/28).

    SELLER'S MARKET: Fox News interviewed Donald Trump yesterday who said of his efforts to buy the Bills: "I like buying things so we'll see what happens. I’ll put a bid in and we'll see. ... But chances are very, very unlikely because I'm not going to do something totally stupid. Maybe just a little bit stupid, but not totally stupid" (Fox News, 7/28).

    ABOUT THE BENJAMINS: ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said of Colts Owner Jim Irsay handing out $100 bills to fans, "This is not only repulsive, it looks like a blatant attempt to curry favor with the Indianapolis public given what recently happened with him" ("PTI," ESPN, 7/28).

  • TV Timeout: Protecting The Shield

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    NFL VP/Labor Policy & Government Affairs Adolpho Birch defended the league's two-game suspension of Ravens RB Ray Rice on this morning's episode of "Mike and Mike." Birch said, "The reality is that we have to make decisions that are fair and consistent with both the prior case law and the prior precedent, but also the message we need to send to ensure that people understand the standards of conduct expected of them." He added, "If you're any player and you believe that based on this decision that it's okay to go out and commit that type of conduct, I think that's something that I would suggest to you that no player is going to go out and do that. So in terms of sending a message about what the league stands for, we've done that" (“Mike and Mike,” ESPN Radio, 7/28).

    BUT THE HOSTS AREN'T BUYING IT: ESPN’s Mike Greenberg said after the Birch interview, “I just found myself more and more confused as that conversation went on, to be completely honest. I do not feel that most people listening to that discussion feel they got an adequate explanation of how they arrived at two games. ... It was their chance to make a statement about domestic violence and they think they made a good statement, and they are certainly entitled to it and it's their decision. We disagree with it." Mike Golic: "I really, really don’t understand it. I really would love to hear more of an explanation and this point, we have not" (“Mike and Mike,” ESPN Radio, 7/28).

    ELSEWHERE IN BRISTOL: ESPN's Cari Champion said of her "First Take" colleague's controversial comments about Rice's suspension, "I know (Steven A. Smith's) humanity, I know where he was going and what he was trying to say. Obviously, he failed and he said he failed to so" ("First Take," ESPN2, 7/28).

    GETTING PERSONAL: USA Today columnist Christine Brennan said, “Roger Goodell is not only married, but he has two daughters. For the life of me, I'm trying to figure out how does he explain to his daughters what he just did?” (“ABC World News,” ABC, 7/26).

    WILL YOU MISS MY BACK FLIPS? NASCAR team owner Jack Roush said of Carl Edwards leaving Roush Fenway Racing at this year's end, “NASCAR Cup racing is big-time sports entertainment thing today. Like football, baseball and basketball, athletes move around. ... Just a reality of the business we’re in, I have no emotion either way” (NASCAR.com, 7/27).

    DEAR JON LETTER: CBSSN’s Jim Rome: “I want Bills fans to dust off their ‘Slippery When Wet’ cassettes because you might be burning them. Jon Bon Jovi's ownership group has investigated the potential for building a Bills stadium in Toronto. I would tell you to keep the faith, Buffalo, but this isn't just a bad sign. It's ‘Bad Medicine’” (“Rome,” CBSSN, 7/25).

    SHOW AND TELL: MLB Network's Joe Magrane said of the changes to the Baseball HOF voting procedures, “The other thing I like about it ... is the transparency that the voters have to declare who they did vote for. ... This becomes a very passionate thing about, ‘Is he a Hall of Famer or is he not?’ I think the transparency is good” (“MLB Tonight,” MLB Network, 7/26).

    WE'RE NOT GONNA PROTEST: ESPN's J.A. Adande: "The league will take care of its business, there's no need for you to try to effect change because of you sit out you're hurting so many other people besides Donald Sterling. You can't hurt Donald Sterling in this. He's either going to make money while you're playing or he's going to make money from the sale of the team" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 7/25).

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