Astros Owner Drayton McLane yesterday said that "no sale was imminent" for the team, but that he was "in talks with several parties, maintaining that the buyer would likely be a group rather than an individual." In Houston, Zachary Levine noted the Astros cut payroll by about $10M this season, but McLane "addressed the money the club did spend as business as usual." He cited the "long-term contract for Wandy Rodriguez and the improvements being made to Minute Maid Park including a video board and new Press Club luxury seating" (CHRON.com, 2/16).
STARS SALE REPORT REFUTED: In Dallas, Mike Heika cited sources as saying that a TSN report claiming a "specific buyer has an agreement in price" to buy the Stars is "inaccurate." However, the sources said that activity "around the sale of the team is high and that there is optimism about the progress of the sale." The sources added that "several groups are interested in buying the Stars and that the buyers are getting much more serious about the price that the lenders are seeking, but that a deal is not close at this time" (DALLASNEWS.com, 2/16).
HEALTHY INFUSION: In DC, Steven Goff notes DC United's acquisition of F Charlie Davies "promises to energize a melancholy fan base, boost merchandise and ticket sales and provide an inspiring narrative that transcends soccer." However, Davies "hasn't appeared in a first-division match" since a severe car accident in October '09. Sources said that Davies' contract "calls for about $225,000 in guaranteed compensation and includes several goal-scoring incentives" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/17).
TIME TO TALK: In Chicago, Lacy Banks wrote Michael Jordan "was media-friendly" during his days with the Bulls, but "since ending his playing career with the Wizards, he has been media-mean in terms of granting interviews." Jordan, now the Bobcats' owner, refused to be interviewed while attending Tuesday's Bobcats-Bulls game, which Banks wrote is "bad public relations." Banks: "Think of how much better promoted the league and the game would be if Jordan were more visible and vocal. It certainly could help the Bobcats, whose average home attendance of 15,963 ranks 20th in the 30-team league" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/16).