Names In The News
MLB and the MLBPA announced that they are joining together to contribute $500,000 to UNICEF toward earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Japan. The league and union also will organize in-ballpark fundraising drives, allowing fans to support the effort during Opening Week. The donations by MLB and the MLBPA are being made in a collaborative effort on behalf of the league, its 30 teams, players, MLB Network and MLB.com. Teams also will observe a moment of silence on Opening Day (MLB). Meanwhile, SI.com's Jon Wertheim noted tennis players at the Sony Ericsson Open last week "joined forces" to benefit Japan's disaster relief. They held a charity soccer game and a dinner, and players "went into the stands to solicit funds from fans." Wertheim: "For all the congenital screwiness of tennis, for all the marketing challenges, you see an exhibit like this and it's hard not to feel good about the sport" (SI.com, 3/28).
COURT REPORT: In L.A., Lance Pugmire reports former Clippers VP/Basketball Operations ELGIN BAYLOR's "wrongful termination and age-discrimination civil lawsuit against the Clippers is expected to arrive in the hands of jurors" today in L.A. Superior Court. In closing statements yesterday, the team's attorney "blasted Baylor's claim and urged the panel to deprive him of any financial payoff." Baylor's attorneys stated that the "job loss thrust Baylor into a depression, including crying spells, and he required medication." Baylor's attorney, ALVIN PITTMAN, told the jurors that they "had the ability to award Baylor nearly" $2M (L.A. TIMES, 3/29)....In Dallas, Richard Abshire reports Cowboys WR DEZ BRYANT "has been named in two lawsuits claiming he owes more than a half-million dollars for custom jewelry and pro football and basketball tickets." N.Y.-based Rafaello & Co. Friday filed a suit claiming that Bryant "has not paid $240,000 for several pieces of jewelry he ordered on four invoices from January to May 2010." Also, new motions "were filed last week in a 2010 Tarrant County lawsuit that claims Bryant has not paid for $293,000 worth of jewelry and $12,350 worth of sporting event tickets he charged before the Cowboys drafted him" in April '10 (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/29).
SETTLE DOWN: Red Sox DH DAVID ORTIZ "has buried the hatchet with rapper JAY-Z in a dispute over the name of their dueling nightclubs." Jay-Z's attorney, PETER RAYMOND, said that the two "were set to square off" today in Manhattan Federal Court "over use of the name 40/40, but the conference was cancelled at the last minute." Raymond said the case "has been settled in principle." Jay-Z last April "sued the Red Sox star for $5 million, claiming he stole the name of his 40/40 Club sport bar." Ortiz "allegedly started his own 'Forty-Forty' club in his native Dominican Republic" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/29).
NAMES: Golfer BEN CRANE "has joined forces with Zurich Financial Services Group," title sponsor of the PGA Tour Zurich Classic, "to raise funds for the St. Bernard Project, a non-profit organization that rebuilds homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2006 and provides mental health and wellness care for residents impacted by the natural disaster as well as last summer's BP oil spill." Between now and the April 28-May 1 Zurich Classic, Crane "will raise $100 for the charity with every fairway he hits in a PGA Tour event" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/29)....TIME recently selected 140 Twitter feeds that are "shaping the conversation." Sports personalities on the list include ESPN's BILL SIMMONS, swimmer DARA TORRES, Giants P BRIAN WILSON, golfer RORY MCILROY, speedskater APOLO ANTON OHNO, Suns G STEVE NASH, Bengals WR CHAD OCHOCINCO, Celtics C SHAQUILLE O'NEAL and Manchester United D RIO FERDINAND (TIME.com, 3/28)....Titans Owner BUD ADAMS yesterday was awarded the T.J. Martell Foundation's Lifetime Humanitarian Award at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville. NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL presented the award (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 3/29)....New York Univ.'s Sports Business Society selected Goldklang Group VP/Marketing & Operations TYLER TUMMINIA as its Exec of the Year (Goldklang)....MSG Network's TINA CERVASIO, espnW’s AMANDA RYKOFF, former SportsNet N.Y. “Mets Weekly” host JULIE ALEXANDRIA, WFAN’s ANITA MARKS, Bloomberg’s MICHELLE STEELE and Yahoo’s SUMMER SANDERS will play in “The Fantasy Girls Baseball League” using Bloomberg Sports “Front Office.” The league “started with football and hoops last year and now will expand into baseball using the Bloomberg sports tools” (N.Y. POST, 3/27)....Patriots QB TOM BRADY recently sold his 3,000-square-foot Manhattan apartment “with views overlooking Central Park” for $17.5M to Vermont billionaire ROBERT STILLER. Brady paid $14M for the apartment in ’06 but “reportedly never lived in it” (“Power Lunch,” CNBC, 3/25).