The AP's Ronald Blum reported MLS' average player salary rose 12% this season, from $138,169 to $154,852. The average player salary in '09 was $147,345. Galaxy MF David Beckham "remains the league's highest-paid player" at $6.5M, followed by Red Bulls F Thierry Henry ($5.6M) and MF Rafael Marquez ($4.6M), both new to MLS last season. Galaxy F Landon Donovan is the highest-paid U.S. player at $2.3M (AP, 5/9).
WE'VE GOT YOU COVERED: UFC co-Chair & CEO Lorenzo Fertitta yesterday announced a "new insurance plan for the organization that will cover its roster of nearly 350 fighters." For the first time ever, UFC fighters now will "possess customized accident insurance coverage," meaning UFC "will cover any injuries fighters sustain in training leading up to a bout." In the past, insurance "only provided fighters with care for injuries that occurred on fight night." UFC will pay all the premiums as part of the plan, which is through Houston Casualty and "provides medical, life and dental coverage" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 5/10).
LESS TALKING, MORE PLAYING: ESPN.com's Buster Olney reported MLB Exec VP/Baseball Operations Joe Torre "has asked club staff members to nudge their players toward curtailing" fraternization with players on opposing teams "after the gates have been opened to fans." What has "rankled some folks in the game has been the gradual increase in on-field conversations when fans are in the park, because they would prefer that the players reinforce the lines of competition." Olney wrote, "Torre's preference might be to curtail the fraternization, but the reality is that MLB can't really make this happen without the cooperation of the players" (ESPN.com, 5/8).