On Long Island, Ken Davidoff reports Yankees co-Chair and Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner Thursday "expressed his confidence" in GM Brian Cashman. Steinbrenner said that the future of Cashman -- whose contract "expires after this season -- wouldn't be resolved until the conclusion of the Yankees' likely postseason run." Steinbrenner added that "nothing had changed from earlier this year, when he professed a desire to keep Cashman in his current role." Meanwhile, Steinbrenner said that he "intended to be a baseball owner for a very long time." Davidoff notes officials around MLB "have privately wondered whether the Steinbrenner family would sell the franchise." But Steinbrenner "reiterated that his family has no such plans" (NEWSDAY, 8/19).
SABRE RATTLING: In Buffalo, Mike Harrington reports the Sabres are "living in a world far different than at just about any time in their history, a stunning turnaround in the first six months of Terry Pegula's reign as owner." The team is "suddenly a big-money team with a bloated payroll" due to "new contracts for some returnees and some previously unheard of strikes in free agency." The Sabres currently have a payroll of $68.4M for the '11-12 season, "more than $3.6 million over the NHL's cap of $64.8 million." The Sabres' salary cap figure is "more than $3 million higher than the next biggest spender's" (BUFFALO NEWS, 8/19).
JUST ATTEND, BABY: In San Jose, Tim Kawakami reports Raiders Owner Al Davis "hasn't made a single appearance during more than three weeks of practice." There is "simply no record of Davis ever missing this much field time during his almost 50 years in control of the Raiders." Davis is "behind closed doors," but it is "clear that the Raiders function differently on the practice field -- and maybe in general -- when Davis is not present" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 8/19).
RARE WIN FOR MCCOURT: In L.A., Bill Shaikin reported Suffolk County (Mass.) Superior Judge Janet Sanders ruled Thursday that Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt does not need to "defend himself against a preemptive lawsuit from the law firm that drew up his faulty marital property agreement." Bingham McCutchen sued McCourt in April claiming he "had refused to pay legal bills because of alleged malpractice and [asked] for a ruling that the firm had done nothing to warrant a malpractice lawsuit." However, Sanders threw out the suit. McCourt expects to "sue Bingham for malpractice, in a claim that his attorneys could be worth 'hundreds of millions of dollars' if McCourt loses control of the Dodgers" (LATIMES.com, 8/18).
THE PRICE IS RIGHT: The Twins announced that season-ticket prices for the '12 season at Target Field will remain unchanged from those of the '11 season. The team plans to add to season-ticket holders' value with the addition of benefits for the Sweet Spot rewards program (Twins).