Time Warner Cable “does not really want to own the Dodgers” despite earlier this week formally expressing an interest to bid for the team, as it is more interested in broadcasting Dodgers games "on its two new sports channels, set to launch later this year," according to Shaikin & Flint of the L.A. TIMES. Sources said that the company “has signaled to at least some prospective owners its interest in securing those television rights, in whatever way might make the most financial sense to the owner.” The company in essence is “exploring whether it would be more prudent to wait for the TV rights to come on the market -- with potential owners well aware of what would be a bidding war between Fox and TWC -- or pursue ownership of some or all of the team” (LATIMES.com, 1/5).
TORRE A GOOD PICK: Joe Torre this week resigned from his post as MLB Exec VP/Baseball Operations to pursue an ownership opportunity with the Dodgers, and in DC, Dick Heller wrote if Torre and “his pals succeed, with Joe becoming chief of baseball operations, it could be the best news for Dodgers fans since Sandy Koufax learned how to throw strikes.” It is “hard to root against Torre,” as he would be “the best possible choice to oversee baseball operations for the Bums and possibly the best choice to restore a club that has fallen on hard times" since the McCourts bought the club in '04 (WASHINGTON TIMES, 1/5).
The Bobcats will celebrate the region's ABA history by wearing retro Carolina Cougars jerseys for five games this season, according to industry sources. The promo is tied to a league-wide campaign in which NBA teams such as the Bobcats and Clippers will honor the local ABA heritage over the course of the regular season. The Bobcats will wear Cougars jerseys for the first time Feb. 11 against the Clippers at Time Warner Cable Arena. adidas, the NBA's official apparel supplier, will produce the retro jerseys. The club will theme five games as Hardwood Classic Nights with special ticket packages including a Carolina Cougars T-shirt. Those ticket prices have not been set, team officials said. A limited line of Carolina Cougars-branded jerseys, T-shirts and hats will be made available at the Bobcats' team store. The retro theme for those five games will extend to game-day entertainment, arena graphics and concessions pricing. The Bobcats' four other Hardwood Classic games are against the Pacers (Feb. 22), Nets (March 9), Bucks (March 23) and Nuggets (March 30). The Pacers and Nets were original members of the ABA. The Bobcats have two connections to the Cougars -- President & COO Fred Whitfield, a Greensboro native, was a ball boy for the Cougars and Senior Community Affairs Advisor Carl Scheer served as Cougars President & GM. The Cougars were in existence from '69-74 and played their home games in Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh. The team moved to St. Louis before the ABA dissolved two years later.
ESPN.com's Adam Schefter cited a source as saying that the Raiders will hire Packers Dir of Football Operations Reggie McKenzie “as their next general manager.” The two sides are “still ironing the details of McKenzie's role and his powers within the organization.” McKenzie was a Raiders LB from ‘85-88 (ESPN.com, 1/5). He cannot formally accept any job until the Packers have been eliminated from the postseason (THE DAILY).
MEETING OF THE MINDS: In Tampa Bay, Michael Van Sickler reports St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster and Rays Owner Stuart Sternberg “will meet Jan. 17, breaking several months of silence between the two people with the most control over the club's future at Tropicana Field.” The pair will meet in St. Petersburg. The last time Sternberg and Foster met “was May, when the two spoke for about an hour after a baseball game.” Their last “formal meeting was in the summer of 2010.” Foster contends that the “current location is viable and that if the Rays try to negotiate for a new home outside Pinellas County it would violate the team's contract with the city” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 1/6).
COMING UP TO BAT: The Mets in a statement Thursday said that they “had hired CRG Partners, a firm known as a turnaround specialist and bankruptcy consultant, to provide ‘services in connection with financial reporting and budgeting processes.’” In N.Y., Richard Sandomir notes during the ‘10 bankruptcy of the Rangers, William Snyder, a “managing partner of CRG, was the team’s court-appointed chief restructuring officer.” The Mets’ statement “offered no details about their need for CRG’s expertise” (N.Y. TIMES, 1/6).
WHAT'S IN A NAME? In DC, Nathan Fenno noted a “years-long effort to cancel six Washington Redskins‘ federal trademarks is scheduled for trial next month before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.” The petition by “five Native Americans, Blackhorse vs. Pro-Football, Inc., asserts the team’s name and logo are offensive.” Filed in ‘06, it is “identical to an earlier case, Harjo vs. Pro-Football, Inc.” The trial is “scheduled to start in late February, ruled on by a panel of three administrative trademark judges.” Each side has “30 days to present testimony, followed by a 15-day rebuttal period for the petitioners” (WASHINGTON TIMES, 1/5).