Astros President of Business Operations PAM GARDNER resigned from her role and will become a special adviser to Owner JIM CRANE. Gardner was the longest tenured female exec in MLB, serving 23 years with the club, including 11 in the role of president (Astros). In Houston, David Barron noted Gardner's resignation, along with the dismissal of President of Baseball Operations TAL SMITH in November, consolidates the organizational chart with GEORGE POSTOLOS as the "sole president in charge of day-to-day operations as the Crane era begins." Postolos said that Gardner is “not being replaced as president of business operations and that her duties will be distributed among other executives.” In addition to her role as an adviser to Crane, she “will remain on the board of directors for the Astros in Action Foundation and will represent the team on the Greater Houston Partnership board.” Gardner said that she also “plans to write and speak on leadership and mentoring issues” (CHRON.com, 1/19). MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart noted under Gardner's leadership, Comcast SportsNet Houston was formed in the fall of '10 and “will televise Astros and Rockets games beginning in 2012-13, as well as other team programming.” She also “played a major role in the building of Minute Maid Park, and oversaw the completion of the Urban Youth Academy in northwest Houston” (MLB.com, 1/19). Gardner was part of SportsBusiness Journal's "Game Changers: Women in Sports" feature in October.
People and Pop Culture
The Orioles named BRADY ANDERSON Special Assistant to Exec VP/Baseball Operations DAN DUQUETTE. The team also promoted JOHN STOCKSTILL to Dir of Player Personnel, TRIPP NORTON to Dir of Baseball Administration, NED RICE to Assistant Dir of Major League Operations, MIKE SNYDER to Assistant Dir of Scouting & Player Development and RICK PETERSON to Dir of Pitching Development (Orioles)....The Red Sox made changes to their medical staff, adding MIKE BOYLE as a strength and conditioning consultant and DAN DYREK as a clinical consultant. Boyle will provide "mentorship" to new strength coach PAT SANDORA. The team also named RICK JAMEYSON head Athletic Trainer and promoted BRAD PEARSON to be his assistant. The Red Sox "parted ways" with Medical Dir THOMAS GILL, Assistant Trainer GREG BARAJAS, Strength and Conditioning coach DAVE PAGE and Physical Therapist SCOTT WAUGH (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/20).
NGB MOVES: USA Swimming promoted JIM FOX to Marketing Dir, KAREN LINHART to PR & Social Media Dir, SANDRA LOPEZ to Events Manager, JIM RUSNAK to Senior Manager of Editorial Properties and JAMIE FABOS OLSEN to Marketing & Brand Development Dir (USA Swimming)....USA Triathlon re-elected President BOB WENDLING to a second term (USA Triathlon).
EXECS: The Bills promoted DAN EVANS to VP/IT, ANDY MAJOR to VP/Event Operations & Guest Experience and GREGG PASTORE to Senior Dir of Digital Media (Bills)....The CFL Winnipeg Blue Bombers named JIM BELL VP & COO. Bell, who spent the last two years as the team's President, will continue to manage the club's day-to-day operations. He also will continue his involvement in the transition to Investors Group Field this year (Blue Bombers)....EPL club Tottenham Hotspur Exec Dir CHARLIE WIJERATNA has left his position after a little more than a year with the team (Haringey INDEPENDENT, 1/19).....Law firm Duane Morris named Univ. of Pennsylvania Wharton School Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics KENNETH SHROPSHIRE Corporate Practice Group Special Counsel in the firm's Philadelphia office. He will continue to lead the Wharton Sports Business Initiative and teach and conduct research at the school (THE DAILY).
In N.Y., David Waldstein notes Mets P R.A. DICKEY, bullpen catcher DAVE RACANIELLO and Rockies P KEVIN SLOWEY returned to the U.S. Tuesday after "successfully completing" their climb to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro to benefit the Bombay Teen Challenge, an organization dedicated to rescuing young women from forced prostitution. Dickey said that the group "surpassed their goal of $100,000 with the help of a gift" from Mets COO JEFF WILPON. Before the climb, Wilpon and the Mets "had publicly objected to the endeavor out of fear that Dickey might be injured." However, after he "made it down safely, Dickey said one of the first texts he received was from Wilpon." Waldstein notes there may have been "good reason for the Mets' concern." The cold "was so biting that several times Dickey lost feeling in his fingers." He said, "I was never concerned that I would get frostbite, but it was so cold I wanted to make sure to protect my right hand" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/20).
IN THEATERS: SI.com's Loretta Hunt wrote MMA fighter GINA CARANO this weekend "takes on Hollywood, her most formidable opponent yet, starring in" director STEVEN SODERBERGH's "HAYWIRE." As Carano's MMA "star swiftly shot into the stratosphere, Soderbergh tracked her from afar," and contacted her agent 15 months after meeting her at the CBS telecast of her '08 fight against KAITLIN YOUNG. Carano "relented to meet Soderbergh only after her agent mentioned his Academy Award-winning turn with 'TRAFFIC,' one of her favorite films." Soderbergh said that his "mega-watt supporting male cast -- which included MICHAEL DOUGLAS, ANTONIO BANDERAS, EWAN MCGREGOR, MICHAEL FASSBENDER and CHANNING TATUM -- was immediately taken with Carano's dual toughness and vulnerability, as well as her openness and trust in taking direction" (SI.com, 1/18).
TECH WARRIOR: ESQUIRE's Ryan D'Agostino profiles Warriors co-Owner and Tibco Software CEO VIVEK RANADIVÉ, writing he has "built his company and become wealthy on the idea that we can master that deluge of data and use it to make the world a better place." That is why he "keeps talking about this new thing he developed called TopCom." It is a "private communications platform for the two hundred most powerful people in the world." TopCom is being "officially launched in late January" at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It is basically a "customized, ridiculously secure version of tibbr, a platform developed by Tibco as a kind of combination Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, texting, and Skype." It is a private social network, "essentially -- in this case, for world leaders." Ranadivé believes that the Warriors "can be a model of how an organization can revolutionize its operations through the use of real-time data" (ESQUIRE, Feb. '12 issue).
MAKING IT RIGHT: In N.Y., Keith Kelly writes The Hockey News has "long lamented awarding its 1989 'Man of the Year' honor" to former junior hockey coach GRAHAM JAMES, who was convicted of sexually abusing several former players. THN editors "made their regret official this month." THN's KEN CAMPBELL wrote, "Well, as of this moment, James is being officially stripped of his 1989 Man of the Year Award from The Hockey News. If James is reading this column and has any conscience in him at all, he will send the plaque he was given back to our offices (we will be happy to pay the postage) where it will be immediately destroyed" (N.Y. POST, 1/20).
GRAB A SCARF: The Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee's Super Scarves initiative "received national attention" Wednesday when the blue-and-white scarves were featured in an episode of ABC's "THE MIDDLE," which takes place in fictional Orson, Ind. The plotline revolved around the efforts of PATRICIA HEATON's character's efforts to "get a plum assignment as a Super Bowl volunteer in Indianapolis." Almost 12,500 scarves have been made for volunteers and "other front-line hospitality to wear during the Super Bowl festivities" (INDYSTAR.com, 1/18).
NAMES: Fox' TERRY BRADSHAW had "planned to start three months of rehearsals in Las Vegas Monday for a one-man show involving singing, dancing and standup comedy, but this week decided against it." Bradshaw said, "If you're just doing it for the money, that's the wrong reason. And I wanted to do it -- even just once -- as an ego thing as much as anything. ... And right now, I'm tired" (USA TODAY, 1/20)....L.A. Superior Court Judge SCOTT GORDON approved a divorce agreement that requires Dodgers Owner FRANK MCCOURT to pay his ex-wife JAMIE $131M. The McCourts “agreed on settlement terms in October, but the attorneys required another three months to agree on the language of the 23-page document that finalized those terms” (LATIMES.com, 1/19)….A third lawsuit has been filed in Philadelphia by retired NFLers “over brain injuries allegedly caused by on-field concussions, a week before U.S. judges decide whether to consolidate similar cases filed around the country.” At least “eight related lawsuits have been filed in New York, New Jersey, Georgia and Florida.” The lawsuits claim the NFL “hid evidence linking concussions to permanent brain injuries and seek millions in compensation" (AP, 1/19)….HBO’s “REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL” will be given the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Univ. Award for excellence in broadcast journalism for the second time in seven years (HBO).