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Volume 24 No. 156
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Franchise Notes

In Massachusetts, Bob Lobel writes financial issues for Red Sox Owner John Henry have "begun to surface, and there is now some doubt about the bottomless reserves we believed existed for this once-billionaire." Lobel: "If I were a betting man, I would wager that the financial crisis pays Fenway Sports Group a visit. ... I don't know where the [Roush Fenway] racing team fits in, but I am pretty sure the baseball team, the ball park and the underperforming, but very profitable, New England Sports Network, would be the last to be sold" (, 11/15).

THE LAKE SHOW: In L.A., Bill Plaschke wrote the Lakers are a "drifting, dysfunctional mess." Lakers Owner Jerry Buss less than three years ago "was arguably the best sports owner ever." But now his "declining health, combined with his decision to delegate his power to curious son Jimmy, has left the Lakers looking uncertain, unsettled and increasingly unstable" (L.A. TIMES, 11/13). Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said of the team's decision to hire Mike D'Antoni as coach instead of Phil Jackson, "We sorted through the P.R. backlash and decided ultimately that we could withstand it. We thought about the way we wanted to play and the personnel and became more and more convinced that we were doing the right thing" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 11/14).

 ESPN CLEVELAND's Tony Grossi wrote, "Everyone knows changes are coming to the Browns" under new Owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner. Where does "a uniform change fit in?" A poll of Browns players found that the "vast majority favor a uniform change." The general sentiment was that "change is good and the drab sameness of the Browns' uniforms is somewhat deflating." Browns S T.J. Ward said, "I think it's a new generation of football. Especially with us being one of the youngest teams, I think the consensus is we kind of all want something fresh, a new look. There's nothing wrong with keeping the same look, but maybe an alternate or a change-up" (, 11/12).

MINOR ADJUSTMENT: In Pennsylvania, Donnie Collins reports the Triple-A Int'l League Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees yesterday "became the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders." The club held a "Name The Team" contest with options such as Trolley Frogs, Black Diamond Bears and Fireflies losing out (Scranton TIMES-TRIBUNE, 11/15).