In K.C., Bob Dutton notes Royals Owner David Glass “created a stir recently in revealing $70 million to be the budgeted break-even point for the club’s 2013 payroll.” Club officials on Thursday said that the $70M payroll figure “encompasses the entire 40-man roster -- not merely the 25-man roster on Opening Day.” The difference between the payrolls for the 25-man and 40-man rosters is "roughly" $3M, as the Royals currently are “projected to spend" $68M on their 40-man roster. Club officials on Wednesday night said that the $70M figure “also signing-bonus limits for the draft and international spending." That made the situation “look especially bleak: Spending on the draft and international signings is roughly budgeted at $10 million, which would’ve left the Royals $8 million in the red” (K.C. STAR, 12/7).
HOW TO MONITOR? In N.Y., Sam Borden notes several NFL Giants players “questioned just how silent” suspended Saints coach Sean Payton has been this season. Borden wonders, “How can the NFL reasonably monitor compliance with such a broad ban,” as the punishment “seems all but impossible to enforce.” The league is “restricted by basic privacy laws -- meaning, for example, it cannot be like the Central Intelligence Agency and tap Payton’s phones -- though it could use private investigators to follow Payton or watch him from public areas.” An NFL spokesperson declined to “discuss the methods the league uses to monitor suspended personnel, saying only that Payton ‘is expected to comply with the conditions of the suspension’” (N.Y. TIMES, 12/7).
MAGIC WAND MISSING: In DC, Michael Lee notes the Wizards since reaching the playoffs four straight seasons from ’05-08 have “posted the NBA’s worst record." They are “just 45-118 since Ted Leonsis became primary owner in June 2010 and are gaining little traction locally, ranking 21st in the league in attendance (15,538) as area sports fans divert their attention to Robert Griffin III and the Nationals” (WASHINGTON POST, 12/7).
LOONEY TUNES: SPORTING NEWS’ David Whitley wrote the Hornets’ rumored name change to Pelicans “may be the worst-reviewed” NBA phrase since “I'm taking my talents to South Beach.” Whitley: “I'm trying to like it, but it's hard. I picture a clunky fowl with a long beak and fat chin.” But fans “eventually get used to even the looniest nicknames” (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 12/6).