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Volume 24 No. 158


The Dodgers this weekend reportedly agreed to a six-year, $147M deal with P Zack Greinke, and signed P Ryu Hyun-jin to a six-year, $36M contract, meaning the team's payroll next season “could be the highest in the history of baseball,” according to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. TIMES. The Dodgers' '13 payroll "already stands in excess" of $220M. The team has “taken on more than $600 million in salaries since it was purchased by Guggenheim Baseball Management last spring” (L.A. TIMES, 12/10). YAHOO SPORTS’ Jeff Passan wrote, “This is something unlike what the sports world ever has seen: a franchise with seemingly no limits.” The Greinke signing “reinforces a sobering reality at which the other 29 teams in baseball -- even the New York Yankees -- cower: What the Dodgers want, the Dodgers get.” GBM's “commitment to spend inconceivable amounts of money” helps make the Dodgers “baseball's new megapower.” If the Yankees are “the evil empire, the Dodgers are the Death Star -- bigger, badder and a hell of a lot more expensive than anything else.” Everything “goes back to their local-television contract, which, if finalized as expected before the year ends, will net them between $6 billion and $7 billion for the next 25 years.” The Dodgers will “make in six games what some franchises make for an entire season in TV revenue -- and they'll keep a vast majority of it” (, 12/9).

POWER OF THE PURSE: In L.A., T.J. Simers writes, “Today the Dodgers rock, and kudos to them for doing what every sports fan hopes his favorite team will do in the off-season -- spend to get better.” Simers: “I still don't know much about Guggenheim, [President] Stan Kasten remains a blowhard and who knows whether [manager Don] Mattingly has what it takes to lead a team to a championship. But I like watching the best players in the game, and thinking the home team has the best shot of winning” (L.A. TIMES, 12/10).’s Jayson Stark wrote the Dodgers are now “one of the all-time sports behemoths,” and the team apparently “plans to flex its behemoth-ness whenever the time -- and the latest available free-agent icon -- is right” (, 12/8).’s Scott Miller wrote, "At a time when even the Yankees are reeling things in, the Guggenheim Dodgers are so flush with cash they can name any president you want not from the history books or Google, but simply from pulling a wad of bills from their pockets and looking.” A rival exec said, “The entire economic landscape of this game is about to explode because of the Dodgers. ... LA used to look for nickels under the cushion. Now, they can't turn the tap off" (, 12/8). ESPN L.A.’s Mark Saxon wrote under the header, “Where’s The Fun In Fiscal Restraint?” The Greinke deal "will have financial ramifications that won't just tick off the rest of the league's owners." They also will "blow back on the Dodgers at some point, probably soon” (, 12/8).

COLLETTI'S WAR CHEST: In Boston, Nick Cafardo wrote Dodgers GM Ned Colletti has “run every type of team -- the poorest, the middle class, and now one of the richest.” Colletti "makes no excuses for preferring his current status.” Colletti said, “I’d rather play with a full deck and make decisions that are based on baseball, talent, and market.” Colletti added, “When you’re restricted in what you can think about and how you can improve the team and restricted in the areas you can get involved, that’s tough. Now we’re not restricted. If we can’t get something done, there are other factors involved rather than restrictions.” Cafardo wrote, "One thing that is different is teams coming to him and asking if he’ll take on a high-priced player for one of his lower-priced ones” (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/9).

YANKEES OF THE WEST? USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale writes the Dodgers have “become a combination of the old school New York Yankees and the Dallas Mavericks.” Nightengale: “You outbid everyone for free agents, as the Yankees used to do, and dazzle everyone by doubling the size of your clubhouse and adding other amenities, much like the Mark Cuban-era Mavericks’ commitment to creature comforts” (USA TODAY, 12/10). SPORTING NEWS’ Anthony Witrado wrote the Dodgers are “now the most expensive team in the history of professional athletics, and they now have the heaviest expectations they've ever had to carry in the rich history of their organization." Their options for '13 are "win the World Series or completely fail” (, 12/9).

AND WHAT OF THE BRONX BOMBERS? In N.Y., Joel Sherman wrote, “Unless the Yankees come out of their economic cocoon, they will not have the largest payroll in the game for the first time since 1998” (N.Y. POST, 12/9). In Buffalo, Mike Harrington wrote, “No one is really sure what direction the Yankees are going anymore. Under The Boss, it was always full speed ahead. But The Boss is gone now” (BUFFALO NEWS, 12/9). In N.Y., Bill Madden wrote under the header, “What The Late Marvin Miller And George Steinbrenner Would Say About Free Agents And Penny-Pinching Yankees” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/9).

Cowboys player development consultant Calvin Hill in the wake of DT Josh Brent's alcohol-related car accident that killed teammate LB Jerry Brown said that the team “could mandate that Cowboys players have electronic devices designed to immobilize vehicles when a driver is impaired,” according to Jarrett Bell of USA TODAY. The device includes a “small fob that is attached to the key ring, which sends electronic signals to a complementary device that can prevent a vehicle from starting if a driver doesn't pass a test based on color-coded light emissions.” Hill said, "We are considering that." Bell writes it is unclear whether the NFLPA would “sign off on allowing teams to mandate such a measure for players." Hill yesterday said of the team's educational programs, "Obviously, we do whatever we can do. I don't know what more we can do. We're always examining and going over things" (USA TODAY, 12/10). Meanwhile, Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones said that he has “been in contact with Brown’s mother and that plans have been made to hold a memorial service for him” tomorrow. Jones also “pledged support for Brent.” Jones: “It’s so mind-boggling to think that two lives could be impacted under those circumstances” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/10). Jones during Fox’ pregame show yesterday said, “Well for the last few hours our focus has been on Jerry Brown. Our team loved him. They certainly are conscious of him and want his family to know and have as much of them as they can give. At the same time, they know that one of the best things they can do for him and his memory is to come to the game today, is go out and play well” (, 12/9).

REMEMBERING A FRIEND: In Dallas, David Moore reports the Cowboys honored Brown by placing his jersey “on the Cowboys sidelines and in their locker room Sunday.” Cowboys QB Tony Romo said, “I don’t know what you’re supposed to do or feel or whatever. It’s a hard, hard situation. There is no playbook for this sort of thing" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/10). In Cincinnati, Kevin Goheen notes Cowboys coach Jason Garrett’s postgame press conference “began with a six-minute opening statement regarding the situation, including what he said to the team during its Saturday night meeting.” Garrett during the postgame press conference said, “I talked about how football is very different than life. I made it clear that this is a life situation, and we lost a 25-year-old young man who had his whole life in front of him. He was a teammate and a friend" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 12/10). In San Antonio, Buck Harvey notes Garrett “completed what might have been his best weekend” as Cowboys coach (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 12/10).

HANDLE WITH CARE: In Ft. Worth, Carlos Mendez noted Saturday’s occurrence meant the Cowboys had to come up “with a way to let the players know what happened while also not revealing news of Brown’s death before his family was notified.” The organization at about 9:15am CT was “informed of the accident, the players involved and what happened.” They were told that Irving, Texas, police were “trying to locate Brown’s mother to notify her of the news.” The team at 1:30pm was “assembled on its charter to Cincinnati.” Non-football personnel were “asked to step off for a few minutes,” and Garrett informed the players of Brown's death. Cowboys VP/PR & Communications Rich Dalrymple said that the team “waited to tell the players because it didn't want Brown’s mother finding out the news from media reports.” The Cowboys “put out a statement from owner Jerry Jones about 30 minutes later” (, 12/8).

CHIEF CONCERNS: In K.C., Randy Covitz wrote after the murder-suicide of Chiefs LB Jovan Belcher, a "dilemma hovers over the franchise.” Covitz: “How does one separate sympathy for [coach Romeo] Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli … from the frustration of a miserable season on the field?” Chiefs fans are “demanding a housecleaning,” and they “want changes in the front office, coaching staff and at quarterback.” But Chiefs Chair & CEO Clark Hunt “hadn’t shown any indication that changes were coming soon, or at all.” The timing for making a change now “would be grossly insensitive, considering what Crennel, Pioli and the team have gone through.” It is even possible “that the manner in which Pioli and Crennel comported themselves in the eye of danger -- and the way they comforted a fragile team in the aftermath -- will convince Hunt to stay the course despite a 2-14 or 4-12 season.” Crennel has two more years left on his contract, "which may give him some security,” while it is believed that Pioli has “one more year remaining on his original five-year contract” (K.C. STAR, 12/8).

Red Sox President & CEO Larry Lucchino said that the team is "far from dead in the AL East and will challenge the Yankees again." Lucchino said, "We will return. I feel like (Gen. Douglas) MacArthur. 'We shall return.'" Lucchino added, "There’s a kind of new culture emerging around here with this notion that we have something to prove, and it permeates the organization. It’s on the business side. It’s on the baseball side. It’s on the finance side." Lucchino said that the Red Sox are "changing the way they do business." In N.Y., Kevin Kernan wrote the team's "view of success became too short term" after winning the World Series in '04 and '07. There was "too much of a quick-fix mentality instead of creating a fix-it organization" (N.Y. POST, 12/9). In Boston, Dan Shaughnessy noted the team's new marketing theme is "Next Year Is Looking Brighter Already." Shaughnessy: "Not a lofty goal, is it? After the 2012 train-wreck season ... anything would look brighter" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/7).

ROYAL TREATMENT:'s Ken Rosenthal writes under the header, "Royals Made Right Move With Trade." Rosenthal writes of the Royals trading four prospects, including OF Wil Myers, to the Rays for Ps James Shields and Wade Davis, "People will crush the Royals. People always crush the Royals, and they mostly deserve it after nine straight losing seasons, the last 6-1/2 under general manager Dayton Moore. ... But not this time." Rosenthal: "I’m sick of low-revenue teams that are scared to make a move, fixated on their place in the Baseball America organization rankings, content in their mediocrity" (, 12/10).

SEEING RED: In Cincinnati, Tom Groeschen noted the Reds are "unveiling an alternate jersey" for next season, which will "have 'Los Rojos' emblazoned on the front, in white scripted letters." The Reds will wear the jersey "at selected games." Reds Senior VP/Business Operations Karen Forgus said, "We found there's an appetite with our fans that they love things with Los Rojos on it, because it's fun. We're not changing our main uniform. This is an alternate" (, 12/8).