In DC, James Wagner reported MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is “directly involved in ongoing talks” between the Orioles and Nationals about the two teams’ “longstanding dispute over the value of the Nationals’ television rights fees.” A source said proposals have been discussed but there is “no imminent solution.” The source said that there “have been direct discussions with both teams’ owners" involving Selig and MLB Exec VP/Economics & League Affairs Rob Manfred (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 5/16).
SPARTAN RUN: In Detroit, Matt Charboneau reports Jim Miller has left Michigan State's football broadcast team to take a "communications position" with the Bears. Miller, a former MSU QB, has been the team's analyst since '06. Jason Strayhorn, who has been the sideline reporter the last seven years, “will become the new analyst alongside longtime play-by-play man George Blaha” (DETROIT NEWS, 5/17). In Chicago, Brad Biggs notes Miller's role with the Bears "remains to be seen," but he is expected to "return for a second season as a television analyst" for the team's preseason games. Miller also does work for Sirius XM NFL Radio and CSN Chicago (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/17).
SPICE UP YOUR LIFE: Dottie Pepper this week signed to join ESPN's golf team after eight years with NBC, and she indicated that the net “initiated the talks” for the agreement. Pepper said, “There was interest on both sides. The biggest thing is they only do majors, and every other year the Ryder Cup. It's a really great schedule.” She added the deal is “only 14 weeks over two years, so it was a simple, pleasant negotiation.” Pepper: “The schedule, more than anything else, made the decision. It's like doing the playoffs or the World Series every time we turn it on. It's pretty appealing” (Albany TIMES-UNION, 5/17).
MATCHUP OF ALL MATCHUPS? In California, Michael Lev writes it is “not surprising that the Kings-Sharks series isn't part of NBC's initial conference-semifinal schedule; those spots are coveted, and that series lacks national appeal.” But NBC execs “have to be secretly rooting for the Kings, whose advancement would set up a big-market, high-profile Western Conference final" against the Blackhawks or Red Wings (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 5/17).