MLB Giants President & CEO LARRY BAER and Dodgers President & CEO STAN KASTEN wrote an op-ed for the FRESNO BEE, stating that "one thing on which the clubs absolutely agree is that, when our players are injured on the field, they should receive access to the best medical care and benefits available -- including, if they choose, workers' compensation benefits in the state of California." But they were "surprised to read some of the assertions made in a recent op-ed opposing common-sense legislation authored by" California Assembly member HENRY PEREA. There is "no question that California workers deserve California benefits, whether they are professional athletes or employees in other professions." But the "issue here is whether players with little to no connection with California should be able to file for these benefits here, especially after filing for the same benefits in their home states." The editorial: "We support and respect California's generosity when it comes to injured workers, but it hurts both our industry and the integrity of the workers' comp system when the Golden State becomes a veritable 'gold rush' for any player, from anywhere, at any time." The Giants and Dodgers support AB 1309 "because it will close a loophole that is disadvantageous to California's baseball clubs and unfairly costs all of California's businesses -- small and large -- millions of dollars every year." The bill "finally will set some much needed standards so that California's system protects in-state workers first, not out-of-state professional athletes at the expense of everyone else" (FRESNO BEE, 7/5).
People and Pop Culture
The Nets promoted FRANK ZANIN to Assistant GM, MATT RICCARDI to Basketball Operations Manager, SEAN SWEENEY to Video Operations Manager, SCOTT SEREDAY to Statistical Analyst and BRENNAN BLAIR to Video Coordinator (NYPOST.com, 7/8)....Premier Partnerships promoted Marketing Services Coordinator KAITLYN BEALE to Corporate Partnerships Manager (THE DAILY)....Albertus Magnus College named Hartford-based Capital City Economic Development Authority Exec Dir JAMES ABROMAITIS AD, effective July 22 (AMC)....George Washington Univ. named Univ. of Oregon Duck Athletic Fund Exec Dir GARRETT KLASSY Senior Associate AD/External Relations (GWU)....The ECHL Utah Grizzlies named TIM BRANHAM GM (SLTRIB.com, 7/8).
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In Denver, Legwold & Nicholson report Broncos Player Personnel Dir MATT RUSSELL on Saturday was arrested for DUI after "allegedly hitting two cars in Summit County -- one of them a Breckenridge police car." Colorado State Patrol Public Information Officer NATE REID said that Russell also is "accused of fleeing the scene of the earlier collision in Frisco." Russell "faces charges of driving under the influence, having an open container of alcohol in his car, careless driving resulting in injury and failure to display proof of insurance." Exec VP/Football Operations JOHN ELWAY "promoted Russell to his current position" in January '12 after Russell joined the team in '09 as College Scouting Dir (DENVER POST, 7/9).
FAMILY DAY: In L.A., Bill Plaschke reports several dozen family members of firefighter ANDREW ASHCRAFT, one of 19 who died in the Yarnell Hill wildfire in Arizona last week, "climbed into a bus supplied" by the D'Backs and "rode it 125 miles south" from Prescott to watch the team's game against the Dodgers. A large No. 19 "had been painted into the field." Players from both teams "met with the family during batting practice," and Dodgers broadcaster VIN SCULLY also met with the family. Plaschke writes for "all its problems, baseball still has the capacity to bring out that love, to reveal that community, to give strength to those in need." As last night "again proved, baseball is still America's family game, still the game most shared by generations, still the game that [makes] people feel safe at home." The D'Backs after a call from Ashcraft's family "quickly arranged for a bus and seats in the owner's suite and a place on the field" (L.A. TIMES, 7/9).
MUTINY FROM THE BOUNTY: Former NFLer BARRETT GREEN is suing the Redskins, claiming that his “career-ending knee injury resulted from a bounty program organized by” current Titans assistant coach GREGG WILLIAMS. Green in the suit said that his injury “came during a game on Dec. 5, 2004 as a result of an ‘unusual, outrageous and an obvious cheap shot.’” The suit in addition to Williams also names former NFLer ROBERT ROYAL, the player “who hit Green” (TENNESSEAN.com, 7/8).
INTERNATIONAL INTRIGUE: Heat F CHRIS BOSH will travel to Mumbai, India, from July 16-19 to conduct a variety of events. Bosh will be the 22nd NBA or WNBA player to travel to India since ’06. His tour will be captured by Sony and NBA Entertainment and featured in NBA programming on Sony Six. Bosh’s visit will launch the official NBA India Instagram channel. Meanwhile, Heat G DWYANE WADE has started a 10-day trip to China to promote footwear brand Li-Ning (THE DAILY)....Bulls G DERRICK ROSE is on a 10-day tour of Europe to “promote his adidas line of shoes and clothing, the first of two” int’l tours for the brand. Rose started "his European working vacation at adidas headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany, on July 5 and then jetted to Milan, Italy.” He will be in Europe through July 15 with stops in London, Paris, Madrid, Belgrade and Zagreb (ESPNCHICAGO.com, 7/8).
NAMES: First lady MICHELLE OBAMA, Pro Football HOFer JOHN RIGGINS and Tennis HOFer BILLIE JEAN KING attended the World TeamTennis opener yesterday in DC (USATODAY.com, 7/9)….Former NBAer DEVEAN GEORGE is building 45 affordable housing units in north Minneapolis as part of an “outreach program for community youth that he calls George’s Building Blocks” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/9)....Gold Medal-winning U.S. gymnast ALY RAISMAN was the honorary captain at Saturday’s MLS Earthquakes-Revolution game (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/9)….Rays RF MATT JOYCE and mascot RAYMOND yesterday visited the “pediatric patients at the Children’s Medical Center at Tampa General Hospital” (TAMPABAY.com, 7/8).