In Ft. Lauderdale, Shandel Richardson noted the Heat on Sunday “practiced while wearing jerseys with sleeves” in preparation for their Christmas Day game against the Lakers. The jerseys are tighter than regular uniforms, and Heat F Chris Bosh said, “We didn't want to get to Christmas Day and just be wearing them for the first time. You could have problems and malfunctions.” Heat G Dwyane Wade said that he “plans to practice in three different jersey sizes so he can determine the perfect fit” (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 12/22).
RESISTANCE IS FUTILE: In N.Y., Ralph Vacchiano cited sources as saying that NFL Giants President & CEO John Mara “has resisted any urges he’s had to turnover his entire franchise.” Mara has “bitten his tongue and suffered his silence, but maintained his belief in stability and patience.” By all accounts, “he still stands strongly behind the people he hired to lead his organization and team.” Vacchiano: “How far can he be pushed? Because if this season continues the way it’s going … all bets about what Mara will do might officially be off” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/22).
STAR SEARCH: Stars Owner Tom Gaglardi said he wants the club "to be a perennial playoff team." Gaglardi: "If that means we make moves that aren’t necessarily beneficial for the short term, that’s OK by me because I want to do the things that put us in the category with a Detroit, which has gone to the playoffs 21 straight years, and a San Jose, which has been to the playoffs nine of the last 10 years.” He added, “I’m focused on doing the right things that can make us great and sustainable for a long time” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/20).
HEALTHY SCRATCH? FOXSPORTS.com’s Ken Rosenthal wrote the Orioles' decision to abort the signing of free agent P Grant Balfour “is not a one-time thing, but a pattern dating back 15 years.” Balfour and the Orioles had “agreed to a relatively club-friendly” two-year, $15M contract, but it “did not meet the approval of the Orioles’ doctors” or Owner Peter Angelos. Two doctors with other clubs, "both of whom have a history with Balfour, publicly challenged the Orioles’ findings” (FOXSPORTS.com, 12/22).