NASCAR driver MATT KENSETH and his wife, KATIE, have written "RACE AGAINST BULLYING," the first in a "collection of four scheduled books" in the "Race for Success" series It is "about a 9-year-old named Matt, who is bullied about his racing but resolves the situation through help form his parents, teachers and a fellow fourth-grader named Katie." The 22-page book "was launched today in honor of National Youth Literacy Day and will be sold through Dollar General," the primary sponsor of Kenseth's No. 20 Toyota, which "also has a literacy foundation." The next book in the series, "which is aimed at kids 4-7, will focus on nutrition" (USA TODAY, 8/26).
CLIP & SAVE: In today’s Must Read, the WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Monica Langley writes of the “behind-the-scenes drama” in STEVE BALLMER's acquisition of the Clippers under the header, “How Steve Ballmer Became A Rookie Basketball Mogul.” Ballmer said of the $2B purchase price, "I priced it at a multiple of earnings, based on what I think I can do to make this work. It's aspirational ... but not insane." After he resigned from the Microsoft board, Ballmer told the team, "Now I'm a Clipper first. Microsoft is second" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/26).
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Centerplate CEO DES HAGUE has been accused of "animal abuse after surveillance camera footage emerged showing him allegedly kicking a dog in the stomach in a downtown Vancouver elevator” (STAMFORD ADVOCATE, 8/26). The video surfaced last week and "made the rounds over the weekend in time for fans at some of the arenas serviced by Centerplate to protest." Prior to Sunday's Roughriders-Lions CFL game at BC Place some fans "told the media that they would not be purchasing any food in the stadium, and they called for Hagues’s firing." Some suggested BC Place "ought to end its contract with Centerplate” (FORTUNE.com, 8/25).
TENNIS, ANYONE? Actor ALEC BALDWIN was in the stands for the first round of the U.S. Open last night, and he caught a ball that bounced into the stands. ESPN's Pam Shriver noted, “You became an athlete in the first set. Nice catch.” Baldwin replied, “I didn’t want my wife to get hit in the face, but the ball was very slow moving.” Golfer BUBBA WATSON also was in the stands last night, and said, "It’s a battle about skill but also about endurance. My wife and I play a lot so watching this is fun. I haven’t been able to hit one over 100 miles-per-hour yet, but it’s pretty nice seeing the balls as fast as they are coming off the racket.” Shriver asked, “I know MATT KUCHER plays a lot of tennis with his wife. Have you guys ever had a mixed doubles match on the tour?” Watson: “Not with him. I play with some other players, but not with Matt yet because he is too good” ("U.S. Open," ESPN2, 8/25).
HONORS & AWARDS: NASCAR HOFer RICHARD PETTY yesterday was presented with The American Legion's James V. Day "Good Guy" Award during the organization's 96th annual national convention (Petty Family Foundation)....The WNBA named former player BECKY HAMMON its Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award winner for exemplifying the ideals of sportsmanship on the court, including ethical behavior, fair play and integrity (WNBA)….Astros Spanish radio broadcaster ALEX TREVINO on Sept. 18 will be inducted into the Houston Baseball Media Wall of Honor (Astros).
NAMES: Bengals President MIKE BROWN "is progressing comfortably back home" after a medical issue Sunday in Phoenix. A team spokesperson said that Brown's "'minor medical situation' is trending toward resolution, and that the 79-year-old should be resuming his daily duties shortly." The Bengals "still aren't saying exactly what happened to Brown" (ESPN.com, 8/25)....Basketball HOFer and Georgetown alum PATRICK EWING is behind a $3.3M pledge "toward the construction of the John R. Thompson Jr. Intercollegiate Athletics Center." Longtime agent DAVID FALK and his wife RHONDA "have partnered with Ewing" (CSNWASHINGTON.com, 8/25)....JOSEPH CIAMPI alleged in a lawsuit filed last week that the WNBA Dream's owners "pushed him aside and quit paying his salary." The team is "enforcing the no-compete clause of Ciampi's contract ... but won't pay the remaining months on the $100,000-a-year contract" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 8/26)....EPL club Everton G TIM HOWARD has “penned a memoir that will be published Dec. 9 by HarperCollins Publishers.” The book will be “available in adult and young adult editions” (AP, 8/25)....Lightning Owner JEFF VINIK has proposed construction of a 202,000-square-foot office building “north of the Tampa Bay Times Forum” (TAMPABAY.com, 8/25)….Univ. of Kentucky men’s basketball coach JOHN CALIPARI and The Calipari Foundation have joined with Global Sports Aid Network and Samaritan’s Feet for the “Comedy Mania” benefit at Rupp Arena on Nov. 20. The event features BILL ENGVALL and SINBAD (The Calipari Foundation).