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Volume 26 No. 111
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Franchise Notes

Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge said that his "role with the team will not change in the aftermath of his second heart attack last month." In Boston, Chris Forsberg noted Ainge, who met yesterday with reporters for the "first time since being stricken" in Milwaukee, "kept a sense of humor about another health scare but was firm in his declaration that he would remain in charge." Ainge was "touched by the outpouring of support." He said that it was "easy to step away knowing the team was in good hands with his tight-knit staff" (NBCSPORTSBOSTON.com, 6/5).

DEEPER POCKETS: In Chicago, Paul Sullivan notes the Cubs signed P Craig Kimbrel for $43M over "about 2 1/2 seasons." This despite Cubs Chair Tom Ricketts at the start of Spring Training saying that he had "no more money to spend." The Cubs "apparently found room in the budget with the money they’re not paying" 2B Ben Zobrist, whose status "remains in limbo while he tends to family issues." The "Zobrist savings" could be as much as $9.3M. President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein said, "There are always unknowns that come up during the season that can impact your financial picture" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/6).

GOING TO CALIFORNIA? In Boise, Dave Southorn notes the city is "one of the two finalists" to become the NHL Seattle franchise’s AHL affiliate. The other finalist is Palm Springs, Calif., which "appears to be the front-runner" even though it currently "does not have a team." Appearing on Sportsnet.ca's “31 Thoughts” podcast in Canada, AHL President & CEO David Andrews said that Palm Springs "appears to be the likely choice, but more work needs to be done" (IDAHO STATESMAN, 6/6).