In Phoenix, Nick Piecoro noted the contract extension for D-backs Exec VP & GM Mike Hazen "maintains stability for an organization accustomed to upheaval, and it caps what has been a very good stretch for the club’s third-year general manager." In a 12-month span, Hazen has "traded away stars Paul Goldschmidt and Zack Greinke in deals that were widely lauded by the industry." Piecoro: "He has, in many ways, earned fans’ trust" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 9/15).
TWISTING THE KNIFE: In N.Y., Stefan Bondy noted the Nets are giving away 10,000 replica Kyrie Irving jerseys when they host the Knicks on Oct. 25, which is the second game of the season for both teams. Irving was a "desired free agent target for the Knicks last season but turned into the catalyst" for the Nets to also add Kevin Durant over the summer. Historically, Knicks fans have "flooded Barclays Center as the more dominant fanbase" in N.Y. However, their presence was "less pronounced last season and the Nets are hoping their free agency haul will translate to a shift" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/15).
EXPERIENCE NEEDED: In St. Louis, Ben Frederickson noted the possibility of retiring U.S. Soccer Federation CEO Dan Flynn joining the leadership team of the city's incoming MLS team is "trending toward when-not-if territory." Flynn, whose last day at the USSF is today, has served as an "unofficial" adviser to the MLS4TheLou ownership group during their expansion effort. That was "more than a hint that the St. Louis native" was in the process of "shifting career gears." The title of the new role in St. Louis is "not yet known," but it is "safe to say Flynn's fingerprints will be on the soccer operations side in some significant capacity" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/14).