HoopsHype MLB rumors

April 15, 2014 Updates

Professional athletes are among our nation’s highest-paid employees and, as such, a huge chunk of their income is plowed into the government via the IRS. In fact, federal taxes owed by professional baseball, football, and basketball players will exceed $3 billion in 2013, according to tax experts who specialize in representing athletes. And, like every other U.S. taxpayer, their bill is due today. That’s $3 billion of the $2.5 trillion paid in federal taxes by all Americans, contributed by a select but paltry work force of about 3,000. On average, every MLB, NFL and NBA player pays $1 million in federal taxes. The Fields of Green

According to data bases compiled by USA Today, players in these three major leagues alone earned nearly $9 billion in 2013. Most of that income is taxed at the highest rate of 39.6 percent, and for the first time a surcharge of .9 percent was added to the previous 1.45 percent Medicare tax employees pay on income that exceeds $250,000 to help pay for Obamacare. Even though the overall federal tax burden of nearly 42 percent for these athletes is reduced by deductions, experts say most can only claim enough in agent fees, mortgage interest, dependents and charitable donations to whittle the bill down less than 10 percent. So assuming deductions reduce the overall tax burden to 33 percent, the amount paid in federal taxes on $9 billion of earnings is still $3 billion. “You definitely look at the bottom-line [tax] figure and you go, ‘Jeesh, that’s a lot of money,’ said Colorado Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer, who is in the last year of a three-year, $31.5 million contract. “Then you look at the net income and you go, ‘Jeesh, that’s a lot of money too.’’’ The Fields of Green

April 8, 2014 Updates

Tim Kawakami: Multiple sources: Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob has had talks with A's owner John Fisher about Lacob's interest in buying the A's... But the sources indicate that Fisher has to this point told Lacob he is not looking to sell the A's. There are some indications that Lacob would be interested in building a baseball stadium on the Howard Terminal site. It's not just Lacob. Several big-money types are eyeing the A's. Most, I'm told, believe the first/best option is to keep them in Oakland. I'm told that any Lacob interest in the A's is now on the back-burner. But Fisher knows that he'll have a nice market if he wants to sell. Twitter @timkawakami

April 7, 2014 Updates

Erase the name "David Stern" and the phrase "basketball reasons" from your memory bank. Grab a stack of oversized Cliff Paul heads from the State Farm commercials and hold them over your heads while marching down Santa Monica Boulevard. Move on. For some reason, it still isn't happening. "I thought the city would have embraced him," Clippers forward Blake Griffin said of Paul. "I mean, it seems like everywhere we go, people love Chris. I don't know why he would get booed at a Dodger game." Los Angeles Times

April 6, 2014 Updates

When Chris Paul was shown on the big screen at Dodger Stadium on Friday during the Los Angeles Dodgers' home opener against the San Francisco Giants, he was booed louder than any Giants player on the field. The reception didn’t come as a surprise to Paul, who smiled while being jeered and playing an in-stadium trivia game with Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford. ESPN.com

“I expected it,” Paul said on Saturday. “When they came and asked me to that thing with Carl Crawford, I said they were going to boo the life out of me. I told Cat (Belanger, the Dodgers’ broadcast and entertainment coordinator). She’s been there every time that I’ve been there for games and she was like, ‘It’s cool.’” Paul was booed last season when he threw out the first pitch to Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp along with his four-year-old son, Chris. “The craziest one is when I had ‘Little Chris’ with me,” Paul said. “But he didn’t know what was going on. Now if I take him he’ll know what’s going on.” ESPN.com

February 12, 2014 Updates

Tracy McGrady’s second career as a semi-pro baseball pitcher is very, very real. After ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy broke the news to the world that the former NBA superstar was eyeing a role as a relief pitcher with the Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters, McGrady himself confirmed it. Now, a Houston-area Fox affiliate has posted video footage of T-Mac throwing a bullpen session with two minor-leagues in MLB organizations. For The Win

December 18, 2013 Updates

The greatest regret of Gerald Wallace’s career lies in a field of dreams. It has nothing to do with basketball and everything to do with the sport he does not play. Thirteen seasons into his NBA career, there is still a nagging “what if” he can’t shake. The accolades, the contracts don’t extinguish a passion he has for another game. “I think out of my whole life, one of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t finish playing baseball while I was in high school,” Wallace said. HoopsWorld

Before Wallace could see how far his talents would take him, though, he was faced with a decision as the entered his freshman year of high school. That summer he hit a five-inch growth spurt and skyrocketed to over 6’4. Continuing with both sports would be difficult if he wanted to seriously pursue one. “The main thing was I was told was, ‘If you’re going to pick a career, you’ve got to pick one and you’ve got to get focused,’” Wallace said. “I figured basketball would be a lot easier for me than baseball, especially with trying to be a catcher.” HoopsWorld

October 5, 2013 Updates

The Dodgers haven't won the World Series since 1988, an uncommonly long drought for the team that moved here in 1958, two years before the Lakers arrived from Minneapolis. The Lakers, meanwhile, have won five of the last 13 NBA championships but have had quick playoff exits the last three years. Et tu, Earvin? "Remember this: It can be both," he said in Atlanta, where the Dodgers faced the Braves. "Yeah, the Dodgers are on fire right now. Why does it have to be one or the other? We have a sports town. Right now, this is Dodger time. Everybody knows that. Once we see how our run is and the Lakers start up, then it's going to turn back to the Lakers." Los Angeles Times

August 9, 2013 Updates
August 1, 2013 Updates
June 16, 2013 Updates

Kobe Bryant has been relatively quiet as the NBA Finals have worn on, and now we know what he’s been doing. He was caught on camera at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, taking in the Angels’ Sunday game against the New York Yankees. For The Win

April 25, 2013 Updates

If their paths ever do cross again, Glenn DiSarcina believes his old Birmingham Barons teammate would remember him. But they roam different galaxies. DiSarcina lives in Shirley and is the baseball coach at Groton (Mass.) School. Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player ever -- and most famous .202 hitter in Double-A baseball history -- is majority owner of the NBA's woeful Charlotte Bobcats. The two were teammates 19 years ago, riding through the Southern League in a $350,000 luxury bus provided by a Birmingham, Ala., tour company in exchange for Jordan appearing in a magazine advertisement. The Saratogian

On the team bus and inside the Barons clubhouse, Jordan was just one of the guys, says DiSarcina. He just had a lot more walking-around money. The team had a Dominican catcher named Rogelio Nunez. Jordan took it upon himself to help Nunez improve his English. He offered Nunez $100 each time the catcher correctly spelled a baseball term that began with a certain letter. Jordan would give Nunez the letter the day before and tell him to study overnight. Unbeknownst to Jordan, Nunez's studying consisted of going to his English-speaking teammates for a cheat list of possible terms. "I think he made $2,000 before Michael caught on," says DiSarcina. The Saratogian

April 1, 2013 Updates

Bo Jackson, the former Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals outfielder who threw out the first pitch Monday at U.S. Cellular Field, defended Bulls star Derrick Rose for taking the deliberate course back to the court after ACL surgery last May. "I am quite sure that Derrick is going to come back when he needs to," Jackson told reporters in the press box during a wide-ranging conversation. "I couldn’t say either way whether he should or not. Derrick will know when it’s time to come back. I think he has handled it very well. It seems like the people who are having fits about this are you guys. "Derrick has handled it well. He is a new dad and seems happy. Why push it? Between the media and the public pushing him he should come back, he should come back ... what if he did come back and reinjure himself? Then you’re going to point fingers at the staff of the Bulls saying he shouldn’t have come back. You guys can’t have it both ways. Let him heal, come back home and when he comes back home, welcome him." Chicago Tribune

November 29, 2012 Updates

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