HoopsHype MLB rumors

February 9, 2012 Updates
December 30, 2011 Updates

Kobe Bryant confirms he recently directed Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez to an experimental treatment on his right knee in Germany. Bryant credits the therapy with dramatic improvement in his own troublesome knee and an injured ankle in recent months. Bryant gave Rodriguez the phone number of the German doctor who developed the treatment, the Lakers guard said Thursday night before Los Angeles hosted the New York Knicks. SI.com

December 2, 2011 Updates
November 14, 2011 Updates

The N.B.A. — like the N.F.L. and M.L.B. — files league office personnel data to Lapchick at his Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at Central Florida. In the latest round of grading, baseball received an A in racial hiring and a B-minus in gender. The N.F.L. scored an A-plus and a C, while the N.B.A. earned an A-plus and an A-minus. The report cards have chided colleges for their record in hiring people of color and women to run athletic departments and given poor grades to newspaper sports sections in the United States. Lapchick also releases annual graduation rates of college football teams bound for the bowl games and men’s basketball teams in the N.C.A.A. tournament. New York Times


To that end, Lapchick recalled a meeting he attended while serving with Bill Bradley, among others, on a commission to study culture and community in 1996. A female commissioner initiated a discussion on how the rap star Tupac Shakur and the industry he represented were in part responsible for a decline in social enlightenment among American youth based on music that objectified women and promoted violence and offensive language. “I was slightly aware of the genre, so it all made some sense to me,” Lapchick said. “But it later struck me that this was the week after Tupac was murdered and she might not even have heard of him until then. The next week, I was going to speak to the N.B.A.’s rookie transition program in Northern Virginia, and I was on a bus from the airport with five African-American rookies. They were talking about Tupac and one was saying, ‘What are we going to do without him?’ “They were all devastated by his death, and I realized that he was their musical wizard, their sage, their storyteller. I was about 50 at the time, and it just dawned on me that here was the same cultural phenomenon being viewed by two different generations as polar opposites. I just decided I was going to start talking about these things, and when I told my daughter what I was going to do, she said, ‘Oh, I love Tupac.’ Then I knew it wasn’t about race but class and culture, about what people have and what they don’t have.” New York Times

November 2, 2011 Updates

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is interested in buying the Dodgers, but only for the right amount. "It all comes down to price," Cuban wrote Wednesday morning in an email to ESPNLosAngeles.com. "It's important to have more than enough money to pay players and invest in the organization." ESPN.com

October 23, 2011 Updates

Not long after, the Rangers heard from commissioner Bud Selig, telling them to invite Nowitzki. "It was unbelievable, the response I got," Nowitzki said. "My Twitter blew up that day and it was just a crazy day. One time it was a no-go, then it was on again. Really excited the feedback from the fans and the whole Metroplex kind of tweeted somebody at Major League Baseball to get on it. So I'm really proud of obviously representing the Metroplex, and hopefully I did OK with the pitch." ESPN.com

Nowitzki said he never received a plausible explanation for being excluded. "Yeah, it was kind of wishy-washy. Nothing really. Nothing really that really made sense," Nowitzki said. "No, I'm glad it worked out and I got to represent. ... It was on, then I got the 'it was off,' and I was like, that's fine. I wasn't really hurt or anything. I just wanted to be here and watch the game. Even if they wouldn't have let me pitch today I probably would be here and support the boys." ESPN.com

October 20, 2011 Updates

Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki will be throwing out a World Series first pitch after all. After it emerged earlier Wednesday that the Rangers' desire to have Nowitzki throw out the first pitch before one of their home games against the St. Louis Cardinals had been rejected by Major League Baseball, league officials reversed course and announced hours later that Nowitzki would be invited to throw the ceremonial pitch before Saturday's Game 3. MLB spokesman Pat Courtney, after earlier in the day confirming that the Rangers' request to bestow first-pitch honors on Nowitzki had been denied, said commissioner Bud Selig was not involved in the original veto and ordered the reversal. ESPN.com

October 19, 2011 Updates

"MLB absolutely denies that any part in selecting the first ball pitcher had anything to do with the current labor situation in the NBA," MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said. "You want the club's input in what makes sense for them and then we talk about what makes sense for the team and a good broad-base national appeal. "It's a nice problem to have that you get a list of 10 or 15 names and you work your way through them. We know Nowitzki's been at the games, and that's wonderful. We're glad he's there." ESPN.com

May 3, 2011 Updates

I asked Cuban about owning the Dodgers, figuring for sure he would pop off. That is his reputation. Great copy for a columnist. But Cuban went gutless, the mighty mouth muzzling himself. That would suggest he really does have an interest in buying the team, opting not to say anything to avoid riling up Selig. What a disappointment, as I told him, and do we really want an owner here who is afraid to rile up Selig? "Just make up something that you want me to say,'' Cuban said, "and then put my name to it.'' All right, my kind of owner, after all. Los Angeles Times

"When I become owner of the Dodgers, fans will never again have to worry about the Dodgers having enough money to sign the best players,'' said Cuban, although I made it up because that's what I would like the next owner of the Dodgers to say. "I will spend so much money, Bud will consider fining me. As you know I've racked up something like $1.665 million in NBA fines, so if that's what it takes to have the best team in Los Angeles, bring it on, Buddy boy. "I matched every dollar that I was fined and donated it to charity. I do believe in community, and have the check stubs to prove it. Los Angeles Times

"Now I don't want to brag, but before I bought the Mavericks, Dallas won 40% of its games the previous 20 years. We're winning at a 69% clip ever since I took over in 2000. I'm a happily married man, and you have to love that. "I will lower the price to park, because how can I expect anyone to come to Dodger Stadium with the left fielders this team has employed? I will stand up and boo Jonathan Broxton like most of you. "I know how to tweet, and we'll have people so excited about the Dodgers again no one will notice Jeanie's boy toy is back in Montana. Good riddance, by the way, and how about letting another team win the NBA title for a change? "That way I can get everyone watching the Dodgers again. I know Bloomberg has reported I'm selling all my Landmark Theatres and Magnolia Pictures so I can pay cash for the Dodgers. But I have plenty of cash. Cash will never be a problem, and when was the last time a Dodgers owner could tell you that?'' Los Angeles Times

Based on how he has handled the Mavericks, I asked Phil Jackson how Cuban might do as Dodgers' owner. "He'd really improve the quality of their team,'' Jackson said. "He's improved the quality of [the Mavericks] every time he's rebuilt.'' Do you like the kind of owner he's been? "I wouldn't want him behind my bench,'' Jackson said. "Where could he be in baseball?" I told him right behind home plate — mugging for the cameras, of course. It'd be nice if someone sat in those empty seats. "Can't be in the dugout anymore?" Jackson said. I told him that was Cuban's first question, but he was advised that baseball doesn't allow it. "Tell him to speak to Ted Turner," said Jackson, alluding to the owner of the Braves who got around the dugout rule by declaring himself the manager of the team. Los Angeles Times

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