– For those unaware, Michael Jackson (heart attack) died yesterday at the age of 50, and Farrah Fawcett (Playboy, Charlie’s Angels) died yesterday (cancer) at the age of 62.
– The Magic have acquired F Vince Carter and F Ryan Anderson from the Nets for G Rafer Alston, G Courtney Lee and F Tony Battie.
– According to his agent, Lon Babby, F Hedo Turkoglu has opted out of his contract and will become a UFA on July 1. Turkoglu’s agent said Friday that he sent a notice to Orlando earlier this week. Agent Lon Babby said the Magic had made Turkoglu an initial offer that Orlando general manager Otis Smith described as a “jumping off point.”
– For those interested, F Blake Griffin and F Hasheem Thabeet went 1 and 2 respectively. The Raptors selected F Demar Derozan at No. 9.
– Michael Jordan is once again interested in purchasing the Bobcats.
– Before the deal fell through, the Suns were in discussions with the Warriors to send F Amare Stoudemire to Golden State for F Andris Biedrins and the No. 7 pick in Thursday’s draft. The Suns would have also gotten another guy back in the deal, possibly Anthony Randolph, Brandan Wright or Marco Belinelli, to make the numbers work.
– According to the AP, Commissioner Roger Goodell says a decision on free agent QB Michael Vick’s future will come “in due time” and may not be finalized before the regular season begins in September. Goodell hasn’t given a timeline or even spoken to Vick lately. The two won’t sit down until at least after Vick’s July 20 release from home confinement. Vick remains under indefinite suspension, so a delayed decision would obviously hamper his ability to catch on with an NFL team. Vick continues to work as a $10/hour construction worker. He’s been out of prison for over a month.
– DH Frank Thomas said he is “close” to announcing his retirement. The Big Hurt told ESPN 100, “I’m getting close to announcing my retirement because I just turned 41. I just want to make sure that it’s the move I really want to make. I don’t want to be one of those guys that keeps coming back and keeps saying, ‘I’m unretiring, I’m coming back.’ I want to make sure it’s out of my system.” Thomas may not completely have it out of his system, however, as he added: “I’m still in shape, ready to go, if anything happens.” Thomas finished last season with the A’s.
– D’Backs’ OF Eric Byrnes suffered a fractured left hand when he was hit by a pitch on Thursday and is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks.
– Cubs’ C Geovany Soto tested positive for marijuana while playing for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic in March, announced the International Baseball Federation. This revelation doesn’t impact Soto’s major league status, although he will be be banned from international play for two years. The Cubs said that Soto is drug tested regularly and this was his only positive test.
– Mariners’ LHP Erik Bedard (shoulder) will throw side sessions on Thursday and Saturday with an eye on a July 4 return in Boston. Bedard will also throw a side session or simulated game next week in New York. He was 5-2 with a 2.47 ERA prior to hitting the DL.
– The Mariners have placed SS Yuniesky Betancourt (hamstring) on the 15-day DL. This is not the same hamstring injury that Betancourt suffered in spring training, according to manager Don Wakamatsu. The Mariners will know more about the injury’s severity when Betancourt undergoes an MRI.
– The Chicago Daily Herald is reporting that the Chicago Blackhawks are offering F Martin Havlat a one-year deal. Havlat is scheduled to become a UFA if he doesn’t re-sign by July 1 but he isn’t looking for only a one-year deal and that is a huge stumbling block for the offensively talented, but oft-injured winger. Havlat wants to remain a Blackhawk but it is doubtful that he would sign for only one year to show his loyalty to the organization. Stay tuned.
– The Calgary Flames will not host an outdoor game on New Year’s Day. The NHL denied the Flames as they will go with only one Winter Classic on Jan. 1 and that will be at Fenway Park in Boston.
– The Desert Sun out of Palm Springs, California has an interview up today with World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk. Here’s what Punk talked about:
Working for Vince McMahon: “I think he’s a great dude. He’s so passionate about what he does, and when you think about how long he’s been doing it, it’s outstanding. He took something very small and made it a global phenomena.”
Working with Ricky Steamboat: “It’s very cool; a dream come true. It’s something you never think would happen and it does happen. I enjoyed that very much. It’s good to see Ricky every day; we’re buddies. He’s still got a lot to teach me and I still got a lot to learn and it all works out.”
His Dream Opponent: “For a long period of time, Harley Race was the best wrestler in world. Talk about a guy who back then, even now, he just gets it. He knew what his job was and he went out and did it. He’s probably the toughest wrestler who ever lived. I’m also good friends with him. He’s a sweetheart. But yeah, if I could pick one guy, it’d be Harley. He’s someone I want to wrestle and never will wrestle. I think he was just like the best wrestler in the world for almost a decade.”
Who He Wants To Face at WrestleMania: “It’s a better question to ask when I’m closer to Wrestlemania, so I can see realistically what I’m doing. I know this past year, I was kinda hoping – I was Intercontinental Champion at the time – I was hoping I’d get to face Rey Mysterio.”
– According to the PWInsider, WWE has been throwing out some false information for a while in hopes of catching internet leaks. The Ric Flair/GM “spoiler” was one of these red herring leaks, and another red herring came out last week with the RAW rating. The real rating for the first hour was a 3.03, while the first hour rating given by the company to some employees was a 3.3.
WWE employees used to be allowed to leak out the ratings to the media, probably because they were so high and the company was proud of them. However, shortly after WrestleMania 18 in 2002, leaking ratings to the internet was forbidden as the company’s numbers started to head south.
If WWE is able to pinpoint the person who leaked out the false 3.3 number, he or she will likely be fired. There’s no word on whether anyone lost their jobs or not over the Flair leak.
– Edge is working through some nagging injuries, according to PWInsider.com. The Rated R Superstar has been banged up for a few weeks, which is the reason he’s not currently in the title mix on SmackDown!. He is expected to return to the top tier this summer.