– NFL.com is reporting that people close to QB Brett Favre expect him to decide on his playing status by Friday. Favre’s personal deadline is July 30, but it doesn’t look like he’ll wait that long to make an announcement. Practically everyone assumes he will suit up for the Vikings this season. Favre must be convinced his surgically repaired arm is good to go.
– According to ESPN, QB Michael Vick doesn’t want to play in Canada and “hasn’t entertained any thoughts” of joining the UFL. Vick is concentrating on an NFL return, and ESPN reports that commissioner Roger Goodell has received positive reports “from people he trusts.” Vick will likely request reinstatement within the next 24-to-48 hours.
– Suns G Steve Nash has notified the team over the weekend that he is accepting a two-year/$22M extension. This deal is on top of the $13.1M the 35-year-old will make this season. Nash’s numbers were down last season, but that had at least something to do with F Shaquille O’Neal’s presence and a change in offensive philosophy. His minutes will be limited in order to save him for the postseason – assuming the Suns make it this year.
– The Clippers have traded G Quentin Richardson to the Wolves for G Sebastian Telfair, F Mark Madsen and F Craig Smith. Telfair will backup G Baron Davis, Smith will backup rookie F Blake Griffin, and Madsen will hope for some minutes off the bench. Q-Rich has been dealt three times this summer, and it remains to be seen where (and if) he will settle down in Minny.
– As reported here earlier, FOXSports.com has confirmed that multiple teams have shown interest in O’s LHP George Sherrill. The Cubs, Marlins, Dodgers, Brewers and Angels are among the clubs that have shown a good amount of interest.
– Phillies RHP Pedro Martinez is scheduled to throw a simulated game against Phillies minor leaguers on Tuesday. Martinez said that from that point on, he will begin his normal pitching routine of throwing in a game every five days. It sounds like Pedro will make his first rehab start as soon as Sunday.
– Astros OF Darin Erstad could be headed for the DL with lingering tightness and discomfort in his strained left hamstring. Erstad was limited to pinch-hitting duties before the All-Star break due to the same injury, and thus far, it hasn’t improved much. Erstad may give it another try Monday or Tuesday before a final decision is made.
– The White Sox have activated OF Carlos Quentin from the 15-day DL. Quentin last played on May 25, when he tore a tendon in his left foot. He is in Chicago’s starting lineup on Monday, batting sixth and playing left field. Quentin hit .229/.325/.458 in 151 plate appearances earlier this year prior to hitting the shelf, but he is coming off a breakthrough .288/.394/.571 2008 campaign.
– The Dodgers have activated RHP Jason Schmidt from the 60-day DL. Schmidt’s return to the rotation comes tonight against the Reds. Schmidt hasn’t pitched in a major league game since 2007 while dealing with shoulder problems.
– The Rangers have placed RHP Frank Francisco (pneumonia) on the 15-day DL retroactive to July 11. This is the third time this year that Francisco has needed to spend time on the DL. Francisco hasn’t pitched since July 10, so he will be eligible to return on Sunday.
– The Mets placed RHP Fernando Nieve (right quad) on the 15-day DL. A shame for Nieve, as he was 3-3 with a 2.95 ERA in 36 2/3 innings over seven starts and one relief appearance. Nieve fell to the ground on Sunday after trying to leg out an infield single and was carted off the field. No word yet on how long he will be out.
– According to ProWrestling.net, Jeff Jarrett was not at last night’s PPV in Orlando with employees being informed that he is taking some personal time away. In an update on the situation, word from the locker room is that Jarrett has been removed from television indefinitely.
It should be noted that Kurt Angle was grumbling about Jarrett to friends over the weekend, and openly said he had been pulled from television. Angle made it clear to people he’s unhappy with Jarrett, with many feeling he’s making a power play for creative control of the company.
Jarrett celebrated his 42nd birthday last Tuesday with his allies telling people that he was simply on vacation when he wasn’t in the office late last week. However, all indications point to Jarrett taking an indefinite leave of absence from the company.
The timing of the situation is interesting because it occurred immediately after a caller who claimed to be an employee of TNA stated on Bubba The Love Sponge’s satellite show last week that Karen Angle is living with Jarrett at his residence in Nashville.
TNA front office employees were told during a company meeting late last week that he is taking some “personal time off.” Jarrett was previously scheduled to at least be involved in some pre-taped backstage segments at last night’s show. He was also going to continue building a program with Eric Young at this week’s Impact tapings.
As a result of his absence, the creative team and several producers ran things backstage last night at Victory Road. It’s interesting to note that Jarrett’s sudden absence coincidentally occurs after an incident on Bubba the Love Sponge’s radio show last week where an “anonymous TNA employee” had their voice distorted and claimed on-air that Jarrett was now involved in a relationship with the ex-wife of Kurt Angle, Karen. The person claimed the two were living together at Jarrett’s residence.
A rumoured relationship between Jarrett and Karen Angle has been bouncing around for several months, so the caller was simply repeating the oft-cited rumour. However, giving the timing of Jarrett deciding to take some personal time off, it does seem rather peculiar. TNA’s public relations official Steve Godfrey declined to comment on the situation this morning when contacted. He said he could not “comment on personnel issues at this time.”
Jarrett’s sudden absence was a large topic of discussion among wrestlers and employees at last night’s pay-per-view. This may have been the first PPV in the company’s seven-year history which he was not running and/or backstage. There is said to be no timetable on when he will return to his duties.
– Shelton Benjamin’s recent move to ECW was not done as a demotion, but rather in hopes that he’ll once again emerge as a big fish in a small pond. The PWTorch Newsletter reports that the company feels if he heats up on ECW, they can always move him back to RAW or SmackDown!. Shelton’s reputation for years was that he’s a great athlete but lacks the motivation to live up to WWE’s expectations of him, and this caused his SmackDown! push to be scaled back. The feeling of several sources is that he became complacent once he made some money, but has shed that reputation in recent months.
In another report by the PWTorch Newsletter, they state that WWE officials take into account the number of minority wrestlers they have on each brand. More than one source says that race was something taken into account as part of the recent 15-wrestler trade between brands.
– WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes will be on RAW tonight and will appear on camera with celebrity guest hosts ZZ Top.
Regarding the celebrity guest host angle, WWE sources say it will continue for as long as possible. WWE is very happy so far with the guest host gimmick and feels it freshens up the show. WWE is looking to work with celebrities who have attended live WWE events before or are known to be wrestling fans. Snoop Dogg, Cheryl Crow and William are among the names of celebrity wrestling fans who are being considered for future roles on the show.
– Brooke Hogan’s new music album “The Redemption” goes on sale tomorrow, July 21st. Some of the songs have leaked online and there’s one about her mother Linda titled, “Dear Mom“. In the song, 21-year-old Brooke vents about how they’ve grown apart from each other thanks in part to Linda’s divorce from her father, Hulk Hogan. The song opens with the lyric: “It’s such a shame when someone you were born to love isn’t that person anymore.” Ouch.
– Sabres F Clarke MacArthur has signed a one-year extension with the team. MacArthur had filed for salary arbitration but managed to settle with the club before his hearing. He tallied 17 goals and 31 points in 71 contests for the Sabres last campaign.