– According to 4WOnline, WWE officials are said to be very unhappy with Rey Mysterio over comments he made to a newspaper in Mexico regarding his recent drug test failure where he said had a prescription for the drug he failed for, but they suspended him before he could give proof of his prescription. A number of ideas are being discussed for Tuesday’s SmackDown! taping in Cleveland including Dolph Ziggler beating him for the Intercontinental title or Ziggler interfering and costing him the title against another wrestler. Although, WWE would have to explain Ziggler winning a number one contender’s match on last week’s episode of Superstars and not being in the match if they go in the latter direction.
It should be be noted that the official guidelines for WWE’s Wellness Policy says talent has up to seventy-two hours to provide proof of a valid prescription upon being notified of a positive test. The exact text of WWE’s Wellness Policy for handling a positive test is as follows: “It shall be the responsibility of WWE Talent to provide, if not already provided, to the Medical Director, within seventy two (72) hours of notification of a positive test, suitable proof that the substance in question has been taken pursuant to a valid prescription for a legitimate medical purpose.” If that’s the case, Mysterio should have had until Saturday to provide the necessary documents to company officials.
A lot will come down to how WWE defines the “notification” aspect. Mysterio said he was not notified of his positive test until Wednesday due to a three-week absence for a vacation, promoting SummerSlam overseas and working shows, but it remains unclear whether the company attempted to reach out to him prior to then. Mysterio worked the previous day’s SmackDown taping in Phoenix, so it would appear that he was not informed of his positive test result until arriving at home the next day. Elsewhere during the interview Mysterio also claimed to have passed fifteen drug tests within the past year.
– The Examiner has an article up noting that Floyd Mayweather said after his recent appearance on RAW that he wants to get out of boxing and into pro wrestling. Mayweather said he looks forward to being in a WWE ring soon and will one day be a WWE Superstar. In an update on the Floyd Mayweather shooting investigation from last Monday, the LA Times reports that Las Vegas police seized two handguns, two bulletproof vests and ammunition from Mayweather’s home that day.
– In an interview with 105.7 FM in York, Pennsylvania, Bob Barker said he will be hosting Monday Night RAW from Chicago on Labour Day.
– The Air Canada Center website has announced that Trish Stratus will host the September 14 edition of Monday Night RAW from the building. Click here for event information.
– If Cubs RHP Rich Harden remains a Cub after today, it’s unlikely the team will re-sign him this offseason. Harden has been great during the second half of the season, but paying him $50-60M for four unpredictable seasons is something they don’t want to do.
The Twins have yet to request Harden’s medical records, and a deal looks unlikely with the deadline looming today at 1 p.m. ET. The 27-year-old right-hander has been on the DL seven times since 2005.
The Twins still have some kind a chance to win the American League Central, currently being led by the Tigers 4.5 games ahead of them. Meanwhile, the Cubs are pretty much done, falling to 10 games behind the Cardinals. The Twins also believe that acquiring him could mean re-signing C Joe Mauer and 1B Justin Morneau to long-term deals, which in turn, could attract Harden to sign with them. The waiver deadline is today.
– According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, the Twins are among several teams interested in RHP Brad Penny. Penny will clear waivers in a couple of hours and has already drawn interest from the Marlins and Giants. The 31-year-old right-hander had a dissapointing 5.61 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in 24 starts with the Red Sox this season, but it looks like he’ll have his pick of the litter.
– According to the San Francisco Chronicle, A’s INF Nomar Garciaparra has cleared waivers and could be traded today, and the team that leads the potential suitors are none other than the Phillies. The Phillies apparently were thinking about signing Garciaparra last winter, and recently had some scouts out to watch his efforts this past weekend. Even though he’s only batting .264 with two homers and 13 RBI in 129 at-bats for the A’s this season, he’s got a very good career batting line for October games: .321 with seven homers and 24 RBIs in 112 at-bats. He’d certainly be an upgrade over their current pinch hitter, OF Matt Stairs, who is 0-for-his-last-27 and .151 on the season.
– The Dodgers have acquired INF Ronnie Belliard from the Nationals for RHP Luis Garcia and a PTBNL. In 86 games this season, the 34-year-old Belliard was batting .246 with five home runs and 22 runs batted in. He won a World Series ring with St. Louis in 2006, appearing in 14 of 15 games during the postseason. He was instrumental in getting the Cardinals to the Fall Classic, hitting .462 with a pair of RBI in four National League Division Series games.
– Due to his concussion, Mets 3B David Wright will be wearing a new style helmet next season – it’s a new, bulky Rawlings S100. Cubs RHP Ryan Dempster said that when he wore it, it felt like “my own bobblehead day”. Wright said, “I imagine they got some pretty smart people that designed them so I’m sure it works pretty good. If it provides more safety, then I’m all for it.” No matter, Minor League Baseball and the St. Louis-based company announced Monday it will be required in the minors beginning next season. Six S100 helmets are being sent to each major league team for its players to try out for the rest of this year.
– The Wolves are still trying to negotiate a buyout for G Ricky Rubio to play in the NBA. Regal Barcelona is ready to shell out the $5.3M to have Rubio come play for them, something the Wolves want to prevent. According to El Mundo Deportivo, Kahn supposedly made some sort of final offer when he had dinner with DKV Joventut president Jordi Villacampa and agent Dan Fegan on Saturday night. The special offer is expected to include endorsement deals, as well as a preseason/exhibition game vs. DKV Joventut. Plus, Kahn drafted a second Joventut player in this year’s draft, Henk Norel. Rumour has it he could pay $500K each to Joventut to buy out Norel and Rubio as a way of giving the team a little extra dough, even though Norel would never make it to the Timberwolves bench. Stay tuned.
– The Mavericks are reportedly willing to acquire disgruntled Warriors F Stephen Jackson. Jackson is owed $36M over the next four years. One rumour has another large contract going the other way: G Jason Terry. But, Mavericks beat writer Tim MacMahon says the odds of Stephen Jackson being traded to Dallas are “closer to none than slim, even in a straight salary dump.” The Mavs are over the dollar-for-dollar luxury tax and would essentially be paying $70M over four years for Jackson, too rich even for owner Mark Cuban.
– Rockets GM Daryl Morey said recently that F Yao Ming could return during the 2009-2010 season, and the franchise no longer feels his broken left foot is career-threatening. “They have not actually ruled out [his return] this season. I think that’s less likely than likely, but they haven’t ruled it out.” Yao still needs to wear a cast for a few weeks, after which he’ll be on crutches for six-to-eight weeks.
– G Carlos Arroyo is apparently coming back to the NBA from playing overseas, as he’s set to sign a one-year deal with the Bulls. Last season, he led Maccabi Tel Aviv to an Israeli Premier League Championship and got himself the honor of being named MVP of the Finals. But, the Daily Herald says there’s no way that the Bulls will sign Arroyo since it already has four point guards under contract and not a lot of salary-cap room to work with. Stay tuned.
– Attorneys for Jayson Williams say the retired NBA star’s convictions related to a fatal shooting should be thrown out because those who prosecuted him were racially biased. Williams was convicted of four counts of covering up the shooting of a hired driver at his central New Jersey mansion more than seven years ago.
– Paul Kelly is out as executive director of the NHL Players’ Association. The union announced at its annual meeting Monday that its executive board voted “overwhelmingly” to remove Kelly. The executive board is made up of one player from each of the 30 teams. Kelly held the job for less than two years. The NHLPA didn’t give a reason, saying that after a review of the “overall operation of the NHLPA, it was decided that Paul Kelly should no longer continue to serve as executive director.” The union said it would immediately form a committee to find a replacement. Kelly had been on the job since October, 2007, when he took over for the fired Ted Saskin.
– The Senators supposedly don’t want F Dany Heatley to show up at training camp. Training camp for the team starts on September 12 and GM Bryan Murray would supposedly love to have a trade in place by then that would send Heatley packing. Rumours persist that the Sharks are very interested, but might not have the talent to trade in order to get the job done. Murray hasn’t apparently had a lot of choices to pick from when it comes to Heatley trade scenarios, and the rumour is that the team doesn’t want the circus to become a daily distraction to the team. Expect Murray to lower his return price for the former 50-goal scorer.
– The Senators have some interest in F Petr Sykora. The Senators are currently over the cap and would only sign Sykora if they were able to trade F Dany Heatley before training camp. The Flyers and Wild might also be interested in Sykora’s services after they lost the race to sign F Alex Tanguay to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Sykora scored 25 goals and 46 points in 76 games with the Pens last season.
– Patriots LB Tedy Bruschi has retired after 13 NFL seasons. Bruschi helped anchor a defense that was instrumental in New England’s three Super Bowl titles spanning four seasons. During his tenure with the team, New England made the playoffs nine times with eight division championships and five conference titles. The 36-year-old one-time Pro Bowl selection holds the franchise record for most postseason games with 22.
– TNA President Dixie Carter was a guest on the Live Audio Wrestling Internet radio show on Sunday night. Host John Pollock discussed TNA’s current PPV formula of one event per month, Carter says she is not a fan of the monthly PPV format and she would like to see the formula shaken up.
“I’m not a big fan of monthly PPVs, quite honestly, but you have contracts that keep you held in and bound at times. We’re definitely talking about trying to shake things up and do things differently in the future…I work very, very closely (creatively). I’m not going to profess to be a wrestling writer. I am good at challenging people. It’s not just ratings, but other things as well,” Carter said. “We’ve made a lot of changes internally to present the product more real and focusing on these young guys.”
Despite the fact that TNA is a privately held company and their actual PPV buyrate figures are never officially released, the data that does get out indicates that TNA has never come close to breaking 100,000 buys for an event and change is needed.