– According to ESPN’s Keith Law, who was an assistant to former Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi, the Jays were offered some very big deals in exchange for former OF Jose Cruz Jr. The Mets apparently wanted to hand over 3B David Wright for Cruz and Ricciardi said, “I’m not trading a major league player for some guy in the (Low Class-A) Sally League.”
Another player the Blue Jays could have had for Cruz was RHP Rafael Soriano, but the Blue Jays wanted the Mariners to throw in Clint Nageotte in order to bring Cruz back to the Northwest where he had started his career. Ricciardi obviously didn’t go for either trade and Cruz eventually left the team to join the Giants. Oh, what could have been…
– Cardinals manager Tony La Russa implied Thursday that he’s leaning toward returning for the 2010 season. La Russa is spending some time away from baseball at his home in California and expects to make a decision soon. “In talking to [owner Bill DeWitt Jr. and GM John Mozeliak], they’ve been supportive. All that’s left is to check the fire in your gut. That shouldn’t take long.” Pitching coach Dave Duncan said last week that he’s also leaning toward returning.
– According to the PWInsider, WWE has signed former tag team champion Lance Cade to a new contract. He reported to FCW, WWE’s developmental territory, earlier this week.
Cade, who was trained by Shawn Michaels in Texas, is best known from his tag team with Trevor Murdoch. He had been in the midst of the biggeset push of his career, working as Chris Jericho’s second during a feud with Michaels when he was suddenly released in October 2008. WWE announcer Jim Ross reported at the time that Cade was let go after suffering a seizure on a flight that required emergency treatment. The belief at the time was that Cade’s seizure was the result of “something he had taken.”
Since his WWE releasse last year, he’s been working for the NWA in California as well as in Japan.
– The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that Jim Ross’ voice sounds perfect, according to someone who spoke to him personally. Ross recently suffered his third Bells Palsy attack, but it looks like he won’t be setback as much as he was with his two prior attacks.
– According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, nowadays, Stephanie McMahon only goes on the road during weeks when there are pay-per-views. As WWE’s Executive VP of Creative Development & Operations (and a mother of two), she primarily works at the company’s headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.
– While David Arquette will not be hosting next week’s episode of Raw as previously rumored, company officials have indeed been in talks with the former WCW World Heavyweight Champion being a future host.
– Speaking on his weekly radio show Friday, Redskins GM Vinny Cerrato unequivocally endorsed Jim Zorn as the head coach for the rest of the season. Cerrato said, “Let me start by making a few things very perfectly clear. Jim Zorn is the head coach of the Washington Redskins and will for the rest of this season, and hopefully into the future.” Cerrato also insisted that “the relationships internally within the organization quite frankly remain the same.”
– According to the NY Post, Magic Johnson’s book, “When the Game was Ours”, alleges that Thomas went around the league spreading the rumor and trying to find proof that Magic was gay or bisexual after Johnson announced that he had HIV. Magic admits in the book that he went out of his way to blackball Thomas off of the initial Dream Team in 1992 that went on to win the gold medal at the Olympics in Barcelona.
– Hornets F Emeka Okafor (toe) has reportedly been cleared to play for some time now, but is still leery of getting back on the court. Yahoo! Sports reports that Okafor’s teammates are growing tired of him not playing, which is not good news for his fantasy owners. One unnamed Hornet said, “He better practice Sunday or he could lose some guys.” Coach Byron Scott said, “In his mind, he says he’s not ready. When you have a guy that says he is not ready, the worst thing you can do is force him to get out there.”
– Ducks F Evgeny Artyukhin has been suspended three games for a slew-footing incident in Wednesday night’s game against the Stars. Artyukhin will lose $34,756.11 in salary.