– The Kings have officially traded F Tracy McGrady to the Knicks in a three-way deal. The who’s-going-where is a bit of a mess, so here it is, nicely ironed out.
To Knicks: F Tracy McGrady, G Sergio Rodriguez
To Rockets: G Kevin Martin, F Jared Jeffries, F Hilton Armstrong, F Jordan Hill, the Knicks’ first-round draft picks in 2011 and 2012
To Sacramento: G Larry Hughes
– The Bulls have traded F Tyrus Thomas to the Bobcats for G Flip Murray, G Acie Law and a future first-round pick.
– The Jazz have traded F Ronnie Brewer to the Grizzlies for a protected first-round draft pick in 2011. Brewer becomes an immediate backup. The Grizz obviously feel as though F Rudy Gay will walk this offseason.
– The Bucks have traded G Jodie Meeks and F Francisco Elson to the Sixers for G Royal Ivey, a second-round pick and F Primoz Brezec.
– ESPN reports that while a buyout is likely for Wizards’ F Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the Mavs have expressed interest in signing him, as F Erick Dampier is out after finger surgery.
– The LA Times reports that the Clippers are planning to leave a lot of cap room this summer. When all contracts expire, the Clippers will be left with five players, giving them $35M in wiggle room. Expect the Clippers to bid (and lose) on some big name players in this summer’s huge free agent frenzy.
– PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem has explained why the the timing of Tiger Woods’ prepared statement on Friday morning is so important. According to the AP, Finchem submitted a letter to the PGA Tour policy board that read as follows:
“As we understand it, Tiger’s therapy called for a week’s break at this time during which he has spent a few days with his children and then will make his statement before returning. Accordingly, there was very little flexibility in the date for the announcement.”
Because Woods’ statement will occur during the Accenture’s World Golf Championships-Match Play Championship, suspicion over its timing has been the primary focus. Since Accenture dropped Woods as a spokesperson, some believed that Woods was spiteful. Woods was photographed jogging on Wednesday and hitting balls today. His next possible return site would be at the WGC-CA Championship at Doral on March 11-14.
Shortly after it was announced that Tiger Woods would speak on Friday, his web site released a brief statement. In its entirety, it reads,
“Tiger Woods will be speaking to a small group of friends, colleagues and close associates at 11:00 a.m. EST on Friday at the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Tiger plans to discuss his past and his future, and he plans to apologize for his behavior. While Tiger feels that what happened is fundamentally a matter between him and his wife, he also recognizes that he has hurt and let down a lot of other people who were close to him. He also let down his fans. He wants to begin the process of making amends, and that’s what he’s going to discuss. His remarks will be open to a press pool for live coverage. It is NOT a news conference.”
– Red Sox’ C Victor Martinez told Alex Speier of WEEI.com that he would “obviously” like to stay with the Red Sox. “Who don’t want to be here in the long term?. This is an organization that, everyone wants to be here.” Martinez told Speier that “it’s all in [the Red Sox'] hands” as to whether or not he will discuss a contract extension during spring training. The BoSox will make sure Twins’ C Joe Mauer is locked up before they start any long-term extension talks.
– The Fort Wroth Star-Telegram reports that the Rangers are interested in C Jose Molina. The team has already offered him a minor-league deal, which he declined.
– According to James Schmehl of MLive.com, the Tigers have already emptied a locker in Lakeland “for what most are assuming” will be free agent OF Johnny Damon. Look for Damon to accept the two-year/$14M deal the Tigers offered him more than a week ago. If the offer is legit, Damon would have no real reason to turn it down, despite speculation of the contrary. Position players are scheduled to report to Tigers’ camp on Monday and their first full workout is scheduled for Tuesday.
White Sox’ GM Kenny Williams plans to address the Damon situation on Sunday, according to Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald. “I will talk about this on Sunday,” said Williams, his first public comment regarding Damon. Gregor reminds that Williams has a long history of ignoring media requests when he’s on the verge of making a trade or signing a free agent. Coincidentally, Sunday is the day pitchers and catchers report to Glendale. Gregor takes this to mean that Williams already knows that Damon has agreed to sign with the Tigers. The White Sox have reportedly offered him a one-year/$4.5M deal. It’s just speculation at the moment, so stay tuned.
– The Angels and SS Erick Aybar avoided arbitration on Thursday by agreeing to a one-year/$2.05M contract. Aybar requested $2.75M while the Angels offered $1.8M when arbitration figures were swapped last month. He has a chance to earn $50K bonuses for 575 plate appearances and 625 plate appearances. Aybar, 26, batted .312/.353/.423 last season and is the favourite to fill the void in the leadoff spot.
– The Marlins have signed RHP Mike MacDougal.
– The Fourth Period reports that Oilers’ captain F Ethan Moreau could be dealt at the trade deadline. “There isn’t really a bad scenario. I love playing the game. Either here, playing in this city and this organization that I’ve enjoyed for the last 10 or 11 years or somewhere else with a new opportunity. For me, there is not a lot of anxiety. He’ll likely get traded for prospects or draft picks since Edmonton is in a rebuilding mode. Edmonton is also apparently trying to get rid of D Sheldon Souray, F Shawn Horcoff, D Lubomir Vishnovsky and F Mike Comrie before the March 3 deadline.
– NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora reports the Ravens will not move RB Willis McGahee despite his $3.6M salary in 2010. McGahee will back up RB Ray Rice, but will see touches at the goal line. The 28-year-old did great in the backup role, averaging 5.0 YPC with a career-high 14 combined TDs.
– In the new 2010 WrestleMania XXVI Almanac magazine, WWE superstar Shawn Michaels says he has regrets about his WrestleMania 14 match with Stone Cold Steve Austin. At the time, Michaels’ back was in terrible shape and his career was thought to be over. He was also an emotional wreck and admits he was not an easy guy to get along with in the WWE locker room. When asked if he has any regrets in his career, Michael said:
“The one I always come back to is my match against Steve Austin at WrestleMania 14. I just wasn’t in a great place physically or emotionally. That one could have been so much more. Steve didn’t get me at my best. And that’s unfortunate, because it was the last time I got to work with him. Steve went on to such great things afterward, and I had an opportunity to make that match so much more.”
Michaels also looks back at his matches with Bret Hart during the mid-90′s and thinks the two legends could have accomplished a lot more together if not for their personal differences:
“I will say that I wish I had been in a better place in my life with Bret. Our matches were phenomenal, but I shudder to think what he and I could have accomplished had we gotten along.”
Michaels also named his classic ladder match with Razor Ramon from WrestleMania as high on his list of all-time great WrestleMania matches:
“Over the years, the ladder itself has become the central figure of that particular stipulation, but in our situation, it served as a backdrop for something much bigger. We were two guys claiming rightful ownership of those titles, and the ladder was just there as a way for us to prove who was the best. Now, the ladder is the primary element, and these matches are often about what the contestants can do with it.”
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