– The Stars have signed RFA F James Neal to a 2-year/$5.75M contract. Neal will earn $2.25M this season and $3.5M in 2011-12. Neal had 27 goals and 55 points in 78 games last season as a 22-year-old. “You always want to get better and you always want to get stronger, and so I did a lot of work. I know there are areas of my game where I can improve, and I’m ready to get going.” Look for Neal to climb over the 60 point barrier this season.
– Bruins’ F Marc Savard (concussion) is being kept off the ice because of post-concussion syndrome related symptoms. It remains to be seen how serious this is, but anything related to a concussion can’t be good. Savard missed two months last season due to a concussion, but he was able to return for the second round of the playoffs. Stay tuned.
– The Los Angeles Times reports that the Dodgers will have Don Mattingly replace Joe Torre as their manager at the conclusion of the season. The Times reports that Torre could remain with the club, though there’s been speculation that he’ll have opportunities to manage elsewhere if he’d like. It’s been assumed since the day both were hired that Mattingly would eventually replace Torre, but recent speculation had the Dodgers seriously considering Tim Wallace instead. Mattingly has never managed at any level.
– According to the Chicago Sun-Times, White Sox’ INF Gordon Beckham (hand) is likely to be shut down for the rest of the season once the Sox are mathematically eliminated. Beckham was held out of Thursday’s lineup against the Twins with continued discomfort in his right hand. Manager Ozzie Guillen said, “I don’t like the way [Beckham] swings the bat. Obviously he wants to play, but I’ve seen this kid swing the bat for a year and a half and I know his hand is not even 80%. He’s wasting at-bats. He’s not 100% out there to try to help us, and that’s why I shut it down for a couple of days to see how the treatment gets him back. The problem with that is you feel good one day then one swing it comes back again.”
– Angels’ INF Erick Aybar (sports hernia) told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register that team trainers suspect he may have a sports hernia. Aybar was scratched from Thursday’s lineup with a “left leg strain,” but there is concern that the injury is more serious. He’ll undergo an MRI on Friday.
– F Erick Dampier is in the process of narrowing his options down to just a few teams, with the Heat, Rockets and (surprise) the Hawks currently leading the way. Dampier’s value would see a boost with the Hawks, as they have lacked a true center for years. He would also start in Miami, but struggle to see touches, and would provide F Yao Ming insurance in Houston.
– U.S. President Barrack Obama appeared at a fundraiser for Linda McMahon’s opponent Richard Blumenthal on Thursday, speaking out against the former WWE CEO and saying she’s not fit for the United States Senate. Obama calls the decision to vote for Blumenthal a “no brainer.”
“This is the kind of leader you want representing you, somebody you know. Somebody who doesn’t just show up and try to get a victory by writing a big check and flooding the airwaves with negative ads.”
“I understand [Linda McMahon] has promised a ‘smackdown.’ That is what she said. And, look, there’s no doubt, I can see how somebody who’s been in professional wrestling would think that they’re right at home in the United States Senate — if they were watching some of the behavior that’s been going on.
“But the truth is — and Dick understands this — public service is not a game. At this moment, we are facing challenges we haven’t seen since the Great Depression. And facing serious challenges requires serious leaders -– leaders who are willing to take on the status quo; leaders who are willing to take on special interests; leaders who are willing to fight for our people and our future. And Dick Blumenthal is that leader. And that’s why I need all of you to make him your next United States senator, That’s the choice in this election.”
Earlier this week, McMahon was asked about President Obama’s performance in office thus far, and said,
“I think President Obama, in my view, has fallen far short of what the expectation was when he became President. We are further in debt, our deficit has grown, unemployment has grown. From a leadership perspective, I think he has fallen short.”
– Matt Hardy is strongly hinting on Twitter that he’s headed to TNA Wrestling. A fan asked him if there was any chance he’d team up again with his brother Jeff to re-form The Hardy Boyz. Matt replied:
“A 100% chance And I can’t wait..”
With Jeff Hardy under contract to TNA Wrestling and Matt Hardy long rumoured to be joining him there, the chances of Matt Hardy in TNA look better than ever. Stay tuned.
– TMZ.com confirmed an earlier report of former WWE performer Sean Waltman being arrested Sunday at Newark Liberty International Airport on a drug possession charge. The story notes that Waltman showed up at the airport after appearing at a fan convention the day before and claimed that he didn’t have an ID because he was robbed at a party. When police searched him due to his lack of ID, they found a rolled marijuana cigarette.
Waltman posted a few messages on his Twitter account. Waltman says his Sunday arrest wasn’t the only bad thing he experienced over the weekend, criticizes websites that reported he was “arrested 4 drugs” (he was) and asks his Twitter followers to hook him up with some weed:
“Some c— stole my wallet with 1500.00 in it & my id. Got arrested for possession of half a joint’s worth of weed. Still in NY 4 some biz.”
“Im in NY area with no weed 2 smoke. Cops took it. Anyone in the area want to hook a brother up?”
“i love the websites that say i was arrested 4 drugs. like they dont know it was just weed. I didnt have an 8 ball 4 f—’s sake. 1/2 a joint”
Waltman also tweeted that he visited WWE’s developmental territory FCW last Thursday.
Marc Valeri – email@example.com
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