– The Blue Jays have hired John Farrell as manager. Farrell becomes the 12th skipper in franchise history. He was with the Red Sox as a pitching coach from 2007-2010 and ran the Indians’ player development department when that club brought up some serious talent in the early 2000s. It’s a great hire, and Farrell should do well with the quality youngsters in Toronto’s starting rotation.
– OF Manny Ramirez (hernia) told Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com that he underwent surgery two weeks ago to repair the injury that plagued him for most of 2010. Limited to just 90 games this season, the 38-year-old batted .298/.409/.460 with nine home runs and 42 RBI in 265 at-bats between the Dodgers and White Sox. The impending free agent told Rojas that he believes that playing as a DH in the American League could help extend his career, and expressed an interest in joining new Blue Jays manager (and former Red Sox pitching coach) John Farrell in Toronto.
– Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals have reached a 2-year extension with pitching coach Dave Duncan. The Cards did well to get Duncan off the open market on the same day that the big-budget Yankees created a vacancy at pitching coach with the firing of Dave Eiland. Duncan is widely regarded as one of the best in the business and is back with manager and friend Tony La Russa for yet another season in St. Louis. That’s a duo with a whole lot of past success.
– The Yankees have cut ties with pitching coach Dave Eiland. GM Brian Cashman revealed the news Monday, saying that Eiland is “not being blamed for what took place” in 2010 and that it was a “private” decision. It sounds like some of the higher-ups in the organization might have wanted a shake-up of some kind after the Bombers’ disappointing ALCS loss to the Rangers. Eiland is highly respected and should find a job quickly, either as a manager or pitching coach.
– Despite widespread speculation about Brock Lesnar returning to WWE to wrestle The Undertaker at WrestleMania 27 in April, UFC President Dana White says its not going to happen – and it’s because the former UFC Heavyweight champ is still under a UFC contract. The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar had a face-to-face confrontation at Saturday’s UFC 121 pay-per-view following Lesnar’s UFC Heavyweight title loss. Dana White tells TMZ.com:
“Brock Lesnar is still under contract with the UFC … he is not going to wrestle in the WWE. He cannot wrestle, box or fight anywhere else.”
There remains the possibility that Lesnar could appear in a non-physical capacity, but so far there’s no word out of Lesnar’s camp as to whether he is interested in working with WWE again.
– Wade Barrett is not the only WWE superstar who was scheduled to win gold at Sunday’s Bragging Rights PPV only to have the plans changed. According to FWO, The Undertaker was originally scheduled to win the World Heavyweight Title in his Buried Alive match with Kane. Taker, however, is expected to undergo surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and is expected to several months. He’s going to be checked out this week in hopes of avoiding surgery.
Instead of the originally planned finish of Taker choking out Kane and burying him alive, WWE instead went with Nexus coming out and attacking Taker, allowing Kane to get the win. Kane needing Nexus’ help to defeat the Dead Man was a way to protect the Undertaker, who had lost the two previous matches between the two of them (No Holds Barred at Night of Champions and the Hell in a Cell match last month).
Speaking of injuries, it was also that CM Punk may have injured his hip or back last night, but he was okay after walking around backstage following his match.
– WWE legend The Undertaker conducted a rare out-of-character interview with FightMagazine.com following Saturday night’s UFC 121 PPV in Anaheim, California. The Undertaker spoke mostly about MMA, saying once again that he would have almost certainly become an MMA fighter if the sport was this popular 25 years ago when he was getting into wrestling. He also said he’s near the end of his wrestling career and hopes to work behind the scenes after his days in the ring are over.
Brock Lesnar’s Loss at UFC 121: “I didn’t think it would go that way that early. I thought he would be able to overpower Cain and use his strength against him. It kind of caught me off guard the way it ended up”
What’s Next For Brock: “I think he showed how he rebounds after he loses a fight. This is what, Brock’s sixth fight? What he’s accomplished with six fights is remarkable. That goes back to his incredible strength and wrestling background. You study your film, you study your tape, you get back in the gym, and you make your corrections. I think Brock will be a better fighter. Things happen. I figure he’ll go back and look at this fight and make some tweaks to his game plan. I can’t wait to see it again.”
Batista vs. Bobby Lashley: “It’s an attraction. I don’t know which way to call it.. Bobby was doing good. He didn’t look too great his last time out. I guess he was sick or something like that. And Bautista is just getting started. I know Bautista is really motivated to fight. I think he should get a couple fights under his belt before he steps in there with somebody of – Bobby has a tremendous wrestling background. … I think that might give Bobby the edge. But, you never know what’s going to happen.”
– Michael Benoit, the father of the late Chris Benoit, is speaking at a press conference in Connecticut today for Linda McMahon’s Democratic Senate race opponent, Richard Blumenthal. Benoit is speaking out about how WWE treats its wrestlers and said he was there to “change an industry that is out of control.” Benoit says that Vince and Linda McMahon are motivated by nothing but money.. “The only reason that woman wants to go to Washington is to protect the dollars that WWE makes, to head off any attempt to regulate their industry.” said Benoit.
Linda McMahon spoke to reporters shortly before Benoit’s press conference and calls Michael Benoit’s position “bitter and sad.”
“I think Mr. Blumenthal has really tried to focus in only saying that WWE does not treat its performers well, when in fact, WWE treats its performers incredibly well and it wants to make sure that those men and women in the ring are protected,” she said.
“I can truly understand the pain of a father who has not only lost a child but a son who was involved in a heinous crime of killing his wife and his son,” McMahon said to reporters. “I can understand that his feelings are bitter, sad, wants to find answer and would like to also find someone to blame.”
Benoit responded: “Maybe I come off as a bitter father. I’m determined to make change in this industry so we don’t have people dropping dead at the age of 30.”
– WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross is the latest person to chime in on the possibility of Brock Lesnar returning to WWE at WrestleMania 27 to battle The Undertaker. Ross wrote on Twitter:
“Do people actually believe Brock Lesnar is going to lv UFC & meet Undertaker @ WM 27? Really? Some do. Amazing.
“If I were advising Brock, I’m not btw, I’d say finish ur UFC run as WWE is always a 1 off option. Brock will NEVER go back on rd full time.”
“Some fans come off as desperate when ‘got’s 2 have Taker-Lesnar @ wm 27. Wishful thinking by & large. Brock’s still ufc’s ‘face’ & ppv guy.”
– Vikings’ coach Brad Childress revealed Monday that QB Brett Favre (left ankle) has been diagnosed with two fractures. Favre has an “avulsion” fracture (when a ligament separates a piece of bone from the primary bone) and a stress fracture in ankle, which was surgically repaired this offseason. Childress won’t rule out Favre for Week 8 against New England, but also said Favre’s consecutive starts streak will have no impact on his playing status. According to beat writer Tom Pelissero, it “sure sounds like there’s a real danger of him missing this game.” Favre won’t need another surgery, but is currently in a protective walking boot.
– Jets’ CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring) said he is now 100% after he was able to rest and rehab it during the bye week. Great news for the Jets, as Revis clearly hasn’t been himself in recent weeks while trying to play through the injury. If he is indeed back at full strength, it’s going to be awfully hard to throw on the Jets, as fellow CB Antonio Cromartie is having an outstanding year.
– Saints’ RB Reggie Bush (fractured fibula) said he has been cleared to play and is preparing as if he’ll make his return in Week 8. Bush added that X-rays show his fibula has healed nicely. He claims he is close to 100%, but he’s yet to test the leg in live situations. We’ll know later this week if a Week 8 return is indeed likely. Bush will go back to his passing-down role and could see more carries while Pierre Thomas is out.
– Wolves’ F Martell Webster (back) underwent minor back surgery on Monday to remove part of a herniated disc in his lower back. No timetable has been set on his return, but typical recovery time from such a procedure is 4-6 weeks.
– Canadiens’ coach Jacques Martin thinks D Andrei Markov (knee) will be cleared to return by this weekend. The offensive defender has been participating in team practices for the last week and he has been cleared for contact. Markov is waiting for the doctors to give him a final clean bill of health before he can get back into the lineup.
Marc Valeri – firstname.lastname@example.org
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