– Phillies’ RHP Brad Lidge (partially torn rotator cuff) will be placed on the 15-day DL and miss 3-6 weeks, but is unlikely to begin throwing for about 2 months. Lidge said that he hopes to be back for the second half of the season. “Best case is between 3-6 weeks to not throw at all. Then you’ve got to build up just as much on the other side, however long it takes. I’m thinking in my mind I’ve got to be back for the second half and have a real good second half, make sure I’m stronger than before. Not just where I was, but stronger. It’s a partial tear of the rotator cuff. If it was in the labrum, that’s game over, out for the season. The rotator cuff doesn’t have to be … It’s still a crappy feeling.” Lidge could be back in early-June assuming he doesn’t suffer any setbacks. RHP Jose Contreras will be the interim closer.
– The Dodgers and RHP Chad Billingsley have finalized a 3-year/$35M extension with a club option for 2015. This new deal does not impact his contract for this season. He’ll earn $9M in 2012, $11M in 2013, $12M in 2014 and either a $14M club option or $3M buyout for 2015. Billingsley has a 3.55 ERA over his first five seasons in the majors. The 26-year-old has thrown at least 191 2/3 innings over the past three seasons and should be a steal if he can maintain that production.
– The Padres have placed RHP Mat Latos (right shoulder strain) on the 15-day DL retroactive to March 22. Latos played catch Tuesday at Padres’ camp from a distance of 100 feet and reported no issues. The plan is for him to throw off the mound Thursday before the Padres’ season opener against the Cardinals. Because his DL-stint was backdated, it’s possible that he could return as soon as next Wednesday.
– Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy confirmed Tuesday that RHP Brian Wilson (oblique) will begin the season on the DL. The Giants can backdate the DL-stint so that he will be eligible to return for the second game of the series against the Padres next week.
– The Padres have placed OF Kyle Blanks (Tommy John surgery), OF Eric Patterson (strained left hamstring), 3B Jeff Hoffpauir (strained right quad) and LHP Joe Thatcher (strained left shoulder) on the 15-day DL retroactive to March 22.
– The Angels have placed LHP Scott Downs (fractured big left toe), RHP Joel Piniero (right shoulder tightness), OF Reggie Willits (left calf strain) and 1B Kendry Morales (left ankle) on the 15-day DL retroactive to March 22.
– The Orioles have placed RHP Justin Duchscherer (strained left hip) on the 15-day DL retroactive to March 22.
– The Jays have placed LHP Jesse Carlson (left shoulder strain) on the 60-day DL.
– According to the PWI, WWE’s creative team plugged Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov into the Eight Man Tag Team Match with The Corre at Wrestlemania XXVII after it was decided that Christian would be in Edge’s corner when “The Rated-R Superstar” defends the World Heavyweight Championship against Alberto Del Rio. Christian and Kofi Kingston were originally pegged for the match. It also said that Marella had “earned a spot on the card” based on his tenure with WWE. Management reportedly feels he “hits a home run” with whatever he is told to do on television and since he hadn’t yet worked a WrestleMania match (WrestleMania XXV nonwithstanding), he was to be rewarded. In regards to Kingston not being currently slotted for a match at the event, there has been talk in the last day of him facing Drew McIntyre.
– There have been discussions all week about whether to close Sunday’s WrestleMania XXVII PPV event with John Cena vs. The Miz or Triple H vs. The Undertaker. The latter match was scheduled to close the show last week, but Vince McMahon is going back and forth this week on what to do.
– Shawn Michaels is scheduled to appear ringside during The Undertaker vs. Triple H match at WrestleMania XXVII.
– Brock Lesnar appeared on ESPN’s Sportscenter this morning to promote the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter and was asked by anchor Hannah Storm about the possibility of returning to World Wrestling Entertainment.
“I should never say never. When my stint in the UFC is over, it’s a possibility. But folks, it ain’t happening very soon. That’s for sure.”
– WWE legend Kevin Nash spoke to Atlanta’s Creative Loafing blog to promote the VIP he’s throwing in Atlanta this Friday night as part of WrestleMania weekend. To read the full interview and get more details on Nash’s party – visit CLATL.com. Here are some highlights of what Nash said about:
His Current Role in WWE: “For me, right now at almost 52 years old, I really don’t want to be bouncing around too much. I’m blessed that I can get around as well as I can after being beat up for so many years. But I’d still like to do anything I can do to help the young guys and help the federation move forward. So we’re going to sit down over ‘Mania weekend and the weeks after that, look at some options, and see what works for them and what works for myself and move forward.”
Whether He’ll Be A Part Of WrestleMania Weekend: “I haven’t been told anything, but like any good pro wrestler, I’ll definitely pack my gear because you never know when somebody’s going to go down and they need a body. So I’ll make sure I have my gear on me in case I am needed. But I will be signing at the fan Axxess for them under my Legends contract. It’ll be nice to get back down there, and WrestleMania’s always special. It’s the Super Bowl of wrestling, and it’s nice to be part of the whole weekend. And to do our own little thing to kick it off is something that’s special to me because I’ve never tried to do anything like this before and it’s gotten a good response…Atlanta’s a sweet town. Great food, great nightlife, good people, so it will be good to spend a couple of days in Atlanta going to my old gyms and hanging out in my old stomping grounds.”
His Decision To Leave TNA and Re-Join WWE: “I was with TNA for the better part of four or five years. I’d walk through the airport and people’d come up and ask for my autograph and ask if I was ever going to wrestle again. I’d be like, “I have been for the past five years.” There’s that much drop-off between WWE and TNA. Then coming back at the Rumble and running out in front of 20,000 people — well, walking out in my case — it was special. The reaction was nice and it’s nice to be back. To me, it was the right move. Everything goes full circle and I became a money player with WWE, and I’d like to finish my career with them.”
– The 3/28 edition of Raw did 3.8 rating and 5,838,000 viewers. The first hour did a 3.56 rating with 5,445,000 viewers and the second hour, which was really strong, did a 4.06 rating with 6,231,000 viewers.
– Rapper Snoop Dogg announced on Facebook on Tuesday that he’ll be attending Sunday’s WrestleMania 27 pay-per-view from Atlanta, Georgia. He wrote:
“Fo’ Shizzle WWE Univizzle!! The one-and-only Snoop Dogg will attend WWE WrestleMania XXVII!! Click LIKE if you’re down with the D-O-Double G!
– The Islanders have signed G Al Montoya to a 1-year/1-way extension through 2011-12. Montoya, 26, has a record of 8-4-4 with a 2.35 GAA and a .923 SV% in 17 games with the Islanders this season. The one-way deal means he’ll start with the big club next season alongside G Rick DiPietro.
– Canucks’ F Manny Malhotra (eye) underwent a successful second surgery on Tuesday. It was the second operation since being struck by a puck on March 16. The club didn’t provide details on what the next step was in Malhotra’s recovery. On Monday, Malhotra’s brother-in-law, Suns’ G Steve Nash, said that doctors are attempting to save Malhotra’s eye. We wish him the best in his recovery.
– Bruins’ F Mark Recchi may retire at the end of the 2010-11 season. The 43-year-old said he will hang up his skates if the Bruins win the Stanley Cup, but if they don’t he will have to see if his body can handle the rigors of another NHL campaign. Recchi posted an assist in Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Chicago to move him ahead of Paul Coffey for 12th on the all-time scorers list with 1,532 points in 1,647 games. He trails Boston great Ray Bourque by 47 points for the No. 11 spot. Recchi has 13 goals, 47 points and a plus-17 rating in 76 contests this season with the Bruins.
– Spurs’ GM R.C. Buford said he is not expecting to get an exact timetable on F Tim Duncan (ankle) until the end of the week. Coach Gregg Popovich already said that he is not expecting to have Duncan on Thursday or Friday. Buford did say that he expects Duncan to play in some regular season games, so it’s possible that the future Hall of Famer will be back sometime next week.
– Wizards’ F Trevor Booker (crack in right foot) is likely done for the season. In 14 starts this year, he averaged 10.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game.
– A landlord in Stillwater, Oklahoma sued Cowboys’ WR Dez Bryant in January of 2010 for damages and failure to pay rent. Deion Sanders’ remarks started because Bryant backed out of an endorsement deal with Under Armour, only to keep their money. He has also failed to repay more than $800K worth of jewelry and sporting event tickets. As suggested by Sanders, Bryant’s word means absolutely nothing anymore.
– Alabama’ WR Julio Jones (foot surgery) will ditch his walking boot this weekend, allowing him to resume working out before next month’s draft. Jones already completed all of his physical drills, exceeding expectations despite the left foot fracture at last month’s Combine. Had the injury occurred in-season, Jones would be gaining clearance to play right about now. The injury won’t have a negative impact on his draft stock.
– Texas police have issued felony warrants for the arrests of Bucs’ CB Aqib Talib and his mother, Okolo Talib. Talib could face 2-20 years in prison after he turns himself in for the 2nd-degree felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. A grand jury will hear the case in 4-6 weeks, though it could be months before it goes to trial. The Bucs cannot release players during the lockout.
– According to TNA sources, there has been no determination made regarding the future of Jeff Hardy with TNA Wrestling. It’s very possible that it won’t even be discussed until after his April 20th court date. He’s been telling TNA management for months that everything is going to be fine but they have a hard time trusting him for obvious reasons. Jeff Hardy is not backstage at this week’s TV tapings and rumors of him returning as a babyface are false. There haven’t even been any talks regarding that. The Hogan promo several weeks ago way the way of writing him off TV.
– Twitter suspended TNA Wrestling President Dixie Carter’s account today. Her account was suspended due to a violation of the website’s terms of service. Approximately a month ago, a background image featuring a photoshopped “Verified Account” logo was uploaded to the page. However, only Twitter may indicate that an account is verified. Their terms of service reads: “Misuse of Twitter Badges: You may not use a Verified Account badge or Promoted Products badge unless it is provided by Twitter. Accounts using these badges as part of profile pictures, background images, or in a way that falsely implies affiliation with Twitter will be suspended.” According to reader Kemco, numerous users reported the violating account to Twitter, which led to its suspension. Carter launched the account in late 2009, coinciding with the arrival of Hulk Hogan, and was frequently plugged on TNA iMPACT! up until a few months ago. Some people have speculated that her “I am” tweet last week was in response to users calling her out for misrepresenting the account as verified.