– Jeff Darlington of the Miami Herald tracked down QB Brett Favre in Hattiesburg (MS) on Friday, and Favre confirmed to Darlington that he’s not coming back to the NFL. ”I haven’t heard anything, and I don’t have any interest. No. You’re from Miami? Don’t you have anything better to do?” It appears as though Favre is retired for good. Darlington added, “Brett Favre walks slowly and gingerly, every step taking considerable effort.”
– Eagles’ franchise player QB Michael Vick confirmed Friday that he’s begun long-term contract talks with the team. PFT reported last week that discussions were in their “initial” stage, and it sounds like they’re advancing. Vick is 31 years old.
– Titans’ CB Cortland Finnegan has reportedly “walked out” of Titans’ training camp due to a contract dispute. Finnegan is set to make $3.3M in the final year of a 4-year contract this season. He has some leverage if he’s angling for a new long-term deal. The Titans could be in trouble if Finnegan and RB Chris Johnson miss a large majority of camp.
– Saints RB Chris Ivory (sports hernia) underwent surgery Friday. Ivory has been out of practice coming off surgery to repair a Lisfranc fracture, and his latest operation could force him to the PUP to open the season. He rushed for 716 yards on 137 carries (5.23 average) in his rookie season.
– The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram’s Scott Petrak suspects RB Montario Hardesty (knee) may have encountered a setback with his surgically repaired knee. Though coach Pat Shurmur insists Hardesty is just following the team’s plan with Hardesy’s delayed return from ACL surgery, Petrak noted that he “didn’t look right” while running sprints off to the side.
– Panthers’ NT Ron Edwards (torn triceps) is likely to miss the 2011 season after getting injured in training camp. Edwards, signed to a 3-year/$8.25M contract last week, was supposed to add size and strength. Carolina is low on options.
– Padres’ 1B Brad Hawpe (left elbow) is done for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Hawpe was placed on the DL in June with a strained right middle finger, but his elbow was more concerning. Position players can make their way back from Tommy John surgery more quickly than pitchers, but the 32-year-old is a big question mark for the early part of 2012. Hawpe’s contract includes a $6M mutual option for 2012, but the Padres will almost certainly pay the $1M buyout, instead.
– The Orioles have placed LHP Zach Britton (left shoulder strain) on the 15-day DL. Britton has been a disaster since being recalled from the minors at the end of July, allowing 15 runs (10 earned) on 19 hits over two starts.
– Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson said that 1B Ike Davis (left ankle) will wait another month before being reevaluated. His season is essentially over. Davis has been running regularly on the ankle, but Alderson said he’s shown only minimal improvement. If he doesn’t make sufficient progress in the next month, he is expected to undergo microfracture surgery. He’s scheduled to get a second (non-Mets) opinion on Tuesday, but his long-term status remains unknown at the moment.
– Former D Chris Chelios will enter the US Hockey Hall of Fame. The Godfather of US Hockey was one of the best defensemen ever, playing in 1,651 regular season games. He also represented the USA in four Olympics.
– Some tabloids are reporting that after Stacy Keibler cryptically wrote on Twitter how much fun she was having in Lake Como, Italy, a resort area George Clooney reigns over, the reclusive A-list actor told her to pack her bags and leave. The former Miss Hancock has since returned to the United States as she was spotted Thursday at Los Angeles International Airport fresh off a flight. Life & Style reported Wednesday that Clooney had begun dating the former WWE Diva after recently splitting from model Elisabetta Canali. His rep, however, told Yahoo’s The Famous blog that he had not heard of the alleged romance.
“George is finishing his movie and I haven’t had any way to reach him for the past several weeks,” Stan Rosenfield told The Baltimore Sun, noting that Clooney never talks about his personal life. Another source added that his “fling is purely for fun.”
– Gail Kim insisted Friday on her Twitter account that she quit WWE on Monday and was not released.
“I didn’t ask for a release. I QUIT. Lol meaning I don’t want their money I’d rather be freeeeeeee haha.
“I don’t know but I’ve been telling them since Monday I quit. So either they have control issues or they’re in denial.”
WWE, however, has yet to announce that she has been released from the organization. Regarding their lack of announcement, she wrote,
“Future endeavor message? Ok here it is: I wish the WWE the best in their future endeavors!”
Varon is lobbying on Twitter for Kim to return to TNA Wrestling, where the Canadian grappler presided as the first Women’s Knockout Champion.
“Super excited to hear about Gail asking for her release. TNA TNA TNA!!!!! Oops I mean Impact Wrestling! Impact Wrestling! Impact Wrestling!!!!”
Christy Hemme, who appears as a ring announcer for TNA, is also lobbying for Kim to return.
“What!??!? Come back to TNA then!!! Love seeing all the excitement for Gail Kim. My fav bad ass female wrestler makes life on her own terms!! Of course she does!!”
Kim says she is glad to leave WWE, calling it “the best thing ever.”
“Everyone sounds upset or sad or concerned..trust me it’s the best thing ever. Now my life can begin. All the negativity is gone and control over my life. No one can hold me down but me now!”
– WWE announced on Friday’s episode of SmackDown that Sin Cara returns to action on next week’s show, which would indicate that he is returning prior to serving the full length of his 30-day suspension for a violation of the organization’s Talent Wellness Program. To get around their self-imposed ruling, there is talk that developmental wrestler Hunico will portray Sin Cara at live events until the SmackDown Superstar’s suspension is levied on August 17—the day following a SmackDown taping in Bakersfield, California.
Sin Cara was written off television at Money in the Bank, as he was booked to sustain a storyline injury during SmackDown’s Money in the Bank Match. WWE claimed he suffered a posterior fractured rib and would be sidelined for at least four weeks. A clip of Sheamus powerbombing the masked wrestler from the ring apron through a steel ladder aired last night to explain his absence.
– WWE.com has announced that Sheamus will battle Mark Henry at SummerSlam.
– Matt Hardy, who has been inactive from TNA Wrestling since May 30, posted a status update on Twitter:
“To all of the promoters that have contacted me about working for them, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve kinda got everything on hold for now. I would greatly appreciate your patience in me taking bookings for now, thanks!”
Company officials reportedly suspended Hardy in June due to continuously arriving late to events and posting online of himself urging Jeff Hardy to stun Reby Sky (Matt’s girlfriend) with a taser.
– The August 4, 2011 episode of Impact Wrestling scored a 1.14 cable rating, down from 1.20 the prior week and 1.26 on July 21. Impact averaged 1,436,000 viewers over the course of two hours, down 22 percent from 1,794,000 on July 21.