– Senators’ F Daniel Alfredsson skated for the first time on Tuesday since undergoing back surgery in June. ”It felt good to be back on the ice today. I was on for maybe an hour, an hour and 20 (minutes), did some drills and played a little bit of a scrimmage. It was fun. I was tired, but everything held up well and the back felt fine.” Alfy, 38, is hopeful that he will be able to attend training camp next month. He played in just 54 games last season.
– Flames’ F Brendan Morrison (torn left ACL) is recovering well from surgery. He underwent the procedure in April to repair a torn ACL in his left knee and was slated to begin the 2011-12 season on the sidelines, but is hoping to be ready when camp opens. GM Jay Feaster said, “The big thing we’re going to have to do with him is to make sure he doesn’t overdo it. He’s pushing to be ready for camp, and our point to him is to follow what the doctors are telling him and make sure he’s fully healed. But he’s progressing very, very nicely. He’s very happy and so is the medical staff.”
– Ducks’ G Jonas Hiller (vertigo) reportedly told a Swiss television network that he will be ready for the upcoming season and is symptom-free. ”I’m going to be ready come training camp and the season. And the All-Star game is certainly a goal again.” Hiller is doing normal workouts, with some additions to his routine, to prepare for the 2011-12 campaign. He should be back as the team’s starter.
– The Phillies have placed 3B Placido Polanco (sports hernia) on the 15-day DL. Polanco hasn’t played since August 6, so he’s eligible to return in five days, and it’s possible he could be ready at that time. He will eventually have to undergo surgery to repair a sports hernia, but is hoping to delay it until the offseason.
– The Giants have placed OF Carlos Beltran (strained right hand) on the 15-day DL retroactive to August 8. He will be eligible to return next Tuesday, though it’s not clear if he’ll be ready by then.
– Marlins manager Jack McKeon said Tuesday that he doesn’t expect SS Hanley Ramirez (left shoulder) to join the team on their current road trip. Ramirez is currently rehabbing at the Marlins’ complex in Jupiter, Florida. He should be good to go early next week.
– The Mariners have signed No. 2 overall pick LHP Danny Hultzen. He’ll receive a 5-year major league deal worth $8.5M with the potential for $10.5M. Larry Stone of the Seattle Times reports that the contract includes a signing bonus of $6.35M. He has a fastball that sits in the low-90s to go along with a plus-changeup and a slider.
– Orioles’ 1B Chris Davis (right shoulder) has a small tear that may require surgery and is likely finished for the season. He appeared in just 10 games for them since being acquired from the Rangers.
– Rays’ RHP Alex Cobb (ribcage) is scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery on Thursday. Cobb was originally scheduled to have the procedure last week, but doctors didn’t like the way he was reacting to medication and delayed the process for precautionary reasons. The 23-year-old had a 3.42 ERA in 52 2/3 innings this year.
– The White Sox have placed C A.J. Pierzynski (fractured right wrist) on the 15-day DL. Initial X-rays came back negative when he was hit by a pitch in the third inning Friday, but further testing this week revealed the break. Pierzynski, 34, is batting .296/.338/.412 with six home runs and 39 RBI in 105 games this year. It’s not yet known how long he might be sidelined.
– The Rockies have acquired LHP Drew Pomeranz as part of last month’s Ubaldo Jimenez trade. Pomeranz was drafted last season and didn’t sign until mid-August, so he was called a “player to be named later” when the late-July trade was executed. Per MLB rules, a prospect must remain with the team that drafted him for one full year. Pomeranz, 22, had a 1.98 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 91 innings between Single-A Kinston and Double-A Akron.
– Yahoo! Sports’ Michael Silver reports the Eagles have been asking for a pair of 2nd-round picks in exchange for CB Asante Samuel. No team has been willing to pay that. GM Howie Roseman now says he’s comfortable with three star corners on the roster. Coach Andy Reid added, “It’s what I told him initially and what I’ve told you, he’s on our football team. That’s what he is.”
– Updating a previous item, the 49ers will not be signing free agent QB Daunte Culpepper right now, a source tells PFT. According to their source, the signing still could happen in the next week or so if Culpepper isn’t scooped up by another team. San Francisco was only offering the third-string spot, so it could be possible he’s holding out for a better chance to start.
– The Broncos have released RB LenDale White. He had been in and out of practice with numerous nagging injuries. White has notoriously been labelled as an injury-plagued running back. He hasn’t played a snap since Week 17 of 2009.
– The NFL has informed teams that the supplemental draft scheduled for Wednesday has been postponed. As of yet, a new date has not been determined. The delay is to clarify the status of former Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor. According to ESPN’s John Clayton, Pryor will be allowed to enter the draft if he comes up with a letter from Ohio State or the NCAA stating his ineligibility for the 2011 season.
– Redskins’ RB Ryan Torain (broken hand) has been cleared to take handoffs in running back drills. He still can’t participate in full contact practices, though.
– The Bears have had discussions about pursuing OLB Aaron Maybin.
– Broncos’ DT Ty Warren (arm) has been diagnosed with a torn triceps. Warren was the Broncos’ biggest acquisition in free agency. The question now becomes whether to place him on the IR or not.
– SportsBusinessDaily.com is reporting that the UFC has signed a blockbuster multi-year deal with FOX broadcasting that will see UFC programming airing on FOX networks (Fox, FX, Fuse) for the next seven or eight years. According to the report on SBD, the deal is worth as much as $90M per year and as many as four live UFC events will air on Fox each year, marking the first time UFC will be broadcast on network television. As part of the deal, most of the weekly programming that UFC has on Versus and Spike TV will move to FX starting in January. That includes UFC’s live Fight Night cards as well as the company’s hit reality series “The Ultimate Fighter.” UFC had reportedly been negotiating with NBC/Comcast for several months, but those talks recently broke down.
As for what this means to the pro wrestling business – this is either great news for TNA or a very very bad sign. It’s no secret that Spike TV executives have considered totally re-branding the network, which has seen lackluster ratings from programming geared towards males 18-34. While UFC’s departure makes TNA Wrestling its highest rated content provider, this could push Spike in the direction of dropping wrestling as well in favor of shows that appeal more to women and families.
– According to the BoxingScene.com, next year’s WrestleMania 28 from Miami could be the third WrestleMania to feature a boxing match. Heavyweight boxer Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett, a good friend of John Cena, says he is interested in fighting David Tua for a third time at WrestleMania next April. Barrett told the Boxing Scene that he plans to speak to Cena about putting the fight together. Barrett says he’s already exchanged text messages with Cena, who said he’d talk to WWE officials about it.
Barrett, who is currently dealing with a broken jaw suffered in his fight against Tua this weekend, says he wouldn’t mind having the match in a steel cage. David Tua is a member of the Anoa’i family and is the nephew of WWE Hall of Famer Afa Anoa’i. As previously mentioned, this would not be the first time a boxing match was featured at WrestleMania. WrestleMania 2 featured a worked boxing fight between Rowdy Roddy Piper and Mr. T, while WrestleMania XV featured a legitimate tough-man fight between Bart Gunn and Butterbean.
– According to the PWInsider, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon is said to be very impressed with The Miz in recent weeks, which many insiders are believing will lead to a big push for the former WWE champion. One unnamed source said,
“Vince really liked Miz’s promo last week on Raw, which sold SummerSlam even though Miz didn’t have an opponent named, and Vince thought Miz came across as a top heel at SummerSlam.”
“But what Vince loved the most was Miz’s performance tonight endorsing Subway, because he did it in such an entertaining fashion, and Vince kept telling people that Miz’s performance is exactly what he’s looking for from WWE Superstars. Miz really raised his stock in WWE in the past week.”
With McMahon high on The Miz’s recent work, expect to see Miz elevated back into the main event picture in the coming weeks and months.
– Former WWE champions John Cena and CM Punk were said to be “ecstatic” with their match following Sunday’s Summerslam PPV. After tearing down the house at Money in the Bank with a Match of the Year-caliber performance, Cena and Punk silenced critics that questioned whether they could follow up with another classic. Overall, the general consensus in WWE is that SummerSlam was a great show.
– John Cena wrote the following on Twitter in response to comments from fans after last night’s RAW:
“CeNation. Amazing to see in times of crisis, and change, who your freinds are. Thanks to all of u who never give up…. And for those that wish for our demise, now is when we rise above the hate, and overcome. Can’t wait to get my hands on Del Rio. Yawn ..stop looking at this bizz in black and white. I am not a “heel” or a “face”, I am me. I find it comical that u truly believe. That archaic ideology still exists. Today, wwe fans cheer for who they please, which is why I love this company. I should mail u a pair of my shorts, because your stuck in 1993.
I thought I made it pretty clear at contract signing where I stood. I guess there’s a lot of folks out there whose capacity is as limited as “my offense”. I back those who back me. And those who back me, get ready for one Helluva few months! Rise Above Hate. This “soap box moment ” was brought to you by Fruity Pebbles. Thanks again to ALL those who never give up.”
– Updating a previous item, WWE’s talent development division is very interested in reviving the company’s tag team division. According to F4WO, an insider has confirmed that WWE is interested in signing TNA tag team Beer Money – and now it appears another former TNA tag team could be headed to WWE soon. Former TNA stars Nick and Matt Jackson (The Young Bucks, formerly Generation Me in TNA) received a WWE tryout on Monday afternoon prior to RAW from San Diego.
The high-flying young team worked a few matches in front of the WWE producers (not dark matches). We are awaiting word on how the tryout went, but we’ll be sure to post a follow up as soon as we hear something. Nick and Matt were among several other California based talents who received WWE tryouts during the company’s latest trip out to the west coast.
– The August 15 episode of Raw scored a 3.29 cable rating, up from 3.10 the week before. Though the overall rating increased from the prior week, it dropped as the show wore on. The first hour drew a 3.4 before dropping to a 3.18 in the second. Last night’s program averaged 5,055,000 viewers over the course of two hours, up from 4,542,000 viewers. The August 13 episode of A.M. Raw did a 0.45 cable rating, with 562,000 viewers. The previous week’s show drew a 0.45 cable rating with 507,000 viewers.
– It looks like we will be seeing more of Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne teaming up. tweeted the following on Monday night after RAW:
“Me and @findevan beat the tag champs tonite AND we’re trending worldwide. Maybe we should team up more often.(*hand on chin pondering) hmm..”
In another sign that WWE’s tag team division is picking up steam, The Usos wrote on Twitter that that they are watching WWE Tag Team Champions David Otunga & Michael McGillicutty closely.
– During a recent interview with ABS-CBN News at WWE’s “Be A Star” event from Los Angeles last week to promote SummerSlam, WWE star John Cena spoke about what would happen if he ever stepped in the ring with boxing champion Manny Pacquiao. Cena had no problem admitting that Pacquiao would make short work of him:
“I think it would be very quick, and the decision would be obvious. Manny Pacquiao will knock me out in the 1st round.”
“If Manny will enter the WWE, I would have to work a lot on my quickness. He is lightning quick. So just give me a little bit of warning if he decides to (enter the WWE).”
“I have a lot of respect (for Pacquiao). He’s done so much, not only for the Philippines. His popularity has transcended.”
– According to Hollywood insiders, former WWE diva Stacy Keibler and movie star George Clooney are still romantically involved – and have been spending a lot of time together in London, Italy and Los Angeles. Keibler is so smitten by her new man that she wrote the following on Twitter over the weekend:
“Life really could not be any better, I’m smiling all day long.”
“RT @deepakchopra Love never forces. Love is intelligent and brings only what you need.”
“I am the luckiest girl in the world!!!!”
“When u know, u just know…”
– WWE announced Monday that referee Mike Chioda has been suspended for 30 days due to a violation of their Talent Wellness Program. According to a company source, he may have failed his test last week, but officials delayed suspending him because they wanted him to appear at SummerSlam. It was not revealed what Chioda failed for, but a company source said “the other referees are sweating.”
– Seldomly seen Raw Superstar Tyler Reks was asked on Twitter whether he’s disgusted with his lack of television time in recent months. He replied,
“Frustrated, yes. But even more determined to seize my opportunity when it comes. It drives me to work hard in practice.”
Reks has yet to compete on television since being drafted to the Raw brand in April.
– The Orlando Sentinal reports that a judge in Sanford, Florida has temporarily ordered Jerome Young, professionally known as New Jack, to stop selling nude photographs of former partner Terri Runnels. The former WWE Diva filed a lawsuit against Young on Aug. 8, accusing him of libel by posting comments on Facebook about her appetite for alcohol and pain medication following their recent break-up. The suit also alleges he’s defamed her by accusing her of exposing partners to sexually transmitted diseases.
Runnels also asked Circuit Judge Linda Schoonover to permanently ban Young from distributing sexually explicit photos of her. The judge issued a temporary ban on Friday and set a hearing on the situation for Aug. 24. Young told the newspaper last week that he took the photos with his cell phone, that they belong to him and he should be free to distribute them to whomever he pleases. “Sending somebody naked photos, that’s not a crime,” Young said. He also said that he spread no false information about Runnels.
– Wrestling legend Mick Foley, who is rumored to be on his way back to WWE, went to bat for John Cena on Monday night, tweeting several matches endorsing the former WWE champion’s work inside the ring and his model behavior in the locker room. Foley tweeted the following on Monday night:
“I really enjoyed the angry, serious tone of @johncena . Might be about time more fans started recognizing his legacy of amazing matches.
Sorry to disagree with so many of you, but go through your archives and look at how many good/great/amazing matches @johncena has had on PPV
You may not like the character, but @JohnCena is a workhorse, and hasn’t been in a bad PPV (that I’ve seen) in a long time. He CAN wrestle!
Come on, someone find me a bad @johncena PPV. He’s been a part of classic stuff with regularity for years. It’s NOT just the opponents guys.
Look, I was clearly more of an @WWE fan even when I was with TNA. I just call them like I see them…and I see Cena favorably.
I really appreciate all the feedback from everyone. I’ll grant you that his last Mania wasn’t great, but his match with @therock will be.
Good conversation, everyone. Remember when @johncena wrestled 10 minutes with Orton AFTER tearing his pec off the bone? THAT is HEART!”
Foley also posted recent a blog on his website titled, WHY IS MICK A MARK FOR JOHN CENA?” Foley explained that Cena is one of the best workers in the business today – having great matches with everybody from world class workers like Triple H, Edge and Kurt Angle to big-man slugs like the Great Khali and Bobby Lashley. Beyond what he does in the ring – Foley said the main reason he’s a John Cena fan is because Cena treats every wrestler on the roster with equal respect, something you don’t always see in the wrestling business.
– Jimmy Yang angrily stated Monday night on Twitter that he still has yet to be paid by TNA Wrestling after appearing for the organization seven weeks ago. He also states that an office employee called him unprofessional after revealing on Twitter last Thursday that the check he was issued two weeks prior bounced.
“Seven weeks and still no check. Somebody called me and said I was being unprofessional. Not paying somebody for a job is UNPROFESSIONAL,” Yang wrote.
Yang, reviving his Elvis impersonator character, made a one night return to TNA at the June 27, 2011 Impact Wrestling taping. He lost to Low Ki in a three-way match also featuring Matt Bentley. In February, Mike Mooneyham of The Post and Courier said in an interview that friend Ric Flair was owed a significant amount of money by TNA. Wrestling Observer editor Dave Meltzer commented on TNA’s financial situation weeks later and revealed that the company is bleeding money and therefore behind at times in paying talent.
“They are 4-6 months behind at times in paying talent for out dates,” he wrote on F4WOnline.com. “They are often months behind in paying vendors.
“When the CFO has recruited different people to work for the company he talks about how they are bleeding money.
“When they universally have the best atmosphere at TV, their top priority, last week in Fayetteville, they then cancel the idea of future monthly non-Impact Zone tapings for months because of the cost involved. The first sign of the company getting finances to where at least they aren’t losing too much where they are worried about short-term spending would be when the tapings away from Orlando become monthly, because everyone accepts that is the next move that has to be made.
“Multiple people who know telling me.
“The entire role of Janice Carter in TNA.
“Aside from that, we have no evidence at all.”
– On Twitter, Velvet Sky was asked to name which woman which she would like wrestle that she hasn’t before. She replied, “Lita!!!” The TNA Knockout has stated in the past that Lita inspired her to enter the world of professional wrestling. Sky also noted that she won’t be appearing on Impact Wrestling until next week’s show.
– Nuggets’ G Wilson Chandler has a 1-year/$1.7M contract offer from an unspecified Chinese club. According to Chandler’s agent, Chris Luchey, the issue between the two sides remains a willingness to include an opt-out clause to return to the NBA. The CBA has attempted to implement a rule that would prevent the clauses from being included. Luchey adds that Chandler has an offer to play in Italy.