– The Red Sox released a series of statements late Tuesday night denying allegations that LHP Jon Lester, RHP Josh Beckett and RHP John Lackey drank beer in the dugout during games this season. The Red Sox issued a press release which included statements from former manager Terry Francona, Lester, Beckett, Lackey and team president and CEO Larry Lucchino. “Tonight our organization has heard directly from Jon, Josh, John, and former manager Terry Francona. Each has assured us that the allegation that surfaced today about drinking in the dugout during games in 2011 is false, and we accept their statements as honest and factual,” Lucchino said in part. Lester admitted Monday that he drank “ninth inning rally beer,” but any such activity was apparently confined to the clubhouse.
– In World Series news, as expected, Cardinals’ RHP Chris Carpenter will start Game 1 of the World Series against the Rangers. C.C. will face off against C.J. Wilson on Wednesday. LHP Jaime Garcia will counter RHP Colby Lewis in Game 2. RHP Kyle Lohse and RHP Edwin Jackson will take the ball for the Cardinals in Texas for Games 3 and 4, respectively. Carpenter dealt with some soreness, specifically in his triceps, following his start in Game 3 of the NLCS, but he says he’s OK. “My elbow’s fine. Tony and (pitching coach Dave Duncan) wouldn’t be throwing me out there if I wasn’t. I’m fine for Wednesday.” Texas has yet to announced their Game 3 and 4 starting pitchers.
Cardinals’ 2B Skip Schumaker (oblique) has been added to the World Series roster, while Rangers’ RHP Koji Uehara will be left off. Schumaker will take the place of OF Adron Chambers. He missed the NLCS, but went 6-for-10 with two doubles and three RBI during the NLDS against the Phillies. Uehara has really struggled during the postseason, allowing five runs on five hits (including three home runs) in just 1 1/3 innings over three appearances. RHP Mark Lowe (hamstring) will replace him on the roster, as Texas will go with a seven-man bullpen.
– The Padres have held talks with RHP Heath Bell’s agent about a new contract, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune recently reported that the Padres are willing to give Bell a 2-year /$15-16M contract with an option for a third year, but the veteran closer wants a guaranteed 3-year deal. The impending free agent could get a bigger contract elsewhere, but he has repeatedly expressed his desire to remain in San Diego.
– According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, the Angels will interview Kim Ng for their GM vacancy. Ng currently works in the commissioner’s office, overseeing international operations, but has previously served as assistant GM with the Dodgers and Yankees. If hired, she would become the first female GM in the MLB. The Angels are also considering Damon Oppenheimer and Billy Eppler of the Yankees and Jerry Dipoto of the D’Backs, among others, for the GM post.
– The players and owners met with federal mediator George Cohen for 16 hours on Tuesday, and after concluding the meeting at 2 a.m. ET, the sides agreed to take a couple hours off and meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday. There is a gag order on talks, but Adrian Wojnarowki managed to report that minimal progress had been made. When asked what progress had been made, Wojo’s source said, “On small stuff. Hard to see where this is going.” Commissioner David Stern said that if significant progress hadn’t taken place by Tuesday, that he feared the Christmas games would be missed. Stay tuned.
– Raiders’ QB Carson Palmer is expected to start Sunday’s game against the Chiefs, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
– The Miami Herald reports that Tony Sparano’s job status will be subject to reevaluation if the Dolphins lose to the Broncos in Week 7. The 0-5 Fins will host the 1-4 Broncos in QB Tim Tebow’s first start of the season. If owner Stephen Ross does make a move, the interim option would be DC Mike Nolan, who has four years of head coaching experience with the 49ers. Sparano’s job will be under week-to-week review until further notice. His team has lost eight straight games dating back to 2010.
– Citing a team source, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Rams’ QB Sam Bradford (high ankle sprain) is expected to start Week 7 against the Cowboys, despite injuring his ankle on the final play of last week’s loss to Green Bay. It’s only Wednesday, so the early declaration is a sure sign that Bradford didn’t suffer a true HAS.
– The Bengals confirmed that RB Cedric Benson will serve his one-game suspension in Week 8. Benson agreed to sit out even though a ruling on his unfair labor practice charge isn’t expected for two weeks. He knows he’s getting off easy after multiple Conduct Policy violations. Coach Marvin Lewis said, “We’ve been planning for this for the previous six weeks. We’ll go forward the week prior to Seattle and we’ll be without Ced when we go out to play.”
– Buccaneers’ TE Kellen Winslow (right knee) still feels pain, and admits it’s curtailing his effectiveness. ”Honestly, I don’t even know where that came from. I didn’t know I could do that anymore. I’m on one leg out there, but it’s all about helping your team out there.” Winslow is averaging 4.5 catches for 42.8 yards with no touchdowns through six games. He’s lost his playmaking ability after six right knee surgeries. Still only 28 years old, it’s fair to wonder if Winslow’s career will last until age 30.
– James Storm defeated Kurt Angle at tonight’s Impact Wrestling taping in Orlando, Florida to capture the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Storm defeated Angle in approximately three minutes via Last Call. He celebrated his title victory with the crowd and members of Fortune. Sting became the new authority figure of TNA Wrestling at the beginning of the show and in his first move, had Angle face Storm in the main event.
TNA star Hulk Hogan has commented on the news of Storm’s win – and the fallout from Bobby Roode getting the rug pulled out from under him at Bound For Glory. After reports surfaced on Monday that Hulk Hogan convinced TNA management not to put the title on Roode because he’s “not ready yet” – Hogan maintains that everything is falling into place:
“Goodmorning HULKAMANIACS,can’t wait for all the Rood fans that turned to haters to see the big picture,thank God we still have real marks HH”
TNA executive Eric Bischoff also commented on the decision to put the TNA World title on James Storm instead of Bobby Roode. Bischoff tweeted:
“Having a blast watching Internet marks react. Candy from a baby!”
Storm tweeted the following comments following his title victory:
“One hell of a belt buckle I won tonight. Thanks to all the fans,family and friends. This is for my dad in heaven I used to watch wrestling with 20 years ago. Love you all. @IMPACTWRESTLING champion of the world. I’ve busted my ass for the last 15 years entertaining you fans. My time has come. Thank you god.”
– According to ProWrestling.net, after months of buildup to Bobby Roode’s TNA World title match at Bound For Glory, plans were changed the day of the event and the decision was made for Kurt Angle to retain. According to TNA sources, Bobby Roode understandably disappointed that his planned TNA World title win was scrapped at the last minute. That said, Roode was very professional about the entire situation and did not challenge the decision when it was presented to him. James Storm was at Bound For Glory on Sunday and was scheduled to cut a promo prior to the main event hyping the significance of Roode’s title shot. That promo had to be left off the show due to TNA running short of time during the PPV.
– According to the PWInsider, Tonight and tomorrow night’s Impact Wrestling tapings in Orlando, Florida will focus heavily on Dixie Carter regaining control of TNA Wrestling and Hulk Hogan’s babyface turn. Therefore, a number of wrestlers who are considered regulars will be left off both events. Meanwhile, Hogan donned his trademark “Hulkamania” red and yellow colors in an in-ring segment with Sting that will air on Thursday’s show.
Also, Gail Kim returned to TNA Wrestling as a heel aligned with Karen Jarrett. The segment will air on Thursday’s show.
– Lightning’ D Mattias Ohlund (double knee surgery) is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, rather than the initial 4-6 week timeframe.
– Blue Jackets’ G Curtis Sanford (groin) is expected to miss 2-4 weeks.
– We’ve got lots of new details regarding the upcoming WWE ’12 video game, which goes on sale November 22nd for PlayStation 3, XBOX 360 and Nintendo Wii. THQ’s Corey Ledesma wrote the following on Twitter regarding WCW arenas and content in the new WWE ’12 video game:
“WCW Nitro and Clash of Champions arenas are real. Not made in Create-An-Arena. WCW portion of the story rocks as well.”
IGN.com has a new article up taking an in-depth look at the totally revamped “Road To WrestleMania” feature of WWE ’12. Here are some highlights from the article of what we’ll see:
Players will play as three different characters throughout the storyline. Two of the storylines are pre-determined.
Previous games featured about 3 months of time but the new Road to WrestleMania mode covers about 18 months of time – covering two WrestleMania events.
The new Road to WrestleMania mode isn’t actually focused on the big event. It’s focused on “building characters, feuds and storylines.”
The re-formation of WCW is one of the storylines used in the Road To Wrestlemania mode.
The mode is split into three different acts, with each act focusing on a different Superstar. Sheamus plays a heel and Triple H plays the babyface. The third act lets you select or create a custom Superstar who will play the “outsider” role.
THQ hired TNA X Division Champion Austin Aries (prior to him returning to TNA) to do voice-over work for your character in the storyline, who goes by the name Jacob Cass.
The mode is a lot more detailed than before. For example, Sheamus forms a stable with Drew McIntyre, Wade Barrett and William Regal called The United Kingdom, complete with their own entrance video and theme.
– Monday’s (taped) WWE RAW Supershow from Mexico City drew a 3.1 rating and averaged 4,475,000 viewers. The show did hours of 3.05 and 3.2 – breaking the alarming trend from last week where viewers turned out as the show progressed.
– WWE issued yet another survey on Tuesday regarding the upcoming network – this time, asking fans if they would change cable providers in order to get the new WWE Network. The survey noted that WWE’s eight ‘secondary’ pay-per-views would be featured on the network while the “big four” (Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Survivor Series) would remain on pay-per-view. This is a change in direction from what was originally planned – when WWE was discussing moving WrestleMania and the “big four” to the WWE Network as a way to push fans to get the WWE network.
– This Sunday at WWE Vengeance, Eve Torres will challenge Beth Phoenix for the Divas championship. Beth Phoenix ranted about Eve Torres on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon:
“@EveMarieTorres the message you sent on Monday was as muddled as your makeup. But I understand. U have a hard time fitting in…you tried so hard to be Kelly’s BFF but was she offering her spot in the Maxim 100 to you? Some friend.”
“So now you are trying to fit in with @NatbyNature and I, the “wrestlers” by thinking u are in our league?? Sorry @EveMarieTorres. You cant lace our boots.. at #vengeance I’m show the world why YOU are the outcast. You don’t fit in. And let you cry about it. #crybabycry”
“The other Divas respect @NatbyNature and I. The Rookies worship the ground we walk on and @thebellatwins are always admiring our power and style. Its hard to be humble when everyone around you places you on a pedestal. Its okay to admire. We lead by example. #pinupstrong”
Eve Torres defended herself against Phoenix’ verbal attack, explaining that she might not have trained in the Hart family “dungeon,” but she’s a fighter and deserves to be respected:
“Dear “wrestlers”. (@NatbyNature & @theBethPhoenix) I may not have come from the Dungeon or experienced the independents, but I did make the decision 4 years ago when I won the DS that I was going 2 do whatever it took 2 b a champion – be it gym, training, matches, jiu-jitsu. We all start somewhere. The question is where do we end up?”
“Look where u ended up @TheBethPhoenix @NatbyNature? Bitter, negative… blaming others 4 ur disappointments & with a false sense of arrogance. I may not be a great “wrestler” But I am a fighter. On the mat & off.”
– Jim Ross is giving serious consideration to writing an autobiography. The WWE Hall of Famer has put off writing his story because he wants it to be a “tell-all” book and doing so may jeopardize future employment opportunities. Ross was asked on Twitter if he would be calling next week’s Raw SuperShow. He responded:
“Not that I’m aware of at this time.”
– Former WWE talent Travis “Tyson” Tomko remains jailed in St. Johns County, Florida eight days after he was arrested on robbery charges, for allegedly robbing 210 tablets of Oxycodone from a CVS Pharmacy. He has yet to come up with $7,500 bail as the official website of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office lists him as a current jail inmate.