– The players and owners have been meeting on Thursday since 1 p.m., and are still locked in a private room. Rumblings are that the small market owners are battling the large market teams, and the small market owners are not at all happy with the current proposal. The players appear to be mere bystanders at this point, but then again, only the people in the room truly know what’s happening. Today’s meeting could end at any time, but will likely go into the night.
– The Pirates have signed C Rod Barajas to a 1-year contract with a club option for 2013. The 36-year-old batted .230/.287/.430 with 16 homers, 47 RBI and a .717 OPS over 336 plate appearances with the Dodgers this season while throwing out 25% (20-for-80) of would-be basestealers. With C Ryan Doumit and C Chris Snyder free agents, Barajas will take over as the primary catcher in Pittsburgh next season.
– According to Rafael Rojas of Viva Colorado, Venezuelan police have confirmed that Nationals’ C Wilson Ramos is still alive. It’s not clear whether the police have established contact with the kidnappers, though. Ramos was taken from his home in the town of Valencia on Wednesday by four armed men. The vehicle involved in the kidnapping was found abandoned about an hour away in Bejuma.
– Angels’ GM Jerry Dipoto told Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM that he is not interested in free agent 3B Aramis Ramirez. The Angels did have interest in Ramirez at the trade deadline, but things have changed now that there’s a new front office. Ramirez declined his portion of a $16M mutual option for 2012 with the Cubs and should be able to get a multi-year contract this winter as the best third baseman on the market. While the Angels won’t be involved in the bidding for Ramirez, Dipoto told Bowden that they definitely have interest in free agent LHP C.J. Wilson.
– According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the White Sox are drawing interest in LHP John Danks and LHP Gavin Floyd. Danks is due between $7-8M in his final year of arbitration while Floyd is owed $7M next season with a $9.5M club option for 2013.
– According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, C Ryan Doumit has received multiple contract offers and expects to sign by the end of November. The Pirates declined Doumit’s $7.25M late last month, but he shouldn’t have any trouble finding a new home this winter. The 30-year-old is a poor defensive catcher, but he also has experience playing first base and right field. The switch-hitter batted .303/.353/.477 over 77 games this season and could be a good fit with an American League where he could split time at DH. Crasnick hears that he is looking for a 1-year deal, which would be great for several teams.
– Penguins’ F Sidney Crosby (concussion) will not return on Friday or Saturday, according to Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma. ”I will confirm that Sidney is not playing in the next two games. He had a good week of practice. He is progressing. We aren’t keeping a secret. When he’s going to play, we’ll make sure we let you know.”
– Flames’ F Brendan Morrison (ACL) has been placed on the IR. He’s missed two straight games, and it was thought that lingering effects from his knee surgery were giving him difficulty.
– Christian (leg) is believed to have suffered a sprain or broken ankle, and has left WWE’s ongoing European tour after suffering the injury at Wednesday’s SmackDown live event in Brussels, Belgium. According to reports, Christian suffered the injury within the first few minutes of a match against Sheamus. The match ended abruptly with Sheamus reigning victorious via Brogue Kick. He was then assisted to the backstage area by personnel and was unable to put weight on his ankle.
– WWE unveiled a new WWE Network logo during Tuesday’s NXT episode. The logo is a variation of the “Attitude Era” WWE logo – with one W on top of the other (still no E) and a a futuristic metallic look. The red stripe below the W remains, but has been restyled. No word yet on whether WWE will be updating the official company logo to this new look:
– The current plan is for Kane to return at the Royal Rumble in January 2012. Kane was written off television back in July after a brutal beatdown at the hands of World Heavyweight champion Mark Henry. At the time, WWE said Kane would be out for “at least 3 months,” but he’s been enjoying some much needed time off, which has helped sell the injury angle.
– Chyna appeared on The Howard Stern Show Monday to promote her first professional pornographic film, Backdoor To Chyna and revealed that she recently wrote a letter to Vince McMahon regarding a possible return to WWE. The organization responded and informed Chyna they were not interested in doing business with her at that time. She has since clarified on Twitter that she offered to return to WWE prior to her affiliation with the producer of her film.
“I extended the olive branch to Vince before Vivid made their offer. He didn’t want me back.”
Nonetheless, Chyna still has the door open for a return to WWE. She posted numerous messages on Twitter indicating that she would like return to the organization.
“I would love the opportunity to come back & give the WWE Universe ONE MORE MATCH!”
“I would love to come back to the WWE Universe. Vince McMahon needs to bring me back.”
“Hopefully one day I will be back in the WWE.”
“Vince doesn’t seem to want me back but if enough fans want it he’ll have to do it.”
The relationship between Triple H, her former real-life boyfriend, and Stephanie McMahon (with whom Chyna claims he had an affair and then left her for), was a major factor in her departure from WWE in 2001. She reiterated on Twitter:
“We were actually a couple when Stephanie was having an affair for Triple H for a whole year while he was with me.”
However, when asked whether that would pose a problem for her in returning to WWE, she said no.
“The past is the past. I want to wrestle and do business with the WWE. It’s business, not personal.”
When asked which WWE Diva she would like to face upon her return, she quipped:
“The only diva I would want to take on if I ever came back is the biggest one, Vince McMahon.”
– The WWE website has a new article up by WWE Magazine’s “The Informer” – who dishes some dirt from the WWE locker room. Here are some of the items included in this update:
Which WWE Diva just dumped her boyfriend from Hell and now has a private eye spying on him to make sure he’s not stalking her?
One WWE Diva is notorious for not washing her ring gear. WWE has been on tour in Europe for more than a week, and we hear the offending Diva’s luggage smells like “hot garbage and cheap perfume.”
Which WWE staffer parks his Volvo in Mr. McMahon’s reserved spot at WWE HQ Mondays and Tuesdays, knowing that the boss is on the road?
One of WWE’s most masculine Superstars was overheard on the phone telling his significant other that he was looking forward to watching The Notebook with her when he got home. (Not only that, but we’ve every reason to believe that it’s his DVD.)
Which unfortunate Diva got stuck with the bill for a very late return and extra cleaning fees after her rental car had been reportly boosted from a rest stop in Georgia?
– According to the Wrestling Observer, as noted before, the November 7th RAW Supershow did a 2.86 cable rating with 4 million viewers and the trend continued of ratings dropping as the show went on. ESPN’s Chicago Bears vs. Philadelphia Eagles game did a 12.28 rating with 16.85 million viewers and RAW finished #2 behind that game on cable for the night. In the segment breakdown, the show opened at a 3.21 rating for the segment with John Cena, Zack Ryder, The Miz and R-Truth. John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler lost 582,000 viewers while JTG vs. Mason Ryan gained 203,000 back. Kofi Kingston vs. WWE Champion Alberto Del Rio lost 212,000 viewers. The segment with Del Rio and CM Punk gained 314,000 viewers for the 10pm timeslot. Jack Swagger vs. Santino Marella and the Maxim reveal with Kelly Kelly, Beth Phoenix, Eve Torres, Natalya and Alicia Fox lost 275,000 viewers. Kevin Nash’s segment lost 70,000 viewers. The main event with Cena and Ryder vs. Awesome Truth gained 233,000 viewers, ending at a 2.94 overrun. The gain from the main event is considered very low for the overrun.
– Here are some recent WWE attendance figures from overseas:
- RAW on November 2nd in Dublin drew 7,000 fans for $545,000
- SmackDown on November 3rd in Bilbao, Spain drew 4,000 fans for $200,000
- RAW on November 3rd in Nantes, France drew 4,700 fans for $325,000
- RAW on November 4th in Amneville, France drew 5,800 fans for $420,000
- SmackDown on November 4th in Graz, Austria drew 2,600 fans for $215,000
- RAW on November 5th in Manchester drew 12,600 fans for $650,000
- SmackDown on November 5th in Vienna, Austria drew 4,000 fans for $375,000
- RAW on November 6th in Sheffield drew 7,500 fans for $420,000
- SmackDown on November 6th in Cardiff, Wales drew 4,600 fans for $280,000
- SmackDown on November 7th in Birmingham drew 7,000 for $380,000
– The official trailer for the film “Journey 2: Mysterious Island” (sequel to “Journey To The Center of the Earth 3D”) starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been released. The film, which stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Michael Caine, Josh Hutcherson, Kristin Davis, Luis Guzmán and Vanessa Hudgens, is scheduled for release on February 10, 2012. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island was filmed at eight locations on Oahu, Hawaii, but predominantly in various parts of Waimea Valley and Kualoa Ranch. Filming also took place in Wilmington, North Carolina. The synopsis for Journey 2 reads, “Sean Anderson partners with his mom’s boyfriend on a mission to find his grandfather, who is thought to be missing on a mythical island.”