– According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, C Ivan Rodriguez will announce his retirement Monday. Pudge hit just .218/.281/.323 with two home runs and 19 RBI in 137 plate appearances last season for the Nationals. He’ll finish up with 2,844 career hits, 311 career homers and a .296/.344/.464 career slash line. The 21-year major league veteran won 13 Gold Glove awards as one of the best defensive catchers of all time.
– Giants’ RHP Brian Wilson (right elbow) will undergo Tommy John surgery on Thursday, and it will be performed by Dr. James Andrews. An exam revealed a “moderate” sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament, but not a full tear, sparking rumour that he could try and rehab the injury. It will be Wilson’s second Tommy John procedure. Wilson could be sidelined into the 2013 season as a result.
– Indians’ OF Grady Sizemore (back) has been cleared to begin baseball activities next week. Sizemore underwent a micro discectomy procedure on his lower back on March 1, and remains out indefinitely with no timetable on a return. He will likely have a lengthy rehab assignment in a few weeks, and will likely be out until at least June.
– D’Backs’ OF Chris Young (right shoulder) has been diagnosed with a slight ligament tear and a deep bruise. The club is still hoping to have him activated from the DL after a minimum stay.
– Tigers’ RHP Doug Fister (abdomen) ended his latest bullpen session prematurely after feeling renewed discomfort in his abdomen. The 28-year-old has been on the DL since April 7 with a left costochondral strain, and seems unlikely to return to Detroit’s starting rotation before early May.
– Cubs’ RHP Kerry Wood (sore right shoulder) received a cortisone shot Wednesday. Wood reported felt relief almost immediately after the injection and is hoping to return to the Cubs’ bullpen on Friday. He’s allowed three hits and three earned runs in 2 1/3 innings this year.
– Blackhawks’ coach Joel Quenneville sounded off on the officials after the headshot delivered to F Marian Hossa. Check it out:
– Capitals’ head coach Dale Hunter says the Bruins are targeting F Nicklas Backstrom’s head:
“It is crossing the line. To grab his head all the time is not the right way to play. If you noticed it, every scrum, Nicky comes out with no helmet on. He gets blockered to the head by (goalie Tim) Thomas the game before. So he’s protecting his head. He’s got to protect himself. If you get a second concussion, you’re out a long time. If it wasn’t there, if a stick wasn’t in his face, Nicky Backstrom’s not that kind of player. He doesn’t just cross-check somebody in the face. He’s not like that,” Hunter said.
“There’s been a couple times where they’ve gone after his head and grabbed him and thrown him to the ice. So I can understand why Nicky is a little bit nervous about when sticks come up,” said Troy Brouwer.
– The City of Markham has announced that there will be a special council session next Thursday discuss an arena proposal from businessman Graeme Roustan. The planned arena would seat 19,000 people and would be built on a tract of land just north of the Highway 407 in Markham. Roustan – the chairman of the hockey equipment company, Bauer, who also moonlights as an arena builder – and Toronto-area land developer Rudy Bratty (ranked in 2010 by Canadian Business Magazine as the 62nd richest man in Canada with a net worth of $940M), have been working together in the massive real estate venture regardless of the NHL interest, or lack thereof, in southern Ontario. The arena would also be part of a much larger sports and entertainment complex, known as the Markham Sports, Entertainment and Cultural Centre, a $3B, 900-plus acre high-density residential, commercial and retail development that is part of the official plan of the town.
The expectation is the arena will be economically viable even without a major sports tenant, and that concert and show promoter Live Nation and arena management firm Global Spectrum are said to have some interest as well.
– Check out these hilarious GIFs for the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs:
– Patriots’ LT Matt Light has retired from football. Light no-showed this week’s voluntary workouts. A three-time Pro Bowler, Light started 153 career games and was voted a first-team All Pro in 2007. He’ll likely be inducted in the Patriots’ Ring of Honor.
– ESPN’s John Clayton said Wednesday night that the Jaguars are hoping the Chiefs make a move up for Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill, so that Jacksonville can trade out of the No. 7 spot. Clayton even suggests the Jags are “desperate” to trade down. He admits that a trade with the Chiefs is “probably not gonna happen,” but that Jags’ GM Gene Smith is keeping his fingers crossed.
– According to 5 News Arkansas, Arkansas Razorbacks officials contacted Pete Carroll about the university’s head-coaching vacancy, but were turned down. Sources also tell 5 News that NFL Network’s Steve Mariucci also reached out to Arkansas officials. Carroll is entering his third season in Seattle.
– Bucs’ head coach Greg Schiano has denied that the team is shopping CB Aqib Talib. NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora also expressed skepticism about the initial report. “All I can tell you, is we have zero interest in doing that. … There’s no truth to that. I want him to be a Buc.”
– Reports from Orlando news outlets state that Magic’ F Dwight Howard has no desire to play for Stan Van Gundy again, and “would also likely sit out the postseason” if Van Gundy remains with the team. Stay tuned.
– Nuggets’ F Wilson Chandler (hip) is out for the rest of the season and will require surgery. He should be ready for the start of next season after surgery.
– On Wednesday, WWE’s stock price set a new 52-week low and closed at its lowest mark since April 2003. The stock closed at $7.96 per share after setting a 52-week low of $7.95 per share. It is also the first time the stock price has closed under $8.00 per share since April 2003.
– NXT authority figure William Regal fired both Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks on this week’s NXT episode (watch here) after pitting the perennial troublemakers against each other in a match in which their jobs were at stake. Hawkins addressed his termination on Twitter, writing, “Future Endeavored. Anybody hiring a ridiculously good looking pro wrestler with exceptional hair? Damn you #NXT.”
– WWE Superstars and Divas weigh in on the best Diva of all-time and Brock Lesnar’s return to WWE in the latest episode of WWE Inbox.