– CSN Philadelphia’s Reuben Frank reports Cleveland and Philadelphia are talking “all the time,” but that the odds the Eagles move up from No. 15 to No. 4 are “slim to none.” This confirms the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Friday report that the Eagles are “believed to be” one of the teams interested in the Browns’ No. 4 pick, but that they don’t have the assets to acquire a pick that high. If the Eagles do climb up the ladder, they’re believed to be looking into Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill. Stay tuned.
– Lions’ RB Jahvid Best (concussions) is expected to participate in the beginning of the Lions’ offseason program Monday, but has yet to be cleared for contact. Best has been working out for several months, but hasn’t received clearance to resume playing from team doctors. GM Martin Mayhew hinted in late February Best was close to being cleared, but obviously that’s no longer the case. The team still believes he’ll be ready for training camp.
– ESPN’s Adam Schefter believes the Browns are leaning toward Alabama RB Trent Richardson with the No. 4 pick. Richardson would fill in for RB Peyton Hillis if they do end up going that route. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Friday there’s still a “decent chance” they move down, though.
– Former Italy Under-21 MF Piermario Morosini died Saturday after suffering cardiac arrest and collapsing on the pitch during his team Livorno’s Serie B match at Pescara. He was 25. Edoardo De Blasio, a cardiologist at Pescara’s Santo Spirito hospital, confirmed Morosini’s death, saying “unfortunately he was already dead when he arrived at hospital. He didn’t regain consciousness.” Morosini, who was on loan from Serie A side Udinese, fell to the ground in the 31st minute of the match and tried unsuccessfully to get up several times before receiving urgent medical attention on the pitch. A defibrillator was used on the player, who also had his heart massaged, before an ambulance arrived on the pitch to take him to hospital where doctors tried to revive him for around an hour and a half. A consultant in the hemodynamics department at the hospital, who was watching the game and rushed to help before the ambulance arrived, said Morosini never regained consciousness.
– Emile (Butch) Bouchard, a longtime Montreal Canadiens captain and four-time Stanley Cup winner, died Saturday. He was 92. Friend and sports analyst Ron Fournier says Bouchard was surrounded by his family when he died. The defenceman scored 49 goals in 785 games during his 15-year NHL career, captaining the Habs for eight seasons before retiring in 1956. The Canadiens won the Stanley Cup four times while Bouchard was with the team, twice while he was captain.
– Lakers’ G Kobe Bryant (shin) has been cleared to resume running, but isn’t expected to play Sunday against the Mavericks. If Bryant remains pain-free, he can begin drills that involve jumping. If he advances beyond that, he’ll be cleared to play. There is a “chance” that Bryant could miss the rest of the regular season, but it’s considered a “longshot” at this point in time. Head coach Mike Brown said, “We knew it was an injury where we didn’t want to rush him back. But he is making progress.” Brown added that Bryant’s shin injury is improving
– Warriors’ F David Lee (groin) is out indefinitely. Lee has already been ruled out of Saturday’s game against the Clippers, but could be a shutdown candidate with the season winding down and the Warriors having nothing to play for. He’s averaging 20.1 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.0 steals on 50.3% shooting this season.
– Knicks’ F Amare Stoudemire (back) will return to practice on Saturday, but he will not play on Sunday against the Heat. Stoudemire has intensified his activity, and will officially resume practicing with the club. Marc Berman continues to write that Stoudemire is aiming to return on Wednesday against the Nets. “He looked good, but until he and the doctors say they are ready to go, it’s still day-to-day,” head coach Mike Woodson said.
– Magic’ F Dwight Howard (herniated disc in back) has been advised to rest for the next 10-15 days. If Howard returns in 10 days (from Friday), he could return for the final two games of the regular season. If it takes the full 15 days (or longer), Howard won’t play again during the regular season, and his status for the playoffs will also be in question.
– Hawks’ F Zaza Pachulia (sprained left foot) has been ruled out for the next two games. X-rays were negative, but he’ll remain out nonetheless. His earliest potential return is now Wednesday against the Pistons. Pachulia is averaging 8.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 44 games as a starter.
– At WrestleMania 28, The Undertaker and Triple H met inside Hell in a Cell in a bout that was branded as “the end of an era.” The latest issue of WWE Magazine, which features The Undertaker on the cover, plays up the “the end of an era” storyline as they ask “Will The Deadman Rise Again?” Despite speculation that The Undertaker’s match last week may have been his last, according to the PWInsider, many WWE employees now believe he is able to compete in a few more matches and will almost certainly work WrestleMania 29. This belief is based on The Undertaker appearing less injured following his WrestleMania outing compared to the prior year’s.
– Jon Chattman of The Huffington Post conducted an interview with Canadian alternative rock band Our Lady Peace where they discuss how they’ve had to retire Chris Benoit’s WWE theme song “Whatever” altogether because of the incomprehensible tragedy that took place five years ago. Over a three-day period ending on June 24, 2007, Benoit killed his wife Nancy and strangled his seven-year-old son Daniel before committing suicide via hanging. Chattman, a music blogger, asks band frontman Raine Maida and guitarist Steve Mazur if they still play “Whatever” following the event. “I couldn’t imagine singing that to be honest, it’s so tied into him and the tragedy that happened, I just couldn’t get it out of my head,” says Mazur. Maida adds they’ve removed the song from their catalog. Chattman thinks it “sucks” they no longer play it since it’s such a “kickass” song.
– threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Friday’s Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles game at Rogers Centre. The WWE Hall of Famer was joined by Tommy Dreamer on the field. The official Twitter feed of the Blue Jays has released a photo of Edge gripping a baseball:
– WWE conducted an angle at Friday’s SmackDown house show at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Ireland where ring announcer Lilian Garcia nearly came to blows with Natalya during a heated confrontation. Fed up with the third generation wrestler’s shabby treatment of her, Garcia aggressively shoved Natalya’s jacket back at the SmackDown Diva following her loss to AJ.
– Brie and Nikki Bella are scheduled for next week’s television events at The O2 Arena in London, England but not any house shows. As reported earlier, the twin duo is expected to part ways with WWE after their respective contracts expire on April 30.
– Former WWE Women’s Champion Lita turns 37 years old on Saturday.
– Following a series of messages on Twitter blasting TNA Wrestling’s upper hierarchy, Scott Steiner has set his sights on Eric Bischoff’s son Garett. “Big Poppa Pump” says Garett hasn’t earned the right to appear on television and that his high-profile position in TNA is a disservice to the professional wrestling industry. He wrote Friday evening:
Ever since england they have made someone come out with garrett to make sure he wasnt booed
First they made jeff hardy do it then last nite it was AJ Rvd Anderson that bcuz
Over in England when hogan n garrett were in the ring and he said garrett was the future of wrestling
Hogan n garrett got booed so bad they had to do multiple takes bcuz the booing was so bad!!!
But they fixed it in post-production to look like they were cheering when it aired but it still drew a bad rating
Listen dumbasses just bcuz u fixed it in post it still fn happen snap out of yur fantansy world n realize
Nobody gives a fuck about a guy who cant talk,wrestle and is the son of an asshole
Bitchoff n hogan have no respect for the business or the ppl in Tna to do this bullshit
Check out the graphic for the ppv,it has eric n garrett in fore front n everybody else that ppl care about
In the background thats bullshit but they put everybody else in the match bcuz they know if they just
Put eric n garrett in a match ppl will shit all over it..U want to drive bitchoff crazy bring signs to ppv
Saying 609 or chant 609 when he is in the ring,FYI make signs at building bcuz they take all signs that they dont like
Feel bad for the guys who have to put up with this bullshit ,Garrett hasnt earnd the right to be on TV,, 10 matches FUCK
Flyin to toronto remember 609- 609 -609 save TNA
Steiner, who parted ways with TNA Wrestling two weeks ago, has continuously railed against Garett Bischoff in his Twitter rants against TNA Wrestling’s upper hierarchy. “Big Poppa Pump” feels that Garett’s cushy spot in the organization is brought on by nepotism rather than talent. In an apparent response to Steiner’s criticism, Garett wrote Thursday on Facebook:
“Negative people will only try to drag you down to there negative level because they do not know how to rise up to your level! So wake up every day, put boots to ass, and achive whatever goals you have set out to achive! Aond dont let ANYONE stand in your way!”
– The April 12 episode of Impact Wrestling garnered a 0.99 cable rating, down 12 percent from 1.12 the week before. It ties the March 1 show for the lowest rating of 2012. Impact Wrestling averaged 1,390,000 viewers Thursday night, down five percent from 1,480,000 last week.
– Based on comments made online and events from Thursday’s Impact Wrestling, it would appear that Eric Young and ODB will be defending the TNA Knockout Tag Team Championship against Sarita and Rosita Sunday night at TNA Lockdown. Young and ODB’s Steel Cage Wedding on Thursday’s show was interrupted by Sarita and Rosita, who performed a striptease in a failed attempt to get Young to bail on his bride. ODB threatened Rosita over this and subsequent taunts on Twitter, writing: “really bitch,u look like a lil girl waitin to hit puberty,c your skinny ass at lockdown.” Sarita then wrote on Facebook that she and Rosita want their belts back. The title match could occur as early as Sunday night at Lockdown as Sarita and Rosita are scheduled for the show.
– TNA Wrestling President Dixie Carter praised AJ Styles and Crimson for paying a visit to sick children on Friday. She tweeted, “AJ and Crimson did a great job today visiting children in Nashville hospitals. They are both great ambassadors for TNA!” Carter also commented on Eric Young and ODB’s Steel Cage Wedding on Thursday’s Impact Wrestling: “Still laughing about the most unique wrestling wedding ever! Congratulations to the newlyweds Eric Young & ODB. Is it now ODBY?”
– Red Sox’ OF Jacoby Ellsbury (right shoulder) has been placed on the 15-day DL, and has confirmed he suffered a ”subluxation” in Friday’s game against the Rays. He will undergo further testing to make sure the shoulder didn’t sustain additional damage. He remains without a timetable, but early estimates are that he’ll be sidelined a minimum of 6 weeks.