– Rockies’ SS Troy Tulowitzki (strained left groin) admitted Wednesday night that he’ll likely be placed on the DL. Tulo was pulled from Wednesday’s game against the Astros. “It’s really sore. I will know more (Thursday) when I get treatment. I will know then if I can’t go and need an MRI and it is a DL situation. I want to stay off the DL. But if I can’t play, I can’t play.”
– Dodgers’ OF Matt Kemp (left hamstring strain) will likely return to the DL, possible for as long as a month, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Kemp re-aggravated his hamstring strain Wednesday while running the bases. Kemp has a .355/.444/.719 slash line this season.
– The Rockies have released LHP Jamie Moyer six weeks after he became the oldest starting pitcher to win a game in major league history. The 49-year-old said in a news conference Wednesday that he still had hopes of continuing his career elsewhere.
“I enjoyed my time here in Denver. Dan gave me a great opportunity in spring training. Jim stuck his neck out for me. He gave me an opportunity and that’s all I can ask for, when I came, an opportunity. Unfortunately I didn’t hold up to my end of the bargain. That’s what happens in the game.”
– The Warriors have expressed interest in trading for Sixes’ F Andre Iguodala, according to the Contra Costa Times. Any trade for Iggy would likely require them taking on a bad contract, which doesn’t appear to be something they’re willing to do. G-State is also known to have interest in Blazers’ G Nicolas Batum, Pacers’ F Danny Granger and Grizzlies’ F Rudy Gay. The report also suggests the team could make a play for Josh Smith, but this all seems like very wishful thinking more than anything else.
– According to The Indianapolis Star, the Pacers are expected to retain RFA F Roy Hibbert and G George Hill. Hibbert posted a career season with averages of 12.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks while making his first All-Star game.
– Bobcats’ President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins says the team will hire a new head coach within the next couple of weeks, but it won’t be Patrick Ewing. Higgins said that owner Michael Jordan informed Ewing that the team plans to hire someone other than him to replace Paul Silas. Higgins says “Patrick has a lot of great qualities as a coach and he will one day be a head coach.” The Bobcats have interviewed eight candidates for the job and plan to talk with more in the next week or so. Once they conclude that process, they’ll narrow the list down to the final few candidates who will then meet with Jordan face-to-face before a final decision is made.
– Updating a previous item, with The Rock’s movie G.I. Joe: Retaliation now being released in March 2013–just 9 days before WrestleMania 29–the Wrestling Observer notes that it’s going to be very difficult for him to appear episodes of RAW leading up to the big show. The Rock is known for going all out promoting his movies, something that means a lot to Hollywood executives and the success of a movie’s opening box office numbers. Especially if the movie opens internationally around the same time, he’s going to be flying all over the world doing premiere events and media appearances.
– According to the Wrestling Observer, Mark Henry recently announced on Twitter that he was undergoing surgery and would retire if he could not return to action at 100%. While early rumours suggested the surgery was to repair a groin injury, Henry actually went under the knife to fix his shoulder. Henry is currently rehabbing, and barring setbacks, is expected to return this summer.
– The following superstars and divas are confirmed for the upcoming WWE ’13 video game, in stores October 30th, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Several wrestlers are duplicated in both eras and will appear in the game as separate characters:
Modern Era: John Cena, Randy Orton, CM Punk, Undertaker, The Rock, Brock Lesnar, Triple H, Chris Jericho, Dainel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, Sheamus, Wade Barrett, Rey Mysterio, Zack Ryder, Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, The Miz, Jack Swagger, Santino, David Otunga, Kane, Kevin Nash, Christian, Mark Henry, Sin Cara, Epico, Primo, Hunico, Ted DiBiase, Great Khali, Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, Justin Gabriel, Eve Torres, Kelly Kelly, Bella Twins, Kharma, Beth Phoenix, Alicia Fox.
Attitude Era: Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Eddie Guerrero, Edge & Christian, New Age Outlaws, Road Warriors, , X-Pac, Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Mankind, Dude Love, Cactus Jack, Trish Stratus, Lita, Big Show, Kane, Davey Boy Smith, Vader, Mark Henry, Ken Shamrock, Godfather and Big Bossman.
WWE ’13 will also feature a special celebrity character – WWE Hall of Famer Mike Tyson. Tyson signing with THQ to appear in the video game appears to be a factor in Tyson’s induction into the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame. Tyson also recently did a rare interview for Paul Heyman’s Heyman Hustle site talking about UFC star Jon Jones’ DUI arrest and it’s believed that interview was set up by THQ.
– According to the Wrestling Observer, Randy Orton’s recent Tweet about WWE banning his punt to the skull due to concussion awareness is believed to be legit, with the company looking to prevent injuries as well as potential legal liability from concussions.
– Updating a previous item, John Cena will be appearing at most SmackDown tapings through July. Even at SmackDown shows when Cena is not used on television and only wrestles in a dark match main event, the feeling is that Cena helps the shows draw more fans. SmackDown attendance has been struggling for a long time, with the recent Baton Rouge tapings only drawing 2,500 fans.
– When RAW goes to 3-hours every week starting July 23rd, the show will not air live in Canada on The Score. The time slot will be 9pm-midnight, which is late for viewers on a weeknight. The show will replay on Tuesdays from 4-7pm.
– WWE shipped 199,000 DVDs in April, down 11.6% from April 2011. The company’s top 5 selling DVDs, in order, are DVD sets from Steve Austin, The Rock and Randy Orton, Top 50 Oh My God Moments and the Bret Hart-Shawn Michaels Greatest Rivalries sit-down interview.
– WWE.com had 16.5 million unique viewers in April, up significantly from most months (due to WrestleMania 28), but down 1.2% from April 2011. WWE shop averaged 800 orders/day, up 9.1% from April 2011.
– United States Senate candidate Linda McMahon has been under attack in recent weeks due to her ties to WWE, with two newspapers comparing the wrestling product to pornography. Democrat Susan Bysiewicz, a prospective candidate for the same office Linda is running for, gave a speech last Thursday saying, “I’ll be damned if I let someone who sells sex and violence and pornography for a living be our next United States Senator. We have to send the right woman to Washington.” The McMahon campaign quickly responded with a great deal of evidence showing Bysiewicz not only strongly endorsed McMahon in the past, but also worked directly with WWE and its superstars. When Bysiewicz was Secretary of State, she worked with Linda on the Smackdown Your Vote campaign and even spoke at high schools with along with WWE superstars. Bysiewicz had previously endorsed McMahon when she was running for the Connecticut Board of Education. Moving forward, McMahon’s campaign strategy is to reach out to female voters, holding daily women-only meetings across the state.
– Alex Shelley is no longer with TNA after allowing his contract to expire without signing a new deal with the company. According to the Wrestling Observer, Shelley has heard from WWE officials, but reports of him signing a contract or even agreeing to terms are premature–when he made the decision to become a free agent, WWE was not even on his radar. In fact, Shelley has been talking with New Japan Pro Wrestling for weeks and was close to signing with the promotion before he heard from WWE.
– Four members of the Coyotes who showed their displeasure with the officiating after their Game 5 loss to the Kings will not be disciplined. NHL vice president Colin Campbell told TSN’s Pierre LeBrun that while the league was not pleased with the actions of F Martin Hanzal and G Mike Smith, as well as the comments of D Keith Yandle and F Shane Doan, he spoke to all four players and chose not to pursue the issue further. The Coyotes were incensed that Kings’ F Dustin Brown was not penalized for a questionable hit on D Michal Rozsival in overtime just prior to the series-winning goal. Hanzal skated aggressively toward one of the officials and made a threatening gesture while Smith threw his stick in the direction of the officials.
“I told Hanzal, ‘The way you went at the official after the game physically, you didn’t make contact, but that was disrespectful. You’re lucky you weren’t suspended by the official for doing something like that. Even though you didn’t make contact I thought it was (of) a threatening nature.’”
Yandle questioned the integrity of the officials, implying there was no coincidence the referees were wearing the same colours as the Kings while Doan expressed his thoughts to Brown during the post-game handshake.
“I said to Yandle, ‘I thought your comment about who was wearing what colour was wrong. That’s the integrity of the game and you’re suggesting that because you didn’t have an owner that you have no support?’ I said, ‘Not a chance.’”
“I said to Doan, ‘Your comments after the game were not totally correct about the officiating and what you thought. I didn’t hear anything after the Chicago series after (Marian) Hossa got hurt and a major wasn’t applied. I didn’t hear anything from the Chicago Blackhawks.’”
– Former Flames’ head coach Brent Sutter told The Edmonton Journal on that he has not been asked to coach the Oilers, and hasn’t even had an interview.
“There’s been so much made of this because I went over to coach in the world championship and (Oilers president) Kevin Lowe was the manager and I have a relationship with Tamby (GM Steve Tambellini).”
“I know him really well. But I have not had one conversation with the Oilers. We never discussed this (coaching) once over there (Helsinki at the worlds). No contact with the Oilers since I’ve been home either. They may be interested, they may not. Kevin and Steve know where I’m at.”
– In an interview with Larry Brooks of the NY Post, NHL legend Wayne Gretzky suggested that the Conn Smythe Trophy should be renamed after Hall of Famer Jean Beliveau, and that the Canadiens legend should be present when it’s presented each year.
“What I’d like to see is the Conn Smythe Trophy be renamed the Jean Beliveau Trophy, and have (Beliveau) come onto the ice with the commissioner to present the award to the MVP and then stay by the commissioner’s side for the presentation of the Stanley Cup.”
Beliveau, who won 10 Stanley Cups with the Canadiens, was the first-ever recipient of the playoff MVP award in 1965. Gretzky won the trophy twice as captain of the Edmonton Oilers in 1985 and 1988.
“When I was growing up and would see Jean Beliveau get the Cup from Clarence Campbell, or watch Denny Potvin be presented the Cup by Mr. (John) Ziegler, to me, that was what hockey and winning the Cup was about.”
“You wouldn’t have anyone booing with Jean Beliveau on the ice, so I think that would solve the problem. I think the NHL is about the winning captain getting the Stanley Cup from the NHL president or commissioner. I would never want that to change.”
– The Ducks have signed D Tim Heed to a 3-year, entry-level contract. The 21-year-old scored four goals and 26 assists in 47 games with Malmo of Sweden’s Second Division last season.
– The Canucks have signed F Alex Friesen to a 3-year entry-level contract. The 21-year-old had 71 points (26 goals, 45 assists) and 106 penalty minutes in 62 games with the Ontario Hockey League’s Niagara IceDogs this season.