– The NFL has suspended Saints’ MLB Jonathan Vilma for the entire 2012-13 season for his role in the bounty scandal. The NFL’s investigation concluded that Vilma, as captain of the defence, helped former DC Gregg Williams in creating and funding the bounty program. Vilma’s suspension will begin immediately, while Packers’ DE Anthony Hargrove (8 games), Saints’ DE Will Smith (4 games), and Browns’ LB Scott Fujita (3 games) are allowed to participate in OTAs and preseason action. No other players will be suspended for the bounty scandal.
– The Bears have signed the No. 45 overall pick WR Alshon Jeffery to a 4-year contract. Jeffery will battle for the starting job opposite Brandon Marshall this summer.
– The Canadiens have announced that Marc Bergevin will become the team’s new General Manager. Bergevin had been working as an assistant GM under Stan Bowman in Chicago. The Canadiens had been searching for a new general manager since Pierre Gauthier was fired in late March. Bergevin who edged out Pierre McGuire for the job. The 46-year-old retired as an NHL player in 2004. He was drafted by the Blackhawks 59th overall in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. During his 20-year NHL career, Bergevin totaled 36 goals, 181 points and 1,090 penalty minutes in 1,191 NHL games.
– John Cena is still advertised for this weekend’s RAW brand live events, despite his speech after Extreme Rules where he told fans he’ll be taking time off.
– WWE Intercontinental champion Cody Rhodes recently spoke with the Toledo Free Press and spoke about a number of topics, including what it was like growing up the son of Dusty Rhodes, starting off his career as a referee and what he’s learned from John Cena. Here are some highlights of what Cody said about:
Growing Up The Son of Dusty Rhodes: “For me, I didn’t really pick up on the fact that he was, like, Dusty Rhodes, until about the time that I was in middle school. For me, he was always just dad. He was retired, not really as heavily involved. We got outside of the suburbs a little bit, and through other friends of mine’s parents I figured out how much that he’d done in the wrestling industry. I’d been to a lot of shows where he was a prominent figure, but I didn’t know how much he had done, especially in the late ’80s.
Being a Wrestling Fan As A Kid: “I was a fan, but I don’t think I knew how much of a fan I was.”
His Decision to Become a Wrestler When he was a Teen: “It was hard for my mother to take, because I never explored the options of doing anything else. It was just like it was set in stone. I think that’s what made it worse for even her — she couldn’t even say anything to change my mind.”
Starting out as a Referee in Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling: “For me, it was just as exciting as being the one wrestling. The referee has a lot of control that I don’t think a lot of people realize in the ring. And I got the same rush performing as I did as a referee, especially as a teen.”
Getting Experience At Ohio Valley Wrestling: “I also got a very firm grasp on how big of a fan I was. I was told when I was going to Louisville that you’re gonna eat, sleep and breathe wrestling. And I thought I’d have some outside interests. And from the time I entered, I never had any outside interests. When we weren’t at [training], we were at somebody’s apartment, watching WWE 24/7. And when we weren’t there, we were eating, and I was learning about diet and training — that was something I never had any access to. My dad was not a body guy. And in this day and age, when a company has evolved to where a lot of the specimens you see on TV are carved from stone, that was all new to me.”
Learning from John Cena: “I spent a year driving Cena around when I was on the Raw brand. The goal was to learn a lot about him, what he does in the ring, how he has gotten where he has gotten, but also to learn a lot about merchandising and marketing, pretty much all the things he does. And I’d say I learned a great deal on what it takes outside of the ring. He’s noted as being one of the most hard-working people in entertainment, and he is. If you want his job, you have to work as hard as he does. And it is much easier said than done.”
– Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson turns 40 years old today. He was born on May 2nd, 1972.
– Mets’ LHP Mike Pelfrey (left elbow) underwent successful Tommy John surgery on Tuesday. The surgery was performed by Dr. James Andrews. Pelfrey will miss the rest of the season and will likely be sidelined for the early part of 2013. The Mets are expected to non-tender him this offseason.
– The Phillies have placed 1B Jim Thome (lower back strain) on the 15-day DL retroactive to April 29. Thome hasn’t played since tweaking his lower back on a slide into second base during Saturday’s game. The 41-year-old is just 2-for-18 (.111) with 10 strikeouts this season.
– According to Maureen Mullen of CSNNE.com, the Red Sox are listening to trade offers for LHP Aaron Cook. The Red Sox didn’t call up Cook from Triple-A Pawtucket by midnight on May 1, so he now has the right to use the opt-out clause in his contract. If he does opt-out in the next 24 hours, Boston would have 48 hours to call him up or trade him. Cook has generated interest, although it’s not known if a trade is close. Alex Speier of WEEI.com reported early Wednesday morning that it “appears likely” that Cook will be added to the major league roster.