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Morning Jolt: November 17, 2011

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Thursday, November 17

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Why Maddon might leave Tampa

Newly named manager of the year Joe Maddon, at least theoretically, looks forward to a long and fruitful career in Florida. "I don't want to have to go anywhere else for all the reasons I've already described." And that is the line you might worry about. The idea Maddon might "have to go" somewhere else. Why would this be the case? Two reasons. No. 1, if he becomes concerned that Stuart Sternberg might sell the team or that the payroll will be permanently locked in at baseball's poverty level. No. 2, if he decides that he's being asked to leave too much money on the table in these contract negotiations. Maddon's current salary is in the $1.3 million range. ... For a two-time manager of the year, that is unacceptable. (St. Petersburg Times)Comment

Rodgers was sure he'd play for Tampa Bay

Rather than the frozen tundra -- which has worked out just fine -- Aaron Rodgers could have been playing in the Sunshine State. [Considering] the cross-country private workout arranged by then-Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden, the surprise receiver [Jerry Rice] sprung on the then-21-year-old Rodgers and the phone call a few days before the draft, at least Rodgers was convinced he would be a Buccaneer. "Jon actually called me, when I was in New York, on Thursday, April 21 (two days before the draft), and sounded like at the time they were going to take me with the fifth pick," Rodgers said Wednesday. ... Two days after telephoning Rodgers, the Bucs used the No. 5 overall pick to take Auburn running back Cadillac Williams. (St. Petersburg Times)Comment

Shaq ready to bring Phil back to Knicks?

The Big Negotiator? Shaquille O'Neal might be the right guy to broker a deal. Not between NBA owners and players but perhaps between James Dolan and Phil Jackson. O'Neal, promoting the release of his new book "Shaq Uncut," praised his former coach with the Los Angeles Lakers and even called Dolan "a fabulous businessman." Jackson, of course, retired after last season, but it is already being speculated that the Hall of Fame coach will resurface with the Knicks next season. Current Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni is in the final year of his contract with the club. "He may come back," O'Neal said of Jackson, a member of the Knicks' '70 and '73 teams. "His focus and the way he did things and the way he taught us how to do things, he did it on a cool, calm respectable level." (New York Daily News)Comment

Must-See Photo

Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant goes up for a dunk in the second half against the Sam Houston St. The Fighting Irish won 74-41. (Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE)

Must-See Video

Miss the NBA? This 1987 commercial probably won't help.

Game To Watch

Jets at Broncos, 8:20 p.m. ET

  1. Denver Broncos
  2. New York Jets

SI Vault: More Mario Lemieux

This Day in Sports

  • 1968 -- The final 1:05 of the Jets-Raiders game is cut off the air with New York leading 32-29 to permit the children's special 'Heidi' to air on time. Oakland scores twice in the final 42 seconds to pull out a 43-32 victory.
  • 1983 -- Oriole Cal Ripken is named the American League's MVP, becoming the first player to win the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player Award in consecutive years.
  • 1997 -- Mario Lemieux enters the NHL Hall of Fame, becoming the ninth player in history to have the mandatory three-year waiting period waived. Lemieux would come out of retirement in 2000 and play another six seasons.