Keep an eye on the negotiations between the Hawks and forward Josh Smith. Smith is a restricted free agent reportedly seeking a deal that starts in excess of $11 million. Hawks new general manager Rick Sund might not be willing to start a deal at that price. If an impasse occurs, you can bet the Pistons will come asking about a possible sign-and-trade deal.(Detroit News) Comment
After a 13-3 regular season, two home playoff games and a final bow from Brett Favre, the Green Bay Packers figured to have a pretty good year from a financial perspective. And they did -- but it wasn't the moneymaking blockbuster some might have expected, a development that reinforced Packers executives' long-term concerns about the financial health of the NFL. The Packers took in about $241 million in operating revenue for the 2007-08 fiscal year that ended March 31, about 10 percent more than the previous year. But thanks to a significant rise in player costs, the team's total operating profit fell more than 37 percent to $21.4 million. "We had a good year," Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy said. "But not as strong as you might have anticipated." Packers executives believe the team ranks just outside the league's top 10 most profitable franchises despite playing in its smallest media market. But they're worried about the future after watching the team's player costs skyrocket from $110 million in the 2006-07 fiscal year to $124 million last year. That's why, Murphy said, NFL owners voted in May to opt out of their collective bargaining agreement with the players union. The current agreement remains in effect through the 2010 season, but owners hope to negotiate a new deal that would allow them to keep a bigger chunk of the money the league and teams take in. NFL owners recently said they are paying $4.5 billion to players this year, just under 60 percent of their total revenues.(SI.com) Comment
Trading season is only about a month away, and suddenly Alfonso Soriano's broken hand is looking as much like a timely opportunity to showcase potential bargaining chips as a cause for concern. Matt Murton and Eric Patterson platooned in left during the first weekend of the City Series, combining to go 7-for-11 with two walks in the three games. Carlos Zambrano's injury and the recent hitting of Jim Edmonds makes it more likely that GM Jim Hendry will pursue pitching -- C.C. Sabathia and Rich Harden top the list -- than another left-handed bat.(Chicago Tribune) Comment
Nastia Liukin performs on the balance beam during the U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials in Philadelphia on Sunday.(AP Photo)
1917 -- Red Sox pitcher Ernie Shore enters game with one on and no out, runner is caught stealing and Shore retires all 26 hitters he faces 1969 -- Joe Frazier TKOs Jerry Quarry to win heavyweight title 1972 -- President Nixon signs Title IX into law 1974 -- Sandra Haynie wins LPGA Championship
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