By Braves president John Schuerholz, the agents who represent shortstop Rafael Furcal (above). During negotiations with the Braves, Furcal's agent, Paul Kinzer, asked for a signed terms-of-agreement sheet. Schuerholz took that to mean he had a deal with the free agent, but Schuerholz accused Kinzer of taking the sheet to the Dodgers, who then signed Furcal to a similar deal: $30 million over three years. Kinzer is part of the Wasserman Media Group, which also employs high-powered agent Arn Tellem. "It was disgusting and unprofessional," Schuerholz said to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We're a proud organization, and we won't allow ourselves to be treated that way. I advised Arn Tellem that whatever players he represents, just scratch us off the list. Take the name of the Atlanta Braves off their speed dial."
By NASCAR, a lawsuit with a former employee, who sued the organization for racial discrimination and sexual harassment. Mauricia Grant worked as a technical inspector for nearly three years. She was fired in 2007, after which she filed the $225 million suit. Among her claims were that she had been referred to as "Nappy-Headed Mo" and that two male employees had exposed themselves to her. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, and NASCAR did not admit any liability. "She's very, very happy with the resolution," Grant's lawyer, Benedict Morelli, said. "And I don't think NASCAR wanted to leave it out there. They wanted to put this behind them, as well."
By an errant shot off the foot of an Argentine soccer player, a pigeon, the latest in a long line of sports-related ornithological tragedies (PLAYERS, March 17). Gastón Aguirre of San Lorenzo kicked a ball in the direction of the Tigre goal in their game last Thursday in Buenos Aires. After it struck the bird, several players gathered around as the injured pigeon tried to fly. Eventually it stopped moving, and the referee scooped it off the field. "I kicked the ball and poor pigeon," said Aguirre. "Now I will be remembered as the pigeon killer."
By Ole Miss basketball coach Andy Kennedy, a Cincinnati cab driver who accused Kennedy of punching him and making ethnic slurs early last Thursday morning. Mohamed Moctar Ould Jiddou accused the coach of hitting him and calling him "bin Laden" and "Saddam Hussein" after Jiddou told him he didn't have room for the coach and four other passengers. Kennedy pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor assault and filed a defamation lawsuit, which seeks more than $25,000 from Jiddou and another man, Michael Strother, who told police he had witnessed the incident.
December 29, 2008
From the Australian Open, Lindsay Davenport (below), who is expecting her second child. The winner of three Grand Slam singles titles, who is married to private banker Jon Leach, announced in December 2006 that she was retiring. She gave birth to a son, Jagger, in June 2007 and returned to the tour that September. Davenport, 32, last played at the 2008 U.S. Open, at which she reached the third round. In a statement she said, "[T]his unexpected but exciting surprise now means I will be putting tennis on hold for the foreseeable future."
To a deal that will keep him at Penn State through 2011, Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno. The 82-year-old received an artificial hip last month after coaching the last seven games of the season from the press box; he hopes to be back on the sideline for the Rose Bowl. His current deal expires after the season, and there was speculation that Paterno, who has been at Penn State for 43 years, would retire.
At age 97, sportswriter Dick Gordon. A correspondent for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED since its early days in the mid-1950s, Gordon worked for the Minneapolis Star for more than 30 years, and he continued to write for The Highland Villager in St. Paul until earlier this year.
They Said It
Bears receivers coach, on why his charges have dropped so many passes lately: "Some of it is just not making the catch."
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
A British firm is marketing an aftershave that is said to combine the scents of several soccer teams' locker rooms.