| DIED |
At age 62 of heart failure, kidney failure and pneumonia, Valeri Vasiliev, captain and star defenseman for the powerhouse Soviet hockey teams of the 1970s and '80s. During his 13 years on the national squad, the Soviets won two Olympic golds, in '72 and '76, and eight world championships, where Vasiliev (above) was voted best defenseman three times. He was also on the ice for the Soviets' most famous defeat, to the United States in the '80 Olympics—what would become known as the Miracle on Ice. ("We were already celebrating," Vasiliev later recalled.) A 17-year member of Dynamo Moscow in the Soviet domestic league, Vasiliev never won a league title—most of his fellow national teamers played for rival CSKA Moscow—but his 619 games played remains a league record.
| ALLEGED |
By sources familiar with the Saints' game-day operations, that New Orleans G.M. Mickey Loomis—who is already facing an eight-game NFL ban for his role in the team's bounty scandal—had access from 2002 through '04 to a system that allowed him to eavesdrop on in-game audio communications among opposing coaches at the Superdome. ESPN's Outside the Lines, which reported the allegations, could not confirm whether Loomis ever used the device, which was installed in '00 so that Loomis's predecessor, Randy Mueller, could listen to his coaches' game-day conversations. Sources told ESPN that the device was rewired during Loomis's tenure to listen in only on opposing coaches, not the Saints'. The allegations were reported to Louisiana's Eastern District U.S. Attorney's Office, which in turn briefed the FBI. If proven to be true—and if the statute of limitations has not expired—such eavesdropping could be deemed a state and federal crime and a violation of NFL rules. A Saints spokesman has called the report "one thousand percent false."
April 30, 2012
| RUN |
Without incident on Sunday, Formula One's Bahrain Grand Prix, after antigovernment protests had fueled fears that the event would be canceled for a second straight year. In 2011 the race was delayed and then scrapped because of unrest following revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia. Protesters last week contended that this year's race was held merely as a publicity stunt by officials who wanted to make the country seem unified. (At least 50 people have been killed since February 2011 when the Shiite majority rose up against Sunni rulers.) Riot police and citizens clashed in the days before the race, which two-time world champion Sebastian Vettel won by holding off Kimi Raikkonen wire to wire in front of stands that were half empty because of safety concerns.
| DIED |
At age 64 of leukemia after a decadelong battle with multiple forms of cancer, former Los Angeles Rams center Rich Saul (left). An Academic All-America at Michigan State, where he played linebacker alongside his identical twin brother, Ron, Saul was selected by L.A. in the eighth round of the 1970 draft. He moved to offense in the NFL and made six consecutive Pro Bowls, from '76 through '81, his final season. Following his retirement from football, Saul worked in real estate in Southern California.
| RETIRED |
From baseball after 21 seasons, 40-year-old catcher Ivan Rodriguez (right). The career leader in games played at his position (2,427), Pudge spent 12 years with the Rangers before stints with the Marlins, Tigers, Yankees, Astros and Nationals. (He turned down an offer to play for the Royals before this season.) Widely regarded as one of the best defensive catchers, Rodriguez won the 1999 AL MVP award, was named to 10 straight All-Star Games (14 overall) and took 13 Gold Gloves, a record for catchers. He retires with a .296 batting average, 311 home runs and a career 45.7 caught-stealing percentage (a category in which he led the AL nine times). He also reached two World Series, winning with the Marlins in 2003 and losing with the Tigers in '06.
| SENTENCED |
To nine months in jail and three years' probation after pleading no contest to assault with a deadly weapon and lewd conduct, former Mets and Phillies outfielder Lenny Dykstra. In court, prosecutors said that Dykstra, 48, exposed himself to five women who had answered his ads on Craigslist for housekeeping and personal assistant positions from 2009 to '11, and that he held a knife to the neck of one of the victims, forcing her to give him a massage. Dykstra was ordered to stay away from the victims and to refrain from posting on social-networking or e-commerce sites for three years. Last week's sentencing comes seven weeks after Dykstra was ordered to serve three years in prison, having pleaded no contest to charges of grand theft auto and providing a false financial statement (SI, March 12). He is still awaiting trial on federal bankruptcy charges.
| FINED |
By the NBA to the tune of $25,000, Mavericks guard Delonte West, after he approached Gordon Hayward last week during a game and gave the Jazz guard a wet willy—a playground term for licking a finger and sticking it into another person's ear. (Said West, who was T'd up for the incident: "I forgot the NBA is a gentleman's game.") With the bar set, here's a guesstimate of the penalties for a full array of such infantile infractions.
Scolding, loss of tweeting privileges
Five-minute timeout, $10,000 fine
Technical foul, $25,000 fine
Ejection, $50,000 fine
Five-game ban, forfeiture of fanciest car
NBA PLAYERS POLL
Who is the dirtiest player in the NBA?
REGGIE EVANS, CLIPPERS PF 37%
KEVIN GARNETT, CELTICS PF 9%
METTA WORLD PEACE, LAKERS SF 9%
JEFF FOSTER 5%
CHRIS PAUL, CLIPPERS PG 4%
Foster retired on March 21.... Bobcats SG Gerald Henderson also received 4% of the vote.... The poll was completed before World Peace went all Ron Artest on Thunder G James Harden on Sunday, concussing Harden with a celebratory elbow and earning himself an ejection and probable suspension.... Kings C DeMarcus Cousins leads the NBA with 249 personal fouls but did not receive a single mention. Meanwhile, Evans is tied for 127th in the league with 117 PFs.... In a separate poll of NBAers, the trio of Evans, Garnett and World Peace (tied with Sasha Vujacic, who now plays in Turkey) were deemed the league's most "annoying" players.
BASED ON 118 NBA PLAYERS WHO RESPONDED TO SI'S SURVEY
Number of underclassmen from national champion Kentucky's starting five who declared for the NBA draft last week: freshmen Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague; and sophomores Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb.
Percentage of all players in MLB history who have batted against the Rockies' Jamie Moyer, who on April 17 beat the Padres to become the oldest pitcher (49 years, five months) to earn a win.
Cost of the online anger management course that fans who are ejected from NFL stadiums for bad behavior in 2012 will now have to complete before being readmitted to games.
-5°F to 104°F
Temperature range at which the 2012 London Olympics' torch was tested last week in a Munich wind tunnel, remaining lit all the while.
Ice resurfacing machines produced by Frank J. Zamboni & Co. since the outfit's formation in 1954. To celebrate the milestone unit, zamboni.com posted time-lapse video of its production last week before shipping the Zamboni to the Montreal Canadiens.