Truth & Rumors: Oct. 1, 2004
Posted: Friday October 1, 2004 11:55AM; Updated: Friday October 1, 2004 3:26PM
Dusty Baker said he wants to manage six or seven more years. Look for Baker to be asking for at least $5 million a year in his next contract with the Cubs.
Pedro Martinez caught some members of the Red Sox organization off-guard on Wednesday night when he said he was "positive" he was going to re-sign with Boston as long as the team doesn't "disrespect" him during negotiations.
Omar Minaya said the Mets won't enter a rebuilding phase. He has his own list of managerial candidates that he hasn't yet shared with other Mets brass. Carlos Tosca will be the first interview. Kris Benson has "made good progress," according to one person familiar with the negotiations. And it's believed the Mets will look into trading Mike Piazza, perhaps to the Dodgers or Angels.
Minaya worked for many years in the Rangers' organization. That may not bode well for the Rangers in their desire to retain hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, who is unsigned for next season.
The hot rumor in Toronto is that John Gibbons has the inside track to manage the Jays. Bobby Valentine could get consideration with both the Mariners and the Mets. And the Diamondbacks' list supposedly includes Wally Backman, Jim Riggleman, Mark Grace, Jim Fregosi, Art Howe and Bob Melvin (if he's let go in Seattle).
Before Thursday's game, Carl Pavano did not mention any sense of loyalty to the Marlins as he did earlier this season.
The Dodgers could re-emerge as suitors for Jason Kendall, who they sought at the trading deadline. It was rumored that L.A. was willing to take Kendall's entire contract off the Pirates' hands as long as Oliver Perez was added to a deal.
Saying the Cubs "should have won the wild-card by six, seven games," broadcaster Steve Stone predicted the Cubs would make some "blockbuster" moves this off-season.
The Cubs could dangle reliever Kyle Farnsworth in a trade in hopes of getting a closer.
The Rangers cannot afford to keep Alfonso Soriano at an arbitration-driven salary of at least $7.5 million. Their goal is to create enough demand for Soriano that he will bring a starting pitcher in return.
The Rangers won't pick up their options on Brian Jordan or Rusty Greer.
Count the Royals among the interested if the Angels choose to part with suspended outfielder Jose Guillen.
The Yankees are drooling at pursuing Indians second baseman Ronnie Belliard this winter -- if the Indians don't re-sign him.
Shortstop Craig Counsell doesn't expect the Brewers to pick up his option for 2005 but said he is open to negotiating a new deal should the club want him back next season.
The Jaguars continue to have trouble selling tickets. The team has dropped into the bottom third in the league in revenue and there are whispers around the NFL that the Jags are the latest candidate to move to Los Angeles when a stadium eventually gets built there. That could be difficult, though. The Jags' current stadium lease runs through 2030.
Ravens return man Deion Sanders and nose guard Kelly Gregg returned to practice yesterday. Both were upgraded from doubtful to questionable.
A spokesman for holdout receiver Keenan McCardell's agent said the Bucs turned down an offer to trade McCardell to Kansas City for running back Larry Johnson on Thursday.
When the Chiefs phoned the Eagles earlier this week to see if they might have any interest in Johnson, the Birds wisely said thanks but no thanks. He'd be a worse fit for the Eagles' West Coast offense than Pamela Anderson in the lead role of The Singing Nun.
Indianapolis' chances of keeping its famed "Triplets" of quarterback Peyton Manning, running back Edgerrin James and wide receiver Marvin Harrison together beyond 2004 appear slim.
Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga met with NFL executive Jim Steeg several times to discuss the possibility of becoming the team's next president.
The Jaguars brought in two defensive ends for a look this week, Dennis Johnson and Regan Upshaw, but neither player was signed.
Shaquille O'Neal said he would not stand as an impediment should Michael Jordan elect to contact Heat president Pat Riley about a comeback, interest Jordan already has denied. Shaq added he no longer expects a possible reunion with Karl Malone this season in Miami. O'Neal also said negotiations have yet to begin with the Heat regarding a contract extension. He can opt out of his contract after this season or extend a deal that would pay him $32 million for 2005-06.
After scrimmaging with the Nuggets on Thursday, Dennis Rodman was invited to return today. He declined the invitation, but is hopeful the Nuggets will invite him to training camp. "I was running, jumping and doing my thing," Rodman said. "My focus was to just show them I could jump, get up to the rim. I tried to get a lot of rebounds, run, maneuver, set screens and stuff like that. ... I think I'll be back here. I think they freaked out. They couldn't believe I am 43 years old."
Here's the shortlist of who would be better news than Rodman for the Nuggets: Typhoid Mary, Kim Jong Il, Charles Manson, Lizzie Borden, Jeffrey Dahmer.
Guard Bryon Russell said he is leaning toward accepting an invitation to Nuggets camp. Swingman Greg Buckner said he'll sign a two-year deal for the minimum. Denver GM Kiki Vandeweghe reiterated his interest in re-signing Rodney White.
Isiah Thomas informed veteran guard Shandon Anderson not to report to Knicks training camp.
The Knicks have talked with Minnesota about a Wally Szczerbiak for Kurt Thomas deal, but Thomas' four-year contract extension makes him less attractive.
The Knicks plan to name Brendan Suhr as the team's new director of player personnel.
Stromile Swift's one-year extension on his rookie contract for a fifth and final season means the Grizzlies can no longer trade Swift, who will become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Hawks GM Billy Knight and director of basketball operations Chris Grant were in Houston on Thursday to watch forward Eddie Griffin work out. The Lakers, Miami and Minnesota also are interested, Griffin told a Houston TV station.
Don Nelson calls Avery Johnson his "hand-picked" choice to succeed him as coach of the Mavericks. As for owner Mark Cuban, the transition isn't quite so automatic.
The Mavs must trim at least two before the start of the regular season. The cuts likely will come from the group of Tariq Abdul-Wahad, Evan Eschmeyer and Dan Dickau.
Both of North America's hockey leagues attempting to fill the hole created by the NHL lockout spoke of restructuring yesterday, as the number of Europe-bound NHLers climbed to 181. A planned 60-game WHA regular season, with teams in Vancouver, Detroit, Halifax, Miami, Toronto and possibly Hamilton, is in jeopardy, while OSHL president Randy Gumbley said yesterday his 4-on-4 barnstormers will start the next segment of their season on Oct. 14.
WHA co-founder Dr. Nick Vaccaro said, "We're in discussions right now with a group of people who are looking to acquire our rights so they can operate possibly as a single entity this year."
Flyers center Jeremy Roenick will meet with Montreal neurologist Karen Johnston this weekend to determine the extent of brain damage he has suffered as a result of 10 concussions over the past 16 years. At stake is whether Roenick still has concussion-related symptoms that would make him eligible for his $7.5-million salary during the lockout.
Blackhawks forward Tuomo Ruutu will undergo surgery today to repair a partial dislocation of his left shoulder and will need three to four months to recover. Ruutu suffered the injury during the World Cup.
Four Avalanche players -- Adam Foote, Dan Hinote, John-Michael Liles and Peter Worrell -- will receive paychecks on a temporary basis during the NHL lockout while they recover from hockey-related injuries.
Manager Arsene Wenger says he will not discipline Arsenal players Patrick Vieira and Cameroon international Lauren, who fought on the team bus before police and teammates intervened following Wednesday's 1-1 Champions League tie at Rosenborg . Wenger insisted the pair are good friends and that the disagreement was professional and not personal in nature, adding, "It is not the first incident after a game and I hope it is not the last."
There has been plenty of speculation that former Liverpool star Robbie Fowler has played his last game for Manchester City, but manager Kevin Keegan expressed confidence in Fowler and wants him to improve his conditioning.
Michael Owen admitted yesterday that he might questions his future in Spain should he fail to force his way into the Real Madrid starting team by the end of the season.