Read between the lines of Roger Goodell's comments at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit on Thursday and you might believe the NFL is ready to cut the preseason in half. The league is considering formats that would have each team to play two preseason games and then 16 or 18 regular-season contests. "The four preseason games are an issue for us," Goodell said. "One, you have a question whether we really need it to put on the best quality product. Two, you have an issue of how our fans are reacting to it, and they're not reacting positively. It's not the kind of standard that the NFL is used to producing." The issue of a shorter preseason came up during labor negotiations last year. (San Francisco Chronicle) Comment
Fred Lynn, thanks to his dream season of 1975, knows what it's like to be both a Rookie of the Year and an MVP candidate, but he feels for Mike Trout's very different reality. [In 1975,] even players didn't really know what their batting average was on a day-to-day basis. The era of big-scoreboard statistics at the ballpark, instantly updated, didn't really begin until the late 1970s. ... [On watching Trout:] "First thing I saw, he's a big kid. He's powerful, looks like a fullback. And the ball jumps off his bat. I can imagine if I weighed 220 pounds (instead of 170), what it would do if I hit the ball. He's got big hands, looks like he's an anvil salesman. ... He's a big strong kid, so he ain't gonna wear out like I did." (The Orange County Register) Comment
On the upside, Amar'e Stoudemire likes New York's new uniforms. "I love them," Stoudemire said. "These jerseys are extremely clean." Stoudemire looked slimmer than usual and was encouraged with his highly publicized low post workouts with Hakeem Olajuwon. But for the most part, Stoudemire was uncharacteristically grumpy and short with the media. He gave one-word answers to several questions, especially about his health and whether he has become a forgotten man on the team. Stoudemire is coming off one of his worst seasons production-wise, one which ended with him famously cutting his hand by punching a fire extinguisher. He is upset that the media continues to discuss his self-inflicted wound. (New York Daily News) Comment
Iron man in bronze: On the 17th anniversary of his breaking Lou Gehrig's consecutive games-played record, Orioles Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. was honored at Baltimore's Camden Yards by the unveiling of his statue. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
The Cubs and Nationals exchange pleasantries on a Thursday night.
NHL playoff preview: New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers
NHL playoff preview: Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks