Saturday, April 30, 2005
Frank's Pinkslip PanicI always did like F'd Company's Pinkslip Panic, but the real-life version at Dodger Stadium continues, when Frank McCourt fired vice president for stadium operations Doug Duennes on Thursday. He ran "security, parking, maintenance and most game-day personnel" activities. He will be replaced by Lon Rosenberg (?).
Ralph Branca Sues Sports Memorabilia FirmRalph Branca, the Dodger pitcher who gave up the "shot heard 'round the world" in 1951, is suing a sports memorabilia dealer for misuse of his name and image, by Brandon Steiner:
Branca, 79, says in court papers that Brandon Steiner, a sports memorabilia dealer, offered him $25,000 to let the Topps Co. sell baseball trading cards with Branca's name and photograph. Under the deal, Branca would have to autograph 4,000 of the cards.
Branca's court papers say he and Steiner, who claimed to represent Topps, signed the agreement. He says he later learned that Steiner did not represent Topps and had made his own deal with the company for $48,000 to use Branca's name and photo.
As a result of Steiner's alleged double deal, said Branca's lawyer, Brian Caplan, "he (Steiner) ends up pocketing the $23,000 differential."
Court papers say that "since Steiner either forged Branca's signature or signed the second Topps agreement on behalf of Branca without his authority to do so, Branca conveyed no rights to use his name and likeness to Topps."
Ideas That Won't FlySportswriters are full of unworkable ideas, such as the Orange County Register's Randy Youngman. Take his proposal to re-draft Jered Weaver:
From John Furbish, Anaheim:"Just read where (Cuban defector) Kendry Morales already cashed his $3 million signing bonus from the Angels while still stuck in the Dominican Republic.Unfortunately, major league baseball draft rules forbid this. Nice try, though.
"Wouldn't that amount of money have sealed the Jered Weaver deal? By now, he'd probably be at the Double-A or Triple-A level and contributing to the Angels future. Funny how the fans' money is spent at times. Actually, when I think about it, it's not so funny."
Comment:You are correct. The Angels offered Weaver $5.2 million, and Weaver held out for $8.1 million, so that nearly $3 million difference certainly would have helped the Angels more by now than Morales has.
Sudden thought ... what if the Angels use their No.1 pick on Weaver again this year, to try to force him to accept an even lower offer than a year ago? Weaver certainly can't afford to sit out another year.