Carl Lewis set to find out if he can run for Senate

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Carl Lewis set to find out if he can run for Senate

From Comcast SportsNet Friday, August 19, 2011
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Nine-time Olympic gold medal winner Carl Lewis heads back to federal court on Friday, hoping a judge will allow him to remain in the race for state Senate in New Jersey. Lawyers for Lewis, 50, will argue that it should be up to voters to decide whether to elect the track icon or his opponent, incumbent GOP Sen. Dawn Marie Addiego, to represent New Jersey's 8th legislative district. The state's top elections official, Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, this week announced that she would not certify Lewis as a candidate in the November election. Lewis lawyer Bill Tambussi immediately called for a hearing before a judge already assigned to review the case. The hearing marks the latest in a months-long political contest over whether the track icon is eligible to run for office in his native state. Lewis, who grew up in Willingboro, a middle-class town between Philadelphia and Trenton, went to Texas for college and lived in California after amassing gold medals in three consecutive Olympics beginning in Los Angeles in 1984. He contends he moved back to New Jersey in 2005 when he bought homes for himself and his mother. He has been a volunteer high school track coach since 2007 and has had a valid New Jersey driver's license since 2006. However, records show that he voted in California through 2009, which the state contends made him a legal resident of that state. He has homes in Medford and Mount Laurel in New Jersey, and Pacific Palisades, Calif. Lewis said Republican Gov. Chris Christie urged him not to get into the race. This week he said he believes Christie is orchestrating the effort to keep his name off the ballot. Christie said Lewis should have lived in the state four years before declaring his candidacy for office. A federal appeals panel ordered Lewis's name to appear on the Democratic primary for the 8th legislative district while his case wound its way through the courts. He and Addiego both won uncontested party primaries in June. Lewis exhausted his appeals in state court when the New Jersey Supreme Court declined to hear the case. The issue ultimately before the federal court is whether the state's residency requirement for state Senate candidates violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment as applied to Lewis.

New photo surfaces of noticeably thinner Pablo Sandoval

New photo surfaces of noticeably thinner Pablo Sandoval

When it comes to Pablo Sandoval and his weight, a picture is worth a thousand words.

During spring training it wasn’t a good thing. Sandoval made headlines when a number of photos revealed significant weight gain for the Red Sox third baseman.

But the last two images have been more positive for Sandoval.

In October, a noticeably thinner Sandoval was photographed at an FC Barcelona game.

On Monday, Dan Roche of WBZ tweeted a more recent picture of the new-look Sandoval.

Sandoval, 30, is entering the third season of a five-year, $95 million contract. In his lone full season in Boston, 2015, Sandoval hit .245/.292/.366 with 10 homers and 47 RBI.

Red Sox taking stricter luxury tax penalties into consideration this offseason

Red Sox taking stricter luxury tax penalties into consideration this offseason

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The newly agreed upon Major League Baseball collective bargaining agreement features higher taxes and additional penalties for exceeding the competitive balance threshold -- and don't think the Red Sox haven't noticed.

The Red Sox went over the threshold in both 2015 and 2016, and should they do so again in 2017, they would face their highest tax rate yet at 50 percent. Additionally, there are provisions that could cost a team in such a situation to forfeit draft picks as well as a reduced pool of money to sign its picks.

None of which means that the Red Sox won't definitively stay under the $195 million threshold for the upcoming season. At the same time, however, it remains a consideration, acknowledged Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.

"You would always like to be under the CBT (competitive balance tax) if you could,'' offered Dombrowski. "And the reason why is that are penalties attached for going over, so nobody likes to (pay) penalties.

"However, the Red Sox, if you follow history, have been up-and-down, right around that number. We were over it last year and the year before that. So I would prefer (to be under in 2017). However, a little bit more driving force in that regard is that there are stricter penalties now attached to going over. And some of them involve, for the first time, differences in draft choices and sacrificing money to sign players and that type of thing. So there's a little bit more drive (to stay under).

"But I can't tell you where we're going to end up. Eventually, does it factor (in)? Yeah. But until we really get into the winter time and see where we are, will I make an unequivocal (statement about staying under the CBT)? Maybe we won't. But there are penalties that I would rather not be in position to incur.''

Dombrowski stressed that he's not under a "mandate'' from ownership to stay under the CBT.

"But I am under an awareness of the penalties,'' he said. "Last year, I would have preferred to be under, too, but it just worked for us to be above it, because we thought that would be the best way to win a championship at the time.''

He added: "I think we're going to have a good club either way.''

But it's clear that the CBT is part of the reason the Red Sox aren't being more aggressive toward some premium free agents such as first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnacion, who is said to be looking for at least a four-year deal at an annual average value of more than $20 million.

Currently, the Red Sox have nearly $150 million in guaranteed contracts for 2017, plus a handful of arbitration-eligible players, some of whom (Drew Pomeranz, Jackie Bradley Jr.) will see significant raises.

Together, with insurance premiums and others costs tallied, the Sox stand at nearly $180 million, just $15 million under the 2017 tax.

"I've said all along I've wanted to stay away from long-term contracts for hitters at this point,'' Dombrowski said of the current free agent class, "(especially) with some of the guys we have in our organization coming. I just haven't felt that that's a wise thing to do.''

The Sox saw two potential DHs come off the board over the weekend, with Carlos Beltran signing a one-year $16 million deal with Houston and Matt Holliday getting $13 million from the Yankees. Either could have filled the vacancy left by David Ortiz's retirement, but Dombrowski would also be taking on another another eight-figure salary, pushing the Sox well past the CBT.

"I figured we would wait to see what ends up taking place later on,'' said Dombrowski, "and see who's out there.''