Is an NBA team headed to Seattle?

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Is an NBA team headed to Seattle?

From Comcast SportsNetSEATTLE (AP) -- A wealthy hedge-fund manager won approval Monday for his plan to bring professional men's basketball and hockey back to Seattle, with initially skeptical City Council members agreeing to put up 200 million for a new arena after he promised to personally guarantee the city's debt.Council members voted 6-2 to approve Chris Hansen's plan for a 490 million arena near the Seahawks and Mariners stadiums south of downtown."I was a skeptic when this came forward because I was worried about our taxpayers," said Councilwoman Sally Bagshaw. "The fact that we have a personal guarantee from Mr. Hansen ... that makes a big difference."At the end, we're going to have something the city is proud of."Seattle hasn't had an NBA team since 2008, when the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder, devastating their fans here. It's been quite a bit longer since Seattle had major-league hockey: The Metropolitans, who won the Stanley Cup in 1917, disbanded in 1924.The Edmonton Oilers is one NHL team already discussing possible relocation to Seattle after plans for a proposed 475 million arena in Edmonton were thrown into doubt earlier this month.Though the franchise said it still hopes to reach a deal with Edmonton on a new arena, owner Daryl Katz, team president Patrick LaForge and Kevin Lowe, president of hockey operations, were in Seattle for meetings Monday about a possible relocation.The Oilers said in a statement that the team is listening to proposals from a number of potential NHL markets.Hansen, of San Francisco, is a Seattle native, an early investor in Facebook and a big Sonics fan who approached Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn last year in hopes of building a new arena to attract an NBA team and hopefully an NHL team as well. KeyArena, where the Sonics played, is considered outdated and financially unviable. The 200 million in public financing would be repaid by arena-related taxes.The deal Hansen worked out with the mayor's office met with resistance at City Council, where members worried about the effect of more traffic in what is a crucial shipping corridor, thanks to the nearby Port of Seattle, and about creating competition for the publicly owned KeyArena, which turned a profit last year.But Hansen made a number of concessions and won over a majority. In addition to personally guaranteeing the debt payments, he agreed to kick in more money for transportation improvements and 7 million for KeyArena, and he agreed to buy the new arena back from the city for 200 million at the end of the 30-year use agreement if that's what the city wants.He also agreed to be independently audited to assure that he's worth at least 300 million."I want to thank all of Seattle's elected officials and their staffs for their willingness to roll up their sleeves and work with us to get us to this point," Hansen said in a written statement. "Today's vote demonstrates that by listening to each other and working hard to address the concerns of all stakeholders that we can make the arena a reality and bring professional basketball and hockey back to Seattle."The King County Council already approved the original deal but needs to approve the revised version.Under the deal, the arena proposal will undergo an environmental review that could take a year. The review will look at whether other sites, including Seattle Center, where KeyArena is, should be considered.The two city councilmen who opposed the deal, Richard Conlin and Nick Licata, said that while it might be good as far as stadium deals go, that doesn't mean it's a good use of public money. Conlin said that when new businesses typically move into the city, the taxes they generate are a benefit to the city. In this case, he said, the city is giving away 200 million in tax revenue up front, only to collect it back later on.Licata said professional sports franchises aren't like nonprofit cultural organizations like operas or symphonies, which don't threaten to skip town when money's tight."What some citizens see is that those who have a lot of money are using public resources to get more money," he said.

Red Sox will be in attendance for Lincecum showcase

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Red Sox will be in attendance for Lincecum showcase

CHICAGO -- Along with 20 or so other teams, the Red Sox will be in attendance Friday when former San Francisco Giants righthander Tim Lincecum throws in Scottsdale, Az. in a showcase for scouts and talent evaluators.

Indications are, however, that the Sox are merely doing their due diligence in attending the workout. It's unclear how highly they regard the 31-year-old pitcher, or what role they would envision for him.

Lincecum was a free agent last winter, but attracted little attention and spent most of the winter and early spring refining his mechanics, gearing toward this week's showcase.

Lincecum was the National League Cy Young Award winner in 2008 and 2009 and an All-Star in 2010 and 2011, but from 2012 through last year, his performance dipped considerably, with a won-loss record of 39-42 and an ERA of 4.68.

He pitched out of the bullpen some in 2014 and last season was limited to just 15 starts.

The Sox are waiting on Eduardo Rodriguez and Joe Kelly to return from injuries and have Henry Owens in the rotation currently. Additionally, Brian Johnson and Roenis Elias are depth options in Pawtucket.

 

Dombrowski: Sandoval 'committed to getting ready' for 2017 after successful surgery

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Dombrowski: Sandoval 'committed to getting ready' for 2017 after successful surgery

CHICAGO -- Pablo Sandoval's second season with the Red Sox is officially over, almost before it began.

Sandoval, who appeared in just three games in April after losing the starting third baseman's job to Travis Shaw in spring training, underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder Tuesday and won't return until 2017.

"Dr. (James) Andrews (who performed the procedure) said the surgery went well,'' said Dave Dombrowski, "as well as can be expected. I talked to Pablo myself already today, talked to his representative Rick Thurman. Pablo's happy that they've been able to fix the problem and committed to getting ready for next year.''

Andrews told Dombrowski that in a best-case scenario with "everything going perfectly right, maybe he could be ready (to play) in six months,'' taking his recovery into November.

Sandoval was bothered in the past by labrum issues, and they appear to have worsened over time, though no one with the Red Sox can pinpoint an incident or specific time when Sandoval aggravated the condition further.

"It happens,'' said Dombrowski. "I don't really know what happened that one day he woke up and couldn't lift up his shoulder. But that was really the first indication that we had that he was hurting.''

"Even after the onset of the injury,'' said John Farrell, "Pablo and I had some conversations daily. . . There was a play in Toronto (in the first week of the season) when he dove to the (foul) line and saved a run. Whether the impact there moved along the injury, that's a possibility. Even in conversations with him, there was not one event that he could recall.''

Dombrowski said Sandoval will return to Boston soon, where his girlfriend is due to deliver a baby in the next few weeks. After that, Sandoval will return to Florida, though it's undecided whether he will be based in Miami, where he lives in the off-season, or at the Red Sox spring training facility in Fort Myers.

Dombrowski said that while an exact rehab plan has yet to be put together, the Red Sox "will have our eyes on him on a continual basis. But I can't say that someone (from the organization) will be there all the time, but quite regularly.''

Asked if the time off might enable Sandoval to address some conditioning issues, Dombrowski said: "He already has. I'm not going to give you specific (numbers), but he already has dropped weight during the season, once he's been under our care on a daily basis. I think he's committed to doing that, we're committed to doing that. We'll have a very thorough program to address a lot of different issues between now and next season.''

Left unanswered is how Sandoval can contribute to the Red Sox in the three remaining years left on his five-year, $95 million deal.

"Everybody keeps asking me about 2017,'' said Dombrowski. '' 'What are you going to do when David retires?' My response is, let's go through 2016 and then we'll worry about that in the winter time.''

 

Red Sox activate reliever Carson Smith off disbled list

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Red Sox activate reliever Carson Smith off disbled list

The Red Sox get a much needed boost to their bullpen as they begin their road trip through Chicago and New York. They have activated right-handed pitcher Carson Smith off the disabled list.

Smith was placed on the 15-day DL on April 3 (retroactive to March 25) with a right flexor strain suffered in spring training. He made two rehab appearances with the Portland Sea Dogs, retiring all five batters over 1.2 innings of work, striking out two in the process.

This is Smith’s first season with the Red Sox after being acquired in a traded with the Seattle Mariners in December.

In 79 major league games from 2014-15, the right-hander went 3-5 with 13 saves, a 2.07 ERA (18 ER), and 102 strikeouts in 78.1 innings pitched (11.7 SO/9.0 IP). Smith set Mariners reliever records for the most scoreless appearances (20) and most scoreless innings (19.1) to begin a major league career.

To make room on the 25-man roster, infielder Marco Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket following Sunday night’s game against the New York Yankees.