Our Daily Dread: The randomness of it all

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AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
The Lasorda Five: From left — Harry, Morris, Tommy, Eddie and Smokey, at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington on Tuesday.

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The real story: The Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery officially installed a painting of Tommy Lasorda on his 82nd birthday Tuesday. The Dodgers’ Hall of Fame manager’s portrait, measuring 5 feet by 4 feet, also corresponds with the Dodgers’ annual visit to Washington D.C. to play the Nationals.

The backstory: How did Mrs. Lasorda manage to have these five characters in one lifetime (see photo above)? There’s kind of a Darwinian circle of life pulldown chart waiting to be painted next based on this photo. Or, it’s a before-and-after photo (with some inbetween) about the effects of Slim Fast.
And what do you we make of these two thieves making off with the portrait minutes after it was well hung and everyone left for a giant pasta reception?

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The real story: Charlena Rector, the mother of banished Chicago Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley, said her son would consider returning to the team if it will have him back. The Cubs suspended Bradley on Sunday for the rest of the season for what amounted to conduct detrimental to the team, one day after he criticized the franchise in a newspaper interview. “All the people on TV keep saying, ‘Oh, Milton has played his last game for the Cubs,” Rector told the Chicago Sun-Times. But, she added, that won’t be the case if Bradley has any say with management. “Milton eats, sleeps and drinks baseball. He loves it. That’s all he wants to do,” Rector said. Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said he decided to send Bradley home after learning of the player’s remarks in the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald of Illinois. Bradley, who was scratched from Saturday’s lineup with a sore left knee, was quoted as saying, “You understand why they haven’t won in 100 years here.”

The backstory: The Cubs are on the hook for two more years and $21 million with Bradley. Is this any wonder why the Tribune Company has gone bankrupt? No matter how many newspapers Milton Bradley’s mom goes out to buy each morning?
For what it’s worth, Rector said part of her son’s problem with living in Chicago: His 3-year-old son has face racism problems in school. “When racism hit his 3-year-old baby in school, he couldn’t take that,” Rector said in a radio interview earlier this week, according to the Sun-Times. “Parents, teachers and their kids called him the n-word. He didn’t even know it was a bad word until his mom told him.” When asked why her son shared the information only with her this season, Rector said, “Milton is a quiet person. Stuff like that, he keeps to himself. He doesn’t want to talk about that because he doesn’t think anybody cares. It is a heartbreaking situation.”

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The real story: Kristin Armstrong of the United States has won the time trial race at the road cycling world championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland, this morning, likely ending her illustrious career at the top. The reigning Olympic champion timed 35 minutes, 26.09 seconds over two laps of the 16.7-mile course, defeating Noemi Cantele of Italy by 55 seconds. The 36-year-old Armstrong, who won her first time trial world title in 2006, has said she will retire after these championships.

The backstory: The last time an Armstrong retired from cycling … don’t even get us started. Why would Kristin be any different from Lance (no relation).

The real story: Manchester City soccer club is now completely owned by Sheik Mansour, a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family. “Manchester City can confirm that a transaction involving 10 percent of the shares of Manchester City Football Club Limited has been completed,” a statement on the club’s Web site said today. The 10 percent of shares, previously owned by Worldwide Investments Limited, was transferred to ADUG, the wholly owned company of Sheik Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for an undisclosed sum. “As a result of the transaction, Manchester City Football Club is now 100 percent owned by His Highness Sheik Mansour,” according to the statement.
Since taking control of the club last September, Mansour’s wealth has transformed expectations at the underachieving club. City spent more than $200 million on new players in the offseason in an effort to break into the Premier League’s top four and qualify for the Champions League.

The back story: The headline on this story read: “Man City completely owned by Sheik,” which, at face value, really wasn’t any kind of news.

The real story: Mikhail Prokhorov, known around the world as Russia’s richest man, has a deal to buy a controlling interest in the New Jersey Nets and nearly half of a project to build a new arena in Brooklyn. Prokhorov’s Onexim Group announced the deal today with Forest City Ratner Companies and Nets Sports and Entertainment. They say they have signed a letter of intent to create a partnership for the development of the Atlantic Yards Project. According to the agreement, entities to be formed by Onexim Group will invest $200 million and make certain funding commitments to acquire 80 percent of the NBA team, 45 percent of the arena project and the right to purchase up to 20 percent of the Atlantic Yards Development Company, which will develop the non-arena real estate.
Prokhorov would be the first non-North American NBA owner.

The backstory: What a country. But buy an English soccer team and then pop off, Prokhorov.

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The real story: Phoenix Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes pleaded with Glendale council members Tuesday night to take a deal and let the bankrupt NHL team leave town, according to the Arizona Republic. The Glendale resident and trucking magnate used 2 1/2 minutes allotted him to plead with Mayor Elaine Scruggs and council members to take a $25 million offer from billionaire Jim Balsillie, a Canadian businessman who wants to pack up the team and move it out of Glendale. Council members were unable to respond to Moyes because his comments were not on the agenda. City spokesman Gary Husk reiterated confidence that a local owner will be found and will keep the team in Glendale.

The backstory: Refer to Gretzky’s Rules of Order folks: The NHL’s natural re-migration from the U.S. desert back to its roots in Canada should be encouraged. Motion approved? Second? Bang the gavel and move onto the next agenda item on tearing down the Glendale Arena.

The real story: Stephen Luecke, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., said today that the College Football Hall of Fame is moving from his city to Atlanta. Officials with the National Football Foundation, which runs the hall, told him Tuesday the hall was terminating its agreement with the city. Luecke says South Bend’s agreement with the hall runs through 2010, but that he would consider closing the hall before then. The hall opened in South Bend in 1995 to take advantage of its proximity to Notre Dame. Supporters predicted it would attract more than 150,000 visitors a year, but it drew about 115,000 people the first year and about 60,000 annually after that.

The backstory: That’s how a city gets things done — it lets outsiders make the decisions for them. But Atlanta? Why not Canada?

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(AP Photo/Harry L. Hall, File)
Fifty years ago — Aug. 31, 1949 — Notre Dame coach Frank Leahy, kneeling left, hands off a football to fleet halfback Emil Sitko, with football, as members of the squad look on during the opening day of college football practice in South Bend, Ind. Holding up the shamrock sign are the two co-captains, Leon Hart, left, and Jim Martin, right.
Notre Dame will honor the class of 1949 and all the teams of the ’40s on Saturday.

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