More stuff out of the question: McCourt’s money business plus Bud’s bank equals more Frankruptcy problems

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A big-time judge says Frankrupt McCourt must now do the rest of his money monkey business with the Bank of Bud Selig, aka Mr. Potter?

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Do the Dodgers risk severe penalties for early withdrawal of the NL pennant race?

Is the IRA interest rate tied to team’s 30-inning fixed ERA?

Where’s that free toaster that burns up all the profits?

== Pent up frustration led to Jeff Pentland’s firing as the Dodgers’ hitting coach? Because, expense-wise, he’s the cheapest solution and knows the answers to the team’s offensive problems are simply the absense of power and speed?

== With everything he’s been through, you sure Andrew Bynum doesn’t have a handicapped parking placard that he just forgot to display? Don’t you want to him to park as close as possible to any store he ventures into, for fear he could twist a knee by having to walk more than 20 feet?

== Two years after he wraps his new Caddy Escalade around a fire hydrant and a neighbor’s tree, he raps longtime caddie Stevie Williams for being disloyal and kicks him to the curb.

How’s that for some Titleist entitlement issues?

And Tiger Woods assumes there’s going to be plenty of options finding someone willing to take care of all his extra baggage and do his dirty work from here out?

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== You think Williams, who by some reports has an estimated net worth of $20 mil, having been with Woods for 12 years and more than $90 mil in tournament winnings, would have any sort of appeal for Elin Nordegren? Or might she be interested in joining Adam Scott as a twosome?

== When the most popular NBA video game decides to put Magic, Bird and Jordan on the cover of its “2K12″ edition, what kind of message does it send about current locked-out player marketability?

== If the Chicago Blackhawks ever get to host another outdoor NHL game at Wrigley Field, any chance of sneaking in new Cubs signee Trevor Gretzky?

== The San Francisco Giants are squeezing in the obligatory White House visit on Monday, a day after having played a home game and a day before they need to be in Philly for a three-game series.

All because of the fact that the last time they were in D.C., back in late April, their original back-slapping trip to see President Obama was called off.

There was all this commotion at that time with Operation Neptune Spear – the mission to snuff out Osama bin Laden.

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So the sight of a long black beard from Giants reliever Brian Wilson coming through the Rose Garden this time won’t be some kind of weird flashback for Obama and his aids?

== For as crotchety and defiant and out-of-touch Al Davis can be in his early 80s, don’t you at least have to respect the fact that the Pro Football Hall of Famer registered the one abstention to the NFL owners’ labor proposal?

== And as for the ESPN anchor who listens intently to an ex-player give some opinion about the NFL lockout, and then end the segment by exclaiming: “Great stuff.”

Really? What again was great about it?

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Our first clue that Kluwe is on a special-ops mission: He’s not acting very Bruin-like

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Are you simply clueless, or do you really want to get into a Twitter war with Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe when he puts his UCLA education to some use?

Earlier this week, the Philly-born and O.C-raised basher (linked here) did a single-boot takedown on the quartet of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Logan Mankis and Vincent Jackson, saying their “greed” to cut an inside deal has effectively held up the NFL collective bargaining agreement (linked here).

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“Congrats (to the four) for being ‘that guy’,” Kluwe tweeted, then referring to them in hashtag reference as a feminine hygiene product.

Jim Rome ate it up, on both his radio and TV shows. Kluwe’s Twitter account was leaped upon like an open spot in the In-And-Out drive-through lane.

As an encore, he brilliantly started a counterattack (linked here) against Nate Jackson, a one-time Denver Broncos’ tight end who wrote a piece for Deadspin.com entitled: “Dear Chris Kluwe: When We Want The Punter’s Opinion, We’ll Ask For It (We Won’t),” with this paragraph:

“Yes, I am a punter. Yes, I don’t run routes, or zone block, or cover receivers. Apparently, though, neither did you, which is the only explanation for your total lack of statistics.”

He also managed to slip in: “I don’t really care what you or anyone else thinks about what I say or when I say it. If I see something greedy, hypocritical, or just plain stupid, I’m going to call out whoever the offending party happens to be.

“I’ve done it to the owners; I’ve done it to the NFL front office; and I’ll certainly do it if I see it happen with the players. And make no mistake: Trying to hold up the settlement of a CBA affecting almost 1,900 players just so four can get special treatment is pretty much the definition of greed. Whether it was instigated by their attorneys, agents, or whoever, it’s still a douchebag move to make.”

Who’s next in line for a coffin-corner kick in the groin?

You dare question the intelligence of someone who has earned more than 8,000 achievement points in the MMORPG World of Warcraft video game, where, as a troll rogue named Loate, he has been a member of one of the formerly top-ranked U.S. guilds, The Flying Hellfish, for more than two years?

You mock how iTune-d in a bass player could be having formed the alternative rock band, Tripping Icarus, and whose first full-length LP, “Perfect Citizen,” is coming out this fall, with or without an NFL season (linked here)?

You snicker at someone who bares his soul each week on Minneapolis radio for “The Half-Assed Morning Show” when he goes by the name “Chris Warcraft”?

He’s a special-ops kid all right.

The Special Teams Player of the Game from the 2003 Silicon Valley Football Classic when the Bruins somehow couldn’t keep up with Fresno State (a miserable 14-9 loss) is the same guy who discovered that he could lead all NFL specialists with a $5 mil a year salary – considering the Buffalo Bills pay a combined $5.4 mil for kicker Rian Lindell and punter Brian Moorman, the second- and third-highest-paid specialists.

So figure it out before the next snap.

In this crafted game of Kluwe, you’re either trying to do the safety dance, or you’re more likely just more potential collateral damage.

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Maybe the Pogofsky boys of Chicago make the Melendez brothers look kindhearted?

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(AP Photo/Brad Pogofsky via attorney Michael Botti)
This 1994 family photo provided by Lyle “Brad” Pogofsky via attorney Michael Botti shows part of a collection of autographed baseballs belonging to the late Larry Pogofsky, of Highland, Park, Ill., who had spent about 30 years collecting until his death in December 2010.

By Don Babwin
The Associated Press

CHICAGO — In a display case, among the valuable baseballs signed by the likes of Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio, suddenly appeared a ball worth all of a few dollars signed by a merely above average second baseman with little chance of joining those greats in the Hall of Fame.

For Benjamin Pogofsky, that was proof that something was rotten with his late father’s treasured baseball collection.

What has since transpired is a Major League family feud over a bunch of balls that has included a will, a lawsuit, an order of protection and criminal theft charges. And behind it are two brothers whose father had sat on the Chicago White Sox board of directors and who spent a good part of their childhood at the ballpark rubbing shoulders with some of the game’s biggest stars.

Today, Lyle “Brad” Pogofsky appeared in court in Lake County on felony theft and burglary charges that came after the family alerted police he’d made off with dozens his late father’s autographed baseballs from the home of their widowed mother in Highland Park, one of Chicago’s more upscale North Shore communities. A judge set a trial date for Nov. 10.

Prosecutors allege that between Jan. 12 and March 6 of this year, Brad Pogofsky stole balls valued a total of $10,000 to $100,000 from Lynda Pogofsky’s home. The balls were among more than 200 signed by many of the greatest players in Major League history, which Larry Pogofsky had spent about 30 years collecting until his death last December.

“Basically this is about a family, an age-old story where you have a father who was wealthy and a couple of kids fighting over the money, who gets what, who’s entitled to what,” said Michael Botti, Brad Pogofsky’s attorney. “It should be dealt with within the family and not with a Class 1 felony.”

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‘Doc’ Emrick exorcizes Devils, lops off part of his NHL schedule

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Hockey Hall of Famer Mike “Doc” Emrick, coming up on his 65th birthday, said he will step aside from calling MSG Network TV games for the NHL’s New Jersey Devils after 21 years so that he can focus only on national games for NBC and Versus.

“I’ve been extremely fortunate to have been able to spend 23 incredible years with the MSG Network channels and 21 equally enjoyable years — including three Stanley Cup championships — with the New Jersey Devils,” Emrick said in a statement. “But that assurance of less travel and fewer games has regrettably led me to end my association with the MSG Network channels and the Devils.”

Emrick, who a Sports Emmy this year as TV’s top play-by-play announcer, was with the Devils through their Stanley Cup victories in 1995, 2000 and 2003, as well as a finals loss to Colorado in 2001.

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No shocker: Tulsa WBNA team cuts Marion Jones … Sparks interested?

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Former Thousand Oaks High and Olympic gold medal-winning sprinter Marion Jones , averaging less than a point per game in 14 appearances this season for the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock, has been waived by the team in a roster move.

The Shock, 1-14 heading into the All-Star break, announced Jones was cut to make room for former Oklahoma center Abi Olajuwon.

Jones says in a statement released by the team that she appreciates the “opportunity to fulfill a dream” and she hopes to still contribute to pro women’s basketball.

Jones, the California state player of the year in 1992 who played as a freshman on North Carolina’s NCAA title team basketball in ’94, won three gold medals and two bronzes at the 2000 Sydney Olympics but ended up giving the medals back and serving about six months in prison after admitting she had lied to federal investigators about taking steroids.

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Face(book) it: Enberg is too good for provencial little San Diego whiners who can’t appreciate Hall of Fame broadcasters

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If you were to conduct an online poll, and about 200 replied to it, would that be an accurate representation? And what if 150 or more of those who responded were slanted toward one answer?

Consider the poll on the Facebook page of Padres blog Friarhood.com In answer to the question: Should the Padres bring back Dick Enberg for the 2012 season to continue calling gams on Channel 4 San Diego, 151 have said no as of 5 p.m. today, while 63 say yes.

A report on something called the San Diego Reader (linked here) cites the biggest complaint of Enberg’s work is that he’s too complimentary of opposing teams when they do something well.

Stuff like:

Robert S.: “i say we get someone. . .who announces as if he’s not actually rooting for the dodgers or vagiants.”

Jake G.: “I want a home town announcer to sound like one.”

If there are genuine complaints about his making mistakes, that’s one thing. Even Enberg would hate to have that tarnish a career of so many successful moments.

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Friarhood.com editor Steve Adler: “I get the sense that there are more people who feel passionately that they don’t want him back than there are those who feel passionately about him staying…. I have a lot of respect for what Dick Enberg has done in his career. He is a broadcasting legend and no one wants to take that away from him. The reason for the poll [is] to allow fans to voice their opinions and tell us what they want for the 2012 Padres TV broadcast.”

Adler also hosts a Padres fans show Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. on www.XTRASports1360.com.

Seriously, is this is the best San Diego Padres fans can bring to the table? Complain about someone like the 74-year-old Enberg isn’t cheery enough about the last-place team in the NL West and spends too much of his broadcast acknowledging the superior performance of the opposing team?

Tell us you’ve at least heard Vin Scully do a Dodgers’ game. Listen closely: You can’t fool baseball fans.

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On his way to Cooperstown, Pat Gillick’s journey was Southern California centric

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The 1954 Notre Dame High of Sherman Oaks varsity baseball team included Pat Gillick, top row, far left.

Gary Lane and Ron Mertus already have a small claim to fame – they can boast of having played together on the same Van Nuys High varsity baseball team with Don Drysdale nearly 60 years ago.

“He started off as a second baseman, and we called him ‘Porky,’” said Lane of the Dodgers’ eventual Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher.

Pat Gillick didn’t have any kind of similar nickname when Lane and Mertus hung out with him growing up in the San Fernando Valley.

“I know they called him ‘Yellow Pages Pat’ because he had this incredible memory for phone numbers,” said Mertus.

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But after Sunday, these two Gillick boyhood friends will be calling him a Hall of Famer as well.

The bronze plaque that Gillick receives this weekend in Cooperstown, where he will be inducted with Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar, can only hold so much information. The raised lettering will highlight how, as a general manager, he built four different franchises into playoff teams over four decades, including two World Series titles with Toronto in the early ’90s and another in Philadelphia three seasons ago. He meshed a Seattle franchise 10 years ago without Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez that tied a big-league record with 116 wins.

But guys like Lane and Mertus know the rest of the story — Gillick’s days as a left-handed catcher, graduating from Notre Dame High of Sherman Oaks, playing a year at L.A. Valley College and then heading over to pitch at USC where he was part of Rod Dedeaux’s first national championship team in 1958.

“He’s a real Valley kid,” Mertus said.

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Right: Pat Gillick’s senior high
photo from Notre Dame High of
Sherman Oaks in 1954.

Chico, north of Sacramento, was actually Gillick’s birthplace, in 1937. The son of minor-league pitcher Larry Gillick, he bounced around living in many of the California League cities.

When his parents divorced, he was sent to live with his grandparents in Van Nuys. His grandfather, a military man, made sure Pat enrolled at the Ridgewood Military Academy in Woodland Hills.

“It was a very structured childhood, not much deviation, and I think that got me pointed in the right direction,” Gillick said the other day from his home in Seattle. “It was a very kind of rigid program that we had. They gave you a lot of responsibilities. I liked it.”

Lane, also with divorced parents and living with his aunt and uncle as he attended the military school, met up at the school with Gillick in the fourth grade.

“We played every sport together – we practically lived together,” said Lane, retired after a career as projectionist at Technicolor.

“We’d be on our bikes every weekend, I’d be coming from Balboa and Ventura and he’d be coming from Victory and Havenhurst, and we’d meet up at the Van Nuys Park (on Vanowen), play all day, think nothing of it.”

Lane remembers a time when they were about 13, when “we did something we should never have done . . . it was so stupid.” It involved sneaking through a fence at the Sepulveda Basin Dam and climbing up to the pillar waterfall.

“We’re looking straight down at the falls, and it was either sink or swim,” Lane said. “There was no other way out. How dumb can you be?”

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Lane pulled up a clipping from the Valley Green Sheet, the predecessor to the Daily News, with a story that featured him as the up-and-coming pitcher with Gillick as the equally hard-throwing catcher — even though Gillick was a lefty.

“I really never let that one out,” admitted Gillick. “I had the best arm on the team, and they didn’t want to waste it in the outfield, so I caught when I wasn’t pitching.”

Lane and Gillick became Eagle Scouts together, went on double-dates, worked together at Christmas tree lots.

“Pat was just a real fun guy, everyone liked him,” said Lane. “You knew he was already very smart, but he was also super ambitious. He worked his tail off. You name it, he did it all.

“Even when we were in military school, you’d get ranked as a sergeant and so forth. He went right up to commander.”

Lane ended up at Van Nuys High to start the ninth grade, but Gillick stayed at Ridgewood until it closed its high school after his junior year – one where he was on the football team playing center, while the quarterback was Bobby Beathard, who would go on to be the general manager of the NFL’s San Diego Chargers.

Gillick could have joined Lane and Mertus at Van Nuys High with Drysdale, but his grandparents wanted him to stay at a private school. Despite being raised Presbyterian, Gillick landed at the Catholic-based Notre Dame High of Sherman Oaks.

“With those Holy Cross brothers, there was no foolishness,” said Gillick.

Gillick graduated cum laude at just 16 years old, playing on a varsity baseball team that went 6-11 with future USC and NFL player Walt Gurasich.

&&&&&&&&&

When Mertus met up with Gillick at L.A. Valley College in 1955, they had also been playing a local Valley baseball team coached by Earl Gilpin called the CDD Gainers at Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks War Memorial Park.

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“The name stood for ‘confidence, desire and determination,’” said Mertus. “I thought that was pretty cool. Earl was really kind of a father figure for Pat at that time.”

Mertus played a lot of first base and remembers Gillick has having “one of the greatest pickoff moves ever – probably illegal the way he picked me off so many times with it.”

After a year together at LAVCC, Gillick nearly went back north to play at Fresno State before he took up Dedeaux on an offer to come to USC.

Although Gillick’s pitching records as a Trojan were hardly Hall-worthy – a 0-1 record with a 6.55 ERA in five appearances his senior year for that title team – he graduated as a 20-year-old with a business degree, which probably meant more to him in the long run. Dedeaux’s emphasis on preparation and having a strong foundation made the greater impact.

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USC archives
Senior Pat Gillick, back row third from right, is part of the 1958 USC championship team. Sophomore Ron Fairly, who went on to play for the Dodgers, is front row, fourth from right.

“Probably not only in my collegiate career, but also my professional career and even after I became a GM, the best fundamental teacher of baseball that I was ever exposed to was Rod Dedeaux,” said Gillick. “They can talk about pitching and they talk about our hitting, but really what it was our defense and our execution day in and day out.

“He was a phenomenal teacher and one that could really motivate the students. Not only on the field, but motivate them to reach other goals.”

Before Mertus (minor league records linked here) and Gillick both ended up in the Baltimore Orioles’ minor-league system, they played together for several teams in Canada in the late ’50s.

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In 1957, they found themselves together in Granum, Alberta, a town of just 350 people.

“We had to eat with the ranch hands, we let a pig out of the pen by accident one time, even drove a pickup truck with a ladder lying wrong-way across the back through a fence and hit the cross section of a bridge and split it all up,” Mertus said with a laugh.

Before they enlisted in the Army reserves together in 1960, Gillick and his future wife Doris introduced Mertus to the women who would become his longtime spouse, Beverly. Both were American Airline flight attendants.

While Mertus’ minor-league career didn’t go far past the B-class, Gillick bounced from places such as Stockton, Little Rock, Rochester and Vancouver to the Triple-A level, and playing for manager Earl Weaver in Elmira, before he put away his professional dreams.

But only as a player.

A year later, in 1964, Gillick made it into the Houston Colt .45′s organization as an assistant farm director. He emerged as a scout, and then the head of scouting, in Houston, and moved onto the New York Yankees.

The expansion Toronto Blue Jays hired him and he became their general manager from 1977-’94 – taking on Mertus as an associate scout. That eventually paid off in a strange way.

Mertus, who worked fulltime as a dolly grip pulling cameras for TV sit-com productions in the Valley, found himself talking to Dave Winfield one day on the set.

Winfield, who just turned 40, finished a season with the Angels and was making a cameo in the TV show that Mertus was working on.

“I asked if he’d ever consider playing in Toronto and he said, ‘yeah, sure,’” said Mertus. “After that day’s shoot, I couldn’t wait to call Pat and tell him about it. And he said, ‘that’s interesting because we have an extra million in the budget and we are looking for a DH.

“I kind of forgot about it until a month later I was listening to the radio and sure enough, the Blue Jays signed Winfield.”

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Winfield ended up fifth in the American League MVP voting that 1992 championship year, hitting .290 with 26 homers and 108 RBI. That was his only year in Toronto.

But that was pretty typical of Gillick’s out-of-the-box thinking. This was someone who once drafted players such as BYU basketball star Danny Ainge (1977, making it to the big leagues in ’79) and UCLA quarterback Jay Schroeder (third overall in 1979, as a catcher out of Palisades High).

In the mid-’90s, Gillick nearly got a group together to buy the Angels from Gene Autry before he sold it to Disney. Gillick’s travels took him to Baltimore for three years (two playoff appearances) and Seattle for three more (two more playoffs) before Philadelphia lured Gillick to be their GM in 2005. It was magic all over again.

After the Phillies won the 2008 championship, Gillick retired. But he stayed on as an advisor to GM Ruben Amaro - even helping to persuade the team to select Notre Dame High outfielder Kelly Dugan as its top choice in the 2009 amateur draft, while convincing Dugan to forgo a scholarship to Pepperdine.

&&&&&&&&&&&

Gillick is only the fourth GM to be elected to the Hall, after Ed Barrow, Branch Rickey and George Weiss.

Lane, whose daughter Vicky is married to PGA golfer Duffy Waldorf after they met at UCLA, will be watching the ceremony at home in Northridge today.

“We’re just so proud and excited,” said Lane. “He’s such an awesome guy.”

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Mertus, retired and living in Chatsworth, will make the trek to New York with his daughter to see Gillick’s induction ceremony.

“I can’t miss this,” he said.

Gillick says having his friends with him at this point in the journey – and it may not be over, since he’s reportedly being courted to be the next president of the Chicago Cubs – means a lot to him.

“Ron and I go back over 60 years,” said Gillick. “To see some of those people like him that were involved in my early life, and then getting into professional baseball, and them taking the time to come back, I’m really touched deeply by that.”

******************

HIGHLIGHTS OF PAT GILLICK’S PRO CAREER:

== In five years of minor-league baseball with Baltimore and Pittsburgh, he got as high as Triple-A with a 45-32 record and 3.42 ERA in 164 games.
== 1963: Started a front-office career as assistant farm director with Houston and later director of scouting
== 1974: Moved to the New York Yankees system as coordinator of player development .
== 1976: Became the expansion Toronto Blue Jays first VP or player personnel and later VP of baseball operations.
== 1977: Became the Blue Jays general manager and orchestrated a roster that won five division titles in 1985, 1989, 1991, 1992 and 1993, including the ’91 and ’92 World Series.
== 1995: Named GM of the Baltimore Orioles and built teams that made the playoffs in 1996 and 1997.
== 1997: Voted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.
== 1998: Named GM of the Seattle Mariners and built a roster that got Seattle to playoff appearances in 2000 and 2001, the latter team finishing with a 116-46 record to tie the 1906 Chicago Cubs for the all-time major league record for most wins in a season.
== 2005: Named GM of the Philadelphia Phillies and retired after the Phillies won the 2008 World Series.

SIGNIFICANT MOVES:

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With Toronto:
== Drafted pitcher Dave Stieb (fifth round in 1978), pitcher David Wells (second round in 1982), first baseman John Olerud (third round in 1989), second baseman Jeff Kent (20th round in 1989) and outfielder Shawn Green (16th overall in 1991).
== Obtained Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar from San Diego for Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez in December, 1990; obtained David Cone from the New York Mets for Jeff Kent and Ryan Thompson in late August, 1992; obtained outfielder Rickey Henderson from Oakland for Steve Karsay and Jose Herrera in late July, 1993.
== Signed key free agents Jack Morris (1991), Dave Winfield (1991), Paul Molitor (1992) and Dave Stewart (1992).

With Baltimore:
== Drafted catcher Jayson Werth (22nd overall in 1997).
== Obtained pitcher David Wells from Cincinnati for Curtis Goodwin and Trovin Valdez in 1995.
== Signed key free agents Roberto Alomar (1995), Eric Davis (1996) and Joe Carter (1997).

With Seattle:
== Traded Ken Griffey Jr. to Cincinnati for Brett Tomko, Mike Cameron, Antonio Perez and Jake Meyer in 2000.
== Signed John Olerud as a free agent (1999).
== Signed Felix Hernandez as an amateur free agent (2002).

With Philadelphia:
== Signed free agent outfielder Jayson Werth (from the Dodgers, 2006) and pitcher Tom Gordon (2005).
== Traded Jim Thome to Chicago White Sox for Aaron Rowand, Gio Gonzalez and Daniel Haigwood in 2005; traded Bobby Abreu to the Yankees for Matt Smith, C.J. Henry, Jesus Sanchez and Carlos Monasterios in late July, 2006; obtained pitcher Jamie Moyer from Seattle for Andrew Barb and Andrew Baldwin in August, 2006; obtained reliever Brad Lidge and Eric Burntlett from Houston for Michael Bourn, Geoff Geary and Mike Constanzo in 2007.

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During a visit to the Hall of Fame last April, Pat Gillicks looks at the spot where his bronze plaque will be placed.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT GILLICK:

== “Not only was he a great general manager, but he’s a great person. He wanted to sign me (as a kid), but I already had a commitment with the San Diego Padres. Five years later, he went back and got me for the Toronto organization. Those were great years in my career. I have a lot of respect for him.” — Second baseman Roberto Alomar, who will be inducted into the Hall today.

== “He deserves the honor and it’s good to see someone with his background get this honor because in a lot of ways he represents the scouts and represents the people who do the grunt work that don’t get the recognition. I think he believes that he represents all the people behind the scenes who we as GMs rely on to help make the teams better.” — Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr.

== “The secret to Pat is basically that he’s always given his people a forum in which to speak freely. Very rarely in a meeting will he inject his opinion. He will one on one, but he doesn’t want his opinion to outweigh the suggestions of the people that work with him. You don’t work for Pat. You work with Pat.” – Philadelphia Phillies director of major league scouting Gordon Lakey.

== “He’s a legend. It’s been just the one time (in a World Series) for me, and when I see all that it takes to get there, and to see his record, it’s amazing.” – Texas Rangers GM Jon Daniels.

== “He was arguably the best general manager of his generation. He’s extremely gifted, and we knew that. We didn’t want him to leave.” — Seattle Mariners president Chuck Armstrong.

== “Look what Baltimore has done since he left. He might be an architect and a genius in baseball, but he is a kind man. He’s a Hall of Famer.” – Howard Hart, a long-time beer vendor at Camden Yards whom Gillick personally invited to Cooperstown as his guest for the induction ceremony.

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Leykis’ $50,000 reward finally acknowledged

Following up to stories we have done recently about how former syndicated radio host Tom Leykis has been trying to make a $50,000 donation toward the reward money offered for leads on the beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow:

Daily News Wire Services

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today added $15,000 the reward for information leading to whoever beat San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow on opening day at Dodger Stadium, leaving him with severe brain injuries.

Increasing the county reward from $10,000 to $25,000 brings the total reward to at least $225,000, including more than $100,000 from the Dodgers, $50,000 from the Los Angeles City Council and $50,000 from radio personality Tom Leykis.

Stow, a 42-year-old paramedic and father of two, suffered brain injuries and is hospitalized at San Francisco General Hospital. He was punched and fell, hitting his head on the pavement.

Police contend that Giovanni Ramirez was one of the two men who assaulted Stow following the Dodger’s opening-day victory on March 31, but have not charged him in connection with that case. Instead he has been sentenced to 10 months in prison for violating his parole.

His girlfriend, Denise Piccione, was arrested in Las Vegas July 9 and booked on drug and weapons violations. She has pleaded not guilty and a preliminary hearing in her case has been set for July 27.

Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck said that Piccione is a witness in the Stow case, though she may be an alibi witness rather than a direct witness to the beating.

“The LAPD still needs the public’s assistance in their search,” Supervisor Michael Antonovich said today, when recommending the increase to the reward.

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Lesley Visser isn’t married any more to Dick Stockton?

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OK, we did hear that marriage ended between the two TV broadcasters. We just weren’t sure how recently. Until CBS issued this press release this afternoon:

CBS Sports’ Lesley Visser will marry international businessman Bob Kanuth at Appleton Chapel on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. on Saturday.

Visser is a pioneer for women in sports broadcasting and the most highly acclaimed female sportscaster of all-time. She was recognized by the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 2006 as the only woman to receive the Pete Rozelle Radio and Television Award.

Kanuth, a highly successful businessman in the real estate and finance industry, was the captain and Most Valuable Player of the 1969 Harvard Crimson basketball team.

Among the many guests from the business, sports and media worlds will include CBS President & CEO Leslie Moonves and his wife, Julie Chen, host of CBS show “The Talk,” former New York Yankees first baseman Tino Martinez; Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan; CBS Sports golf analyst Nick Faldo; Boston Celtics owner Steve Pagliuca; AutoNation CEO Michael Jackson; University of Louisville basketball head coach Rick Pitino, who introduced the couple; and CBS Sports college basketball analyst Bill Raftery. The couple will honeymoon in Paris and Provence, France.

Visser’s Wikipedia page says she was married to sportscaster Dick Stockton, a longtime broadcaster in Boston who works for Fox and Turner Sports, from 1983 to 2010.

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HBO’s Gumbel: Equal criticism necessary

Bryant Gumbel’s closing thoughts that will air on tonight’s eposide of HBO’s “Real Sports” have nothing to do with HBO Sports chief Ross Greenburg leaving, but the exit that the U.S. women’s soccer team made in the World Cup Final:

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“Can we stop coddling women in sports? Are we now so fearful of being labeled sexist that we can’t objectively assess the efforts of female athletes? Those are both valid questions that have come to the fore in the wake of the patronizing reactions that have followed the USA’s loss to Japan in the Women’s World Cup soccer final.

“For the record, in the final, a very determined but unheralded Japanese team won the championship, upsetting a U.S. team that was heavily favored and ranked number one in the world of Women’s Soccer. En route to the loss, the American women failed to cash in on a wealth of early scoring chances, twice blew late leads with sloppy mistakes, and then got badly outclassed in penalty kicks.

“Had a men’s team turned in a similar performance, papers and pundits nationwide would have had a field day assailing the players, criticizing the coach, and demanding widespread changes to a men’s national team that flat out choked. Yet the common reaction to this ladies’ loss were simply expressions of empathy for the defeat of the unfortunate darlings and pride in their oh-so-heroic effort.

“Look, I have no desire to see anyone assail the women’s game or their athletes unfairly. But if the definition of true equality is treating folks honestly, without regard for race or gender, then it’s time we started critiquing women athletes in the same way we do the men. I’m sure some won’t like it, but blind praise is worthless in the absence of fair criticism.”

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