Today in sports: Peyton Manning has no shortage of suitors, the Los Angeles Lakers have gone rogue, and the Oakland A's hope a convoluted history lesson is their ticket to San Jose.
Peyton Manning, who has been a masterless football samurai for all of one day, has already heard from 12 teams that would very much like him to be their quarterback next year. Twelve! The fact that more than a third of NFL franchises are ready to enter a bidding a war for a 36-year-old quarterback who might not be able to throw a football anymore is proof of just how hard the quarterback position is to fill, and also how silly football types can get. For his part, Manning has let it be known through back channels (which in his case is an actual channel, called ESPN) that he plans to settle on a new team within a week, and that he "prefers to stay in the AFC" but "is open to playing in the NFC," which is a terrific way of saying he's open to going just about anywhere. [ESPN]
Except Washington, of course. Apparently Manning has already informed the club he has zero interest in joining the team. This is terrific news for Redskins fans who want the team to do the smart thing for once and a terrible, terrible blow for team owner Daniel Snyder, who reportedly was looking forward to giving Peyton Manning a dump truck full of money. [PFT]
Every few years, an NBA team goes rogue on an unpopular coach, which if you love sports is always a kind of exciting, kind of depressing sight to behold. The Los Angeles Lakers are doing it this year under first-year coach Mike Brown, and as team mutinies go, it's remarkably well-organized. with players holding secret meetings about reinstalling former coach Phil Jackson's very complex triangle offense without Brown's knowledge. Notwithstanding the fact that leaking the agenda of a secret meeting is rarely a good way to keep something secret, the Lakers deserve credit for their initiative, since few team mutinies advance beyond the not-showing-up-for-practice stage. [ESPN Los Angeles]
The Oakland A's have been trying to relocate to somewhere that is not Oakland for years, and it looked like they had a chance of getting Major League Baseball to sign off a plan to build a new stadium 40 miles away in San Jose, if MLB would just agree that the crosstown Giants don't have territorial rights to Santa Clara County. But according to a New York Daily News report over the weekend, Bud Selig plans to uphold the Giants' claim that San Jose is Giants country. What's a small market franchise that wants out of Oakland to do? The first step, it seems, is to issue a press release aimed at "setting the record straight on the history of territorial rights," in which you claim the history of baseball in northern California built on a misreading of "MLB-recorded minutes" from a meeting in 1992 during which former A's owner Walter Haas granted the Giants the rights to Santa Clara County "subject to [the Giants] relocating to the city of Santa Clara." Since the Giants ended staying in San Francisco, Santa Clara County belongs to them. That's Oakland's logic at least, and it has a certain convoluted, Chinatown-esque logic to it. The problems, as the Giants noted in a dueling press release, is that their claim to Santa Clara has been "explicitly reaffirmed by Major League Baseball on four separate occasions" since 1993. In other words: forget it Billy Beane, it's Alameda County. [San Francisco Chronicle]
The NFL Players Association is going to launch its own investigation into the New Orleans Saints bounty program. Since both the participants and targets are members of the union, the NFLPA could be in kind of a tough spot. That might explain why the press release failed to mention if the union would consider punishments for players found to be involved in any cheap shot incentive scheme. The union did pledge to "vigorously protect the rights of all players,” which feels a tad like trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted andannounced the results of a two-year internal investigation. [AP]