Brett Favre's attorneys fire back

506620.jpg

Brett Favre's attorneys fire back

From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- Brett Favre shouldn't have to respond to some embarrassing claims about his personal life that two massage therapists are making in a lawsuit, his lawyers say.The massage therapists say the New York Jets blacklisted them after they objected to suggestive messages the legendary quarterback allegedly sent to another woman. Among other things, they asked him to admit or deny he solicited women for sex trysts and sent explicit photos to a former Jets game hostess. The request was part of a procedural step in their 2011 lawsuit.Favre's attorneys filed papers this week asking a court to say he doesn't have to answer. They say some of the requests are irrelevant and inappropriate, including a bid to get him to acknowledge that a lewd photo that appeared on a sports gossip website depicts his own anatomy."These requests clearly have absolutely nothing to do with this lawsuit and have been included only to harass and embarrass," attorney Sharon H. Stern and other Favre lawyers wrote.The rest of the requests are "nonsensical" or too much in debate to ask him simply to admit them, his lawyers said.The Jets and another defendant, a massage therapist who helped others get work with the team, filed similar objections this week.The massage therapists' lawyer called the filings an effort to shield Favre from having to discuss his conduct."It's yet another attempt by the defendants, particularly Brett Favre, to avoid having to testify under oath in this matter," attorney Elizabeth Eilender said.The Jets' lawyer declined to comment. Lawyers for Favre and the other defendant didn't immediately respond to phone and email messages Wednesday evening.Massage therapists Shannon O'Toole and Christina Scavo say they were called to give massages at the Jets training camp and to various players individually, until they ran afoul of Favre.During the 2008 preseason, the lawsuit alleges, the now-retired three-time NFL MVP sent another woman a text message asking to get together with her and Scavo, followed by another text saying, "I guess I have bad intentions."After Scavo's husband asked Favre to apologize, she and O'Toole lost gigs with the Jets, the suit says. They are seeking unspecified damages.The suit was filed five days after the NFL fined Favre 50,000 for not being forthright in an investigation into allegations that he sent bawdy text messages and photos to former Jets game hostess Jenn Sterger when they both worked for the team. During that investigation, media reports claimed Favre also had pursued massage therapists, but the NFL said it was unable to get enough information to decide whether the reports were substantiated.The Jets have said O'Toole and Scavo worked for the team for a combined total of only five days over two years, making 2,300 in all, and were never guaranteed any ongoing work. The team wasn't told about the women's concerns and simply turned to other massage therapists after its training facility moved in 2008, Jets officials and lawyers said in court filings.In court papers, Favre has denied the allegations and argued that if Scavo and O'Toole lost work, he wasn't responsible for it.Favre retired from the NFL in 2010, after playing for 20 seasons, mostly with the Green Bay Packers. He is the league's all-time leader with 71,838 passing yards and 508 touchdowns, won a Super Bowl with the Packers in 1996, and holds the 297-game record for consecutive starts.He is now helping coach the football team at Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, Miss., near his home.

Jose Canseco joins NBC Sports California's A's TV coverage

canseco-jose-athetics-hat.jpg
AP

Jose Canseco joins NBC Sports California's A's TV coverage

MESA, Ariz. — Through all of the controversy and sensational headlines that have marked his baseball career and beyond, one constant has stood firm in regard to Jose Canseco:

The man speaks exactly what’s on his mind.

That will serve A’s fans well as Canseco joins NBC Sports California as an on-air analyst for A’s Pregame Live and A’s Postgame Live. He’s part of a revamped lineup of former Athletics who will provide their expert insights and opinions throughout the 2017 season.

“I’ve got quite a bit of experience. I’ve pretty much been there, done all of that whether it’s on or off the field,” Canseco said. “I think the fans can expect the truth — an honest opinion, honest analysis — and hopefully in some shape or form we expand the fan base.”

The 1988 American League MVP and first player ever to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in the same season, Canseco’s baseball resume speaks for itself. For so many fans who grew up with a “Bash Brothers” poster on their wall, he was the defining presence of three consecutive pennant-winning A’s teams from 1988-90.

Those teams dominated with an ensemble cast of contributors. But in a time period when the Bay Area produced some of the biggest superstars across the national sports landscape, no one’s profile stood taller than Canseco’s.

“I pulled his rookie baseball card out of packs, watched him play countless games in person at the Coliseum,” said Brodie Brazil, host for A’s Pregame and Postgame Live. “It still hasn't sunk in that we've added one of the Bash Brothers to our core of analysts. The kid and adult in me are both pretty stoked.”

Canseco retired after 17 big league seasons and 462 home runs, which ranked 22nd on the all-time list when he hung up his spikes. After his playing career, he wrote the controversial tell-all book “Juiced”, which blew open just how widespread steroid use was in the major leagues.

Canseco received a hefty amount of criticism upon the book’s release. But as the years have gone by and it’s become apparent just how many players were using performance-enhancing drugs, Canseco has proven to be much more credible with the claims he made.

“It’s kind of a double-edged sword,” he said of writing “Juiced.” “It made the game better because it made the game look at what was going on internally. On the other end, because I wrote the book and went up against Major League Baseball, I got excommunicated.”

He’s enthused about taking on his first role as an analyst, and he joins NBC Sports California at a time of budding excitement surrounding the A’s and the expectation of them building a new ballpark in Oakland. Canseco, the 1986 AL Rookie of the Year, played for the A’s when they were one of the Bay Area’s hottest sports stories.

He believes a new ballpark would create the needed buzz. And, it’s not surprising that he’s got a unique preference in what he’d like to see built.

“I’m hoping for a dome to be honest with you,” he said. “It can get cold (in Oakland). The ball doesn’t carry. I would push for a dome. I think baseball is so different from other sports. It’s definitely the best sport in the world. The Oakland A’s deserve their own stadium.”

OK, so perhaps a dome isn’t in the forefront of the A’s thoughts. But remember, one fan proposed to team president Dave Kaval the idea of a floating stadium on the Bay, so Kaval has heard wackier suggestions.

Canseco can draw on the experience of having played for seven different big league organizations in providing his analysis.

He was preparing for Game 3 of the 1989 World Series when the Loma Prieta earthquake rocked Candlestick Park. In the 1988 World Series, he was playing right field when Kirk Gibson’s legendary home run went soaring over his head.

He’s traveled a unique road in the game, and he’s willing to speak frankly about the peaks and valleys.

“It’s the first time I’ve gotten the opportunity to do something like this,” Canseco said. “… Maybe fans would like to hear what my thoughts are, how things can be fixed or made better for the Oakland A’s.”

49ers keep all options open with No. 2 overall pick

49ers keep all options open with No. 2 overall pick

PHOENIX -- If the Cleveland Browns’ only reasonable decision with the top overall pick consists of Myles Garrett or Myles Garrett, the 49ers have considerably more options at No. 2 overall.

After Garrett, the Texas A&M pass-rusher, there appears to be no consensus second-best prospect in the draft. So the 49ers must be open to considering almost anything.

“You got to talk about every option because you never know what will happen,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “You got to be ready for anything somebody will call you on, whether it’s a trade or not. So you got to go through those because they can happen quickly, especially when you get closer to draft day.

“Right now, it’s not necessarily in my mind the No. 2 pick. It’s taking the time to understand the whole pool of people. Who’s going to be available at two? Who’s going to be available halfway through the first round? What are the players you can get in the second and third round? That’s not something that just gets done. You have to watch a lot of tape. You got to listen to your scouts and all the homework they’ve done with the character on these guys and soak it all in for a couple of months.”

Shanahan was on hand Thursday for Stanford’s pro day, during which defensive lineman Solomon Thomas worked out. Thomas is considered a strong candidate to be the No. 2 player off the board.

But does Thomas fit with the 49ers? Under former general manager Trent Baalke, the 49ers invested their top draft picks in Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner in back-to-back years. Would the 49ers consider spending their top pick on another defensive lineman?

“It really doesn’t concern me what we’ve done in the past or what we’re going to do in the future,” Shanahan said. “It’s what we have now. If we think that player can help us and improve us, then that’s what we’ll do. You want to get the best guy possible. There are lots of options open.”

As the 49ers transition to a four-man defensive line, the team is in need or a pass-rusher. Ahmad Brooks tied with Buckner for the team-lead last season with six sacks. In 2015, Brooks and Aaron Lynch tied for tops on the 49ers with 6.5 sacks.

Brooks, 33, enters his 12th NFL season. Shanahan said he believes Thomas (6 foot 3, 273 pounds) is versatile enough to be a pass-rush threat at defensive end in the 49ers’ new scheme.

“I believe so,” Shanahan said. “I believe he can probably line up anywhere he wants. (But I’m) still not done with my research, yet.”

Thomas won the 2017 Morris Trophy, as the Pac-12’s top defensive lineman, as voted on by the conference’s offensive linemen.