Kings' relocation application deadline extended

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Kings' relocation application deadline extended

April 15, 2011KINGS PAGE KINGS VIDEO NEW YORK (AP) The NBA has granted the owners of the Sacramento Kings an extension until May 2 to file paperwork requesting a relocation to Anaheim.Joe and Gavin Maloof were supposed to submit the documents by Monday, but the league's owners decided to delay that after hearing from Anaheim and Sacramento officials during two days of meetings that ended Friday.Commissioner David Stern said the league wanted to "do a little bit more fact finding" after Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson told owners Thursday of additional revenue that had been identified, of the city's commitment to build a new arena, and revealed an interested potential buyer in Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle."So the committee thought that it would be a good idea to do a little bit more fact-finding and determine how this will ultimately play out," Stern said. "There's no agenda here; just to make sure that something as important to all parties as the transfer of a team to another city and the attempts of that city to keep that team was fully understood, fully briefed."The Maloofs insist they won't sell, and Stern said the sale of the Kings, or another team to Burkle that would be moved to Sacramento if the Kings left, is "not a high priority on our agenda."The relocation committee headed by Oklahoma City owner Clay Bennett, who moved the SuperSonics from Seattle three years ago, will research some of the assertions made by Johnson and the potential for success in Anaheim while competing against the Lakers and Clippers. The panel also will recommend a relocation fee the Maloofs would have to pay should they move.Though eyebrows were raised with Bennett's appointment because of the Sonics' contentious departure to his home state of Oklahoma, Stern said there was no conflict and that Bennett had been chosen because he has been active in the Kings' situation and other league business.
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"Maybe Sacramento will think ... - although I don't - that (Bennett) favors movement. In this case, he favors what's best for the league and the Kings," Stern said during a conference call.Stern said Sacramento's problem was the outdated Power Balance Pavilion, not its market size. Johnson told owners Thursday that the city is committed to building a new entertainment center even if the Kings leave.Stern seemed dubious, noting that the discussion of a new building in Sacramento is "usually an eye-roller" at the league because there's been no progress toward it for years. But Johnson's meeting also included a report from the group conducting the feasibility study for a new arena that should be completed by next month, and it made enough of an impression for the Maloofs and Bennett to recommend the extension."It was just felt that this was a good presentation and we should delve a little bit more to understand what its ramifications are," Stern said.Once the Maloofs do apply, owners would have to approve the move by a majority vote. Stern said the delay would not hinder their ability to play in Anaheim next season, pointing out how quickly the Hornets were transplanted from New Orleans to Oklahoma City following Hurricane Katrina.He wouldn't predict how things would end, but hopes the committee can finish its work in two more weeks."It was sort of like a timeout," Stern said. "This is difficult, let's take some time here to better understand it. This is very important. It's important to the Maloof family. It's important to (Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli) and the people of Anaheim, and it's important to Mayor Johnson and the people of Sacramento. And so the committee wanted to do some work."

Dodgers infielder weighs in on Harper's errant helmet throw

Dodgers infielder weighs in on Harper's errant helmet throw

Before the right hooks and haymakers, there was the helmet toss.

A very bad helmet toss.

As he made his way to the mound after getting hit by a pitch on Monday afternoon, Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper attempted to throw his helmet at Giants reliever Hunter Strickland. He missed by a wide margin.

Observers took notice, including Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner.

"What was worse, Harper's helmet throw or 50 Cents first pitch? Heads up in the #McCoveyCove," Turner tweeted shortly after the brawl between the Giants and Nationals.

Turner is referring to a ceremonial first pitch thrown by rapper 50 Cent prior to a Mets game in 2014.

Harper mentioned the helmet when addressing the situation after the game.

"I was trying to go after him, with the helmet or with myself, just doing what I needed to do keep it going, I guess," Harper told reporters.

 

Fight Notes: Harper thought this was over; Giants collide; Posey avoids it

Fight Notes: Harper thought this was over; Giants collide; Posey avoids it

SAN FRANCISCO — When the Nationals visited AT&T Park for the first time after the 2014 postseason series, Bryce Harper took to Instagram to compliment the city. “Nothing like SF! #BayArea” he wrote underneath a photo of the Bay Bridge. 

Harper, a Las Vegas kid, has always seemed to enjoy facing the Giants. He hasn’t hit well at AT&T Park, but he was a star in their 2014 matchup and he praised Brandon Crawford on Twitter during this year’s WBC. The greeting Monday was not a friendly one. 

Harper was retired three times by Matt Moore. The first pitch he saw from Hunter Strickland left a dent on his hip and set off a wild brawl. 

Strickland denied any intent. Harper seemed confused by the timing of the payback pitch. 

“It’s so in the past, it’s not even relevant anymore,” he said of their 2014 series, according to Dan Kolko of MASN. “They won the World Series that year. I don’t think he should even be thinking about what happened in the first round. He should be thinking about wearing that ring home every single night. I don’t know why he did it or what he did it for, but I guess it happens.”

The Giants were not surprised when Harper reacted the way he did. Now they’ll wait for Strickland to get hit with a suspension, and Harper is looking at a layoff, too. 

“You never want to get suspended or anything like that, but sometimes you’ve got to go and get him,” Harper said. “You can’t hesitate. You either go to first base or you go after him. And I decided to go after him.”

Strickland, about an hour after the fight, said he’s not sure what will happen in terms of discipline. 

“That’s their decision and obviously I’ll take whatever consequences come with it and we’ll go from there,” he said. 

Any action by the league is unlikely to impact this series. Even if suspensions are handed down swiftly, players can appeal. Harper and Strickland may not be alone. Several players jumped into the fray aggressively and at least one non-active Giant — Hunter Pence — was right in the middle of the scrum. At the very least, he could be facing a fine for trying to help his teammate. 

“It doesn't look good when a guy gets hit but also on their side, the guy throws his helmet,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Strickland’s got to stand his ground. There’s no choice there. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen (with suspensions).”

One player who won’t face discipline: Madison Bumgarner, who is also on the DL but wisely stayed away from this one, even if it probably killed him to do so. 

--- The biggest hit didn’t come from Strickland or Harper. It was Jeff Samardzija and Michael Morse coming together in the middle of the field. Both players said they were fine. 

"I was just trying to get in there to break everything up," Morse said. "We lost the game, that's what's most important."

Ahhh, yes, the Giants lost 3-0. Bochy seemed particularly peeved that Strickland chose the eighth inning of a 2-0 game to exact revenge, and you can bet some teammates weren't thrilled. We'll see if there's anything more to this Tuesday. There was a lot of adrenaline flowing, but some of these guys might not be feeling so spry when they wake up in the morning. Bochy said he had not heard any reports of players getting injured, but he also admitted that he didn't see most of the collisions and had no idea what happened with Morse and Samardzija, who had a world-class reaction, by the way.  

--- As with the incident with the Dodgers a couple weeks ago, Buster Posey stayed out of this one. Smartly. 

"After it happened I saw Harper point and the next thing you know he's going out after them," Posey said. "Those are some big guys tumbling on the ground. You see Michael Morse, as big as he is, and he's getting knocked around like a pinball."

Posey is not alone in staying away from these scrums where 250-pound dudes are flying at knees and ankles. Brandon Crawford can often be found on the outside, as well. It's smart, but I think something else was at play here today. Posey understands that the Giants are fighting for every scrap at this point. Every loss digs the hole that much deeper, and this happened with two outs in the eighth inning of a 2-0 game, against a team with a poor bullpen. I'd imagine there was some serious annoyance there. 

--- How angry was Strickland? It took three guys, three big guys, to drag him into the dugout: Pence, Mac Williamson, and George Kontos. 

"I was pretty fired up to be honest with you, but that’s just adrenaline," he said. 

--- Baseball fights are rather silly, but at least you get some phenomenal photos.