From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the recession has helped build TV audiences for NFL games. Speaking on CBS' "60 Minutes," to be aired Sunday, Goodell says of nearly 60 million people tuning in to watch last Sunday's conference championships, "People want to feel part of a group . and right now during these difficult times, they can turn on free television and watch the greatest entertainment that's out there." Goodell, who this week received a contract extension through March 2019, oversees a league with revenues exceeding 10 billion and with labor peace for another nine years. Goodell expresses concern, however, "that because the experience is so great at home," it becomes more challenging to get fans to attend games.
MESA, Ariz. — After a spring training eye exam showed his vision had worsened, A’s reliever Sean Doolittle plans to start the season wearing prescription eyeglasses when he takes the mound.
“I’m going full ‘lefty reliever,’” Doolittle joked. “I had the beard, now I’m wearing glasses. Just full lefty reliever.”
Doolittle got his glasses Tuesday and wore them while pitching in a minor league game Wednesday, reporting no problems. He didn’t want to experiment with contact lenses in the dry Arizona air, though he might try contacts at some point.
The glasses he’ll wear for games are a pair of clear, rectangular-shaped Oakleys with black trim. They have rubber gripping on the sides and bridge of the nose so they won’t fall off. Doolittle showed off a second pair of glasses that he’s wearing away from the field. Those ones are rounder, a bit more scholarly looking.
He’ll debut the new eye wear in a Cactus League game Saturday, when he’s slated to pitch in a split-squad home game against Cincinnati.
Players get their vision checked when they get their physical at the start of spring training.
“I bombed the eye chart,” Doolittle admitted.
He’s got 20/25 vision in his left eye, 20/40 in the right. Doolittle said he noticed he was squinting while driving at night, and wearing glasses seems to have literally opened up a new world to him.
“Looking around now at the mountains, oh my gosh, they’re really nice,” he said with a straight face. “I can see everything in more detail. It’s like going from Standard Def to 4K.”
And the lefty notices another benefit of wearing glasses.
“It’s been great with March Madness,” Doolittle said. “I don’t have to get up and walk over to the TV to see the score.”
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Will Smith has elected to have Tommy John surgery, leaving a gaping hole in the Giants' bullpen. Surgery, which will cost Smith at least a year, was the recommendation of both doctors Smith saw over the past week.
"It's not what I was hoping for, but we sat down and looked at the options and this makes the most sense," he said. "I'll miss the 2017 season and be ready full-tilt in 2018."
Smith missed the first month of camp because of pain in his throwing elbow. He returned to the mound, but during a March 20 outing he again felt pain. A second MRI revealed a strain and a sprain in the elbow. Smith saw team orthopedist Dr. Ken Akizuki and flew to Los Angeles to get a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlen-Jobe Clinic. Dr. ElAttrache will perform the surgery next week.
Smith said other options were discussed, but if stem cells or rehab failed, he would miss two full seasons.
"That was the deciding factor," he said. "Baseball is what I love to do. As soon as they said I could miss two years, that decided it for me. I can't miss two years. That's too big a roll of the dice."
Smith was acquired from the Brewers at the deadline last season in exchange for right-hander Phil Bickford and catcher Andrew Susac. He finished the regular season with 18 consecutive scoreless appearances. Smith was expected to serve as the late lefty for the Giants. With Smith out, the Giants will lean on Steven Okert, Josh Osich and Ty Blach.
"We're going to have to have someone step up and help us in the seventh and eighth," Bruce Bochy said Thursday. "That was going to be will's role. He's a guy we were leaning on."
Smith is under team control for two more seasons after this one.