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Looming Lockout Spurs $1.6B+ in MLB Signings (Front Office Sports)

With Major League Baseball facing an imminent lockout, free agents are signing at a furious pace in what will likely be a record-breaking offseason.
The collective bargaining agreement between the league and its players association expires at midnight Wednesday, and it is widely presumed that the league will lock out its players at the time. This step would freeze transactions, meaning that no player from this loaded free-agent class could sign a deal until a new CBA is reached.

Baseball's looming lockout: MLB, players still far apart in Tuesday negotiations (USA TODAY) IRVING, Texas — Major League Baseball and the players association remain far apart in their negotiations with both sides pessimistic that an agreement can be reached before Wednesday night’s deadline.

Amputation 'was on the table': Tiger Woods doesn't shy away from how serious his leg injury really was (USA TODAY) Tiger Woods addressed the media for the first time on Tuesday, a few days before the first round of his Hero World Challenge gets underway later this week.
After his car accident in February, the severity of Woods' injuries couldn't be understated. Seemingly everything in his lower left leg was shattered, and many questioned if he'd ever walk again.

As MLB Nears Likely Lockout, Here's How Long Prior Sports Stoppages Have Lasted (Forbes SportsMoney) Major League Baseball is expected to enter a lockout when its current collective bargaining agreement expires Wednesday at 11:59 p.m., possibly marking the first work stoppage in major American sports in eight years, evoking memories of the frequent labor disputes that clouded the MLB from the 1970s to 1990s. 

Why Did The U.S. Army Partner With GolfNow? (Forbes SportsMoney) Did you know that all four branches of the U.S. military operate golf courses? Or that 80% of those owned and run by the Army are open to public play?
Many golfers aren’t aware of the access to some of these military gems — from the Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed West Point Golf Course in New York to Ryder Golf Course at Fort Bragg in the pines of North Carolina — but getting a tee time is about to become even easier. 

HotelPlanner Partnering with U.S. Figure Skating (SportsTravel)

HotelPlanner has announced a multiyear service provider partnership with U.S. Figure Skating, becoming the preferred hotel reservations provider for the national governing body and its fans.
“Figure skating is a beloved sport across the United States with millions of devoted fans and aspiring figure skaters,” said Tim Hentschel, co-founder and chief executive officer of HotelPlanner. “We’re pleased to add U.S. Figure Skating to our family of sports league sponsorships. I’d like to extend our congratulations to the entire organization as they celebrate their 100-year anniversary.”

The New York Mets And The Highest-Paid Players In Baseball History: A Complicated Relationship (Forbes SportsMoney) The Mets awarding Max Scherzer the most lucrative contract in Major League Baseball history — at least in terms of average annual value — has yielded a bit of harmless revisionist history from fans and observers accustomed to watching the Wilpon-era Mets spend their winters shopping the cutout bins instead of investing in the highest-end talent possible.

Adidas Partners With Brooklyn Nets (SGB UPDATE)

Adidas and the Brooklyn Nets announced they had formed a multi-year partnership central to connecting with kids through basketball.

The newly named Brooklyn Nets Basketball Academy presented by Adidas will receive Adidas support to grow the partnership at the grassroots level in Brooklyn and beyond.

Adidas will become the preferred merchandise and equipment provider for all of the Academy’s programs. Select James Harden Adidas apparel will be sold in the team store, Brooklyn Fanatics, at Barclays Center. Harden, a star guard for the Nets, is an Adidas ambassador.

Tiger Woods Has Little to Say About His Car Accident Or His Golf Future (Bloomberg) Nassau, Bahamas (AP) -- Tiger Woods had nothing to say about the February car crash that shattered his right leg and even less of an idea what his future in golf holds for him except that he's a long way from deciding whether he can compete against the best.
“I can show up here and I can host an event, I can play a par-3 course, I can hit a few shots, I can chip and putt,” he said Tuesday. "But we're talking about going out there and playing against the world's best on the most difficult golf courses under the most difficult conditions.

Apax Revives Interest in Italy’s Serie A Football League (Bloomberg) Apax Partners has renewed its interest in investing in Serie A, the Italian soccer league that’s been frustrated in efforts to raise fresh funding this year, according to people familiar with the matter. 
The private equity firm is working with other potential investors to formulate a proposal that it could present to the league at the start of next year, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. 

A COVID-19 outbreak has struck the Dallas Cowboys during a ruinous losing streak, sidelining their head coach at a crucial moment (Business Insider) COVID-19 just made things harder for the collapsing Dallas Cowboys.
Head coach Mike McCarthy, three offensive coaches, three strength coaches, and offensive tackle Terrance Steele all tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. They will all miss the team's next game against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. 
McCarthy became just the second coach in the NFL this year to test positive and be forced to miss games, after Kliff Kingsberry of the Arizona Cardinals on October 15. McCarthy got vaccinated in July after some controversy over his comments that he initially "wasn't 100% on board with the vaccine," according to CBS Sports. 

Lionel Messi called for his Ballon d'Or rival to be retroactively given last year's canceled award after winning again this year (Business Insider) Lionel Messi made a classy gesture after beating Robert Lewandowski to the Ballon d'Or, suggesting the Bayern Munich striker should be retroactively awarded last year's cancelled award.
The Argentine scooped a record seventh prize on Monday night, with Lewandowski finishing second and Chelsea's Jorginho coming third.

A single soccer team is responsible for every case of the Omicron coronavirus variant in Portugal (Business Insider) A Portuguese soccer team is the sole cause of the presence of the Omicron variant of coronavirus in the country.
Belenenses, which plays in the country's top division, the Primeira Liga, reported that 13 of staff members have tested positive for the variant first detected in South Africa last week.
An outbreak started when the club's South African defender Cafu Thete returned from international duty in his home country on November 17, Reuters reports.

Soccer's biggest prize kicked off in bizarre fashion when a pair of F1 drivers in Daft Punk-style helmets arrived to deliver the trophies (Business Insider) The awards given to the world's best male and female soccer players were delivered to the stage in a bizarre fashion Monday night.
The Ballon d'Or is the most glamorous night in the soccer calendar. The game's greatest headed to Paris to see who would be crowned the best male and female soccer players on the planet in a lavish ceremony.

Cristiano Ronaldo didn't show up to the Ballon d'Or ceremony and called the prize's boss a liar over comments about his rivalry with Lionel Messi (Business Insider) Cristiano Ronaldo has hit back at claims from a key organizer of the Ballon d'Or that his main aim is to win the trophy more times than his great rival, Lionel Messi.
Earlier this week, Pascal Ferre, the editor in chief of France Football — the publication behind the Ballon d'Or — claimed in a The New York Times interview that Ronaldo had confided in him that his primary ambition is to retire having won the accolade more times than his rival.

THE BIG INTERVIEW: Harry Lomas, Head of Culinary, Wembley Stadium (Sports Venue Business (SVB)) In this latest interview, Harry Lomas talks us through his role, key challenges and objectives as Head of Culinary at Wembley National Stadium, overseeing all offerings from GA to Club Wembley.
He talks about how his previous appointments at The Grove, London 2012 and the British Army, have informed what he does at England’s National Stadium, home to The Football Association, and delves into how he’s had to adapt the offering at Club Wembley in response to the pandemic.

Stephen Curry said not being invited to the NBA bubble was his 'lowest' moment and fueled his current revenge tour (Business Insider)

Stephen Curry's "lowest point" came when his Golden State Warriors weren't good enough to warrant playing basketball at all.

This occurred in the summer and fall of 2020, when the NBA held a bubble in Disney World to finish the 2019-20 season, which was suspended for the pandemic.

Curry's Warriors were 15-50, last place in the Western Conference and too far out of the playoff picture to be invited to the bubble.

Curry missed all but five games that season with a wrist injury. Klay Thompson also missed the entire season with a torn ACL and Kevin Durant had left the team in free agency. The fall from title contenders to lottery dwellers was swift.

NBA Top Shots Can Now Be Printed for At-Home Display (SportTechie) NBA Top Shot owners can now buy physical frames that bring their NFTs into the real-world through the NBA’s new partnership with Infinite Objects. The company designs rechargeable “video prints” that, for example, can be displayed on a living room table or wall, allowing owners to take NFTs from phones and computers into their homes.
Top Shot owners must connect their Dapper Labs account to the Infinite Objects’ website, where they’ll be able to select which video clips they want to print. The display frames come in two sizes—a 7-inch case that costs $199 and a 10-inch display for $399.
The prints play video on an infinite loop, although they need to be recharged via a USB cable about every two hours. Currently, all NBA Top Shot moments can be printed except highlights of WNBA and retired NBA players. Infinite Objects is working on securing those licensing rights.  

European Union wants ‘verifiable proof’ Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai is safe (USA TODAY)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union said Tuesday that it wants China to release “verifiable proof” that tennis player Peng Shuai is safe and to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into her sexual assault allegations.
Peng, a three-time Olympian and former top-ranked doubles player, dropped out of public view after accusing a former Communist Party official of sexual assault.
Peng only has had a few direct contacts with officials outside China since she disappeared from public view earlier this month. She told Olympic officials in a Nov. 21 video call from Beijing that she was safe and well.

Titans among most injured NFL teams of all time (AXIOS Sports) A Titans season that seemed to have Super Bowl potential has been at least temporarily sidetracked by a rash of injuries.
Driving the news: The Titans set an NFL record in their loss to the Patriots on Sunday for the most players used by a team in the regular season.
Tennessee has used 86 players this season, eclipsing the previous record of 84 set by the 2020 49ers.
According to ESPN, the Titans are tied for third in the NFL for most players currently on the injured reserve with 16.

Tiger Woods rules out full-time return to golf (AXIOS Sports) In his first extensive interview since his February car crash, Tiger Woods told Golf Digest that he hopes to return to competitive golf — but that he never expects to compete full-time again.
What he's saying: "I think something that is realistic is playing the Tour one day — never full time, ever again — but pick and choose, just like Mr. [Ben] Hogan did. Pick and choose a few events a year and you play around that," Woods said.

College football gone mad (AXIOS Sports) In the span of two days, the head coaches of two of the biggest college football programs in America have jumped ship, wooed by even greater challenges — and the almighty dollar.
Driving the news: Lincoln Riley is ditching Oklahoma for USC in a deal reportedly worth $110 million. LSU poached Brian Kelly from Notre Dame with a reported 10-year, $100 million contract.

Manchester City head to the metaverse with Sony partnership (SportsPro Insider)

English soccer champions Manchester City have announced a global partnership with Japanese conglomerate Sony Corporation to develop new digital fan experiences.

The Premier League outfit will conduct a proof of concept (PoC) with Sony, which will leverage the company’s technologies and City’s fanbase to develop new forms of digital content.

The burgeoning metaverse is at the centre of the collaboration, with both parties aiming to create a global online fan community where fans can interact with City and each other within the metaverse, which will be a virtual recreation of the club’s Etihad Stadium.

Study: Biennial World Cup could cost domestic leagues and Uefa €8bn (SportsPro Insider) Fifa’s plan for biennial World Cups could cost top domestic leagues and European soccer governing body Uefa around €8 billion (US$9.1 billion), according to a study.
Commissioned by domestic leagues, the study focuses on Europe’s elite five divisions – the Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 – as well as North America’s Major League Soccer (MLS), Mexico’s Liga MX, Japan’s J1 League and the South African Premier Division.
According to the report, the 40 biggest domestic soccer leagues could lose as much as €5 billion (US$5.7 billion) per season in broadcast rights deals alone. The study adds that the figure stems from expected losses of €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) per year in media rights deals, €1.75 billion (US$2 billion) from the shortened calendar and €901 million (US$1 billion) due to changes in the schedule.

Report: Bob Iger interested in buying the Phoenix Suns (SportsPro Insider) Former Disney chief executive Bob Iger is interested in buying the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Phoenix Suns, according to Puck News.
The media outlet reports that although there have been no formal talks yet, Iger would be interested in bidding for the Suns if the NBA franchise becomes available.
The Suns’ incumbent majority owner, Robert Sarver, is currently under investigation by the NBA, after ESPN recently published a report citing allegations of racism and misogyny within the franchise.

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