Players, owners continue meeting past Stern's deadline
As Commissioner David Stern's deadline passed, the NBA and its players continued negotiating Wednesday in an attempt to end the lockout. The two sides met for more than nine hours to try to hash out a deal to save the season.
Stern had issued an ultimatum to players: Accept the league's latest proposal by 5 p.m. ET Wednesday or it will be replaced with a much harsher one that would drive the sides even farther apart.
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Players said Tuesday they wouldn't accept the current one as configured and suggested another negotiation session.
The current offer calls for players to receive between 49 percent and 51 percent of basketball-related income, though union officials said it would be impossible to get above 50.2 percent. Players were guaranteed 57 percent of BRI under the previous collective bargaining agreement.
The next proposal would call for a 53-47 revenue split in the owners' favor, essentially a hard salary cap and salary rollbacks, which the league originally sought but had taken off the table. Both proposals were sent to union executive director Billy Hunter on Sunday.
The meeting featuring small groups from both sides was arranged Wednesday morning.
Failure to make a deal likely would increase the calls for the union to decertify so the players can file a lawsuit against the league in court, a risky and lengthy tactic that likely would doom the 2011-12 season. Union officials have downplayed the idea, but players might have no other leverage once the more severe proposal is put into play.
Former great Macauley dies
Ed Macauley, one of the NBA's first big stars who won a championship with the St. Louis Hawks and was traded by the Boston Celtics for Bill Russell, has died. He was 83. Saint Louis University announced Macauley's death on Tuesday. The school had no other details. "Easy Ed" was a standout player with the Billikens, leading them to the 1948 NIT title. Macauley played for the Celtics from the 1950-51 season until 1955-56. He and the draft rights to future Hall of Famer Cliff Hagan were traded by Boston to the St. Louis Hawks on April 29, 1956, for the rights to Russell, a move that changed the power structure of the NBA.
Posada says he's done with Yankees
After five World Series rings, seven American League pennants and five All-Star appearances, Jorge Posada says his career with the New York Yankees is over. "I don't think there's not even a percentage of chance that I can come back," the 40-year-old catcher said Wednesday night before his foundation's annual dinner. "It's not going to happen." After 17 seasons in pinstripes, Posada faces the same choice Bernie Williams had after the 2006 season: Retire and ensure that his entire big-league career was with the Yankees or move on to another team. Posada said his agents had heard from about a half-dozen clubs expressing interest and he probably will wait until January or early February to make up his mind.
"Do I want to do it for somebody else? Do I want to leave home? Do I want to do it all over again without knowing anybody?" he said, with his wife Laura at his side.
Following the retirements of Williams and Andy Pettitte last winter, Posada's exit will leave only 37-year-old Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, who turns 42 on Nov. 29, from the core group that propelled the Yankees to their recent run of titles.
Maddux interviews with Cubs
Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux talked with Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and other Cubs executives on Wednesday, becoming at least the third candidate to interview for the vacant manager's job. "It's kind of cool to be considered," said Maddux, who has helped the Rangers win back-to-back AL pennants. "I enjoyed it. ... We share a lot of values, share passion. We share the inner drive to win." Maddux's ability to get the most out of the Rangers' staff — even after the loss of Cliff Lee from the 2010 AL championship team — is appealing to Epstein. The name Maddux will always resonate around Wrigley Field. He is the older brother of four-time Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux, a former Cubs ace.
■ The Arizona Diamondbacks signed infielder Willie Bloomquist to a two-year, $3.8 million deal. Bloomquist became a free agent when he turned down his end of a $1.1 million mutual option on Nov. 1.
Mucho Macho Man wins comeback
Mucho Macho Man, making his first start since the Belmont Stakes, scored an easy win Wednesday in the $55,000 allowance feature at Aqueduct. One of only three horses to compete in every Triple Crown race this spring, Mucho Macho Man had been rested since running seventh in the Belmont. He was third in the Kentucky Derby and sixth in the Preakness. Ramon Dominguez was aboard for trainer Kathy Ritvo as Mucho Macho Man led all the way, beating Gallant Fields by 5¾ lengths for his third win in 12 starts. The time for the 1-mile race was 1:34.72. Mucho Macho Man paid $4.90, $3.10 and $2.60. Gallant Fields returned $4.90 and $3.50 while Praetereo returned $3.50 to show.
Law allows N.D. to drop 'Fighting Sioux'
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed a law allowing the state's flagship university to shed its 81-year-old Fighting Sioux nickname. The measure signed Wednesday will let the University of North Dakota satisfy an NCAA request that it drop the name or risk sanctions. Lawmakers had passed a law in March requiring the school to keep the name. The NCAA in 2005 listed the university among a group of schools with objectionable American Indian nicknames, logos and mascots. UND was the only school still fighting the NCAA over the issue. The new law says UND cannot adopt a new nickname or logo until January 2015. Its supporters say that gives time for the debate to cool off.
The last word
Chicago Cubs manager candidate Mike Maddux, when asked how he would handle the moody, one-time ace Carlos Zambrano:
"First thing you got to do is get to meet him. I heard he's a big teddy bear. I might pick him up and just burp him."