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The Sports Report: A closer look at the Angel Stadium land deal troubles

A worker washes an awning in front of Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Monday.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Bill Shaikin: In 2005, about halfway through our two pleasant decades of life without the NFL, the city of Anaheim staged a news conference to unveil its plan to lure the league to town. The NFL loved a splashy pitch, even if the league had no interest in what you were pitching.

The news conference was almost over when a first-term city councilman interrupted the choreographed presentation. The councilman argued that the plan was so tilted in favor of the NFL that it could not possibly be in the best interests of the taxpayers of Anaheim. He had to speak up, he said, because he had been “shut out” by city leaders from negotiations with the NFL, and from the news conference itself.

“People should know the truth,” he said.

He later explained: “All of us on council all have equal votes. We should all have equal time to talk.”

That councilman was Harry Sidhu.

In 2018, Sidhu was elected mayor. From then until last week, when an FBI affidavit revealed Sidhu was under investigation for public corruption and other offenses, Sidhu ran negotiations with the Angels exactly how he had bemoaned city leaders had run negotiations with the NFL in 2005: obscuring the truth from the public and the full council, and trying to silence the critics.

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On Monday, Sidhu resigned as mayor. On Tuesday, the city council will try to figure out what the hell to do about the deal to sell Angel Stadium and the land around it to Angels owner Arte Moreno.

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Anaheim mayor resigns amid corruption probe into his role in Angel Stadium land sale

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DODGERS

From Jack Harris: For a while Monday night, the weather seemingly posed a bigger threat to Tyler Anderson than almost anyone the Washington Nationals sent to the plate.

Through five innings, the veteran left-hander was perfect, using his herky-jerky delivery and changeup-heavy arsenal to mow through a rebuilding Nationals lineup that, Juan Soto aside, failed to instill much fear.

Something that was concerning: Rain lurked in the forecast throughout the night, threatening to potentially halt the game amid Anderson’s pursuit toward history.

“I was kind of hoping it would stay as it was,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Any delay would not have been helpful.”

In the end, the downpour never came.

During the Dodgers 10-1 win at Nationals Park, however, hits from the home team finally did.

Anderson lost his perfect game bid with one out in the sixth, giving up his first of five hits when César Hernández lined a double to center.

But even without a flawless statline, Anderson still produced his best start of the season, stranding each baserunner who reached against him to pitch eight shutout innings for only the third time in his career.

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Yankees’ Josh Donaldson suspended one game by MLB for ‘Jackie’ comment

RAMS

From Gary Klein: Matthew Stafford took snaps Monday during the Rams’ first day of organized team activity workouts, but the Super Bowl-champion quarterback might not throw a pass in drills until training camp in July.

Stafford, 34, confirmed that after the Super Bowl, he received an injection in his right elbow for an issue he dealt with throughout the season.

He was asked whether he would throw passes during OTAs and minicamp or wait until training camp.

“Don’t know yet,” he said. “Still working on it.”

Said Rams coach Sean McVay: “The goal, and the thought process, was he’ll start to ramp that up when we get closer to training camp.”

Click here for other observations from the Rams’ workout Monday.

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CHARGERS

From Jeff Miller: The Chargers moved into the next phase of their offseason program Monday with players working on the field in shorts and helmets.

The voluntary sessions will continue over the next few weeks before culminating with mandatory minicamp June 14-15.

Here are the highlights from the training facility in Costa Mesa.

SPARKS

A’ja Wilson scored 24 points, Jackie Young added 19 points and nine rebounds, and the Las Vegas Aces routed the Sparks 104-76 on Monday night for their fifth straight victory.

The Aces tied a WNBA record with 18 three-pointers, topping the team mark of 16, and scored 100-plus in back-to-back games.

Liz Cambage made her return to Las Vegas and picked up two early fouls before finishing with 10 points for the Sparks (2-5). Chennedy Carter added 17 points, Jordin Canada had 11 points and nine assists, and Nneka Ogwumike scored nine points.

The Sparks have lost five in a row.

FRENCH OPEN

A year ago, Naomi Osaka left the French Open of her own volition, never beaten on the court but determining that she needed to pull out before the second round to stand up for herself and protect her mind more than she needed to do whatever she could to win matches.

On Monday, Osaka departed Roland Garros against her will — via a 7-5, 6-4 loss in the first round to 20-year-old American Amanda Anisimova, who is seeded 27th and also won their contest at the Australian Open in January — after taking a painkiller to try to deal with a troublesome left Achilles tendon. She tried to stretch the tendon by tugging on her neon yellow shoes at changeovers or by squatting to flex her lower leg between points.

Osaka was unable to summon the serving or court coverage on which her game is based, in part because her practice time and recent match play have been limited. The four-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1-ranked player, who is now ranked No. 38 and was unseeded in Paris, double-faulted twice to end games and called the outcome “disappointing.”

NHL PLAYOFFS

Schedule and results
All times Pacific
Second round
Western Conference

Colorado (C1) vs. St. Louis (C3)
Colorado 3, St. Louis 2 (OT)
St. Louis 4, Colorado 1
Colorado 5, St. Louis 2
Colorado 6, St. Louis 3
Wednesday at Colorado, 5 p.m., TNT
*Friday at St. Louis, 5 p.m., TNT
*Sunday at Colorado, TBD

Calgary (P1) vs. Edmonton (P2)
Calgary 9, Edmonton 6
Edmonton 5, Calgary 3
Edmonton 4, Calgary 1
Tonight at Edmonton, 6:30 p.m., ESPN
Thursday at Calgary, 6:30 p.m., ESPN
*Saturday at Edmonton, TBD
*Monday at Calgary, TBD

Eastern Conference

Florida (A1) vs. Tampa Bay (A3)
Tampa Bay 4, Florida 1
Tampa Bay 2, Florida 1
Tampa Bay 5, Florida 1
Tampa Bay 2, Florida 0

Carolina (M1) vs. New York Rangers (M2)
Carolina 2, New York 1 (OT)
Carolina 2, New York 0
New York 3, Carolina 1
Today at New York, 4 p.m., ESPN
Thursday at Carolina, 4 p.m., ESPN
*Saturday at New York, TBD
*Monday at Carolina, TBD

*-if necessary

NBA PLAYOFFS

Schedule and results
All times Pacific
Conference finals
Western Conference

No. 3 Golden State vs. No. 4 Dallas

Golden State 112, Dallas 87
Golden State 126, Dallas 117
Golden State 109, Dallas 100
Tonight at Dallas, 6 p.m., TNT
*Thursday at Golden State, 6 p.m., TNT
*Saturday at Dallas, 6 p.m., TNT
*Monday at Golden State, 6 p.m., TNT

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Miami vs. No. 2 Boston

Miami 118, Boston 107
Boston 127, Miami 102
Miami 109, Boston 103
Boston 102, Miami 82
Wednesday at Miami, 5:30 p.m., ESPN
Friday at Boston, 5:30 p.m., ESPN
*Sunday at Miami, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

*-if necessary

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1905 — Harry Payne Whitney’s Tanya becomes the second filly to win the Belmont Stakes. Ruthless was the first filly to win the Belmont, in 1867. Whitney would also win the Kentucky Derby with a filly, Regret, in 1915.

1935 — In the first major league night game, the Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 before 25,000 fans in Cincinnati.

1936 — Tony Lazzeri of the New York Yankees drives in 11 runs with a triple and three home runs — two of them grand slams — in a 25-2 rout of the Philadelphia A’s.

1967 — The AFL grants a franchise to the Cincinnati Bengals.

1980 — Bobby Nystrom’s overtime goal gives the New York Islanders a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 6 for their first Stanley Cup title.

1981 — The Indianapolis 500 ends in controversy when Mario Andretti, who finished second to Bobby Unser, is declared the winner because Unser broke a rule during a slowdown period near the end of the race. The decision is later reversed, giving Unser credit for the victory, but he is fined $40,000.

1986 — The Montreal Canadiens win their 23rd Stanley Cup, beating the Calgary Flames 4-3 in five games.

1988 — The fourth game of the Stanley Cup finals between the Edmonton Oilers and Boston Bruins is postponed with the score tied 3-3 and 3:23 left in the second period when a power failure hits Boston Garden.

1990 — The Edmonton Oilers win their fifth Stanley Cup in seven seasons by beating the Bruins 4-1 in Game 5. Goalie Bill Ranford, who limited Boston to eight goals in the series, wins the Conn Smythe Trophy for most valuable player in the playoffs.

1992 — Al Unser Jr. wins the closest finish at the Indianapolis 500, beating Scott Goodyear by 43-thousandths of a second, barely half a car length. Lyn St. James, the second woman to race at Indy, finishes 11th.

1995 — Oakland’s Dennis Eckersley becomes the sixth pitcher to record 300 saves, in a 5-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

2001 — Jon Lieber of the Chicago Cubs tosses a 79-pitch, one-hit shutout in a 3-0 blanking of the Reds. It’s the first shutout of the Reds in an NL-record 208 games.

2009 — Brazil’s Helio Castroneves becomes the ninth driver to win the Indianapolis 500 three times. Castroneves pulls away over the final laps to beat Dan Wheldon of England and Danica Patrick, who eclipsed her fourth-place finish as a rookie in 2005 by crossing the strip of bricks in third.

2010 — Lukas Lacko of Slovakia beats American Michael Yani in a 71-game match that ties for the most in the French Open since tiebreakers were instituted in 1973. Lacko wins 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 12-10 in a first-round match that takes two days to complete.

2017 — Manchester United defeated Ajax, 2-0, to win the 2017 UEFA League.

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

Al Unser Jr. barely hangs on to win the 1992 Indy 500.. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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