Howdy everyone, my name is Houston Mitchell, proprietor of this here newsletter. I hope the owner of the trout farm I visit in South Lake Tahoe doesn’t see today’s headlines and decide to raise his prices.
The Angels and Mike Trout are close to an agreement on a 12-year, $426.5-million contract, the largest contract from a team to a player in pro sports history.
Trout, 27, is owed $33.25 million each of the next two seasons. His annual salary will rise to $36 million for the 10 years that follow, unless the Angels and Trout decide to shift a small part of the new $360-million extension to the final two years of his current contract.
“One of the best,” said Albert Pujols, whose 10-year, $240-million contract with the Angels was previously the largest in franchise history. “I have had a really blessed career to play with some great players back in St. Louis and even here. But Trout is one of those players who comes around once every 50, once every 100 years. I’m blessed to wear the same uniform as him.”
Trout's new contract will add about $11.4 million to the Angels’ luxury tax payroll this year. They will still be about $24 million under the threshold, which allows them to take on another salary before the trade deadline if they have the opportunity to chase a playoff berth.
“You locked up the best player in the game, so that’s a big first step to take,” shortstop Andrelton Simmons said. “You can build off of that. That’s a good base for the house, basically. That’s the number one priority, they got it done. I’m happy for the Angels front office, but I’m also happy as a teammate. He deserved that contract and even more.”
Andy McCullough writes that the Angels should be applauded for the deal, but now they have to surround him with the right players.
Bill Plaschke writes that this is the Angels’ biggest and most surprising victory since that 2002 World Series championship.
Doc Rivers is staying with the Clippers
Rumors began to fly earlier this week that Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who had an opt out clause in his contract after this season, was going to use that clause and become the Lakers coach.
Rivers put that rumor to rest on Tuesday, announcing he had agreed to a contract extension with that would make him the Clippers coach for a long time.
“I’m going nowhere,” Rivers said. “I can tell you that straight and up front. I’m going to be here until Steve [Ballmer] says ‘Get out.’ ”
Ballmer praised Rivers for guiding the team into the playoffs as they navigate their way out of the Blake Griffin-Chris Paul era.
“We want to build around that and build around that momentum,” Ballmer said. “We want to be a clearly stable organization as we head into the summer. Now was the right time to do that.”
After that was taken care of, the Clippers defeated the Indiana Pacers, 115-109. Danilo Gallinari scored 24 points, Montrezl Harrell had 20 and 12 rebounds and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 17 on nine shots to beat the postseason-bound Pacers.
By the way, Rivers’ son, Spencer Rivers, is a guard for the UC Irvine team that is in the men’s NCAA basketball tournament. And it hasn’t always been easy.
He has faced chants of “Where’s your daddy?” He was booed at Oracle Arena when the Golden State fans realized his brother, Austin, was playing for the Rockets.
“There’s definitely an expectation with having ‘Rivers’ on the back of your jersey,” he says. “But I just love basketball so much. For me, this is just about having fun and playing as long as I can.”
A look at the First Four and the first-round TV schedule:
No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson 82, No. 16 Prairie View A&M 76
No. 11 Belmont 81, No. 11 Temple 70
Wednesday -- First Four, Dayton, Ohio
No. 16 North Carolina Central vs. No. 16 North Dakota State, 3:40 p.m. -- truTV
No. 11 St. John's vs. No. 11 Arizona State, 6:10 p.m. -- truTV
Thursday -- First Round
No. 10 Minnesota vs. No. 7 Louisville (Des Moines), 9:15 a.m. -- CBS
No. 14 Yale vs. No. 3 LSU (Jacksonville, Fla.), 9:40 a.m. -- truTV
No. 12 New Mexico State vs. No. 5 Auburn (Salt Lake City), 10:30 a.m. -- TNT
No. 13 Vermont vs. No. 4 Florida State (Hartford, Conn.), 11 a.m. -- TBS
No. 15 Bradley vs. No. 2 Michigan State (Des Moines), 11:45 a.m. -- CBS
No. 11 Belmont vs. No. 6 Maryland (Jacksonville), 12:10 p.m. -- truTV
No. 13 Northeastern vs. No. 4 Kansas (Salt Lake City), 1 p.m. -- TNT
No. 12 Murray State vs. No. 5 Marquette (Hartford), 1:30 p.m. -- TBS
No. 10 Florida vs. No. 7 Nevada (Des Moines), 3:50 p.m. -- TNT
No. 15 Abilene Christian vs. No. 2 Kentucky (Jacksonville), 4:10 p.m. -- CBS
No. 11 Saint Mary's vs. No. 6 Villanova (Hartford), 4:20 p.m. -- TBS
No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (Salt Lake City), 4:27 p.m. -- truTV
No. 15 Montana vs. No. 2 Michigan (Des Moines), 6:20 p.m. -- TNT
No. 10 Seton Hall vs. No. 7 Wofford (Jacksonville), 6:40 p.m. -- CBS
No. 14 Old Dominion vs. No. 3 Purdue (Hartford), 6:50 p.m. -- TBS
No. 9 Baylor vs. No. 8 Syracuse (Salt Lake City), 6:57 p.m. -- truTV
Friday -- First Round
No. 10 Iowa vs. No. 7 Cincinnati (Columbus, Ohio), 9:15 a.m. -- CBS
No. 9 Oklahoma vs. No. 8 Ole Miss (Columbia, S.C.), 9:40 a.m. -- truTV
No. 14 Northern Kentucky vs. No. 3 Texas Tech (Tulsa, Okla.) 10:30 a.m. -- TNT
No. 13 UC Irvine vs. No. 4 Kansas State (San Jose), 11 a.m. -- TBS
No. 15 Colgate vs. No. 2 Tennessee (Columbus), 11:45 a.m. -- CBS
No. 16 Gardner-Webb vs. No. 1 Virginia (Columbia), 12:10 p.m. -- truTV
No. 11 St. John's/Arizona State vs. No. 6 Buffalo (Tulsa), 1 p.m. -- TNT
No. 12 Oregon vs. No. 5 Wisconsin (San Jose), 1:30 p.m. ET -- TBS
No. 9 Washington vs. No. 8 Utah State (Columbus), 3:50 p.m. -- TNT
No. 16 North Carolina Central/North Dakota State vs. No. 1 Duke (Columbia), 4:10 p.m. -- CBS
No. 14 Georgia State vs. No. 3 Houston (Tulsa), 4:20 p.m. -- TBS
No. 12 Liberty vs. No. 5 Mississippi State (San Jose), 4:27 p.m. -- truTV
No. 16 Iona vs. No. 1 North Carolina (Columbus), 6:20 p.m. -- TNT
No. 9 UCF vs. No. 8 VCU (Columbia), 6:40 p.m. -- CBS
No. 11 Ohio State vs. No. 6 Iowa State (Tulsa), 6:50 p.m. -- TBS
No. 13 Saint Louis vs. No. 4 Virginia Tech (San Jose), 6:57 p.m. -- truTV
USC football coach Clay Helton read a prepared statement after Tuesday’s spring practice relating to the admissions scandal.
“I know it’s been a hard week for our university,” Helton said. “I learned about the investigation and the facts alleged by the government at the same time that everybody else did. When the news broke Tuesday, I was not aware of any of it before then. And like so many of our USC family, I’m totally shocked by the allegations.”
Only three of the students who allegedly wiggled their way into prominent universities through the college admissions bribery scandal were presented as fake football players. All three were at USC. Two former USC football recruiters pointed out to The Times how administrator could have manipulated admissions
Odds and Ends
Clay Matthews agrees to two-year contract with Rams…. Malcolm Brown signs offer sheet with Lions, putting Rams on the clock for plans at running back…. Lakers finish road trip 1-4 after 115-101 loss to the Bucks…. Santa Anita receives rebuke from racetrack veterinarians group…. UCLA football: They may not be first-rounders, but Bruins try to impress scouts at pro day…. As expected, Clayton Kershaw will start Dodgers season on injured list…. Sparks to be sponsored by coalition of veterans group, county and state mental health agencies…. Back with U.S. soccer team, Omar Gonzalez aims to show he has moved on from past
Today’s local major sports schedule (all times Pacific)
Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs, 7 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570
Angels vs. Cleveland, 6 p.m., FSW
Winnipeg vs. Ducks, 7 p.m., NBCSN
Born on this date
1945: NBA player, Lakers coach Pat Riley
1948: NHL player Bobby Orr
1954: NHL player, former King Charlie Simmer
1967: NBA player Mookie Blaylock