The 31st annual Pedretti Baseball Tournament will be held today through Saturday at various diamonds throughout the Stanislaus District. Turlock, Modesto, Oakdale and Lodi high schools will comprise Pool 1, while Pitman, Gregori, Sonora and Sierra will make up Pool 2. The first two days of the tournament will feature three games in Turlock – at Turlock and Pitman high schools and Pedretti Park – with the fourth at Modesto High. All those games will start at 3:30 p.m. Two of Saturday’s games will be held at Turlock High (the first starts at 10:30 a.m.; the others begin at 1:30 p.m.), with the others at Pitman and Sierra High in Manteca). For a complete schedule, see Scoreboard, Page C-4
COUNTY TRACK MEET FRIDAY IN TURLOCK
The 14th annual Stanislaus County Track & Field Championships, the first major event of the season, will be held Friday at Turlock High. Field events start at 3 p.m., and running events begin at 5. All champions will be awarded medals and a commemorative Stanislaus-shaped patch.
UNION SAYS NO TO NBA SALARY CAP SMOOTHING
The NBA and its players can’t agree on what to do with money they don’t even have yet. The league said Wednesday the National Basketball Players Association won’t agree to smoothing in the increased revenues from the national TV deals, which will create a significant spike in the salary cap owners hoped to avoid. The league’s new contracts with ESPN and TNT begin in 2016-17 and will be worth more than $2.6 billion annually. Because the salary cap is tied to revenue, that will cause the cap to soar to perhaps $90 million in the first season, giving many teams spending money they otherwise wouldn’t have. To prevent a historic jump of $20 million or more and the spending spree that would follow, the league has sought to set cap figures in the first few years of the media deals that would lead to gradual increases, but executive vice president of communications Mike Bass said in a statement the union rejected that approach. The salary cap next season in the final year of the current contracts is expected to be around $68 million. NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said last month the union had turned down the league’s first smoothing proposal, saying players were against anything that could limit their earning capabilities. Players such as James earn a percentage of the salary cap as the basis for the first year of a maximum contract, so setting an artificial number in the mid-$70 million range would limit the value of a deal he could ink in 2016. However, the league said it would still pay the union the full 51 percent of revenues it would be guaranteed, no matter where the cap was set. “Under the league’s smoothing approach, the salary shortfall resulting from more gradual cap increases would have been paid directly to the Players Association for distribution to all players, and thus the total compensation paid to players in any given season would not have been impacted,” Bass said. Owners and players can both opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement in 2017, which could lead to another lockout.