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Burkle eyes baseball team

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Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011
 

Could we soon see Mario Lemieux attired in Dodger blue?

Don't rule it out -- at least during the Penguins' offseason.

Pens co-owner Ron Burkle , who along with Lemieux helped rescue the hockey team from bankruptcy, apparently is interested in purchasing a bankrupt baseball team. The billionaire supermarket magnate reportedly is involved in discussions to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers.

ESPN reported that an investment group that includes former Dodger greats Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser has met with Burkle about buying the team.

But there's no guarantee Pens players soon will be sporting complimentary Dodgers caps in the locker room, as Burkle isn't the only suitor for the team.

In fact, he's not even the only person with local ties apparently mulling a bid. Mark Cuban , the Mt. Lebanon native who owns the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, also reportedly is interested.

LUKE SNUBS FITZ'S FETE. It's been well-documented that Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl loves a good party.

So eyebrows aplenty were raised when he failed to appear at Tuesday's South Side shindig for Rich Fitzgerald , who had just been elected Allegheny County executive.

Might there be bad blood between the boys?

Ravenstahl, you might recall, impolitely scheduled a major fundraiser last month even as Fitz was still seeking campaign contributions. Fitz reportedly was mightily miffed, because the Lukester isn't up for re-election until 2013.

City councilman and longtime Ravenstahl nemesis Bill Peduto plans to run for mayor then, and state Auditor General Jack Wagner also has expressed an interest. Will the new county executive throw his support behind a mayoral challenger• Stay tuned.

SANTORUM'S FOOD FOR THOUGHT. You probably thought Rick Santorum 's TV is permanently tuned to the Fox News Channel.

Guess again. The former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania and marginal presidential hopeful told ABC News on Tuesday that he fancies the Food Network and watches the culinary channel with his children.

"I generally don't admit that," he said. "But I love cooking, so my kids and I are really into watching 'Top Chef,' 'Chopped,' trying to think if there's another one, 'Iron Chef.'"

We hope Santorum, a consistent bottom dweller in GOP presidential candidate polls, keeps that humble pie recipe handy. If he doesn't fare well in the Iowa caucuses, he may well need it.

MANNING UP FOR MITT. Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney has lined up an impressive array of GOP support in Pennsylvania.

Among those backing the former Massachusetts governor, according to the Romney campaign: U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach of Chester County, former U.S. Rep. Phil English of Erie, Allegheny County Republican Committee Chairman Jim Roddey , former state GOP Chairman Alan Novak , Dan Hayward and David James , both former state GOP executive directors, and Brian Tierney , former publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News.

Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain , Romney's chief rival for the GOP nomination at the moment, has yet to release a similar list of state supporters. If and when Cain does, given the sexual harassment allegations plaguing his candidacy, care to bet it's an all-male group?

TRANSIT TROUBLE TRIGGERS LAUGHABLE LITIGATION. No one likes missing a bus, but a Washington, D.C., man is taking his irritation to the extreme.

Abdul Ayat Mohammed Bey last week filed a handwritten lawsuit in U.S. District Court, seeking $2 million in damages from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and an unnamed female service agent at the Downtown Greyhound bus terminal.

Bey filed the lawsuit over the agent getting police to order him to leave the bus station after he'd been in an argument about whether he was next in line. Bey alleges the eviction forced him to miss his connecting bus to Chicago, where he was heading to replace a stolen fez.

While we certainly understand Bey's anger over having to go fezless for longer than he anticipated, we hope he hasn't started spending that damage award just yet.

SPOTLIGHT. Joe Paterno , now ex-coach, was not the only member of the Paterno family castigated last week amid the child sex abuse scandal enveloping Penn State University.

Son Scott Paterno , an attorney and Republican strategist who acted as his dad's spokesman, was pillaged by some in the national media during his time in the limelight.

Blogger Gregg Doyle of CBSsports.com got fed up with Scott Paterno by Tuesday, so he wrote a column headlined "Who is Scott Paterno• A guy who won't shut up."

"Scott Paterno has become a major player in this story, if only because he's the mouth that won't stop flapping," Doyle wrote, adding that most people didn't know Scott Paterno existed until the scandal broke.

"Now, you can't miss him. He's everywhere, and if you can't find him in person, find him online," Doyle also wrote.

"Follow me on Twitter," Scott Paterno told the media Tuesday outside his father's house, according to Doyle.

Scott Paterno ran unsuccessfully for Pennsylvania's 17th District U.S. House seat in 2004.

CLEAN SWEEP. The Westmoreland County Republican Committee apparently will be buying a new broom for The Palace Theatre in downtown Greensburg.

As incoming unofficial returns showed Republicans would take over the county commissioners' office and sweep five row offices in Tuesday's election, happy Republicans partying at the Palace began asking if anyone had a broom.

Southwestern Pennsylvania GOP strategist Ben Wren finally found a broom, which the winning candidates used as a prop for photos and passed around on stage, according to Elaine Gowaty , committee chairwoman.

"I guess we're going to have to drop a new one off because we kept it -- as a keepsake. We intend on having all the candidates who won Tuesday sign it and we'll display it at the county office as a symbol of all the hard work that went into this election," she said.

MAIL DROP. Republicans got into a lather last week over a last-minute mailing against GOP Greensburg mayoral candidate Kathleen McCormick .

The mailing supporting her Democrat opponent, Ron Silvis , and Democrat council candidates Randal Finfrock and Gene James was paid for by the Smart Choice Committee and featured Kathy McCormick -- a Democrat who happens to be the spouse of Westmoreland County Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr.

Kathy McCormick was not identified in the mailing as the wife of the judge, who was on the ballot for retention.

But she was quoted in the mailing about her support for the Democrat slate: "For Greensburg to continue to be the wonderful city I know it is, we need to elect officials who share our interests! Let's keep Greensburg great."

The mailing did note that she is treasurer of the committee that paid for it.

Chairwoman Elaine Gowaty of the county Republican committee said the GOP decided not to pursue a formal complaint over the mailing.

By the way, Republican Kathleen McCormick lost to Silvis by a mere 66 votes, according to unofficial numbers. Finfrock won a council seat, but James lost to Republican Bill Eger .

Judge McCormick handily won retention.

-- compiled by Tribune-Review staff

Have some dirt to dish• A tip to flip• E-mail the intrepid Whispers desk at: whispers@tribweb.com.

 

 
 


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