The NBA Is Staying in Sacramento; Gitmo Gets a New Soccer Field

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Today in sports: Why Daytona 500 organizers used Tide detergent to clean up after last night's spill, Donald Driver and Martina Navratilova will be the sports types on Dancing With the Stars, and the Angels are sorry for offending Albert Pujols with their promotional billboards.

It doesn't look like the Sacramento Kings will be moving on to greener pastures in a bigger media market like Seattle or Anaheim any time soon. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, NBA commissioner David Stern, and the Maloof family, which has owned the franchise since 1998, settled on a financing plan for a new $387million arena after three days of negotiations during All-Star weekend in Orlando. Under the terms of the proposed deal, the city would contribute between $200 million and $250 million, with the Maloofs paying $75 million upfront. (Arena operator AEG will also contribute close to $60 million.) Sacramento's city council still needs to approve the plan, but Johnson, a former All-Star point guard for the Phoenix Suns, was confident enough to proclaim it a "new day" for the city of Sacramento. [AP]

More good news out of California: Los Angeles Angels president John Carpino says those billboards first baseman Albert Pujols didn't like that referred to him as "El Hombre" have been "handled." What an odd, vaguely sinister thing to say, John Carpino. Pujols, who signed with the Angels in December after eleven seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, has a long-standing objection to the nickname on the grounds it steps on the toes of Cardinal legend Stan "The Man" Musial. An honest mistake, but club officials were sufficiently worried about offending their new $240 million slugger that they talked with Pujols' agent, Dan Lozano, and insisted the ad campaign was never meant to extend beyond 20 freeway billboards. In one of the more delightful and inscrutable over-apologies of 2012, Carpino stressed that the club "respect[s] the game of baseball, the legacy of Stan Musial and the career of Albert Pujols too much to let a billboard graphic affect the media's perception of the Angels' opinion of these two great players."  [Los Angeles Times]

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Fox News is predictably outraged to learn construction is almost finished on a $750,000 soccer field for the "highly compliant" detainees at Camp 6 in Guantanamo Bay, but it's not like all that money is being spent on one measly soccer pitch. The improvement project, which began last April, also includes "[a] walking trail and exercise equipment." [Fox News and AP]

The New York Times has a terrific chronicle of life in the NBA on a 10-day contract. The piece is about 29-year-old Andre Emmett, a former standout swingman for coach Bobby Knight at Texas Tech, and while the takeaway that it's very hard for a player to parlay a 10-day deal into a permanent roster spot is about what you'd expect, there are terrific details about how players like Emmett savor the perks of playing at the highest level. (On Day 4, for example, Emmett declined an invitation to hit the town with his New Jersey Nets teammates, choosing instead to relax in comfort in his hotel room and enjoy an extra dessert from room service. [The New York Times]

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver and 18-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Navratilova will be on the upcoming season of Dancing With the Stars. Driver's already been installed as a 13-2 favorite to win, while Navratilova, somewhat inexplicably, is a 20-1 longshot. [USA Today]

We now have a scientific explanation for why organizers at the Daytona 500 used Tide detergent to clean the track after Juan Pablo Montoya slammed into a truck full of jet fuel last night. It all has to do with surfactants, the substance found in soap and detergent that helps water separate oil (or pizza grease or jet fuel) from a surface, like your hands or a racetrack. Explains Ed Montgomery, a chemistry professor at Centre College in Kentucky: “Soap and detergent are two forms of the same chemical entity. They mix on one end with the water and on the other end with the petrochemical.” Without the detergent, the water dispensed by the hoses would have just spread the fuel around. [The Wall Street Journal]

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