Case over, Reynolds moves on
- kerry eggers
- Portland Tribune - Sports
Nobody but the participants knows for sure, but it would appear Harold Reynolds made out pretty well in the out-of-court settlement of his wrongful termination suit against ESPN earlier this month.
Reynolds, fired in 2006 after 11 years as a baseball analyst with the network, was seeking up to $15 million for breach of contract, wrongful dismissal and defamation of character.
In response to Reynolds' lawsuit in a Hartford, Conn., court, ESPN said that five young women had expressed 'concerns' about the former major league All-Star second baseman's sexual behavior. Reynolds denied the charges, saying he had hugged a female intern, who later complained.
In a news release, ESPN called the agreement 'economically compelling,' amounting to 'a fraction of his demands and less than what it would have cost to litigate the case.'
Reynolds, 47, would not comment on the amount of money he received, saying only that 'all my needs were met, and I felt it was time to move on.'
One source told the Portland Tribune Reynolds landed a seven-figure settlement.
'It was a matter of principle, and we stood on that,' Reynolds says. 'Above everything, I had to clear my name. Now I'm starting to reap the fruits of that.'
Reynolds is keeping busy professionally. The Corvallis native is doing regular commentary for MLB.com and recently signed to do pre- and post-game work on 15 to 20 New York Mets games this season on SportsNet New York.
'I'll do games when I'm in New York already working for MLB.com,' Reynolds says. 'It's going to work out great.'
Reynolds and his wife, Kelley, make their home in Connecticut with their daughter, Sophia, who turns 2 on May 3. 'She's in the terrific 2s,' Reynolds says.
Seattle remains close to Reynolds' heart. He spent 10 of his 12 big league seasons with the Mariners and is one of the most popular players in franchise history.
'They've been there for me the whole time,' Reynolds says of the M's. 'They told me if I want to work for them, they'll create a job for me, whether it's as part of the coaching staff, community service or broadcasting. There's a strong possibility I'll get involved with the club somehow in the future. I'd love to go back, but now is not the time.'
Reynolds says he has spoken with M's General Manager Bill Bavasi about being a roving instructor next year during spring training. Reynolds also is looking at doing some broadcasting work in the postseason, possibly with TBS.
• If the SuperSonics leave Seattle for Oklahoma City, a regional broadcasting legend won't be going with them.
Kevin Calabro, the Sonics' TV play-by-play voice for 21 years, has told management he'll resign if owner Clay Bennett brings the club to his home state.
'I won't believe this team is moving until they back up that van and are headed out of town and the commissioner says it's official,' says Calabro, 51, one of the most respected broadcasters in the business. 'I find it hard to believe this perfect storm is going to strike and whisk this team away, but maybe I'm delusional. If it happens, I'm staying in Seattle.'
Calabro and his wife, Sue, don't want to uproot their family. For the short term, Calabro says he will 'freelance' with jobs in the Northwest, 'or network jobs that might become available. I'll do any pro sport that would keep me and my family in the area.'
Calabro's specialty is basketball, 'and I'd like to stay a part of the NBA,' he says. If he got a job with another NBA club, 'I'd try to commute from Seattle,' he says. 'But I'm not going to commute to Oklahoma City.'
• Calabro's regular broadcasting partner during the past season was longtime Trail Blazer analyst Steve Jones.
'I think Steve respects me because I've been around a while and am probably as opinionated as he is,' Calabro says. 'Only about 50 percent of the time do we agree on anything, so it was fun. He likes to laugh, and so do I, and that comes in handy when you have a horrendous season (18-64) like we went through.'
• Representatives of two organizations visited Portland last week, looking at the city as a potential site for their national championship.
The Golden Gloves Association of America is considering either the Rose Garden or Memorial Coliseum in 2010 or 2011 for its National Golden Gloves tourney. The event features the top amateur boxers ages 17 to 34 in the country in 11 weight classes.
'I've been involved with the organization for 40 years, and in that time it's never been held on the West Coast,' Executive Director Jim Beasley says.
Golden Glove representatives will meet this week at Grand Rapids, Mich., to vote on either Salt Lake City or Elizabeth, N.J., as the site of the 2009 national event. Beasley says the 2010 site could be awarded as early as the organization's semiannual meeting in September.
The U.S. Figure Skating Association also is considering the Rose Garden - site of the 2005 USFSA Championships - for 2010. The organization is expected to choose between Portland, Spokane, Wash., San Jose, Calif., and Providence, R.I., within a couple of weeks.