A new yacht launched Friday by Lürssen, the German luxury boatbuilder, is now the largest motor yacht in the world. It's name is Azzam, and at 590 feet long, it has officially bumped Roman Abramovich's yacht – the 536-foot Eclipse – from its number one ranking.
Lürssen won't comment on the ownership. But industry sources say the owner is likely the royal family of Abu Dhabi.
Lürssen will say that the boat was "without the a doubt the most challenging yacht that has ever been built." Aside from its sheer size, Azzam had to be super-fast and able to ply shallow waters "while providing luxurious and sophisticated accommodation to its guests."
For speed, the boat is powered by jets rather than propellers. It's got 94,000 horsepower under the hood. And it hit a top speed of 30 knots, which is about 30 percent faster than most mega-yachts. "It's like a 590-foot jet ski," said one executive involved in the project.
Jered Weaver has a fractured left elbow and is expected to be sidelined for a month, maybe longer.
The Angels announced the news on Tuesday morning, two days after Weaver suffered the injury while avoiding a comebacker during a game at Rangers Ballpark. The diagnosis is a non-displaced radial head fracture to Weaver's non-pitching elbow, putting the Angels' ace out of action for at least four weeks and possibly up to six.
Given the perceived questions in their rotation heading into the season, and their desire to get off to a much better start than they did last season, the news is concerning to the Angels, a team that lost four of its first six games and begins a six-game homestand against the A's and Astros on Tuesday, with the Angel Stadium opener slated for 7:05 p.m. PT.
It will be up to C.J. Wilson, Joe Blanton, Jason Vargas and Tommy Hanson to pick up the slack. Taking Weaver's place in the rotation would presumably be 24-year-old Garrett Richards, who has great stuff and is coming off a sparkling Spring Training.
Weaver's next turn wasn't to be until Saturday, which should give Richards enough time to get his length back after starting the regular season as a late-inning reliever. A fallback option would be swingman Jerome Williams.
If Richards transitions back to a starter, a role he excelled at throughout his Minor League career, the recently signed Mark Lowe is expected to take on a more prominent role in the back end of the bullpen, alongside Ernesto Frieri, Kevin Jepsen, Scott Downs and Sean Burnett.
To give them more coverage, the Angels purchased the contract of reliever Dane De La Rosa from Triple-A Salt Lake in a corresponding move on Tuesday.
De La Rosa, a 6-foot-7 right-hander who was acquired from the Rays for Steven Geltz on March 27, posted a 2.79 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 67 2/3 innings for Triple-A Durham last year. To make room for him on the roster, lefty Andrew Taylor (labrum tear) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
Weaver had given up four runs in five innings on Sunday night, his fastball velocity eerily dropping close to the mid-80s once again, when the Rangers' Mitch Moreland hit a line drive up the middle to start the bottom of the sixth.
The shot barely missed Weaver, but he hurt himself while using his left arm to brace his fall. He immediately came out of the game and Ian Kinsler hit a game-breaking three-run homer off Lowe later in the inning. X-rays taken that night were negative, initially leading to the diagnosis of a strain, but the 30-year-old right-hander later said, "It's pretty painful now. It feels like when you jam a thumb, but it's in the elbow."
SeaWorld Entertainment, the business behind Shamu the killer whale, wants to make waves in the public market. The company says it will try for a $540 million IPO, in what would be among the largest offerings this year.
SeaWorld plans to sell 20 million shares between $24 and $27 apiece. Half the stock comes from the company’s owner, private equity shop Blackstone. At the range’s midpoint, SeaWorld would be valued at $2.4 billion.
A whale of a deal for investors? Hardly. The stock would fetch a hefty multiple. At the midpoint, $25.50 a share, shares would trade at 27 times trailing earnings. Top competitors Six Flags Entertainment (12.1 times), Carnival Corp. (17.9 times) and Cedar Fair (22.6 times) trade at lower multiples. Walt Disney is also cheaper (19 times), though the resort unit there is bolstered by both the entertainment and TV network businesses.
The theme park company was bought by Blackstone in 2009 from Anheuser-Busch. After three full years of PE ownership, SeaWorld revenues have increased to $884.4 million from $730.4 million. The company is newly profitable, earning $77.4 million in 2012, a stark contrast with the $45 million loss it recorded in 2010. Most of the revenue comes from admissions to the 11 parks, though some also from merchandising and licensing.
A Swedish league match between Djurgarden and Mjallby was abandoned after a Mjallby player was hit by a pear.
Angry fans at Djurgarden’s home stadium in Stockholm threw bottles, coins and fruit onto the field as Mjallby’s players celebrated a goal in the 37th minute. Mjallby defender Gbenga Arokoyo was hit him in the stomach by the pear; he said after the game that he was in pain but not seriously injured.
So-called “distracted driving” laws have a mixed history of efficacy. In 2010, a study in the American Journal of Public Health found that “Any reduction in accidents following texting bans is short-lived, however, with accidents returning to near former levels within a few months.”
The card was released as Wagner was on his way to winning his seventh batting title and about to lead the Pirates to their first World Series win. It's garnered such a place in baseball history that it has its own plaque at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
"To have surpassed the highest price ever paid for a baseball card at auction by nearly $500,000 is a spectacular outcome," said Goldin Auctions owner, Ken Goldin in a press release following the auction.
On his way to leading the Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl championship, quarterback Joe Flacco played like a legend. And now he'll get to play one on the silver screen.
Flacco, the MVP of Super Bowl XLVII, has agreed to portray Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas in Unitas We Stand, an upcoming film based on the the life of the great Baltimore Colts quarterback.
Flacco will play Unitas in just the final scenes depicting the Colts' 1958 championship game victory over the New York Giants, which is famously referred to as "The Greatest Game Ever Played".
Can’t decide which you love more — your honey or maple syrup? If you’re in Las Vegas, you’re in luck. Behind its bright-yellow, abstract facade, the Denny’s restaurant in the Neonopolis district on Fremont Street (a short drive from the Strip) that opened last November is now accepting bookings for its in-house wedding chapel.
Given that other fast food-lover lovers have gotten hitched at White Castle, McDonald’s, Taco Bell and KFC, the idea of a chain diner carving out space for weddings — especially in Las Vegas, epicenter of quirky wedding themes — might not be as strange as it sounds.
The company says it’s had “many inquiries” from others who want to pledge their eternal love over a Lumberjack Slam or Moons Over My Hammy.
An Iowa bride and groom were the first to tie the knot earlier this week.
For $95, couples get a bottle of champagne, a Pancake Puppie wedding cake (Denny’s answer to the cake-pop trend) and “Just Married” T-shirts. Unfortunately for bacon lovers, Denny’s says it currently has no plans to turns its caramel-bacon brownie sundae or bacon-stuffed caramel French toast into wedding cake.
The package doesn’t include a photographer, but the celebrants can commemorate their special day in the restaurant’s photo booth. And this Denny’s has a full bar, so guests can toast the newlyweds with something stronger than a maple bacon milkshake. Maybe the Grand Slamosa — a mimosa with Grand Mariner — would fit the bill.
"My bark is louder than my bite," Ayanbadejo told Newsday. "I make a lot of noise and garner a lot of attention for various things off the football field. When that starts happening, why do you have that player around?"
A 10-year veteran, the 36-year-old Ayanbadejo played primarily on special teams. He had a career-high 30 tackles from scrimmage last season for the Super Bowl champions, a sack and 14 stops on special teams.
Ayanbadejo made the Pro Bowl in his first season with the Ravens after also making it twice while with the Bears.
Ayanbadejo told Newsday he understands the move from a purely football perspective -- Ayanbadejo can be replaced with a cheaper, younger player.
"But I don't necessarily think that teams want this type of attention," he told Newsday.
Later on Thursday, Ayanbadejo tweeted that he was misquoted by the newspaper.
"Total misquote! RT @EnviZion: If the @Ravens cut @brendon310 because of his support on LGBT that would too childish.. Come on man.
"(Team president) Dick Cass and the @ravens had my back all year. Why would I say I was cut cuz my views? Makes no sense."
The Ravens issued a statement Thursday night denying that Ayanbadejo's advocacy of gay rights and same-sex marriage had anything to do with his release.
"We're surprised that he would indicate this. We have always been respectful of Brendon's opinions and his right to express those," said Kevin Byrne, the Ravens' senior vice president for public and community relations. "Our decision regarding his departure from the team has everything to do with football. Nothing else."
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