Sports

The Watch List: Local sports stories to keep an eye on for the coming week

Finally, an answer?

St. Louis football fans may finally learn, at long last, the fate of the Rams. The debate over whether they should go back to Los Angeles or move to a new stadium on the city's north riverfront reached its crescendo last week when owner Stan Kroenke issued a 29-page argument slamming St. Louis as a three-sport market and the stadium task force responding that Kroenke has intentionally misled fans and the league. NFL owners are schedule to meet in Houston beginning Tuesday to discuss relocation proposals, not just from the Rams, but from the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers, who want to construct a new stadium they can share in the LA suburb of Carson. How owners view the St. Louis stadium proposal will be a key determining factor in how they decide. Commission Roger Goodell apparently takes a dim view of the stadium. According to the LA Times, he questions a $100 million gap in the plan to finance its construction. It's not Goodell's call, however. Twenty four of the NFL's 32 owners have to sign off on any relocation application. Given the complexity of the issues, there has been some speculation that the owners may choose to table further discussion until after the Super Bowl. The league office still maintains that an answer must be determined this week.

More high school hoops

As if a solid week of thrilling holiday tournaments wasn't enough, as if the showdown of Althoff's Jordan Goodwin and Chaminade Academy's Jayson Tatum couldn't satiate your appetite for high school hoops, this week brings another full slate of basketball action in the metro-east. It beings Monday with the Okawville Invitational which concludes Saturday with a rematch of the host Rockets (13-3) and Gibault (11-5). The Hawks got the best of Okawville Dec. 22. Monday also brings compelling matchups in Nashville including an all-Breese matchup between Central (14-2) and Mater Dei (9-3) Friday night. Belleville East will host the Chick-fil-A Classic starting Tuesday with Belleville West, Althoff, Columbia, St. Louis U. High and McCluer. Local teams also will be playing in Jerseyville, Triad, and Sparta. A Higland Invitational features a full slate of metro-east girls teams who will play throughout the week for a spot in Saturday's championship game.

Winter Warm-Up

St. Louis Cardinals fans will flock to the Hyatt Regency Hotel for autographs and baseball talk when the annual event opens Saturday at 9 p.m. They'll have their chance to meet newcomers Mike Leake, catcher Brayan Pena, and utility infielder Jedd Gyorko. Maybe, they'll get some answers from General Manager John Mozeliak about what's in store for the remainder of the off-season. The team has yet to find a replacement for Jason Heyward, who left a vacancy in the middle of the Redbirds' lineup when he signed a free agent deal with the Cubs last month. Will Mozeliak make a move on one of the remaining free agent options, validate one of several trade rumors, or stand pat with Stephen Piscotty in right field and a Brandon Moss-Matt Adams platoon at first base? Is any of this influenced by the sentencing of Chris Correa, the club's former scouting director who Friday pleaded guilty to charges resulting from downloads he made from the Houston Astros' proprietary baseball operations database? Now that the FBI has completed its investigation into the hacking scandal, how long will it be before they submit their findings to Major League Baseball? Penalties on the team could include a seven-figure fine and the loss of multiple draft picks.

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