Chicago Sun-Times
A hearty stew of offbeat sports and pop culture.

Sun-Up: James Harrison meets with Roger Goddell; Derek Jeter's contract talks; Here comes Lil Wayne; 10-year-old gives birth; Honoring Sparky Anderson

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Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who is collecting his paycheck by playing football despite threatening to retire earlier this year, met with NFL commissioner Roger Goddell two days ago in New York to talk about helmet-to-helmet hits.

Harrison says the get-together was "semi-productive."

You'll remember Harrison spent a day away from his team pondering his future after being fined for a hit on the Cleveland Browns' Mohamed Massaquoi on Oct. 17. That was the Sunday that prompted the increased emphasis on dangerous hits from the league.

Harrison is appealing that fine.

"I came away with a better understanding and I guess they got a better understanding of how I see things,'' Harrison he said of his trip to the league's offense ...

Hometown gouging?
New York Yankees captain and master of the intangible Derek Jeter is seeking a deal to stay in the Bronx and continue with the lifestyle with which he's grown accustomed. He and his agent have decided the best strategy is to conduct negotiations out in public.

To wit: Casey Close said his client's value to the organization "cannot be overstated."

Jeter, in the final year of a 10-year contract, made $21 million this past year while hitting a lackluster .270. It's no secret that his value in New York is exponentially higher than anywhere else in the league. Can you imagine the deep-pocketed Yankees refusing to pay him anything he wants?

There'd be a mutiny, right?

Of course, if the back-and-forth gets stressful, Jeter always has the world's sexiest woman waiting for him.

Weezy freed!
Rapper and Skip Bayless foil Lil Wayne was supposed to be released from prison today.

"Not-quite-a-teen Mom"
A 10-year-old in Spain gave birth. Her mother doesn't see what all the fuss is about.

Ahh, simpler times, when we had no idea how complicated Randy Moss' NFL tenure would be.

And finally ...
Sparky Anderson, the first manager to win a World Series with teams from both leagues, is in failing health and under hospice care at his California home.

The 76-year-old is suffering from complications related to dementia.

Anderson won two championships with the Cincinnati Reds and one with the Detroit Tigers. Today, he's being lauded by his former players, including new Arizona Diamondbacks Kirk Gibson, for the impression he left on all those know him.

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