Phil Mickelson, regarded as the "People's Choice" for his connection with fans, put his popularity on the line with polarizing comments about how much he has to pay in state and federal taxes. The four-time major champion said it might lead to "drastic changes," such as moving from his native California, and that it already caused him to pull out of the San Diego Padres' new ownership group.
His only regret was not keeping his opinion to himself.
"Finances and taxes are a personal matter, and I should not have made my opinions on them public," Mickelson said in a statement released Monday night. "I apologize to those I have upset or insulted, and assure you I intend not to let it happen again."
Mickelson first made a cryptic reference to "what's gone on the last few months politically" during a conference call two weeks ago for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. After his final round Sunday at the Humana Challenge, he was asked what he meant.
"There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state, and it doesn't work for me right now," he said. "So I'm going to have to make some changes."
Golf Digest magazine, in its annual survey of top earners in the sport, said Mickelson made just over $45 million last year on and off the golf course.
Outfielder Delmon Young, the MVP of the American League Championship Series for the Detroit Tigers, signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies for $750,000. Young made $6.75 million last year, but off-field issues cost him a lucrative, multiyear deal.
He was suspended without pay for seven days after an incident outside a New York City hotel last spring. Young later pleaded guilty to aggravated harassment for shouting an anti-Semitic slur and tackling a man to the ground.
The Hall of Famer will attend a portion of spring training to work with pitchers and consult with the team throughout the year.
In other Dodgers news, Time Warner Cable Inc. has won a contract to carry the team's games for at least the next two decades starting in 2014, snatching the games away from Fox Sports after this season, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Los Angeles Times reported Time Warner will pay around $7 billion to carry the games.
John Thomas, a former high jump world-record holder and two-time Olympic medalist, has died. He was 71. He became the first athlete to clear 7 feet at the 1959 Millrose Games.