Prince Fielder got plunked by Guillermo Mota in the ninth, and then this happened:
Fielder took off for the Dodgers’ side of the stadium after the final out, shouting obscenities all the way to the clubhouse door. Several teammates trailed behind him in a surreal scene, but Bill Hall and Casey McGehee got a firm grip on Fielder while a wall of security blocked his way.
Obviously Fielder was hot about Mota’s pitch! Listen to him unload in the post-game interviews!
“He came inside. It just got away from him. It happens. That’s baseball. He tried to come inside.”
Er, yeah. I can only assume that by that point he had had a conversation with his union rep or the lithium had kicked in or something. Best part: he claimed not to recall that whole storm the clubhouse incident from a few minutes prior. That ought to keep the fines and suspensions at bay!
What kills me about this is that, though I think the code of plunkings in baseball is totally stupid, within the context of that code the Mota plunk was totally legit. Manny Ramirez had hit a homer and a two-run double by the time he came to bat in the seventh, and the Brewers were losing ugly when Chris Smith hit him. That happens from time to time, and when it does, the plunking team has to expect that someone on their side is going to get hit in return. Fielder is the obvious target for that, and as long as the ball hits the dude on the rump or somewhere similarly padded (which is everywhere on Fielder), folks tend to move on.
Why Fielder flipped like he did is beyond me, especially given Ryan Braun’s whole “tell Mr. Selig, we’ll see what happens. It’s going to be interesting” business and subsequent beanball war with the Pirates earlier this season.
It’s as if someone needs to write down all of the unwritten rules for the Brewers, because they clearly don’t understand them.
When he’s not throwing baseballs, Twins pitcher Trevor May is an active gamer. He streams on Twitch, a very popular video game streaming site, fairly regularly and now he’s officially on an eSports team. Luminosity Gaming announced the organization added May last Friday. It appears he’ll be streaming and commentating on Overwatch, a multiplayer first-person shooter made by Blizzard Entertainment.
May is the only current athlete to be an active member of an eSports team. Former NBA player Rick Fox owns Echo Fox, an eSports team that sports players in games including League of Legends, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Street Fighter V, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Mortal Kombat X. Jazz forward Gordon Hayward is also a known advocate of eSports.
The NBA in particular has been very active on the eSports front. Kings co-owners Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov launched NRG eSports in November 2015. Shortly thereafter, Grizzlies co-owner Stephen Kaplan invested in the Immortals eSports team. Almost a year later, the 76ers acquired controlling stakes in Team Dignitas and Team Apex. The same month, the Wizards’ and Warriors’ owners launched a group called Axiomatic, which purchased a controlling stake in Team Liquid, a long-time Starcraft: Brood War website which has since branched out into other games. And also in September 2016, Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko bought team Renegades, moving them to a group house in Detroit. In December 2016, the Bucks submitted a deal to Riot Games in order to purchase Cloud9’s Challenger league spot for $2.5 million. The Rockets that month hired someone specifically for eSports development, focusing on strategy and investment. Last month, the Heat acquired a controlling stake in team Misfits.
Once an afterthought, eSports has grown considerably in recent years and now it should be considered a competitor to traditional sports. League of Legends, in particular, is quite popular, reaching nearly 15 million concurrent viewers at its peak in the most recent League of Legends World Championship. That championship featured a prize purse of $6.7 million with $2 million of it being split among winner SK Telecom T1’s members.
The Orioles have re-signed outfielder Michael Bourn to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league camp, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.
Bourn, 34, joined the Orioles last year in a trade from the Diamondbacks on August 31. Though he compiled a meager .669 OPS with the Diamondbacks, Bourn hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with the O’s through the end of the season.
Bourn, a non-roster invitee to camp, will try to play his way onto the Orioles’ 25-man roster. If he does make the roster, Bourn will receive a $2 million salary, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports points out.