We’ve had a lot of blow by blow of the McCourt divorce, but today comes some added flavor in the form of a background piece on the power couple from the Boston Globe, their former hometown newspaper. Lots of interesting detail, including one passage regarding their earlier bid to buy the Red Sox, which I think will ultimately color the entire situation, at least as it relates to the fate of the Dodgers:
“The seller was looking to sell, not swap a ball club for a parking
lot,” says a Major League Baseball official with knowledge of the
bidding. “There were guys writing checks for millions of dollars, and
Frank was offering a parking lot. He was never seriously considered.”
The McCourts’ ability to buy the Dodgers was a function of (a) Rupert Murdoch, the former Dodgers’ owner, being more interested in Boston parking lots than anyone else reasonably would be; and (b) the fact that, according to people inside the game, the McCourts are friends with Jerry Reinsdorf and others close to Selig, which made them much easier candidates to approve by Major League Baseball than other people to whom Murdoch could have offered the team. The McCourts had no real cash reserves then, and based on the divorce filings we’ve seen to date, have no cash now. Relatively speaking, of course.
The quoted bit in the headline comes from a lawsuit filed against the McCourts by the builders of one of their many homes. Those themes are echoed in their divorce filings and loom long over the fate of Dodgers.
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.