The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is
running the second part of an interview with Chipper Jones. It’s not
quite as lengthy as the previous interview, but here’s a couple quick highlights:
- Despite his comments in the past
(“I’ll believe it when I see it.”), Jones believes Bobby Cox is “for
real” about stepping down as manager after 2010. Cox will still have an
imprint on the team as he will move into a consulting role, but Jones acknowledges that “it’s going to be culture shock” if
he decides to play in 2011, especially if the Braves hire someone he
has “played with or against.”
- Jones is proud of the fact that he
is the “last one standing” among the great 90s teams, and like Cal
Ripken and Tony Gwynn, has played his entire career in one city.
- Jones would be “OK with it” if his
career ended today, but the only thing that keeps him going is trying
to reclaim the National League East and go back to the World Series.
He’s encouraged with the direction of the team, especially
pitching-wise but notes that “we just need to get a little offense and
defense to go along with it.”
As David O’Brien notes at the end of
the piece, this interview was conducted two days before the Braves
traded Javier Vazquez for Melky Cabrera and a pair of prospects. Frank
Wren has taken some heat for the move, but in doing so, the Braves
added around $9 million in payroll flexibility. Wren has already Troy
Glaus to the lineup, and there are plenty of indications that he isn’t done.
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.