The Mets are a mess

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Unless something really ridiculous happens today I’m going to do my best to honor Bob’s voluntary cease fire on the Mets for as long as a I can. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t outsource the mocking.  Here’s Bob Klapisch:

None of this is good news for the Mets’ fans, who are wondering
what, exactly, Minaya has done to improve the team this winter. The
signing of Jason Bay has been virtually negated by the GM’s inertia . . . Unless Smoltz changes his mind, the Mets likely will begin the
season with journeyman Fernando Nieve as their No. 5 starter. He lines
up behind Perez, John Maine and Mike Pelfrey, all of whom will come to
camp with health issues and emotional baggage.

The gap between the Mets and Phillies has never been wider than it
is today. So unless Santana can pitch three times a week, Jerry Manuel
will have to rely on tightly crossed fingers to keep his job beyond
June 1.

Why are things so dire? According to Rosenthal it’s all about the process, or lack thereof, employed by the front office:

The Mets, multiple industry sources say, do not function like most
clubs. Their unique style would be fine if they were building
championship teams. Instead, they’re coming off a 70-win season and losing out on free agent after free agent–except for one, left fielder Jason Bay, who seemingly lacked a better option.

Ownership, rather than giving Minaya a set budget, weighs the
finances of each acquisition separately, forcing the team to run down
its priority list one move at a time. The paint-by-numbers approach,
which inhibits multitasking and creativity, would work against any GM.

In other words, despite Omar Minaya’s manifest shortcomings, he’s not the one most responsible for this mess. It’s ownership. And if the Wilpons can’t be taken down by a financial collapse and the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, nothin’ is going to take them down.

Hmmm. I guess this post didn’t honor the spirit of the cease fire.  I’ll try harder to be nicer to them tomorrow.

Trevor May joins eSports team Luminosity

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 04: Trevor May #65 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Cleveland Indians in the sixth inning at Progressive Field on August 4, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Twins 9-2.  (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)
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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.

Orioles re-sign Michael Bourn to a minor league deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Michael Bourn #1 of the Baltimore Orioles hits a single in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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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.