I generally stay out of the Dodgers-Giants rivalry because I really don’t have a dog in the hunt. There are years that I like to see the Giants get the best of the Dodgers and vice-versa. It usually depends on the makeup of the rosters, how it impacts postseason matchups, and whether or not one or the other of them beat up on the Braves that given year. At present I’m favoring the Giants because of my
crush on admiration for Tim Lincecum and the fact that the Dodgers media people are acting like jerks. That could easily change, however depending on how awesome Matt Kemp or Clayton Kershaw decide to be this year or whatever.
But after scanning the newspapers this morning, I may have to go all-in with the Giants. Why? Owner Bill Neukom has made retro-style, orange-striped socks available to his players and strongly encourages their use:
In addition to the standard sanitaries and the all-black socks, the
Giants also made a deluxe version available to their major leaguers
this spring. They’re black with three horizontal orange stripes that
are only visible when their pant legs are worn high.
They’ll be required at Single-A San Jose and other minor league stops that share the Giants’ color schemes.
“I think it’s a great look,” Neukom said. “I think it looks like baseball. I also think it’ll make them faster runners.”
Frank McCourt can have his Chinese soccer team and football stadium in the parking lot. I’d prefer the owner of my team to care about baseball stuff. Especially trivial and wonderful baseball stuff like striped socks.
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.