Rich Harden fielded a chopper to the mound in the second inning of last night’s Rangers-Athletics game. He ran it back to the bag himself, beating Eric Chavez by a mile. Chavez was called out. Problem: based on the video, Harden did not appear to touch the bag. The umpires conferred after the call and the first base umpire’s original call of safe was overturned. Correctly, it would appear.
This, not surprisingly,caused Ron Washington to come out and argue the call. Despite being ejected just this past Friday, Washington does not have a reputation as a combustible manager. His argument, which you can also see in the linked video, also seems subdued. So why the ejection? According to crew chief Joe West, Washington was ejected because managers “are not allowed to argue
after the umpires confer on a call.”
Um, OK. This is nothing I’ve ever heard before. I mean, on some level I can understand it if a manager argues, gets the umpires to confer, they confer and the call that caused all the trouble is upheld, because at that point the manager is really no longer trying to persuade as much as he is just bitching.
But that’s not what happened here. Washington had a favorable call overturned, and he was arguing the overturning in the first instance. This was Washington’s beef after the game when he said “Bobby Geren can argue and I can’t argue?”
I’m with you Ron. I mean, you were wrong because Rich Harden clearly didn’t touch first base, but it seems like you’re just as entitled to argue a call as the next guy, and that’s all you were doing.
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.