If Peter Gammons’ word isn’t enough to convince the HBT readership that Bobby Valentine is days away from being named the Marlins’ next manager, this might do the trick:
According to ESPN.com’s Tim Kurkjian, the Fish will offer Bobby V. a lucrative four-year contract after he is interviewed on Friday night in south Florida. Valentine is obviously interested in the gig because he withdrew his name from the O’s managerial search earlier this week.
And why wouldn’t he be? The Marlins are off to a disappointing 35-36 start this season and currently sit six games back of the Braves in the National League East, but with talented youngsters like Hanley Ramirez, Mike Stanton, Josh Johnson, Gaby Sanchez and Chris Coghlan in tow, there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about the club’s future.
A new stadium set to open in 2012 should only sweeten the deal for Valentine, who is currently an analyst on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.
Before the offer comes, however, the Marlins will the will interview their interim
manager, Edwin Rodriguez, as well as Diamondbacks’ third base coach Bo
Porter, a former Marlins and current Diamondback coach. That according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal.
One can’t help but turn a cynical eye at those interviews as Loria
pretending to consider minority candidates (Rodriguez is Latino and
Porter is black) while everyone on the planet knows that he wants
Valentine. Such is the world we live in, however, and one can easily
argue that baseball’s insistence that such token interviews take place
is sillier than conducting them is.
But that’s a conversation for another day. Today, it seems, Loria is
getting his man. Or will soon, anyway. May they be happy together.
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.