I missed this when I put up the earlier Pete Rose post, but apparently Charlie Hustle sat for an extended interview with with Yahoo!’s Graham Bensinger. In it he discusses baseball stuff and gambling stuff, particularly the idea that he had a gambling addiction:
“I needed something extra. I lost the edge in getting those at-bats and
being competitive. So, you know, I was wrong but the best way to be
competitive to me was to bet on my own team to win every night . . . I don’t think I was an addict. I think I could control what I was
doing. I just was wrong and I got caught … I actually went to some
Gamblers Anonymous classes and I sat there for three or four of them and
I’m trying to figure out what I have in similarities with these other
people and I could never find anything.”
I’m highly skeptical of our society’s habit of calling everything an addiction. Sometimes people drink a bit too much. Doesn’t make them an alcoholic. Sometimes people fool around with people who aren’t their spouses. Doesn’t make them a sex addict. Sometimes people bet hundreds of times a year and structure their whole lives around gambling in order to somehow — any way they can — achieve that oh-so-satisfying rush they had when they were younger but just can’t get no matter how hard they try to, and THANK YOU THANK YOU gambling for giving me what I need to get through the day, ahhhhhhhhhhh . . . .
OK, you know what? I still think Rose was a gambling addict.
(link via Big League Stew)
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.