“There’s no question, this is the golden era for the sport and given the weak economy this may be the most remarkable year we ever had. Every economic option in our business is up this year. We’re at numbers nobody ever thought possible.”
— Bud Selig, commenting on the fact that baseball is likely to reach a record $7 billion in revenues this year.
This despite low national television ratings. Which, contrary to what anyone tells you, are not terribly important to baseball’s overall economic health. All politics is local they say, and the same goes for baseball television revenues. Add in the fact that baseball’s own cable network launched big, its own digital properties are booming and corporate sponsorship is way up, baseball is doing just fine, thank you.
Imagine what it could do if it could do what football does and get chronic gamblers to watch it religiously!
The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.
Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”
Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.
Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.