I missed this yesterday, but apparently someone asked Cameron Maybin about that whole mess withe the Panda Express tweets:
“I’m on Twitter probation,” Maybin said through a big smile Thursday morning at the Padres complex. “I’m hoping we can sweep that one under the rug. I would like to say I love Panda Express. I have been going there since I was in high school. It’s the best cuisine around.”
He went to talk about how remarkable it was how quickly the fun little controversy spread.* As someone who tweets a lot, I think about that stuff more and more. Really, anyone who has any amount of readership on there is an exclamation away from infamy. I think that’s simultaneously thrilling and scary. Part of the deal, really. The immediacy is a two-way street.
*I don’t like the word “controversy” here because it implies some sort of legitimate question as to the propriety of the act when, in this case, it’s really not anything any reasonable person would really get mad about. It was funny. At the same time, it was something that causes a stir, neutrally speaking, so it’s not sufficient to say “it was nothing.”
What we really need here is a single word that captures the following concept: “an incident that is harmless and fun and only superficially and comically troublesome yet that one that is still worthy of note for people who traffic in such silliness on a regular basis.” I’m blanking. Maybe we just need to make up one. I’ll accept all suggestions in the comments.
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.