ozymandias

Wanna get paid to watch baseball all season?

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You may have seen these ads floating around: Major League Baseball is starting a thing — and I think we can only safely call it a “thing” at the moment — in which some lucky sod is going to get paid to immerse themselves in baseball this season.

MLB is calling it a “dream job,” but I’m still calling it a “thing” because I think its more than a mere job. For one thing, they’re characterizing the search as a “casting call,” and the actual end product is going to be a “web series.” And, unlike most jobs, MLB is going to put the chosen one up in an apartment — at least I think it’s an apartment — in New York, which will be mission control. There certainly seem to be some reality TV elements to it.

The details as I’ve groked them:

  • The winner of the casting call will move to New York to star in a baseball web series and “be a part of a live interactive experience for baseball fans that will include watching every MLB game over the course of the entire baseball season.”  The idea, I’m told, is that there will be a wall of monitors in the apartment so you can watch all the games going on at once.
  • The chosen one will blog and interact with fans on the web via video and social media.  The series will be on MLB.com and Twitter and stuff.
  • What are they looking for? Someone who knows everything about baseball. Someone with an entertaining personality who can write and be funny and comfortable on screen.  I’d assume they also would prefer someone without a ton of familial obligations, seeing as though you’re going to be in a New York apartment watching games every night for seven straight months. Or maybe they don’t mind but, really, you should care about that. “Where’s daddy?”  “Well, junior, he’s in that MLB-funded crash pad, glued to a wall of TVs like Adrian Veidt.”  Not cool.

But for the “say goodbye to your kids for seven months” part — and the fact that I’m just too damn old to appeal to any demographic you can name — it sounds like a job tailor-made for me. Except I’m already paid to do all that stuff so I’m not going to apply. I have to provide my own video monitors, though. Maybe I need to send some memos around about that. Raw deal if you ask me.

Anyway I’m guessing a lot of you fit that job description. I’m also guessing most of you — based on the amount of time you spend here during working hours — aren’t too married to your current jobs and/or don’t have lives.  Go for it, dudes!

Apply here. If an HBT reader gets the gig, I’m going to insist that you let me crash at your Hella-Baseball-TV-Apartment a couple of weekends next summer. It would make for great web video.

Cubs sign Brett Anderson to a $3.5 million deal

Brett Anderson
AP Photo/J Pat Carter
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.

Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.

When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.

Yordano Ventura’s remaining contract hinges on the results of his toxicology report

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Duane Burleson/Getty Images
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.

What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.

The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.

Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.