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.
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.