Note to current and future employees and interns of broadcasting companies: not everyone has a great barometer for sarcasm and parody.
According to this report from Adam Rubin of ESPN.com, a SportsNet New York (SNY) employee is in hot water for playing a Mets-mocking clip from the show Family Guy at the end of the club’s season-opening loss to the Marlins on Friday.
In the original Family Guy scene from which the clip was pulled, the always diabolical Stewie Griffin is attending a Mets game where a broadcaster gives this bit of play-by-play:
“Opening Day, and here’s the first pitch. … And the season’s over.”
The SNY employee cut the “season’s over” part when he relayed the clip Friday night after the Mets made their final out, but enough people caught the reference and SNY spokesman Andrew Fegyveresi released a statement about the incident on Saturday:
“It was a very poor decision by an individual employee and the matter is being dealt with internally.”
SNY is obviously in the business of catering to the Mets — not bashing them — but it seems like the kind of April Fool’s joke that can be easily laughed off. And probably is being laughed off internally. In fact, this video of the ordeal is being carried currently on SNY’s own Tumblr page:
Hey, and the Mets are only one game back in the National League East!
Report: Cardinals are scouting Cuban outfielder Luis Robert
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals are keeping an eye on outfield prospect Luis Robert. The 19-year-old left his native Cuba last November and is expected to command interest from multiple MLB teams as he approaches free agency. Goold adds that the Cardinals sent scouts to evaluate Robert’s workouts in the Dominican Republic as recently as last week.
There’s still a good chance that the club won’t get a shot at signing him; as Craig mentioned last month, it seems likely that Major League Baseball won’t declare Robert a free agent until after June 15. By July 2, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement’s policies on international bonuses will go into effect, handcuffing teams with the maximum penalty for bonuses to a $300,000 signing figure for any available international prospect. It’s designed to effectively take away those teams’ abilities to sign additional international talent, and the Cardinals have already spent a reported $9.35 million in bonuses on Venezuelan outfielder Victor Garcia, Cuban outfielders Jonatan Machado and Randy Arozarena and Cuban right-hander Johan Oviedo.
Until the cutoff in mid-June, the Cardinals are likely to continue actively scouting other international talent, including Robert. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez quotes an anonymous National League scouting director who describes Robert as the No. 2 talent behind Japanese wunderkind Shohei Otani. The 19-year-old hit .286/.319/.397 with a .716 OPS during a 16-game run in the Canadian-American League in 2016, following up an impressive three-year tenure with the Ciego de Avila in the Cuban National Series from 2013-2015.
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reported over the weekend that the Cubs and reliever Pedro Strop agreed to a contract extension. He’ll remain with the Cubs through 2018 and the new deal includes a club option for the 2019 season as well. Per Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, Strop will earn $5.85 million in 2018 and the club option is worth $6.25 million with a $500,000 buyout. The two sides already avoided arbitration earlier this month, agreeing on a $5.5 million salary for the 2017 season.
Strop, 31, has been a very reliable reliever for the Cubs over the last three years. He has a combined 2.65 ERA with 212 strikeouts and 69 walks over 176 1/3 innings in that span of time.