Whenever I point out and link a column or an article that seems outrageous, there’s always someone who notes that the writer was probably just “trying to get a reaction” or that he’s an otherwise OK guy who says audacious or controversial stuff in order to draw attention to themselves.
I get that. I understand that there are trolls out there trying to get a rise out of folks and that they might otherwise be fine upstanding people. But as a wise man once wrote, we are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be. If you write idiotic things, for whatever reason, sorry, you’re an idiot.
Which brings me to Richie Whitt of the Dallas Observer. He wrote the other day about how Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis missed his last start. The reason: Lewis’ his wife was giving birth to their daughter. Most people would think that’s a good reason. Not Whitt:
Follow me this way to some confusion. Imagine if Jason Witten missed a game to attend the birth of a child. It’s just, I dunno, weird. Wrong even. Departures? Totally get it because at a funeral you’re saying goodbye to someone for the last time. But an arrival is merely saying hello to someone you’ll see the rest of your life … Baseball players are paid millions to play baseball. If that means “scheduling” births so they occur in the off-season, then so be it. Of the 365 days in a year, starting pitchers “work” maybe 40 of them, counting spring training and playoffs.
If it was a first child, maybe. But a second child causing a player to miss a game? Ludicrous.
The writer admits in the article that he has no children of his own but that he “raised a step-son for eight years.” Color me shocked that he (a) could not find a woman to procreate with him; and (b) was apparently dumped by his step son’s mother at some point. With an attitude like this, I presume the issue of family and fatherhood isn’t going to come up for him any time soon.
But hey, at least someone is paying attention to you know.
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.