Josh Beckett is among the Red Sox pitchers who reportedly drank beer, ate fried chicken, and played video games in the clubhouse during games and former Marlins manager Jack McKeon recalls locking the clubhouse door to keep Beckett (and Brad Penny) in the dugout during the 2003 season.
Not only that, McKeon told Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post that he forced players to use bathroom passes–which he amusingly called “poo-poo cards and pee-pee cards”–if they wanted to go into the clubhouse mid-game.
Here’s more from McKeon:
In between innings they’d go to the clubhouse to get a drink or hang out. I said, “Hey, I got no rule against going up if you have to go to the bathroom or something, but get back.” A couple of times I looked down the bench to talk to somebody and they weren’t there. They were in the clubhouse. So I went up and got them out and said, “OK, boys that’s it. We’ll lock the door.”
Florida won the World Series that season and a 23-year-old Beckett was named World Series MVP.
McKeon told Capozzi that he also had to threaten to keep this season’s Marlins out of the clubhouse, but never actually locked the door:
You had a lot of pitchers who didn’t have anything to do. What I wanted them to do is teach them how to focus. If they wanted to be good they’re going to have to focus by watching the opposition and learning something instead of running up to the clubhouse and getting a drink and kibitzing and stuff like that.
Presumably by “getting a drink” he means something non-alcoholic, although at this point who knows.
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.