The Gold Glove is a joke of an award these days. The process determining the winners is hopelessly flawed in conception (are other players and managers the best judge of this stuff?) and almost but not quite always results in the wrong people winning (No Peter Bourjos? Really?). But hey, an award is an award and it’s fun to be surprised who wins it when the announcement comes, right?
Well, not in this case.
For the first time ever ESPN televised the Gold Glove announcement last night. Before the announcement, however, its p.r. site promoted the show, listing the finalists for the award at each position in its press release. Tell me if you notice anything funny about the list of finalists, as taken from a screen capture of the page:
Notice anything? Like, how the guy who was later announced as the winner has his name written in a smaller font? As if it were pasted in from a list of the winners or something, messing with the formatting? Happens to bloggers all the time, I hear, but I’ve never seen a press release like this tip news-to-come.
Now, to be fair: this wasn’t brought to my attention until after the awards were announced last night and it’s possible that these names were altered on the web site after the fact to reflect the winners. Possible, but not probable, however, because the rest of the release is still in the future tense and nothing else denoting the winners as winners has been done. Press releases are a lot of things, but subtle is not one of them. If they were actually wanting to make a second announcement — who won, not who was nominated — a second release or a radically-updated initial release almost certainly would have issued.
This is pretty unimportant — like I said, the Gold Glove award stinks on ice, and p.r. as a concept is the very definition of frivolous — but it’s funny that the only thing interesting the award had going for it the year (i.e. the awards show) was subject to a spoiler.
UPDATE: I was not aware of this before because I missed the comments, but reader brucewaynewins caught this and noted it in the thread below the Fielding Bible post that went up late Monday night. Great catch, Bruce!
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.