Every superhero has an origin story. They were sent here from a doomed alien world. They were bit by a radioactive spider. Their parents were murdered in Crime Alley. Whatever the hell boring stuff happened to Aquaman to make him the mediocre whatever-it-is he is.
Scott Boras may not be in the Justice League, but by convincing a team that already had a first baseman and a DH to give Prince Fielder $214 million, he is certainly a superhero of some kind. Probably has mind control powers and the like. And like every other superhero, he has an origin story. And, as expected, it involves Bill Caudill.
Oh, you don’t know that story? In that case, go read Sam Miller’s account of Scott Boras’ first free agent deal over at Baseball Prospectus.
It’s fascinating, because it shows that even at the tender age of 31, Scott Boras was already doing the things he does today. Comically exaggerating his clients’ talents. Asking for silly money. Having, seemingly, no shame. And like today, that stuff worked wonderfully and neither Boras nor his clients had then nor have now any reason to hide from it, because it’s effective.
Like Superman’s heat vision, Batman’s skull-cracking, Spiderman’s web-slinging and Aquaman’s, well, whatever it is he does, Boras has a gift, it’s apparently unstoppable and there’s no reason at all to change his approach until it stops working.
MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that umpires Bob Davidson, Bob Hirschbeck, Jim Joyce, and Tim Welke have retired.
Davidson, 64, was known as “Balkin’ Bob” for his tendency to call pitchers for balks. Davidson has also made a name for himself picking fights with players and managers, as well as unnecessarily escalating situations.
Hirschbeck, 62, didn’t quite have the reputation Davidson had, but he had a couple of notable incidents on his profile as well. Last year, when ejecting Twins slugger Miguel Sano, Hirschbeck said, “Get the [expletive] out of here.” In 2013, he threw a drum of oil on a fire that very easily could’ve been snuffed out with Bryce Harper.
Joyce, 61, was a well-liked and well-respected umpire who will go down in history for one mistake. On June 2, 2010, Tigers starter Armando Galarraga was one out away from a perfect game. Indians second baseman Jason Donald hit a weak grounder about halfway between first and second base. Miguel Cabrera went to his right to field it and flipped to Galarraga covering first base. It was a close call, but Joyce incorrectly ruled Donald safe, ruining Galarraga’s perfect game. To both Joyce’s and Galarraga’s credit, both handled the mistake with the utmost class.
Craig also wrote in detail about Joyce a few years ago. It’s worth a re-read.
Tim Welke, 59, actually announced his retirement last year, but I guess it wasn’t made official until recently. He underwent a left knee replacement procedure in January last year and then had his right knee replaced five months later.
CNBC, citing Reuters, reports that Facebook and Major League Baseball are in discussions to stream one game per week.
Streaming is becoming more and more ubiquitous as it’s a more convenient way for people to access media they like. MLB Advanced Media, which handles MLB’s streaming service, is worth several billions of dollars. Last year, Disney paid $1 billion to purchase a 33 percent stake in BAMTech, the independent company MLBAM launched for its streaming.
Millennials and “Generation Z,” in particular, are driving the streaming trend. Forbes, citing the Digital Democracy Survey in 2015, reported that 56 percent of millennials’ media consumption was done via computer, smartphone, tablet, or gaming device. Those 30 years and older rely on television to watch film and TV shows at a clip higher than 80 percent.
Twitter is already in the sports streaming arena. It streams MLB, NFL, and NHL games as well as the PGA Tour.