That shouldn’t be news, but after two days worth of Yankees reporters channeling all of the front office’s fantasies about A-Rod quitting baseball and sparing them the expense of the contract they willingly gave him, here is some actual information about all of that from Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York: he’s not retiring and the person who matters most in the Yankees front office is fine with that:
Alex has no plans at all to retire,” one source with close personal ties to the embattled third baseman told ESPNNewYork.com on Thursday. Another source, authorized by Rodriguez to speak on his behalf, passed this along: “Alex says he’s working diligently on his rehabilitation and is looking forward to getting back on the field as soon as possible.”
And Brian Cashman?
When informed of Rodriguez’ comments, Yankees GM Brian Cashman, who has avoided commenting publicly on Rodriguez’s latest incident, responded with one word: “Good.”
In two quotes both the insurance fraud scheme and the Yankees plan to negotiate A-Rod down to $200 and a few gift cards out of shame or whatever is out the window. Pity.
As for the earlier reports from the Daily News and others saying this was the end of A-Rod: I’m sure someone in the Yankees front office told you that. How you hear it, however, and don’t immediately challenge your source as to the ridiculous of it or, at the very least, note your dubiousness of their claims in your article, is beyond me.
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.