Josh Kosman and Claire Atkinson of the New York Post are hearing from sources that the Time Warner is having a tough time getting other cable systems to carry their new Dodgers channel:
Time Warner Cable has yet to start negotiations for the Dodgers network, named SportsNet LA, and already several pay-TV providers are balking at the expected asking price, sources said.
“They know several distributors will say no [to Dodgers channel] because of the costs,” said one source.
While Time Warner Cable gained distribution for its SportsNet and Deportes channels last year, the contentious negotiations with distributors left little appetite for another pricey deal.
They report that the Dodgers are going to ask $5 per subscriber at the outset but that over time it will escalate to $8 per subscriber. Which is really, really high compared to other regional sports networks’ carriage prices. But that’s also what Time Warner needs to pay the Dodgers the $8 billion over 25 years it agreed to pay the Dodgers for TV rights.
This will all be passed on to consumers in the form of higher cable bills. Which, if you’re a Dodgers fan, you probably won’t mind if the alternative is not being able to see your team. If you’re not a Dodgers fan, however, and you just want to watch old movies or reality shows or whatever? At some point you’re gonna start to get mad, right?
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.