This from the Daily News over the weekend is interesting. There’s a grand jury convened in Florida arising out of the whole Biogenesis thing. And it may bring A-Rod back into the headlines:
The grand jury is primarily interested in determining the source of the drugs Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch supplied to Rodriguez and other players, one of the sources told The News. But other law-enforcement officials are trying to determine if Rodriguez, currently serving a season-long suspension for violating MLB’s drug policy, attempted to obstruct investigations into the defunct Coral Gables anti-aging clinic.
I find this a little rich. A-Rod may or may not have tried to obstruct MLB investigators — the evidence on that was rather thin, as the small portion of his suspension related to obstruction showed — but last I checked Major League Baseball is not law enforcement. I know they act like it all the time, what with the Mitchell Report and the Biogenesis thing, but they really are just a private business with revenues somewhere between the largest law firms and mid-sized regional supermarket chains.
Also, last I checked, it was Major League Baseball, not Alex Rodriguez, who paid off the very man who distributed the drugs that are subject to this grand jury investigation and purchased stolen documents in the course of its own investigation. Who provided him with counsel in the event anyone comes investigating him and indemnified him from any bad things that may come his way as a result. I don’t know if that’s obstruction of justice, but it’s way closer to the kind of things that get charged as such than the stuff A-Rod is said to have done.
So, sure, investigate Alex Rodriguez. But explain why Major League Baseball shouldn’t be investigated too.
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.