Some interesting words from former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent, who had to deal with Marge Schott back in his day. Schott, you may recall, dropped N-words on her stars Eric Davis and Dave Parker, praised the good works of Adolf Hitler and was generally the worst person ever. But Vincent thinks Sterling is worse:
“What she said was egregious, but what he said was probably worse,” Vincent, 75, told Bloomberg News. “There’s a question of where you draw the line. In this case with what this guy did and probably in Marge Schott’s case, you’re well over the line.”
Part of why Vincent thinks Sterling is worse is that Schott was a raging alcoholic and a more tragic and pathetic figure while Sterling is, presumably, saying the things he’s saying with a clear head and clear eyes. Your mileage may vary about how that all works, but I can at least see Vincent’s point. Another thing he says:
“You have to start with the proposition that the commissioner works for the owners, and for him to be disciplining the owners is a very awkward circumstance,” Vincent said.
It may have been awkward for Vincent as he never had the confidence of the other owners. But by the time Schott was actually disciplined it was Bud Selig calling the shots. And the single most important thing Selig ever did was to create a consensus among the owners and never do anything unless or until he had them in his corner. By doing this over a number of years, Selig has gained their trust to a large degree and could, I believe anyway, take unilateral action against an owner without ruffling too many feathers if he needed to. Whether Silver can do this in the NBA after a couple months on the job is an open question.
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.