Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.

Disney buys a $1 billion stake in MLB’s streaming media division

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Walt Disney announced yesterday that it will pay a $1 billion to purchase a 33% stake in BAMTech, which is the streaming media unit created by Major League Baseball. ESPN will use BAMTech’s streaming platform to launch a new digital service, separate from its cable channels, that will air baseball, basketball and college football games that don’t appear on the regular ESPN networks. There will be no additional broadcast rights purchased by ESPN. Rather, it will be more about airing secondary and less popular matchups of the sports for which it already owns the rights.

From ESPN’s perspective, this represents a way to deal with cord cutters, who have cut their subscriptions to cable companies and who have cut into Disney’s revenues, which are driven tremendously by ESPN. For Major League Baseball this is obviously a huge cash infusion. One which will allow it to spin off BAMTech from MLB Advanced Media, which is where it is currently housed. MLBAM is, of course, its own spinoff of sorts from Major League Baseball itself.

In 1995, baseball’s total revenues were about $1.4 billion. That was for everything: gate, merchandise, broadcasting beer, hot dogs, you name it. In 2016 baseball got nearly that much for a minority share in a side business that didn’t even exist until a few years ago. Financially speaking, the game is doing pretty well.

Terry Francona missed last night’s game after experiencing chest pains

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It’s been a rough week for managers so far. Bruce Bochy missed the Giants game Monday night feeling ill and Indians manager Terry Francona missed last night’s game after experiencing chest pains.

Francona, who is 57 and who has a history of pulmonary embolisms, was speaking with the press prior to the game when he complained of chest pains, sweats and dizziness. Francona was checked by EMTs and was feeling better by game time, but bench coach Brad Mills served as the team’s manager for the contest. Francona went back to the team hotel around the fourth inning.

The club is expected to provide an update on his condition later today.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Dodgers 9, Phillies 3:  Howie Kendrick, Yasmani Grandal and Justin Turner homered. In other news, Clayton Kershaw last pitched for the Dodgers on June 26. They were eight games back of first place on that date. The Dodgers are 23-13 since then, which is the best record in baseball over that stretch. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ What I do know, though, is that this win, combined with the Giants loss, puts the Dodgers in first place in the NL West. It’s their first time in first place since May 14.

Rangers 7, Rockies 5: Colorado had a 5-1 lead heading into the seventh and then the Rangers scored six runs in the final three innings, capped by an Elvis Andrus go-ahead RBI single in the eighth. Texas scored three times in the ninth to beat the Rockies 4-3 on Monday night too, so I’m guessing the Rockies’ bullpen is happy to see the Rangers leave town.

Indians 3, Nationals 1: There was a lot going on here. First Terry Francona had chest pains before the game and had to sit this one out as a precautionary measure, then Max Scherzer took a no-hitter into the seventh. For his part, Trevor Bauer took a shutout into the seventh before handing it over to Andrew Miller and the Tribe pen. Miller, coming in in the seventh, was arguably being used as an old-style relief ace, appearing at a high leverage moment instead of just in the eighth or ninth inning. He gave up a homer here but it’d be neat to see what happens if the Tribe truly deploys him Rich Gossage-style.

Pirates 6, Padres 4: Gregory Polanco hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in a four-run fifth and rookie Chad Kuhl allowed two runs and five hits while striking out four and walking four. Polanco was batting cleanup, which is not usual for him. Clint Hurdle was asked about it and cited Polanco’s RBI Percentage which, yes, is a thing, but which I can’t remember hearing a manager mentioning before.

Rays 9, Blue Jays 2Evan Longoria reached base four times, scored twice and drove in three. Logan Forsythe had three hits and drove in two. The Rays scored six runs off the Jays’ pen.

Red Sox 5, Yankees 3: The Red Sox crowd chanted “WE WANT A-ROD!” but — hear me out for a second — I feel like they just wanted him to come out so they could boo him. Sorry I’m so cynical. A-Rod did not play, of course, and Joe Girardi got a lot of questions about that and A-Rod himself was kind of cranky about that but if we just close our eyes and forget about it for a while it’ll all be over soon. In the part of the game that actually mattered, Dustin Pedroia tied the game with an RBI double in the third and gave the Sox breathing room with an RBI double in the fifth. That scored Andrew Benintendi, who had just put the Sox ahead on his 3-for-3 night. He’s 8-for-16 in his first six games as a big leaguer, by the way.

Diamondbacks 5, Mets 3: Zack Greinke came off the disabled list and pitched for the first time in six weeks, allowing three runs over six innings and striking out six. He’s 11-3 now, having won his eighth straight. Paul Goldschmidt and Brandon Drury homered for the Snakes.

Marlins 2, Giants 0: Tom Koehler shut the Giants out for seven innings and the pen handled the final two. The Giants are 14-18 since the beginning of July and 7-16 since the break. They’re now in a first place tie with L.A. They haven’t been out of first place, tied or alone, since May 10.

Cubs 5, Angels 1: The Cubs are making it look easy. They take their eighth straight, enjoying eight one run innings from John Lackey, at least insofar as anyone truly “enjoys” anything associated with John Lackey. Buster Olney gives us some fun factoids about the State of the Cubs:

Braves 2, Brewers 1: Tyrell Jenkins allowed one run over six and for the second night in a row Atlanta’s bullpen looked sharp and shut Milwaukee out over the final frames. The Braves still have the worst record in baseball, but they are 6-2 in August and 12-12 since the break. That’s some serious progress for these guys. They’re not going to contend next year, but this little run is at least giving me hope that they’ll be watchable. That’s some serious progress too.

Astros 7, Twins 5: Jose Altuve went 4-for-4 and scored twice. He’s hitting .361 and has a .998 OPS. Carlos Correa drove in four runs. It was the Astros’ first homer in eight games.

White Sox 7, Royals 5: The Royals tied things up with a rally in the bottom of the ninth, but Todd Frazier hit a three-run homer in the 10th to moot that. Justin Morneau went 4-for-5. Frazier is hitting only .213 but is tied for the major league lead with 31 homers. That’s 20-teens baseball in a nutshell. It’d probably give guys from the 1950s an aneurysm.

Reds 7, Cardinals 4: Tyler Holt doubled off Matt Bowman to break a 4-4 tie in the eighth as the Reds rallied. Billy Hamilton was a disruptive force once again, as his speed on an infield hit caused Matt Carpenter to bobble a barehanded attempt to field it, allowing Holt to score from second right after his double. Hamilton had two hits and two walks, scored three times and stole three bases. After Monday’s game Mike Matheny blamed himself for the team being unable to contain Hamilton. I’m guessing he’ll be going back to the drawing board once again. Highly touted pitching prospect Alex Reyes made his big league debut for the Cards, hitting 101 on the gun on two pitches.

Athletics 2, Orioles 1Danny Valencia and Khris Davis each drove in a run in the A’s two-run third, and it held up. The Athletics won consecutive games for the first time since July 26-27. Wade Miley has allowed six runs on 14 hits in 11 innings since joining the Orioles.

Mariners 6, Tigers 5: Detroit had a 4-1 lead in the eighth before Kyle Seager hit a three-run homer off of Justin Wilson which led to six bonus frames in this nearly five hour game. Victor Martinez homered in the top of the 15th but that didn’t hold up as Seattle rallied for two runs on two hits (and a walk) off of the struggling Francisco Rodriguez. The walkoff came via a Mike Zunino sac fly. Seattle is seven back in the west but only 2.5 back in the Wild Card. Detroit has lost three in a row and is no longer in Wild Card position, sitting a game back of the Red Sox, mostly because of their pen. What else is new?