I guess J.P. Ricciardi still is, but he has apparently farmed out the communications function to Cito Gaston:
When asked earlier this week about his plans for next season, Jays catcher and soon-to-be free agent Rod Barajas said he didn’t have any yet, but that he would love to return to Toronto . . . He said he hadn’t talked to anyone from the team about returning in 2010 but expected those discussions to begin next month.
That’s why it jarred him yesterday morning to learn that manager Cito Gaston didn’t think the team had plans to bring him back. “I don’t think anybody (in the organization) has tried to sign him,” Gaston said. “He’s going to be out there (on the free-agent market).”
Not suprisingly, Barajas isn’t very pleased to hear of the Jays’ plans for him this way.
I wouldn’t be shocked to see both Ricciardi and Gaston fired after the season. Wouldn’t it be cool if they were informed of this by Rod Barajas?
FOX Sports and Major League Baseball announced a few minutes ago that they have agreed to a multi-year broadcast rights extension. The deal keeps Fox as the lead MLB rights holder, and home of the World Series, All-Star Game and a good chunk of the playoffs through at least 2028.
While the press release does not announce the financial terms, Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that it will pay Major League Baseball about 30-40% more than the previous contract. While ratings are not what they used to be, it would seem that the eyeballs Fox is getting are more valuable to it.
UPDATE: That bump is actually even bigger:
For the time being, things will look very much like they do now. Starting in 2022, there will be more games broadcast. There are no specifics about how many more. The release says “FOX Sports will also expand its digital rights,” but again, no specifics on what that means, exactly.
FOX Sports has been a baseball rights-holder since 1996 and has been the exclusive national non-cable rights holder since 2001. That’s gonna continue for at least another decade.