Having already focused on the bad, I guess it’s only fair to look at the good for the Rays on a day in which they won 15-3.
And that would be Ben Zobrist’s franchise-record eight-RBI game.
Zobrist overtook Carlos Pena’s team record (7 RBI on Sept. 5, 2007) with a 4-for-6 day that included a homer and two doubles. Setting him up were Johnny Damon, B.J. Upton and Matt Joyce, each of whom had exactly three hits while batting ahead of Zobrist in the order. Zobrist drove in Upton three times and Joyce twice.
Incredibly, Zobrist now leads the AL with 23 RBI, despite a .236 average. He was hitting .183 after going 0-for-5 on April 22, but in four games since, he’s driven in a whopping 16 runs.
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.