There’s not a much better way to characterize this in a headline, because it is just messiness. The upshot, though:
- Fox has the TV rights and exclusive rights to negotiate with the Dodgers over the next TV deal until sometime next year;
- The Dodgers, even though they are to be sold, would like to be able to shop around for a new TV rights deal now, presumably because they believe it will make the team more valuable;
- To that end, the Dodgers have asked the bankruptcy court if, Fox’s contract rights notwithstanding, they can shop the rights. The court is still considering that request;
- Seeing all of this, last week Fox sent a letter to the investment bank which would handle the TV rights stuff, telling it to cease and desist, citing its contract rights;
- Now the Dodgers have sued Fox, claiming that doing so interfered with their rights to shop the rights.
So yeah, a mess. A mess that seems like it will be resolved well before anyone really gets into court, however. Either (a) because the lawsuit prevents the Dodgers from finding a buyer, which they are obligated to do by next April; or (b) by the bankruptcy court ruling one way or the other on the Dodgers’ request to auction TV rights which, unless I’m missing something, would moot all of this, no?
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.