A legal ruling in the Fourth Circuit pretty much encapsulates all that is wrong with the current broadcasting regime in Major League Baseball:
Nationals and Orioles: We want the cable company in North Carolina to carry our regional sports network so that our fans in that great state can watch their O’s and Nats play! And [cough] so we can make some more money!
The Local Cable Company: We don’t want to carry the Nationals and Orioles. No one likes ’em down here.
FCC: Yeah, what they said.
Court: We agree. No one should have to broadcast Nats and O’s games in North Carolina [judge does Tomahawk Chop, checks his tee time at Augusta National].
Nats and O’s fans who live in North Carolina: Well, I guess we should just watch them on MLB.tv then. Thank goodness there is a means for people who live far from their team’s home to enjoy the games all the same!
Major League Baseball: North Carolina is Nationals and Orioles territory! You can’t watch Nats and O’s games there unless you do it via your local cable company! Sorry! You’re blacked out!
Fabulous system we have here.
Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.
Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.
Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.