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.
Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman might be headed to the disabled list soon, manager John Gibbons told reporters following Friday’s rain-shortened loss to the Yankees. The righty lasted just four innings on the mound before calling it a night, and gave up five runs, six hits and two walks in a performance that Gibbons claimed was at least partially affected by recurring blister issues on his right middle finger. Now, it looks like he might be removed from the rotation for some much-needed rest and rehabilitation; if so, it’ll be his second such stint this year.
Stroman, 27, has struggled to return the kind of winning record and sub-4.00 ERA that characterized his previous seasons with the club, mostly due to the combined seven weeks he missed with blisters on his throwing hand and chronic fatigue in his right shoulder. In a recent start against the Rays, things got even more gruesome when his blister appeared to start bleeding in the middle of his outing and MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes that the wound has constantly interfered with the right-hander’s pitch selection and delivery. When healthy, Stroman has managed a 4-8 record through 18 starts in 2018 with a career-worst 5.27 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in 100 2/3 innings. This will be the first year since 2015 in which he has not logged at least 200 innings in a single season.
While Stroman may not need an extended stay on the DL before he returns to the mound, it’s not clear what kind of timetable the Blue Jays expect for his recovery. He’s been the second-most valuable starter (behind the now-traded J.A. Happ) in a rotation that currently ranks 17th in the majors with a combined 4.90 ERA and 6.8 fWAR.