Indians closer Chris Perez left today’s game against the Red Sox due to shoulder pain. The right-hander recorded only two outs but was on the hook for the four runs the Red Sox scored in the bottom half of the ninth inning for the walk-off 6-5 victory. Perez allowed two hits (a David Ortiz double and a Stephen Drew single) and walked three.
Joe Smith came on in relief of Perez but promptly allowed a walk-off two-run double to Jacoby Ellsbury. Despite the poor result, Smith is likely the club’s answer for an interim closer. In another time, it would have been Vinnie Pestano, but he has not had a good 2013 season thanks in part to a stark decline in velocity.
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.