It seemed pretty obvious that the potential suitor with the most to send back to Philly in exchange for Cliff Lee was the Red Sox, and now that they’re no longer in need of a starting pitcher, Ruben Amaro is no longer looking to deal his ace:
I think it was always about a 2% shot that he’d be dealt at best. Amaro was smart to gauge interest, of course, but the Phillies aren’t going out of business over the next couple of years. They do need people to pitch for them and they can afford Lee’s salary. It didn’t work so good this season, but the idea of starting in spring with Hamels and Lee and whatever else you can muster is a pretty smart idea.
In other news, why did Bowden put a hashtag on “source”?
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.