Friday, October 21, 2016
1. Kansas City Royals (9 overall)
The Royals had the second-biggest leap in last year’s Ultimate Standings, and now, after winning the World Series last fall, they climb into the top 10 as the highest-ranked MLB team. Key injuries to Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon’s bad year wrecked the team’s playoff hopes, but Kansas City remained baseball-crazy, with the highest local TV ratings in the sport….
27. New York Yankees (100 overall)
The Yankees think of themselves as the greatest franchise in all sports, so their barely making the top 100 goes against corporate culture. (Of course, they’ve also played a grand total of one playoff game since 2012, so this ranking could be even worse.) This offseason, New York finds itself in a transition period, with Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira joining the likes of Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera on the sideline and making way for the next generation of Yankees, led by catcher Gary Sanchez.
Wednesday, October 05, 2016
Very sad news out of Iowa…
Jen Garcia first made headlines during the August series when her on-camera interview with ESPN’s Jaymee Sire was interrupted as her son, JT, hit a home run. She and some other parents traveled to South Williamsport, Penn., to watch the boys on Johnston’s Midwest champion Little League team play.
Sire was mid-sentence, asking a question about the bracelets the boys wear in Garcia’s honor, when JT’s metal bat connected with the ball — ping! The ball sailed over the center field fence, giving Johnston a 4-1 lead over the West champions from California. They would go on to win 5-1.
The interview came to an immediate stop as Garcia and the Johnston faithful celebrated.
“Wow, to be caught on camera. That was amazing,” she said.
Before the celebratory moment, the pair had been discussing how her son’s teammates have bonded and supported the family during her illness.
“It was very important for me to make the trip and be able to watch the entire team play,” Garcia said. “They have really come together and become a family.”
The Little League organization offered their sympathy Tuesday afternoon, just after hearing news of Garcia’s passing.
May her memory be for a blessing.
Monday, October 03, 2016
I thought he’d quit in the middle of the season once he reached .300.
“ESPN and John Kruk have mutually agreed to end our relationship at this time. We’re thankful to John for his memorable contributions to our baseball coverage over the years – a run which included roles on our signature MLB franchises Sunday Night Baseball and Baseball Tonight. We wish John all the best.”
Kruk joined the network in 2004. This season, he mainly served as a studio analyst, and he also contributed to ESPN’s Little League World Series coverage. On a brief phone call, his agent declined to comment on whether or not another broadcasting job was on the horizon.
Kruk has done broadcasting work since 2001, first with Fox (including on The Best Damn Sports Show Period) and then with Comcast SportsNet and WPEN-AM in Philadelphia in 2003. He joined ESPN in 2004 and worked on a variety of programs, including Baseball Tonight (2004-12, 2015-present) and Sunday Night Baseball (2013-15).
Posted: October 03, 2016 at 09:58 PM | 35 comment(s)
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
More evidence that MLB is awash in dough:
Walt Disney announced Tuesday afternoon that it is taking a minority stake in MLB Advanced Media’s spin-off media company, BAMTech. Disney is making a $1 billion investment in two payments—now and in January 2017—that will give it a 33% interest in the media company, with an option to become the majority stakeholder in the future.
Disney said that BamTech will collaborate with ESPN to launch a “multi-sport” subscription streaming service, including live regional, national and international sports events.
. . .
As part of the transaction, BAMTech was separated from MLB’s broader digital business, MLB Advanced Media, which has set an industry standard for live digital streaming services.
It has been reported elsewhere that each team put up $4M to start MLB Advanced Media, which was paid back a few years later, and they are now making $1B selling off a minority interest in a spin-off. Pretty good deal.
Friday, July 01, 2016
When your traditional revenue streams are drying up, you need to find a way to make the money flow from someplace else:
The deal underscores the importance of the video-streaming business to the future of ESPN, which has been losing viewers and advertising dollars to online media. ESPN has toyed with the idea of selling Web-only packages outside of the traditional cable-TV package, and Disney Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger is making deals to offer ESPN on Internet services such as Sling TV.
Posted: July 01, 2016 at 08:53 PM | 2 comment(s)
Monday, May 09, 2016
Mike North: “I’ve got to tell you something folks. You know, I’ve been called every name in the book doing this job since the early 90s. Good names, bad names, and everything in between. I’ve been called everything from a pillar in the community to a guy who’s the best who did it in Chicago’s history to a racist and a sexist. I’m going to just tell you right now what everybody else doesn’t want to say, except maybe the regular fan who you see on social media: Jessica Mendoza is the worst baseball announcer who has ever announced the game of baseball. Now, if you want to call me a sexist, go ahead. But I’m an observer, and I’ve been observing and listening to baseball announcers for 20, 30, 40, 50 years. And I’ll tell you right now I don’t care if you’re Cassidy Hubbarth, I love Cassidy, Christine Brennan, Michelle Beadle, these are all people I respect, Ann Meyers, Cheryl Miller. You want me to go on? Pam Oliver. Because apparently I have to tell everybody nowadays - because of the PC crowd - the females I like before I can criticize one. If Jessica Mendoza continues on I believe someday they’re going to have to replace her, unless the rating are okay, but I don’t care. What I do now is I shut the sound down to watch that game; she’s just not a good announcer. If she was a man, she’d be (fired like) Tony Kornheiser or Dennis Miller. OK? And that’s the God honest truth about it. Period. End of Story. I listened for an inning last night, and I had to shut it off.”
for his generous support.
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