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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

‘Wild Thing’ Mitch Williams wins lawsuit against MLB Network

A Camden County jury on Tuesday awarded more than $1.5 million to former Phillies pitcher Mitch Williams in a civil case against MLB Network for his firing as an analyst in 2014 after disputed reports about his conduct at two of his 10-year-old son’s youth tournament baseball games….

Williams filed his lawsuit in September 2014 after losing his job with MLB Network. His termination followed two reports about two youth baseball tournament games posted online by Deadspin, a sports news and gossip site.

One story alleged that Williams cursed loudly and was subsequently kicked out of a game between his son’s team, the Jersey Wild, and the Olney Pirates at Cal Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Md. Williams was one of three coaches for the Wild.

A subsequent report from Deadspin about a second game alleged that Williams called a child a lewd name and ordered a 10-year-old to hit an opposing pitcher with a “beanball.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 21, 2017 at 04:52 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: legal, mitch williams, mlb network

Monday, May 08, 2017

The Predictable Bias of MLB Network

I decided to perform an experiment. To determine if MLB Network really does serve as the Yankees’ second mouthpiece, or if, perhaps, the bias extends to other teams, I would watch MLB Now or MLB Central each day of one randomly selected week per month of the season.

The experiment had begun.

Following a network ad that featured actor Kevin James, of King of Queens; actor Ed Burns, from Queens; and actor Hank Azaria, from Queens, the show welcomed analysts Ken Rosenthal and Dave Valle. I glanced at the internet. Sure enough, both are from New York, as are Kenny and Duchovny.

Much as I often do, I began using italics to ponder the state of affairs.

Good gravy! Imagine a network inviting four Georgia guys to discuss baseball!

The men welcomed former Yankees pitcher Ron Guidry, by phone, for an interview. They discussed the 1978 pennant race and showed clips of Guidry pitching with the Green Monster in the background. Later, Valle looked into the camera to pose a question to Guidry.

“Growing up in Queens, a Yankee fan my entire life,” the former big league catcher said in reference to himself, “what was the best part”–he paused–“of being a New York Yankee.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 08, 2017 at 09:38 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb network, yankees

Thursday, May 04, 2017

The Unplugged Effect: How cord-cutting could become baseball’s next huge crisis

The biggest disruptor of that perfect storm is technology. As Zimbalist noted, sports fans have so many ways to watch games now; that strips control away from cable networks, and makes it tougher for those network to pass rights fees onto customers. Meanwhile, consumers also have exponentially more entertainment platforms to choose from, sports-related or otherwise. That means fewer people are likely to watch games live—doubly so for younger generations lured away by Twitch and other exploding platforms. Rising numbers for newer sports like eSports and mixed martial arts have also pulled viewers away from traditional big-three viewing.

Even if those worrying trends continue, it could take several years before we see the full negative effects. The NBA’s deal with ESPN and Turner Sports runs through 2025. The NFL’s deals with FOX, NBC, and CBS run through 2022. MLB’s TV deals with
FOX, ESPN, and Turner run through 2021. The Collective Bargaining Agreements for each of those three sports have multiple years left on them too: The NFL’s runs through 2020, and the recently ratified agreements in MLB and the NBA last through 2021 and 2024, respectively.

That leaves the big three sports leagues little choice but to explore alternative broadcast arrangements, if they hope to avoid the potential cord-cutting bloodbath that could look far, far worse three, four, and seven years from now. MLB Advanced Media is a growing force in the sports world, and ESPN has hitched its fortunes to BAM’s growth. You can now stream NFL games on Yahoo! and Twitter. Funneling fans from traditional TV channels to over-the-top devices could absorb some of the blow too.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 04, 2017 at 10:22 AM | 177 comment(s)
  Beats: cable, mlb network, mlbam

 

 

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