Major League Baseball returned last Friday night in the form of a video game simulation, but it does feature the participation of 30 pro players.
The MLB Players Association and Sony Interactive Entertainment partnered to create a tournament using MLB The Show. Players from all 30 teams are competing in a 29-game regular season followed by playoffs and a World Series which will take place May 2.
Games will be played as three-inning contests, with players competing in three to five matchups every one or two days. Every participating player will stream their team’s game on their personal Twitch account. The postseason will feature the top eight teams in a two-round best-of-three format beginning April 30, followed by a best-of-five World Series on May 2.
Without live sports during the COVID-19 pandemic, eSports has attempted to fill the void for fans. RSN’s and national networks have aired video game simulations on social media platforms and traditional television, with some of them garnering audiences of more than 1 million viewers.
The MLB Players Association and Sony are each donating $5,000 for each participating player to a Boys & Girls Club affiliate in his team’s city, with the World Series winner earning an additional $25,000 donation.
Season schedule and results can be found at the Players League page on MLB’s website. The league features participation from the following MLB players:
- Jon Duplantier – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Luke Jackson – Atlanta Braves
- Dwight Smith Jr – Baltimore Orioles
- Eduardo Rodriguez – Boston Red Sox
- Ian Happ – Chicago Cubs
- Lucas Giolito – Chicago White Sox
- Amir Garret – Cincinnati Reds
- Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
- David Dahl – Colorado Rockies
- Niko Goodrum – Detroit Tigers
- Houston Astros – Lance McCullers (commissioner)
- Brett Philips – Kansas City Royals
- Ty Buttrey – Los Angeles Angels
- Gavin Lux – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Ryne Stanek – Miami Marlins
- Josh Hader – Milwaukee Brewers
- Trevor May – Minnesota Twins
- Jeff McNeil – New York Mets
- Tommy Kahnle – New York Yankees
- Jesus Luzardo – Oakland Athletics
- Rhys Hoskins – Philladlphia Phillies
- Cole Ticker – Pittsbhurg Pirates
- Fernando Tatis Jr. – San Diego Padres
- Hunter Pence – San Francisco Giants
- Carl Edwards Jr. – Seatlle Mariners
- Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals
- Blake Snell – Tampa Bay Rays
- Joey Gallo – Texas Rangers
- Bo Bichette – Toronto Blue Jays
- Juan Soto – Washington Nationals
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
Mike Francesa: George Steinbrenner’s Idea to Put Mike and The Mad Dog On YES Network
“It was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were.”
Mike and The Mad Dog is often cited as one of, if not the, best sports radio shows of all time. The show saw an expanded reach with its partnership with the YES Network beginning in 2002. During his podcast Tuesday, Mike Francesa gave all the credit to the simulcast hitting the air on YES Network to the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
“It was George Steinbrenner that came up with the idea of Mike and The Mad Dog being on the YES Network. No one else,” Francesa said.
“They came to us when they were negotiating a new radio deal with him and they said ‘Hey, we need a quick answer on this. Would you guys want to be on the YES Network every day, simulcasting? You know what Imus is doing with MSNBC? We wanna do it with you guys, but we need a very quick answer’.”
Francesa said the show airing on YES Network was a sticking point for the Yankees in negotiations with CBS Radio to continue airing the franchise’s broadcasts.
“Our first deal with them were not for a lot of money. Our later deals with them were for a very significant amount of money. But it was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were. Our joining the YES Network was part of the CBS Radio contract.”
Dave Portnoy Reveals Back-And-Forth With New York Times Reporter Who Claimed He ‘Did Not Provide Answers’
“You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.
A story from The New York Times centered around “aging casino company” — Penn National Gaming — and its relationship with “degenerate gambler” — Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy — caught the eye of the face of the online outlet after the claim that he “didn’t provide answers”.
In the story, Steel claims “Penn and Barstool executives did not respond to repeated messages. Mr. Portnoy did not provide answers.” Portnoy brought the receipts to Twitter with a video of all of the correspondence he had with Times writer Emily Steel.
The alleged conversation takes place sporadically from May through November, with Portnoy offering to meet face-to-face with Steel for an interview that is mutually audio and video recorded, which Steel declines. She offered to meet Portnoy in New York for an audio recorded interview, which he declined, saying the interview needed to take place in Miami, because “I’m not running around to accommodate you at the 11th hour.”
He added “You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.
Kareem Daniel Leaving Disney After Bob Iger Reassumes Role as Company CEO
“This is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”
Bob Iger is back as the CEO of Disney, and one of the first moves he made was to announce a company restructure. Part of that restructure includes the departure of Kareem Daniel, the chair of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED).
DMED was formed under now-previous CEO Bob Chapek. The division manages Disney’s streaming services which includes ESPN+.
Daniel was considered one of those closest to Chapek. Iger announced Daniel’s departure in a memo to employees at DMED.
“It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are,” Iger said in the memo. “As you know, this is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”
ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro will join other company leaders in coming up with a new company structure that Iger hopes “puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.