As much as Major League Baseball keeps pushing Alex Rodriguez on us, sports fans keep trying to push him back.
Nonetheless, A-Rod remains one of baseball’s most recognizable names despite being nearly five years removed from retirement. But what does that mean for a sport struggling to keep the attention of younger generations? According to Minnesota Timberwolves 19-year-old budding star Anthony Edwards, not much.
Last year, A-Rod struck out in his bid to purchase the New York Mets. Last week, the three-time MLB MVP settled on the next best thing as he reportedly struck a deal to buy the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves. Rodriguez and friend Marc Lore have 30 days to finalize an agreement to purchase the Timberwolves and the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx from current owner Glen Taylor.
A megastar heading to Minnesota to help a rather dormant NBA franchise in the Timberwolves, the players must be very excited!
“I don’t know who that is,” Edwards told reporters Tuesday night.
Not exactly a glowing endorsement for Major League Baseball, and this is the league’s biggest problem. The game might be old, slow and boring, but their detriment is their inability to market stars. Mike Trout, Fernando Tatis Jr., Mookie Betts, Juan Soto, Jacob deGrom: as great as they are, they can’t carry a team to championships. Baseball remains a sport where the name on the front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back, while modern fans of many sports are more interested in the individual player than the team.
It probably also isn’t a very good sign for the league that a 20 year old cannot name the face of Major League Baseball’s signature television product, Sunday Night Baseball. ESPN shouldn’t feel much better.
A-Rod tried to play it cool, responding on Instagram with “Hi Anthony. I’m Alex!” But this had to crush Rodriguez, a man rumored to have a painting of himself as a centaur hanging over his bed. A man who tried to warm up to New York by sunning himself in Central Park. A man who did a photo shoot kissing himself in a mirror. Vain isn’t enough to describe the most ego-centric player in Major League Baseball history.
The sale price of the two franchises is expected to be around $1.5 billion and if it goes through, A-Rod and Lore will be 50-50 partners. Hopefully it does, because sports ownership desperately needs diversity much more than it needs starpower. But the next time a sports broadcast, podcast, radio station, media or entertainment outlet decides to recycle another big-name talent, think again, because your target audience might not even recognize the name.
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.
Return of Bob Iger Puts Pac-12 ‘Not Exactly In A Great Place’
“I think it’s even more evident it’s not gonna happen. These places aren’t gonna spend big money on the Pac-12.”
The Pac-12 is currently in a media rights negotiation with partners for its next TV deal after the departure of USC and UCLA. The conference has remained committed to the stance that it feels it can match the dollar amount given to the Big 12 from FOX and ESPN. However, Andrew Marchand of The New York Post isn’t so confident.
During The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast, Marchand said the recent return of Bob Iger as Disney CEO, coupled with recent layoffs from Amazon, could spell bad news for the PAC 12’s quest to match what the Big 12 received.
“Do I still think they can get the same number as the Big 12? I do, but you start thinking about where this is going and that’s not exactly a great place to be if you’re the Pac-12. They might get the number, but the idea that they’ll get a lot more than the Big 12 — which I’ve already said is not gonna happen — I think it’s even more evident it’s not gonna happen. These places aren’t gonna spend big money on the Pac-12…I think there’s some rough waters out in the Pacific.”
Marchand said if the University of California Board of Regents won’t allow UCLA to join the Big Ten as expected, the conference would then set its sights on Washington and Oregon, which would continue to decimate the Pac-12.
Ray Didinger Thought NFL Films Was Joking When Approached About Upcoming Special
“I’ve always contended that NFL Films could make anything interesting, and they actually managed to do that with me. So that’s the ultimate proof of it.”
Philadelphia media icon Ray Didinger has a career story worth telling, and that’s why NFL Films will be focusing on it for an upcoming edition of NFL Films Presents…
Didinger, who worked for more than two decades at NFL Films working his way up to the role of senior producer, told Dom Giordano on 1210 WPHT on Tuesday that he was actually surprised when producer Chris Barlow approached him with the idea.
“When NFL Films told me they wanted to do this, I thought they were joking,” Didinger said. “When (Barlow) sent me the email and said we want to do a show about you (and Tommy McDonald), I thought he was just pulling my leg.”
Didinger stated that he was fortunate to have the chance to have his story told. He’s looking forward to fans being able to check out the show, which airs at 12:30 a.m. on Friday on FS1.
“It really turned out well,” he said. “I saw the rough cut of it, and it’s really neat.”
“NFL Films, they are the state of the art in sports cinematography there’s no question about that,” he added. “I’ve always contended that NFL Films could make anything interesting, and they actually managed to do that with me. So that’s the ultimate proof of it.”
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.
Kay Adams: Pat McAfee Has Built ‘The Dream’
“it’s interesting because he’s built himself to such a place that he does not need anyone and that is the dream.”
Many in sports media respect what former NFL punter Pat McAfee has accomplished in his media endeavors. You can add FanDuel TV host Kay Adams to that list.
“I’m just blown away by the success and by the leverage he has,” Adams said on the My Other Passion podcast. “It is uncanny, it is aspirational, and it is self-made, so it is a beautiful thing. I — of course — watch what he does. I don’t want to be just like him but I do think he is so disruptive.
“He has such a chip on his shoulder. It drives him but I almost wish I could see it relieved a little bit. He’s thriving, he’s happy, and I think the thing that sticks out to me about him is that he’s truly grateful. Truly is grateful for everything he has, his opportunities. He’s worked his ass off for it.”
Adams pointed to McAfee’s recent spat with the NFL over use of the league’s logos as an indicator of not only his success but his influence in the sports landscape.
“He is true to himself but he mostly leads with gratitude, which I think is the epitome of success. But he’s out there show you what can be done. He’s the first, but will he be the last to have that sort of platform? That sort of swing? What he does with the NFL the other week, I’m paying attention to that.
“Because I want to see: is the NFL going to bend the knee to Pat McAfee? Does the NFL care what he says? But it’s interesting because he’s built himself to such a place that he does not need anyone and that is the dream.”
The NFL did eventually “bend the knee” and reversed course on limiting McAfee’s use of league trademarks.