Virtually none of the news and social media updates regarding the MLB lockout, and negotiations between baseball team owners and players, has been entertaining. But a bit levity was finally introduced the conversation on Thursday when ESPN baseball reporter Jeff Passan’s Twitter account was hacked.
It’s possible that Passan’s account will be reclaimed and corrected by the time this post publishes and the hacked tweets will be deleted. Just in case that happens, here is a screencap of the tweet currently pinned at the top of the @JeffPassan timeline.
[UPDATE: Passan’s Twitter account appears to have been restored, with the hacked tweets removed from his timeline.]
Passan’s Twitter account was hacked by someone (a group?) associated with the Skulltoons account promoting NFTs of artist Teodoru Badiu’s work. Or the hacker was a diehard fan or disrupter looking to cause some trouble.
The @SkulltoonsNFT account claims to have nothing to do with the hack, saying that someone is trying to scam its community on Twitter and Discord.
The hack comes at a terribly inconvenient time for Passan and baseball fans, who could have news to report at any moment regarding labor negotiations between MLB owners and the players union. What if the labor dispute was actually resolved while Passan’s Twitter account was unavailable, after all of the hours, days, months, and weeks he’s spent covering this story?
(OK, the lockout being resolved is probably as much of a fantasy as whatever NFT, Crypto thing Skulltoons has to offer. But still.)
An ESPN spokesperson told the New York Post‘s Ryan Glasspiegel, “We’re in the process of addressing it.”
As you might expect, Baseball Twitter had some laughs with the whole matter, most of them at Passan’s expense.
Pat McAfee had some fun with the hack as well.
The Twitter hack comes during a rough period for Passan, who was reprimanded by ESPN for a profane remark he made on the ESPN Daily podcast about the MLB labor negotiations that favorably viewed the players’ side of the dispute.
Being perceived as supporting the players, rather than being objective, has opened Passan up to criticism throughout sports media and sports media. WFAN’s Craig Carton was among those denouncing Passan for what he saw as a lack of objectivity.
Unless Passan has actually decided to go from reporting on baseball for ESPN into the NFT and Crypto business, this Twitter hack will likely be resolved soon. Then he can return to sharing incremental progress being made and slight offers being exchanged back and forth, along with frustrations over the lockout continuing. At least there was some brief fun to be had, however.
Lachlan Murdoch: ‘FOX Bet Has Been Disappointing’
“In a recent interview, he told Axios that the app has around 6.5 million users since its launch.”
FOX is the only network to have a stake in the sports betting industry. The network partnered with FanDuel to launch FOX Bet in 2019. So far, FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch has not been pleased with the results.
In a recent interview, he told Axios that the app has around 6.5 million users since its launch. He called the performance thus far “disappointing.”
Sports betting is a crowded marketplace. It is possible that players are watching games on FOX and seeing advertisements for the betting app, but are choosing to trust their experience to companies like FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, and other companies that are more commonly associated with gambling.
Murdoch believes that a dispute with FanDuel owner Flutter has set FOX Bet back. The two companies have been involved in a standoff over who owns which aspects of FOX Bet and what price FOX is obligated to pay in order to acquire an 18.6% stake in FanDuel. Murdoch says everything “should be resolved by the summer.”
In March, Bloomberg reported that the app is struggling to find new players. FOX Bet is one of the betting partners of the NFL and can advertise its services during games in the fall, but its potential is hindered by only being available to bettors in four states.
Online Sports Betting Not Happening In Maryland In 2022
“Some state regulators had expressed optimism at one point that online sports betting in Maryland would go live by the end of this year or in time for next year’s Super Bowl.”
Online sports betting in Maryland appears to have no shot of happening this year due mainly to the fact that the state’s oversight committee on sports wagering is hung up on how to bring women and minority-owned businesses into the fold.
The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Committee (SWARC) is currently awaiting results of a disparity study by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.
Some state regulators had expressed optimism at one point that online sports betting in Maryland would go live by the end of this year or in time for next year’s Super Bowl. But given where SWARC is, the whole process is being held up to the point that it’ll likely be later in 2023 before residents can use their phones to place bets.
It’s been just over a year since Governor Larry Hogan signed legislation that legalized sports betting in the state. Since then, five casinos in the state have opened retail sportsbooks.
The casinos have handled more than $132 million in bets since December. $26.9 million in wagers were placed in April alone.
Media Reacts To Nick Saban’s Comments On Texas A&M, Jackson State
“Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.”
Nick Saban had some choice words about recruiting in the NIL era on Wednesday night. The Alabama head coach didn’t just voice frustrations with the process. He called out three schools specifically for using Name, Image and Likeness payments to create an advantage for themselves in recruiting.
He said that Texas A&M, which signed the top-ranked recruiting class in 2022 according to a number of outlets “bought every player on their team.”
He said that Jackson State gave a player $1 million to come to the school. “It was in the paper,” he said. “They bragged about it! Nobody did anything about it.”
It is likely that he was talking about defensive back Travis Hunter, widely regarded as one of the five best players in the class of 2022. It should be noted that Jackson State Coach Deion Sanders has been adamant that Hunter did not receive a dime from the school or anyone else.
The comments created plenty of content on sports radio on Thursday.
Jimbo Fischer, the head coach of Texas A&M took the story to a new level with a press conference of his own in which he cryptically encouraged people to “dig into” Saban’s career history.
The commentary in the sports media came in all kinds of forms. Plenty took to Twitter to express an opinion.
Others used the feud to create comedy.
Finally, others did actual reporting. they made phone calls to get context and further the story.
The coaches may be relatively quiet in public for a while. That doesn’t mean the stories and reactions are going away. Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.