Hump day came and went and was a busy one in the world of sports. While there were a lot of big stories, a couple stuck out: the Oakland Raiders are in a tricky stadium situation, New York City FC made eSports history, ESPN’s Mike & Mike is in flux in a way, and Derek Jeter could be part of a potential new Miami Marlins’ ownership group.
The Oakland Raiders’ Oakland stadium situation gets worse
The Oakland Raiders are in a tricky scenario at the moment. They already announced their decision to move to Las Vegas, but don’t have a stadium to play in there. As a result, they have to play in Oakland until at least 2018 and possibly even 2020.
Well, they might not even make it to 2018 in Oakland.
According to a report by local CBS affiliate KCBS on an audit discussed at the Oakland-Alameda County Authority board meeting Wednesday, the Raiders are in default on their lease thanks to hundreds of thousands in unpaid revenue from parking fees. They have only been making minimum payments since 2013, and owe an estimated $25,000 more per game since then, which could add up to $800,000. The team disputes the amounts in question, but board members were not happy about this, and the chair even threatened to kick the team out ahead of the 2018 season if they don’t pay up:
“It’s a slap in the face,” said board chair Larry Reid. “It’s frustrating. We’ve got to make sure that we hold them accountable and that they repay back to the public the money that is owed.”
“I’m blindsided by it, but the last thing I want to do is get in another fight with the Raiders,” board member and county supervisor Scott Haggerty said. “I just want to get through these next two years with the Raiders, and let the fans enjoy a couple more years of football here in Oakland.”
New York City FC becomes signs first professional eSports player in MLS History
The world of eSports continues to not go unnoticed by professional sports leagues and franchises. The NBA got the ball rolling, but the first professional eSports player in MLS history has now been signed. Christopher Holly was signed by New York City FC to represent the club in FIFA tournaments and championships.
This is incredibly fitting because the audience for EA Sports’ FIFA video game franchise spans the globe unlike any other sports franchise it owns, including Madden NFL. An MLS franchise signing a top FIFA player to represent the club in such tournaments makes perfect sense in the evolving world of competitive video gaming.
“At New York City FC, we are always looking for new ways to innovate and get closer to our fans, NYCFC Senior Vice-President of Media and Innovation Diego Gigliani said in a released statement. “We are delighted to welcome Christopher Holly to the Club to represent NYCFC as the first ever eSports player in MLS.”
Mike Golic resigns with ESPN, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Mike & Mike will continue
ESPN guru James Miller reported Wednesday that, after some negotiation, Golic and the network have agreed to terms on a new contract.
— jamesmiller (@JimMiller) April 5, 2017
Golic said last month that if Greenberg leaves the show, “I would imagine I would be doing it with somebody else.” The most persistent rumors about Greenberg’s replacement have involved Mike Golic Jr. and Trey Wingo, but Golic told Sporting News that he won’t complain no matter who it is.
If, in fact, it is going to change, if Greeny is going to go do his thing in New York, I believe, it’s not like the show is going to end,” he said. “ESPN keeps going. People have gone on to other networks. People have gone on to switch shows. And shows still keep going. They keep going. If I do it with another partner, I look forward to it. I love doing the show. I enjoyed doing it with Tony Bruno for a year. I certainly enjoyed the 18 years with Greeny. If we move on from that, I’ll enjoy it if I do it with someone else next.”
For now, Golic will continue alongside Greenberg on Mike & Mike, under a new fresh new contract.
A new Miami Marlins ownership group could include Derek Jeter… or Jeb Bush
There has been talk about Jeffrey Loria selling the Miami Marlins for years, and most of that talk has been put down pretty quickly. But over the last six months or so, talk has picked up, and Loria seems likely to sell the team following this July’s All-Star Game (which will be held at Marlins Park).
The latest round of potential bidders for the Marlins include two household names – Derek Jeter and Jeb Bush.
According to this report from Fox Business, there’s also at least a third group involved in the bidding to purchase the Marlins.
Former New York Yankees star shortstop Derek Jeter has expressed interest in bidding for the team, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. He is being represented in talks with Marlins president David Samson by veteran Wall Street executive and former Morgan Stanley (MS) brokerage chief Gregory Fleming, who now runs his own investment banking boutique, the people say.
Another major contender is a group headed by former Florida Governor and one-time GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who is teaming up with Citigroup (C) to finance a possible official bid, these people add.
– Another week, another example of a fast food joint ruining something. Just look at how gross that milk shake looks!? What exactly is Burger King ruining? Fruit Loops and milk shakes. WHY ARE YOU COMBINING THEM TOGETHER!?
– J.R. Smith “resuscitated” Kevin Love after Love took a ball to the face in warmups.
– Francisco Lindor hit a grand slam off Texas Rangers’ closer Sam Dyson and made one Texas fan cry.
Francisco Lindor hits go-ahead grand slam, makes fan cry pic.twitter.com/sUwiB2ec6v
— Matt Clapp (@TheBlogfines) April 6, 2017
– Buffalo Sabres forward Kyle Okposo has been hospitalized and is in the neurosurgical intensive care unit at Buffalo General Hospital, according to The Buffalo News. The 28-year-old has been out the last four games with an “illness”.
Statement regarding Sabres forward Kyle Okposo. pic.twitter.com/oUGXhy3gmX
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) April 6, 2017
– The Philadelphia Phillies have partnered up with Uber for $2.15 fares to Citizens Bank Park for Opening Day, but there’s a catch.
The Phillies and Uber worked out an arrangement that will allow fans using the uberPOOL service to and from the ballpark between the hours of 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm for a low rate of $2.15. The flat rate is inspired by the local area code, for those unfamiliar with the phone area codes in the Philadelphia region.
– The Dallas Cowboys and the city of Dallas will probably host the NFL Draft sooner rather than later.
Dallas has emerged as a favorite to host the 2018 NFL draft at the Cowboys' new headquarters in Frisco, Texas, per @FieldYates.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 5, 2017
The Cowboys are just one of the interested parties in hosting the event in 2018. Others in the mix, according to Field Yates of ESPN, are Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Green Bay. New York, which has traditionally hosted the event, is not in contention for the draft, and it remains unknown just how soon the draft could return to The Big Apple. The Cowboys may be emerging as the favorite and Jerry Jones and the Cowboys are looking to make a convincing case to lure the draft to its practice facility.
Naturally, some people aren’t happy about this:
Why should Dallas hold the 2018 NFL Draft? Let the cities that can't have a Super Bowl host the big event. #onlyfair
— Greg Gabriel (@greggabe) April 5, 2017
– New York Yankees’ prospect hasn’t been in the organization for more than a year, but he’s already asked the team if they’d un-retire Mickey Mantle’s #7 for him.
Yankees broadcaster Suzyn Waldman appeared on WFAN on Wednesday, where she revealed to Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts that Frazier reportedly asked the organization if he could wear Micky Mantle’s No. 7.
BUT!!!!!!!! And remember there’s almost always a but! Brian Cashman claims this never happened.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman said Clint Frazier never asked the club for Mickey Mantle's retired No. 7.
A report Wednesday said Frazier did.
— George A. King III (@GeorgeAKingIII) April 5, 2017
Now that makes more sense.
– Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a huge Washington Redskins fan. But at Pocono, he’ll have to race a Philadelphia Eagles car.
— Axalta (@Axalta) April 5, 2017
Since the story emerged, Earnhardt Jr. has responded with a Periscope to discuss the news.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) April 5, 2017
– Good guy J.J. Watt surprised his fourth-grade teacher with cake for retirement. Seriously how can you not like this guy?
My 4th grade teacher Mrs. Keefe is retiring after 41 years of teaching. She was one of the first people to believe in my dream of playing for the Badgers and eventually the NFL and she has taught, inspired and motivated many others. She is incredible and I couldn’t be more thankful to still have her in my life. We surprised her with a cake, some shoes and a trip to Houston for her and her husband for the Charity Classic. The full video is on my Facebook page. Thank you Mrs. Keefe for everything that you have done, not only for myself, but for all of your students over the last 41 years. You truly are one of a kind.
– Our own Ian Casselberry reviewed IFC’s Brockmire over at Awful Announcing.
“At first glance, the premise for IFC’s new comedy Brockmire (which premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET with its first two episodes) is something that may have been better suited for the occasional comedy sketch or short film. What are the men whose warm, velvety voices call baseball games for us like in real life? Do they always talk the same way they call play-by-play and tell stories during baseball telecasts, when doing something as mundane as ordering lunch or as absurd as insulting someone with profanities?”
– Team broadcasters will no longer vote for NBA awards to avoid conflict of interest. One NBA broadcaster in particular is supportive of the new rule.
@NBA tells team broadcasters they will no longer vote for league awards. Conflict of interest now greater than ever. It's the right call.
— Mark Joseph Boyle (@Mark_J_Boyle) April 3, 2017
A Random “The Office” Related Video:
I tried this once. It didn’t work out well.
One Last Glorious Moment of Procrastination:
How many ping pong balls do you think they went through while filming this?