Tampa Bay Rays ace Blake Snell took to the popular streaming platform Twitch late Wednesday night emphatically declaring that playing baseball in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic would be risking his life. He is the second player to make a similar statement in recent days along with Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer.
“I’m mentally prepared to just come back next year,” Snell said in the two minute video clip. “Y’all gotta understand man, for me to go, for me to take a pay cut is not happening, because the risk is through the roof.”
The 2018 American League Cy Young winner adds that he knows people will disagree with him and that he should just play for the love of the game, but says the risk is too great without adequate compensation.
“If I play I should get the money I signed to be paid, (7 million dollars in 2020),” Snell said. “Not half of it because we play half a season, plus another 33 percent cut and that is going to be taxed. Imagine how much I’m getting paid to play then. I ain’t making shit. The risk is way the hell higher and the pay is way lower. Why would I think about that (playing)?”
One of the biggest detractors of Snell’s statements was Fox Sports Radio’s Ben Maller. The host of The Ben Maller Show called Snell “The King of all douchebags” on Twitter Thursday morning before addressing the issue on his show.
“The whole thing was cringe-worthy and a masterpiece at the same time,” Maller said. “It was riveting for all the wrong reasons.”
Maller went on to compare Snell’s comments to those made by NBA star Patrick Ewing during a labor dispute where Ewing said, “Athletes make a lot of money because they spend a lot of money.”
“It’s like Blake went to Patrick and said ‘Here, hold my beer.'” Maller said. “This guy is a super hero dum-dum.”
Other pundits were also critical of Snell’s statement. but were gentler in that criticism. In his latest For the Win column, USA Today’s Nick Schwartz calls Snell’s math questionable and points out that Snell is still set to make a lot of money if he plays in 2020.
“Snell is in the second year of a back-loaded five-year, $50 million contract with the Rays,” Schwartz writes. “He was set to earn $7 million in 2020. By his (questionable) formula, that would be reduced to approximately $1.75 million, but he does have the benefit of playing in a state with no state income tax.”
Snell later clarified his comments in the Tampa Bay Times, saying he knows people will view the comments as him being greedy, but “that’s not the case at all” and his concerns are rooted more in the health and safety issues.
Jacob Conley writes about news/talk radio BNM. He can be found on Twitter @GWUJake or reach him by email at email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.