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Manny Machado to the White Sox gains steam



According to ESPN, the White Sox are prepared to offer the farm for Manny Machado, risking 8-years of money to the free-agent superstar shortstop/third baseman.

Jeff Pasan reports the Phillies are the favorite to land Bryce Harper leaving the White Sox as the top-dog for Machado who has the offer from the White Sox on the table who are awaiting a decision. At 26, that would put Machado in Sox pinstripes until age 34.


The White Sox are home to two Machado buddies: Yonder Alonso who is Machado’s brother-in law, and Jon Jay a buddy from Miami.

It’s expected that Machado could bring in between $25-$30 million per year according to Bruce Levin of 670 A.M. in Chicago. 

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The Cubs will not be signing Bryce Harper



Not that any serious Cubbies fan thought it was realistic, but today skipper Joe Maddon made it official during a fan Q&A session at the Cubs convention.

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Sports Media

The Sunday Night Baseball booth might be the most interesting place in sports right now



Matt Vasgersian is not a man of the people exactly, he is not universally loved to the degree of many of baseball’s national broadcasters of years past, Joe Buck, Vin Scully, but he doesn’t have legions of detractors as some would argue Joe Buck might (although it seems like more and more people love Buck these days).

Vasgersian is not on social media. He doesn’t not have a burner account. He scoffs at fellow broadcasters who check their Twitter account during commercial breaks.

Vasgersian’s path to the Sunday Night Baseball booth was not paved with gold and a long history at the mothership. He did the dirty work at the minor league levels then as the television voice of the Milwaukee Brewers from 1997-2001.  He came into the national baseball conscientiousness in 2009 with the MLB Network as a studio host.

For many that’s a welcome sight, a true baseball guy calling a baseball game. But Vasgersian is not going to be the fun broadcaster who you might have wondered if he put back a few during the commercial break, a la Harry Caray.

As the play-by-play announcer for Sunday Night Baseball his focus is on the mechanics of broadcasting and also the game of baseball. In a recent podcast with the Sports Business Journal, he says he’s aware of the criticism but realizes that it’s going to take time for the production and the three persons behind the mic to “vibe”.

In 2018, and for a few years now, networks and media people get some sort of instant feedback on performance of any kind, talk shows, music shows, and live sports, it’s called Twitter. Everyone is a media critic, including your’s truly the writer of this article.

It’s very hard to find the bias effect on social media, all that comes across are retweets and likes. If a Tweet explode that the new Sunday Night Baseball booth stinks, bring back Dan Schulman, and gets 3,000 likes, is that representative of the 1.2 million of viewers who tuned in.

Twitter is not a focus group. It’s not a controlled science experiment. It’s just a giant chat room and people say maybe the worst thing that comes to their mind whether they believe it or not and their own bias comes out.

That is to say people aren’t in love with Matt Vasgersian. The masses who are not regular MLB on FOX game of the week or MLB network will not really know him or pay attention to him. And that’s probably the way he intends for it now that he’s in the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball booth with Jessica Mendoza and Alex Rodriguez.

Sunday Night Baseball is America’s Game of the Week. Not Saturday afternoon, people are busy. Not Monday night, people don’t care. Sunday night in the summer is for baseball on ESPN and it’s a very important spot for the network and the sport.

Ratings wise, Sunday Night Baseball didn’t tank it but didn’t blow anyone out of the water. Ratings aren’t the most important thing thus far on Sunday Night. It’s about sustaining the product for the network and Major League Baseball.

On the first broadcast April 1st, true chemistry may have been lacking. Alex Rodriguez attempted to guess pitches, and Mendoza and Vasgersian told the viewer what was actually thrown. 

Some might argue that either of the two personalities Rodriguez or Mendoza might be better suited for a two-person booth, but they are not.

And there are a lot of Twitter people now days who have vocal following who pay way more attention to the broadcasters than the game, which simply is not the case for the average viewer.

Sunday Night Baseball is fun for baseball people. But for some reason the target is on the backs of Vasgersian, Rodriguez and Mendoza.

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Right now the Cubs are just average, but believe they have an answer



2016 was fun. Young talent. A World Series.

The Cubs did lose, but mostly they won. And when they lost it was in momentary stretches.

The first three months of the 2017 season has been one big funk for the Cubs.

Last year 103 Wins. 159 days in first place. Beating the Giants easily in the National League Division Series, beating the Dodgers pretty easily in the National League Championship Series. Winning the World Series.

These days the Cubs are losing more than winning. As of Friday the Cubs are one game under .500 but only 4.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers.

No one expected the Cubs struggle in 2017 but still, most don’t expect them to struggle the entire season.
The Cubs are just average right now. Going 12-12 in their last 24 games.

A few trades, or even a single trade for a starting pitcher and they are right there in September, most would reason.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon held a meeting this week with his team. This meeting was regularly scheduled to take place closer to the All-Star break but he moved it up.

He told the team that chemistry makes winning happen. They aren’t that far out of it. They haven’t played up to their abilities but they could sharpen the focus and the winning will come post-All-Star break.

“We’re kind of in good shape right now,” Maddon said Friday.

“We maybe have not played up to our capabilities. We are a bunch of humans, and we have had two long years. Now it is time to really sharpen our focus. I think this could kind of catapult us in the second half.”

Cubs general manager Theo Epstein, largely regarded as the genius behind the roster that brought the 2016 championship, told reporters this week that the Cubs are not looking as much to upgrading the roster as they believe the roster is talented enough as is.

“We’re just underperforming as a group and as an organization,” Epstein said this week. “I take full responsibility for that. To pull ourselves out of it, we just need to play better.”

His manager agreed Friday.

“I’m not concerned or interested about the trade market right now,” Maddon said.

“I believe the answers are in our room. We’ve just got to get that out of our guys.”

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