Connect with us

Sports

Across the Country, Minor League Towns Face Major League Threat

Published

on


But they also understand that minor league baseball is facing an existential crisis.

After all, the local embrace of a professional baseball team is ingrained in American culture. It is one of the ways that a community sees and celebrates itself. The mere name of a team can evoke a powerful sense of place and history: the Spinners of Lowell, Mass., an old mill city, or the LumberKings of Clinton, Iowa, once known for its timber.

“You have communities that are threatened in this process,” O’Conner, the president of minor league baseball, said. “This is the social function. This is the communal centerpiece.”

One example: Officials in Elizabethton, Tenn., population 14,000, faced a choice a couple of years ago. They could either renovate the police station or meet a condition of the Minnesota Twins: to spend more than $1 million modernizing the clubhouse at the city-owned ballpark, home to its beloved minor league affiliate.

They deferred the police station renovation, and now the Elizabethton Twins have a huge locker room, an upgraded kitchen, a training room, and space to relax and study game video.

Sue Martinelli Shea and Andy Shea, of the Lexington Legends, tell a similar story. The Kansas City Royals suggested that the infield at Whitaker Bank Park needed improvement, so the team spent $140,000. The Royals wanted a new bat rack in the dugout, so the team spent $1,200.

“If they wanted something better, I did it,” Andy Shea said.

He began listing the many community outreach programs the Legends had embraced. Helping to pay for a new baseball field at Midway University. Donating more than $100,000 to softball and Little League programs. Promoting a language arts initiative in more than 70 elementary schools across Kentucky.

Shea paused. “It’s just trying to get as many people as possible working toward a solution,” he said. “There are a lot of ways to do that without cutting us and 41 other teams.”



Source

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sports

Brandon Morrow Reportedly Signs With Cubs – NBC Chicago

Published

on

By



Pitcher Brandon Morrow had high hopes when
he signed a two-year deal with the Chicago Cubs prior to the 2018 season, but
after two injury-plagued seasons, he’s reportedly going to give the North Side
another try.

According to multiple reports, Morrow has
agreed to a one-year minor league contract with the Cubs. USA Today’s Bob
Nightengale and ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers both reported on the deal Friday
afternoon.

According to Nightengale, Morrow would make
$1 million during the 2020 season if he can make his way back to the big league
roster, and could make up to $1.25 million in incentives.

After the Cubs declined the 2020 option on Morrow’s contract, reports immediately emerged that the pitcher would be interested in signing a minor-league deal with the club.

Morrow pitched a total of 35 games with the
Cubs during the 2018 season, posting a 1.47 ERA and striking out 31 batters in
30.2 innings of work. He was shut down in June of that season with back tightness,
and missed the remainder of the season.

Morrow missed the entire 2019 season due to
a variety of elbow problems.





Source

Continue Reading

Sports

Watch NBC Sports BetCast for live betting analysis during Sixers vs. Pelicans

Published

on

By


On Wednesday night, just minutes after arriving in Boston at the team’s hotel, Sixers guard Josh Richardson hopped in a car and made his way to Reebok Headquarters about 20 minutes east of Boston Commons.

Richardson was getting ready to surprise eight kids from TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program For Survivors), designed to help families grieving the loss of loved ones who died while serving in our Armed Forces. What the kids didn’t know is that Richardson was gifting them a $500 shopping spree.

Decked out in the not-yet-released Reebok Answer Heart Over Hypes (which Richardson will also gift each kid), Richardson smiled from ear to ear as he stood up in front of the families, with sincerity.

“I’m really excited to meet everyone, talk with you guys and learn about you.”

He wasn’t kidding.

Over the next few hours, Richardson roamed the store, intimately interacting with each of the families, learning about their life stories.

There was Kensington Kirk, who lost her father, SGT Joshua Kirk, US Navy, on Oct. 3, 2009.

She took the dog tags of her father off her neck, and handed them to Richardson.

Photo credit: Serena Winters

There was eight-year-old, Lucca Hamel, who lost his father CPO Bryan Hamel, while serving in the US Navy just last year.

Lucca’s mom couldn’t believe how comfortable her son looked while talking to an NBA star.

“I’m going to be so cool, when I go to school, mom!” Lucca shouted out to his mom, Jenna. “I think I’m going to be definitely the luckiest kid in my grade.”

There were 16-year-olds Keegan Ollis and Joshua Harrington, who both lost their fathers while serving in the Army, PFC Nathaniel Ollis, and SGT Kyle Harrington, respectively.  

Thirteen-year-old Loralei O’Brien lost her father, SPC Gregg O’Brien, Army, in May of 2014.

And yet her smile lit up the room when talking to Richardson, especially when making sure he approved of her new shoes.

“She got some purple and black shoes that are super fresh,” Richardson said with a smile.

There was 16-year-old Grace Walsh, who lost her sister, PFC Keely Ree Walsh, US Navy, and 12-year old Jarred Jarbeau, who lost his uncle, SGT Michael Weidermann, Army, on Oct. 31, 2006.

“I’m trying to empathize with kids and families, but it’s tough to do when you’ve never experienced any of it,” Richardson said of knowing that every kid has lost a family member very close to them. “It’s not just a parent, a girl in here lost her sister, and she’s in school to be a welder now. She’s going to be certified in three areas of welding! I can’t imagine losing a parent or a sibling, but these families are super strong. It’s hard to think about.”

There were also a couple of familiar faces. Richardson flew out 14-year-old Elijah Byrd, and his mom, Jessica, who have built a friendship with Josh this season through the Walk in My Shoes program.

“That’s my boy!” Richardson. “I figure if I’m going to do something I better bring them out too!”

Richardson also talked with each kid about their different interests. Kensington, for example, told Richardson that she was going to be dissecting a cows’ eyeball in her seventh grade class the following day! So Richardson, who started college as a pre-med student, told her about that one time he touched a brain in college.

“I remember when I was a kid, the few times that I got to meet college athletes in Oklahoma City, it was something you never forget. I’m trying to give these kids a cool experience,” Richardson said.

Photo credit: Serena Winters

After Richardson checked everyone out at the register (yes, Richardson also acted as the cashier!) Lucca ran over to Richardson one last time and held his hand high for a handshake.

“Josh, thank you so much for doing this.”

“Of course, lil bro. Of course.”

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Sixers





Source

Continue Reading

Sports

‘Richard Jewell’ Review: The Wrong Man

Published

on

By


On July 27, 1996, a homemade bomb exploded at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, the host city for that year’s Summer Olympics. Two people died and 100 were hurt in the attack. It was carried out by an anti-abortion militant named Eric Rudolph, though he was not arrested until 2003, after he had bombed two women’s health clinics and a gay bar and spent five years as a fugitive in the woods of Appalachia.

Rudolph’s name is mentioned near the end of “Richard Jewell,” Clint Eastwood’s new film about the aftermath of the Atlanta bombing. The movie, based on a Vanity Fair article by Marie Brenner, isn’t about the bomber, but rather about the security guard who found a backpack full of explosives and shrapnel under a bench and sounded the alarm. Nonetheless, the specter of domestic right-wing terrorism haunts the movie, an unseen and unnamed evil tearing at the bright fabric of American optimism.

Eastwood, in nearly half a century as a major filmmaker and even longer as an axiom of popular culture, has chronicled the fraying of that cloth, and also plucked at a thread or two. “Richard Jewell,” with a screenplay by Billy Ray, is one of his more obviously political films, though not always in obvious ways. In spite of some efforts to interpret it as a veiled pro-Trump polemic, the film doesn’t track neatly with our current ideological agitations. The political fractures Eastwood exposes are more elemental than even the most ferocious partisanship. This is a morality tale — in a good way, mostly — about the vulnerability of the individual citizen in the face of state power and about the fate of a private person menaced by the machinery of publicity.

We first meet Jewell about 10 years before the bombing, in a local office of the Small Business Administration, pushing a cart full of office supplies. That’s where he meets Watson Bryant (Sam Rockwell), an irascible lawyer who will become his champion later on. Jewell is polite, hard-working and prone to surprising, unsolicited acts of generosity. He keeps Bryant’s desk drawer stocked with Snickers bars. At Centennial Olympic Park in 1996, he hands out soft drinks to co-workers, police officers and other thirsty people.

There might be something a little peculiar about him. Eastwood, Ray and Hauser (who is nothing short of brilliant) cleverly invite the audience to judge Jewell the way his tormentors eventually will: on the basis of prejudices we might not even admit to ourselves. He’s overweight. He lives with his mother, Bobi (Kathy Bates). He has a habit of taking things too seriously — like his job as a campus police officer at a small liberal-arts college — and of trying a little too hard to fit in. He treats members of the Atlanta Police Department and the F.B.I. like his professional peers, and seems blind to their condescension. “I’m law enforcement too” he says to the agents who are investigating him as a potential terrorist, with an earnestness that is both comical and pathetic.

Most movies, if they bothered with someone like Jewell at all, would make fun of him or relegate him to a sidekick role. Eastwood, instead, makes the radical decision to respect him as he is, and to show how easily both his everyday shortcomings and his honesty and decency are distorted and exploited by the predators who descend on him at what should be his moment of glory.

That isn’t so unusual in Hollywood, but what’s worse is that Eastwood and Ray subject Scruggs — depicted as a newsroom mean girl with nothing but scorn for her female colleagues — to a type of profiling analogous to what Jewel endured. Assuming that an ambitious woman journalist must be sleeping with her sources isn’t all that different from assuming that a fat man who lives with his mother must have planted a bomb.

In that respect, then, “Richard Jewell” undermines its own argument. But it happens to be a pretty strong argument, and one that takes Eastwood in some surprising directions. I would not have expected to see a heartfelt defense of Miranda rights in a movie directed by the former Dirty Harry, or a critique of F.B.I. overreach from the maker of a sympathetic J. Edgar Hoover biopic. I don’t think this is simply a matter of adapting to the political winds of the moment, now that distrust of the F.B.I., long a staple of the left, seems to have shifted rightward. Eastwood has always had a stubborn libertarian streak, and a fascination with law enforcement that, like Jewell’s, is shadowed by ambivalence and outright disillusionment.

The shadows are what linger from this flawed, fascinating movie. As usual with Eastwood, it is shot (by Yves Bélanger) and edited (by Joel Cox) in a clean, blunt, matter-of-fact style. The story moves in a straight line, gathering momentum and suspense even as it lingers over odd, everyday moments. It doesn’t feel especially complicated or textured until it’s almost finished: Like Jewell himself, you may struggle to comprehend the implications of what is happening, and to grasp the stakes.

“Richard Jewell” is a rebuke to institutional arrogance and a defense of individual dignity, sometimes clumsy in its finger-pointing but mostly shrewd and sensitive in its effort to understand its protagonist and what happened to him. The political implications of his ordeal are interesting to contemplate, but its essential nature is clear enough. He was bullied.

Richard Jewell

Rated R. Terrorist violence and state power. Running time: 2 hours 9 minutes.



Source

Continue Reading

Trending

//onvictinitor.com/afu.php?zoneid=2954224
We use cookies in order to give you the best possible experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies.
Accept