*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*
1. The competitor A.J. Burnett is, I’d bank on him making at least one more start but the Pirates are at the point where there’s no way you’re sitting bank and relying on him being a productive pitcher again this season.. Jason Grilli at age 36 with the Pirates in 2013 suffered a strained flexor tendon on July 22, he pitched again on September 4, 2013 but was never the same pitcher that season or even in 2014 when the Pirates parted ways with him. When Grilli returned from the injury in 2013, still a lot easier to tolerate the pain to pitch an inning than trying to go out and throw six, seven innings like Burnett will have to do.
2. Being a first year coach, Pat Narduzzi had no choice but to suspend Tyler Boyd for the season opener and the Pitt program officially did so on Monday. In addition to Boyd, defensive end Rori Blair was also suspended for the season opener against Youngstown State for separate DUI incidents this offseason.
Boyd ended up being sentenced to one year of probation after he was charged with DUI in June. Blair was charged with driving under the influence of drugs after an arrest in March.
“In addition to their game suspensions, Tyler and Rori have been, and will continue to be, subject to internal discipline and accountability,” Narduzzi said in a statement. “The situations were very disappointing and both young men have expressed their regret. Our expectation is that each of them, as well as our entire team, will learn from their mistakes and be better for it moving forward.”
Boyd enters this fall with huge expectations and most NFL teams are said to have a 2nd-3rd round grade on him and some feel Boyd could put himself in the discussion of being a first round pick next spring.
Unless more red flags pop up with his character, the June incident likely won’t have much bearing on his draft stock months from now.
3. Talk in Pirates circles yesterday that Josh Harrison could return as early as 7-10 days. Don’t be surprised. Taking batting practice this afternoon.
4. It’s August 4th and Christian Ehrhoff remains unsigned. Ehrhoff had wanted to return West and a few of the teams on July 1 that really liked Ehrhoff, San Jose, Colorado, two of them, had Ehrhoff as a Plan B but both filled their void quickly on July 1 with their Plan A target in San Jose signing Paul Martin and Colorado signing Francois Beauchemin.
From there things quickly dried up for the 33 year old defenseman. Dallas kicked the tires but went in another direction.
Erhoff’s agent Rick Curran has been trying to sell Ehrhoff to teams on the same deal he got for him last summer, 1 year, $4 million, but someone is going to get Ehrhoff for cheaper than that, maybe as low as $2 million per season.
Ehrhoff suffered three concussions during the second half of last season and teams are adamant that the Penguins not trying to resign Ehrhoff has everything to do with medicals than their stance of wanting to get younger on the blueline.
“Pittsburgh wanting nothing to do with him has been crushing to Rick [Curran] finding the right fit for him,” an NHL source said. “Teams are scared to touch him.”
One intriguing fit for Ehrhoff to emerge is with the Columbus Blue Jackets. There’s a strong mutual interest but the Blue Jackets latest offer in the range of 1 year, $1.5 million, has led to a game of cat and mouse between the two sides.
The goal now from the Ehrhoff camp is believed to be getting a deal for around $3 million per but at the end of the day, someone is going to get Ehrhoff at a bargain, and it might be the Blue Jackets. The fit there makes too much sense.
5. The NHL and MLB Advanced Media are teaming up for a $1.2 billion partnership.
The official release from the league:
[The National Hockey League and Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, today announced a groundbreaking digital media rights partnership. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred jointly announced the six-year agreement at NHL headquarters. The partnership will transform the fan experience by creating a fully integrated global hub of digital content that encompasses video, live game streaming, social media, fantasy, apps, along with statistical and analytical content. With an emphasis on deeper access into the game and telling the stories of NHL players, MLBAM and the NHL will collaborate on developing new digital products and platforms while enhancing current offerings.
The deal awards MLBAM rights to distribute live out-of-market games, including through the NHL GameCenter LIVE and NHL Center Ice subscription services in the United States and certain international markets. MLBAM will operate NHL.com, including the League’s seven native language sites, and Club websites. MLBAM will operate NHL apps and be available to develop apps for the Clubs. The NHL and MLBAM will partner on the design and development of new digital products and platforms. The NHL and its Clubs retain editorial control across all platforms. The Emmy-Award winning MLB Network will provide studio space and production resources for the NHL Network for distribution in the United States and certain international markets.
“As the market leader, MLBAM is uniquely qualified to assist us in giving hockey fans a richer, more immersive experience with the game,” said Commissioner Bettman. “MLBAM is also the right partner because they have the expertise to help us deliver new and exciting products to our fans, who crave compelling digital content. We couldn’t have North America better covered than with the power of NBC, Rogers, TVA and MLBAM – an incredible convergence of technical, creative and production talent that is great news for our fans.” “It is an honor for Major League Baseball to stand alongside the National Hockey League on this joint initiative,” said Commissioner Manfred. “All of us in sports share a desire to distribute our games and tell our stories as widely and broadly as possible. Because of our own experiences in delivering baseball to its loyal fans, MLB Advanced Media is uniquely suited to excel in a partnership of this magnitude.”
Key details of the partnership include:
• MLBAM receives exclusive rights to distribute live, out-of-market NHL telecasts in the United States and certain international markets, including via the NHL GameCenter LIVE subscription service.
• MLBAM receives exclusive rights to distribute live, out-of-market telecasts via the NHL Center Ice subscription service in the United States to cable, satellite and over-the-air broadcasters.
• MLBAM receives exclusive rights to operate the NHL Network as an agent for the NHL. The NHL Network’s daily on-air operations will be based out of MLB Network’s headquarters in Secaucus, N.J.
MLBAM expects to fully launch its NHL presence in January 2016. Prior digital partner NeuLion will assist the League and MLBAM through the transition period.]
A couple thoughts:
— Money will be going into the owners pockets with this landmark deal and there will be a positive impact on the salary cap.
— The NHL has been behind others when it comes to quality of streaming and several other areas. This should be good news for hockey fans and one can only hope the NHL finds a way to start maximizing the potential with the NHL Network as the programming is severely lacking compared to the MLB, NFL, NBA network.
It appears that will happen.
The NHL network has huge potential in the U.S. if it adopts similarities to how the NFL Network, MLB network are ran. NHL on the Fly might be the right concept but it’s such a bland show.
— MLBAM taking over operations of the websites of the league and its 30 clubs will become an interesting dynamic. Right now some NHL team websites are pretty much fan blogs. It’s biased reporting with the intention of putting a positive spin on just about everything.
Will that change?
That appears to be up in the air as all teams will still have editorial control per the release.
However, with MLBAM likely to hire their own writers at somepoint like they do on all MLB team websites, how the reporting changes on the Penguins site, other teams will be interesting to watch in the years ahead.
— One area many are watching to see what happens is if the NHL suddenly develops MLB’s strict policy of limiting animated GIFs, youtube, sharing videos, on twitter, independent websites, ect. The NHL has no problem with GIF’s and sharing videos from their website because it gives the league good exposure and when it comes to embedding videos from their site that they allow, Ad’s are still being seen so it’s a win-win for the league.
The NHL will still own the rights so it would be a surprise if they change the policy there and early indications are GIFs, embedding of videos, ect, will still be allowed.