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Of trades and newspapers
MLB trading deadline today
Good morning, all. I hope your week is off to a great start.
Major League Baseball’s trading deadline is at 6:00 this evening EDT. Monday was an active day. By the time you read this, more trades will have been consummated.
My early observations are that the New York Yankees, with the best record in the American League, have gotten better. But so have their nemesis, the Houston Astros. Before the day is over, if it hasn’t already happened, Juan Soto could be a Los Angeles Dodger or St. Louis Cardinal, although, as I wrote last week, the Washington Nationals are not under any deadline to trade the young slugger, as he does not become a free agent until 2025. Yes, he becomes arbitration eligible next season, but any club that acquires him will have to face the same situation as the Nationals.
The trade deadline is always an intriguing period for baseball fans and everyone else involved in the game. On Sunday, before I began broadcasting the Hartford Yard Goats game against the Portland Sea Dogs, I noted that the Cincinnati Reds had one of their top scouts at the game. Being as the Sea Dogs are the AA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, I wondered if something was cooking between the two clubs. (I heard no rumblings, involving the Yard Goats parent club, Colorado, not that that means anything. The Rockies have a habit of not consulting broadcasters on trades. Ha!)
Sure enough, Monday night, the Red Sox acquired outfielder Tommy Pham from the Reds for the proverbial player-to-be-named. I wonder if that player will come off the Portland roster?
The Red Sox also made other news when their catcher, Christian Vasquez, had just come from a meeting, where the club was going over how to pitch to the Houston Astros, Boston’s opponent. While talking to the media, Vasquez was pulled away by a Red Sox official. He had just been traded to the Astros.
It reminds me of the story in 2019, when the Yard Goats were returning from a road trip, only to learn that one of their catcher’s, Chris Rabago, had been traded to Trenton, at the time the Yankees’ AA affiliate. Just so happened the Yard Goats opponent that night was Trenton. So here was Rabago, on the bus, learning he had been traded to Trenton. He simply picked up his belongings and walked from the locker room on the third base side to the first base side. That was also the weekend Trenton clinched the division title. Rabago soaked it all in, literally and figuratively, as the champagne flowed in the Trenton clubhouse. The pictures went viral on social media.
So the New York Times may have abandoned its agate section on the sports page, but the transactions will continue. The next few hours should be active.
Speaking of newspapers and streaming
The newspaper industry is in serious trouble. No secret there. But the so-called legacy media is hemorrhaging around the edges, elsewhere too. Radio, for example, is a shell of itself. I know. I’ve lived it. Television, as we know it, is also transforming before our very eyes. Last week, the YES Network, home of the New York Yankees, announced it will join NESN - the Red Sox station - offering Yankees games on its YES app on a subscription basis. In other words, you will no longer need to have a YES subscription on your local cable system in order to view the games on the YES app.
Which leads me to Hena Doba, who used to be a news reporter at the CBS affiliate in Hartford, went on to work for CBS in New York City, and is now a news anchor for Cheddar News, a streaming news channel. The jist of the story on Inc.com is that the future of news is in streaming.
Then, of course, you have the troubled newspaper industry. Boston Globe Red Sox beat writer Peter Abraham, who writes an excellent Sunday column, noted when the Cleveland Indians were at Fenway Park last week, the Cleveland newspaper did not send a reporter to cover the series. Abraham also reported that when the Red Sox played the archrival Yankees in New York last month, only two newspaper reporters from Boston were there to cover the series. When the late Gil Hodges was inducted into the Hall of Fame the weekend before last, the New York Daily News did not send anyone to cover the ceremony. This once, proud newspaper, is but a shell of itself. There is no more NYDN building in New York; what little hard copy of the paper is printed by another company. The same story goes for the Hartford Courant, in my neck of the woods. If you want to buy a copy at a newsstand the daily edition is $4 and the weekend copies go for $5.50. Seriously? And in the case of the weekday edition most of the copies are 30 pages or less.
Speaking of newsstands, I read on line last week that you would be hard pressed to buy a copy of the NY Times at a newsstand in New York City. My hunch is that within a year or two, most papers will be on line, printing a hard copy once per week. That might be the only sustainable business model in the flagging industry.
Times change and these days, it seems, change occurs in a nano second. So enjoy the active trade mart today, no matter how you choose to consume your information.
As always, thank you for your support and have a terrific week.