Virtually none of the news and social media updates regarding the MLB lockout, and negotiations between baseball team owners and players, has been entertaining. But a bit levity was finally introduced the conversation on Thursday when ESPN baseball reporter Jeff Passan’s Twitter account was hacked.
It’s possible that Passan’s account will be reclaimed and corrected by the time this post publishes and the hacked tweets will be deleted. Just in case that happens, here is a screencap of the tweet currently pinned at the top of the @JeffPassan timeline.
[UPDATE: Passan’s Twitter account appears to have been restored, with the hacked tweets removed from his timeline.]
Passan’s Twitter account was hacked by someone (a group?) associated with the Skulltoons account promoting NFTs of artist Teodoru Badiu’s work. Or the hacker was a diehard fan or disrupter looking to cause some trouble.
The @SkulltoonsNFT account claims to have nothing to do with the hack, saying that someone is trying to scam its community on Twitter and Discord.
The hack comes at a terribly inconvenient time for Passan and baseball fans, who could have news to report at any moment regarding labor negotiations between MLB owners and the players union. What if the labor dispute was actually resolved while Passan’s Twitter account was unavailable, after all of the hours, days, months, and weeks he’s spent covering this story?
(OK, the lockout being resolved is probably as much of a fantasy as whatever NFT, Crypto thing Skulltoons has to offer. But still.)
An ESPN spokesperson told the New York Post‘s Ryan Glasspiegel, “We’re in the process of addressing it.”
As you might expect, Baseball Twitter had some laughs with the whole matter, most of them at Passan’s expense.
Pat McAfee had some fun with the hack as well.
The Twitter hack comes during a rough period for Passan, who was reprimanded by ESPN for a profane remark he made on the ESPN Daily podcast about the MLB labor negotiations that favorably viewed the players’ side of the dispute.
Being perceived as supporting the players, rather than being objective, has opened Passan up to criticism throughout sports media and sports media. WFAN’s Craig Carton was among those denouncing Passan for what he saw as a lack of objectivity.
Unless Passan has actually decided to go from reporting on baseball for ESPN into the NFT and Crypto business, this Twitter hack will likely be resolved soon. Then he can return to sharing incremental progress being made and slight offers being exchanged back and forth, along with frustrations over the lockout continuing. At least there was some brief fun to be had, however.
Ian Casselberry is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously written and edited for Awful Announcing, The Comeback, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. You can find him on Twitter @iancass or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.