Derek Jeter

Michael Jordan returns to baseball as he apparently owns part of the Miami Marlins


Michael Jordan returns to baseball as he apparently owns part of the Miami Marlins

Despite six championships and status as one of the greatest athletes in American history, one of the biggest splashes Michael Jordan made during his career was when he tried to transition from basketball to baseball.

Things didn't go too well for His Airness on the diamond, and — after some help from Bill Murray and Bugs Bunny — he eventually returned to hoops and added three rings to his collection with the Bulls. But that experience in the minors with the White Sox apparently hasn't soured MJ on the sport. According to a story from the Miami Herald, Jordan is one of 18 new owners of the Miami Marlins.

The piece from Barry Jackson looks at the financial commitments and situation of new Marlins CEO Derek Jeter, the face of the club's new ownership group and the guy who's running the team. But mentioned deep down is the fact that Jordan, now famously the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, chipped in $5 million to buy a stake in the team.

The Fish are in a bit of a mess from a baseball standpoint, with Jeter controversially dealing away superstar slugger Giancarlo Stanton this offseason, along with another All-Star player in Marcell Ozuna. And there are plenty of reports that another star, Christian Yelich, could be next. In other words, Jeter is being criticized for blowing up a team with some nice pieces, something the Marlins did relatively often under their previous ownership to many negative reviews.

So hopefully Jeter and Jordan — who it should be noted have a longtime connection through Jordan Brand — get things turned around. And hopefully things go better for Mike than they did in 1994, when he slashed .202/.289/.266 with 114 strikeouts at Double-A Birmingham.

Anthony Rizzo keeps building impressive legacy with Roberto Clemente Award

Anthony Rizzo keeps building impressive legacy with Roberto Clemente Award

The same competitive nature and unique leadership qualities that made Anthony Rizzo a World Series champion drove the Cubs first baseman toward winning the Roberto Clemente Award.  

Rizzo does so much publicly with this stage, and quietly behind the scenes, that it felt like a matter of time, a face of the franchise getting Major League Baseball’s prestigious award that recognizes sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions on and off the field.

The formal presentation happened Friday at Minute Maid Park, before a World Series Game 3 between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers that Rizzo would obviously rather be playing in now. But this is a well-deserved honor for someone who is remarkably comfortable around sick children, with sharing his experience as a cancer survivor and the idea of building a legacy in Chicago and South Florida.

“This is amazing,” Rizzo said. “It’s the greatest award you can win, and I will be forever appreciative of this. This will go front and center (with) anything I’ve ever done on the baseball field.”

The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation has raised more than $4 million since its inception in 2012. This year, the foundation made a $3.5 million commitment to Lurie Children’s Hospital, the downtown Chicago facility where Rizzo makes regular appearances, with or without the cameras.

Rizzo also recently granted $250,000 to the University of Miami Health System and the hometown cancer center where he received treatment while battling Hodgkin's lymphoma. Those physical, mental and emotional tests as a Boston Red Sox prospect shaped the superstar he would become years later in Chicago.  

“It means a lot to me when I go into a hospital room and say hello to a kid and they light up like a Christmas tree for five minutes,” Rizzo said, “escaping the reality, because they’re going through treatment. They’re battling for their lives, and I’m just grateful to be able to go in there and say hello to them and make them escape reality for a second.

“It’s not easy to go and see a lot of kids, but we really enjoy it. And the work that we do, hopefully we’re just scratching the surface.”

Clemente, a Hall of Fame outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, died on New Year's Eve 1972 during a relief mission to earthquake-damaged Nicaragua, when a plane delivering relief supplies exploded shortly after takeoff and crashed in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Rizzo made a side trip to The Clemente Museum while the Cubs played in Pittsburgh this season. Previous Clemente Award winners within the last 10 years include Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter, David Ortiz, Clayton Kershaw, Carlos Beltran, Paul Konerko and Curtis Granderson.

“Don't get me wrong, I want to be known as a great baseball player when it's all said and done,” Rizzo said, “but I also want to be known as someone who was fortunate to have a big platform and do things with it in a good way."

Cubs Talk Podcast: Revisiting the whole idea of the Cubs as a dynasty


Cubs Talk Podcast: Revisiting the whole idea of the Cubs as a dynasty

Cubs coach Mike Borzello joins the Cubs Talk Podcast with Patrick Mooney, providing a fresh perspective on the Cubs as a “dynasty” given Borzello was a staffer on the New York Yankees in the late ‘90s as they won four World Series from 1996-2000. Borzello also compares Kris Bryant to Derek Jeter and takes a big-picture view on the 2017 Cubs season.

Elsewhere, Jeff Nelson, Scott Changnon and Tony Andracki sum up the first half and answer the burning questions ahead of the season’s second half, including what has to happen for the Cubs to shift gears completely and turn into a seller at the trade deadline.

Plus, how much of the Cubs’ first-half struggles can be attributed to just poor luck?

Check out the entire podcast here: