Posts tagged with "baseball"

Sports illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

NFL Highest Average Franchise Value

NFL Highest Average Franchise Value Among North American Sports Leagues – Over $3B in 2020

The North American sports industry is one of the most lucrative industries in the world. Since 2010 the average franchise value of the four major North American sports leagues has risen at a dramatic rate. Iconic franchises such as the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys, just to name a few, are now worth billions of dollars.

According to data presented by Safe Betting Sites, the NFL had the highest average franchise value among the major North American sports leagues while the NBA had the highest CAGR from 2010-2020.

NFL Average Franchise Value Over $3B in 2020; NHL Only League to Experience A Decline

In 2020 the average value of NFL franchises stood at $3.045B – the highest average franchise value among the four major North American sports leagues. This figure was a 6.5%YoY increase from 2019’s value of $2.86B. The NBA had the second-largest average franchise value after leapfrogging MLB in 2019.

The average value of an NBA franchise stood at $2.123B in 2020, a 13.65% YoY increase from 2019 – the highest rate of increase among the four leagues. The NHL was the only North American sports league that experienced a decline in its average franchise value for 2020. The average value of an NHL team in 2020 stood at $653M, 2.1% less than 2019’s average value of $667M.

NBA Had Highest CAGR from 2010-2020 – 19.19%

North American sports leagues enjoyed significant growth in the last decade. In 2014 the average franchise value of the NFL, NBA and MLB had all crossed the $1B mark while the NHL crossed the $500M mark for the first time. In the period from 2010-2020, it was the NBA that experienced the highest growth among North America’s sports leagues.

In 2010 the average franchise value of the NBA stood at only $367M. Since then, this value has experienced an impressive 10-Year CAGR of 19.19% – the highest CAGR among the leagues. MLB registered the second largest CAGR of 14.2% while both the NFL and NHL had a CAGR of just over 11%.

Dallas Cowboys, NY Knicks, NY Yankees and NY Rangers Most Valuable Franchises Per League

The Dallas Cowboys of the NFL is the most valuable North American sports franchise with an estimated value of $5.5B in 2020. New York solidified its place as North America’s most lucrative sports market with the three other most valuable teams in their respective leagues calling it home. The Yankees, Knicks and Rangers were worth $5.25B, $5B, and $1.65B respectively in 2020.

You can read more about the story with more statistics and information here.

Sports by Allison Christensen for 360 Magazine

Super Bowl STEM Activities

With millions of families tuning into Super Bowl LV to see if Tom Brady will win another championship, there is also a great opportunity to introduce some fun activities that will keep kids learning and active.

Youth sports and learning experts at Skyhawks Sports Academy and STEM Sports® recommend two fun activities to get children learning and active for Super Bowl weekend. The activities are easy to learn and use objects found in most households. Bonus–there may or may not be a STEM education hidden in these activities, so it is a win-win.

  • Farthest Football Throw: We all know a key skill for a quarterback is to throw the football accurately and for distance, but even the pros fall short or overthrow the ball. So, grab a football and measuring tape and start a fun competition to see which family member can throw the ball the farthest. Have each person try it 3 times and record the results. This activity will also teach your children math skills as they calculate the distance between the farthest and the shortest throws.
  • Glove Grip Test: Notice how many football players wear gloves during the game? It’s not because they’re cold, it’s because the gloves give them a better grip while catching and passing the ball. To test it out, gather different types of gloves you may find around the house – sports gloves, boxing gloves, leather gloves, mittens, dish cleaning gloves, or even disposable gloves. Try passing the football and catching it from different distances and with different gloves to notice the difference in grip and accuracy when throwing and catching.

With football being such a popular sport, these easy and fun activities provide the perfect opportunity to introduce kids to science and math concepts, as well as get them away from their screens and moving around. Consider spending a commercial break doing one of these activities, or pivoting to any of these activities if things aren’t going well for your team.

For children interested in taking STEM learning to the next level, Skyhawks and STEM Sports® offer in-person and virtual programs using sports as the real-life application to teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills. Skyhawks also offers Flag Football camps for children between the ages of 5 and 12 and in a variety of formats in communities across the country. Current program offerings continue to follow proven COVID-19 protocols per state and local guidelines. Winter programming is currently underway, and more information, schedules, and registration are available on the Skyhawks’ website.

About Skyhawks Sports Academy

Skyhawks Sports Academy is a youth sports camp organization based in Spokane, Washington. Skyhawks was founded in Spokane in 1979 as a soccer program for children to learn sports in a fun, safe and non-competitive environment. Skyhawks currently offers programs in more than 11 different sports including Soccer, Basketball, Flag Football, Baseball, Multi-Sport, Tennis, Mini-Hawk, Lacrosse, Golf, Volleyball, Cheerleading, and Track & Field for children ages 4-14 across North America. The format of our programs includes traditional weeklong summer day camps, year-round after-school programs, sports leagues, and clinics. For more information, visit their website.

About STEM Sports®

STEM Sports® provides turnkey K-8 supplemental curricula that use various sports as the real-life application to teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills in classrooms, after-school programs, and camps. Our double-play combination of physical activity and cognitive thinking provides a comprehensive, inquiry-based educational experience and a solution for crucial STEM literacy for students. As a result, students develop critical thinking, collaboration, creative problem-solving, and leadership skills that can be applied throughout their education and future careers.

Aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and National Standards for K-12 Physical Education, our curricula will cultivate and promote participants’ STEM engagement and retention. STEM Sports® provides all of the necessary and relevant sports equipment along with the entire list of supplies called for in the teacher/administer manual and all of the items have a long-lasting shelf life. Learn more on their website.

Robinson Cano MLB illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Robinson Cano Suspended for PED

By Hannah DiPilato

Major League Baseball player Robinson Cano has been suspended after testing positive for stanozolol, a performance-enhancing drug. MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred, confirmed on Wednesday in a statement that Cano will be banned for the entire 2021 season. 

This is the 38-year-old’s second suspension due to testing positive for PED. In 2018, while Cano played for the Seattle Mariners, he tested positive for using diuretic and missed 80 games according to ESPN

At the time of his first offense, Cano said the diuretic “was given to me by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic to treat a medical ailment.” He said he was unaware the drug was banned in the MLB. 

In the MLB, testing positive for a PED a second time will result in an automatic 162 game suspension. This rule is an agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association. 

Neither Cano nor the players’ union has made a statement about his second positive test for a PED. 

“We were extremely disappointed to be informed about Robinson’s suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program,” said Mets president Sandy Alderson in a statement. “The violation is very unfortunate for him, the organization, our fans, and the sport. The Mets fully support MLB’s efforts toward eliminating performance-enhancing substances from the game.”

Cano will have to forfeit his 2021 salary where he was set to make $24 million. According to Fox Business, Cano is still set to make $48 million between 2022 and 2023. The Mets are responsible for $40 million while the Mariners agreed to pay the remaining $8 million. 

The news of Cano’s suspension is great news for player DJ LeMaiheu. According to the New York Post, LeMaiheu would be the perfect player for either the New York Mets or the New York Yankees to add to their rosters. After rejecting an $18.9 million qualifying offer from the Yankees, LeMaiheu is a free agent. 

After the loss of Cano for the 2021 season, the Mets are now in need of a starting second baseman. This adds to the list of starting positions that the Mets are seeking out since they are already looking for a starting pitcher, catcher and center field. The Mets could also start Jeff McNeil at second base, a position he would be comfortable in. 

Cano was traded to the Mets in 2018 sending player Jared Kelenic to the Mariners. Throughout his 16 seasons playing the sport, Cano is a .303 hitter with 334 home runs, 1,302 RBIs and two Gold Gloves according to ESPN

Cano was on his way to achieving 3,000 career hits and was at 2,624 before his suspension. This suspension will certainly create uncertainty for the future of his baseball career.

St. Bernards High School illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Wonderfilm Announces Its Latest Feature, All In, Has Begun Filming in Boston

Against all odds, the students, faculty, staff and parents of one of the smallest private educational facilitiesin America band together to save their school. How they did it was nothing short of a miracle.

Emmy Award winning producers, Jeff Bowler and Bret Saxon’s Wonderfilm Media just completed the forth of eight weeks of principal photography on the highly anticipated documentary, All In: Miracle at St. Bernard’s. The feature-length documentary is based on the incredible true story of how St. Bernard’s, a small private Catholic high school in Fitchburg,

Massachusetts, found itself 100 years after its founding, facing a dramatic shut-down. The film follows the community as they pour their hearts and souls into saving their school from being permanently shuttered. A miracle ensues.    

A Real-Life David and Goliath Story

With enrollment dwindling, by 2018 St. Bernard’s was the smallest school in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, with a total of 99 students. The Catholic Diocese of Worcester made the difficult decision to close the school. Led by the school’s principal, Linda Anderson, students, parents, faculty, alumni and the townspeople of Fitchburg hatched an idea to raise enough money to take the school independent and keep it open. They worked tirelessly to raise the daunting amounts needed. Unfortunately, like the school, the town was struggling, and fundraising proved extremely difficult.   With quickly approaching deadlines, extreme pressure from the budget shortfalls, the Diocesan Superintendent of Schools informed all parties of the dire straits they were facing, and that short of a miracle, the school would cease to exist. Then the football team started winning.  

It All Came Down to Football
 

Almost every eligible student at the school joined the football team. With an enrollment so small, that meant the St. Bernard’s football team had 26 boys. Miraculously, despite going up against schools often ten times as big as St. Bernard’s, the team, led by Coach Tom Bingham, was winning, and winning, and winning. And with each win, the media started reporting on this David beating Goliaths. “St. Bernard’s was going up against teams from the top schools in New England, with thousands of students, multi-million-dollar endowments, and players who were much larger physically – and winning,” said All In producer Jeff Bowler. The St. Bernard’s team went on to win the state Super Bowl played in Gillette Stadium. The 26 boys on the team, fighting for every inch of the field that their hero, New England Patriot Quarterback Tom Brady, called home on Sundays, won the State Championship, generating enough national publicity to raise the money needed to save the school, including a huge donation from a still anonymous donor.   

Shortly thereafter, with funds in hand, the school officially became independent, with the full support of the Diocese. In the first year following the miraculous football season, admissions are soaring, and an entire town’s spirits have been raised in celebration of saving their historic high school. 
 

“As a St. Bernard’s alum and filmmaker, I was tapped by the school to help tell this truly remarkable story to the world,” said Bowler. “This feel-good, underdog tale is about so much more than football. The story is about a community that rallied together to create their own miracle. Faced with the closing of their beloved high school, students and faculty members stepped up to the plate to save their school, with unwavering perseverance.”    

All In: Miracle at St. Bernard’s is being produced by Wonderfilm’s Jeff Bowler and Bret Saxon. The Emmy Award-winning duo have enjoyed success in feature documentaries, including the 2017 documentary, UNCHAINED: THE UNTOLD STORY OF FREESTYLE MOTOCROSS, narrated by Oscar nominee Josh Brolin, which won the Emmy for Best Documentary, in the sports category, as well as the 2009 feature-doc, DIRTY OIL aka DOWNSTREAM, directed by Leslie Iwerks, which was short-listed for an Oscar.   

All In is being directed by Gregg Backer (Producer/Director HBO Sports, Real Sports). Other producers include Foglight Entertainment’s Gregg Backer and Evan Kanew with Nathan Bilotta serving as Executive Producer.  All In: Miracle at St. Bernard’s is currently shooting in Fitchburg, Boston and Los Angeles.  

Wonderfilm Media recently wrapped supernatural horror LULLABY directed by John Leonetti (Anabelle), with Alcon, in Toronto. Cast and crew adhered to all COVID-19 production guidelines and there were no cases of the virus on set. The film is set for a major release next October. Wonderfilm latest release, Dead Reckoning with K.J. Apa and India Eisley, just premiered November 13.   

Upcoming Wonderfilm Media projects include the biopic on Tampa Bay Rays breakout star, Randy Arozarena. The outfielder escaped Cuba on a makeshift boat in 2015, started a new life in Mexico before making his way to the U.S and has become the most talked-about MLB player in baseball. Wonderfilm is also developing the highly coveted Steve McQueen biopic as a limited series based on Marshall Terrill’s book, “A Tribute To The King of Cool”.   

About Wonderfilm Media

Wonderfilm is a leading entertainment company with offices in Hollywood, Boston and London. Wonderfilm focuses on the production of high-quality feature films and episodic television that offer international appeal through the Company’s commitment to elevated storytelling. Wonderfilm has seen twelve of its features released over the past twelve months, including the Nic Cage thriller Primal and the Guy Pearce vehicle Disturbing the Peace. Wonderfilm was founded by Jeff Bowler, Bret Saxon, and John Lewis.

*Team pic with trophy × All In tape by George Lugo

**School foliage by Caitlin Reidy

LA Dodgers and World Series illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

MLB Releases The 2020 World Series

Illustration by Kaelen Felix

MLB CELEBRATES THE PINNACLE OF AN UNPRECEDENTED SEASON WITH THE RELEASE OF THE 2020 WORLD SERIES

Hall of Fame Broadcaster Vin Scully Narrates the Official World Series Documentary that Chronicles the First Dodgers Championship Since 1988

In-Depth Interviews with Dodger Superstars including Mookie Betts, World Series MVP Corey Seager, Clayton Kershaw Plus Unparalleled Access to MLBߣs Postseason Bubble Gives Fans Unique Look at 2020’s Historic Championship

Two-Disc Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack and DVD Available to Purchase & Download on December 8

Like so many events, the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically reshaped how this MLB season looked and felt. After navigating unprecedented challenges, playing a restructured regular season, a new postseason format and the first neutral site World Series in modern history, the historic 2020 season culminated in an unforgettable Fall Classic and with the Los Angeles Dodgers being crowned champions for the first time in since 1988.
Dodgers fans can rejoice and relive all the excitement, drama, and life-changing moments of the 2020 World Series against the American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays, in the official 2020 World Series film from Major League Baseball. The documentary will be available in stores December 8, 2020 on a two-disc Blu-ray+DVD combo pack and DVD from Shout! Factory and Major League Baseball. It will also be available on the same date digitally, to own and rent from all major platforms.

Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully lends his signature voice to THE 2020 WORLD SERIES, taking fans on heartfelt journey to the 2020 championship through his unique baseball perspective. As the 1982 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, which enshrined him in the broadcasters’ wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Scully has covered many of baseball’s most thrilling moments, including Sandy Koufax’s four no-hitters, Hank Aaron’s 715th home run and Kirk Gibson’s dramatic home run in Game One of the 1988 World Series. He has voiced over the narration for seven previous World Series documentaries including in 1959 (Dodgers), 1963 (Dodgers), 1965 (Dodgers), 1979 (Pirates), 1980 (Phillies), 1981 (Dodgers) and 1986 (Mets).

It was 32 years since the Dodgers won a World Series and the seventh in the history of the organization, bringing great joy to their fans and the city of Los Angeles in particular, said Scully. This is their winning story against the Tampa Bay Rays, and it’s an honor for me to recount just how they did it.

With MLB playing in a postseason bubble, media presence and access was limited. Producers of this year’s documentary utilized on-site crews with approved access as well as other feeds available to capture all the pulse-pounding action and emotion of the season. Expertly crafted from hundreds of hours of footage, the official World Series documentary gives fans a front row seat to this extraordinary championship run through highlights from the entire postseason and in-depth interviews and exclusive bonus features including regular season highlights, clinching moments, featurettes and more.

Fans of the Dodgers will also be able to relive their team’s entire Fall Classic from the first pitch to the last out. THE 2020 WORLD SERIES COLLECTOR’s EDITION: LOS ANGELES DODGERS, a grand slam 8-disc set that includes all six complete games of the World Series plus NLDS Game 3 and NLCS Game 7, will be available on February 9, 2021.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PRESENTS THE 2020 WORLD SERIES NARRATED BY VIN SCULLY WRITTEN BY AARON COHENPRODUCED BY MATT ANDERTON & ANDREW BRENNERPRODUCERS NICHOLAS TROTTA, JON OSHEAL & KEVIN CAREY;CO-PRODUCER PAUL SOLGASR. COORDINATING PRODUCER BRUCE CORNBLATTDIRECTED BY JED TUMINARO
2020 WORLD SERIES (BLU-RAY/DVD)

About Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform media company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving, and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s entertainment offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials. In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast entertainment distribution network which delivers culturally relevant programming, movie and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America and across multiple platforms. Shout! Factory owns and operates Shout! Studios, Scream Factory, Shout! Factory Kids, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and Shout! Factory TV. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Los Angeles, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.com.

About Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball (MLB) represents the highest level of professional baseball and is the most historic sports league in the United States. MLB creates, produces, and consults on original content inspired by the engaging personalities and compelling storylines at the forefront of today’s game and throughout its robust 150-year history. MLBߣs multi-platform media and licensing projects span film, television and digital distribution, including diverse and pioneering programming that taps an expansive media archive to cover historical and cultural subjects. Credits include the Academy Award nominated Moneyball; U.S. box office hit 42; critically acclaimed documentary American Masters: Ted Williams, and; the FOX series Pitch ߝ adding to renowned content that includes capturing the journeys of some of MLB’s best players on the sports’ biggest stage for the annual World Series documentary. Content is featured on trending and enduring platforms including Netflix, HBO, PBS, Showtime, FOX, ESPN, Smithsonian and more. These ventures complement the continued success of MLB Network and MLB digital platforms to find innovative ways for its fans to enjoy America’s National Pastime and a truly global game.

Learn More About The Dodgers:

Wikipedia | Instagram | Website

Trevor Bauer x Lids

All-star Cincinnati Reds pitcher and 2020 Cy Young Award finalist Trevor Bauer has partnered with Lids, the leading sports retailer.

In the 25-year history of Lids, Bauer is the first MLB player to partner with the company. Lids will become the exclusive headwear retailer for Bauer.

Bauer caught attention for his personal merchandise and custom cleats during the 2020 baseball season, and he will unveil several limited-edition custom hats, shirts and customizations throughout the year, all of which will be available nationwide.

Bauer said he has been a Lids customer for many years.

“As I’ve become more invested in design and branding in recent years, the opportunity to collaborate with such an iconic retailer, especially as its first MLB athlete partner, is really meaningful,” Bauer said.

Lawrence Berger, co-founder and partner at Ames Watson and Chairman of FanzzLids Holdings, said Bauer is equally impressive on and off the mound.

“Lids has been the leading headwear retailer for years, in large part due to the popularity of baseball hats, and we cannot think of a better individual to be our first MLB athlete partner than Trevor. We look forward to combining his passion for design with our talented creative team to make some incredible merchandise and content,” Berger said.

Bauer is the reigning MLBPA Players Choice NL Outstanding Pitcher and a finalist for the 2020 National League Cy Young Award, which will be announced Wednesday.

Bauer puts his season up against those of Jacob deGrom, who won the award in 2018 and 2019, and Yu Darvish, who debuted in 2012 with Bauer and is eyeing his first Cy Young Award, as well.

Bauer posted his career-best earned run average in 2020 of 1.73, second best in baseball only behind Cleveland Indians ace Shane Bieber. He won five games and anchored a Reds pitching staff that landed the seventh seed in the playoffs.

He also garnered attention for contributions to baseball as a whole with his self-titled YouTube channel and Momentum, an athlete-driven media company with the goal of connecting fans to the game.

Momentum uses authentic player stories to affect the public perception of baseball. With over 500 original pieces of audio and video, Momentum has built popular series like Bauer Bytes and Live At Bats. Its content has also been distributed through digital channels and partners like PlayersTV and FOX Sports.

You can follow Bauer on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

You can also follow Lids on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Los Angeles Dodgers Win 2020 World Series

The 2020 World Series was one that baseball fans won’t forget anytime soon. A season that struggled to get off the ground and faced a few pandemic outbreaks ended with the most difficult gauntlet of a playoff format in baseball history. 9 wins later, the two best regular season teams in baseball clashed.

The season closed in Arlington with a battle between the little team that fully embraced modern baseball analytics and a team that, well, fully embraced modern baseball analytics but had way more money.

The Tampa Bay Rays, a team with the third lowest payroll in the entire league, were expected to be a team that put pitching and defense first, and that’s exactly what they did. Even with Brandon Lowe becoming the team’s breakout star on offense, Blake Snell, Charlie Morton, Tyler Glasnow and the “stable” of arms Tampa Bay bullpen made the Rays the best team in the American League.

The Dodgers, on the other hand, were expected to be one of the greatest teams of all time. The offseason acquisition of Mookie Betts, arguably the second best player in baseball, put them in conversation with the Yankees in the late 1920s and the Big Red Machine for the best offense of all time.

Impressively enough, Mookie Betts was the only superstar on the team that wasn’t homegrown or brought to prominence by the Dodgers. Justin Turner, Max Muncy and Chris Taylor were all reclamation projects, and platoon outfielder A.J. Pollock was signed in free agency, but almost the rest of the Dodgers core, including the pitching staff, was a product of incredible scouting, drafting, developing and extending.

LA finished the season with 43 wins, a pace that would have been good for 116 in a 162 game season, which would tie the regular season record. They even seemed to get better as the year went on, with Cody Bellinger finally coming around toward the end of the season and Corey Seager emerging as the player the Dodgers hoped he’d become when he won Rookie of the Year in 2016.

The Dodgers faced little adversity in the playoffs until the National League Championship Series, going up against the Atlanta Braves. The Braves had arguably the hottest offense in baseball, complete with the likely MVP of the National League in Freddie Freeman.

While the Braves jumped out to a 2-0 series lead, something seemed to click for the Dodgers in the seventh inning of game two. They couldn’t quite overcome a 7-0 deficit, but they picked up some momentum scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and four more in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The next day the Dodgers came out swinging with 11 runs in the first inning, basically ending the game before the Braves ever had a chance to answer. Behind five strong innings from Julio Urías, the Dodgers went on to win game three by a score of 15-3.

Clayton Kershaw fed the narrative that he struggles in the playoffs in game four giving up four runs over five innings on the way to a Dodgers loss. The boys from Chavez Ravine proceeded to play near perfect baseball the rest of the way, riding their bullpen in games five and seven and Walker Buehler in game six. A missile from defending MVP Cody Bellinger in game seven was the deciding factor and the exclamation point on LA’s third NLCS victory in the last four years.

The Dodgers met the Rays in the World Series, who were coming off a game seven themselves against the Houston Astros. Again, the Rays relied on pitching and defense to get through the playoffs, but they brought the hottest player in the playoffs into the World Series in left fielder Randy Arozarena.

When accounting for adjusted salary for his time in the majors and the shortened pandemic season, Arozarena made $90,000 in 2020. For reference, the two highest paid left fielders for the Dodgers, Joc Pederson and A.J. Pollock, made more than $10 million last year. Arozarena out-homered the Pederson-Pollock duo in the 2020 playoffs ten to two.

Unfortunately for Arozarena, he was the only member of the Rays consistently hitting. Just as the Rays had done all season, it was a new guy delivering the big hit every night. Mike Brosseau did it in game five of the American League Divisional Series against the Yankees, Kevin Kiermaier came up with a few clutch hits and Manny Margot played a big role in downing the Astros, but Arozarena seemed to be the only one the Rays could consistently count on.

Game one was proof of that as the Rays were shut down by Clayton Kershaw, who set the tone to repave his playoff legacy. Kershaw went six innings in the first game of the World Series, giving up just one run before exiting. Dodgers MVPs Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts both homered on the way to an 8-3 Dodgers victory.

The Rays evened the series in game two on the back of Brandon Lowe, who hit two home runs, driving in three runs. Rays third baseman Joey Wendle drove in two more on a fourth inning double and another on a sixth inning sacrifice fly. Homers from Chris Taylor, Will Smith and Corey Seager weren’t enough for the Dodgers as Blake Snell and the Rays bullpen held off the LA offense.

Though a score of 6-2 might not seem like a punishing victory for the Dodgers, they owned game three. The Dodgers current ace, Walker Buehler went six innings, striking out ten Rays batters and giving up just one run on a Willy Adames double. The bullpen trio of Blake Treinen, Brusdar Graterol and Kenley Jansen picked up where Buehler left off, giving up one run on a Randy Arozarena home run in the ninth. The Rays sent just 31 hitters to the plate.

Game four is the game that will go down in history. When everyone looks back on the 2020 World Series, they will probably remember games four and six. It might have been the craziest game of the year, and it happened on baseball’s biggest stage.

Two lefties started the game for the Dodgers and Rays, with Julio Urías and Ryan Yarbrough on the hill, respectively. Justin Turner opened the scoring with a home run in the first inning for the second night in a row. Corey Seager homered in the third inning to put the Dodgers up 2-0, a score that would hold for one inning when Randy Arozarena launched his second home run of the World Series and his record-breaking ninth of the postseason.

Heading into the top of the sixth, the Dodgers had a 3-2 lead, which they extended on a double from utility man Kiké Hernández. That set the stage for Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe, who launched a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to put the Rays on top for the first time in the game.

The Dodgers answered quickly on a Joc Pederson single that scored Corey Seager and Justin Turner, giving the Dodgers a 6-5 lead. The battle was just beginning, as Kevin Kiermaier homered in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at 6, only for Corey Seager to give the Dodgers the lead once again with an RBI single in the top of the eighth inning.

It was quiet until the bottom of the ninth inning, when the unlikely Rays postseason MVP Randy Arozarena stepped up the the plate with two outs and a man on first base. Arozarena worked a full count from Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, eventually drawing a walk to put runners on first and second base. That would bring up the most unlikely of heroes.

Brett Phillips didn’t even make the ALCS roster. He was with the Kansas City Royals before being traded to the Rays on Aug. 27. He originally pinch ran earlier in the game with little expectation of getting a plate appearance, but with the way Rays manager Kevin Cash uses his bench, the Rays were out of options. Phillips was going to bat.

Down to his last strike, the career .202 hitter flicked a ball into center field. Kevin Kiermaier score easily, but a bobble from Dodgers center fielder Chris Taylor caused the Rays third base coach to send Arozarena to the plate in an attempt to score the winning run. Arozarena fell down on his way to the plate, which should have ended the inning.

The throw to the plate from Taylor was cut off by Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy, who relayed the ball to LA catcher Will Smith. Smith was unable to hang onto the throw, and the ball rolled to the backstop, allowing Arozarena to score the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. The long shot hero scored the Rays most valuable postseason player, and the sight of Arozarena pounding on home plate for the eighth run is something that will be burned in the memories of baseball fans forever.

Game five saw Clayton Kershaw take the hill once again to face Rays hard-throwing right hander Tyler Glasnow. Again, Kershaw set out to rewrite his playoff story, going five and two-thirds innings, striking out six and giving up two runs. Joc Pederson and Max Muncy both homered for the Dodgers on their way to a 4-2 victory.

Game six had the Rays up against a wall forcing them to send out their horse, Blake Snell. Randy Arozarena immediately launched a ball into the right field seats off Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin for his record tenth homer of the postseason. Snell was mowing down Dodgers hitters through five and one-thirds innings before giving up a single to catcher Austin Barnes.

The most talked about decision of the World Series came next, with Kevin Cash removing a blistering hot Snell from the game before facing Mookie Betts, who hit .208 against left-handed pitching in 2020. Right-hander Nick Anderson took the hill for the Rays, and Betts proceeded to slap a double down the left field line. A wild pitch with Corey Seager at the plate scored Barnes and advanced Betts to third, then Seager grounded a ball to first base, scoring Betts, who looked like he was out to prove he’s the best baserunner in the game this postseason.

The Dodgers went up 2-1, but for Rays fans and players, it must have felt like the score was 12-1, as the Rays couldn’t get a single thing going the rest of the game against the Dodger bullpen. Betts swatted a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning for an insurance run, and Julio Urías slammed the door over the last two and one-third to give the Dodgers their first World Series victory since 1988.

Corey Seager took home the trophy for World Series MVP, but Clayton Kershaw really stole the spotlight. The eight-time All-Star, three-time Cy Young winner and 2014 MVP Award winner picked up the first ring of his career in his tenth postseason. He was a lock for the Hall of Fame before 2020, but now he’ll get to make his induction speech wearing at least one World Series ring, and with the litany of young talent and financial resources at the fingertips of Dodgers management, he figures to eye a few more before he calls it a career.

In probably the worst story of the night, third baseman Justin Turner exited the game early because of a positive test for COVID-19. When it was announced at the conclusion of the game, it was a difficult moment for everyone who knew Turner had been with this Dodgers team the entire way. Outside of Kershaw, he might have been the most deserving of a celebration.

He even sent out a tweet thanking everyone for checking in on him and saying he could’t believe he couldn’t be out on the field to celebrate winning the World Series. The story went sour when it appeared that Turner actually did celebrate on the field, presumably placing everybody he came in contact with in danger.

The MLB released a statement saying Turner was adamant about celebrating on the field despite security officials advising him not to leave an isolated space. The story is still developing, but fans obviously voiced their discontent via social media, and it made the success of what MLB called their “bubble” to that point seem moot. While the disappointment for Turner being unable to celebrate a title that he was such a key part of is palpable, it is difficult to justify his actions exposing players, families and fans to COVID-19.

Turner, along with Pedro Baez, Kiké Hernandez, Jake McGee, Joc Pederson, Blake Treinen and Alex Wood, is set to become a free agent after not receiving a qualifying offer from the Dodgers. It is yet to be seen how this will affect him in free agency, or he could return to the Dodgers where he is already one of the organizations most beloved players.

The 2020 baseball season ended about as well as anyone who has lived through 2020 could have predicted, but baseball fans who were worried about 2020’s title feeling cheap seem to have come around to the idea that this title was equally or more trying to achieve. 60 games or 162 games, the 2020 Dodgers will go down in history.

Toyota Corolla Apex

By Althea Champion × Vaughn Lowery

TMNA is releasing a new and updated version of the faithful Toyota Corolla in 2021: the limited edition Corolla Apex Edition. The company will manufacture only 6,000 editions of the SE and XSE editions.

As a bonus, Puma and Toyota collaborated on a limited edition Corolla Apex sneaker that corresponds with the car’s launch. Only 50 units were fabricated – we got number 25! They perfectly match the vehicle and they came just in time as we celebrated the Los Angeles Lakers Championship win, honking and flickering our lights in Downtown LA near the Staples Center. Just like LeBron during the NBA playoffs, this compact car was the star attraction. After all, it is one of the top selling cars in the world.

Model

This new model has the same horsepower as its predecessor, same TNGA-C platform, but is nearly unrecognizable in its new form.

Most of the editions will be equipped with the Dynamic Shift CVT, otherwise known as a continuously variable transmission, and colloquially known as an automatic. For those who love driving stick, Toyota is also offering just 120 models based on the SE edition that are equipped with a 6-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission.

Style

This car leans into sportiness that has never been characteristic of a Corolla, yet does so gracefully. The new model rides lower to the ground, flaunts bronze accents, a front spoiler, fog light covers, side moldings, a rear diffuser aid in high-speed vehicle stability, and an optional rear trunk aero spoiler for those who wish it theirs.

Chrome exhaust tips accent the vehicle and black mirror caps give it an edge. Low profile, black, 18-inch wheels that are lighter than Corolla’s standard and unique to the Apex, according to Anthony Alaniz of Motor1, add to its humble discretion. LED headlights, turn signals, and taillights make sure you are safe, while the smoked-out light lenses of the taillights add to its undeniable dominance, and a large sunroof is an added bonus, especially on lazy summer nights.

The SE model is attired in premium fabric upholstery, while the XSE edition sports black SofTex®-trimmed fabric upholstery, heated front seats, and an eight-way adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support.

Power

This Corolla is powered by its 2.0-liter Dynamic Force Engine, which obtains its power from high-compression Toyota D4-S fuel injection system (13:1), according to Toyota’s press release. The VVT-i on the exhausts uses an electric motor instead of oil, making for a more eco-friendly and efficient exhaust.

The limited edition model has a 169 peak horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 151 lb.-ft. peak torque at 4,800 rpm, which is standard in previous Toyota models.

With the automatic transmission in the SE model, the EPA-estimated fuel economy is 31 city / 41 highway / 34 combined MPG, and the XSE’s is 31/38/34, respectively. With the manual transmission, the fuel economy is 29/36/32 MPG.

Safety

Toyota also took the model one step further in safety. The Apex Edition, along with all 2021 Corolla models, will have Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of driver-assist technologies, standard. This includes a pre-collision system with daytime/low-light vehicle and pedestrian detection, plus daytime bicycle detection, full-speed range dynamic cruise control (CVT only), lane departure alert with steering assist and road edge detection, automatic high beams, lane tracing and road sign assist.

In addition, rear side airbags were added to the design, bringing the total number of airbags in the vehicle up to 10. Rear Cross-Traffic Alert with a Blind Spot Monitor is now standard on XSE models, and optional for SE models with CVT. In addition, all 2020 Corollas gain an Automatic Engine Shut-Off. This add-on will automatically turn off the engine after a designated period in the event it is left running.

As a special value, Toyota’s press release notes that, “the 2021 Corolla LE grade (gas model) will offer a new Convenience Package that combines Blind Spot Monitor, Smart Key system and 16-inch alloy wheels.”

Technology

The new Corolla Apex Edition sports new Android Auto compatibility, which complements the Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa potential connections already standard in this model’s predecessor, the 2020 Corolla. In addition, SiriusXM and its 3-month trial period is now available across every Corolla model.

Furthermore, the vehicle is endowed with a more efficient cooling system; the two-discharge-port oil pump and variable cooling system with an electric water pump maximizes engine engine performance and efficiency. This ensures quicker cabin heating on cold days and quicker cool-down when the A/C is on. When combined with ultra-low internal friction, the 2.0-liter engine operates at a maximum thermal efficiency of 40 percent, which is among the highest for a current passenger vehicle, according to Toyota.

Pricing

The least expensive edition of the Corolla Apex, the Corolla Apex SE with a CVT, is $2,695 more than its predecessor, which brings it to $25,070. The Corolla Apex SE with a six-speed manual transmission clocks in at $25,460, and the Corolla Apex XSE at $28,210.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the new model’s suspension and fresh look are most noteworthy. New coil springs with internal rebound shocks allowed designers to lower the suspension 0.6 inches. This, combined with rigid, stabilizer bars, creates a stiffer suspension. Roll stiffness is now 47% more stiff in the front and 33% more in the rear—a marked improvement. And, its look undeniably transforms any preconceived notions about the Toyota Corolla, as it seems to have evolved into a chic sports car.

If you are looking to surprise your significant other with a luxurious present, look no further. If you are a young professional looking to impress your colleagues in the parking lot, you have come to the right vehicle. If you are a new parent concerned with style, safety, and reliability, this is your car. Whoever you are, the Toyota Corolla Apex can be the ideal vehicle for you.

Mike Piazza Launches TRUE Vodka

Today, Mike Piazza launches TRUE Vodka, his bespoke Italian-made vodka brand, in collaboration with GrapeStars, the one-stop shop for celebrity wine and spirits. Piazza is a former baseball player with the NY Mets, and is a Hall of Famer for his time as a player with them.

Piazza is bringing TRUE Vodka to consumers as a nod to his Italian heritage, something he’s always wanted to honor in a big way. Consumers nationwide will have first-time access to enjoy TRUE Vodka at home and have it delivered directly to their doorsteps with the ease of GrapeStars, the exclusive retailer for TRUE Vodka.

RUE Vodka is made from mixed rye and wheat grains from Italy and uses specially purified water from the springs of Tuscany, making it incredibly smooth. The high-quality vodka is produced by a seven times distillation process by legendary supplier of spirits, Caffo, in the Distelleria Friulia. TRUE Vodka has been awarded the prestigious gold medal for best bottle design at the FESPA awards in 2017 and has been picked 9 out of 10 times in blind taste tests against other leading premium vodka brands.

“Mike Piazza hit many majestic home runs in a Mets uniform as part of his Hall of Fame career, and Mike is hitting another home run with True Vodka,” stated Mets Executive Vice President & Chief Revenue Officer Lou DePaoli.

“I have been a long-time Mike Piazza fan and cannot overstate how thrilled we are to team up with him. Bringing TRUE Vodka into his fans’ homes is a huge milestone for GrapeStars and we’re extremely proud to be part of the TRUE Vodka journey,” shared GrapeStars Co-Founder and CEO, Jean-Jean Pelletier.

TRUE Vodka embraces Italian craftsmanship is and produced by a seven times distillation process in Caffo’s Distelleria Friulia. To learn more about the premium vodka, tune into The GrapeStars Podcast interview with Mike Piazza

One Love illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Oakley – One Love

Today, Oakley® unveils a powerful remake of Bob Marley’s iconic anthem – One Love – as part of the brand’s 2020 For the Love of Sport Campaign. The official release aims to inspire hope and positivity during a time of uncertainty by celebrating sport, and how it can enlighten and uplift. The reworked verses were co-written by Oakley Athletes including Diamond DeShields, Ryan Sheckler, Oksana Masters, Caroline Buchanan and Ítalo Ferreira. This reinterpretation evolves the classic song into a modern-day love story, amplified by an official music video that showcases a dynamic display of passion and determination as viewers follow athletes’ individual journeys and the way sport has impacted their lives and the people around them.

American-born, British-Jamaican singer-songwriter, Celeste, was selected to perform the song because of her ability to convey a message through her soulful-tones and her mantra to create meaningful music that can make a difference. Most recently, Celeste, won the 2020 Brit Rising Star Award and was named the number one breakthrough act on the BBC Music Sound of 2020 List. 

Oakley’s For The Love of Sport campaign honors one of the most universal passions – that of sport. During the writing process, Oakley interviewed those with an intimate connection to sport – its global network of athletes. In conversation, they explored the unifying qualities of sport through their personal journeys, including recent stretches of solitude and peaks of frustration. Their reflections revealed a commonality between them – sport’s ability to push-through boundaries, and overcome adversity, even during the toughest times.

“Sport has the power to evoke emotion, whether participating or spectating”, said Ben Goss, Oakley Global Marketing Director. “And the world is in a fragile place right now. By sharing what drives us and our athletes, this love of sport, our hope is that it can have a positive impact on uplifting the community during these uncertain times.”

The globally recognized One Love track by Bob Marley was a call for unity in 1965 when it was first released, and its message still rings true, 55 years later. The Oakley remake is part of a yearlong celebration of what would be Marley’s 75th birthday in 2020 and it preserves the song’s uplifting chorus and chords that inspired a generation, and refreshes the verses to captivate a contemporary audience.

“Sport, specifically soccer, was my Dad’s second love after music, and it brought him a great deal of joy throughout his life,” said Ziggy Marley. “The world really needs love right now, and we’re thrilled to work with Oakley on this amazing reinterpretation of One Love, so it can be meaningful to a new generation during a time when it’s needed most.”

Oakley’s One Love will debut exclusively on SiriusXM’s Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Radio channel during a live broadcast with a special introduction from Skip Marley at 8AM PST on August 11, 2020. The official music video will go live simultaneously on Oakley’s YouTube channel and Instagram TV and the song will be available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow Oakley: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube