5-POINT FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18th, 2020
Here is this week's dose of “5-Point Friday”. A weekly round-up of the sports news and stories that I find most interesting and enjoyable.
Baseball story that I am interested by -
American billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen has agreed to buy the New York Mets in a deal that reportedly values the MLB franchise at around $2.42 billion.
The agreement with Sterling Partners, the Mets’ parent company which is controlled by the Wilpon and Katz families, is believed to be the highest price ever paid for a North American sports team.
Under the terms of the deal, Cohen will acquire a 95% stake in the Mets, with Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon retaining a 5% share.
Cohen will become the fourth controlling owner of the Mets since the franchise’s inception in 1962. The team’s current ownership group will likely stay in control until the end of the current season.
The previous record purchase price for an MLB franchise was the US$2.15 billion paid for the Los Angeles Dodgers back in 2012.
Tennis news that is great to see -
The ITF has announced that Fed Cup, the women’s world cup of tennis, has been renamed the Billie Jean King Cup.
It is the first time a major global team competition has been named after a woman, ushering in a new era for the historic tournament and representing a landmark moment in sport.
The rename also follows the introduction of a new finals format that will bring the 12 best nations together over one week in Budapest to compete to become world champions. From 2021, under its new name, the Billie Jean King Cup Finals will award the biggest annual prize fund in women’s team sports, equivalent to that offered to the men playing Davis Cup Finals.
ITF President David Haggerty (@HaggertyTennis) said, “From playing the first Fed Cup as a member of the victorious US team in 1963, founding the WTA and becoming its first President, to being the first female athlete awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, Billie Jean King has never stopped breaking new ground. Today she adds another ‘first’ to that list. The new name is a fitting tribute to everything she has achieved and will provide a lasting legacy that will inspire future generations of players and fans.”
Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) said, “There is nothing quite like the feeling of representing your country and being part of a team, which is why this competition is so special and important to me. It is an honor to have the women’s world cup of tennis carry my name and a responsibility I will not take lightly. Our job is to share this vision with future generations of young girls, because if you can see it, you can be it.”
College Football headline I am excited for -
The Big Ten this week made it official that it will play a football season this fall, with an October 23-24 start date that will allow for both a conference title game and a potential spot in the CFP.
What has changed in the five weeks since the conference first postponed the season is a "confluence of medical advancements, fan blowback, political pressure and the successful start of the college football season elsewhere." The presence of daily rapid testing, which has "led to a successful start in the NFL, will be used in the Big Ten and will be a key part of the league’s messaging why it’s moving forward."
Soccer story I am following -
SvFF, the Swedish Football Association, said given its strained financial situation, the men's national squad "will forgo all financial compensation for their fall matches ... to make it possible to coordinate negotiations with the women's team."
In August, Sweden's Equality Ombudsman, a government agency that promotes equal rights and fights discrimination, ruled that the football association had not discriminated against the female team by paying them lower wages than their male counterparts.
Kosovare Asllani (@KosovareAsllani), who plays for the Sweden women's national team and Real Madrid, said in an Instagram post on Thursday that "the fact that the Equality Ombudsman did not consider the substitute model to be discriminatory, does not mean that it is equal." Asllani added:
"Equality is also a part of the Swedish Football Association's core values…Equality is something we must all strive for." According to Asllani, in 2018/19, the women's squad were paid 24% of what the men's team received. When the women's team won bronze last year, they were paid "only 10% of what the men received when they made it to the quarterfinals."
"If you ask anyone…no one would say they play for the money…But it's about respect and the pursuit of equality," Asllani wrote.
At a press conference, Emil Forsberg (@eforsberg10) of Sweden's men's national team said "For me, it is obvious that [pay] should be equal, it is not even a question."
New sport I am learning about -
After watching Geography Now video 'Provinces of Argentina Explained,' I learned about Argentina's national sport of Juego del pato, more commonly referred to as Pato.
Pato is a game which is played on horseback that combines elements from polo and basketball. Teams made up of four members compete for possession of a leather ball (or pato), which has six conveniently-sized handles. The player that has control of the pato must ride with his right arm outstretched, giving rival players the chance to tug the pato away and steal it from the player.
A team scores by throwing the pato through a vertically positioned ring. The winner is the team with the most goals scored after regulation time, typically six 8-minute periods.
Really excited to check this sport out in the future.
Have a wonderful weekend, all!