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Michael Pineda, Twins reach agreement on $20M, 2-year deal

Right-hander Michael Pineda is returning to the Minnesota Twins, as the sides have reached an agreement on a two-year, $20 million contract, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

FOX 9 of Minneapolis was first to report on the agreement.

Pineda will begin the 2020 season serving the remainder of a 60-game suspension that began in early September. He originally was given an 80-game ban after testing positive for the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide, which can mask other substances, but the penalty was reduced to 60 upon appeal.

The 6-foot-7, 280-pound right-hander has about five weeks of the suspension left to serve, which means he’ll be available for only five months of the coming season. Pineda apologized to the Twins following the ban for his “error in judgment,” saying he was given an over-the-counter medication by an acquaintance to help manage his weight.

The suspension was a big blow to the rotation for the AL Central champion Twins. One of the team’s steadiest starters, Pineda likely would have been near the top of the team’s playoff rotation. Instead, the Twins were swept by the New York Yankees in the AL Division Series.

Pineda’s presence in the rotation was one of the most underappreciated improvements made by the Twins in 2019. Before the suspension, in his 26th start of the season, Pineda reached double-digit strikeouts for the first time since April 10, 2017, when he was with the Yankees. Pineda missed the second half of that season and, after signing with the Twins, all of 2018 while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

In 14 starts prior to the suspension, Pineda was 10-4 with a 2.96 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 82 innings. His success was attributed to better command and a much-improved changeup.

Pineda, who was 11-5 with a 4.01 ERA for the season, pitched 146 innings and missed bonus opportunities of $500,000 apiece for 150 innings and each additional 10 through 200. He had to forfeit $989,247 of his $8 million salary last season due to the ban.

In 2014, Pineda was suspended 10 games while with the Yankees for putting pine tar on his neck to help get a better grip during a game against the Boston Red Sox.

Pineda was traded to the Yankees by the Seattle Mariners after a spectacular 2011 debut season that saw him finish fifth in AL Rookie of the Year voting and earn an All-Star selection.

Overall, Pineda is 51-46 with a 4.04 ERA and 827 strikeouts in six seasons with the Twins, Yankees and Mariners.

ESPN’s Keith Law and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Johnny Depp is not involved in Michael Jackson musical about his glove

A representative for Johnny Depp says that neither he or his production company are involved in the making of an upcoming Michael Jackson musical about his glove.

It was being reported that Depp was producing a new musical about the life of Michael Jackson – as told from the point of view of his glove.

The musical will be based on the play For the Love of Glove: An Unauthorised Musical Fable About the Life of Michael Jackson, as Told by His Glove, which has been written by Julien Nitzberg. It will debut in L.A. next January.

For the Love of a Glove tells the story of what happens after a group of aliens shaped like bedazzled gloves crash-land in Jackson’s hometown of Gary, Indiana. “It turns out, [the glove] can give people magical musical talent if it drinks their blood and has part of their body inside of it,” Nitzberg told The Hollywood Reporter. “But it can only feed on virgin boy blood.”

One alien glove attaches itself to a young Michael Jackson, who eventually learns that he can’t feed all five alien gloves himself, so he starts bringing boys home.

Earlier reports claimed that Johnny Depp’s production company, Infinitum Nihil, was involved in the project, but were subsequently corrected when it turned out that wasn’t the case.

“An earlier version of the story listed Johnny Depp and his production company Infinitum Nihil as producers of For the Love of a Glove,” reads an addendum in The Hollywood Reporter‘s report on the project. “There is currently a dispute over credits and a rep for Depp says that he and his company are not producing and not involved in any way.”

The ‘Billie Jean’ singer’s nephew, Taj Jackson, took to Twitter to call out media outlets for running the story without confirming the facts first.


Recently, it was reported that Bohemian Rhapsody producer Graham King has secured the rights to make a film about Michael Jackson’s life.

That’s according to Deadline, which reports that sources have confirmed that King has been given the green light by the late singer’s estate.

King, who owns the production company GK Films, has reportedly retained three-time Oscar-nominated writer John Logan to write the script. Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr added that the movie isn’t “intended to be a sanitised rendering of Jackson’s life.”

The biopic is said to span the pop star’s entire life from child star in the Jackson 5 to his death in June 2009. It’s said that the film will also address Jackson’s defence against allegations of child sexual abuse: allegations of which were made in HBO’s 2019 Leaving Neverland documentary and which the Jackson family estate have always strenuously denied.

Additionally, Deadline reports that Logan, nominated in the past for Academy Awards for The Aviator (2004), Hugo (2011) and Gladiator (2000), will shape the script with King before setting it at a studio.

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Johnny Depp Is Producing A Musical About Michael Jackson’s Glove As A Blood-Sucking Alien

Johnny Depp is a divisive celebrity, to say the least. So, of course, it only figures that he would find another divisive celebrity, and help produce a controversial project about his life. He’s doing just that, by putting his weight behind a new musical about Michael Jackson and his signature glove.

Page Six reports that Johnny Depp’s company Infinitum Nihil is producing Julien Nitzberg’s “For the Love of a Glove: An Unauthorized Musical Fable About the Life of Michael Jackson, as told by his Glove.” According to the musical’s writer, the project got off the ground after he was initially recruited by a TV network to write a biopic about the controversial singer. He said that they struggled with how to tackle Michael Jackson’s child sexual abuse allegations, and that he came up with a, um, creative way around it:

Julien Nitzberg said he hoped to develop the idea into a musical but, for somewhat obvious reasons, struggled to find funding. He connected with Johnny Depp’s production company through another project that fizzled out, but they showed an interest when he told them about his idea.

And they were apparently interested enough to help fund the “For the Love of a Glove” endeavor. The musical is taking a leaf from Hamilton’s book, and has cast the villainous glove as the story’s narrator. According to Julien Nitzberg, it will star both actors and life-sized puppets, who will bring some of the more notorious figures in Michael Jackson’s life to the stage, including the rest of the Jackson 5, Corey Feldman and Bubbles the Chimp.

To say the premise for the musical will be controversial may be the understatement of the decade. But it’s also likely to draw the kind of attention a new musical needs to thrive. Michael Jackson’s life became a prominent headline this year in the wake of HBO’s documentary Leaving Neverland. And “For the Love of a Glove” is not the only project about the King of Pop that’s currently in development, either. There is an authorized musical, MJ, that’s due to hit Broadway next year. Bohemian Rhapsody’s producers are at work on a biopic of their own, and they’ve promised the darker parts of Michael Jackon’s life won’t be sanitized (or blamed on a glove).

“For the Love of a Glove” premieres in Los Angeles on January 25, 2020.

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Johnny Depp is producing a new musical about Michael Jackson

Johnny Depp is producing a new musical about the life of Michael Jackson – as told from the point of view of his glove.

The musical will be based on the play For the Love of Glove: An Unauthorised Musical Fable About the Life of Michael Jackson, as Told by His Glove, which has been written by Julien Nitzberg.

The play is described as “a fresh, revisionist look at the strange forces that shaped Jackson and the scandals that bedevilled him.” The musical will debut in LA next January.

Nitzberg reportedly told Page Six that a major television network in the US had asked him to write a film about Jackson but that they later pulled out following allegations of child abuse against Jackson which emerged earlier this year.

Michael Jackson performs in concert circa 1986. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Of his Jackson play, Nitzberg said: “A major TV network wanted me to write a [Jackson] movie…but the question came up [about] how to deal with the child-abuse allegations.

“[So] I said, how’s this? Everything MJ has been accused of has actually been caused by his glove, which is actually an alien from outer space [and] feeds on virgin boy blood. They laughed and said, ‘can you do the normal version?’

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On Fox News, DNC Vice Chair Michael Blake Questioned Why Tucker Carlson Still Has a Job

Following Blake’s callout, Hemmer tried to refocus the conversation on Carlson’s opinion about the 2020 race, asking again about a potential Michelle run.

“Not going to happen,” Blake replied. “But I think the core question is [Carlson] shouldn’t be on here at all.”

Hemmer then said Blake was there to talk about the Democratic field, not Carlson. But that didn’t put the conversation to bed entirely, and Blake remained critical of Fox News and its alignment with President Donald Trump’s administration, much to Hemmer’s consternation.

“We’re talking about jobs while Trump is ignoring the truth. We’re talking about health care while he is ignoring the truth,” Blake said. “And the question must be: for Donald Trump, for Fox News, for other entities — ”

Hemmer interrupted Blake, saying, “Listen, I didn’t bring you on to bash our network, so, with all due respect, why don’t we just keep it on topic?” Blake replied that Carlson’s employment was relevant to the conversation and Hemmer rejected that claim. Hemmer then asked about a new article from Politico titled “Waiting for Obama,” a report on the former president’s meetings with current presidential candidates, using it to bolster questions of Barack Obama’s support for Biden.

“First, it’s not appropriate just to say that we can’t talk about what you said. You brought us on to be a guest,” Blake said. He then referenced his experience on Obama’s successful 2008 presidential campaign and stressed that mobilizing an interracial coalition like the one that helped Obama succeed would be key to the 2020 nominaton. Obama’s 2008 win was assisted by his broad base of support; the importance of the “Obama coalition” has been frequently discussed following the 2016 election and ahead of 2020.

Blake said that every candidate in the race should be focused on building coalitions between racial groups, saying, “We are talking about uniting of races as others are talking about dividing of races. And so, it is always appropriate to bring up these issues. It’s one of the reasons you brought me on.”

Blake highlighted that several Democratic candidates are beating Trump in Fox News polls before the conversation ended discussing some recent entries to the expansive 2020 field.

Carlson’s history of controversial takes have spawned a successful boycott of advertisers who sponsored his show, leading several to end the relationship.

Blake, who is a state assemblyman in New York, referenced the clip on Twitter, where he called on those who agreed with him to support his campaign.

Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: White Male Terrorists Are an Issue We Should Discuss

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Michael Bloomberg Brings Controversial N.Y.C. Schools Record to 2020 Race – Politics K-12


As the newest Democratic candidate for president, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg brings his lengthy experience overseeing Big Apple schools to the race—and his record attracts big fans well as harsh critics.

A billionaire businessman who founded a financial data-services firm that later grew to include a news service, Bloomberg served as Gotham’s mayor from 2002 to 2013. His ambitions for the city’s public schools were well-timed: Soon after Bloomberg took office in 2002, Gov. George Pataki, a Republican, signed a law transferring control of the city’s schools to the mayor. Mayoral control was briefly suspended when the state legislature let it lapse for about a month during the summer of 2009.

In that capacity, Bloomberg likely aquired some of the most hands-on experience dealing with schools of any of the 2020 candidates. His supporters say his decisions about accountability and standards, along with expanded school choice and changes to labor policies, had clear benefits for the city’s students. Yet critics take aim at those same decisions. They say his centralized decisionmaking process sometimes shut out important parties, and that Bloomberg was not transparent. 

Click here for a detailed timeline of changes in New York City schools during Bloomberg’s leadership

During his time in office, Bloomberg’s package of reforms was branded Children First. The city’s schools adopted new reading and math curriculum, revamped its high school admissions system to go to a city-wide process, and adopted an A-F system to grade schools. He also pushed for low-performing teachers to be laid off. 

The growth of charter schools was a big part of his time as mayor. A Brookings Institution paper from 2013 found that the number of charter schools grew from just 22 in 2003 to 159 in the 2012-13 school year. He was an ally of Eva Moskowitz, the CEO of Success Academy, the high-profile charter school network, although Moskowitz said the two never “hit it off personally.”

Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor will always be closely identified wih Joel Klein, who serves as the city schools chancellor for eight years.

On his watch, New York City schools won the Broad Prize for success in urban education, and Klein’s backers said Klein was determined to focus on student achievement and success, even if it meant alienating traditional power players in Big Apple schools.

Yet  the United Federation of Teachers, the city’s teachers’ union, fought with Klein over issues like the release of value-added score results for thousands of city teachers. Indeed, the union’s distrust of Klein was such that in 2015, the American Federation of Teachers made a “panicked” call to then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign to check out a rumor that Klein was advising the former U.S. senator and secretary of state. (It turned out he was not.)

Go here for several articles concerning Klein’s leadership of Big Apple schools. Bloomberg’s pick to succeed Klein, Cathie Black, a magazine executive, lasted just three months on the job and was subject to withering criticism. Black was replaced by Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott. 

Political Donor and Gun Control

Bloomberg’s decisions about Gotham schools were a big part of the race to succeed him as mayor. In 2013, a spokesman for Bloomberg’s successor, Bill de Blasio, attacked Bloomberg’s record, saying that he “used mayoral control to shove his policies into schools and communities.” 

Since leaving the mayor’s office, Bloomberg has also made his mark as a political donor, contributing to local school board races in addition to state legislative and other elections. He’s part of a larger trend of wealthy individuals and outside groups getting more involved in these elections that don’t involve national offices. 

Last year, Bloomberg pledged $375 million over the next five years to initiatives focusing on making students ready for college and the workforce. In the same vein, three years ago Bloomberg Philanthropies launched the American Talent Initiative, in which a coalition of elite colleges and universities said they’d work to enroll more high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds. 

And Bloomberg has been particularly notable for his advocacy for gun control. He bankrolled the creation of Everytown for Gun Safety, which advocates for stricter gun laws among other policies. Everytown for Gun Safety has warned against arming teachers to prevent school shootings. 

Photo: Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a news conference at a gun control advocacy event in Las Vegas in February 2019. Bloomberg has opened door to a potential presidential run, saying the Democratic field ‘not well positioned’ to defeat Trump. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Don’t miss another Politics K-12 post. Sign up here to get news alerts in your email inbox.

Follow us on Twitter @PoliticsK12And follow the Politics K-12 reporters @EvieBlad @Daarel and @AndrewUjifusa

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Bohemian Rhapsody Producer Now Making A Michael Jackson Biopic, And It Won’t Be Sanitized

Bohemian Rhapsody producer Graham King has reportedly secured the rights to make a movie centered on the “Thriller” legend, along with access to all of Michael Jackson’s music from his family’s estate. The movie will apparently span the musician’s entire life and is not intended to be a “sanitized rendering” of his legacy, per Deadline.

Graham King’s GK Films has hired John Logan as the film’s screenwriter, and he is a two-time Oscar nominee for his scripts for Gladiator and Hugo. Logan also wrote the big-screen adaptation of Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd, the two most recent James Bond films Skyfall and Spectre, and Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator.

Graham King and John Logan’s work on the Howard Hughes film may particularly instill some confidence, considering Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal showed the legend complexly dealing with his mental illness and germaphobia amidst his better known aviation career. However, in terms of Michael Jackson’s life, there’s a ton more to tackle here.

As HBO’s recent documentary Leaving Neverland highlighted, Jackson has a troubled history with sexual abuse allegations that first surfaced back in 1993. The music legend defended himself, paid out settlements, and was brought to trial in 2005 for several claims connected to children having sleepovers at his Neverland Ranch. (The jury produced a verdict of not guilty.) The documentary has since been involved in a $100 million lawsuit with the Jackson estate, which has called it a “tabloid character assassination.”

Additionally, Michael Jackson also allegedly had a tough childhood flooded with mental and emotional abuse by his father, as he and his siblings rose to fame as the Jackson 5, finding hits with “ABC” and “I Want You Back” in the early ‘70s. Of course, in the ‘80s Jackson became an icon in the era of MTV with massive hits such as “Billie Jean” and “Beat It.” There’s certainly a ton of material to be touched upon from the singer’s reputation up to his death in 2009 at the age of 50.

News of Graham King making a Michael Jackson movie comes just a few weeks after it was reported the producer was also moving forward with a biopic about the Bee Gees. The movie about the “Stayin’ Alive” artists seems to be further along than the Jackson biopic since it has been picked up by Paramount, whereas the latter is currently without a studio.

King just found success with Bohemian Rhapsody, which became the highest-grossing music biopic of all time with a $903 million worldwide gross. It was nominated for six Oscars, including a Best Actor win for Rami Malek. An Elton John musical, Rocketman, came out this summer as well and a David Bowie movie is currently in production.

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Tv Shows

Netflix Orders ‘Vikings’ Sequel Series ‘Valhalla’ From Michael Hirst – TV Insider

Prepare for the next chapter of Vikings.

Netflix announced Tuesday that it ordered Vikings: Valhalla, a new series from creator Michael Hirst that picks up 100 years after the original. (The final season of the History Channel series premieres Wednesday, December 4 at 9/8c.)

Vikings: Valhalla will dramatize the adventures of the most famous Vikings who ever lived: Leif Erikson, Freydis, Harald Harada, and the Norman King William the Conqueror (also a Viking descendent). They “will blaze new paths as they fight for survival in an ever changing and evolving Europe.”

“I am beyond excited that we are announcing the continuation of our Vikings saga,” Hirst, who will serve as executive producer alongside Jeb Stuart and Morgan O’Sullivan, said in a statement. “I know that the millions of our fans across the globe will be thrilled by the belief being shown in our show by MGM and Netflix. Jeb Stuart, a truly wonderful writer, will bring new story-lines and a powerful visceral vision to stories about some of the most famous Vikings known to history.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Michael, Morgan, Jeb and Netflix on the next chapter in the incredible Vikings universe,” Steve Stark, MGM’s President of Television Production and Development added. “Valhalla has been a labor of love for everyone involved and as we look ahead to the continuation of this great saga, we are excited to know that fans the world over will have the opportunity to continue with the series on its new home at Netflix.”

Vikings: Valhalla promises to be everything that fans love about the franchise: heart-pounding, unstoppable action rooted in rich characters and dramatic storytelling that shines the light on family, loyalty and power,” Channing Dungey, Vice President, Original Series, Netflix said. “We are thrilled to bring the next iteration of the Vikings saga to life with Michael Hirst, Jeb Stuart, Morgan O’Sullivan and MGM Television.”

(Bernard Walsh/History)

Vikings: Valhalla, Coming Soon, Netflix

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Inside The Story Of Overwatch 2 With Lead Writer Michael Chu

In another video interview from our month of Blizzard coverage, Overwatch Lead Writer Michael Chu joins us to explain the setting of Overwatch 2’s story experience and the philosophy of the writing team as they head into untested waters with fan-favorite characters.

Enjoy the quick video above, and be sure to click the banner below to check out other exclusive content within our Blizzard Issue, including gameplay from Overwatch 2’s story experience:

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