And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights


Sergio Romo.jpgGiants
3, Marlins 2
: Barry Zito is now 5-0 after throwing another gem (7
IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 4K). But give mucho credit to Sergio Romo, who atoned for
blowing Tim Lincecum’s game on Tuesday by coming into a bases-loaded,
no-out jam in the eighth to (a) fan Hanley Ramirez on three pitches; and
(b) induce Jorge Cantu to hit into an inning-ending double play.  I
hope Zito bought that man a steak after the game.

Reds 5, Mets 4: I think Jerry Manuel read Ozzie Guillen’s “When I want to quit, I’ll do a lot of stupid things
and make sure they fire me and get paid”
quotes from yesterday morning, because what else could explain (a) taking David Wright out of the game in order to keep Fernando Tatis in it; and (b) using Pedro Feliciano for four straight games, which is only increasing the pressure on an already overtaxed Mets’ pen.

Blue Jays 5, Indians 4: The Tribe are losers of four straight and eight
of their last 10, but this one was particularly painful. Cleveland led
4-2 with two outs in the ninth when Chris Perez gave up a double to Fred
Lewis, Luis Valbuena booted what would have been a game-ending grounder
which allowed Lewis to score and then Perez gave up a two-run shot to
Adam Lind. Perez had been in since there was one out in the eighth.
Asked after the game about using Perez for a five-out save, Manny
Acta made references to Rollie Fingers and Mike Marshall
. Unless
his point was to explain the quality of pitcher that Chris Perez most
certainly is not, I’m not quite sure where he was going with that

Pirates 4, Cubs 2: Look kid, we know you’re not Charlie Morton — he can’t pitch and you just did — so just cut the crap. Now tell us: what did you do with Morton? Is he safe? Because if any harm comes to him, well um, aw, forget it.  You gonna be ready to start in five days, “Charlie?”

Phillies 4, Cardinals 0: No one ran onto the field last night. Not even the Cardinals’ hitters, apparently.

Red Sox 3, Angels 1: That’s six straight losses for the Angels. There was a bomb threat before the game. In the game: Big Papi hit a bomb. Coincidence? Why, yes, it most certainly was.

Athletics 4, Rangers 1: This is gonna be one of those years where the AL West champ wins, like, 80 games, isn’t it?

Twins 5, Tigers 4: The sweep. Rick Porcello walked four guys, gave up five hits and allowed five runs in 5.1 innings. After the game he said “it was better.”  Sad thing? He’s not wrong. Miguel Cabrera hit two more runs in a losing cause, and currently has one of the quieter .372/.450/.655 seasons I’ve seen in a long time.

Yankees 7, Orioles 5: Homers from the Nicks and a two-run double from Teixeira give the Yanks a comfortable lead and then the bullpen — after Andy Pettitte’s early exit — takes it home despite the unavailability of both Mo (injury) and Joba (resting).

Braves 7, Nationals 6: A see-saw battle decided with Matt Diaz’s RBI single in the 10th. There had better be a lot more of those in his bat, because Jason Heyward left the game with a groin strain and is probably going to miss a few days, and he has basically been 100% of the offense lately babies.

Astros 4, Diamondbacks 2: The ‘Stros stop the skid on a walkoff jack by Carlos Lee. His first since God knows when, but not this year.

White Sox 9, Royals 2: The Chisox are the Bureau of Reclamation: Freddy Garcia wins, Andruw Jones and Alexis Rios homer.

Rays 8, Mariners 3: Matt Garza pitched eight strong innings to
improve to 5-1 on the season, and helping the Rays win their 20th.
Cliff Lee came out of the gate looking electric, but it didn’t last. He ended up allowing five runs on 10 hits in eight innings. Milton Bradley is getting the help he needs, it seems. The rest of the Mariners need some help too.

Brewers 11, Dodgers 3: The Brewers scored a bunch in the first inning, took a long break and then blew up again in the eighth. I’m not going to say that giving up 11 runs on consecutive nights was unnerving for Dodgers fans, but True Blue L.A. wrote the entire recap of last night’s game in pig Latin.

Rockies 6, Padres 5: Ian Stewart hit a go-ahead homer in the top of the 12th, breaking out of his slump and giving the game to the Rockies. And yes, I did forget this game when I first published the post this morning. I can’t tell you why. Maybe it’s because my brother — who is from San Diego — has been visiting me for a week, I’m getting a little tired of it and I’m just being passive aggressive about all things San Diego.

Congress to pass bill depriving minor leaguers of minimum wage rights

Getty Images

We saw this coming and wrote about it last weekend, but now it’s official: the new spending bill from Congress contains a gift for Major League and Minor League Baseball in the form of a provision classifying minor leaguers as seasonal workers, exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act. Practically speaking, this means that minor leaguers are not required to be paid minimum wage or have other basic protections to which even part-timers at fast food restaurants are entitled.

The relevant provision — buried on page 1,967 of the 2,232-page spending bill, which will get almost zero time to be read and processed by most people before it’s ultimately passed signed into law by tomorrow — is farcically entitled the “Save America’s Pastime Act.” It exempts from the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 people who fit this description:

[A]ny employee employed to play baseball who is compensated pursuant to a contract that provides for a weekly salary for services performed during the league’s championship season (but not on spring training or the off season) at a rate that is not less than a weekly salary equal to the minimum wage under section 6(a) for a workweek of 40 hours, irrespective of the number of hours the employee devotes to baseball related activities.

It may be news to you that the multi-billion baseball industry, run by a few dozen billionaires and billion-dollar businesses, needed to be “saved” in such a fashion. Congress knew though. Maybe because Congress is so benevolent and wise. Or, maybe, because baseball’s lobbying operation spent millions plying Congressmen for this special law to keep it from having to pay workers a living wage.

Based on the response to our past writings on this topic, I suspect most of you won’t care all that much. You either believe that all or most of these players are wealthy via six or seven-figure signing bonuses or will make serious money in the big leagues one day. That’s not true, but many of you believe it. Or, alternatively, maybe you view minor leaguers as a bunch of kids farting around with a hobby until they start their “real life,” so why should they make a living wage?

To the extent you believe that and to the extent this does not bother you, I’d simply suggest that you ask how much money minor league and major league organizations make via the playing and marketing of minor league baseball and how much Major League Baseball benefits by having its training and development system costs legislatively controlled. Ask yourself whether the company that gave you your first entry-level position would’ve loved to have a law allowing it to pay you less than minimum wage and how you would’ve felt if that was the case in your situation. Ask yourself if anyone else would have cared all that much about the job you had when you were 22 and whether that would make a difference to you as you made the equivalent of $5 or $6 an hour for a multi-billion dollar business.

Maybe that still doesn’t sway you. But it doesn’t change the fact that this is a greedy cash grab by baseball which now, thanks to specially-requested government intervention, institutionalizes and legitimizes the exploitation of young men with very little power and even less money. That you may be OK with it doesn’t make it right. In fact, it’s very, very wrong.