The next time you complain about player salaries . . .

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 . . . think about this.  The CEO of Liberty Media, the company that owns the Atlanta Braves — Gregory Maffei — was paid $87.5 million last year.  The entire Braves payroll was $84.4 million.

Yes, I realize that there’s more going on with a big company like Liberty Media than just the Braves, and no, I don’t expect a company to take unnecessary losses on one of its operating divisions. I’m happy for Mr. Maffei for all of his great fortune.

That said, the notion that player salaries are nuts or that free agency or Scott Boras are ruining the financial structure of baseball is kind of silly and we should all just cut it out, OK? Developments that favor the players financially may technically mean that the rich are getting richer, but that’s only at the expense of the even richer still.

(Thanks to reader Stephen Rose for the heads up)

Baseball to honor Stoneman Douglas High School as spring training games begin

New Era
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There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.

The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.

All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.

After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.

Here’s today’s schedule: