San Francisco Giants v Texas Rangers, Game 3

Game 3 Live Blog

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9:52: And down goes Uribe. Rangers win. It’s 2-1. Now it gets interesting. Bumgarner v. Hunter tomorrow, my friends.  I’ll be back liveblogging then.  Stay tuned to HBT for Matthew Pouliot’s game racap.  Night folks!

9:49: And down goes Huff. Two down, and we’re an out away from this being a competitive series again.

9:47: Feliz makes short work of Pat Burrell. Now on to face hitters who pose an actual threat.

9:43: In comes Neftali Feliz. I’m rather surprised he remembers the route to the mound.

9:41: Ozzie Guillen comes into the booth and says that he was surprised Washington didn’t use Feliz.  Either that or else he was talking about the cruise he’s planning after the Series is over. It’s hard to tell with Ozzie sometimes.

9:37: OK, I now realize just how dumb I’m going to look if Feliz comes in for the save and blows it.  Thank God it’s Saturday night and none of you are reading this. I’ll be able to go back and erase the past few updates!

9:33: O’Day gets out of it. Know what? I don’t care if it worked. It was still a dumb decision. You have to use Neftali Feliz when the game is on the line. That Washington has consistently failed to do so this postseason is inexplicable.

9:27: Darren O’Day comes into the game. There are two out in the eighth. Tying run at the plate. Why on Earth can’t Washington bring his best relief pitcher in here? This is atrocious.

9:25: Colby Lewis hits a dude, and he’s being yoinked.  Ron Washington makes the call to the pen. Now it gets interesting.

9:22: Andres Torres goes yard. 4-2.  This may not be as bad for Texas as you might think. If it stays a save situation, Washington may be forced to hunt down Neftali Feliz and actually use him in this game.

9:21: “Darren Oliver is getting loose.”  The bullpen is soon going to be part of this game for Texas. Don’t go calling this one a victory yet, Rangers fans. Wait a second [phone rings] Ron Washington is calling ME into the game!

9:14: Jeremy Affeldt is pitching. He has a beard, but it’s not as bushy or black as Wilson’s. “Have some mild uneasiness about the beard!”

9:07: Martha Plimpton for “God Bless America?”  Wasn’t expecting that. And since FOX is using this to promote one of its shows — it was even announced by the PA guy — can we dispense with the notion that it’s all patriotic and sacred and stuff?  Bring back “Take me out to the Ballgame,” OK?

9:04: Wow, there goes Cody Ross again. Home run, 4-1, Rangers.  Someone is going to [over]pay him a TON for this postseason performance.

9:03: Pat Burrell just struck out for the third time. He’s brought zilch to the table this series. Or the postseason overall (Burrell is 6-for-37 with 18 Ks). Bochy needs to sit him down.

9:00: Just saw two ads for the same political race in this commercial break. In one, the incumbent was portrayed as a nice man. In the other, pure evil. They both can’t be right! Someone is lying!

8:57: For the second time tonight a Giant pitcher fakes to second and the crowd goes nuts, thinking it’s a balk. Yay for Texas in the World Series, but there are likely a lot of new fans at the ballpark tonight.

8:54: And Francoeur takes a walk.  This, my friends, is not the Giants’ night.

8:53: McCarver on Ian Kinsler’ stolen base: “Posey actually makes a good throw . . .” as the video shows it going well to the third base side of the bag.

8:50: Ah, Jeffy is up with a runner on.  I can’t decide if I want him to go yard or screw himself into the ground whiffing on a big swing.

8:43: And the threat ends with Aubrey Huff on second. The Giants have suddenly reverted to the Giants we all came to know late in the season.  Just not looking good at the plate.

8:41: Was just about to say that Lewis had been walking some dangerous territory with those hanging curves, but then McCarver said it, so let’s just forget it. /stopped clock.

8:39: Know what I don’t care about? Whether Brett Favre starts tomorrow. Anyone else trying to play on a broken ankle would be considered a psycho, a detriment to his team or both. Favre, though? He’s like a kid out there!

8:37:  OK, the runaway train movie looks like it might be good.

8:34: Why is Vlad Guerrero stealing? Shot down, of course. He runs like he’s smuggling cinder blocks, yet off he goes? Eh, Rangers still up 4-0.

8:28: Seriously, what has happened to Sanchez?  He’s been MIA all postseason. Just awful.

8:27: Josh Hamilton just abused that baseball.  Bye-bye Sanchez. Or at least it should be.

8:25: Wow, Uribe flashed some leather, and the neighborhood play at second was fair enough as far as I was concerned.  Wait — replay showed it may not have been the neighborhood play. Nice DP!

8:23: I’ve been digging this low, low strike zone tonight. And by “digging” I mean really, really hating.

8:20: Hey all — this started as a chat, but due to a glitch in the Matrix or something, we kept having technical glitches. So from here on out, it’s a live blog. Upside: while trying to fix the live chat, I missed a horrendous Jeff Francoeur at bat!

The Chicago Cubs dramatically jack up ticket prices

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The Cubs won the World Series. Now Cubs fans are going to pay through the nose for the privilege of going to games at Wrigley Field: The club has raised season ticket prices for 2017, on average, 19.5%. The rate increases range from 6% for upper deck seats to 31% for infield club seats.

As a result of the increase, the Chicago Tribune reports, a single infield box seat on the dugout for 81 games will cost $29,089.76, or $359 per game. The cheapest season ticket, for upper-deck outfield seats, is $2,139.20, or $26 per game. Those figures include tax, so it’s practically a bargain.

The Cubs cite “unprecedented demand” for tickets as the reason for the increase. That’s likely true. Cubs tickets are expensive even when they aren’t playing well due to the draw that is Wrigley Field. Indeed, for years, when the product on the field suffered, there was a sense that people would go to the ballpark just for the fun of it in ways that fans rarely if ever do for other teams. The Cubs attendance increased dramatically in 2016 and tickets often experienced an equally dramatic increase on the secondary ticket market. The Cubs would be wise to try to capture as much of that profit as they can rather than see it go to others.

Still, that’s gonna smart for people who can’t afford season tickets and who just want to go to a one-off game with the kids and exacerbates the longstanding trend of baseball tickets becoming luxury items for the well-off.

Minor League Baseball established a political action committee to fight paying players more

DURHAM, NC - JULY 28:  The Chicago White Sox play the Most Valuable Prospects during the championship game of the 2011 Breakthrough Series at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park on July 28, 2011 in Durham, North Carolina.  Most Valuable Prospects won 17-2 over the Chicago White Sox. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
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Josh Norris of Baseball America reports that Minor League Baseball has established a political action committee to continue fighting against a lawsuit brought by a group of former minor league players seeking increased wages and back pay.

You may recall that, earlier this year, two members of Congress — Republican Brett Guthrie of Kentucky and Democrat Cheri Bustos of Illinois — introduced H.R. 5580 in the House of Representatives. Also known as the “Save America’s Pastime Act,” H.R. 5580 sought to change language in Section 13 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. In doing so, minor leaguers wouldn’t have been covered under a law that protects workers who are paid hourly. Minor League Baseball publicly endorsed the bill. Bustos withdrew her support after receiving widespread criticism.

The whole thing started when Sergio Miranda filed a lawsuit in 2014, accusing Major League Baseball teams of colluding to eliminate competition. The lawsuit challenged the reserve clause, which binds minor leaguers into contracts with their teams for seven years. That suit was dismissed in September 2015. However, another lawsuit was filed in October last year — known as Senne vs. the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball — alleging that minor leaguers were victims of violations of state and federal minimum wage laws. Senne et. al. suffered a setback this summer when U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco dismissed class certification. That essentially meant that the players could not file a class-action lawsuit. As a result, the players’ legal team led by Garrett Broshuis amended their case to only include players who play in one league for an entire season. As Norris notes, that means that the included players’ experiences are uniform enough for inclusion in a class-action lawsuit.

So that’s why Minor League Baseball established a political action committee (PAC). A PAC, for the unfamiliar, is an organization created with the intent of raising money to defeat a particular candidate, legislation, or ballot initiative. In other words, they’re getting serious and want Capitol Hill’s help.

Minor League Baseball president Stan Brand said, “Because of procedurally what has happened in the Congress and the difficulties in getting legislation, we’ve got to adjust to that. We were lucky. We had the ability because of the depth of the relationships and involvement in the communities to not have to worry about that. And now we do, I think. The PAC . . . gives us another tool to re-enforce who we are and why we’re important.”

Norris mentions in his column that Phillies minor league outfielder Dylan Cozens received the Joe Baumann Award for leading the minors with 40 home runs. That came with an $8,000 prize. Cozens said that the prize was more than he made all season. The minor league regular season spanned from April 7 to September 5, about six months. Athletes aren’t paid in the other six months which includes offseason training and spring training. They are also not paid for participating in instructional leagues and the Arizona Fall League. Minor leaguers lack union representation, which is why their fight for fair pay has been such an uphill battle.