Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Angels 4, White Sox 1: Did you know that if you win the AL Central that you contract a horrible disease? If you answered yes, you must be either the Tigers or the White Sox. That’s five straight losses for Chicago. Jered Weaver wins his 19th, allowing one run over six and a third. Kendrys Morales homers and Pujols drives in two.

Twins 10, Tigers 4; Twins 2, Tigers 1: Joe Mauer drove in four in the opener, handing Max Scherzer a rare second half loss. In the nightcap the Tigers couldn’t muster a lick of offense and blew a chance to gain ground on the Sox.  This is just getting pathetic.

Cardinals 6, Cubs 3: St. Louis wins its sixth game in the past seven and continues to hold off the horde.Pete Kozma and Allen Craig each drive in a pair.

Brewers 6, Nationals 2: Milwaukee keeps pace with the Cards. Ryan Braun doubled, singled and hit a sac fly. I can’t wait until no one gives him any MVP votes out of spite.

Dodgers 5, Reds 3: L.A. keeps pace as well, beating the regular-resting Reds. Two homers for Adrian Gonzalez.

Braves 2, Phillies 1: A pretty sweet pitcher’s duel. It’s a shame someone had to lose. But I suppose Cliff Lee has gotten used to that this season. The Braves have won 14 of their last 20 and are on the verge of clinching the wild card. Philly, in contrast, could not afford dropping two of three. The patient is not yet dead, but his next of kin have been told to hang around a phone.

Athletics 5, Yankees 4: The Yankees’ seven game win streak is snapped and the A’s get a much needed win to hold off the Angels. Cliff Pennington homered and drove in three.

Red Sox 2, Orioles 1: The O’s win-streak is snapped as well. And in a one-run game, no less. Quite unusual!  What’s next? Republicans admitting that Obama inherited, rather than created, a bad economy and has done a pretty decent job managing the recovery? Ok, now I’ve seen everything.

Pirates 8, Astros 1: A.J. Burnett was sharp, allowing one run over eight innings while striking out 11, picking up his 16th win and stopping the Pirates’ five game skid.

Rays 3, Blue Jays 0: Your standard six-pitcher shutout for Tampa Bay. B.J. Upton with a solo shot in the first and Evan Longoria with a two-run double in the eighth.

Indians 15, Royals 4: The Tribe outscored the Browns yesterday. I bet that’s happened on more than one Sunday in recent years. Carlos Santana was 3 for 6 with two homers and five driven in.

Mets 3, Marlins 2: Ruben Tejada singled in the winning run with two out in the bottom of the ninth. The Mets season may be a disappointing one, but the straight own the Marlins lately. Seven straight, in fact.

Padres 6, Giants 4: Most of the Giants got a day off the day after clinching the division and the results followed.

Rangers 3, Mariners 2: Texas avoids the sweep thanks to homers from Mike Napoli and Geovany Soto. They had the good sense to lose when the A’s were losing, however, thereby keeping their four game lead in the west.

Diamondbacks 10, Rockies 7: Aaron Hill broke the 4-4 tie in the top of the eighth. The Dbacks are four and a half games back of the Cardinals for the second wild card, but unlike Philly and the Dodgers, no one talks about them really being in it. Wonder why that is?

The Chicago Cubs dramatically jack up ticket prices

Wrigley Field
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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.