Major League Baseball holding a charity auction for Stand Up to Cancer


Major League Baseball just announced something very cool: a charity auction to benefit the Stand Up to Cancer. The initiative was inspired by the numerous cases of public relations officials in the sport who have been diagnosed with cancer in recent years.

The auction starts now and goes through Thursday December 6 at midnight and includes over 70 items and experiences donated by teams and players. And it’s cool stuff. All of it can be found on the main auction page. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Be a Baltimore Orioles player for a day – eat with team, take batting practice and sit in the dugout during a Spring Training game.
  • Ride on the Orioles’ team bus to and from a road game in Washington D.C.  You may not play “Try a little tenderness” on an acoustic guitar, unfortunately.
  • Even if you can’t do that, you can bid on a 30-minute guitar lesson from Cincinnati Reds All-Star pitcher Bronson Arroyo. I’m assuming its Dave Matthews heavy;
  • Receive a visit from Washington Nationals pitchers Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard to your child’s school and eat lunch with them in their cafeteria.
  • Take batting practice at Progressive Field with the Cleveland Indians. And heck, you may be able to make the team seeing as though it is the Indians.
  • Breakfast with All-Star Hunter Pence of the 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants. I’m assuming its intense.
  • Eat lunch with Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr., new Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell or Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda of the Dodgers. If you win this bid and don’t pick Lasorda, I don’t want to know you.
  • Receive pitching lessons from any of five Major League pitching coaches, including Jim Hickey (Rays) Rick Honeycutt (Dodgers), Charles Nagy (D-backs), Bryan Price (Reds), or Carl Willis (Mariners).  It’s an egg. Hold it like an egg, meat.
  • Work a one-day internship in the New York Yankees Media Relations Department. Could be cool. By the end of the day they’ll teach you 50 ways to not say ANYTHING to the media.
  • “Host a private party at your home with the Milwaukee Brewers Famous Racing Sausages.” So … a literal sausage party? I love this. It may be a cancer benefit, but there is definitely humor here. I may bid on this bad boy.
  • There’s lots of other stuff like batting practice with teams, merchandise, primo Green Monster seats in Boston and much, much more.

Check out the auction and see if you can’t do your part to help a worthy cause.


Kris Bryant wants to be Cubs’ player rep, vows to “fight” for next collective bargaining agreement

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant was one of the most prominent examples of service time manipulation in recent memory. He was ranked as the No. 1 prospect in baseball going into the 2015 season by Baseball America. He then had an incredible spring, batting .425 with a spring-high nine home runs and 15 RBI. The Cubs, however, didn’t add him to the Opening Day roster, instead keeping him in Triple-A for the first two weeks of the season, ensuring the club would get another year of control over Bryant because he wouldn’t accrue enough service time. He made his debut on April 17 and the rest was history. Bryant won the 2015 NL Rookie of the Year Award.

While the MLB Players Association filed a grievance on his behalf, Bryant didn’t say anything. But it was a learning moment for him. The same is true of the past offseason, which Bryant says “opened my eyes,” as Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. He now considers labor issues a priority, saying, “I need to study up, have my voice heard, continue to learn, because this is going to affect us for years to come. And I’d be foolish not to kind of offer myself out there.”

As Wittenmyer notes, Bryant hopes to replace Jake Arrieta as the Cubs’ player reprensentative. The players make that decision later this month. Bryant also vowed to fight for the next collective bargaining agreement. He said, “Maybe the focus was on other things rather than some of the more important things. But I think with this next one things are definitely going to change, and there’ll definitely be more fight on our side just because we’re going to get the chance to experience the effects of some of the things we agreed to. The only way to get what you want here is to fight for it. And I think you’re going to see a lot of that.”

It’s good to see Bryant motivated by recent economic developments in baseball. Hopefully more players take his lead and become more informed, arming themselves with all of the tools they need to create a better situation for themselves when the current CBA expires.