Scroll past the story about the new male strip club in the Castro and you’ll find this item in the San Francisco Chronicle:
. . . the San Francisco Giants have agreed to pay $700,000 in back pay and penalties to 74 batboys, cooks, clubhouse attendants and other workers after a federal audit concluded the team’s salary practices were improper … The Giants paid them a flat “game rate” salary, although under state and federal law, they’re supposed to be paid by the hour. And the batboys were getting about $55 a game – no matter how many hours they worked.
Which, yes, is a violation. But given that players and coaches tip these guys out, often very handsomely, it’s not like they weren’t getting paid well. Rules are rules though. And with the wage system — which the article says the Giants went to in 2012 — I’m guessing they’re still getting tipped nicely.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: