Anna at Petco Park

Guest Post: Anna Calcaterra on baseball

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My kids are home from school today. Again. Darn winter weather. They have not had a full five-day school week since before Christmas. And, frankly, it’s getting on my nerves. I told them this morning that I have to work and that they need to not be crazy.

My ten year-old daughter Anna — known to some of you around here as Mookie — asked me if it would help me out if she wrote something today. I figured, heck, what’s the worst thing that could happen? So I said yes. She wrote up the following post. The only thing I did on it was the formatting. I was going to insert some A-Rod rhetoric, but she told me to give it a rest. Kids.

Please, warm weather, come back soon. — Craig

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My dad is Craig Calcaterra. This is about his job.

He goes “typity-type-type-type” about basity-base-base-ball all day. It’s true. Not kidding. Lots of people think that’s all he does. To prove it, here is a quote from my brother Carlo:

I think his brain’s gonna melt out if he keeps typity-type-type-typing on the computer all day. And he likes the letter “B” a lot. Baseball. Beer. Bourbon. Batman. And his favorite color is blue.

I told him this had to be about baseball so I stopped him.

Anyway, my dad asked me if I had any thoughts about baseball to share. So here are a few:

  • I went to a Columbus Clippers-Charlotte Knights baseball game once and shook my butt when the music was playing and it got up on the big screen on the scoreboard.
  • I once saw Carlos Santana hit a grand slam at a Clippers game. I don’t really remember this because I was young but my dad reminded me of it last week.
  • My first major league game was in 2012. It was in San Diego. The Padres played the Texas Rangers. The Rangers won. My uncle Curt went with us too. Major league stadiums are bigger than minor league stadiums.
  • Even though I think my dad and his job are lame, I think baseball is cool.

Wasn’t this better than what my dad usually writes?

Bye,

Mookie

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.

Report: White Sox, Nationals making “strong progress” on a Chris Sale deal

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 27:  Starting pitcher Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox deliivers the ball against the Tampa Bay Rays at U.S. Cellular Field on September 27, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the White Sox and Nationals are making “strong progress” on a trade involving ace Chris Sale. Most reports coming out on Monday night suggest that a deal isn’t likely to be consummated until Tuesday at the earliest.

Sale, 27, has pitched in the majors over parts of seven seasons. He owns a career 74-50 record with a 3.00 ERA and a 1,244/260 K/BB ratio in 1,110 innings. The lefty will earn $12 million in 2017, then has a club option for 2018 worth $12.5 million with a $1 million buyout as well as a 2019 club option worth $13.5 million with a $1 million buyout. Relative to what he would earn if he were a free agent today, Sale’s remaining salary is a bargain.

The Nationals would likely have to part with several of their top prospects. MLB Pipeline lists pitcher Lucas Giolito, outfielder Victor Robles, and pitcher Reynoldo Lopez in the club’s top-three.

Adding Sale would arguably give the Nationals claim to the best starting rotation in baseball as he would join 2016 NL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.

There are other teams in the mix for Sale. The Red Sox and Astros have also talked with the White Sox about the lefty’s services.