ESPN Dallas writer Richard Durrett died suddenly last week. For as much of a loss that represents for those of us who loved his work, it’s utterly insignificant compared to the loss felt by his family. Richard was just 38, was married, had two small children and one on the way.
Thankfully, the Rangers have stepped up to help out the Durrett family in their time of need, but if you’re in or near the Dallas Metroplex, you can take part in an event that will help them out too.
There will be a fundraiser for the Durrett Family at Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House in Dallas on Saturday from 3pm-7pm. There you can donate, commiserate and do some good for some folks who could use it. The centerpiece of it will be a silent auction and raffle with some pretty cool prizes and/or experiences, including:
- A game day experience with Dallas Stars play-by-play man Ralph Strangis;
- A game day experience with Dallas Mavericks play-by-play man Chuck Cooperstein;
- An inning in the booth with Texas Rangers play-by-play man Eric Nadel;
- An autographed bow tie from Fox’s Ken Rosenthal;
- An in-studio experience with Norm Hitzges and Mike Sirois of 1310 The Ticket in Dallas;
- An in-studio experience with Ben Rogers and Skin Wade of 105.3 The Fan in Dallas; and
- Game-used, autographed bats from Mark MacLemore and Rougned Odor of the Texas Rangers
Again: it’s at Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House, 1154 Peavy Road in Dallas, this Saturday from 3pm-7pm. Winners of the auctions and raffles will be announced at 6pm.
If you’re in the area, please try to make it down there to help some good people in baseball’s family who are having the toughest of times right now.
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.
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.