And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Diamondbacks 4, Marlins 3: Tied 1-1 into the tenth and the Marlins put up two in the top of the inning. The Dbacks rallied, though, with Paul Goldschmidt hitting a walkoff two-run double.

Angels 8, Blue Jays 7: Albert Pujols hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh. The Angels’ pen did a nice job of picking up C.J. Wilson who gave up six runs (some unearned) and couldn’t make it out of the fourth.

Tigers 4, Dodgers 1: No Miguel Cabrera, no Victor Martinez, no problem. Max Scherzer stymied the Dodgers. Some sweet defense helped too, as the Dodgers’ first inning threat was put down by Eugenio Suarez caught Yasiel Puig napping and third and nailed him with a snap throw and Rajai Davis made a sliding catch in left.

Mets 4, Braves 1: Dillion Gee gave up one run over seven innings in his first start in two months. The Braves have now lost four straight following a nine-game winning streak to fall out of first place.

Rockies 6, Padres 3: Two homers for Tulo. Five homers overall for Colorado. The Padres seeing that kind of offensive outburst had to be like a caveman being transported to the 21st century in a time machine and seeing modern technology.

Twins 8, Mariners 1: The Twins scored eight runs by the time the fourth inning was over. According to the game story, the Twins players wanted to keep scoring: “We had guys screaming in the dugout, `It’s not illegal to score 10 runs!’ manager Ron Gardenhire said.” It’s a shame no one told them about the Restoring Pitching Act of 2013, which was passed in a bipartisan fashion. You’ll note that no one violated that law last night.

Astros 8, Rangers 4: The Astros sweep the Rangers and have moved past them into fourth place in the AL West, at least by percentage points. Robbie Grossman and George Springer homered for the Astros.

Giants 5, Athletics 2: San Francisco finally takes one from Oakland as the series moves to the west side of the bay. Jason Hammel takes the loss in his A’s debut.

Royals 5, Rays 4: Sal Perez brought K.C. back with a three-run homer in the ninth. The Royals now have a four game series against Detroit at home to take them into the break. They’re four and a half back of the Tigers. Pretty big stuff here.

Phillies 4 ,Brewers 1: Not a great time for the Brewers to drop three in a row to the lowly Phillies. Their lead in the Central is now down to two over the Cardinals and two and a half over the surging Reds.

Cardinals 5, Pirates 2: No walkoff win this time, but still a win. Bad news, though, as Yadier Molina sprained his right thumb and had to have an MRI after the game. The results should be known this morning. They really can’t afford to lose him.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $30,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Thursday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on ThursdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Red Sox 5, White Sox 4: Sox win. Boston was down 4-0 in the eighth when Chris Sale got chased, but then rallied for five runs over the final two innings. One of Sale’s runners scored and then the White Sox pen couldn’t lock it down in the ninth. Daniel Nave and Brock Holt had the big hits in the ninth.

Nationals 6, Orioles 2: Doug Fister allowed two runs over seven innings and Washington hit three solo homers.

Reds 4, Cubs 1: A win, but a costly one for Cincy as they lose Billy Hamilton to a tweaked hamstring and as they watched Brandon Phillips roll over his left hand while attempting to make a play on an Anthony Rizzo grounder in the top of the eighth. Not great as the Pirates loom this weekend.

Yankees 5, Indians 4: Jacoby Ellsbury’s two-out homer in the 14th inning caps a long, otherwise bad day for the Yankees. I mean, Masahiro Tanaka is apparently dead (source: rumors) and Carlos Beltran broke his nose during batting practice. Losing this game wouldn’t have been the worst thing that happened all day, but still.

Spending bill could exempt minor leaguers from federal labor laws

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Mike DeBonis of the Washington Post reports that, according to three congressional officials familiar with current talks, an upcoming spending bill could exempt minor leaguers from federal labor laws. This is an issue we have spent some time covering here. A bill proposed in 2016, H.R. 5580, would have amended language in Section 13 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 which would have made it so minor leaguers wouldn’t be protected under a law that protects hourly workers. There is also an ongoing class action lawsuit over unfair labor prospects.

As DeBonis notes, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is among the representatives backing the measure. The provision specifically concerning minor leaguers didn’t appear in any of the draft spending bills, but DeBonis spoke to officials familiar with the negotiations under the condition of anonymity who said it was under serious consideration by top party leaders.

DeBonis got a comment from Minor League Baseball president Pat O’Conner. He said, “We’re not saying that [minor league pay] shouldn’t go up. We’re just saying that the formula of minimum wage and overtime is so incalculable. I would hate to think that a prospect is told, ‘You got to go home because you’re out of hours, you can’t have any extra batting practice.’ It’s those kinds of things. It’s not like factory work. It’s not like work where you can punch a time clock and management can project how many hours they’re going to have to pay for.”

O’Conner said as much in an interview back in December. It’s an extremely disingenuous deflection. O’Conner also said, “I don’t think that minor league baseball is a career choice for a player.” This is all about creating legislation that allows Minor League Baseball to keep money at the top, which is great if you’re a team owner or shareholder. If they could get away with it, every owner of every business would pay its employees as little as possible, which is why it’s important to have unions and people keeping an eye on legislation like this that attempts to strip laborers of their rights in the dead of night.

Minor league players need to unionize. Or, better yet, the MLBPA should open their doors to include minor leaguers and fight for them just as they would a player who has reached the majors. Minor leaguers should be paid a salary with which they do not have to worry about things like rent, electricity, food, and transportation. They should be provided healthcare and a retirement fund. And if anyone tries to tell you it’s not affordable, MLB eclipsed $10 billion in revenues last year. There’s plenty to go around.

The owners are banking on this legislation passing and labor still coming in excess due to young men holding onto the dream of making the major leagues. According to CNN, “far less than 10 percent of minor league players ever get the chance to make it to the major leagues.” Some of these players have forgone college to work in baseball. They arrive at the park in the morning and leave late at night, putting in far more than your standard eight-hour work day. Since their bodies are their vehicle for success, they have to exercise regularly and vigorously off the field while maintaining a healthy diet. (And teams are still reluctant to invest even the smallest amount of money to ensure their young players eat well.) Minor leaguers make tremendous sacrifices to pursue their dream and now Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying Congress to legalize taking further advantage of them.