Giants catcher Matt Paré talks about the not-so-glamorous life in the minor leagues

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At their blog Minor League Adjustments, Jen Mac Ramos interviewed Giants catcher Matt Paré, who talked about living out of a suitcase, staying with host families, and crashing in the living places of friends and family members. Pare, 24, went to Boston College and was taken in the 26th round of the 2009 draft by the Astros but did not sign. He has spent the last two years in the Giants’ system. In 99 career plate appearances between rookie ball and high-A, Paré has hit .218/.333/.308 with one home run and 16 RBI.

Paré is among the more privileged at his level of the minor leagues, as his mother and brother are both flight attendants, which allows him to travel more comfortably (and, presumably, more cheaply) than others. But the daily grind of the minor leagues — in which players are paid less than minimum wage — has forced Paré to become comfortable with sleeping on couches, futons, inflatable beds, and “a surprisingly comfortable shaggy rug”. His car has an additional purpose, serving often as his closet.

Paré also detailed a friendship with Boston Globe columnist Steve Buckley, who inspired him to start blogging and even came up with the title, Homeless Minor Leaguer. Along with blogging, Paré had started a business which had drawn some interest with venture capitalists, but a deal fell through due to his time commitment with baseball.

Lastly, and most importantly, Paré discussed ending the casual homophobia present in baseball culture:

“It’s been part of my mission throughout college and minor league baseball to change the culture of the casual homophobia that goes on,” Paré said. “Guys don’t even know it, but it happens. And their words are hurtful. It’s about just having them aware it could be hurting someone’s feelings on a deep level because there’s nobody out, right? There’s no one out. So, how do you know that — just because no one in the clubhouse says they’re gay doesn’t mean that no one’s gay. It just means that no one’s out. So be respectful of that.”

Ramos did an excellent job with the interview, highlighting a part of minor league life that is often overlooked. The whole thing is worth a read, so make sure to check it out at Minor League Adjustments. You can follow Paré on Twitter at @HipHip_Pare.

Jon Lester isn’t a fan of the nachos guy from yesterday’s game

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In the bottom of the second inning of Monday night’s game at Busch Stadium, Cubs shortstop Addison Russell dove into the stands down the left field line in an attempt to catch a foul ball. A Cardinals fan holding a tray of nachos was in Russell’s path and had his tasty treat knocked onto the dirt in front of the stands. Russell did the fan a solid, though, bringing him a new tray of nachos and posed for a selfie. The fan was also later seen taking selfies with other fans.

That peeved Cubs starter Jon Lester, who started Monday’s game. Via Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times:

“Great effort,” pitcher Jon Lester said. “But I don’t understand the other stuff.

“A guy fell into him and got nacho cheese on his arm and now he’s taking pictures and signing autographs. It shows you where our society’s at right now with all that stuff.”

It wasn’t like Lester had a poor outing and that’s why he was salty. The lefty yielded just one run on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts over six innings. Lester just, uh, hates selfies, I guess? I’m also not sure how the whole scenario is a reflection of American society, unless he means that people can turn a disappointing situation into a fun and heartwarming situation.

At least Russell and Cubs manager Joe Maddon had a good sense of humor about it. Maddon said the whole thing was “pretty entertaining.” Russell said, “You don’t get between a man and his nachos.”

Bryce Harper activated from the disabled list

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The Nationals have activated Bryce Harper from the disabled list.

They were expected to activate Harper yesterday but they didn’t because Harper was suffering from an illness. He’s better today so he should be in the lineup against the Phillies.

Harper has been out since August when he slipped on a wet first base bag and was diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left knee. That interrupted an MVP-caliber season in which he was hitting .326/.419/.614 with 29 home runs, 87 RBI, and 92 runs scored in 472 plate appearances. While the postseason awards are out of his reach, the Nats will be content to get him back up to speed in time for what looks to be a first round playoff matchup against the Chicago Cubs.