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.

Jose Altuve and Corey Kluber head list of Esurance MLB Award winners

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The 2017 MLB award season officially drew to a close on Friday with the Esurance MLB Awards, handed out to the best hitters, pitchers, front office members and moments in the 2017 season. Jose Altuve was crowned the Best Major Leaguer overall, beating out fellow finalists Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, while two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber took home honors as Best Pitcher.

Here’s the full list of winners:

  • Best Rookie: Aaron Judge
  • Best Defensive Player: Nolan Arenado
  • Personality of the Year: Adrian Beltre
  • Best Postseason Major Leaguer: Jose Altuve and Justin Verlander
  • Best Postseason Moment: Alex Bregman‘s 10th inning walk-off single in Game 5 of the World Series (video)
  • Best TV/Radio Call: Joe Buck and John Smoltz call Jose Altuve’s game-tying three-run blast in Game 5 of the World Series (video)
  • Best Play (Offense): Nolan Arenado completes the cycle with a walk-off homer (video)
  • Best Play (Defense): Austin Jackson‘s over-the-wall catch in the Red Sox’ bullpen (video)
  • Best Single-Game Performance: Anthony Rendon‘s six-hit, three-homer, 10-RBI game (video)
  • Best Player-Fan Interaction: Joey Votto gives Walter “Superbubz” Herbert a bat and jersey (video)
  • Best Fan Catch: Fan’s brother-in-law grabs Yasiel Puig home run ball and chucks it back on the field (video)
  • Best Manager: A.J. Hinch
  • Best Executive: Jeff Luhnow

No surprises here — the world champion Astros ran away with seven awards, including those for Best Manger and Executive and a dual award for Best Major Leaguer of the Postseason. Altuve added to an impressive run this offseason after earning a Silver Slugger, two Players Choice Awards, Hank Aaron Award and MVP Award for his outstanding work in 2017, while Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge continued to be a lock for all AL rookie-based awards after locking down the Rookie of the Year title earlier this week.