This afternoon Dexter Fowler made his first visit back to Wrigley Field since he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals this past offseason. He was given a warm welcome. He was also given his World Series ring.
Anthony Rizzo and Jason Heyward presented the ring to Fowler during a pregame ceremony with Joe Maddon, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer looking on. Then, a few minutes later, Fowler smacked a home run on the game’s sixth pitch. That was given a warmer response from the Wrigley Field crowd than most opposing player homers, but a fan threw the ball back on the field all the same.
Fandom is fandom.
Fowler hit .276 with 13 homers and a .393 on-base percentage in 125 games last season, making the All-Star team for the first time and, of course, helping the Cubs win the World Series. Then he went to their arch rivals on a five-year, $82.5 million contract.
Business is business.
The Rockies announced a minor swap of relief pitchers on Monday evening. The Cubs sent lefty Zac Rosscup to the Rockies in exchange for right-hander Matt Carasiti.
Rosscup, 29, was designated for assignment by the Cubs last Thursday. He spent only two-thirds of an inning in the majors this year and has a 5.32 career ERA across 47 1/3 innings. Rosscup has spent most of the season with Triple-A Iowa, posting a 2.60 ERA in 27 2/3 innings.
Carasiti, 25, spent 15 2/3 innings in the majors last year, putting up an ugly 9.19 ERA. With Triple-A Albuquerque this season, he compiled a 2.37 ERA and a 43/13 K/BB ratio in 30 1/3 innings.
The Associated Press reported that on Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed a district court ruling which holds that the minor leagues are exempt from federal antitrust law, just like the major leagues.
In 2015, four minor leaguers sued Major League Baseball, alleging that MLB violated antitrust laws with its hiring and employment policies. They accused MLB of “restrain[ing] horizontal competition between and among” franchises and “artificially and illegally depressing” the salaries of minor league players.
The U.S. Court of Appeals said the players failed to state an antitrust claim, as the Curt Flood Act of 1998 exempted Minor League Baseball explicitly from antitrust laws.
This case is separate from the Aaron Senne case in which Major League Baseball is accused of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. That case was recertified as a class action lawsuit in March. In December, Major League Baseball established a political action committee (PAC), which came months after two members of Congress sought to change language in the FLSA so that minor league players could continue to be paid substandard wages.