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Report: MLB to allow personalized jerseys and more during new “Players Weekend”

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports is reporting that players will be allowed to express themselves more freely during the new “Players Weekend,” scheduled for August 25-27 this season. The idea was negotiated between the league and the players’ union.

Players will be allowed to personalize the name on the back of their jerseys, though it will need to be approved beforehand. They can wear colored spikes, gloves and wristbands, as long as the colors don’t interfere with an umpire’s ability to make a call and aren’t white. And a player can personalize a patch on his uniform, highlighting “an individual or organization that was instrumental to his development.”

Major League Baseball will then sell the uniforms from the “Players Weekend,” donating the proceeds to the Youth Development Foundation.

If the weekend goes well, Passan suggests the league could be inclined to relax some rules pertaining to uniforms in the future.

Rockies acquire Zac Rosscup from Cubs

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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.

U.S. Court of Appeals affirms ruling that the minor leagues are exempt from federal antitrust law

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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.