Man jumps to death outside Angels team hotel

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Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com reports that a 39-year-old man committed suicide this morning by jumping off the 42nd floor of the hotel where the Angels are staying in New York.
According to Saxon “about 15 players witnessed the aftermath of the apparent suicide when they walked out the front door of Le Parker Meridien hotel to board the team bus” and the New York Daily News reports that Jered Weaver witnessed the actual fall while at a coffee shop across the street.
“It’s obviously traumatic when you witness something like that, but these guys understand the privilege of playing baseball,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “I think when something like that happens, it just reinforces how lucky we are. I don’t know anything about the guy, but obviously something was troubling him.”
Police told the Daily News that the man wasn’t actually staying at the hotel as a guest, but rather came in asking to see the pool that’s located on the top floor.

Rays lose, clinching postseason berth for Athletics

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The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.

Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).

Yay?

John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.

What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.

The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?