The Union hates having the All-Star Game decide World Series home field advantage

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I missed this yesterday, but MLBPA chief Michael Weiner said that there is “strong
sentiment” among the union that using the All-Star Game to determine home field advantage for the World
Series is a dumb idea. The players think that home field should be determined by regular-season record:

Weiner said Tuesday that he expected to have “healthy discussions” on
the topic as part of next year’s collective bargaining. He said the
players never embraced the concept of awarding home-field advantage in
the World Series to the the winning league in the All-Star game, but
they reluctantly agreed in order to satisfy FOX, which broadcasts the
event.

Meanwhile, Bud Selig said yesterday in his little press conference that there was no reason to change the All-Star Game format. Of course, one doesn’t go far in this world contradicting your boss’ word, so Selig was probably wise not to say anything that wavered from FOX’s party line.

Tigers sign Josh Thole to minors deal

Josh Thole
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The Tigers signed catcher Josh Thole to a minor league deal, per an announcement from the Double-A Erie SeaWolves on Friday. Thole is expected to report to Double-A Erie, where he’ll split time with starting catcher Jake Rogers.

Thole, 31, has not appeared in a major or minor league game since 2016. He signed a minors deal with the Diamondbacks back in 2017, but was sidelined through most of the season after undergoing hamstring surgery in April. He was released by the team during spring training and failed to catch on with another major league club through the first two months of the 2018 season.

While the veteran backstop hasn’t tested his skills in pro ball for several years now, he held his own during a short-lived run with the independent New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League. Over 17 games in 2018, Thole batted .317/.425/.367 with three extra-base hits and a .791 OPS in 75 plate appearances. He’s expected to serve as catching depth within the Tigers’ organization, but may yet work his way back to the majors if he can get his average back over the Mendoza Line again — a feat he hasn’t managed since 2015.