Rays manager is officially now Dr. Joe Maddon

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Joe Maddon received his honorary “doctor of letters” degree from Lafayette College yesterday, meaning the Rays’ manager is officially now a doctor.
Mark Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times notes that approximately 200 people attended the ceremony at the college Maddon dropped out of 35 years ago. Or as he joked: “I was on the 38-year-old plan.”
Best of all he wore one of those ridiculous-looking “BRaysers” that the Rays have been sporting lately, although unfortunately he’d changed back into a less hilarious jacket by the time that photo was snapped.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.