Sheriff Joe Arpaio calls off the chain gangs

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He’s a pretender.

Maricoa County sheriff Joe Arpaio, who made headlines last week by announcing that he was going to use chain gangs of DUI offenders to pick up trash outside Chase Field during All-Star week, apparently bowed to criticism and changed his mind Monday.

The sheriff had planned to have three chain gangs decked out in striped jail garb posted around Chase Field during Tuesday’s game. One was to be made up entirely of undocumented immigrants convicted of drunken driving.

We can assume MLB didn’t respond kindly to the idea of having its event used as a showcase for Arpaio’s policies and ambitions.

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.