Cal Ripken Jr.’s mother “home safe” after being abducted at gunpoint

20 Comments

UPDATE: Few details about how Violet Ripken went missing were available initially, but now WUSA9-TV in Maryland reports that she was “abducted at gunpoint from her home Tuesday morning.”

Here’s an official statement from the Ripken family:

As you now know, our mother was abducted at gunpoint from her home yesterday morning. This has been a very trying time for our family, but we are grateful and relieved that mom is back with us, safe and healthy. We want to thank everyone for their tremendous support, especially all of the law enforcement agencies that worked so hard and quickly. This is on ongoing investigation, so we hope everyone understands that we cannot comment further at this time. Thank you.

UPDATE #2: Police have revealed further details about the abduction, via the Associated Press:

Vi Ripken was kidnapped between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Tuesday by a man who forced her into her car, according to Aberdeen police. She was found about 6:15 a.m. Wednesday unharmed in her car near her home in Aberdeen, some 25 miles from Baltimore. … Vi Ripken described her abductor as a tall, thin white man with glasses, but police spokesman Lt. Fred Budnick had no other details.

According to an FBI spokesperson it’s unclear if the abductor knew Ripken’s identity.

==========

Violet Ripken, the 74-year-old mother of Cal Ripken Jr. and Billy Ripken, has been found after being reported missing to Baltimore police.

According to the Baltimore Sun the Ripken family contacted police last night and asked for the public’s help in the search, but she was found this morning and “is home safe.”

You can check the newspaper’s website for further details.

MLB now trying to get minor leaguers exempted from minimum wage law at the state level

Norm Hall/Getty Images
13 Comments

In recent years, Major League Baseball spent significant amounts of money lobbying Congress to exempt minor leaguers from the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. They succeeded last year, as minor leaguers are now considered seasonal workers and as such are not owed minimum wage or overtime pay.

MLB is not yet done attacking minor leaguers. Ben Giles of the Arizona Capitol Times reports that MLB is trying to get Arizona lawmakers to exempt players from state minimum wage law. A proposed bill, HB 2180, is being sponsored by Rep. T.J. Shope (R – Coolidge) and would protect MLB from lawsuits, past or present, for not paying minor leaguers at least minimum wage during spring training. Minor leaguers already do not get paid for their work in spring training, so this is simply a preemptive maneuver by MLB to protect itself from potential lawsuits. As Giles notes, HB 2180 would enshrine the exemption in federal law in Arizona’s state statute.

Shope said, “I think it’s just trying to clear up what MLB considers a gray area on their blank. … My assumption is they obviously do have a concern, and are trying to protect a flank of theirs more in the pro-active sense.” Talking about minor leaguers, Shope said spring training is “essentially a tryout. You’re not on the team yet.”

Garrett Broshuis, a former major leaguer and one of the lawyers representing Aaron Senne, Michael Liberto, and Oliver Odle in a case Craig wrote about here, spoke to Giles for his article. Broshuis said, “It really is just unfortunate, because the people of Arizona passed this law to require employers to pay all workers a minimum wage, and these ballplayers are performing a service that is a valuable service, and they deserve to be compensated at least the minimum wage for it.”

Broshuis is seeking class action status in a lawsuit against Major League Baseball in Florida and Arizona, the league’s two homes for spring training. Arizona is home to the Cactus League, the spring training league for the Angels, Diamondbacks, Cubs, Reds, Indians, Rockies, White Sox, Royals, Dodgers, Brewers, Athletics, Padres, Giants, Mariners, and Rangers. A federal judge denied Broshuis’s request but he appealed and is waiting on a ruling.

MLB makes a ton of money during spring training the same way it makes money during the regular season: by charging for tickets, concessions, merchandise, and parking. Minor leaguers are part of the player population helping attract fans to the ballpark, so they deserve to be compensated for their work. That they are not is criminal enough, but to brazenly push legislation to remove any legal remedies they might have had is even more evil. MLB has been setting revenue records year over year, taking in more than $10 billion last year. The league and its individual teams can afford to provide a comfortable life for minor leaguers, but every day it makes the choice not to do so out of avarice.