The Phillies scout the heck out of Nebraska

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This is kinda neat. Nebraska is no baseball hotbed, but the Phillies freakin’ own it:

Three of the eight Nebraskans to appear in a major-league game last season were Phillies. There is Ruf, whom the Phillies want to man left field. Diekman is a promising lefty reliever. Tyler Cloyd, native of Bellevue, provides rotation depth.

And Cody Asche, who recently was sent to minor-league camp, could become the team’s first homegrown third baseman since Scott Rolen. Asche was born in Missouri, but his parents are from Nebraska, and he attended the University of Nebraska.

Click through to Matt Gelb’s story to see why the Phillies scout the hell out of Nebraska. It’s pretty interesting. And it makes you wonder what parts of the country harbor baseball talent we simply never see because the circumstances that have led the Phillies to scout Nebraska don’t replicate themselves elsewhere.

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.