It took less than an inning for a horrible umpiring decision in what stands to be the final World Series before expanded instant replay is introduced. Enter Dana DeMuth (GIF from @BuzzfeedSports)
DeMuth, the second base ump, said Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma lost the ball on the exchange, giving the Cardinals an out on a potential double play ball from David Ortiz. Red Sox manager John Farrell came out and convinced DeMuth to huddle with the rest of the umpires, and the call was overturned. The FOX crew reported afterwards that the crew was unanimous in believing it should be changed, suggesting that even DeMuth realized he made a mistake. Not that he would have changed his mind on his own.
So, congrats to John Hirschbeck’s crew for not making a potentially series-altering mistake all of 20 minutes in. The Red Sox went on to score three runs on a Mike Napoli double.
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.