The Rockies walked off in the tenth inning on Justin Morneau’s two-run home run, but that wasn’t the most interesting part of Sunday’s series finale against the Padres. In the top of the third inning, pitcher Juan Nicasio was in a bit of a pickle with runners on first and second with no outs, already down 1-0.
Carlos Quentin hit a weak grounder to third baseman Nolan Arenado, who stepped on third base and quickly made a jump-throw to second baseman D.J. LeMahieu for out number two. LeMahieu took the ball out in front of the second base bag and avoided a sprawling Seth Smith to fire the ball to first baseman Justin Morneau, but he was a bit too late to get Quentin. Second base umpire Seth Buckminster, however, ruled Quentin out as a result of Smith’s interference, giving the Rockies a triple play. It appeared that Smith made contact with LeMahieu’s foot with his hand, though he did not grab the Rockies’ infielder.
Interference is not reviewable by instant replay, so the umpire’s ruling was final. Watch the play as it unfolded:
[mlbvideo id=”32977661″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.