Nelson Cruz passes David Ortiz in the DH All-Star vote

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The latest update in the American League All-Star balloting is in and there are a couple of changes. Robinson Cano has passed Ian Kinsler at second base. And, in a development which is sure to cause some to clutch for their pearls and grope for their fainting couches, Nelson Cruz has passed David Ortiz at DH.

Note: anyone who portrays this as a shameful development without noting that Mr. Ortiz’s record is not exactly spotless when it comes to PEDs is disqualified from our game. If you are worried about being able to navigate that thicket you can do the simplest thing and simply not care one iota. Plus, it has more going for it than mere simplicity: it’s hypocrisy free!

Either way, both Ortiz and Cruz paid the price for their PED transgressions. In Ortiz’s case it was nothing because the survey testing in 2003 did not have punishment attached per the rules. In Cruz’s case it was 50 games, which he served. Both should be allowed to go on with this crap in their rear-view mirror.

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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.