Fractured bone in left hand could end Paul Konerko’s career

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White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko has been winding down his 18-year career in a part-time role, but now it may come to a premature end.

Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports that Konerko has a fracture in the sesamoid bone in his left hand and will be sidelined for at least one week. White Sox manager Robin Ventura is said to be “very hopeful” that Konerko can return to play again before the season is over, but at age 38 and with less than a month remaining it’s obviously no sure thing.

Konerko has struggled in his farewell season, hitting just .220 with five homers and a .616 OPS in 74 games and he had similarly poor production as a full-time player in 2013. Prior to that, however, Konerko topped an .800 OPS in 12 of 14 seasons while making six All-Star teams and smacking 30 or more homers seven times.

Nationals back off of minor league stipend cut

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Yesterday it was reported that the Washington Nationals would cut the weekly stipend paid to their minor leaguers from $400 a week to $300 per week through the end of June.

For frame of reference, MLB had agreed to pay all minor leaguers $400 per week through May 31. Several teams have agreed to extend that, with the Royals and Twins agreeing to do it all the way through the end of August. The Oakland A’s decided to stop the payments in their entirety as of today. The Nationals were unique in cutting $100 off of the checks.

The A’s and the Nationals have taken a great amount of flak for what they’ve done. The Nats move was immediately countered by Nationals major league players announcing that they would cover what the organization would not.

The A’s are, apparently, still sticking to their plan. The Nats, however, have reversed course:

One can easily imagine a situation in which Nats ownership just decided, cold-heartedly, to lop that hundred bucks off of each minor league check and not worry about a moment longer. What’s harder to imagine is what seems to have actually happened: the Nats did it without realizing that anyone would take issue with it, were surprised by the blowback, and then reversed course. Like, what kind of a bubble where they living in that they did not think people would consider that a low-rent thing to do?

In any event, good move, Nats, even if I cannot even begin to comprehend your thought process.