Must-click link on playoff bonuses

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Recently, Tigers first baseman and two-time MVP award winner Miguel Cabrera made headlines when it was reported that the slugger turned down his playoff share — a small financial bonus for reaching the post-season. It turns out he was joking, but Cabrera doesn’t exactly need the bonus, as he inked an eight-year, $248 million contract extension earlier this year.

For others involved in the year-long process of attaining a post-season berth? The bonus can be a serious windfall, as David Waldstein details in a fantastic article in the New York Times.

Each year, as stipulated in the basic agreement between the players union and Major League Baseball, teams headed to the postseason hold a meeting to distribute shares. The money is designated in 25 full shares, but the players may divide the shares to include those who played during the year but were not on the playoff roster, as well as coaches, trainers and strength coaches.

Other nonuniformed personnel, like clubhouse attendants, chefs, public relations staff, security guards, bus drivers and grounds crew members — a precedent set in 1903 — can be awarded some of the cash.

“It can change a guy’s life,” Johnson said. “Our coach Brian Butterfield, when he was with the Red Sox, he gave his house to his son and his grandkids and moved into a new house. It changes lives. Guys are paying off college loans, house payments and cars. You can’t beat that.”

The most visible people involved with Major League Baseball tend to be the most compensated: players, managers, GM’s. But there are scores of others — including minor leaguers — who still live paycheck-to-paycheck and getting a post-season bonus can lift a thousand-pound weight off of one’s shoulders.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”