Whittier College to be home to the first humanities-based baseball studies program in the country

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“What’s your major?”

“Communications. Yours?”

“Baseball.”

“Whoa.”

Whittier College will be the home of the Institute for Baseball Studies, the first humanities-based research center of its kind associated with a college or university in the United States. The Institute is a partnership between Pasadena-based Baseball Reliquary and the College.

The coolest part is that the department is being headed up by two directors, Terry Cannon from the Baseball Reliquary and Joseph Price, a Whittier religious studies professor. Because of course it’s religious studies. I can only assume Adjunct Professor Annie Savoy was unavailable.

I like that this is a humanities program as opposed to, say, a straight stats/analysis thing like many schools have dabbled with. And that it’s not in the athletic department or something. The humanities side of baseball takes a lot of shots because it’s the part of things that lends itself to nostalgia and sepia-toned baloney, but it’s also where all of the deep and rich connections to real life and the culture that make baseball somehow different than other sports reside. Partly because of its age, partially because of its pace, baseball just blends with life and society better and a program to explore all of that sounds like a load of fun.

Fried, Braves go to salary arbitration for 2nd straight year

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Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried went to salary arbitration with the Atlanta Braves for the second straight year, asking for $15 million instead of the team’s $13.5 million offer.

The 29-year-old left-hander went 14-7 for the second straight season and lowered his ERA to 2.48 from 3.04 in 2021. Fried was a first-time All-Star last season, was second to Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in Cy Young Award voting and was third in the National League in ERA behind Alcantara and Julio Urias with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal in arbitration. That was after he pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.

Fried, who is eligible for free agency after the 2024 World Series, had his case heard Friday by a panel that’s expected to issue a decision Saturday.

Players have won two of three decisions so far: Pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Miami Marlins. But Seattle defeated Diego Castillo ($2.95 million).

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe, whose case was argued Monday. About 20 more cases are scheduled through Feb. 17.