The Royals have three closers, really. And they’re closing things out at an amazing rate

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Our Joe Posnanski writes about what I feel is the single biggest factor in this year’s World Series: the Royals’ bullpen. Specifically the three-headed monster that is Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland.

We all know that they’ve been dominant, but Joe shows us just how dominant they have been, even compared to other bullpens in an age of bullpen hyper-specialization. He also talks about how the Royals got them and how much a part luck, as well as recognizing opportunities, has played in putting together this beast.

A good read, especially for the numbers which show us just how crazy today’s bullpens have become.

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.