Bob Nightengale reports that the Milwaukee Brewers have temporarily banned high fives. Not because they annoy Buster Olney, but for more practical reasons: 12 players have been diagnosed with pinkeye. And everyone else is sick too:
[Brandon] Kintzler became the 12th member of the Brewers to be stricken by the virus. And we’re not even counting 15 to 20 players who have been battling bronchitis, flu, cold and nasal complications this spring.
“This is so crazy,” says outfielder Ryan Braun, who returned Sunday after being sent home for two days with a flu bug. “I still don’t feel great.”
The Brewers have the worst record in the Cactus League right now. Normally you can’t attribute that to anything that matters, but I feel like maybe there is a good excuse for it now.
In other news, I’m glad I ended up skipping visiting Brewers camp in Maryvale this year.
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.