Quote of the Day: Freddie Freeman inadvertently illustrates the silliness of the foreign substance rules

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Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman quoted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about Will Smith’s foreign substance:

Every pitcher does it. As a hitter you want them to do it so they have a better grip, so we don’t get hit in the head. But just hide it better next time.”

Translation: “That thing you’re doing which is a really great idea and even a safety measure? Jesus, hide it better!” Which makes absolutely zero sense.

And here’s Craig Counsell in the same vein:

“Pitchers are trying to get grips on the ball. We’ve had hitters on other teams ask for pitchers to get a grip on the ball. We’ve had hitters hit in the head asking for pitchers to get grips on the ball. It’s very common. It goes on, on the other side, I guarantee you. It’s the rule. Pitchers are using it. You’ve got to be discreet about it, I guess.

Again, ridiculous. And it compels one to ask why Fredi Gonzalez felt it necessary to point it out to the umps if, in reality, this was a safety measure for his hitters.

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.