Giancarlo Stanton says he’ll participate in the Home Run Derby if he’s asked

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Good news for people who like to see baseballs hit really far.

According to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton said last night that he plans to participate in this year’s Home Run Derby if he’s asked. This year’s Home Run Derby will take place on July 13, one day before the 2015 All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park. Stanton was asked about it with the Marlins in Cincinnati this weekend.

“I find myself trying to make too much of the little park in previous years,” Stanton said. “Last year I finally calmed down a little bit when I’m here. You get super-excited and by the time your three games are up, you have no homers and nothing hit to the wall. Then your next series you hit five balls that would have been out here — that’s what I feel like I used to do. I’ve kind of calmed it down a little bit.”

Stanton currently leads the majors with 25 home runs. Reds third baseman Todd Frazier is tied with Bryce Harper for second with 22 home runs and figures to be the captain for the National League squad. The field of participants should be made official the week before the event. You know, if you’re into that.

Max Scherzer: ‘There’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions’

Max Scherzer
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MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.

Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee along with Andrew Miller, Daniel Murphy, Elvis Andrus, Cory Gearrin, Chris Iannetta, James Paxton, and Collin McHugh.

Scherzer’s statement:

After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.

Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.

Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.