NL All-Star voting update: Carpenter vs. Frazier, Holliday vs. Aoki

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Today is the final All-Star game voting update for the National League before the starters are announced Sunday and it looks like only two spots are still realistically up for grabs.

Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals has a narrow lead over Todd Frazier of the Reds at third base and Matt Holliday of the Cardinals has a narrow lead over Norichika Aoki of the Giants for the third outfielder spot. Of course, Aoki has a fractured fibula, Holliday may still be on the disabled list for the All-Star game, and the second-ranked outfielder, Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins, is out for two months with a wrist injury. So … who knows.

Here are the position-by-position numbers:

source:

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.