Things are getting awfully dysfunctional in Detroit.
First the Tigers fired longtime general manager Dave Dombrowski in the middle of the season, then rumors started circulating that manager Brad Ausmus will be let go as soon as the season ends, and now they’ve sent closer Bruce Rondon home for the remainder of the season due to his “effort level.”
Ausmus declined to give any further details on the situation, but there’s been some recent writing on the wall regarding the team being unhappy with Rondon in general.
Always a hard-thrower with shaky control, the 24-year-old right-hander has blown back-to-back save chances and has a 5.81 ERA with 19 walks in 31 innings overall this season.
At some point the Tigers are simply going to stop waiting around for something to click in Rondon and it’s possible this could be the final straw, although if the rumors are true Ausmus would merely be giving him a two-week head start out the door.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.