Roger Clemens’ team takes a loss at the National Baseball Congress World Series


You’ll recall that Rogers Clemens and a team of retired major leaguers came together to compete at the National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kansas. That’s going on right now and Clemens’ team, the Kansas Stars, got beat for the first time yesterday.

The reason? Age, mostly. Two of the players — Ryan Langerhans and J.D. Drew (naturally) left with injuries. And starting pitcher Roger Clemens ran out of gas early. From the Wichita Eagle:

Nine years after retirement, Clemens didn’t possess anything like the fastball velocity he used to strike out 4,672 batters – third all-time – over 24 seasons . . . He couldn’t survive a third inning in which he allowed two hits and hit two batters. Ware’s single came on Clemens’ 45th pitch, and he was removed by Stars pitching coach Dave LaRoche, a former major-league pitcher.

Clemens was described as “wily,” though, and he obviously has forgotten more about pitching in the past couple of days than anyone in that tournament will ever know. He’s 54, though, and according to LaRoche it was Clemens’ call to come out of the game, saying he didn’t have anything left.

Clemens’ team is still advancing to the quarterfinals — it’s not a single elimination tournament — but Clemens’ work is probably over. The lede of the story is a happy one, in which a young man named Brylie Ware talked about how mind-bending and insane it was that he got a hit off of Roger Clemens of all people. But even if you’re not a Roger Clemens fan, this little bit still makes you stop for a moment:

Ware, a former Sedgwick High player who was an All-American for Neosho this spring while leading the nation in batting average, home runs and RBIs, may be the last hitter Clemens ever faces in a competitive environment.

Clemens left to a standing ovation.

AP Source: Minor leaguers reach five-year labor deal with MLB

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch
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NEW YORK – Minor league players reached a historic initial collective bargaining agreement with Major League Baseball on Wednesday that will more than double player salaries, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details were not announced.

As part of the five-year deal, MLB agreed during the contract not to reduce minor league affiliates from the current 120.

The sides reached the deal two days before the start of the minor league season and hours after a federal judge gave final approval to a $185 million settlement reached with MLB last May of a lawsuit filed in 2014 alleging violations of federal minimum wage laws.

Union staff recommended approval and about 5,500 minor leaguers were expected to vote on Thursday. MLB teams must also vote to approve and are expected to do so over the next week.

Minimum salaries will rise from $4,800 to $19,800 at rookie ball, $11,000 to $26,200 at Low Class A, $11,000 to $27,300 at High Class A, $13,800 to $27,300 at Double A and $17,500 to $45,800 at Triple-A. Players will be paid in the offseason for the first time.

Most players will be guaranteed housing, and players at Double-A and Triple-A will be given a single room. Players below Double-A will have the option of exchanging club housing for a stipend. The domestic violence and drug policies will be covered by the union agreement. Players who sign for the first time at 19 or older can become minor league free agents after six seasons instead of seven.

Major leaguers have been covered by a labor contract since 1968 and the average salary has soared from $17,000 in 1967 to an average of $4.22 million last season. Full-season minor leaguers earned as little as $10,400 last year.

The Major League Baseball Players Association took over as the bargaining representative of the roughly 5,500 players with minor league contracts last September after a lightning 17-day organization drive.

Minor leaguers players will receive four weeks of retroactive spring training pay for this year. They will get $625 weekly for spring training and offseason training camp and $250 weekly for offseason workouts at home.

Beginning in 2024, teams can have a maximum of 165 players under contract during the season and 175 during the offseason, down from the current 190 and 180.

The union will take over group licensing rights for players.

Negotiating for players was led by Tony Clark, Bruce Meyer, Harry Marino, Ian Penny and Matt Nussbaum. MLB Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem headed management’s bargainers.