I don’t know if any of you have heard this, but the Blue Jays and Rangers don’t really like each other. It all started in the ALDS last year when Jose Bautista hit a series-clinching three-run home run and flipped his bat in celebration. In May earlier this year, the Rangers exacted revenge as second baseman Rougned Odor punched Bautista in the face.
Thursday afternoon’s ALDS opener was the first meeting between the Jays and Rangers since Odor landed the infamous punch. Thankfully, neither side got ornery but the Blue Jays jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the third inning and would go on to win 10-1. Bautista tacked on the final three of the Jays’ 10 runs in the top of the ninth inning against reliever Jake Diekman, launching a homer to left field. Bautista did not flip his bat in celebration. As theScore put it, he “quietly [dropped] the bat” after the homer.
In March, Major League Baseball agreed to pay minor league players $400 per week while the sport is shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. That provision is set to expire at the end of May. As Craig noted earlier, the Athletics will not be paying their minor leaguers starting on June 1.
Several teams are doing the right thing, continuing to pay their minor leaguers $400 per week through at least the end of June. Per The Athletic’s Levi Weaver and James Fegan, the Rangers and White Sox will each tack on another month of pay. The Athletic’s Dennis Lin reported earlier that the Padres will pay their players through the end of August. Craig also cited a Baseball America report from this morning, which mentioned that the Marlins will also pay their players through the end of August.
Frankly, if the Marlins can find a way to continue paying their minor league players, then every team should be able to do the same. The Marlins are widely believed to be the least profitable among the 30 major league clubs. Here’s hoping the rest of the league follows the Rangers’, White Sox’s, Padres’, and Marlins’ lead as opposed to the Athletics’.