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Anthony Rizzo at Florida vigil: ‘Something has to change’


Seventeen people were killed when a gunman opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, an alumni of the school, left training camp in Arizona to go to Parkland and, last night, spoke at a vigil for the victims and the community.

“While I don’t have all the answers, I know that something has to change, before this is visited on another community, and another community, and another community,” Rizzo said. If there is any doubt about what Rizzo meant by “something has to change,” know that, during the vigil, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and others made pleas for “common sense gun laws,” and each time they did, Rizzo rose to his feet as part of a loud ovation.

He went on:

“I am only who I am because of this community. And I just want all of you to know how proud I am to be a part of this community. I want you to know that you’re not alone in your grief. We’re all grieving with you. The entire country is grieving with you. So whatever comfort I can give, I will give. Whatever support I can offer to our students, teachers, coaches and families and first responders, you’ll have it.”

Video of Rizzo’s full speech can be seen below.

Given how long the comments thread was for yesterday’s post about Rizzo’s trip to Parkland due to its understandable detour into a debate about guns, and given Rizzo’s statements and reaction to the calls for “common sense gun laws,” I expect that the same will happen in response to this post as well. To that end, if I may, allow me to direct you to a couple of things I wrote elsewhere about gun regulation and mass violence, first in response to the Las Vegas shooting last year and then in response to Wednesday’s shooting. Most of you know where I stand on most political issues by now, but I think some of you may be a bit surprised where I stand on this. Or maybe not. I don’t know.

In any event, in linking that stuff it is my hope that, before retreating to the extreme ideological stances people tend to assume when talk of guns arises, we can at least try to reach some modicum of common ground as a means of making such debates productive rather than shrill and pointless. Perhaps that’s an unreasonable expectation, but it’s worth a try.

Anyway, here’s Rizzo:

Report: Major League Baseball bans transactions with Mexican League teams

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.

Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.

Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.

There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.