Rangers designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo is chasing franchise history. During Friday’s game against the Tigers, Choo was the first to strike for either side after postmarking a Jordan Zimmerman fastball to center field for a leadoff home run in the first inning.
The 436-footer was Choo’s 17th of the year, and more importantly, helped extend his current on-base streak to 45 games. The franchise record sits at 46 straight games and is currently held by former Rangers infielder, Julio Franco, who completed the feat back in 1993. No player — on the Rangers or any other major league team — has matched Choo’s record so far this season.
Following that first inning blast, the Rangers’ bats stayed fairly quiet against Zimmerman. Tigers catcher James McCann snatched the lead in the fifth with a two-run shot off of Bartolo Colon, compromising Colon’s ability to make some history of his own. He needs just one more win to overtake Dennis Martinez as the winningest Latin American pitcher in MLB history.
The Rangers currently trail the Tigers 2-1 in the eighth.
MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.
Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee along with Andrew Miller, Daniel Murphy, Elvis Andrus, Cory Gearrin, Chris Iannetta, James Paxton, and Collin McHugh.
After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.
Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.
Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.