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Adam Wainwright speaks up about baseball’s labor issues

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Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright recently did an interview with InsideSTL.com’s Tim McKernan, which made headlines because the right-hander said, “Unless something changes, there’s going to be a strike. 100 percent.” Wainwright added, “I’m just worried people are going to walk out midseason.”

Baseball’s ongoing struggle between labor and ownership has hit a fever pitch recently as the free agent market continues to stagnate. Among players to have spoken up this offseason are Jeff Samardzija, Justin Verlander, Collin McHugh, Dallas Keuchel, Jake Arrieta, Evan Longoria, and Buster Posey.

Wainwright took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon to expound on his thoughts. Here they are, in chronological order:

Indeed, Wainwright responded to a few people on Twitter who read his series of tweets. This was first:

Wainwright’s comments are thoughtful and worth consideration. Most strikingly, he’s one of the few major leaguers to have directly acknowledged that minor leaguers are severely underpaid and, in fact, exploited. As has been mentioned here, the MLBPA has been happy to ignore this, but fighting for a higher standard of living for minor leaguers would lend credibility when players and agents complain about the likes of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado not getting 10-year contracts worth $300-400 million. Which, by the way, they should.

I appreciated that Wainwright fought back against the thought that player salaries drive ticket prices. It’s a commonly-held belief that is flatly incorrect. Teams set the prices to increase revenues, then when revenues increase, players ask for a commensurate slice of the pie. If player salaries truly drove ticket prices, we would see the cheapest tickets among rebuilding teams, but that hasn’t been the case. For instance, according to CBS News in 2016, Dodger Stadium was among the cheapest places to watch a major league game. The Dodgers had an Opening Day payroll of nearly $250 million that season.

Reliever Brad Brach and first baseman Mark Reynolds also chimed in a bit, talking about their experiences in free agency this offseason.

Hmm.

Red Sox end Astros’ 10-game winning streak

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The Red Sox salvaged the final game of their three-game home series against the Astros, winning 4-3 on Sunday afternoon. In doing so, they ended the Astros’ 10-game winning streak.

Xander Bogaerts struck the decisive blow, knocking in a run with a double in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie. Michael Chavis also hit another homer — his eighth of the season — while Mookie Betts collected three hits and scored three runs to raise his OPS to .899.

The Astros last lost on May 7 against the Royals, the second game of a three-game series. The Astros won the final game of that set, then swept the Rangers in a four-game series, the Tigers in three, and won the first two games against the Red Sox. It’s their second 10-game winning streak of the season, as they won 10 striaght between April 5-16, sweeping the Athletics, Yankees, and Mariners before losing the second of two games against the A’s in Oakland.

At 31-16, the Astros are slightly behind the Twins — in progress as of this writing — for the best winning percentage in the majors. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have made up some ground after ending April 13-17. They’re now 24-22, good for third place in the AL East.