Rays outfielder Tommy Pham set a new Rays record on Wednesday afternoon with a first-inning single against the Rockies. It marked his 39th consecutive game reaching base, dating back to last season. According to Baseball Reference, that broke a tie with Johnny Damon for the Rays record. Damon reached base in 38 consecutive games between May 3 and June 14, 2011.
Pham’s streak began on August 21 last year. Entering Wednesday’s action, he was batting .366/.462/.641 for the duration of the streak with seven home runs, 23 RBI, and eight stolen bases across 142 at-bats. Pham went 2-for-4 in the Rays’ 1-0, 11-inning loss to the Rockies.
The Rays acquired Pham from the Cardinals at the non-waiver trade deadline last year in exchange for Justin Williams and a pair of minor leaguers. Pham had a mediocre .730 OPS with the Cardinals prior to the trade, then posted a 1.071 OPS in 39 games with the Rays.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.