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Yasiel Puig homers off of Clayton Kershaw in return to Dodger Stadium

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Yasiel Puig made his much-anticipated return to Dodger Stadium following an offseason trade that sent him to Cincinnati. The game had even more intrigue as Clayton Kershaw was activated from the injured list to make his season debut.

Puig’s day started off in Puigian style. He was characteristically late to his pre-game press conference. When he actually addressed the media, Puig expressed how happy he is with his new situation and his new teammates, especially Joey Votto.

In his first at-bat against his former team, Puig drove a slider Kershaw out to center field for a two-run home run. You can’t draw it up any better than that.

The dinger, of course, would not have been complete without a celebratory bat toss.

Puig hit his first homer of the year on Sunday against the Cardinals. He entered the night with a .502 OPS on the season. Perhaps he’s starting to heat up.

Max Scherzer: ‘There’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions’

Max Scherzer
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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.

Scherzer’s statement:

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.