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They’re doing a third Players Weekend

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For the third year running, there will be a “Players Weekend,” in which players are allowed to personalize the name on the back of their jerseys, wear colored spikes and gloves, add personalized patches on their uniform and stuff like that. Think of it as extra free time for kids near the end of the school year. Or a means of helping the players forget that they’ve bargained away substantial rights in the past few CBA negotiating sessions. Free agency was nice, but hey, colorful wristbands!

The biggest change this year: the jerseys are monochromatic:

You can get a better look at all of the teams’ uniforms here.

Which seems a bit odd for a weekend in which the players are supposed to stand out. The stated rationale is so that the 15 pieces of flair (or whatever) the players will be wearing stand out. Not that you can really see the details on the customized cleats and wristbands and what have you, but I suppose it’s “Players Weekend” and not “Fan Weekend.”

As Fisher’s tweet above notes, this year there will also be more latitude given players to use mobile devices up until the national anthem, so figure there will be more social media stuff associated with it.

Players Weekend is scheduled for all games over the August 23-25 weekend.

The Royals are paying everyone. Why can’t all of the other teams?

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Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.

The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.

Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.

While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.

Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?