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Diamondbacks set record for persistence


Back when analytics were still a niche interest and not a focus of every front office in Major League Baseball, those who were resistant to the numbers would often disingenuously characterize stats as, for example, how a player hits on the third Tuesday of every month when the temperature is between 65 and 70 degrees and a right-hander is on the mound. Which, of course, is not what actual analytics measure.

Well, this stat is absurdly specific and not terribly useful like that, but it’s interesting nevertheless. Per STATS, the Diamondbacks have been within two games of an even record (.500) every day going back to June 19, a span of 57 consecutive games. That’s the longest such streak in MLB history. The 2007 Athletics previously held the record at 56 consecutive games. What it essentially means is that while the D-Backs haven’t been great, they have at least been consistent. They haven’t gone on any prolonged winning or losing streaks. Incidentally, June 19 was right in the middle of a six-game losing streak, but after that, the Diamondbacks maxed out at four wins in a row and never lost more than three games in a row.

The NL West has been an afterthought for much of the season as the Dodgers have had a double-digit first-place lead every day dating back to June 15. The third-place D-Backs, too, have been an afterthought, particularly after trading Zack Greinke to the Astros. But they’re really not in bad shape, entering Monday’s action 4.5 games out of the second Wild Card in the National League. Their remaining schedule isn’t particularly challenging, with nine games remaining against the Padres, six against the Reds, and three against the Marlins. They do have to face the Dodgers, Mets, and Cardinals still, but it could certainly be worse. Could this seemingly mediocre but persistent team sneak into the Wild Card?

Nationals’ major leaguers to continue offering financial assistance to minor leaguers

Sean Doolittle
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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.