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And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here’s where we stand:

  • The Nationals beat the Phillies and the Mets and Diamondbacks lost. Arizona’s loss officially eliminates them from postseason contention. It’s a formality at this point but Philly and New York are basically out of it too. The Nats go up on the idle Brewers by a half game for the top NL Wild Card;
  • The Rays won and everyone else in the AL Wild Card hunt was idle, so Tampa Bay leads Cleveland by a half game for the second spot and is one and a half back of Oakland;

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Nationals 7, Phillies 2: Adam Eaton, Yan Gomes and Trea Turner homered early and then Anthony Rendon and Asdrúbal Cabrera knocked in runs to give Washington a 5-0 lead that was more than enough. Certainly enough for Patrick Corbin who was dealing in his six innings of work. The Nats’ magic number to clinch a Wild Card spot is three.

Blue Jays 11, Orioles 10:

Nobody:

Absolutely no one:

Blue Jays and Orioles: “Here’s five and a half hours of baseball between two terrible teams in the final week of the season”

But hey, every game is its own thing with its own value and this one had a cool walkoff homer in the bottom of the fifteenth from Anthony Alford:

It was Alfod’s first career homer and, even if no one else remembers this game, it may be the biggest moment of his professional life and that’s pretty spiffy. The O’s could’ve won this in regulation but Toronto scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to send it to extras.

Rays 7, Red Sox 4: The Rays were no-hit into the fourth but that changed pretty dramatically as they put up a six spot that inning thanks to  homers from Ji-Man ChoiBrandon Lowe and Willy Adames. The Sox lost, but check out the hose on Mookie Betts:

Marlins 8, Mets 4:  Jorge Alfaro hit two homers, one of which was a grand slam and drove in five as Miami pushes the Mets to the brink. Amed Rosario hit a grand slam for the Mets but that was all the offense they’d get. New York is five games behind the Brewers for the final NL playoff spot with six games remaining. The end-of-season assessment for this Jekyll and Hyde team is gonna be interesting.

Cardinals 9, Diamondbacks 7: Paul Goldschmidt made his first trip back to Arizona since the Snakes dealt him to St. Louis and he went 2-for-3 and homered. Would that all our homecomings go so well. Yadier Molina has never been traded but he hit a two-run homer as well. The Cardinals have won six in a row. They have a three-and-a-half game lead in the Central with five to go. The pursuing Brewers have six left.

Nationals to pay minor leaguers $300 — not $400 — per week through June

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The Athletic’s Britt Ghiroli reports that the Nationals will pay their minor leaguers $300 per week through the end of June. MLB agreed to pay all minor leaguers $400 per week through today, May 31. Many teams have extended that by at least a month. Some, like the Marlins, Padres, and Mariners, have committed to paying their minor leaguers beyond that.

Ghiroli also notes that the Nationals cut more than 30 minor leaguers, as there will almost certainly not be a minor league season this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is interesting that the Nationals are only offering $300 per week as opposed to the standard $400 weekly. If we assume that the Nationals’ organization has 275 minor leaguers, they will save $110,000 in August by offering $100 less. The Nationals are coming off of winning a championship. While the Nationals haven’t experienced as much of a boon as other champions due to the unfortunate timing, their owner still has a net worth north of $4 billion. The Nats’ franchise value is approximately $2 billion, per Forbes. No, it’s not all liquid, but $110,000 is change that gets lost between the couch cushions for this and many other franchises.

Players are taking note of which teams take care of their players and other personnel, and which are not. The teams that continued to pay minor leaguers, kept staff paid and on board, and helped in other ways will have a better time going forward of attracting and retaining talent both in terms of players and front office personnel (including scouts). While teams should pay their players out of a sense of morality, there is a competitive advantage to doing so as well.