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Cody Bellinger on the Astros: ‘Everyone knows they stole the ring from us’

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Major League Baseball’s horrendous handling of the sign-stealing scandal has led to a nearly nonstop stream of quotes from players criticizing the Astros and their handling of it all. All during the week — pitchers and catchers report! — which is supposed to be about renewal, optimism, and all the positive things the league likes to promote about the sport.

The latest comes from Camelback Ranch in Arizona, where the Dodgers train. This morning reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger spoke with the press and offered his two — more like fifty-two — cents on the Astros’ much-maligned apologies from yesterday and from their sign-stealing shenanigans in general:

Players were going to have ill-feelings about all of this anyway, but I suspect that they feel far more emboldened to offer them like this given Major League Baseball’s mishandling of it all. And, of course, Jim Crane’s absurd claim yesterday that the sign-stealing didn’t help the Astros threw gas on the fire.

Great job, everyone. Way to start out the season.

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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.