Victor Martinez
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Víctor Martínez might have a horse in the Kentucky Derby

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Víctor Martínez was a five-time All-Star, a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner and won the 2014 Edgar Martínez Award as the game’s best designated hitter. He’s interested in more trophies, however. This time for horse racing.

Martínez is the owner of a thoroughbred named King Guillermo, and King Guillermo won the Tampa Bay Derby on Saturday. The horse was a 49-1 long shot, but sure enough that nag came in. Well, he’s not a nag. V-Mart paid $150K for the fella.

I have no idea how qualifying for the Kentucky Derby works, but the Associated Press says that King Guillermo earned 50 points toward qualification. He’s short of automatic entry, but Martínez can apparently pay like $6,000 and get a slot for his horse. Maybe that’s not worth the hassle if he’s a super long shot — it costs a lot of money and takes a lot of work to get a whole racing operation around the country — but I kinda hope he does it.

I mean, I’m not a betting man, but I’d but a sawbuck on a horse owned by a retired Hall of Very Good-level ballplayer.

 

 

At least 16 MLB teams pledge more stipends to minor leaguers

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NEW YORK (AP) At least 16 major league franchises have informed minor leaguers they will continue to provide allowances after the May 31 expiration of Major League Baseball’s policy guarantying those players $400 per week.

The Houston Astros, Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins, San Diego Padres, Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners are promising payments through August, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks have pledged to do so through at least June. The White Sox are even providing those stipends to 25 minor league players recently released.

The Philadelphia Phillies also plan to continue allowances through June, but likely at a reduction from the $400 per week rate. The amount is to be determined, the team said.

Oakland said Tuesday it will suspend pay for all minor leaguers at the end of the month. The Athletics are the only team to announce an end to the allowances.

MLB suspended spring training and postponed the start of the minor league season in March due to the novel coronavirus, leaving low-paid minor league players in lurch. The league

March 19 that provided most non-40-man roster players signed to minor league deals with stipends through April 8, and it later extended the policy through May 31.

The allowances were a pay raise for many players, with minimum salaries ranging from $290 per week at Class A to $502 per week at Triple-A over the five-month season.

MLB and the players’ association are

to start the major league season later in the summer, but it seems likely there will not be a minor league season. Some teams have reportedly begun to release players who aren’t top prospects and won’t figure into their 2020 MLB rosters. The White Sox are the only club to say it will extend allowances to players recently released.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports