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White Sox broadcaster Ed Farmer dies

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Ed Farmer, who pitched 11 years in the big leagues and then went on to much greater fame as a radio voice for the Chicago White Sox has died. He was 70.

Farmer, who had a history of kidney disease, had been in poor health which caused him to miss the end of the 2019 season. He was also was on a slower ramp-up to the 2020 season. His cause of death was not immediately reported.

Farmer, a Chicago native, was the 5th round pick of the Cleveland Indians in the 1967 draft and made his debut with them in 1971. From there he would go to Detroit, Philly, Baltimore, Milwaukee, and Texas before joining his hometown White Sox in 1979. After three seasons with the Sox he’d go back to Philly and then close out his career in Oakland in 1983. He pitched in 370 games in all, with all but 21 of them coming from the pen. He posted an ERA of 4.30. His best season came in 1979, which he split between the Rangers and Sox, posting a 2.99 ERA in 53 games, tossing 114.1 innings. He saved 30 for the Sox in 1980.

Farmer was better known as the radio voice for the White Sox, a role he first assumed in 1990. In 1991 he served as a special assistant to Sox general manager Ron Schueler, but was back in the booth for good in 1992. 2020 was set to be his 29th calling Sox games. In 2004 he and broadcast partner John Rooney were named the best radio team in the American League by USA Today.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.