Steven Brault
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Pirates pitcher Steven Brault releases showtunes album ‘A Pitch at Broadway’

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First and foremost, let it be clear that I am no theater buff. I also didn’t major in vocal performance like Steven Brault did. I certainly don’t have the necessary blessings from the heavens to both have a good voice and a major league arm. Brault has both. Some guys have everything.

As if the mere act of reaching the big leagues wasn’t enough, Brault decided to flex on all of us yesterday by dropping an album of him performing songs from a variety of musicals, including “Hamilton,” “Wicked,” and “The Phantom of the Opera.” The Pirates left-hander is no stranger to putting his vocal talents to use during his baseball career, having performed the national anthem at Pirates games on multiple occasions. The dude’s got pipes.

Like I said, I’m no theater buff. I’ve only seen a few shows on Broadway. It’s not that I don’t enjoy musicals, it’s just that I don’t get out to see them all that often. So while I’m not exactly an expert on these matters, Brault’s voice sounds right at home in these songs to me. His vocal training shines through and he’s a naturally gifted singer. I particularly enjoyed his rendition of “Music of the Night” from “Phantom,” and I say that as someone who can’t stand Andrew Lloyd Webber (no, there aren’t any jellicle “Cats” covers on the album).

Brault’s Pittsburgh teammate Josh Bell has a cameo on the album, providing some spoken word work on “Wait for Me” from “Hadestown.”

“A Pitch at Broadway” is available on Apple Music and Spotify. You can find Brault’s website here.

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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.