Tonight on NBCSN: the Bill Buckner, Kirk Gibson, and Jeffrey Maier games

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Wonder why I spent so much time over the past couple of days writing about the biggest home runs in World Series history and the biggest blunders in baseball history? The reason: we’re showing three of the games in which those took place on TV tonight.

NBCSN is now in week two of a series we’re calling NBC Sports From the Vault, and this week alone we’re replaying over 50 hours of classic sports events from the past 40 years. Big Notre Dame Football games, Orange Bowl games, Wimbledon and French Open matches, great moments from the PGA Tour, and great moments from the Ryder Cup.

Included in that tonight: three of the most memorable baseball games in the past several decades, all of which will be on this evening:

  • 7 PM Eastern, 4 PM Pacific: Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, featuring Kirk Gibson’s famous walkoff homer;
  • 9:30 PM Eastern, 6:30 PM Pacific: Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, featuring Calvin Schiraldi and John McNamara blowing it. Oh, yeah, I suppose Bill Buckner played a hand as well; and
  • Midnight Eastern, 9 PM  Pacific: Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS, featuring the infamous Jeffrey Maier catch of Derek Jeter’s “home run.”

You also can watch the games on NBCSports.com or the NBC Sports app.

Yeah, you know what’s gonna happen in these games, but it’s still fun to watch it all unfold in real time and to be reminded that none of those iconic moments happened in a vacuum. These moments were the product of a series of events and they, in turn, launched a series of subsequent events which form the fabric of baseball history.

Plus: it beats drinking with your friends on Zoom for the 10th Friday night in a row. So tune in and watch some baseball, OK?

Nationals back off of minor league stipend cut

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Yesterday it was reported that the Washington Nationals would cut the weekly stipend paid to their minor leaguers from $400 a week to $300 per week through the end of June.

For frame of reference, MLB had agreed to pay all minor leaguers $400 per week through May 31. Several teams have agreed to extend that, with the Royals and Twins agreeing to do it all the way through the end of August. The Oakland A’s decided to stop the payments in their entirety as of today. The Nationals were unique in cutting $100 off of the checks.

The A’s and the Nationals have taken a great amount of flak for what they’ve done. The Nats move was immediately countered by Nationals major league players announcing that they would cover what the organization would not.

The A’s are, apparently, still sticking to their plan. The Nats, however, have reversed course:

One can easily imagine a situation in which Nats ownership just decided, cold-heartedly, to lop that hundred bucks off of each minor league check and not worry about a moment longer. What’s harder to imagine is what seems to have actually happened: the Nats did it without realizing that anyone would take issue with it, were surprised by the blowback, and then reversed course. Like, what kind of a bubble where they living in that they did not think people would consider that a low-rent thing to do?

In any event, good move, Nats, even if I cannot even begin to comprehend your thought process.