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MLB News & Moments You Should Know – June 16

The NL East is something, isn't it?

Stay updated on everything baseball with our morning MLB News & Moments articles. We’ve got you covered to keep you in the know.

 

Today’s Headlines

 

The Department of Justice Has Something to Say About MLB’s Antitrust Exemption

In a recent challenge of MLB’s peculiar antitrust exemption, four former minor league teams — lost in the shuffle of MiLB’s reformation — filed a complaint alleging MLB violated antitrust law. They brought suit back in December 2021 in the Southern District of New York (federal district court). The case is still very early in its proceedings, which is what allowed the Department of Justice to file a “statement of interest,” which called for the court to “limit the scope” of MLB’s antitrust exemption. The DOJ is asking for the court to limit the exemption to “conduct that is central to the offering of professional baseball exhibitions,” which is a confusing and ambiguous way to ask for the limitation of an exemption.

However, any limitation on MLB’s exemption would be a significant accomplishment, given that many precedent cases have upheld the exemption and allowed MLB to grow without any competition.

The government’s brief isn’t available to view publicly yet, as of the writing of this article.

 

Manny Machado is in Rarefied Air

Manny “Not Charlie Hustle” became the sixth 3rd baseman to accumulate 1,500+ hits through his age-29 season. The other 3Bs are either in the Hall of Fame already or will be inducted very soon (Beltre will almost certainly be voted in during the 2024 Hall of Fame voting season). It appears Machado is on his way to becoming the sixth player of this group to reach Cooperstown.

For those of you numbers-curious Hall of Fame voters, Machado’s JAWS sits at 43.8, ranking him 25th among all 3Bs. The average JAWS of 15 Hall of Fame-3Bs is 55.7, so Machado still has a ways to go. However, considering that Machado is still in his prime and is owed $32 million a year from now until 2028, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to chase down his plaque.

Speaking of the Padres, San Diego posted a 19-spot on the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, racking up 21 hits in the process.

 

Fish Man Good

Saved the game from turning into a blowout in the first inning.

 

Stop Me if You’ve Heard This Before, But…

Atlanta is HOTlanta! Atlanta just won its 14th straight contest, taking down the Nationals 8-2. It’s a fantastic feeling for fans to wake up and simply know their team is going to win that day and Atlanta fans are the lucky group that gets to experience that feeling. Atlanta’s winning streak is now their longest since the 2013 season, and it has them all the way up into the second NL Wild Card place and just 4 games behind the Mets for the NL East division lead.

While Atlanta never reeled off quite so long of a winning streak last season, their World Series-winning crew started out very slow and then cranked out wins like clockwork. Maybe they’re hitting their stride a little earlier this season.

 

The Rob Thomson Effect(TM)

Entering the bottom of the ninth inning, the Philadelphia Phillies trailed the Miami Marlins by a run. They were about to waste a superb 1-run, 8-inning gem from Kyle Gibson. Didi Gregorius struck out to start the inning. Then, Alec Bohm singled and J.T. Realmuto walked. Yairo Muñoz struck out, putting the Phillies down to their final out.

Backup catcher Garrett Stubbs apparently had something to say about it, though:

Since firing Joe Girardi, the Philadelphia Phillies have won 11 of 13 games. Sound the alarm: Phillies fans are cocky.

 

Best Moments from Wednesday

 

Position Player on the Mound

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, we had a position player pitching on this fine Wednesday evening. It was none other than Cubs infielder Frank Schwindelwho took the hill in the aforementioned Padres/Cubs blowout.

Mr. Schwindel went 1 inning and gave up 4 hits, 3 earned runs, and a walk. His ERA currently sits at a hefty 18.00. Keep him in mind for your weekly FAAB pickups in deeper leagues. He has some interesting potential for Wins, especially because the Cubs continue to call on him for mop-up duty in blowouts.

A reminder that Schwindel also pitched just 3 days ago:

 

Get Out the Snacks

Sometimes you get hungry during a game. I know I do, and that’s why I continue to endanger my present and future health by eating helmet nachos. But, as it turns out, stars are just like us! They also get hungry during games:

I love getting glimpses of superstars during regular people things, however, I do need to ask: What’s the deal with that tiny little bag of popcorn? These are professional ballplayers, burning hundreds or even thousands of calories every single day during the season. They need to fill up their bodies with a significant amount of game fuel, and a small bag of popcorn isn’t gonna work! Let the boys eat!

 

Simply Immaculate

The formidable Rangers offense took a beating against the Astros’ pitching staff yesterday. Luis Garcia tossed an immaculate bottom of the second and Phil Maton tossed an immaculate bottom of the 7th, striking out the same 3 batters again 5 innings later.

Today’s fun Rangers fact: Despite having only the 19th-best wRC+ in baseball, the Rangers sit second in the AL West.

 

Injuries

 

Red Sox infielder Christian Arroyo went on the 10-day COVID IL.

Promising Astros rookie and infielder Jeremy Peña went on the 10-day IL with left thumb discomfort. Anthony Rendon was held out of the Angels’ lineup with wrist soreness just 3 days after being reinstated from the IL (he was on the IL due to wrist soreness previously). The Rays placed SP Drew Rasmussen on the 15-day IL with a strained left hamstring.

 

Articles You Should Read

 

Yanks 30 games over .500: ‘Just a drop in the bucket’ — Bryan Roch, MLB.com 

Dear God, Tommy Pham Might Release The IR Rules — Tom Ley, Defector

For Cuban Stars, the World Baseball Classic Remains a Dream — James Wagner, NY Times

 

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Adam Sloate

Die-hard Angels fan since birth; misses the good ol' days of Vladdy, Kendrys, and Weaver. Temple University alumnus, UCLA Law student.

  • Eddie says:

    Great podcast as usual. Question: You mentioned that Albies was done for the year. It may have been a throwaway….but I was under the impression that Albies was gone for 8 weeks and then they’d reassess. Also do you know how long Hendriks is scheduled to miss?

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