To start off on a serious note, yesterday players on the High-A teams for both the Phillies and the Mets wore the below wristbands to highlight the miserable wage and working conditions that exist in the minor leagues
NEWS: Phillies and Mets High-A Minor league players are wearing these #FairBall wristbands during today’s game in Brooklyn to protest minor league wages.
It’s a collaborative, unprecedented event as minor leaguers continue to speak out against conditions. pic.twitter.com/SkCWibS0ON
— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) September 18, 2021
The players involved also issued a joint statement to The Athletic that reads:
“Minor League baseball players have been severely underpaid and silenced for decades. Today, we are wearing #FairBall wristbands to show our solidarity with every fan and ally who is working to change that. We love the game of baseball, but it needs to evolve. It is time for every Minor Leaguer to be paid a living wage.”
It’s a small step, but every step towards systemic change in the minor league system is a good thing, and the cross-team solidarity is a good sign when it comes to the idea of the players potentially unionizing down the road somewhere.
For all of the cerebral pursuits that come with baseball fandom, what with all of the wRC+ and VORP and complicated math that other people know how to do to bring me the info I need, it’s a deeply visceral sport. And there’s nothing quite like an absolute laser shot home run, just ask Willy Adames as he watched Eduardo Escobar smash a 108mph exit velo, 24-degree launch angle dinger:
Only thing better than Escobar's HR is Willy's celebration!#ThisIsMyCrew pic.twitter.com/zSIQcKaukd
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 19, 2021
I feel like Willy is definitely enjoying his time in Milwaukee, who clinched a playoff spot with their win last night…
You Can Clinch, But You Can Never Leave
…which leads into uh, this:
Manny Piña vowed that if the Brewers win the World Series, he will go out on the field and sing Hotel California.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) September 19, 2021
I’m not sure the specifics of this promise, which seem like they’d make a pretty big difference: Will there be fans present? Will Manny Piña be singing Hotel California in the place of the national anthem? Will there be a backing band or will it be a capella? The Brew Crew are my NL team of choice, so unless the Yankees somehow turn it around in a hurry right now, I hope to find out the answers in October.
Um, It’s Called Fashion
The AL is still waiting for the playoff picture to finalize itself, but the White Sox are shoo-ins for the Central, boasting the only positive run differential in the division to go with their 11 game lead. When you’re flying high like that, you gotta look fly, too, and Chicago fans didn’t disappoint even on the road in Texas.
I also want it known that Steve Stone said that he wants that chain and has “the shoes to match” so please, somebody hook him up. (Also for those wondering, Jason Benetti’s response to that was “…You do?”)
We’ll stay in Texas to bring you another moment from the Sox/Rangers game, as Brian Goodwin ran down a ball in RF and ended up getting much closer and personal with it than he originally intended:
I’m amazed that he was able to hold onto the ball given the snow cone nature of the catch mixed with the rather solid contact with the wall padding. I guess I’m not alone though, as Goodwin himself seemed pretty happily surprised.
This is now the second time this year I’ve seen somebody strike out on a foul knob.
Austin Riley was adamant that the ball hit his hand, but the original call stood upon review, and honestly, you’d think if it did clip his fingers he would have reacted a little more immediately. That said, even if it hit the knob it was but the merest of whispers.
But now these strikeouts are old hat, I demand a base hit off the knob. I bet Ohtani could do it.
The Old Crew
Cole Irvin go to hang out with some old compadres prior to his start last night. In high school, he was a member of the Angels ground crew, which as pointed out in this clip, does seem like it may convey some advantages when it comes to mound preparation:
I wonder how many other players have baseball backgrounds that aren’t you know, playing baseball backgrounds. Not that I doubt Cole Irvin played baseball in high school, I assume he did that too, when not laying down perfect baselines with those little chalk carts. Because, you know…you don’t see that very often.
Featured image by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)