Why raising Minor League player pay would be good for baseball

There seem to be many more important topics that Congress should be tackling right now, but the House of Representatives has seemed to have finally found something that both sides of the aisle can agree on: Minor League baseball players should live below the poverty level.

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-Illinois) and Congressmen Brett Guthrie (R-Kentucky) introduced the ironically named “Save America’s Pastime Act,” last week. The goal of the bill is to exempt Minor League baseball players from federal wage requirements to keep them from eventually unionizing or successfully suing for fair wages.

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Ichiro versus Rose

There has been a lot made over the last couple days about the idea that baseball has a new hit king. Ichiro Suzuki now has 4,257 hits between his years in Major League Baseball and in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league. That number surpasses Pete Rose, who had 4,256 hits over his Major League career and currently holds the MLB record. That news has many writers proclaiming that Ichiro is baseball’s new “hit king,” but in my opinion it is a contrived attempt to create a false record and perhaps a veiled attempt to take a shot at Rose and his accomplishments.

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The power of the first impression

First impressions are everything these days. If you can perform well enough (or bad enough) just long enough for people to think they have you figured out, that impression will stick like glue. The best current example of that is Aledmys Diaz.

Diaz started strong in April, leading the Majors in batting average and slugging. He somehow still failed to win either NL Player of the Month or NL Rookie of the Month. But after a month of complaints about where Diaz bats in the lineup, Mike Matheny finally made the decision to promote Diaz from his regular eighth spot in the lineup to second, arguably the most important position in the lineup.

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All about the Ace

There has been many bytes transmitted across the internet–perhaps the modern day equivalent of ink spilled–discussing the start that Adam Wainwright has had to the 2016 season. Many are questioning his place with the team and whether he can still be considered the team’s ace.

If an ace is the best pitcher in your rotation, Wainwright fits the definition. If an ace is one of the best 10 starting pitchers in the league, he still qualifies (10th in ERA+ among starting pitchers with at least 500 innings pitched since 2013). He had a career year in his last full season on the mound (153 ERA+ in 2014) and was off to the best start of his career in 2015 before tearing his Achilles tendon in his fourth start of the season.

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Just how good are these Cardinals?

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! The St. Louis Cardinals suck and the Chicago Cubs are unstoppable! Chicago Cubs: 2016 World Series champs. Let’s just give them the trophy and go home. I read an article the other day that said the Cardinals were closer to being a last place team than they were a first place team. Is anyone else tired of this crap or is it just me?

As the Cardinals prepare to play the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim tonight, they are just 32 games into the 2016 season. That’s 20% if you prefer to deal in percentages. There is quite a bit of angst around the Cardinals right now. Some of it deserved, some of it not. The Cardinals have been so good for so long that anything less than excellence is revolting to fans’ tastebuds.

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