Imagine being asked to work full days at your job in the hopes of netting that big dream role, but the catch: you’ll need to work 3-4 months for free. Free. Maybe a $20 per diem to grab dinner, but otherwise you won’t make a penny, and that big job is no guarantee. Sounds like an unpaid internship at a big firm in New York?
Nope, it’s the life of a minor league player.
In her recent post at The Athletic, prospect writer Emily Waldon spoke with 30 different minor league players and their spouses to get an inside look at just how difficult the MiLB grind can be, and just how unfair the pay is compared to the minor leagues of other sports. It is likely one of the most bristling and important pieces written on the topic of minor league pay and how MLB treats its up-and-comers. [Editor’s note: this article is currently behind an Athletic paywall, so be aware of that when you click]
At least one team has already taken action, as the Toronto Blue Jays will raise their minor league wages over 50%. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come from other teams.
Fortnite? More like Fort-not
Speaking of the Blue Jays, it seems like they were having some trouble with the video game Fortnite stealing attention from its players ahead of games, and they will be instituting a blackout of non-baseball related media an hour ahead of games.
BREAKING: #BlueJays to impose pre-game curfew on playing video games in clubhouse this season, manager Charlie Montoyo says. Some players suggested there was too much Fortnite last year, he says. Film at 11.— John Lott (@LottOnBaseball) March 18, 2019
Sounds like things took a more dramatic step in the Phillies clubhouse last season when Carlos Santana got so sick of seeing his teammates play the game during ballgames that he literally destroyed the TV they were using to play.
Carlos Santana was so livid that his Phillies teammates played Fortnite during games in 2018 that he grabbed a bat and smashed a TV. With an overhauled team that includes Bryce Harper, what have the Phillies done to address their clubhouse? Story at ESPN: https://t.co/vXFgetp5Of pic.twitter.com/tou1coHToL— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 18, 2019
iWatch You Pitch
On the note of technology in games, it seems like the Washington Nationals will be testing out a new system for catchers to share signs with pitchers mid-game using a watch to communicate pitch type and location.
The idea being it will eliminate the risk of stolen signs, but the reality being that poking around on watches — that could probably be hacked — will do nothing to help with baseball’s pace of play concerns and is a pretty ridiculous suggestion overall.
Lou Whitaker is in Lakeland today.
Matt Hall has cat-like reflexes, as captured by our own Adam Dubbin.
He's a vid from yesterday of @Tigers' @Hall_22 catching a screaming line drive right back at him on the mound, and his amazing goalie-like reflexes to snag the ball up near his face. The coach standing behind me was stoked that I got it all on film. #SpringTraining2019 @TigersST pic.twitter.com/Wwb5e7jUtn— Adam Dubbin (@AdamDubbin) March 17, 2019