The Athletic – Zach Buchanan ($): Playing baseball comes easy for just about every ballplayer. Playing in a different town or state adds a new dimension for some players, but baseball is still baseball. For someone from America playing in South Korea or Japan playing in America, baseball is still baseball but everything else is completely different. It’s hard to navigate a new country while attempting to maintain your focus on the game you’re being paid to play. When your agent looks at your contract you trust that they made sure it is in your best interest and the team is taking care of you. To find out that the ball was dropped and you owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes causes baseball to take a backseat to the stress of financial instability.
Sports Illustrated – Emma Baccellieri: Big and small rule changes are coming to Major League Baseball. Some are coming right away, others are coming in 2020, and more will trickle in after that. Sometimes MLB’s rule changes make sense, sometimes they don’t. There are times when rule changes are desperately needed, but executives can’t agree on when, where, or how. Other times there’s no need for a new rule, but it still happens because those in power think they know what is best. Players have nixed certain changes or fought them enough so that the change didn’t end up exactly as planned. There have been some very interesting rule changes throughout MLB’s history, good and bad.
The Athletic – Emily Waldon ($): Minor League Baseball exists as both a singular entity and a part of MLB. When people crow about MiLB pay levels they are directing said crow at the MLB clubs who decide what MiLBers get paid. When a MiLB executive yells from the top of his golden throne that MiLBers shouldn’t be paid more it’s all too clear that there truly is no difference between the two organizations. Players are having to retire simply because they can’t afford to live on the pittance being paid to them as a MiLB player. People deserve to live a happy and productive, and the billion-dollar organizations deserve nothing but scorn for refusing to pay MiLBers a wage that allows them to live such a life.
Lead photo courtesy of Mike Theiler – Reuters