Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A Must-Read on Pay Discrepancies in Minor Leagues

Last week, The Sporting News’ Ryan Fagan published a must-read piece on the immense pay discrepancy between Minor League baseball players and those playing in the NBA’s G-League. The gist is simple: the G-League announced a pay raise for its players, which raises the minimum salary to $35,000 a season, plus benefits.

Meanwhile, a triple-A baseball player might only bring in $11,825, with far fewer benefits than those playing minor league basketball or hockey.

Fagan’s piece goes into the sinister intent behind the Save America’s Pastime Act, which exempts minor league baseball players from the Fair Labor Standards Act.

It’s easy to write-off minor league ballplayers and ignore their financial struggles. After all, a few of them will go onto make big bucks in the majors. But, we can’t ignore that many are working multiple jobs and still barely making ends meet. They might play a game, but it’s their job, and we can’t fault or punish them for pursuing their dreams. At the very least, they need to make a decent wage.

I hope this conversation continues and we can find ways to ensure minor league players in all sports can earn a fair return on their work.

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Finally Going to SunTrust Park (Well, in June)

A little over two years ago, I picked up my southern sticks and moved to Washington, D.C. Nats Park is now my “home town” ballpark, which isn’t ideal, but the location has allowed me to check out numerous ballparks, including three MLB stadiums last year.

However, I have yet to make it back to Atlanta for a homecoming trip to SunTrust Park.

Until now (well, in June)!

I’m getting hitched in just a couple months, and wouldn’t you know, the Braves in in Atlanta the weekend of my wedding. So, on the Friday before the wedding, I’m heading over to SunTrust Park to check it out, see my favorite club play in their new digs. Who knows? The way things are going, maybe they’ll still be playing well by the time late-June rolls around.

Or is that too much to ask?

I’ve heard mixed things about SunTrust Park. The obvious (they’re not in Atlanta anymore) to the more surprising (the concourses are a bit tight), but I’m ready to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. I’m still not thrilled with what the Braves did and how they did it, but we can’t turn back the clock (except when wearing throwback unis) and convince the Braves to stay in Turner Field, so it is what it is.

One of my best buddies, groomsmen, and brewer in Atlanta said the Terrapin Tap Room is doing some of the best stuff the heralded Athens brewery’s done in years, so I’m excited to enjoy some libations, walk around the park, and finally get to root for my home team in a park I haven’t visited.

Until then, I hope to keep up the blogging. I recently wrote a piece for my day job about how minor league players are getting screwed, which inspired me to start writing about baseball more than I was.

Racking up the MLB Parks

Without any notice to anyone frequenting this blog, Ansley and I went to Philadelphia last weekend to check out Citizens Bank Park. Today, we’re FINALLY off to Oriole Park at Camden Yards to check out the Baltimore Orioles as they celebrate the 25th anniversary of their gorgeous park.

I need to do a write-up on Citizens Bank and subsequently Oriole Park, so expect glorious web posts in the near future.

 

PLAY BALL!

PNC Park (and Pittsburgh) is a Jewel

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Since opening, I regularly gasped at the views from PNC Park on television. After a weekend trip to Pittsburgh, I can unequivocally say, TV does not do PNC Park justice. From the moment you take a seat in the park’s upper bowl and see the Steel City’s skyline is breathtaking. It’s like seeing your favorite movie on the big screen for the very first time. No matter how many glowing reviews I read, or how many pictures I saw, nothing prepared me for the incredible view I enjoyed for what was otherwise a lousy game (spoiler alert: the Mets crushed the Pirates).

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To PNC Park We Go!

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PNC Park seems to always find itself near the top in annual lists of ballpark rankings. Even on television, you can see why. The home of the Pirates is an intimate park, nestled along the banks of the Allegheny River, with stunning views of downtown Pittsburgh. Aside from AT&T Park in San Francisco, few modern parks receive the rave views bestowed upon PNC.

After putting PNC near the top of my “must-see” lists, I’m beyond excited to trek to Pittsburgh over Memorial Day weekend for a game. Aside from a slew of Nationals games last year (including a game against the Braves where the heat index swelled to 115 degrees), I failed in my quest to get to a second MLB park. In an effort to remedy that, I’m taking advantage of the long weekend to see what Pittsburgh has to offer. .

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Bowie Baysox: MiLB in the DMV

Well, well. It’s been a few months since I’ve put any time in to the RFTHT blog. Moving, new jobs, and settling into a new (major) city will do that to you. With that said, I haven’t completed deprived myself of baseball, and after four games at Nationals Park (post coming soon), I finally caught some Minor League action yesterday.

The Bowie Baysox are nestled into the burbs, roughly 20 miles east from my humble abode. It was one of the longest adventures in the DMV so far, despite my nearly six months living in the DC area. For whatever reason, outside of the occasional Nats game, baseball has not happened at the frequency I would’ve liked it to. I set a goal of attending at least two minor league games and visiting three major league parks this season. Well, it’s August and I’ve seen exactly two parks.

Way to set goals, Joel…

Anyways! The Bowie Baysox are the AA affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, playing in the Eastern League, (fun fact, every Baltimore affiliate,aside from their Dominican Summer League and Gulf Coast League teams, is in either Maryland or Virginia; quite convenient) and located just a few miles east of Washington and south of Baltimore. They play in Prince George’s Stadium, located in well, Prince George’s County, Maryland. Like many suburban minor league parks, the Baysox’s home is nestled in a comfortable suburban spot, behind shops, restaurants, and not far from the highway. Despite usual D.C. traffic, it wasn’t all that terrible driving from Northern Virginia to Bowie.

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Planning the Ultimate Minor League Baseball Road Trip: An Exercise in Patience

Love visiting Minor League Baseball parks throughout the country (well, mostly in the south). Great piece on how to plan a trip to the best MiLB parks in the country!

Ben's Biz Blog

Yesterday, new Ben’s Biz Blog contributor Ashley Marshall introduced himself via a Pac-Man inspired tour of the Minor League landscape. Today, he really goes the extra mile with this “ultimate” Minor League Road Trip itinerary. Please keep in mind, however, that this “ultimate” itinerary is entirely theoretical. Neither I (Ben’s Biz) or Ashley or anyone else will actually be doing it. For my 2015 road trip itineraries, click HERE

By Ashley Marshall/MiLB.com

Happy Opening Day, baseball fans. From Vancouver to West Palm Beach, San Jose to Winooski, Vt, the Minor Leagues bring baseball to millions of fans in thousands of communities.

Each year, there are 160 Minor League teams playing more than 8,000 games in 42 continental US states and one Canadian province across 14 leagues and six levels from Triple-A down to rookie ball. All this happens in a five-month, 152-day window from Opening Day on April…

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