The Braves walk-off the Dodgers. Again.
Heading into the NLCS between the Dodgers and Braves, Los Angeles was a heavy favorite, having won 18 more games in the regular season. That said, they were a wildcard while Atlanta was a division winner, so the latter got to host the first two games, and they squeezed every bit out of that opportunity. After walking off the Dodgers in Game One, the Braves came back and did the same on Sunday night.
It was the Dodgers, however, who got things rolling as Corey Seager smacked a two-run homer in the top of the first to try and set the tone against Ian Anderson and the Braves. But then the Los Angeles offense shut down, with Anderson going two more innings and overall Braves pitchers getting through the sixth without any more damage. Atlanta, meanwhile, tied things up in the fourth with a two-run homer from Joc Pederson, and after the Dodgers scored two in the seventh they turned to Julio Urías, who was supposed to start Game Four.
It was a bit of a curious decision by manager Dave Roberts, and sure enough three of the first four Braves hitters came through with hits, the last of which was a two-run double off the bat of Austin Riley. That tied things up at four once again, and in the ninth it was a single, then a grounder to move the runner up, and an Eddie Rosario single to end it and give Atlanta a shocking 2-0 series lead.
MLB to pay for minor-leaguer housing
While there are plenty of issues regarding the financial trends at the highest level of baseball and the amount of resources teams are willing to allocate to the major-league roster, most everyone will agree that pales in comparison to the treatment of minor-league players. The players making less than a living wage is bad enough on its face, but throwing in the stress of finding and keeping housing while making such little money and dealing with promotions and/or demotions. MLB is at least going to remedy that second part, with Jeff Passan reporting on Sunday the league’s decision to provide housing for minor-league players.
I’m hesitant to give too much praise to the league here as this clearly should have been taken care of a while ago. But if you’re not going to take care of it when it should be taken care of, the next best choice is to do it now. The specifics of the deal still seem to be in the process of being ironed out, as it’s not clear if this will be a direct source of housing from the team or if it will come in the form of stipends that will cover housing costs. Either way, this should greatly reduce what is a significant source of stress for players.
Of course, this doesn’t remedy everything that ails minor-league players. They still should be getting significantly higher wages, even after modest increases to minor-league pay scales over the last couple of years. In addition, players still are not paid throughout the entire season despite year-round training certainly being a requirement for those who want to continue up the ladder. The fight for acceptable minor-league conditions continues, but it’s okay to take a moment to celebrate a significant victory in a battle, even if it’s not the end of the war.