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Opening Day Bantering

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MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at Toronto Blue Jays Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. After a long cold lonely winter, baseball returns to us today.

There is some baseball news.

Baseball and their minor leaguers have agreed to a new contract (it is about time the minor league players had a union).

  • Complex league/rookie ball player minimum salary increases from $4,800 to $19,800;
  • Single-A increases from $11,000 to $26,200;
  • High-A increases from $11,000 to $27,300;
  • Double-A increases from $13,800 to $30,250; and
  • Triple-A increases from $17,500 to $35,800

Can you imagine there were players in baseball making $4800 a year?

There are other improvements.

Double and Triple-A players will get their ‘own bedrooms’ in team-supplied housing. At lower levels, players can get a team-supplied bedroom or take money to get their own housing. And wives and children can live with the player in the club-supplied housing.

Those who sign at 19 or older will be under team control for six years instead of the current seven.

MLB got the right to bring down the size of minor league rosters, starting in 2024. Teams will carry 165 minor leagues, down from 180. I don’t understand why teams want fewer minor-league players, but such is life.

The new salaries will cost each team $3 million a year. It is criminal what baseball has been paying minor league players. This is a big step in the right direction. Players vote on the deal today.

You can read more about it in the Athletic.

Everyone has their MLB predictions up today. Keith Law has his posted in the Athletic and has the Blue Jays finishing first in the AL East with a 93-69 record, one game better than the Yankees and eight games better than the Rays.

He feels the Yankees’ starting rotation is thin (they already have injuries in the rotation). He does mention the Jays have their own starting rotation questions.

Law also says the AL East is the only division without a ‘cupcake’ team. He said that all five teams have a chance at the playoffs.

In the playoffs, he has the Jays losing to the Padres in the World Series.

Law also picks Alek Manoah to win the Cy Young (but has Julio Rodriguez winning MVP). The Rookies of the Year are Gunnar Henderson of the Orioles and Corbin Carroll of the Diamondbacks, in his world. Juan Soto and Aaron Nola get the NL MVP and Cy Young awards.

I hoped the Jays would post their lineup before I ran out. Of course, as soon as I hit post and head out the door, they will.

I like this tweet showing all of today’s starting pitchers:

Our friends at FOCO have a new Ace bobblehead coming out today. I like the FOCO bobbleheads; they are expensive but very good quality. A few of them are looking at me in my little room here. It is a limited edition. They are only making 144 of them.

They also have a very nice Vlad Gold Glove bobblehead.