The stats vary from year to year, canada cure but at least 10 percent of players drafted out of college make it to the majors during their baseball careers. The percentage fluctuates as new former collegiate players are annually added to rosters; that addition usually happens in greater numbers than subtractions from the group through demotion or retirement. Still, buy even if only a minimal 10 percent of the 750 players on the 30 MLB teams are former college draftees, ed 75 are dues-paying members of the Baseball union, the Major League Players Association (MLPA).
We bring up this background as part of an intermittent, admittedly long-shot-effort to persuade the MLPA to use its clout in support of issues with which its players are familiar. Red Sox Nation Senator Elizabeth Warren brought up one in Detroit the other day: “We believe,” she told a rally of progressives, “that students are entitled to get an education without being crushed by debt.” It’s the debt that accumulates from borrowing to pay for a college education; the average per graduating student is roughly $25,000. That’s a burden former ballplaying students know about, even if they benefited from sports-related scholarships. More importantly, the average debt level, rising each year, discourages students from struggling families to attend college.
The players union could make a collective pitch in support of a Senate bill that would save students about $2,000 on their debt. Introduced last month by Warren, the savings would come through subsidies provided by taxes on the one percent. Team GOP Senate members collaborated to keep the bill off the field. Warren says she’ll keep trying to get it out of the on-deck circle. Last Sunday, the Yankees hosted a salute to the military that included a paratroop landing on Stadium turf and camouflage-style numerals on pinstripe uniforms. The union could make a bigger splash with a simple press release that might include names like Dustin Pedroia (Arizona State) and David Price (Vanderbilt), among others. It is just possible the players might influence baseball-loving, hit-to-right Senators, to change their stance and join the Warren-led rally.
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What We Know: In only one of six divisions do we dare to pick a winner while it’s still only July: No team in the AL Central figures to catch the Tigers (especially with addition of Joakim Soria). If there is a “Prove-You’re-For-Real” series under way this weekend, it is in Seattle. The Mariners, a shaky factor in the AL wild card race, can demonstrate they’re not so shaky, after all, by preventing an Orioles sweep. The O’s are two-for-two, having won , 2-1, last night The Blue Jays have time to prove that they are playoff-competitive, but asserting themselves this weekend at Yankee Stadium would help confirm their credibility. The Jays lost their 17th in row at the Stadium last night, 6-4. The Yankees, based on their history (and financial flexibility), have less to prove. Whichever team wins the Red Sox-Rays series will make what we consider a persuasive case that it is still alive in the five-club AL East scramble. The Rays won last night, 6-4.
In the Other League: The Dodgers-Giants series in SF will only minimally affect the NL West race. Those teams will finish one/two (one way or the other). SF is a half-game ahead, after losing to the LADs, 8-1, last night. The possible heartbreak to watch for: the number two finisher failing to make the wild card. The Brewers lost to the Mets last night, but their three NL Central competitors, the Cardinals, Pirates and Reds lost, too; so Milwaukee remains a credible three games ahead in that division.
Not ‘Holy’ Anymore: We complained, not long ago, about customer-unfriendly aspects of Yankee Stadium, which surely prevail at some other ballparks. Jim (“Ball Four”) Bouton amplifies one of our major gripes in the Boston Globe: “They’re pounding you with advertising from the moment you walk in the stadium. You can’t even think anymore. When I went to ballparks like the Polo Grounds, it was like a holy place. Quiet. You could hear the crack of the bat at batting practice.” (Quoted by the Globe’s Stan Grossfeld)
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