By Greg Grabianowski BRITT, Iowa (Aug. 1) – Minnesotan Jerry Wren became the 13th different IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified driver to win a feature at Hancock County Speedway this season. Wren started outside of the second row before moving to the front of the pack to take the double checkered flags. Levi Nielsen was the runner-up with Kevin Stoa third.Kyle Schmauss was the 10th different IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock driver to find victory lane at Britt in 2014.Cody Frerichs and Jeremy Olson started on the front row of the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature field but when the dust settled Calvin Lange captured his second local win of the season from the eighth staring spot. Ryan Hiscocks earned his second local Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod victory of the year. Megan Lappegard won the Mach-1 Sport Compact feature at Hancock County for the fourth time this season.
… Australia survive scare to win by 39 runs(REUTERS) – A relieved Australia captured Pakistan’s last two wickets to win a captivating first day-night Test in Brisbane yesterday by 39 runs but the touring side won huge admiration for their dogged fourth innings resistance.Chasing a Test record 490 for victory, Pakistan had resumed the fifth and final day on 382 for eight and paceman Mitchell Starc proved the game-breaker when he ended a stubborn 71-run ninth-wicket partnership between Asad Shafiq and Yasir Shah.Starc struck with a searing delivery that pinged off Shafiq’s glove for an easy catch to David Warner in the gully, bringing to an end a heroic knock of 137.Yasir fell moments later to seal the win, run-out by home skipper Steve Smith with a direct hit for 33, having failed to ground his bat after an aborted single as Pakistan were eventually dismissed for 450.Australia take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series but Pakistan showed impressive fight to turn the match into a cliffhanger and will head to the second game in Melbourne on December 26 with renewed confidence.Starting the day needing 108 runs to win but with only two wickets intact, the tourists maintained a sliver of hope with middle-order batsman Shafiq at the crease after he cleaved a magnificent unbeaten century on day three.Australia’s nerves were becoming increasingly frayed as Pakistan approached their target but the relief was palpable when they finally sealed a victory that looked a formality a day earlier.“I lost all my fingernails, I think,” joked Smith. “Some game of cricket, wasn’t it?“Credit’s got to go to our bowlers, they really stuck at it and got us over the line.“That wicket, I guess, of Asad showed the class of Starcy with a ball that was 60 overs old and quite soft … but what a game of cricket.”RODE LUCKAustralia appeared bemused to even be competing on day five and it manifested itself in Smith’s conservative field settings.Shafiq and Yasir cantered past 400 and the Australian captain became fidgety as his front-line bowlers were dispatched regularly through the gaps.Slow bowler Nathan Lyon was introduced and coaxed a nick from Yasir which pinged off his pad and flew just wide of Peter Handscomb at short leg.Growing in confidence, Yasir then whipped paceman Jackson Bird off his pads for four at the square leg boundary to bring up the 50-run partnership with Shafiq.Yasir then survived a missed stumping, a dropped catch and an overturned lbw decision by umpire Richard Illingworth before Starc timed his intervention to perfection at the other end with a searing, short-pitched delivery that reared up on Shafiq.Shafiq was named man-of-the-match following his ninth Test century, the most ever for a number six batsman.“The way the team, all the batsmen showed their character, that was wonderful,” Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said. “Asad Shafiq – that was a superb knock. So, a lot of positives, and I’m happy and proud the way the team played.”AUSTRALIA 1st innings 429 (S. Smith 130, P. Handscomb 105, M. Renshaw 71; W. Riaz 4-89, M. Amir 4-97)PAKISTAN 1st innings 142 (S. Ahmed 59 n.o.)AUSTRALIA 2nd innings 202 for 5 decl. (U. Khawaja 74, S. Smith 63)PAKISTAN 2nd innings (o/n 382-8; Target: 490 runs)S. Aslam c Renshaw b Starc 15Az. Ali c Wade b Starc 71B. Azam c Smith b Lyon 14Y. Khan c Smith b Lyon 65Misbah-ul-Haq c Wade b Bird 5A. Shafiq c Warner b Starc 137S. Ahmed b Starc 24M. Amir c Wade b Bird 48W. Riaz c Smith b Bird 30Y. Shah run-out (Smith) 33R. Ali not out 1Extras: (lb-5, w-2) 7Total: (all out, 145 overs) 450Fall of wickets: 1-31, 2-54, 3-145, 4-165, 5-173, 6-220, 7-312, 8-378, 9-449.Bowling: M. Starc 38-10-119-4 (w-1), J. Hazlewood 42-11-99-0, J. Bird 33-6-110-3 (w-1), N. Lyon 29-3-108-2, N. Maddinson 3-0-9-0.
According to Baseball America, as of Friday morning, 15 teams have committed to paying their minor-leaguers the standard stipend of $400 per week — on average, that was a raise for Single-A and Double-A players, and a reduction for Triple-A players — at least through the end of June. Some teams, like the Mariners, Padres and Marlins, have already committed to paying their minor-leaguers through the scheduled end of the season. MORE: David Price pledges $1,000 to Dodgers minor-leaguersIt’s not yet known what the other 14 teams will do, but to this point, the A’s are the only team that has decided not to pay its minor league players. How much is that saving the A’s? Just some rough math. Say there are 200 players in a minor league system. Paying each $400/week for July, July and August is $5,200 per player. To pay every minor leaguer would have cost the Oakland A’s a hair over $1 million.Owner John Fisher is worth an estimated $2 billion.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 27, 2020The A’s, as noted by Passan, are owned by John Fisher, who has a reported net worth of $2.1 billion, according to Forbes. He’s the youngest son of Gap founders Doris and Donald Fisher. So when we say it’s a choice, it’s just that. John Fisher’s hand is not being forced. He’s not facing insolvency if he pays his club’s minor-leaguers what they’re owed, or what other teams are paying their minor-league players. He’s just choosing not to pay his minor-leaguers — and others in the organization — anything to save a few bucks while baseball is stopped. Seems like a poor human choice, but it’s not my money and he didn’t ask me how to spend it. The A’s aren’t the only team cutting minor league costs, it also should be noted. This week was a disaster for minor league players, as hundreds of players across the sport were released on Wednesday and Thursday. But here’s a question that immediately came to mind with Oakland’s news: If the A’s are no longer paying their minor-leaguers, shouldn’t those minor-leaguers now be free agents? Logically, that makes sense, and it would be the case for pretty much any other person impacted by the coronavirus. And that’s the case for far too many Americans, as the U.S. unemployment rate hit 14.7 percent in April and is almost certainly higher now. MORE: A’s soil ‘lovable underdog’ image by not paying minor-leaguersI already knew the answer to that question, and I’m sure you do, too. Here’s an email from A’s general manager David Forst to the club’s minor-leaguers. Here is the email David Forst sent to players today: https://t.co/rwHqiAeKla pic.twitter.com/rEZK2RC1eZ— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) May 27, 2020Basically: “We’re not going to pay you, but you’re still prohibited by the terms of your contract from seeking employment elsewhere.”I asked Garrett Broshuis, a former minor league pitcher who is now an attorney with a long history of advocating for the rights of minor-leaguers, for his thoughts on the subject. “No other industry in America operates like this,” Broshuis said. “It’s such an unreasonable expectation, to think that even though I’m not paying you anymore, you can’t go and take your skills that you’ve worked so hard to develop and earn a living somewhere else. It highlights the complete ridiculousness of this contract, which is a contract out of the 1920s still, with the fact that they own your rights for so long, and there’s very little the player can do about it.”The A’s are using Paragraph 23 of the Uniform Player Contract, a section that addresses suspension of a contract. Here’s the standard contract; scroll down to XXIII.So do the A’s minor-leaguers have any real legal recourse?“It would take a Curt Flood-like player to actually challenge it,” Broshuis said. “It would be a variabled action, most likely would take an actual legal action in court, because it’s difficult to see how the commissioner’s office would come out with an alternative interpretation. It would take a very brave player to challenge something like this.”First of all, only a handful of players would even make sense. It would have to be someone who doesn’t figure to be in the mix at the big-league level this year, even with the expanded rosters. But, it also would have to be a minor-leaguer good enough that the A’s wouldn’t want to just cut him to end the hassle (allowing him to be a free agent). And it would have to be someone not concerned how his legal actions would impact how other baseball teams see him. MORE: Explaining the controversial pay cuts owners want players to accept But here’s the biggest thing: It’s probably not worth the effort because the timeline just doesn’t make sense. It seems likely that minor league baseball will resume in 2021, which means we’re really only talking about three months of pay the A’s minor-leaguers are missing (the minor league regular seasons finish at the end of August). The legal process would certainly take much, much longer. Flood’s case started in 1969 — he refused report after an October trade sent him from the Cardinals to Phillies — and wasn’t resolved until the United States Supreme Court ruled in MLB’s favor in June 1972. So, basically, the A’s ballplayers have no real recourse. Even though the club isn’t going to pay them, they can’t become free agents and there’s really nothing they can do about it. The MLBPA isn’t primarily concerned with players until they reach the majors, and the MLBPA has other pressing matters to deal with at the moment. Minor league players don’t have their own union, though Broshuis is part of Advocates for Minor Leaguers, a new organization founded to help represent minor league players. Broshuis has long been leading the charge to raise salaries for minor league players, and this is an extension of those efforts. “It just goes to show the root of the issue, which is the lack of representation. Minor-leaguers have never had a union, they’ve never had somebody looking out for their interest” Broshuis said. “This contract has changed very little in the last 100 years. That is the void we’re stepping into. This situation highlights why an organization like ours is so desperately needed, and why we need to grow this organization, and why we need to be out there advocating on behalf of these players. They need it more than ever.” The Oakland A’s have decided not to pay their minor league players for the rest of the season. That’s their choice, first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday.The A’s, along with every other MLB team, initially committed to paying their minor-leaguers $400 per week through the end of May as the sport deals with the impact of the shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.