News item: The New York Times reported that the High-A Frederick Keys, the longest-running Orioles affiliated minor league franchise, is among the 42 farm teams that could lose their affiliations with major league clubs under a plan by Major League Baseball to reorganize the sport’s minor league system.

My take: If the plan — which has not been finalized — is adopted, it would be another kick in the pants for an already beleaguered Orioles fan base. The club’s geographically convenient array of farm teams is a very appealing aspect of the organization, which isn’t exactly swimming in appealing aspects at the moment.


Related news item: MLB proposed the minor league realignment in an effort to limit each major league club to a specific number of domestic farm teams (five) and prospects (150).

My take: In other words, it’s about money, but it will be sold as a way to achieve a greater level of competitive balance among the large- and small-market teams while eliminating a few money-losing franchises.

Bonus take: Minor league affiliates reportedly drew over 40 million fans last season, which makes all this seem like a solution in search of a problem.

News item: Citing gratitude and loyalty to the organization for helping rejuvenate his career, former Ravens safety Eric Weddle told reporters this week that he will not share any intel on the Ravens with his Los Angeles Rams teammates ahead of Monday night’s game in LA.

My take: Good man. Now, let’s hope that former Rams cornerback Marcus Peters doesn’t let his scruples get in the way of him from picking off Jared Goff a couple of times.

News item: Disgraced Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett appealed the disciplinary action taken by the NFL after he pulled the helmet off Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and hit him over the head with it. He asked for a reduction in his indefinite suspension, but the NFL upheld its ruling Thursday.

My take: That’s got to seem pretty cheeky to anyone who saw the incident, but Garrett (and his representatives) reportedly argued that Houston Texans lineman Antonio Smith was only suspended for three games — two of them preseason games — for a similar incident in 2013.

Bonus take: And, anyway, how do you reduce an indefinite suspension?

News item: The Miami Marlins have designated former Orioles pitcher Wei-Yin Chen for assignment and could be on the hook for the $22 million he’s guaranteed for the 2020 season.

My take: Nobody’s picking up that salary, so somebody will probably end up signing him to a minor league contract. He’s been a major bust in Miami, but could provide some very cheap left-handed pitching depth for a rebuilding baseball team near you.

News item: Former Oriole Gerardo Parra, who created the “Baby Shark” craze that helped the Nationals win their first World Series title, has signed a contract to play in Japan next season.

My take: Don’t know how the Nats could let him go after he turned a whole generation of toddlers into lifelong fans.

News item: NBC Sports reported that, according to unidentified sources, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told players union officials in July that owners would not make economic concessions to achieve labor peace during early negotiations to replace the collective bargaining agreement that will expire after the 2021 season.

My take: That’s a relief. I was starting to think that we’d never have another interminable work stoppage that ends with a federal court judge in New York ordering the owners to stop being so mean to their millionaire employees.


News item: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady joked this week that he has disliked the Dallas Cowboys “since coming out of the womb.”

My take: I wish I could say the same thing about the Patriots, but I was born five years before they were.

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