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Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay sounds off on Max Scherzer's stance that players already took a pay cut

Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay sounds off on Max Scherzer's stance that players already took a pay cut

One days after Nationals ace Max Scherzer released a statement saying MLB players had no reason to engage the league in further compensation reductions, Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay sounded off on the stance.

Scherzer, a member of the players’ union’s eight-member executive subcommittee, said in his statement Wednesday that players had already negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries. “There’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received,” he said.

[RELATED: Scherzer continues to steer union on a united front]

Kay took to his ESPN radio show Thursday to say Scherzer is incorrect.

“The one thing that I want to amplify, I’m not on either side. The players are taking a chance by playing during a pandemic, the owners are taking a financial chance,” Kay said. “But when the players, and this is something that Max Scherzer said, when the players say they’ve taken a pay cut … Stop! You have not taken a pay cut. You have not worked. You have not played. You don’t deserve to get paid. That’s all there is to it. So that’s not a pay cut.”

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The original pay cut Scherzer was referring to is the deal negotiated between the league and union in March, which prorated player salaries. But a recent proposal from MLB owners would further reduce salaries, placing them into tiers where the highest-paid players would have their salaries cut the most.

Under the new proposal, Scherzer would make around $4.333 million of his $28,777,759 million base salary. Stephen Strasburg would make just $5.313 million of his $35 million base salary.

Kay contends the original deal from March wasn’t a pay cut.

“You can make the argument, ‘Well, it’s guaranteed money.’ Well, the owners aren’t locking you out. The virus is locking you out,” he said. “We’re not playing baseball because of health concerns, because people are dying all around the country to the tune of over 100,000 people. Please don’t say you took a pay cut. You didn’t take a pay cut.”

Kay added that he is contracted to work 135 Yankees games this season for YES Network, but said he wouldn’t look at it as a pay cut if games were canceled and he wasn’t paid.

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Nats' Eric Thames thanks cornhole for helping him perfect his underhand tosses during quarantine

Nats' Eric Thames thanks cornhole for helping him perfect his underhand tosses during quarantine

Like many other professional athletes, Nationals infielder Eric Thames did not have the proper equipment in his home to stay in shape during quarantine. Thames spoke to local reporters in May and said then that hitting off a tee was the only hitting activity he was able to do, meaning no soft toss or live batting practice.

However, the slugger did have one item in his home that unintentionally kept him in shape: cornhole.

By playing "hours of cornhole," Thames perfected his underhand toss, which is something he usually has to do multiple times in a game as a first baseman. 

On Thursday, Thames posted an Instagram picture of him during workouts at Nationals Park, underhand tossing the ball to one of the team's pitchers during pitcher fielding practice (PFP).

"Hours of quarantine cornhole definitely paying off in PFPs!' Thames wrote. "Only a few weeks to go til it’s game time."

The Nationals returned to their home stadium earlier this week to begin 'summer camp' workouts, as the 2020 MLB season is scheduled to begin on July 23. 

RELATED: THAMES OPTIMISTIC ABOUT MLB RETURN AFTER SEEING KBO MODEL

Last week, Thames said that despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, he's optimistic that baseball can work.

"The MLB has a strong safety protocol so we're all going to follow that. Baseball can work," Thames said. "We all need it, as players, the fans and the world. It definitely needs something to watch right now. So, we're chomping at the bit."

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Nationals’ Davey Martinez says World Series rings were ‘definitely worth the wait’

Nationals’ Davey Martinez says World Series rings were ‘definitely worth the wait’

When the Nationals arrived at the ballpark Thursday, they expected another normal day of practice—well, about as normal as a practice that is social-distancing compliant and held in the midst of a global pandemic can be. But Thursday proved to be special, as the players opened their lockers only to find that their World Series rings had finally arrived.

The Nationals were originally supposed to receive their rings April 4 as part of a ceremony in front of a sold-out crowd at Nationals Park. However, those plans were canceled after the coronavirus pandemic forced MLB to delay the start of the season. The organization then decided to unveil the design May 24 and distribute the rings to a select few players but changed course when clubhouse leaders expressed that they wanted the team to receive them all together.

A little over eight months after the Nationals paraded down Constitution Avenue celebrating their title, manager Davey Martinez stood in the corner of the clubhouse and watched as his players finally had the chance to open the rings they had earned.

RELATED: SEAN DOOLITTLE SHOW OFF HIS WORLD SERIES RING USING ‘LORD OF THE RINGS’ BOOK

“I’m still smiling about it,” Martinez said in a Zoom press conference. “It was definitely worth the wait. We waited a while to get these things on our finger but…it’s all about the work we put in to this, the players, the way we did it, the way the players did it. Just means a lot to me, means a lot to my family. Proud to be wearing this thing today and we’re here again to hopefully get another one.”

With no fans expected to be in the stands for the 2020 season, the Nationals have opted to wait before raising their World Series banner. Martinez is hopeful that by the time the D.C. faithful is let back into the ballpark, the Nationals will have two banners that need raising.

“It’s definitely sad that we couldn’t have the fans here with us,” Martinez said. “Our fans are our 26th man. They were there through thick and thin with us all year long. But I’ve always said this: We’ll do this again, hopefully with them in the stands.”

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