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Pacific Coast League Roundup

A roundup of stories that take a brief historical look at the Los Angeles Angels of the PCL before Jim Fregosi was drafted by the MLB team of the same name, the business of MiLB through the eyes of the Las Vegas 51s media relations director and news about three former MiLBers who filed suit against MLB for low salaries.

Jim Fregosi
Jim Fregosi
Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

I read several informative articles recently that included references to the Pacific Coast League. Thought you might enjoy them.

Patrick Reusse from 1500ESPN.com filled in the details in his article about how the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League went defunct a few years before the Angeles fielded a MLB team and then went on to draft an 18-year-old shortstop named Jim Fregosi in the expansion draft held in 1960. Fregosi passed away last week at the age of 71.

Jeremy Deckard with the Topeka Capital-Journal posted an interview with Las Vegas 51s media relations director Jim Gemma. Gemma talks about the biggest challenges of working in MiLB, how he has seen the business of baseball change over the course of his career, his first game as a scorekeeper in the PCL in 1983 - which turned out to be a no-hitter, and he talked about the difficulties that MiLB organizations go through when major league affiliates change.

Craig Calcaterra on HardballTalk reported that three former minor leaguers - Aaron Senne, Michael Liberto and Oliver Odle (who spent a little time in the PCL with Fresno in 2010) - have filed "a putative class action lawsuit against Major League Baseball alleging that minor leaguers are underpaid and exploited and that the Uniform Player Contract unfairly takes advantage of them." Later in the story he says players often make less than $7,500 for an entire season.

A few years ago, I interviewed Ryan McGee from ESPN the Magazine (who got his start in MiLB), a Triple-A GM and someone who worked for a Triple-A team about the low salaries in MiLB, and they all seemed to agree that no easy answer exists. But this lawsuit will be an interesting one to follow.