Does MLB Want to Fix it's Minor League Player Pay Problem? No it Doesn't....
I'll bet it never dawned on you that Minor League Baseball players make less than $10,000 a year.
Yeah, sure, there's the fabulously glamorous bus rides, sandwiches in the clubhouse after games and hey, they're playing a kids game.
But you want to know what the guys without the "Bonus Baby" pro contracts they're working to achieve, well, they make $5,000-$7,500 for 5 months of work.
Or for those of us shitty at math---it would work out to a whole $16,000 a year. Otherwise known as poverty level.
And you might be surprised to find out Major League Baseball is bound and determined to keep it that way.
Oh, by the way, according to the Washington Post, Minor League Baseball says players should be paid less than the federal law states human beings have to be paid, says a raise would "Disrupt" teams finances.
The highly, highly profitable owners and management staff at Major League Baseball appear poised to keep Minor League pay below minimum wage as they've been "Lobbying" Congress to make sure it happens.
Because Politics happen, MLB made a "Donation" to a pair of "Congressmen" who made sure a bill to keep the status quo made it into the national Federal Budget bill they are about to sign.
Yes, I know most of you like me are shocked that "Donations" to a politician result in a bill lobbyists strongly suggest should happen to benefit them.
That bill is about to be signed and will give baseball the exemption they're asking for to keep the pay scale where it is through the "Save the National Pastime" act.
We all know Major League Baseball is financially struggling as the league and most of its teams are struggling with multi-million dollar revenue surpluses. But hey, it's all good since a handful of Minor Leaguers will eventually make it to the Majors and some of them will end up making Millions upon Millions when they prove themselves.
But for the thousands (yes, thousands) who spend parts of their career never getting out of the minors, they are forced to work jobs that actually pay minimum wage in the offseason, live with families willing to host them while they live in a town they aren't from driving whatever they can afford and eating off the dollar menu.
Don't get me wrong--there are guys who sign big contracts after being drafted and get bonuses for signing them who have plenty of money. But there are only 40-50 of those per team each year.
It's funny the President of Minor League Baseball is claiming pay raises and potential overtime (no, players don't get O.T. either) would "Disrupt" their financial models. The statement leaves out the fact MAJOR League Baseball pays the players not the Minor League teams.
If you look at the money teams are saving this year in Free Agency and the overall financial health of the league you, like me, should be outraged at how this is all going down. Yet it is....
I'm not asking you to totally empathize with professional athletes. Lord knows in today's insanely backwards thinking political environment---the response is likely either "Not my problem" or "They'll eventually get paid". Even though neither are true.
Given the current track and treatment of people who make less that $100,000 a year, this whole discussion is embarrassing. Yeah, like I said--I know a certain percentage of players will make a shit-ton of money if they're successful but remember for every 10 future stars, there are 1,000 others who will never get out of the minors and will spend a majority of their early lives living paycheck to paycheck with not enough money to eat anywhere other than Taco Bell or McDonalds....
And I'm sorry in the world we currently live in, that's not right. Nobody who is working for a dream deserves to make $10K a year and it is not like Baseball can't afford to give these guys a pay raise. They clearly can.
Just put the money they spent on lobbyists and buying politicians to the players and they'd get the first real pay raise in at least a decade.
There...I'm off my horse now....