MAN THE BATTLE STATIONS
CARRY THE MESSAGE LOUDLY AND CLEARLY: MINOR LEAGUERS SHOULD BE PAID FAR, FAR LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGE
Former Giants minor leaguer Garrett Broshuis has been part of a lawsuit trying to increase the poverty-level wages paid to nearly all minor leaguers, and now Minor League Baseball has joined with Major League Baseball to proclaim a resounding "Nuh-uh."
The ex-minor leaguers' viewpoint is that they should be paid for the hours they work at or above the minimum level mandated by law. MLB contends that they should be classified in the same category as seasonal workers, or trainees, or babysitters, and therefore they shouldn't have to be paid like people who have to live on the money they earn from working.
It's a tricky moral quandary. On the one side, you have broke minor leaguers, barely scraping by. On the other, you have teams that can afford to do things like give Alex Rios $11 million. How can you know whose side to take?
I should concede one thing: minor league teams really don't make a lot of money, so if they start having to pay the players an actual living wage, a lot of them might have financial difficulties. It's a shame that the structure of baseball means that they can't afford to
@broshuis how will increased pay effect MiLB teams? Never in my 10 yr career did I get a check from a minor league affiliate.
— Craig Whitaker (@craigwhitaker5) December 12, 2014
Not to get too "political" on you, but MLB's being a bunch of stupid fartfaces here. They could easily afford the money. For example, hockey, with revenues that aren't on the same level as baseball, not only pays its minor leaguers more (their top minor league has a minimum salary of $45,000), but they also cover housing and utilities for the guys they're not paying well.
Is MLB honestly going to be outclassed by hockey? They have a team in Winnipeg, for god's sake. Here are the notable things about Winnipeg:
- They used to have an NHL team, but they moved away and then moved back
- They have an NHL team
The costs of a victory by the players would likely trickle down to the minor leagues—a reality that several operators have said would be devastating for most teams—and could potentially change the structure of the industry’s relationship with the majors.
My argument is this: Baseball has lots of money, so it should pay its employees enough money to live on during the season. We know this is feasible because the NHL does it, and they have much less money than MLB. In addition, Winnipeg is a fine city that I took several cheap shots at, hoping that Canadians would be too polite to do anything about it.
Oh, and the MLB Players' Association doesn't care because money going to minor leaguers is money that's not going to major leaguers, so they don't want money to go to minor leaguers. Way to go, dicks.