There’s a problem in this country.
Well, there’s a lot of problems in this country. But one specific problem is that people who make 20 dollars an hour have been conditioned to blame people making 8 dollars an hour for all the problems in their lives.
That doesn’t really describe what is happening right now regarding the disputes between MLB owners and players.
Many fans are blaming the “greedy” players while the owners are largely getting a free pass.
Again. It’s hard to classify many MLB players as the “have-nots.” Notice I said MLB players. We’ll get into the minor league players in a minute. Sure, there are MLB players who are making the league minimum, and others who are making pre-arbitration money. But in the grand scheme of things, they are living fairly comfortably.
The league minimum for a Major League player is almost 600,000 a year. So, it’s hard to shed a tear for professional athletes given what’s going on in the world right now.
I wouldn’t expect people who are out of work, or who have had their businesses destroyed by Covid-19 to sympathize with pro ballplayers.
My question though, is why have the players been classified as greedy villains, and the billionaire owners been given a free pass?
Also, 65 percent of MLB players make less than a million dollars per year. Just thought I’d mention that.
The argument is always the same.
- “The players are greedy.”
- “Go to work!”
- “I wish I could be paid millions for a few months of work.”
Don’t take this wrong way. You and I can’t do what professional athletes do. No one is paying a toll, exorbitant ticket and beer prices to watch us work. We may work hard. We may provide essential services. But if a camera crew came to our place of work, I doubt there would be many advertisers lined up.
The players are taking all the risk here. They would need to essentially lock themselves in a hotel room, away from their families, only coming outside to play baseball.
And, trust me. I hear you. It sounds crazy to ask nurses and doctors to be sympathetic. But, again, I ask you, why are the owners shielded from all criticism?
The players agreed to be paid a prorated salary, which would be dictated by how many games are ultimately played.
A few months later, the owners proposed a revenue split in lieu of players being paid a standard salary. Funny how the idea of revenue splits was never considered when teams were bringing in record amounts of money from TV and streaming deals these last few years.
Also, important to note. The owners before proposing that revenue split, which at that point, the players hadn’t even seen (which would essentially be a salary cap,) came out and said “Ok! All the players need to do is agree and we’ll have baseball this season!” Did that sway your opinion? Maybe
Now the owners want to take the player salaries, which at best would already be cut by 50 percent, and in some cases, reduce them by ANOTHER 50 or 75 percent.
Let’s say the Yankees’ player payroll for 2020 was going to be 200 million dollars. Right off the bat, that figure is now 100 million dollars if 82 games are able to be played. Why don’t we ever factor that in?
It’s easy to say, “oh Bryce Harper can’t play for 7 million dollars instead of 20? I’m going to work everyday!”
You hear that constantly.
How about the minor league players in the Oakland A’s system?
After today, the Oakland A’s will stop all payments to their minor league players. (They are getting paid 400 dollars a week right now. If you’re quick to compare players to the average working Joe, it’s important to note that you can’t survive on 400 dollars a week, to begin with.)
Well, those players are essentially being held hostage. They can’t go and play in another league. They have contracts.
Put it all together. They have contracts prohibiting them from seeking other employment, but are not being paid! How is that allowed in the United States of America?
Furthermore, why is that not front page news?
“Oakland Owner Worth 2 Billion Dollars Ceases Payments To His Players Making 400 Dollars A Week.”
I think that’s a captivating headline. Instead, we are just fed the players are greedy narrative.
Before you go online and share the latest A-Rod or Mark Teixeira quote, ask yourself how many pay cuts they took over their careers.
Are Curt Flood and Carlton Fisk still heroes? Or should they have just, “shut up and played?” Should we bring the reserve clause back? Should we eliminate free agency?
When your stud prospect is tearing up Triple-A, should we look the other way when teams manipulate their service time, robbing players of a year of their primes?
Ask yourself why this argument is always framed through the perspective of the average man.
“Everyone in America is sacrificing!” “Why don’t the players sacrifice?”
In turn, I ask you, why aren’t the billionaire owners sacrificing?
If you think for a second that the owners want to get the season underway to “unite America,” then I have a bridge to sell you.
If this season would cause the owners to lose a dime, the season would not happen. Straight up. Simple and plain.
The owners will make money if there is baseball played in 2020. They want to make MORE money.
At the end of the day, the players and owners need to get it together. There won’t be a Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa home run race to bring back the fans this time.
So, if you think the players are being greedy. I won’t argue with you.
Just don’t give the billionaires a free pass. Again.
EDIT: Billionaires got 434 billion dollars richer during this pandemic. Good night!