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Thread: Article: Minor Leaguers Deserve Better

  1. #21
    As a host mom for the Elizabethton Twins, I charge each player $100.00 per week. That doesn't even cover the groceries and my water and electric bills double while they are here. The boys each lunch here, take food to the park with them and then eat dinner here at 11:00 following the ballgame. I send food on the road with them too.

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post

    As for minor league players.....they are underpaid, if you consider them assets you are investing in....
    And that is true although the problem with these "assets" is that the median expected value is essentially a negative value because so few players actually become assets to their major league team. "Investing" in a minor league nutrition program means not just spending the money on Byron Buxton but the 50 other prospects taht will never reach the major leagues.

    Further, the major league teams "invests" significant money in the signing bonuses paid to the minor league players before they even play a game. This is how the economics of baseball works. The palyers taht are valuable assets, like Buxton and Sano, are given millions of dollars. The later round draft picks or the unknown players in the foreign leagues don't get anything.

    This is how markets work.
    Last edited by mlhouse; 02-25-2014 at 05:04 PM.

  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madre Dos View Post
    As a host mom for the Elizabethton Twins, I charge each player $100.00 per week. That doesn't even cover the groceries and my water and electric bills double while they are here. The boys each lunch here, take food to the park with them and then eat dinner here at 11:00 following the ballgame. I send food on the road with them too.

    But you are their second mother by choice. If you were in it for the money you would not be a host mom. That is my whole point about the minor league players. They make the choice of playing baseball as a professional. In many ways they are really, really lucky and should never complain.

  5. #24
    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlhouse View Post
    As far as minimum wage laws, I doubt that there are any violations. Adding in their per diem and even assuming that they are under their employers control 40 hours a week, they are essentially paid minimum wage. That is 40*4.25*7.25 is $1,232/month which is about hte minimum minor league salary.
    Yes and no

    The Federal minimum wage of $7.25 overrides and is the floor of State minimum wage. States can set the minimum wage higher than that and be the effective minimum wage for employees at that state. Here is a current list of state minimum wages. The Twins are conducting minor league business in: Connecticut ($8.70), Florida ($7.93), Iowa ($7.25), New York ($8.00) and Tennessee ($7.25). Minnesota is $7.25 also. The minimum minor league salary of $1,150 (/4.25*40) translates to around $6.25 an hour.

    Unless the Twins are running a family farming business, there are issues here

    It is the big picture and perspective and ethics too: MLB teams are throwing senseless money left and right, while they are treating their minor leaguers like undocumented seasonal workers. It will take about a $1M dollars to double each and every minor leaguer's salary in an organization. $1M is usually the buyout of a bad option. How much did the Twins play Blackburn not to play in 2013 again?

    MLB cannot call themselves good corporate citizens, unless they fix this...
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  7. #25
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    1. You are forgetting the per diem, which if the minor league teams had to they woudl simply convert into "wages". This eliminates the "minimum" wage problem. I also doubt that the minor league players are under their "employers" control 40 hours per week but even at that level their compensation should have no problem meeting minimum wage level.

    2. What you are forgetting about the $1 million chump change is that the Twins had to pay it to buy Blackburn out.......in other words, spending another $1 million does not save you the Blackburn buyout.

    3. Players that earn the right to be bought out for $1 million to not play demonstrate that they are at least marginal MLB players. That is the ultimate reward for any and every minor league player, and that needs to be factored in.

    4. MLB is not a good corporate citizen. They are a profit maximizing activity that worries first and foremost about their bottom lines. All the "good citizen" talk is just rhetoric.

    5. Again, since you are replying to my post, you are missing the point. MLB does not have to DOUBLE each and every minor leaguers current salary. LET ME REPEAT: THEY DO NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING WITH MINOR LEAGUE SALARIES. If the salaries were too low then they would not have enough qualified "employees" to fill their roster spots for the minor league teams. The reality is, and this is demonstrated every year, they have TOO MANY employees and they have to release players.

  8. #26
    MLB doesn't want anybody on their minor league team who's looking for a "living wage". They don't want anyone there because baseball's a little more fun than bagging groceries, or flipping burgers. The system is designed to filter out anyone who doesn't absolutely love the game, or is at least ambitious enough to fake it.

    The entire minor league system should be compared to an apprenticeship program, or an internship. Until you make the major league club you're a financial liability. You haven't learned how to do your job and you're not worth paying. I'm no fan of the way the MLB does business, they've been screwing taxpayers around the country for years, but the minor league players can quit and find better paying jobs anytime they like. Most should.

  9. #27
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    Let me just say that I commiserate with the MiLB players. As a full time public education employee that brings home $1244 per month, it is extremely hard to make ends meet. Anyone that thinks this is a "livable wage" needs to think again. The idea that it is OK for a billion dollar industry to pay those kinds of wages is absurd.

    Every CEO should try living on their lowest paid employee's salary so they can understand the hardships people go through. I don't believe that the executives at corporations that pay very little are heartless people but rather that it is too easy to become caught up in the financial bottom line and insulated from your fellow employees since you only see them at work. Then when you think about them in your mind you see the healthy, smiling "Jim" that comes to work everyday with a smile on his face trying to work hard. What you don't see is that "Jim" has to choose between repairing his vehicle so he can get to work or paying for his child's medications. I think if some of these very wealthy people actually came face to face with the poverty their corporations create things might change. At least I hope they would.

    Sorry for the rant.

    BTW, just because a player can "walk away" it doesn't make the wages OK.

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  11. #28
    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shimrod View Post
    The entire minor league system should be compared to an apprenticeship program, or an internship. .
    Certainly. I totally agree. Established above that the current MiLB minimum equates to $6.25 and hour.

    Trade apprentices get paid. Here is the current average for plumber apprentice wage data. $9-$19 mean $13. Minor leaguers would love that.

    As far as internships go, they get paid at least minimum wage. There are free internships, but here are the government criteria that allow to not pay minimum wage. And all have to be satisfied:

    1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
    2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
    3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
    4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
    5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
    6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

    Very hard for a MiLB player situation to satisfy the bold terms.
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  12. #29
    Senior Member All-Star Jim Crikket's Avatar
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    I understand that MLB doesn't "have to" do anything different unless/until a court determines that they must do so.

    I simply don't believe that makes it right.

    But then, there are many things baseball does that I don't believe are right. Maybe, one day, Congress will wake up and take away MLB's anti-trust exemption and we'll see what kind of business they can run when they have to live by the same rules pretty much every other business in the country has to work within.
    I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at Knuckleballsblog.com while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for MetroSportsReport.com.

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  14. #30
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    It's simple math

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
    5,000 x 20 = 1million, just saying,
    to me they need to pay single A and lower 20,000 per season and AA and above 36,000 per season
    5,000x20=100,000, not 1M. There are close to 200 minor league players per team if you disregard the foreign rookie leagues.

  15. #31
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    Under control

    Quote Originally Posted by mlhouse View Post
    I also doubt that the minor league players are under their "employers" control 40 hours per week
    On home game days they're working at least 6 hours. If they play 6 games a week that's 36 hours. On a road trip you should count any time spent on the bus as work time.

  16. #32
    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    There are so many points here to bring up.

    1.) Part of the concern is that they can't unionize. Some minor leaguers have tried to in the past and got just blacklisted by baseball. What gives me hope on this one is that it's being led by former minor leaguers. The reality is that minor leaguers fall under the MLB players union, but the MLB Players Union has done nothing for the minor leaguers. Hopefully that can change.

    2.) Realize that players are to get paid for travel time, in the minors, that means time on a bus. Look at New Britain. Imagine a time when in a week, they travel from New Britain, CT, to Reading, PA, to Akron, Ohio. They're going to be traveling for a good 25 hours in that week. Plus, they will likely be at the ballpark from 1 p.m. until after a game concludes, maybe 11 p.m. That's That's 10 hour days, 6 days a week... plus maybe a 2 hour practice if they have an offday in that week. That's 62 hour weeks, plus 25 hours of travel... that could be 85-90 hour weeks. Even when they're at home, you're looking at the 60-65 hours. Doing the math, in AA, that MAY equate to about $5.50 per hour... Go down to the Florida State League, where the travel may not be as much, but they make less, so they may be at $5 per hour. In the Midwest League League, it's probably $4.50. And it goes down from there.

    3.) I did the math... if each pre-free agency minor leaguer (and non-40 man roster) received another $1,500 per month (times approximately 120 players), it would be $180,000 per month. Take that times 5 months (for April, May, June, July, and August, and we'll add September in case they all go to the playoffs), and it would cost each team just $1,080,000 more per year. Let's remember that the Twins just offered Matt Garza $14 million and he turned it down, so I'd love to see them decide to do this for their minor leaguers.

    4.) People can say that the minor leaguers know what they are getting into, and that's fair, because it's true. That doesn't make it right, so that argument doesn't hold much for me.

    5.) I don't think the minor leaguers would be greedy and ask for the world. But the reality is that their wages have gone up so little over the last 30 years, and that's just not right.

    6.) Remember that few players get the big signing bonuses. Anyone taken after about the first 2 rounds isn't getting a huge bonus. Most after the 10th round won't get much more than a thousand dollars or so and a flight. Players from international countries that aren't the big dollar guys don't get much either.

    I'm sure I have more thoughts too. Ha! Again, I like that it's former players doing the work. The current minor leaguers don't have much voice, so I'm glad others are doing it, and I'm happy to support it in any way I can!

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  18. #33
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer jimbo92107's Avatar
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    Pretty good model for the rest of our economy. A handful of billionaires horde all the money while treating the rest of us like peasants. Isn't this what the Founding Fathers intended? Isn't this the American Way?

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  20. #34
    [QUOTE=mlhouse;198913

    4. MLB is not a good corporate citizen. They are a profit maximizing activity that worries first and foremost about their bottom lines. All the "good citizen" talk is just rhetoric.

    Where has just relying on the market and profits gotten us? Wages have been falling for the VAST majority of Americans while going way up for the few. Income disparity is worse than the Gilded Age when kids were working in coal mines 6 days a week for 12 hrs a day before labor reform. Since post WW2 till approximately the early 80s CEOs were judged by more than the bottom line. Job creation and being a good corporate citizen weren't considered just rhetoric. These were times of great prosperity.

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  22. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by shimrod View Post
    MLB doesn't want anybody on their minor league team who's looking for a "living wage". They don't want anyone there because baseball's a little more fun than bagging groceries, or flipping burgers. The system is designed to filter out anyone who doesn't absolutely love the game, or is at least ambitious enough to fake it.

    The entire minor league system should be compared to an apprenticeship program, or an internship. Until you make the major league club you're a financial liability. You haven't learned how to do your job and you're not worth paying. I'm no fan of the way the MLB does business, they've been screwing taxpayers around the country for years, but the minor league players can quit and find better paying jobs anytime they like. Most should.
    Even apprenticeships are required to pay minimum wage....1 Job I worked was a sweet heart( 70% of the normal) low scale job,as an apprentis I was earning 40%of scale, each week I went to the union hall and they cut me a check to bring my payment up to minimum....

    also look at all thos hours they sit on a bus , its part of the job discription , with about 175 (-minus 15 who are on the 40 man roster) players in our minor leaques , it would cost the Twins 160,000 a month to increase every player 1,000 a month ... and if you think 2,200 a month would have players playing for the big bucks , mmm you maybe need to look around , 15 years ago I turned down jobs if they didnt pay 10,000 a month....

  23. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJL44 View Post
    5,000x20=100,000, not 1M. There are close to 200 minor league players per team if you disregard the foreign rookie leagues.
    me bad , thanks for correcting me

  24. #37
    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    The problem as I see it comes down to a union that really doesn't represent them. That's a problem MLB may be forced to change, especially where labor laws are violated. The entire concept of a draft is a violation of labor laws, which means that the sport needs to take really really really good care of its people.

    Truthfully, I don't get some of this. These guys are important assets to the team. I'd want to make sure they are housed in good housing and that they eat the right kinds of food. Honestly if food and housing were taken care of for the players, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
    Last edited by diehardtwinsfan; 02-26-2014 at 06:30 AM.

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  26. #38
    We are forgetting about clubhouse dues, which range from $4-5 per day in rookie ball to $12-15 per day in AAA. That's well over $1000 per year directly out of the players' pockets. The clubs don't pay the clubhouse managers - the players and coaches do. Granted, the AA and AAA players get fed after games, but it's usually not very healthy food. So basically, all the players' meal money goes directly to the clubbies.

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  28. #39
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    I can see why playing college baseball looks so appealing, especially since those players will usually play summer ball.

  29. #40
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    Comparing MLB to a free market makes no sense:

    1. Players are drafted, and stuck with that team for 8-12 years, like it or not.
    2. Players can be traded to another city/team, no say.
    3. Wages are capped, though this is not really that different than other big companies

    There is no way one can argue that MLB is a free market for the players.
    Lighten up Francis....

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