MLB expected to cut 1,000 minor leaguers, while A’s won’t even pay the ones they kept

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to allow me to keep writing posts like this one.​

As of this writing, it’s May 30. The last day of pay for Minor League Baseball players facing a postponed — and potentially canceled — season is May 31. Around half of Major League Baseball’s teams have stepped up to extend that pay a month, or through the rest of what would be the regular season for MiLB, but that’s not a universal solution. Baseball America has a continually updating story on just which teams have agreed to pay their players $400 per week beyond May 31, and while it’s a growing list, it’s not as long as it should be.

Some background: Minor League players, after initially being sent home without any direction from teams besides “stay in game shape without financial assistance from us,” were given $400 per week from the scheduled start of the Minor League season in early April through May 31. That $400 per week was, embarrassingly, a significant raise for low-level players, and an even more significant pay cut for those who had already escaped the tremendous indignity of the lower minors and were used to being a little better off thanks to the the wages of the high minors, which nearly approach the poverty line instead of sitting miles below it. As of a week ago, there had been no word from any teams about how they were going to handle the post-May 31 pay situation. Reports trickled out during the week, with some clubs extending things through June, others through August, but still, around half of the league has remained silent, and we’re one day from the final day of the initial promise.

Continue reading “MLB expected to cut 1,000 minor leaguers, while A’s won’t even pay the ones they kept”

An MLB sliding salary scale could work. Just not this one.

While the occasional article is free for everyone, the vast majority of this content is restricted to my Patreon subscribers, whose support allows me to write all of this in the first place. Please consider becoming a subscriber! -Marc Normandin
To view this content, you must be a member of Marc Normandin's Patreon at $5 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.

MLB, MLBPA will start talking return economics this week

While the occasional article is free for everyone, the vast majority of this content is restricted to my Patreon subscribers, whose support allows me to write all of this in the first place. Please consider becoming a subscriber! -Marc Normandin
To view this content, you must be a member of Marc Normandin's Patreon at $5 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.

Minor League player pay isn’t guaranteed past the fast-approaching May 31

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to gain access to the rest of my work and allow me to keep writing posts like this one.

The dispute between Major League Baseball and the Players Association has loomed large over the sport essentially since the 2020 season was postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s not the lone story out there. Minor League Baseball players aren’t sure if they are going to have a season, either, and the temporary pay solution put in place to help get them through their own postponed 2020 is set to come to an end… with no real sign that it will be extended, either.

Said temporary solution — $400 per week — came in the wake of MLB being criticized for essentially forcing their minor leaguers to pack up and go home, but stay in game shape to be recalled at a moment’s notice, and all without any financial support from the league. Minor League players, still under contract, couldn’t apply for unemployment, and with no idea of when they were coming back, couldn’t necessarily apply to other part-time or temporary jobs, either. That’s still the case, and yet, after May 31, their $400 per week will come to an end.

Continue reading “Minor League player pay isn’t guaranteed past the fast-approaching May 31”

Debt service, and MLB’s obfuscation racket

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to allow me to keep writing posts like this one.

Major League Baseball is concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic, and the drop in revenues that will come with a shortened 2020 season, is going to make it more difficult for teams to pay off their debt. You might be familiar with the debt service rule in MLB: it arose from the collective bargaining of 2002, and was an attempt to make sure that teams actually had the money to pay their bills by limiting their debt to 10 times their annual earnings. You might also not be familiar with it at all, because it’s barely ever mentioned by the teams or the media, and even now it being brought up is more a negotiating ploy than a real thing to be concerned about.

Keeping in line with the debt service rule isn’t something that’s going to get teams in trouble with some financial authority like a bank: it’s just an internal MLB thing that’s meant to keep teams from promising to be able to pay more than they’ll be able to. And yet, despite the institution of this rule in 2002, nine clubs were in violation of the debt service rule in 2011. MLB didn’t go after most of those teams: they did go after the Dodgers for violating the debt service rule, though, that was because everyone wanted Frank McCourt to get kicked out of the league. The Mets were in violation at the same time, thanks to the Wilpons’ involvement with Bernie Madoff, but they were allowed to keep their team, because then-commissioner Bud Selig and the rest of the owners didn’t despise the Wilpons like they did McCourt.

Continue reading “Debt service, and MLB’s obfuscation racket”

MLB’s return plan doesn’t guarantee player safety, and they’re fine with that

While the occasional article is free for everyone, the vast majority of this content is restricted to my Patreon subscribers, whose support allows me to write all of this in the first place. Please consider becoming a subscriber! -Marc Normandin
To view this content, you must be a member of Marc Normandin's Patreon at $5 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.

MLB wants to return without absorbing any of the fallout

While the occasional article is free for everyone, the vast majority of this content is restricted to my Patreon subscribers, whose support allows me to write all of this in the first place. Please consider becoming a subscriber! -Marc Normandin
To view this content, you must be a member of Marc Normandin's Patreon
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.

MLB’s owners want the players to shoulder their financial burden

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to allow me to keep writing posts like this one.

A few weeks back, Peter Gammons published a piece at The Athletic that focused on how the road back to normalcy in MLB was going to be three years’ long. COVID-19 is and will wreak havoc on MLB’s finances, so, the answer is, according to one anonymous Red Sox executive, to essentially ignore everything the Players Association would consider important in negotiations, in the interest of getting baseball back to normal as quickly as possible.

This isn’t some hyperbole coming out of me, either, check out the actual quote from the exec:

Continue reading “MLB’s owners want the players to shoulder their financial burden”

The U.S. government would love to use MLB as a distraction, again

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to allow me to keep writing posts like this one.

A return to normalcy. It’s an empty promise when “normal” is so terrible for so many, when normalcy is what helped bring us to this moment in time where even more lives than usual are in danger, when profits are being placed above the welfare of people and their lives. It’s an old promise, though, and a time-tested one that’s effective in its messaging, even if what it promises is underwhelming or outright untrue.

“A return to normalcy” is basically all that’s powering the campaign of the assumed Democratic candidate for president, Joe Biden, a campaign that’s hoping you’ll ignore that the “normalcy” it’s promising is what helped the current regime rise to power in the first place. It’s a card both the Dems and the Republicans can play to great effect, though, in terms of maintaining power and avoiding doing anything more than acknowledging the symptoms of some real issues. Just look at what Senate Majority Leader and Republican Mitch McConnell has been saying lately, about bringing Major League Baseball back:

Continue reading “The U.S. government would love to use MLB as a distraction, again”

Let’s look at some athletes trying to help during the pandemic

While the occasional article is free for everyone, the vast majority of this content is restricted to my Patreon subscribers, whose support allows me to write all of this in the first place. Please consider becoming a subscriber! -Marc Normandin
To view this content, you must be a member of Marc Normandin's Patreon at $5 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.