Apparently, sports will save the economy

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.

Independent contractor athletes, and COVID-19

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 can leak all the return plans they want, but they won’t work

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.

On Tuesday, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on the discussions Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have been having about starting the currently postponed 2020 season. Nothing within is promising, even if it’s, as Passan put it, the “likeliest to work, and has been embraced by MLB and MLB Players Association leadership, who are buoyed by the possibility of baseball’s return and the backing of federal officials.”

“Likeliest to work” could mean anything, mathematically, and as evidenced by MLB themselves even admitting they don’t have a plan within a plan here to restart baseball amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s good to remember that “likeliest” probably means MLB could state that this improved plan has a non-zero chance of working, unlike some of their other plans, which are at zero percent.

Here’s the quick rundown, again via Passan:

Continue reading “MLB can leak all the return plans they want, but they won’t work”

MLB, MLBPA both benefit from COVID-19 agreement, but MiLB will suffer

Difficult decisions were necessary for Major League Baseball and the Players Association to hammer out a deal while working with so many unknowns in what is now, officially, a postponed regular season. If Jeff Passan’s reporting on the situation is any indication, then both parties made sacrifices, but came away with key measures that will help them weather a shortened, or even potentially fully canceled, 2020 regular season.

However, the parties not at the table are the ones that fared the worst: Minor League Baseball now looks like they’re in a position for MLB to force the disaffiliation of dozens of clubs on to them by way of coronavirus fallout, while current and potential MiLB players would then face a lack of both jobs and even opportunities to be signed.

Continue reading “MLB, MLBPA both benefit from COVID-19 agreement, but MiLB will suffer”

COVID-19 sheds light on inequality, in sports and beyond

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.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been shining a light on social inequity and the lack of social safety nets in America, be it in how the government is responding (to means test solutions or not to means test solutions; insider trading to enrich themselves off of the pandemic itself), how people are responding (hoarding for price gouging; forcing their employees to show up for “essential” work that doesn’t fit that definition no matter how much you stretch it), and in who has access to being tested for the virus itself.

The last point is the one we’ll focus on here, and not just because it has a sports component that allows me to shoehorn it into a niche newsletter. Testing for the coronavirus still is not widely available… unless you’re rich and/or famous. On the night when the COVID-19 threat became real to many people, the members of the NBA’s Utah Jazz and Oklahoma Thunder were tested for the virus. When you add up players, staff, and so on, that was 58 tests: and those tests came from Oklahoma’s limited daily supply. In fact, the 58 tests comprised 60 percent of Oklahoma’s supply, a strong majority.

Continue reading “COVID-19 sheds light on inequality, in sports and beyond”

Paying MLB’s stadium workers during COVID-19 suspension isn’t ‘complicated’

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 would like you to know something: paying stadium workers during the postponement of the 2020 regular season is going to be “complicated.” How do we know this? Because that’s what was reported on Sunday by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal:

Continue reading “Paying MLB’s stadium workers during COVID-19 suspension isn’t ‘complicated’”

MLB is forcing MiLB players to leave spring training, without pay or hope

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.

Spring training is officially over, and the Major League Baseball Players Association sent out a memo to its members telling them they could stay at the spring training facility, go home, or head to the city that their team plays in. The allowances teams give to players during spring training, like for housing, are still in effect. The on-field facilities players use to prep for the regular season will remain open to those who stay, as well, and teams will assist in flying out the families of any players who had their families with them in Arizona or Florida, to boot.

According to minor-league players spoken to under the condition of anonymity, MLB’s response was much more terse and disconcerting: go home. It was left up to each individual team to craft their own message to their minor-league players that said as much, but that was what had to be relayed from above. Go home, whether you’re a domestic or international player. Go home, because you, as minor-league players, don’t have the protections and rights to negotiating an exit as unionized players.

Continue reading “MLB is forcing MiLB players to leave spring training, without pay or hope”

The MLBPA filed another grievance against the Pirates

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.

The History of Baseball Unionization: The Brotherhood of Professional Baseball Players

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.

Blue Jays black out all of Canada, and it’s a symptom of a larger issue

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.