NEW YORK – With the recent announcement that the minor league baseball season has been cancelled due to coronavirus, Major League Baseball owners issued a joint press release stating their huge disappointment that, for the first time in 120 years, they won’t be able to exploit minor league players with substandard working conditions and below poverty wages.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, best known for shining the shoes of billionaire owners, stated, “The coronavirus pandemic has had a great impact on everyone. The owners look forward every year to having a huge party where we burn $100 bills that could have been given to minor league players so they wouldn’t have to live 8 people to a bedroom and eat Ramen noodles every meal. The inside joke with the owners is that we pay peanut vendors at the MLB stadiums more than our minor leaguers. Hopefully, life can get back to normal next year where minor leaguers are living in squalor during the season.”
In recent years there have been some vocal advocates on behalf of minor league players. However, the MLB Players Association union has not been in that camp. MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark, best known for forgetting that he was a minor league player himself once, said, “We’re just like every other union that eventually eats itself. We don’t care about anything except taking fees directly out of our member’s paychecks and trying to destroy the industry that gives us billions of dollars a year. Minor league players are a threat to take our members’ jobs, so it is in our union’s best interest to make sure those guys are treated like dirt.”
Two years after successfully lobbying Congress, best known for doing nothing except bending over for wealthy donors, to exempt minor leaguers from federal minimum wage laws, MLB attempted to make themselves look like heroes by giving minor leagues an increase of 38-72% depending on their level. However, this still effectively keeps players below the federal minimum wage given the number of hours a player works during the season.
The MLBPA union continues to have no comment on the matter, even though they could easily make a livable wage for minor leaguers happen at the next collective bargaining session with owners. No one is holding their breath that they will do the right thing.