Minor League Baseball Players Get Paid Essentially Nothing And It's A Damn Travesty
On a surface level, attending a minor league baseball game in a mid sized city like Greensboro, North Carolina or Lansing, Michigan sounds like a great way to spend an evening. There is almost always a beer promotion going on or a free hat giveaway for the first hundred fans into the ballpark, and if you were to look around at the makeup of the average fan at these events, they are almost always groups of people in their mid-20s coming off another subpar day at their first real job.
The baseball is background noise for the most part, an excuse to go out and get wasted on two dollar light beers and wallow in your existence with coworkers. I’ve been to a few minor league games in a couple of different mid sized cities in this country and everything is nice. The ballparks, the beer, the backdrop - the fan is king in the minors.
You load up and you party, just like John Bender of “The Breakfast Club” intended you to.
But last night I was watching Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. If you’re a fan of investigative journalism, outside of 60 minutes no one does it better than Gumbel and company. When Jon Franken gives you this look on camera, you know you’re about to hear something really fucked up.
Before watching this segment on Minor League baseball pay, I had no idea that guys in these farm clubs were getting paid about as much as the kids in Asia that make all of our shoes here in the states. I know that this segment on compensation in the minors aired in 2014 and this isn’t exactly breaking news, but this is the first I’m hearing of it so I thought, hey? It’s a Tuesday. Why not bring some injustice to everyone’s attention this morning?
Foolishly, I had always believed that with all of the money getting tossed around in the MLB that the farm systems would have some sort of trickle-down effect. I’m not talking millions for these guys in the minors here, but you’d think a guy playing Triple A ball would at least be able to make a living in the 50 to 60k range, no?
I can’t just go to a minor league game now when I know that these guys are essentially getting paid three or four bucks an hour to play baseball every single day. I’d feel like one of those aliens in Space Jam who watches all of the chained up NBA players as they play basketball in space. It’s sick.
The 35 thousand dollar millionaire douchebag behind home plate who just ordered his fifth beer of the night and thinks he’s going to close with the new girl that just started working in his office as assistant to the CEO is making more than the would be all star who is just waiting to get called up to the majors.
They’re staying in roach motels and taking goddamn buses all over the country and for what? What is the percentage of guys in the Triple A league that make it out and get a contract in the MLB? It’s got to be on the low end, and while I don’t shed a single goddamn tear for anyone bitching about playing in the MLB, you’ve got to feel for these guys busting their ass day in and day out in the minors.
Just think about that next time you’re in one of those cities where triple A ball is a thing. It all just feels a little dirty now.