MLB and the ruse of "Save America's Pastime"

I was along for the ride until i read something thats blatantly untrue. It makes me wonder what else in the article isn’t true.

... ice hockey is a varsity sport mostly at elite northern institutions.

This is blatantly untrue. Almost every high school in cold weather, hockey hotbed areas  have hockey programs. A lot of hockey players come from very blue collar backgrounds. The top players/college prospects may be recruited to Catholic and private schools on scholarship. Some of the most elite are recruited to juniors programs. 

Charlie McAvoy (Bruins) was a U18 Team USA teammate of Matthews. He attended a public high school before being recruited to a juniors team. He moved to Michigan to play for the team while living with a host family and attending high school there. One of McAvoy’s Bruin’s defense teammates, Matt Grzelcyk grew up in a very tough, blue collar neighborhood (think The Town). His father works the floor crew at TD Garden. Grzelcyk played high school at a local Catholic school. 

What about the car salesman who works pure commission?  What about coaching stipends for HS coaches that clearly do not add up to minimum wage?  NBA and NHL have only one minor league correct?  MLB has minor league teams galore.   You know the deal when you sign it.  Think of it this way, its a progression.  Travel ball costs you good money.  Then in college you get a price break on tuition.  Then in the minors you actually get some money though not much, then if you make it to MLB you are on easy street even if you 'only' make the minimum.  There is another option.  Go get a job like everyone else.  We have had this conversation so many times.  I remain unsympathetic.  You are chasing a dream.  Bottom line.  Up to you how far you want to chase it.  My son would love to play baseball in college and no doubt could at lower levels.  D3 or lower D2.  But nobody is going to give him more than a token couple thousand dollars to entice him to pay thousands more in tuition.  He will have to play football in college to pay the bills.  Thats real life.  No we are not willing (or able) to throw untold thousands of dollars into his college education we don't have to just so he can continue to pursue baseball.  Baseball is for all intents and purposes over.  He will play throughout high school for fun but the days of spending tons of time working on his game are over.  His game has suffered some because of it but he is also nearing school records for squat and deadlift and is 270lbs. as a sophomore.  Its a choice.  So is minor league baseball.  If the deal is a raw deal in your eyes then leave it for somebody else.  Frankly I am sick of the crying about this.  Just don't sign the deal!!!  If you are a 30th round pick with a signing bonus of $8000 then don't you already know its probably over?  Do 30th round picks ever make it to the MLB?  Of course.  With any frequency?  Don't be silly.  You are there to play catch with who they feel are the real prospects.  If my son had that chance I would say go for it!  Have the time of your life and we will help you as much as we can.  But better have a plan B, like use your status as a drafted 'professional' baseball player to leverage a coaching position or something else in the baseball world.  But don't go in thinking you are a big shot and you are getting screwed.  Work hard by all means and give it your best shot.  You never know I suppose.  But don't then turn around and say you are being cheated.  Its an opportunity nothing more nothing less.  If you don't want it somebody else does.  

I am always surprised at the position supporting the view  that billionaires get to collude to control wages and  to trample on wage laws  when it comes to Milb players, because any player  would love to do it.

The car salesman on commission can offer his services to any car dealer and he can bid one dealer against the other, especially if he is good. A Milb player is bound to his team for 6 FULL championship seasons. He plays for them or no one.  That might be one major difference!!!!

There is kind of some perverse hypocrisy going on.  Lots of folks yap about the low (almost non-existent) pay being part of the struggle that makes or breaks these kids.  Heaven forbid, if you had some minor leaguer making upwards of $2,000/mo then they would probably sit around eating bon bons.  But that is not the case.  They make closer to $1,000(in-season) and still eat bon bons (actually ding dongs but they are kind of the same).  I am quite certain all those skills learned to stretch a dollar (how one cooks spaghetti in a microwave) are really useful on the diamond.  I really have no idea how those first round guys with the big bonuses end up learning  all this valuable information (like how to stuff PB&J sandwiches into your uniform pockets without getting any jelly stains).

2020DAD - You are suggesting that economics play a role in player selection.  I'm not talking about getting rich, but rather removing much of the low level hassle that comes with making $5,500/yr for 5 months in-season and whatever amount of time outside the season.  Not saying they should all be making $36K/yr, but don't push people out simply because they don't have anyone to borrow anymore money from.  Double their pay to $11,000/yr and make some of that payable on the front end and the back end of the season.  Very few people of going to stick around making $11K/yr, but at least it would remove most of the hassle factor and maybe let them splurge on that fancy gel pillow they always wanted for the bus ride.

2020dad posted:

What about the car salesman who works pure commission?  What about coaching stipends for HS coaches that clearly do not add up to minimum wage?  NBA and NHL have only one minor league correct?  MLB has minor league teams galore.   You know the deal when you sign it.  Think of it this way, its a progression.  Travel ball costs you good money.  Then in college you get a price break on tuition.  Then in the minors you actually get some money though not much, then if you make it to MLB you are on easy street even if you 'only' make the minimum.  There is another option.  Go get a job like everyone else.  We have had this conversation so many times.  I remain unsympathetic.  You are chasing a dream.  Bottom line.  Up to you how far you want to chase it.  My son would love to play baseball in college and no doubt could at lower levels.  D3 or lower D2.  But nobody is going to give him more than a token couple thousand dollars to entice him to pay thousands more in tuition.  He will have to play football in college to pay the bills.  Thats real life.  No we are not willing (or able) to throw untold thousands of dollars into his college education we don't have to just so he can continue to pursue baseball.  Baseball is for all intents and purposes over.  He will play throughout high school for fun but the days of spending tons of time working on his game are over.  His game has suffered some because of it but he is also nearing school records for squat and deadlift and is 270lbs. as a sophomore.  Its a choice.  So is minor league baseball.  If the deal is a raw deal in your eyes then leave it for somebody else.  Frankly I am sick of the crying about this.  Just don't sign the deal!!!  If you are a 30th round pick with a signing bonus of $8000 then don't you already know its probably over?  Do 30th round picks ever make it to the MLB?  Of course.  With any frequency?  Don't be silly.  You are there to play catch with who they feel are the real prospects.  If my son had that chance I would say go for it!  Have the time of your life and we will help you as much as we can.  But better have a plan B, like use your status as a drafted 'professional' baseball player to leverage a coaching position or something else in the baseball world.  But don't go in thinking you are a big shot and you are getting screwed.  Work hard by all means and give it your best shot.  You never know I suppose.  But don't then turn around and say you are being cheated.  Its an opportunity nothing more nothing less.  If you don't want it somebody else does.  

84% of American MLBers come from the first ten rounds. They receive bonus money. It’s get them by. But, there’s still no reason why the minor league minimums should have been increased by inflation over the years. It hasn’t.

Comparing baseball minors to NBA and NHL minors doesn’t work. It’s why I was critical of the article. The writer doesn’t seem to understand the differences.

NHL players are drafted at eighteen. The team holds their rights for four years. It allows players to go to college on scholarship until they decide they are ready to sign. Players don’t sign until they are at least ready for the AHL (one level below the NHL). European players tend to stay in Europe until they are ready for the NHL. Canadians stay in Juniors or play at an American college.

Two players per NBA team can be in the G League on two way contracts. It allows the player to spend up to 45 days in the NBA. The rest of their season is in the G League. Those two players are #14 and 15 on the NBA roster, They only get called up due to injuries and rarely get on the court. Very few players from the G League have NBA careers. Most of the better prospects go straight from the draft to the NBA. You’re not seeing the NBA stars of the future in the G League. It’s the holding on to their last hope league before going to Europe for better pay.

 

 

2017LHPscrewball posted:

There is kind of some perverse hypocrisy going on.  Lots of folks yap about the low (almost non-existent) pay being part of the struggle that makes or breaks these kids.  Heaven forbid, if you had some minor leaguer making upwards of $2,000/mo then they would probably sit around eating bon bons.  But that is not the case.  They make closer to $1,000(in-season) and still eat bon bons (actually ding dongs but they are kind of the same).  I am quite certain all those skills learned to stretch a dollar (how one cooks spaghetti in a microwave) are really useful on the diamond.  I really have no idea how those first round guys with the big bonuses end up learning  all this valuable information (like how to stuff PB&J sandwiches into your uniform pockets without getting any jelly stains).

2020DAD - You are suggesting that economics play a role in player selection.  I'm not talking about getting rich, but rather removing much of the low level hassle that comes with making $5,500/yr for 5 months in-season and whatever amount of time outside the season.  Not saying they should all be making $36K/yr, but don't push people out simply because they don't have anyone to borrow anymore money from.  Double their pay to $11,000/yr and make some of that payable on the front end and the back end of the season.  Very few people of going to stick around making $11K/yr, but at least it would remove most of the hassle factor and maybe let them splurge on that fancy gel pillow they always wanted for the bus ride.

Yeah I hear you.  And I certainly am not against them making more money.  Heck I want to make more money.  I wish everyone could.  If they are able to apply pressure and get some more money good for them.  I will be happy for them.  I just think sometimes it's treated like one of the great injustices of the world. And it's not.  And it's not really a legit job either - no matter how many hours they put in.  It's more of a long job interview.  

infielddad posted:

I am always surprised at the position supporting the view  that billionaires get to collude to control wages and  to trample on wage laws  when it comes to Milb players, because any player  would love to do it.

The car salesman on commission can offer his services to any car dealer and he can bid one dealer against the other, especially if he is good. A Milb player is bound to his team for 6 FULL championship seasons. He plays for them or no one.  That might be one major difference!!!!

He can play in the independent league or Japan.  He has options as well.  

I suppose we all have a sense of what we'd like to see and what we think is fair.

And then there is reality.  Most (99%?) self made Billionaires don't make their money and keep their money by accident.  My guess is that if the Owners were absolutely forced to pay significantly higher MiLB wages, they would dissolve entire leagues in a cost cutting measure.  Maybe there'd only be A Ball, AA & AAA.   And there would be a lot less opportunities to play pro ball.

Perhaps that'd be a good thing?  I don't know.  

This is a business.   MLB can sell itself anyway they want, and always remind yourself MLB owners are running a business just as colleges are running a business.  They do what they have to do to make a profit and keep the lights on in a global marketplace or attract top young minds to their campus. 

Are there abuses in the system, yes.   Are there abuses in just about any business, yes.  This is a mostly a free market system (with some governmental tax breaks) and the baseball employee has choices just as the college student gets to pick where they want to go to school.  If MiLB employees don't like the free market system they are free to chose another employment path where they provide value to the business.   This isn't Russia or China.  

 

 

 As always, JMO.

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