Smitty28 posted:roothog66 posted:Goosegg posted:
If a player is deemed to be a seasonal employee - similar to teenage camp counselors or summer carnival workers (which were the reasons for the exemptions in the first place) - working less then six months, there is no federal minimum wage.
Players report in late February and play through Labor Day. Then for some there are the Instructional Leagues, Arizona Fall League, and mini-camps; as well as year round drug testing and year round contract requirements which dictate behavior (must remain in first class condition) and prohibit certain behavior (skiing, rock climbing, etc.).
If a player only plays ST and the season, it's more then six months. So, except for the very first draft year, the minimum a player plays exceeds the statutory exception of seasonal. That's why MLB insists that ST doesn't count - and pays about $25 per day, plus two hots and a cot for it.
Not to mention they are under contract which doesn't allow them to take their services in their profession elsewhere even during the "off-season" when they supposedly aren't working. Could you imagine other "seasonal workers" being under those restrictions?
No other field I can think of offers the opportunity to make $10M, $20M or more per year if you are really good at it. Obviously this is what keeps the "worker" pipeline filled. If MLB paid $50k to start and offered 5% annual raises + health insurance we probably wouldn't have an MiLB. Baseball is a unique field and really doesn't compare to corporate internships or seasonal employees. Having said that, I think it is time to pay these guys a living wage.
If you look back before free agency MLB players worked second jobs in the off season. In 1967 Jim Lonborg wrote 10K on his glove. It was to remind him when he took the mound in the World Series how badly he needed the money.
100k was outrageous pay in 1967 reserved for the best players. The Red Sox were called crazy for giving Yastrzemski 500Kfor three years. The minimum salary in 1967 was 6K
The net present value of 100k in 1967 is 793K. It hardly compares to the best players now making 20-30M per season. The net present value of 6K in 1967 is 45K. Minimum pay is now 507K.
My point is players before free agency were willing to play because they loved the game rather than big bucks.
Pro sports has changed. When I was a kid a NBA player lived down the street. He didn’t have the nicest house on the street. He probably wasn’t in the top 50% of income on the street.