MLB: The Case Against the Owners

As MLB continues to figure out just how to restart the season during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, an unfair narrative has started. The narrative is everyone from politicians, local elected officials, and all of us as fans is to denounce the players for wanting to delay the restart of the baseball season due to the amount of money they’d be paid by their bosses, the owners.

Yes, I understand that some ballplayers make more money in a single season than I will in my lifetime. But the MLBPA was told by the owners that if baseball play were to resume, players would receive a prorated salary based on the number of games they’d play, as well as accepting only 4% of their salary should the whole season be canceled. So why are the ballplayers the villain in this situation, when the owners suddenly decided to change course?

The Owners Can Absorb the Hit, Most Ball Players Can’t.

Everyone is financially reeling from the economic uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic. And the vast majority of major league ballplayers are set to lose every penny at this given moment. It’s well documented that minor league ballplayers make below minimum wage on average. The AAA ball season begins in April and ends in September. Baseball isn’t set to resume until July should this deal get passed. Minor league ballplayers are being paid $400 a week, $1,600 a month by MLB due to the coronavirus. How many of you can safely say you can live on $400 a week?

Compare that to the players on a major league roster who make the league minimum. The current MLB minimum is $563,500. Aaron Judge was making $8,500 less than that of his 2017 campaign. 4% of $563,500 is $22,540. If the season gets canceled, that’s what MOST BALL PLAYERS will be paid by their teams. That’s less than half my annual salary. So why shouldn’t the MLBPA do what they can to ensure that their players will get paid fairly?

Seriously… The Owners/Teams Can Eat the Loss Better Than The Players

According to Forbes, the Yankees are worth $5 billion. The Yankees spend 32% on their player’s salaries. The Yankees need to split revenue 50-50? They aren’t paying their hourly employees and will stop paying the rest of their other employees by May 31st. As the Mets are. So that’s already saving them money. The players already agreed to 4% of their salaries. A 50-50 revenue split would mean even less money than what was promised the players.

Think about it.

Giancarlo Stanton is worth $40 million. Stanton accepted 4% of $26 million. The guy who signs his checks, Hal Steinbrenner, is worth $3.8 BILLION! Stanton is worth 1.05% of Hal Steinbrenner, and Stanton (as a member of the MLBPA) is the villain in this situation? The Yankees need less in overall operational cost for a truncated 2020 season, why not pay their players with that?

It’s true for the Mets as well.

Again, the vast majority of baseball players will make more money than we will in our lifetimes. I understand that I’m not disputing this in the slightest. But why are the owners going out of their way to pay their employees, players, and essential personnel even LESS than what they were promised the good guys in this situation? None of us will be able to go to a game this season. Most of us won’t be able to go to a game next season until the vaccine is ready. So how can people say the players are villains when the owners are trying not to feel the financial hardships the rest of us are feeling right now?