The Seasonal Employees Are Performing In Spring Training    

Be grateful for what you got.

Baseball consumers in Florida and Arizona are filing stadiums for spring training baseball and are paying good money to watch meaningless games. Generally, there are some Major League players on the field but for the most part especially in the early portion of the schedule, the field is loaded with minor league players who have no chance of playing in the Major Leagues. None of the players receive a paycheck for performing in the spring training games. In 2019, Major League Baseball management had an ally in the Arizona legislature who wanted make sure that spring training minor league players did not get paid. Representative T. J. Shope wanted to shield MLB from any lawsuits in the state for violating labor laws. Shope was of the belief that minor league players are there for tryouts. His bill went nowhere. Major League Baseball owners seem to regard minor league players as nobodies who should be grateful that they have seasonal worker jobs. But these nobodies do play in February and March before people who pay good money for what is little more than a practice game in costly stadiums that are heavily subsidized by taxpayers’ money. In 2018, MLB got a big political boost from Congress in an effort to suppress minor league players’ salaries.

There was a change to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Baseball barons can pay players as little as $1,100 a month for four monthly 40-hour or more work weeks per the Save America’s Pastime Act.  Minor League players no longer have a minimum wage and overtime protections. Keeping Minor League players’ salaries low was a main concern of Commissioner Rob Manfred. Starting in 2021, Major League Baseball wants to save even more money by eliminating 42 minor league teams. MLB is stuffed with money but MLB owners don’t want to share it.

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)