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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Camden Depot: Baseball Booms, Minor Leaguers Still Exploited

Some useful information about minor league pay is provided. I’ve mentioned it a few times that I blame the owners and the MLBPA. The players in particular understand the conditions of their siblings.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2018 at 10:17 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minor league pay

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   1. ptodd Posted: March 22, 2018 at 08:55 PM (#5641974)
. One comment nailed it

“This is a great post. I want to hone in on one statement you made and connect it to the concerns about baseball’s inability to attract black players.
You write, “Based on unpublished research, the typical minor league baseball player comes from a white, upper middle class home and by the age of thirty has half the earning potential and assets as a similar person from the same background that did not go into baseball.”

Many of the white, upper middle-class players are able to pursue the dream because they are getting support from mom and dad. In other words, their family is sending them spending money, letting them drive their old car, helping them line up a decent job in the off-season, etc.

Players whose families don’t have money – which would mean lower-middle and working-class players of any racial background, disproportionately black players – are less likely to choose minor-league baseball or to stick with it. If they are American citizens, then they almost certainly have better options. You could make more money and better provide for your family even in relatively low-prestige jobs like restaurant service, for example.

Immigrant players are a bit different calculus. You maybe don’t have a better option as a poor kid from the Dominican Republic or Venezuela. So they’re more like to struggle through the minors.

But basically, if baseball genuinely wanted to attract a more diverse set of players, they would pay better in the minor leagues.”

Minor league pay has significantly declined when adjusted for inflation since 1976. Its increase of 75% is far less than inflation (330%)

As for minimum wage. Its been awhile since the last imcrease (2009). About due for another. CPI already understates inflation, but minimum wage does not even track that. 2.30 in 1976 is 9.90 today if adjusted by CPI. More reasonable measures probably double that.


Granted, perhaps 20% of players take in significant bonuses of 100K or more, but the majority receive bonuses of 2500 or less per a THT article

Only 10% of minor leaguers ever make MLB and many of them don't ever reach arbitration and make more than the minimum. As indicated above - by age 30 the average minor leaguer who never made MLB has assets and future earning potential less than half that of a person who did not pursue baseball a career.

   2. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 22, 2018 at 09:29 PM (#5641988)
CPI overstates inflation.
   3. McCoy Posted: March 22, 2018 at 09:37 PM (#5641992)
Kids don't play a sport because of the viability of a career in the minors.
   4. McCoy Posted: March 22, 2018 at 09:38 PM (#5641993)
Unpublished report you say? Well, we must certainly believe in those blindly.
   5. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 23, 2018 at 06:46 AM (#5642057)
Baseball seems plenty diverse to me. We don’t need to wave the bloody kinte cloth to make a compelling case for the general mistreatment of minor league players.
   6. McCoy Posted: March 23, 2018 at 07:55 AM (#5642079)
I'll also add that the quote is full of possibly mythical anecdotal evidence. As if these mythical upper middle class players are making a 10 year career out of minor league baseball because Babs and Duke are sending him a weekly allowance and getting him a job at Pierce & Pierce. People of all income classes have support structures and a minor leaguer has even more than is typical.
   7. jingoist Posted: March 23, 2018 at 11:45 AM (#5642231)
Whereas the 3 other major professional sports leagues, NBA, NFL and NHL draw the majority of their players from a “free” farm system, namely the US college system, MLB has seen that they cannot attract enough major league level candidates via that route. Thus, MLB does what any other corporation does when attracting and developing talent, it employs the lowest cost process to identify potential employees.
MLB owners are no different than corporate CEOs in that they employ a model that minimizes candidate identification and grooming costs.
As long as the Caribbean Islands remain relatively impoverished to their indigenous populations, baseball will have a readymade selection of low cost candidates. Since there are no high-paying jobs to return to should players experience a prolonged minor league career, those Latin-American players will continue to play ever longer before returning home to dead-end or low paying jobs
With few, if any, ball fields in America’s inner cities, the NBA is the more obvious escape avenue for young African Americans. No surprise there.
   8. McCoy Posted: March 23, 2018 at 12:01 PM (#5642238)
I don't think it can be said that MLB has seen that they cannot go that route. MLB has never really tried. MLB's business model was always to lock up the talent as quickly and as cheaply as they could. That's why the minors exist or I should say still exist almost 70 years after they turned into non economically viable business models.
   9. McCoy Posted: March 23, 2018 at 12:02 PM (#5642239)
Who are the current NBA elites that grew up in crushing poverty?
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 23, 2018 at 12:16 PM (#5642245)
“Based on unpublished research, the typical minor league baseball player comes from a white, upper middle class home and by the age of thirty has half the earning potential and assets as a similar person from the same background that did not go into baseball.”

If you're not on a clear trajectory to the majors by age 24 or 25, you need to quit baseball.
   11. jmurph Posted: March 23, 2018 at 12:23 PM (#5642251)
Who are the current NBA elites that grew up in crushing poverty?

Is this a serious question?
   12. McCoy Posted: March 23, 2018 at 12:35 PM (#5642259)
Yes
   13. McCoy Posted: March 23, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5642265)
For instance Carmelo Anthony gets talked about as growing up in the bad parts of inner cities and yet he went to a Catholic high school and then traveled to Virginia to attend Oak Hill Academy his senior year.

I particularly like this quote from Wiki to tries to show how rough Carmelo had it in Baltimore, "Sports would serve as an important diversion from the violence and drug dealing that were pervasive in the housing projects a few blocks from the homes of Anthony and his friends". In Baltimore everybody is a few blocks from housing projects, violence, and drug dealing. That doesn't mean you're living in poverty.
   14. jmurph Posted: March 23, 2018 at 12:41 PM (#5642266)
Right so then not a serious question, got it.
   15. jmurph Posted: March 23, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5642268)
It would take a weird lack of understanding of the world or an enormous amount of bad faith to (pretend to?) not know that lots of poor people in America go to urban private schools. You'll be amazed to learn that LeBron also went to private school and grew up in poverty.

If it's genuinely a lack of understanding of the world that's all good I guess, but I would hope that would lead one to pump the brakes a little on the hot takes.
   16. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: March 23, 2018 at 03:49 PM (#5642449)
With few, if any, ball fields in America’s inner cities,


There's another load of baloney. Probably comes from a writer who never played baseball much growing up.

It's not like parks were removed to put up houses, retail, and industrial buildings. I can't remember ONE park being removed. All the fields of my youth are still there but nobody wants to do the work to maintain them. Heck, the majority of the time we didn't even play ball on a field - we played in the school parking lots or we played wiffle ball in the street. If you're talking about organized leagues, well most of that problem is because the little league season got moved from a Late May-Late July schedule to Late April-Late June schedule to accommodate all the extra games traveling all-star teams want to play. And unless you're an extremely passionate kid, there ain't many who want to go practice when it's 40 degrees and damp out and the sun goes down at 7.
   17. Adam Starblind Posted: March 23, 2018 at 04:54 PM (#5642478)
For instance Carmelo Anthony gets talked about as growing up in the bad parts of inner cities and yet he went to a Catholic high school and then traveled to Virginia to attend Oak Hill Academy his senior year.


To play basketball?
   18. McCoy Posted: March 23, 2018 at 09:43 PM (#5642572)
Given every opportunity to succeed including travel money, training, room and board is not crushing poverty.
   19. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 23, 2018 at 09:53 PM (#5642574)
I grew up in Krush Groove poverty. Me and the Fat Boys beat boxing on the corner to get enough money to go to the $3.99 buffet. The struggle is riggity-riggity-real homeboy.
   20. jmurph Posted: March 27, 2018 at 09:45 AM (#5643595)
I grew up in Krush Groove poverty. Me and the Fat Boys beat boxing on the corner to get enough money to go to the $3.99 buffet. The struggle is riggity-riggity-real homeboy.

Just catching up on this one- good to see you were able to complete the BINGO card, YR.
   21. Morty Causa Posted: March 27, 2018 at 10:46 AM (#5643635)
Remember the argument between Landis and a weaseling equivocating Branch Rickey? The system was good for the Cardinals and even MLB in a short-sighted way, Landis said, but it's not good for baseball as a whole. It restricts the overall market. MLB's anti-trust exemption has enabled this, resulting in MLB being succubus to the minor leagues, and that's resulted in fans developing a nobody cares hardly attitude about the minor leagues.
   22. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: March 27, 2018 at 12:01 PM (#5643697)
For instance Carmelo Anthony gets talked about as growing up in the bad parts of inner cities and yet he went to a Catholic high school and then traveled to Virginia to attend Oak Hill Academy his senior year.


Yes, all parts of this are true. What point are you trying to make?
   23. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 27, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5643789)
I grew up in Krush Groove poverty. Me and the Fat Boys beat boxing on the corner to get enough money to go to the $3.99 buffet. The struggle is riggity-riggity-real homeboy.

Just catching up on this one- good to see you were able to complete the BINGO card, YR.


If your bingo card has an old-school hiphop square you just can fill that up from the start, boyee.

I remember when I heard Prince died I was really upset, because I thought it was Prince Markie Dee from the Fat Boys. Turned out it was just that guy in high heels who was in all those Morris Day movies.

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