In 2014 a lawsuit was filed in California to fight the ridiculous low wages in Minor League Baseball. For decades minor league players are getting paid poverty wages and do only get pay during the season. During Spring Training and during instructional leagues they are not paid. A federal magistrate has granted preliminary class-action status. This means that a group of former minor league players can file a lawsuit against 22 of the 30 MLB clubs. This lawsuit will take place early 2017.
Now two representatives, one Democrat from Illinois and one Republican from Kentucky have introduced a bill that is named “Save America’s Pastime Act”. The name itself is very misleading as it aims to exclude minor league baseball from minimum wage laws. To put it better, it aims to keep minor league baseball excluded from those laws, the so called anti trust exemption of MLB.
To defend their bill, they claim that when baseball is forced to pay minor leaguers the minimum wage, it may force minor league clubs to go out of business. They claim that by raising the wages of the players, it will create massive losses of jobs because minor league teams will go bankrupt. And that is the big lie in this whole thing. Minor league clubs do not pay the salary of the players. The salaries of the players and coaches at every minor league level are paid by the parent clubs.
So the only reason for the statement that both representatives made is to create fear. The bad thing about this is that MiLB is supporting the bill.
This is what the bill says:”“If the law is not clarified, the costs to support local teams would likely increase dramatically and usher in significant cuts across the league, threatening the primary pathway to the Majors and putting teams at risk. The impact on teams could also have a significant, negative economic impact on businesses and workers that rely on Minor League baseball.”
There is no doubt that raising minor league players wages to minimum wage standards will lead to more costs for the MLB clubs. But no way that the costs of supporting clubs will rise thanks to this. And even when it would affect the support of minor league clubs. The owners of those clubs are millionaires / billionaires that are capable to carry the burden themselves.
Let’s hope that this bill won’t pass and that it will be shot down prematurely.