Elderly Vermont socialist and Dem presidential candidate Bernie Sanders threatened Major League Baseball over a proposal to cut the number of Minor League clubs in the near future:
.@MLB is proposing to cut 42 Minor League Baseball clubs.
This has nothing to do with what's good for baseball and everything to do with greed.
It would destroy thousands of jobs and devastate local economies.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 25, 2019
That’s a nice league you got there. It would really be a shame if something happened to it. . .
From Bernie’s letter to the MLB commish:
Let’s be clear. Your proposal to slash the number of minor league teams has nothing to do with
what is good for baseball, but it has everything to do with greed. Your proposal to throw about
1,000 ball players out of work comes less than three months after an appeals court ruled that
Minor League Baseball players could move forward with a class action lawsuit seeking higher
In other words, instead of paying Minor League Baseball players a living wage, it appears that
the multi-millionaire and billionaire owners of Major League Baseball would rather throw them
out on the street no matter how many fans, communities and workers get hurt in the process. If
this is the type of attitude that Major League Baseball and its owners have then I think it’s time
for Congress and the executive branch to seriously rethink and reconsider all of the benefits it
has bestowed to the league including, but not limited to, its anti-trust exemption.
Here’s a list of the 42 proposed clubs to be cut:
These are the 42 minor league teams that would be contracted under MLB's realignment plan…
…which was reportedly developed by the Astros, Orioles, and our Brewers. pic.twitter.com/axCgGL5d8m
— Kyle Lesniewski (@KyleL_Brewers) November 17, 2019
Coincidentally, there are 3 Iowa teams on the list:
Inbox: Bernie Sanders coming out against proposal to shutter three Iowa minor league baseball teams (Quad City River Bandits, Burlington Bees and Clinton LumberKings)
— Lissandra Villa (@LissandraVilla) November 20, 2019
But as NBC Sports, these cuts are a preemptive shot at politicians who want to raised Minor League salaries. As in, fewer players means higher salaries for those that remain:
MLB’s suggestion to shrink the minor leagues comes on the heels of increased public pressure to improve the pay and conditions of the players. MLB successfully lobbied Congress to amend language in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, classifying players as seasonal workers thus they are no longer entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay, among other protections. As a result, more players have become vocal about the lack of pay and more reporting has been done on the issue, creating a bit of a P.R. problem for the league. Slashing the minor leagues would allow MLB, whose individual teams are responsible for the overhead of their minor league affiliates, to publicly say they improved pay while not actually costing them much money, if any at all. MiLB president Pat O’Conner foreshadowed this nearly two years ago, by the way.
Well, it is his longterm plan after all:
Oh cool we're nationalizing minor league baseball now. https://t.co/gXChspGZ23
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) November 19, 2019