Even by Mets standards, this is incredibly stupid
Sign stealing is getting all the attention these days, but the most shameful thing in baseball is how minor league players are treated. Because their salaries are so embarrassingly low (and paid out only during the season), the majority of players in the minors have to work offseason jobs just to scrape by.
If I ran a baseball team, I’d pay my players enough money so that they could train all winter and become better baseball players, rather than drive a UPS truck. But maybe that makes too much sense.
Not spending money on players is one thing. Refusing to allow them to take advantage of a facility you’ve already invested money in is another entirely—and that’s exactly what the Mets are doing.
The Mets’ spring training home (which is also the home of their Florida State League team) underwent a massive $57 million renovation, which included revamping the clubhouse the major leaguers use in the spring. (The Mets, by the way, paid only $2 million for the upgrades. St. Lucie County taxpayers forked over the other $55 million.) Once camp breaks, though, they’re putting a big padlock on the door and shutting the minor leaguers out. Until they earn the call to the majors, the young players will be relegated to their own clubhouse.
The minor league clubhouse looked like this before the renovation, so it’s at least an improvement.
Still, it’s just so stupid and mean to spend millions of dollars constructing a high-end workplace that will be used for only six weeks of the year and then let it collect dust for six months while another group of employees is sent to an inferior space.
Former Met Ty Kelly was among the players who sounded off on the decision.
There’s also the irony of commissioner Rob Manfred using substandard facilities to support his plan to slash the number of minor league teams.
“I don’t think they should blame me for wanting to have decent working conditions for our employees,” Manfred told Sports Illustrated last month.
Cody Decker, who played 1,034 games in the minors (and eight in the majors), struck at the core of what makes Manfred’s demands so absurd.
Manfred may not agree with the Mets’ carrot-dangling but you’d have to be stupid to think there aren’t other teams in baseball who agree that the best way to create good players is by forcing them to scratch and claw their way out of the minors, rather than supporting them with the best facilities possible.
Mets prospects would probably become better players if they felt more at ease at work in a better facility, but no one has ever accused the Mets of being a smart organization.
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