Skip to main content

The Mets Won’t Let Minor Leaguers Use the Fancy New Clubhouse They Built

In Tuesday’s Hot Clicks: a petty move by the Mets, an amazing hockey goal and more.

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. 

SI Recommends

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.  

The best of SI

Where is Philip Rivers most likely to sign after announcing he’d test free agency? ... Why MLB is considering altering the playoff structure and adding a selection show. ... Ranking the quarterbacks in the 2020 draft class. ... Five teams that lost out this MLB offseason.

Around the sports world

The defensive coordinator for the XFL’s Los Angeles team got fired after just one game. ... Mike Bolsinger, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since getting roughed up in Houston in 2017, is suing the Astros. ... Saints Swiss Army knife Taysom Hill says he wants to be a full-time NFL quarterback and is willing to leave New Orleans if he’s not given the chance.

He’s a magician

What a nasty goal

A big storm hit Europe, so the Dutch held a bike race into the teeth of the wind

Oh please, this is 100% an ownership-dictated move

I hate to say it but he’s right

I’m not messing with that dog

Take the lid off next time

This guy’s arms are too long

Not a bad way to spend a snow day

Better to be lucky than good

Not sports

A reporter for a local newspaper in New Hampshire keeps asking presidential candidates about UFOs. ... CBS is working on reuniting the cast of the original CSI for a new series. ... A company building a $650 million hydrogen-powered superyacht denies it was sold to Bill Gates. It must have been somebody else who can afford spending $650 million on a boat. ... A 209 mph gust of wind recorded at the top of a California mountain may have set a record. ... Rage Against the Machine and Run the Jewels are going on tour together this summer.

Actually, this is very cool

A Colorado town set off the world’s largest firework

A good song

Email with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.