Several minor league players in the Angels organization have spoken out about how sub-standard wages have forced them into unacceptable living situations, which has taken a toll on their development and mental health.
Speaking to ESPN's Joon Lee, pitcher Kieran Lovegrove of Double-A Rocket City said he is living with six other teammates in a three-bedroom apartment. Pitcher Shane Kelso—pitched for Low-A Inland Empire this season before retiring—says other minor leaguers have slept in a camper van parked in a trailer park, while other players have lived out of their cars.
"It's gotten to the point now where there are guys who are in a serious mental health crisis because of how stressful money is here," Lovegrove said. "I really do think it affects not only their play on the field, but I think it affects quality of life overall. We're reaching a point now where this is actually becoming detrimental to the players' overall health, and the owner not addressing it is [the organization] actively saying that they don't care about the health of their players."
Lovegrove said he drove for Lyft and Uber and worked for UPS and Best Buy to supplement his income. He and Kelso both were critical of minor league players's lack of access to quality food, which they view as detrimental to their ability to develop as baseball players.
"That's required for our job," Kelso said. "If we don't do that, our bodies fail and we can't do it."
"They were not receiving enough nutrition to maintain muscle mass," Lovegrove said. "We had guys lose five pounds in two weeks."
Lovegrove asserts the issue starts with ownership, saying Angels owner Arte Moreno "really doesn't give a s--- about the winning side" of running a baseball organization for his failures in providing an adequate developmental environment in the minor leagues.
"Is Moreno completely out of touch with the reality of what it's like to be a player? Probably," Lovegrove said. "I don't see that really changing because I don't know that he really does care about the quality of the organization so much as the amount of money it produces."
Angels general manager Perry Minasian issued a statement through a team spokesperson.
"What is being reported is unacceptable, and we will look into it and address it," Minasian said.
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