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Should MLB Salaries Really be an Issue for Baseball Fans?

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With MLB players and front office officials in a dispute in regards to salaries, how should fans react to the two sides being unable to work a compromise? SI's Jimmy Traina reacts to the latest reports that 65% of MLB players make $1 million or less and why this latest report gives a bigger insight on why money is such an issue in MLB. 

Read for Full Video Transcript:

Robin Lundberg: The salary dispute between Major League Baseball and its players rages on, much to the chagrin of the fans. For more, I'm joined by our Jimmy Traina now. Jimmy, a lot of times I think fans lash out at the players because they know who they are. But what they may not know is that actually sixty-five percent of Major League Baseball players make a million dollars or less.

Jimmy Traina:  Yeah, that now was a stat King v. Jeff Pozen of ESPN. And, you know, I found it shocking. I, I just expected it to be way lower than that. 

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Robin Lundberg: I mean, sure, you have the twenty-third twenty-four twenty-fifth guy on the bench, you know, not making 10 million a year. But when you see what the salaries are in baseball, you just assume that everyone's making five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 million. And you know, I think also, you know, baseball is different from the NFL in that, you know, rookie comes into the NFL and these instantly making just, you know, money through the roof for his baseball. It's not like that, you know, totally different from draft and rookie stuff. So I think you forget about that and you just assume that every player is making, you know, at least five to 10 million a year.

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Jimmy Traina:  Now, one reason for the backlash, obviously, is we're in the midst of a pandemic. And then there's the comparison because it doesn't seem like these problems are happening with the NBA or the NHL. Why do you think it's a baseball issue?

Jimmy Traina:  Good question. I'm not smart enough to know the answer to that. I do think for some reason the salaries in baseball seem to get people way angrier than the salaries in other sports. I don't know the reason for that. I, I couldn't even begin to venture a guess. You know, fans like to say that they play a game for a living. And I think baseball is sort of like the ultimate children's game. I mean, everyone whether, you know, you start out playing Wiffle ball, you play Little League, I think maybe people relate to that more. I think the average Joe can't relate to the NFL. Even the NBA, because you have to be, you know, seven feet tall. So baseball, maybe the average dope at home thinks he can play or something like that. Maybe that has something to do. I don't know. I'm just guessing. Not smart enough to figure that reason out for that one.

Robin Lundberg: Nevertheless, that fan at home won't be able to watch opening day until they figure out their pay. Jimi, appreciate your time, as always.

Jimmy Traina: Anytime. 

"Traina Thoughts" features the daily opinion of SI media columnist Jimmy Traina. You can also read more from Robin Lundberg here.