Washington Nationals players are stepping up to help their minor leaguers.
I’ll propose a theory: these strange days of COVID-19 have brought the best out of the best of us and the worst out of the worst of us. Now that our strictest quarantine restrictions have given way to gradual reopening, it’s time to worry about what we might reasonably do to get our various industries back and chugging along.
That truly must include sports, lest we all lose our minds.
While the NBA has led the way in striking the right tone in its ongoing negotiations to restart, Major League Baseball sadly can’t stay the same in many cases. The Washington Nationals are cutting per diem pay for minor leaguers by 25% — from $400 to $300 per week — but the big league roster is, fortunately, stepping up to close the gap.
Nationals players are making up for ownership’s pay cuts for minor leaguers
Good on Sean Doolittle and the rest of the reigning World Series champs for coming up big for a group of guys in the lower levels that were already outrageously underpaid in most cases. This isn’t entirely a happy story, however.
Folks, Nats owner Ted Lerner is worth over $4 billion. At one point in the recent past, Forbes estimated him to be the single richest human being in the state of Maryland. To paraphrase Chris Rock, plenty of MLB players are rich, but the Learner family is wealthy. That labor is forced to pick up the slack where ownership will not is a tough one to swallow.
Minor League Baseball already stood on shaky ground before this global pandemic hit, what with widely reported plans of contracting the ranks at the lower levels and erasing dozens of teams from existence.
The worst thing the MLB could do is reinforce the troubling idea that these professionals are lesser.
Doolittle and Co. have given us some faith in humanity with this latest gesture, but in a perfect world, it wouldn’t have fallen on them at all.