Minor leaguers should not be paid for spring training because they should be considered trainees. So argued MLB in court Friday in a lawsuit brought against them for unfair labor.
While the owners and players union argue across the bargaining table over money in their major league labor dispute, the owners and minor leaguers were arguing over money in court.
Specifically, lawyers from MLB were arguing in a class action lawsuit brought against them by former minor league players who claim they weren’t paid a fair wage, overtime pay, or other compensation for being minor leaguers.
Friday, the lawyer for MLB argued that when it comes to minor league players, “It is the players that obtain the greater benefit from the training opportunities that they are afforded than the clubs, who actually just incur the cost of having to provide that training.”
Basically, what MLB is saying is that players are lucky to be asked to go to spring training and gain that knowledge which wise coaches and managers are imparting on them.
What next? Should they actually pay for that training?
Uh, well, yes. Or, at least, that’s what they want on to imply. MLB’s lawyers actually argued that “players in spring training actually receive a value of $2,200 weekly from their teams, based on what youth and amateur players pay for baseball training.”
They argued that that’s the cost minor leaguers would have to incur if they were to go to a baseball camp or instructional school.
To add even more stupidity, MLB lawyers argued that Latino players gain valuable language skills development during spring training. Oh, like they are going to English As A Second Language class.
So, basically, minor leaguers, in the minds of MLB, should pay the owners for the privilege of the invaluable schooling they get for being invited to minor league spring training camps.
It’s hard to tell who to hate more here. Lawyers or MLB. It might not be possible to hate lawyers any more than one already does.
But shame on MLB for this.