Congress is quietly trying to codify into law the barely livable wages of minor league baseball players
It is almost physically impossible to read the entire 2,232 pages of Congress' $1.3 trillion spending package before the midnight deadline Friday, which means a certain "Save America's Pastime Act," on page 1,967, might go unnoticed, CBS Sports reports. If the bill passes, though, the act will deliver a decisive blow in the ongoing debate over what to pay Minor League Baseball players.
In order to "save America's pastime," the act would cement into law the exemption of Minor League players from federal labor laws, including minimum and overtime pay. That means players in the process of suing to make a living wage — some earn as little as $1,100 a month — will be out of luck.
Major League Baseball sets the salaries for Minor League players, and the argument to keep wages down, The New York Times writes, is because "baseball considers minor league players as seasonal apprentices, similar to musicians, artists, actors, and others in certain industries who accept low pay for a temporary period as they seek to break into the big time." As Daniel Halem, MLB's deputy commissioner of baseball administration, argued: "Minor League baseball is not a career. It is intended to be an avenue to the major leagues where you either make it, or you move on to something else."
Many baseball fans have argued in favor of paying Minor League players a higher wage, though. "Every year thousands of young men forego their education and other career opportunities to pursue their dream of playing baseball in the major leagues," argued the Detroit Tigers blog Bless You Boys last year. "The vast majority never will."
Major League players, by comparison, often earn six- to seven-figure salaries. Read more about one Minor League player's experience earning $12 an hour while trying to make the big leagues at Bleacher Report. Jeva Lange
The Kushner family is in negotiations to buy the Miami Marlins, The New York Times reports. While the family's most prominent member — and President Trump's son-in-law — Jared Kushner is not directly participating in the effort to acquire the team, the acquisition is still raising thorny questions for Major League Baseball:
The deal has already prompted questions within Major League Baseball, according to the people briefed on the conversations, about what kind of relationship Mr. Trump would have to the team and whether that would be a benefit or a disadvantage. Would fans or sponsors boycott or embrace the team or league based on a comment or Twitter post by Mr. Trump? And would Mr. Trump attend games? [The New York Times]
Marlins Park is about an hour and a half drive south of the so-called "Winter White House," Mar-a-Lago.
Kushner's brother, Joshua Kushner, is heading the efforts to purchase the team. Jared and Joshua Kushner previously bid together to try to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012, only to withdraw. That team eventually sold for $2 billion.
Forbes reports that the current owner of the Marlins, art dealer Jeffrey Loria, has a $1.6 billion "handshake agreement" to sell the Marlins, a price The New York Times says is too high for the Kushners. Joshua Kushner is working on "devising a complicated financial arrangement that would include bringing in partners later," people familiar with the negotiations said.
The Miami Marlins won the 2003 World Series, but the team has not returned to the playoffs since. Jeva Lange