Yesterday MLB and its glorious machinery tripped all over itself, effusively patting itself on the back.
Each MLB team will commit $1 million to ballpark employees who would not have been paid due to the postponement of the season, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN. Passan added “The step by MLB and its 30 teams to pledge $30 million total to ballpark employees in a time of great need is noble and important. Bravo to everyone for doing the right thing.”
Put my finger down my throat.
It isn’t really the point of today’s blog, but allow me to sidestep for a moment: I would bet a very large sum of money that the employees to whom Passan refers are paid as seasonal employees, as minor league players are. This allows team owners to save metric tons of money because they don’t have to pay for employee benefits or fair wages, for that matter. So this is a case of “Look at us saving the exploited people” with no mention that the owners are the very ones who have been doing the exploiting.
Of course, the beacon of morality, Rob Manfred had to chime in. (You know the guy who once paid a felon for stolen documents that were part of an active law enforcement investigation so he could nail a steroid user while simultaneously propping up other users? Yeah, that class act…)
“I am proud that our clubs came together so quickly and uniformly to support these individuals who provide so much to the game we love,” Manfred added.
Roll my eyes. Hard.
Now we arrive at my point in the usual circuitous manner, thanks for bearing with me.
$1 million to a Major League Baseball team is, on average, about $50 to the average American.
Yes, I did the math.
Imagine if you had a group of people who were contributors to your financial security and those people were in jeopardy. Then your response was to drop $50 – not to each individual, but to cover the entire group – and then go to the news to publicize what a humanitarian you were.
My guess is you wouldn’t do that because you’d have more self-respect and more self-awareness.
But you and I don’t have a massive media machine to help spread our BS – MLB owners do. Writers like Passan and others can’t wait to bring the sycophancy to new levels in exchange for having access to breaking news like this crap. And they’re very good at their job: Don’t inform baseball fans of the whole truth, just the parts of the truth that serve your masters. And I don’t mean to single Passan out – many other writers, including some of whom I admire a great deal who should know better – went out of their way to praise owners yesterday.
Speaking of which, Diamondbacks owner and humanitarian (*coughs) Ken Kendrick chimed in:
“Our game day staff is part of our family and we want to make sure that we take care of them and support them during these challenging economic times,” the man who once paid $2.8 million for a fucking baseball card said yesterday.
Lest we forget that the Diamondbacks, who were valued at $1.3 billion in 2019, used $238 of taxpayer money to build Chase Field, then requested $187 million more for renovations to the less than 20-year-old building in 2017. And if the Diamondbacks “family” of local taxpayers didn’t pony up for said renovations, MLB would “…look for an alternative” according to Manfred as he sat next to Kendrick.
Your definition of “support” is very interesting, gentlemen.
This is a societal issue not limited to baseball that is obviously too big for this blog. But once again I implore you to remember that when owners publicize the money they’re spending, it’s usually the equivalent cost of a tank of gas to you and me.
And by the power of George Steinbrenner’s felony convictions, stop believing their bullshit.
Did I miss something? Let me know.
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