MLB Week in Review (June 24-30)

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Major League Baseball can sometimes be a complicated league especially when you throw in the endless amounts of minor leagues.

It is a league where there are technically hundreds of players in a system with only nine every really seeing any time in the major leagues.

Most of the players in the minor leagues will never step foot on a major league field.

In fact, that is quite often a theme in all sports as professional sports only see a fraction of the players that attempted to make it in the big leagues.

MLB can be a little more magnified though as the minor leagues are so big with so many players never seeing the glory they seek when they pick up the sport.

What comes with that is the struggle that many players see in every sport, a debate between following a dream and earning a real living.

For some, it is not that bad as they are paid decent contracts to play in the minor leagues as they pursue their dream.

In the MLB it is slightly different as many minor league players are living on almost nothing as they pursue their dream.

Through the multiple levels, the pay is different but for most levels pay is barely enough to live a good life.

That is what sparked a lawsuit in 2014, which claimed that minor league baseball players should be under the same rules as many regular workers when it comes to overtime.

Essentially a claim was made that minor league players should be compensated for working more than a normal work week.

The lawsuit also brought to light the disparity of wages between minor league players and everyday workers as the lawsuit claimed that minor leaguers were a part of the working poor.

The pay issues for minor leaguers all came about from an old law in the USA that makes baseball exempt from antitrust laws.

That means they don’t necessarily have to follow the rules when it comes to paying a fair wage for their players.

The lawsuit challenged that but in a counter, to that lawsuit, the US government put forward a bill to clarify the rules of a fair wage.

They called it the “Saving America’s Pasttime” bill and it essentially tried to keep the rules the same.

It was the government looking to extend the exemption of the MLB to continue to pay their players below minimum wage.

The sponsor of the bill pulled out 24-hours after putting the bill forward after anger surfaced from multiple sources.

There are arguments for both sides of this growing debate. On one side they are baseball players and are playing a sport that only a few people can play.

They know getting into the sport that the chances are slim to make it and they take that risk along with the risk of having to work another job alongside playing baseball.

The rewards for those that can get through it can be immense as well with millions of dollars potentially awaiting players.

Not to mention that if MLB teams had to pay the normal wage to minor leaguers there would likely be a lot less minor league teams to cut costs and therefore fewer jobs overall.

That is what the MLB has argued in a recent statement claiming that the cost would be great and comparing players to artists who don’t fall under the same rules.

Then there is the other side as players do pursue a dream but some can’t continue that dream long enough because they simply can’t survive long enough.

Who knows how much talent has been missed because a baseball player has a family to support and has to move on to another job.

Also, they are not asking for millions of dollars they are simply asking to meet the standard of every other job in the USA.

They want a fair wage with the same base level standards of someone working a regular job.

For the billionaires in the MLB and millionaires that own minor league teams, it shouldn’t be much of a challenge.

The new bill has sparked a new debate as there are points to both sides of the argument but for many, it is just another way for a rich industry to stay rich.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

CCU on Top
Coastal Carolina University is not necessarily a sports powerhouse in the NCAA but they will add a title to their trophy case as they took home their first-ever College World Series title beating Arizona in three games

Breaking Barriers
Independent baseball is well-known for their crazy promotions or strange moves to get attention but this week one team made some history along with some noise when the Sonoma Stompers signed two women to the team

Pitcher to DH
Madison Bumgarner has made no secret about his want to bat and this week he took it a step further when the San Francisco Giants played Oakland and forfeited the DH allowing Bumgarner to hit making him the first pitcher to do so in 40-years


Key Series:
Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 Los Angeles Dodgers
– The Pirates are having a tough time this year as they are being forced to keep up with the best team in the league but they showed just how good they can be taking three games from the four-game series against the Dodgers

Kansas City Royals 3-1 St. Louis Cardinals
– The Royals are in the midst of what could be the best battle in the league as the AL Central has only one team below .500 and the Royals did what they could in keeping pace taking three from the Cardinals

Cleveland Indians 3-0 Atlanta Braves
– Nobody expected this as the Indians are on fire right now playing better than any team in the league as they continued a 12-game winning streak against the Braves who remained bottom feeders with the sweep

Oakland Athletics 3-0 San Francisco Giants
– The Battel of the Bay got interesting when a pitcher took over a designated hitter spot but no matter what they tried the Giants couldn’t take the series as the A’s were able to take three games against a very good Giants team

Upcoming Series:
Cleveland Indians vs. Toronto Blue Jays [July 1-3]
– The Indians already took the first game in this series to extend their winning streak to 13-games but the Blue Jays will hope to end that streak as they host the hottest team in the MLB on Canada Day

Miami Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves [July 1-3]
– With the holiday weekend approaching for the USA the MLB will travel to a new home for a day in this series as the July 3rd game will be held at Fort Bragg giving American troops a special show before the 4th of July

Baltimore Orioles vs. Los Angeles Dodgers [July 4-6]
– The Orioles are looking great right now in the east as the Red Sox continue to fall and they will travel to the west coast to take on the Dodgers who will continue to try to get past the Giants in the west division

Miami Marlins vs. New York Mets [July 4-6]
– With the Nationals seemingly running away with the division both the Marlins and the Mets are fighting each other for playoff hopes as they both look to their younger groups to position themselves in that wild card spot

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