Minor League Baseball Players Living Far Below Poverty Line

MILB

Major League Baseball players are making more money than ever, with the average salary topping $4 million for the 1st time last year, but most of their minor-league counterparts are living well below the poverty line. Aware of the vast pay gap and plight of MiLB players, MLB chose not to revamp the pay scale, but to pursue legislation that would preserve the status quo (technically they agreed to raise the min. by $60); and it passed as a last-minute addition to the 2,200-page federal spending bill that was rushed through Congress in March. Tonight (July 24th) at 10p EST, HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel examines why MiLB players are “Playing for Peanuts”.

Howie Long-Short: While major league salaries have multiplied 5x over since 1984 and team valuations have grown 20-fold, MiLB player salaries have decreased over the last 25 years (accounting for inflation); Real Sports is reporting that “the majority of” minor league players are earning just $7,500 annually. $7,500 isn’t just below the poverty line ($12,140), it’s less than half of what a full-time minimum wage worker collects ($15,080).

Major League Baseball revenues eclipsed $10 billion for the 1st time in 2017, but Commissioner Manfred argues that the league could not operate if it had to pay MiLB players more money; a joke considering the biggest companies in the world manage to comply with federal minimum wage laws. Here’s a fun fact: MLB could pay every one of the 6,500 minor league baseball players an additional $22,500/year (raising min. comp. to $30,000) for less ($146 million) than what the Astros will pay Jose Altuve ($151 million) to play through ’25.

For those wondering, the “Save America’s Pastime Act” (yes, they’re serious with that name) simply requires MLB to compensate MiLB players for 40-hour work weeks during the season; spring training, off-season conditioning and any “overtime” in season can remain unpaid.

Fan Marino: While MiLB player compensation (and the league’s handling of it) is disturbing, the NBA’s G-League has quietly become a viable alternative to NCAA basketball. In addition to the round-the-clock, world-class coaching, at least two-thirds of the league’s players now make $70,000 (+ housing & medical); more than a respectable living for 5 months of work. That’s not the ceiling either. The NBA added roster spots for 2-way players last year – those designated to split time between their G-League team and NBA affiliate. 2-way players can earn up to $385,000/season. The G-League’s min. player salary is $35,000.

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Revis’ Unconventional Approach Enabled Him to Earn “Quarterback Money”  

Darrelle Revis
New York Jets’ Darrelle Revis celebrates his interception in the fourth quarter of the Jets’ 26-17 win over the Buffalo Bills in an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

Darrelle Revis retired on Wednesday, marking the end an illustrious 11-year career. The last of the shutdown cornerbacks, Revis earned over $124 million in his career; the most of any player in his draft class (included: Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson and Joe Thomas). It was Revis’ unconventional approach to the business side of the game that enabled him to earn money typically reserved for franchise quarterbacks, consistently foregoing secure but less lucrative long-term deals for the largest possible short-term pay day. The strategy worked. Revis retired as the 2nd highest paid defensive player in NFL history (behind Julius Peppers, tied with Suh)

Howie Long-Short: Any conversation about Revis and contracts must start with his uncle and advisor, Sean Gilbert. The Washington Redskins named Gilbert their franchise player following the ’96 season. Gilbert passed on signing the one-year $3.4 million offer, before ultimately sitting out the season. The following summer Washington offered a one-year deal worth $2.97 million (avg. of 5 highest paid players at DE). Again, Gilbert wouldn’t sign a contract; God had told him in a dream not to take less than $5 million. This time though, he argued to the league office that the franchise didn’t have the right to place the franchise tag on him for a 2nd year in a row. Following a meeting between the NFL and NFLPA, Gilbert landed in Carolina (in exchange for 2 1st round picks), signing a massive deal worth $46.5 million. While Revis is often credited as the league’s “savviest negotiator”, remember Sean Gilbert was the brains behind the operation.

Fan Marino: Darrelle Revis is going be inducted into the Hall of Fame, the only question is if he’ll get in on the 1st ballot. Detractors will tell you Revis was only GREAT for 4 seasons, but no one questions Gale Sayers’ worthiness and the Kansas Comet only played in 9 games 5x; greatness is simply valued over longevity.

Those arguing on Revis’ behalf will point to 2009, the single greatest season a cornerback has ever had (Pro Football Focus has confirmed this since ’06). In a pass-friendly league, playing man-to-man coverage, Revis never gave up more than 5 catches or 58 yards in 16 regular-season games; while leading the Jets to the AFC Championship game. Revis’ impact can best be measured by the reception, yardage and TD totals of the league’s best receivers when matched up against him.

Andre Johnson (4-35-0)

Marques Colston (2-33-0)

Randy Moss (4-24-0 and 5-34-1)

Terrell Owens (3-13-0 and 3-31-0)

Steve Smith (1-5-0)

Reggie Wayne (3-33-0)

Roddy White (2-16-0)

Chad Johnson (0-0-0)

I’m looking forward to visiting Canton and watching Darrelle’s enshrinement ceremony in the Summer of ’23. Thanks for the memories #24!

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Anthony Joshua Looks to Expand Brand to Dubai, Nigeria

JWS: You talk about expanding the A.J. brand beyond Europe and North America. You’ve mentioned Dubai and Nigeria. Why those countries?

You can read the transcript of the full interview at https://johnwallstreet.com/heavyweight-champ-anthony-joshua/

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Mets Fire Front Office Executive Who Accused League of Paid Patriotism

Mets

The New York Mets have fired assistant director of player development Nick Francona after he publicly denounced Major League Baseball for profiting “off the memory of dead soldiers.” The former U.S. Marine (and son of Indians Manager Terry Francona) criticized the league for failing to disclose who’s entitled to the proceeds of military-themed apparel sales (worn by players on Memorial Day); products that are marketed and sold as officially licensed merchandise. Francona reportedly repeatedly requested evidence from the league that the proceeds were being donated to charities connected with military families, but was rebuffed each time; leading him to take a public stand on social media. In email correspondence provided to the New York Post, Mets GM Sandy Alderson stated Francona’s actions were “beginning to ‘undermine’ the Mets military and veterans agenda”; ultimately, the reason for his firing. Francona has called the franchise “cowardly” for caving to the pressures of the league office as opposed to standing up for what is right; the Commissioner’s Office has denied the allegations.

Howie Long-Short: “Paid patriotism” isn’t a new concept or one originated by Major League Baseball. Back in 2016, Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake blasted the NFL (and other pro leagues) for taking government funding to honor military personnel (think flag displays, family reunions). An internal audit found that between ’12-’15, the NFL signed contracts worth $6.1 million that contained elements of “paid patriotism”. To the league’s credit, they did return $723,000+ to the Defense Department; “the first organization to perform due diligence, take responsibility and return funds to the taxpayers” (according to Flake). Wondering who the biggest pigs were? Atlanta ($879,000), New England ($700,000) and Buffalo ($650,000).

Fan Marino: On the surface, it seems as if Francona has been wronged; but this isn’t the first time he’s brought negative attention on his employer. Francona was previously fired by the Dodgers after accusing the team’s director of player development (Gabe Kapler) of discriminating against him for seeking help from an organization that supports veterans with “invisible wounds of war”. MLB investigated the complaint and decided not to take action.

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Anthony Joshua: Range Rover Sponsorship Aligns with Long-Term Goal

JWS: You mentioned that you’ve signed endorsement deals with brands that align with your long-term goals. How does the Jaguar/Range Rover relationship play into that?

You can read the transcript of the full interview at https://johnwallstreet.com/heavyweight-champ-anthony-joshua/

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Anthony Joshua Has a “Billionaire Mindset”

JWS: You’re open about pursuing your goal of becoming a billionaire. You have a successful line of gyms, what other businesses are generating income for you?

You can read the transcript of the full interview at https://johnwallstreet.com/heavyweight-champ-anthony-joshua/

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Anthony Joshua Implies Stake in DAZN

JWS: Mayweather made a fortune collecting on a portion of PPV receipts. Do you worry that DAZN’s subscription model will cost you money?

You can read the transcript of the full interview at https://johnwallstreet.com/heavyweight-champ-anthony-joshua/

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