As the baseball industry was celebrating one of its crown jewel events, the induction of new “Hall of Famers” in the sport’s Valhalla, Cooperstown, New York, there were two other stories about the so-called game that received attention. The Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale apparently did not like his throwback uniform, so allegedly he cut it up and missed performing. The team told him to get lost for the day. The other, minor league baseball players cannot file a class action lawsuit against Major League Baseball for allegedly violating federal and state labor laws. The minor league players can file individual lawsuits against Major League Baseball but that seems like a daunting task given how much money Major League Baseball hands to attorneys annually and how much money a minor league or former minor league player can spend on legal fees.
Chris Sale is 27 years old and is making more than nine million dollars this year. Sale has a unique talent; he can throw a baseball better than 99.9 percent of the people in the world and he is one of just 750 or so people with the ability to work in his job. He can command money, but Sale’s temper tantrum is not professional. If Sale feels underappreciated, he should walk the streets near the Chicago White Sox stadium. There is quite a difference between Sale’s status and the local everyday living which he would see. Sale could compare his plight with migrant workers and then spend some time in the hot sun picking vegetables for little money or maybe work in the shop that produces his baseball shoes.
Minor league players have similar talent compared to Sale but come up short and it shows in their paychecks, hence the lawsuit. Sale may be traded and become a hero elsewhere because he can win games. Sports is out of whack.
By Evan Weiner for The Politics of Sports Business.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.