Phillies minor leaguer calls MLB out for poor conditions and low pay

Mark Appel #66 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Mark Appel #66 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

As the lockout drags on, the list of professional baseball players calling Major League Baseball out continues to grow.

In the Philadelphia Phillies organization, Didi Gregorius and Rhys Hoskins were among the first to speak out, or rather, tweet. Then Andrew McCutchen weighed in with a meme.

Now, minor-leaguer Mark Appel is joining the ranks. On Saturday, the former first-overall draft pick clapped back at the league for continuing to not compensate minor leaguers for Spring Training:

Phillies minor leaguer slams MLB for low pay and poor conditions in MiLB

It is despicable that MLB, which makes billions in revenue each year, expects minor leaguers to be grateful for crumbs. They are professional athletes but are treated like unpaid interns. Many of them live under the poverty line, meaning they make less than $13K per year. They’re expected to feed and house themselves with meager pay while maintaining peak physical condition all year long. It’s an unbalanced system and has been for decades.

Essentially, being in the minor leagues is survival of the fittest, which is both unproductive and morally reprehensible. Minor leaguers should be placed in a nurturing environment that helps them develop; instead, if a minor leaguer actually makes it to the majors, they do so by overcoming extreme and unnecessary adversity manufactured against them by their own employer.

It’s also an incomprehensible system, as these methods hurt team owners as well as their players. They are paying (or rather, underpaying) these players regardless of the outcome, but you would think they’d want a return on that investment. Instead, it’s money wasted when employers put their employees in a harsh environment meant to hurt, rather than help them. It’s no wonder only approximately 10% of minor leaguers make it to the majors.

Speaking of money wasted, MLB is so hell-bent on underpaying minor leaguers that they actually hired an ‘expert’ and paid them $775 per hour to argue against paying them for Spring Training. The “logic” is that it’s cheaper to pay an expert than actually pay the players a living wage.

Baseball players spend years developing the skill of their chosen profession and deserve to be compensated accordingly. Work for exposure and experience, rather than actually getting paid for their labor is highway robbery.

If you’re not mad, you should be.

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