The majority of minor leaguers aren’t bonus babies — they’re jobbers like you and me — and things are tough for them too:
Most minor league players earn less than $10,000 for an entire season. These paychecks only come during the season, which makes finding a part-time job in the offseason a matter of survival. Part-time gigs have not been hard to find in past years. Companies have been eager to have a professional athlete on staff, sometimes simply for the trophy value alone. Even if a position weren’t readily available, they would often invent one just to have the athlete around.
The situation has been quite different for many minor leaguers this offseason. With the job market now going the way of the old Yankee Stadium—on the verge of implosion—an oasis of part-time jobs is nowhere to be found.
And it will be worse, not better, once spring training starts, because players don’t get paychecks until opening day. They only get per diems, and even those are meager:
Major League Baseball provided no relief for its farmhands this offseason when it denied a request to increase minor leaguers meal money per diem from $20 to $25. The Boston Globe reported that MLB officials felt that an increase was inappropriate given the current economic climate.
What? Are there no prisons? And the union workhouses – are they still in operation? Because for a minute there I was afraid that something had happened to stop them in their useful course!
(thanks to Pete Toms for the heads up)