Archive for the ‘Getting Serious’ Category

Earlier today, I posted a video of Skip Bayless explaining why he was justified in wondering if Derek Jeter’s very successful 2012 season was the product of performance enhancing substances. At the time, I promised to present his opinion with minimal comment, believing that the idiocy of his clown show with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN spoke for itself.

At some point, between then and now, I began mentally listing the ways in which this almost-accusation was reprehensible, and I think it might be important to actually go through these. I don’t believe that I’m convincing anyone of anything here. At least, I hope not. But perhaps in the conglomeration of refutations to Bayless’ dangerous speculation, we might collect something for future use to argue against something that is not unique to the incendiary devices on sports television networks.

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Editorial Note: The following piece is written by Jason Wojciechowski, a labour lawyer by day, and an immensely talented baseball blogger by night at Beaneball, The Platoon Advantage and Baseball Prospectus. After reading a recent article at Slate on the salaries and working conditions for Minor League Baseball players, we asked him to share his thoughts.

Un- and under-paid proles in sport are much on the minds of the commentariat these days, with the latest installment of “NCAA players should strike” now being joined by Lily Rothman’s piece at Slate on the underpaid and overworked starry-eyed dreamers of Minor League Baseball.

Rothman limits her example of how poorly treated Minor League players are to the $1,100 per month starting salary for A-ball players (which works out to something not far above the federal poverty line, and that’s before considering that minor-leaguers only get paid during the baseball season), but that management was simply able to impose a drug-testing regime on them is another example of their general powerlessness.

As you would expect, the proposed solution to such ills is for minor-league players to organize into a union and obtain a collective voice with which to speak to management about low pay, bad conditions, violations of privacy, or about whatever else minor-league players feel passionate. Rothman’s exploration of why nobody has yet successfully organized a minor-league union brings to mind the history of the United Farm Workers. There are parallels between the two groups of workers that can help illuminate further the problems sub-MLB players would face in building and maintaining a union.

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