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October 20, 2008 October 20, 2008

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
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About The Salary Issue: I wrote an article back in 2006 — an article I hate to this day, by the way — about the supposed “salary cap” issue. I will post it here in its entirety, and you guys can take it away from there.

As it stands now, this is something I’ve written about extensively in the past and have absolutely zero interest in doing it again. However, if anyone is willing to suggest a new angle to it, I’d be open to checking into it again.

“You automatically assume there’s a $3,000 salary cap,” said Joe Klein, Executive Director of the Atlantic League, “which there’s not.”

This was the quote that got many fans of the league thinking: could the supposed $3,000 cap on player salaries be non-existent?

“(The eight teams) do their budgets together,” Klein said, “It’s hard to get them all in the same room, no less to agree on the same number.”

That sure doesn’t sound anything like a salary cap. But, as it turns out, the league chooses to use different terminology to describe salary numbers.

“We don’t use the words salary cap,” said league CEO Frank Boulton, “I don’t use that word in this league and I never have. We use the word guideline.”

So, now that the word has been changed to guideline, the question still remains: are players in the Atlantic League getting paid more than $3,000 a month?

“One of our goals in this league is to create parity,” Boulton said, “(and) with that guideline, no player is being paid more than $3,000. When a player signs an Atlantic League contract, that contract is signed in triplicate. One goes to the club, one goes to the league office, and one stays with the player.”

When asked if any of those contracts had ever featured a number over the “guideline” of $3,000 a month, Boulton said there was one notable exception.

“I think Jose Canseco made more than that,” he said, “but that was a stand alone situation. When that happened with Canseco, that was driven by a business decision and was it a good decision for the league.”

Canseco, who went on to badmouth the league after going straight to the big leagues with the Chicago White Sox after hitting .284 with 7 home runs and 27 RBI for the Newark Bears in 2001, reportedly had the remainder of his salary paid for by the other seven teams in the league, although that report has been denied vehemently in the past.

The Long Island Ducks, a team which Boulton is also the co-owner of, have been in negotiations with another former Major League All-Star, Juan Gonzalez, for nearly a month now. Would the signing of Gonzalez constitute another “stand alone situation” for the league?

“In the case of Gonzalez,” he said, “he’s made $89 million in his career. I certainly think he deserves $3,000 and maybe some more.”

Whether or not Gonzalez ends up getting more if he does sign remains to be seen, but Boulton doesn’t think that Gonzalez or anyone else would be turned off by a $3,000 guideline.

“I don’t think it’s a turn off,” he said. “For some players who are just playing for money, it probably is.”

For some general managers with tighter budgets, paying a player the league max isn’t even an option.

“I couldn’t, under my budget, pay $3,000 for a guy this year,” said longtime Atlantic League General Manager John Brandt, in his first year at the helm of the Newark Bears.

Brandt’s player budget is similar to that of other teams in the Atlantic League, with the number somewhere around the quarter-million dollar mark for a full season. With that working out to an average of roughly $1,800 a month per player, teams are forced to rely on some creativity to keep their teams competitive.

“Our braintrust,” said Ducks Assistant GM Mike Pfaff, “led by Buddy Harrelson and Frank Boulton, do an incredible job of meeting that challenge while making it look easy.”

Both Brandt and Pfaff noted that teams will take advantage of any deals they can for players, doing what they can to entice a player to join their respective teams.

“(The Ducks) will give two players per year use of cars that are in our possession,” said Pfaff, noting that the team will also reach out to the community to find host families that charge no rent to players.

When a player lives close to the Atlantic League team trying to sign him, players have been known to take a hometown discount in exchange for the convenience it provides.

“When I had Chris Widger in Camden,” said Brandt, the former Camden Riversharks GM, “he wasn’t making anywhere near $3,000.”

“I play baseball 35 minutes from my house,” Widger said at the time, “which is something I’ve never done before.”

If it’s money the players are after, trading bus rides, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and three grand a month for a $500,000 Major League contract like Widger did last year can’t be a bad incentive.

But if it’s truly about the game, then the 2005 World Series ring Widger earned with the White Sox is the only payoff they’ll ever need to see.

—–

My opinion on the issue? And this is 2008 Ashmore talking, not crappy feature writing 2006 Ashmore…I absolutely, positively think that the players in this league should make more money.

However, I agree with what one poster said in that they know what they’re getting into when they sign their contracts. It’s not as though owners are giving the players less than they were promised…then there would be a story.

In regards to playoff bonuses, I’d have to look into how the last month’s paycheck is issued. If a player is making $3,000 a month, but that amount is prorated over a smaller amount of regular season playing time in September, then theoretically that player would be making additional money by playing in the postseason, because they can’t not pay the guy if he’s playing in the playoffs under that scenario.

– MA

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Comments»

1. jake - October 20, 2008

Mike I am surprised and somewhat disgusted by your response. Perhaps you are not aware that just two weeks ago Scott told all of us that this was a subject that we would explore in the off-season and that he would work to get league and team representatives to come on and talk about it.

I am at a loss to understand how any journalist covering this league might have “zero” interest in a subject as unsavory as this one. These players plain and simply are being exploited. Go get a copy of a contract, you would be shocked as to the simplicity and generality of it. The very fact that you wrote about it in 2006, in that the Ledger wrote about it in 2001, the Courier News in 2007 and so on demonstrates that this ugly worst kept secret is being ignored. I can promise you it will not be any further.

The contract issue which you refer to is ridiculous. 40 years ago young girls in factories in California and the South were discovered to be making less than a third of the minimum wage and they too were made to sign a piece of paper. Day laborers to this day waiting on street corners in Newark, Trenton, Patterson, and Woodbridge are made to sign a paper that waives the right for their families to sue oif they are killed, and they are paid well below minimum wage. It doesn’t make it right because they knew what they were getting and signed a paper.

You better than anyone know what the salries and break down are in this league and it is obscene. There are players from the league right now who may lose their homes and who cannot afford the day to day demands that any of us face.

Yes it’s the living they chose but again that doesn’t make it right. You also know better than most the revenues that are being generated by ownership. We are in no way suggesting that an independent baseball league be made to pay major league or even the top salaries of affiliated ball. But when Mexico, Columbia, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela are paying more then something needs exploring. These leagues in many instances do not have the means that this one does.

You refer to playoff money and describe that the players are actually making money. Silly. They are paid pro-rated based upon the lousy monthly salary paid. They receive no stipend or bonus for winning or appearing in the championship rounds, something which generates even more revenue for ownership. They do not share in the regular or specialized merchandise sales generated off their efforts, such as the Patriots Championship gear which you heralded on this site a couple of weeks ago. They do not share in the revenues generated by the balls, photographs, bats and other merchandise they are commanded to sign that is then sold in the team stores.

They are not compensated for the use of their likeness or name on baseball cards or t-shirts or their compelled appearances at team related events.

We have to believe that spending the amount of time in AL ballparks that you do that you are aware of all of this. Take a look at the expense checks being issued to players as they try to get home. It is down right scandelous. Tell me how a check for $325 gets a player from Camden to California.

Scott made a promise to us a couple of weeks back and we are hopeful that this site, which is important to so many of us will live up to that promise and meet the burdens of decency. Recycling old articles can demonstrate the issue and its age Mike but doesn’t attack the issue. Lets get the executives on here as promised.

I can promise you this much. As was stated by others here within the last two months. If it is time for protests, and media coverage, and letter writing, and yes maybe even a dedicated internet page, then so be it. My wife and I and my brother and his wife will be ready. And from the discussions we have heard over the summers and at our childrens’ events there will be no shortage of others willing to speak. And the players themselves in many instances will speak as well. Someone need to give voice to these men.

How anxious are those companies named on outfield walls, on luxury suites, and on stadium nameplates going to be to continue their involvement when they see protests or learn that their consumer base is outraged by this issue and offended by their indirect support of it.

This is a league wide issue and we need to hear from Mr. Boulton, Mr. Klein, and ownership. Not the PR types but the decision makers. This discussions’ time is overduw and has come, and it was promised to us.

Lets get at it.

2. Scott Stanchak - October 20, 2008

In defense of Mike, he did say that players should be paid more.

As for the discussion, yes it is something we will have later on down the line with a team executive.

3. Scott Stanchak - October 20, 2008

Also, while I do believe the players should be paid more, especially after 11 years of the same salary structure, they also do know what they’re getting into when signing the contract.

Let’s face it, we all think we should be paid more at our jobs. Some of us accept it, some of us try to get other jobs, which is what these players are essentially doing. It’s part of the process.

4. 3xchamps - October 20, 2008

I agree with you Scott. The players go into the seasons knowing a league like this is NOT going to pay a big salary. They sign for the chance to make it back to affilated ball, which many do!
A story on tracking a players career and where members of teams go to after the season is much more interesting, as opposed to this non-sense.
If you want crusade to make certain ball clubs look bad, knock yourself out. A “protest”—huh? Ok, don’t go, and I’m sure the league will go on without you.
Once again, just seems like a few disgruntled fans upset about this past season, trying to make trouble for certain teams!

I guess since I had the nerve to post something you don’t like, we can all expect a rude response!

Oh yeah guys, are there any good minor league baseball teams in NY? Doesn’t Brooklyn have a good club? Or is it Staten Island????

5. jake - October 20, 2008

Scott no need to defend Mike we enjoy his commentary and it wasn’t mean’t to be an attack on him or this page. You are both honorable gentleman.

As for 3xchamps here we go again with the same nonsense. Once again this team employee who hasn’t the guts to assign their name objects to the exchange of views. Some PR bunny no doubt. These are the same person who attempts to defend the crappy conditions at the ballpark or the bad behavior of staff both at home and at road games. It’s always some disgruntled fan. That’s what they would have you believe.

This issue is not limited to one team it is a league wide issue and it needs to be discussed and explored. We are not surprised by this person’s response since the issue is always dismissed. I am sure they would like to do a tracking piece so they can run another fluff piece how they put the players back into affiliated ball. I have to wonder if they start to believe this garbage or if the kool-aid is that strong.

And yes I am sure there are good minor league clubs in New York as there are here in New Jersey. Trenton is an option were fans are treated with respect and players are compensated and treated appropriately. The same can be said for Lakewood, or Aberdeen, Bowie or Hagerstown in Maryland. And as for protests, we can assure you that there are enough of us who are troubled by this issue that they will stay away, and they will speak out, and they will demonstrate at a stadium when necessary, and they will support the website being planned for launch later this month. And they will write to those corporations who sponsor teams and express their concerns. And that is their right, and it is how we give voice to those who are consistently silenced by a ludicrous public relations machine in the interest of greed.

Scott you and Mike are correct that the players know the salary they are to receive for playing in the league. My wife and I and my brother Frank have said the same thing to many them over and over. We believe strongly that they should go elsewhere. And certainly some of the players are thinking the same since the talent pool has been down considerably.

Scott for weeks people on this site have talked about the economics and wanting to know more. Go talk to any of the league’s elite players. Ask them their salary. Ask them what the taxes taken out are, what their housing costs are, and what additional obligations they have against it. Then ask them their work requirement in terms of time and other mandated obligations. Then figure out the hourly wage. It may stun you. Ask them how much information they had going in.

I agree everyone wants to make more money. But we are talking about a basic fundamental right to be paid a fair wage commensurate with the employment. This entire scenario is like the era of PT Barnum and his circuses of the 19th century. It is obscene and it is exploitation.

Scott here is an idea. Why don’t you poll players from this year, including those that just won a championship. Ask them what they think. Ask them if they would come back, about the salaries, and if everything they confronted was spelled out in a contract. Ask them if they were told in advance of every obligation of their time for which they would not be compensated. Ask them if they were told their autographs or likenesses would be sold.

Scott we applaud your commitment to this discussion. And Mike as well. And again we hope that league officials and ownership will join it. Ask yourself one more question. Why do bloggers like 3xchamps, who only appear when their is a question or criticism, not want to have the discussion take place. What are they afraid of? Is it that the truth hurts.

6. jake - October 20, 2008

Scott one additional thought. Since most of these teams operate in ballparks owned by the local municipalities as park land or otherwise you would be shocked howe much of the information about the concessions and the like is attainable via the filing of a Freedom of Information request.

Looking forward to the discussion.

Jake Bell

7. 3xchamps - October 20, 2008

Actually I really enjoy this website, and posts about the salary are BORING. “what are we afraid of? Is it that the truth hurts?” Riggggggggggggggggght. No that its a waste of time article , to smear teams.
We like the stories about guys during the season, and all that happens. That is interesting!

The Atlantic league is about good family entertainment, and good baseball-which both are achieved on a daily basis. its fun to go to the games and see all the excitement, thats whats interesting. Thousands upon thousand upon thousands of fans CAN NOT be wrong, because for some strange reason all the stands are filled each night. Matter of fact last year Somerset had its 3millionth fan at the game. Don’t think families care about this issue or whining about the poor players don’t get paid. I think the families and season ticket holders are ALOT more interested in give-a-ways or on field promotions than wondering about the salaries of a player! Sorry, thats the truth, and that does hurt.
Many players know its the last stop in many of their careers before retirement. Its a wonderful league. Look at the countless guys that have been signed to clubs and made it to the big show! Thats important to the fans! Lets cover those stories!

And Jake, if the conditions are that horrible as you paint the picture to be. Please go where the grass is greener, and the players are paid millions, and the food is wonderful. Do your protests, write your letters, fight the good fight for the underpaid. Because let me tell you a little secret–things aren’t going to change–thats why its called minor league baseball. The wonderful things you want can be found in the Queens and the South Bronx or Philly.

Sincerely-

Jack=O=Lantern

8. jake - October 20, 2008

It may very well be that the best thing we can do to shed light on the issue of greed and unlivable wages in this league is to let the words of people like 3xchamps ring out.

Listen to the arrogance of this individual. Read his/her words and clearly pick up the disdain and disrespect he or she has for the players. The players, the very individuals generating wealth for the owners and paying his/her salary.

Clearly this is an employee of an AL team and if you read his near press release like statement you can piece together which one he/she works for. And that is not surprising either given the arrogance of that franchise from the top down.

But please read his or her comments carefully. See how dismissive he/she is of the salary issue and what it means to the players. Read what he thinks about those that go to the games, customers and season ticket holders alike.

Clearly 3xchamps–you need to change it to 4xchamps now buddy–you as many in your organization believe that we are stupid and that you should treat us as such. You in as much say so. You believe you can shuffle us in like cattle, put on the smoke and mirrors, horns and whistles, and a baseball game and then shuffle us out again. By your statement, the families and individuals who attend these games care more about a bobble head or logo ball then the plight of 200 men who are being exploited.

Again you seriously misjudge the decency and compassion of the fans of this league or any league for that matter.

Yes we take our children because they like the carnival like atmosphere, and they like the ball toss, and the mascots, and the giveaways. But how dare you– you ignorant fool– preach to me or anyone else reading or commenting here as to what our family values are or should be. We do care, alot of us care, and more of us will care as they find out what’s going on and read the insensitive ignorant words of people like you.

We have long believed that those in your position were counting on the fans, people like my family, being stupid or indifferent. We are not. Yours is a dangerous arrogance but one that runs deeply through the power brokers in this league. By your standards we are nothing more than customers of large ATM machines in the shape of a ballpark. Well you have seriously misjudged us.

Baseball is a wonderful game and is a wonderful form of entertainment for the family. Family! It speaks of people that care about each other, that respect other people, and care that others are treated as they themselves would be treated. We are not the robots you describe, heartless, dispassionate people who for the benefit of a free bobblehead or silly baseball will look past the exploitation of human beings.

I am so glad that you once again responded. Your words will fill the pages of protest letters, our website, and letters to the corporations who would support your arrogance, and to the media.

Yes thousands of fans do fill the seats of AL ballparks. Yes the stands are consistently filled with fans who love baseball and baseball players. Just one more reason that given this success ownership can introduce an equitable salary structure.

Yes Mr. O’Lantern things are going to change. The departure of marquee players and the growing number of empty seats speak to it in loud volume. Yes we will fight the fight for the underpaid. We will shed light on greed and exploitation. And individuals with ugly opinions of these players and who would deprive the very people who patronize this league of their right of opinion and voice, will crawl back into the dark crevices where they belong.

Jake Bell

9. notagreggfan - October 20, 2008

Oh Jake, you silly man maybe you missed your calling you could stand beside John Mcain & Bill the Plumber or is that Joe the Plumber or Jake the Plumber? Im not sure.
Jake when will you swallow your bitter pill realize that 3xchamp might be right and this is "family entertainment" and baseball, yes Its Minor league baseball. I go to the ball parks (Yes I visit more than just Commerce bank ball park) with the thought of seeing minor league baseball enjoying the players and the coaches chatting with them not worrying how much they make. They don't ask me if im making more or less than them, We both agreed to work for the pay we agreed upon. I don't follow MLB anymore cause I have all the Baseball entertainment I need in my back yard. Also realize these front office guys that you bash work long hard hours sometimes 9am til after midnite to supply Us the loyal fans Quality Family entertainment & Baseball To Them I want to say Thank you for your deacation to the game your not forgotten – NOT A GreGG Fan in NJ
Yes I Am a Patriots Fan and I approve this message

10. 3xchamps - October 20, 2008

Jake-

Sorry if you’re upset, which clearly you are.
Please launch this website–love to see positive coverage on how great the Atlantic League is to play in. Its a wonderful idea!

Let move onto new topics, as Im sure Mike/Scott are tired of the same non-sense.

11. jake - October 21, 2008

How afraid they are of this discussion. You can absolutely feel their fear through the ridiculous comments they place. Change the subject. Introduce fluff. Look beyond the exploitation. Thats what they want us to do.

How they pour out of the cracks in the floor, one team employee after another, trying to spew garbage in hopes of clouding the discussion. But they won’t.

And 3xchamps despite your owner’s beliefs that he can threaten journalists and silence opinions neither he nor you will tell us what to discuss here in a public forum. This is one ripple in the pond you cannot halt.

So you move along and take your disrespect for the fans, and your disrespect for the players, and your disrespect for our families and crawl back into the dark.

This subject is too important to be brought down to the level of these clowns. The same people who abuse visiting fans who come to cheer on their team and who get drunk at road games and start fights with children. Laugh at them but don’t ignore them.

Read what they have to say and take heed of their ugly words. Yes it’s family entertainment, but again that does not negate the rights of those working to provide it. The players. Yes its baseball and its wonderful, but at what costs.

You are so afraid of the truth. Open your books and show all of us how wrong we are. Lets see whose making what, what the costs are, what the municipalities are making, and yes what the players are making. If you are so certain of your position show us.

This is a business first and foremost and those that would patronize it must consider whether the end justifies the means. Can you enjoy a simple baseball game if you know the young men who are out there playing it are being exploited.

And notagreggfan yes the players do talk. And they will talk. And Mike and Scott we again invite you to reach out to them and poll them. You know what they will tell you, some have already told you. You know how to reach them.

It’s time that this ugly worst keep secret is shown the light of day. And you can try 3xchamps and notagreggfan to dismiss it as the rants of a few disgruntled fans, but you are too wrong. We are more than a few and we are not disgruntled with the game or our teams, just with the way you are running it and exploiting decent men.

Your out of your league in this fight. Because it is a fight for what’s right.

Jake Bell

12. jake - October 21, 2008

Scott/Mike:

Recently you noted that we should get our questions ready and I do have one about the economics of the league. Could you find out what sort of rights fees the teams are paying the movie studios or whomever for use of major motion pictures or television shows on their score boards. Since these products are protected under Federal law they must be paying significant licensing fees. Must be a significant expense. We have written to a few of the production companies and studios involved in some of those we have seen and are awaiting their response–maybe you can ask.

thanks

Jake

13. jake - October 21, 2008

Mike:

A bit of an apology. I read carefully your piece from 2006 and I believe that I understand better your frustration with the subject. The nonsense about “salary cap” versus “guideline” is ludicrous. Sounds more like “collusion”.

I can only imagine how the spin drove you nuts. Interesting the way the figure $89 million was woven into the discussion about Juan Gonzalez–clearly an attempt to leave some thought in the readers mindset that those playing in the AL could afford the substandard wage.

The truth as we all know it is most of these guys have never made anything near that. And what they are seeking and what we are arguing for on their behalf is merely a livable wage that meets the burdens not only of the law but of what is fundamentally fair.

To do otherwise is exploitation.

Thanks Mike

Jake

14. fireres56 - October 21, 2008

1st My Name is Roy L. I am A somerset Patriots fan & season ticket holder. I sit in section 209 Row K I own seats 1 2 3 now for 8 yrs I am NOT hiding behind a "fake" name. I for one find it Hideous and ridiculous to Post such negative things here on this "public" board Jake aka GP. your sour grapes shine thru in your post. Do you not have anything else to do with your time? As for the blips of movie clips shown on the score board Its a sample of a Movie not the entire movie and the ball clubs don't charge you or anyone else extra to view them. The Motion picture industry probably thanks the ball clubs for the "free publicity" of there movie and showing the snippits or trailers, one might call them good for business. Some one who hasn't seen Bruce almighty(The Movie) might see (actor) Jim Carey walking down the street exploding the Fire Hydrant (scene) and say Hmm I might rent that movie to see why he could do that. Jake Lets get a new hobby one that doesn't waste time Bashing Minor league baseball mainly Somerset Patriots Baseball and the People that spend there days and nite's at the stadium putting together the Family entertainment that NotaGreGGfan wrote about. so true that they do there jobs and no one know the long hrs all the front offices of the 8 teams in the ALPB put in so that you can sit here with your comments bashing them and there league/MY League. In closing in my one and only post to you, there is an old saying "If you don't like the weather move" That's Just my opinion I maybe wrong… BUT I DOUBT IT, 5600 fans a nite cant be wrong 70 times a year. and to quote NotAGreGGfan I am a Patriots fan and I approve this message

15. jake - October 21, 2008

See how they panic! fireres56 my name is Jake Bell and I am not aka anyone. My brother Frank and I and our respective families have attended games in somerset for nearly ten years dating back to when we first attended with our Father Joe who died three years ago,

As to whether your wrong or not I don’t really think you cared whether or not you were wrong. You say you’re a season ticket holder–god bless you. I believe you. I also believe in Santa and the Easter bunny. Maybe I’m wrong.

First with regard to the issue of the use of trademarked properties I merely asked the management of this site to make an inquiry which a number of us are also making via the production companies and studios directly. It is a legitimate question and one anyone might ask. Your commentary is unfortunately lacking in a fundamental understanding of the Federal statutes as they relate to any use of these properties. It is reasonable in any discussion of the economics to understand the costs involved. Whether or not the industry is thankful or not remains to be seen.

You claim we are bashing people and you speak with indignation. Where is your indignation on behalf of 200 players that are paid a substandard wage. Where is your indignation for a salary structure that has gone unaltered in years despite expansion and success and in spite of debates and criticism for years.

Once again you as your colleagues or co-workers did refer to “family entertainment” and believe that that is the antibiotic that should wash away this illness. You sir nor any of your friends are trhe ones to speak of family values. These players have families in many instances too.

Yes baseball is family entertainment and very enjoyable. This is why our Father took us and why we have introduced our children. But that does not diminish the issue. Again who are you to preach to our families what our values are or should be. We teach our children to respect others and to fight on behalf of those who are wronged. And no we will not sell our souls for a bobblehead or free baseball. And we will not be dissuaded from exercising our rights to opinion by a few inarticulate boobs.

Once again your purpose and your sole purpose here is to convolute the discussion and to draw focus away from the subject at hand–the structure of salaries to the men who play in this league.

But that’s not the subject you want to talk about because you cannot make a sound or reasonable argument and we both know it. And we feel certain that you would like all of us who have an opinion or a criticism to go away. But we will not.

And again while you attempt to make this about a single team or about one fan’s displeasure, we both know you are merely a plant and offer no substantive information or credibility to the discussion.

Again I ask sir what are you afraid of. And if there are about 5600 fans per night, although I know Frank and I sat in a few half empty houses this past summer–then terrific. That’s just more of a reason to reward the players with a livable wage.

No one wants to see the league disappear Roy. And we are not bashing individuals or specific teams. We are criticizing and speaking out against a specific issue which has troubled many people for a long time. So really get your facts straight before you join in.

And call whoever contacted you and asked you to file this bull that you did your duty.

Goodnight

Jake Bell

16. jake - October 21, 2008

By the way fireres56 one additional point. You might want to go into the archives of the Courier News from 2007 and read the article by Ryan Dunleavy about the league salaries. You will not only find interesting commentary from Patriot players but the manager himself advocated higher salaries. I would say get the facts but we both know that was neither your purpose or the purpose of your master.

17. Mike - October 21, 2008

Real quick…

Perhaps I should clarify…I have no interest in re-doing a story that I already wrote.

I doubt you’ll find too many people who will tell you the players aren’t underpaid…I think everyone agrees there.

But again, it’s been that way for 11 years, and the guys know this going into it.

I’m not saying it’s right or wrong or anything. I’m just saying that this story has been done and done and re-done.

18. fireres56 - October 21, 2008

Mike, Scott, hello men as a season ticket holder I would like to see a piece done on former players while there still alive. where are they now and how are they doing? some of my favorite players that left leaving me there bats hats and batting gloves names like Charles Poe will penny feather Justin jensten carlos pagon just to name a few thank you
Roy L Sec 209 K 1,2,3,

19. jake - October 21, 2008

That sounds like a really important piece. Lets ask them their favorite receipes. favorite songs, their favorite color, and fashion tips as well.

Seriously though Scott & Mike it would be nice to hear from some of the past players. And since none of us want to see another puff piece that we might read on a team website use the opportunity to ask them what they thought of the league's salary structure and what life was like playing in the league. You should get some interesting answers from them, most particularly Will Pennyfeather who we see all the time.

Add to the list David Elder the great pitcher, Jason Romano, Jose Morban, Hector Almonte and Kevin Nicholson. Ask Jeremy Owens why he came back and chose Southern Maryland over Somerset.

Ask them the question about economics guys. We speak to many of these guys often and the answers about life in the AL will make an interesting read. And yes it will be interesting for many to learn what they do now after baseball.

Jake Bell

20. jake - October 21, 2008

Scott & Mike:

Here is another idea about a piece on the economics of the league. In Mike's 2006 piece Mr. Boulton made significant reference to the league contract. Why not contact a couple of players and ask that they share copies of their contract with you and you can show it here. The names can be removed, but we think many people would find interesting what it says and maybe more importantly, what it doesn't say.

Thanks

Jake Bell

21. Newark - October 21, 2008

I tried to stay out of this conversation but want to make a few points without taking sides.

First- Jake your comments are so well written. I think your passion is sincere and well intentioned.

However- a dose of reality that you may not know. Affiliated minor league players are paid in the same salary range. AA players are paid in the $2000 a month range. Young players live off their original signing bonus until they make it or not. Players with low or no signing bonus are the players churned through the minors at a VERY low level of pay.

Conclusion- there is not $$$$ in baseball until you make the SHOW or were lucky enough to have a one shot huge $$$$ signing bonus. The average minor league salaries are available at many sites on the web.
Players play in this league at comparable to minor league monthly salaries. Level of play in this league is AA. This is not the Majors.

I do believe conditions could be improved for players – safety of playing conditions, overall food and travel quality etc…
$$$$$ is not the only issue.

22. 3xchamps - October 21, 2008

fireres56-
really agree with your post and really like the suggestion on the story.
Also, I really like the story idea of players signing hundereds of items, whether it be pics,ball,baseball cards,bats (throughout the season-whether on autograph sundays or on a daily/nightly basis) and having them end up on EBAY. Further how players don’t recieve one green dime of that?!! In addition, as to why players only sign certain items now–and explain why that is. What transpired to make a change! In addition, jake wanted players contacted-here is a perfect opportunity for them to be asked why this happened, and to get an explaination–and as Jake said there “names can be removed and that many people will find it interesting”! Wow–that will be a great piece to read!

In closing-Newark, your post is so true. Because me persoanlly have never read, seen or heard of a minor league independent player making $8,000/monthly!

23. Jeff - October 21, 2008

The post from Newark was the best post of the past several days. This is exactly what other minor league players have told me concerning pay. The ALPB is right about where it needs to be concerning the slary structure. I think you would be amazed at the profit/loss statements of the majority of the clubs in this league. Several of the teams in the league are really hurting financially. Hearing thoughts from other players would be intersting, but there is no need to go any further with this topic (player salaries).

Jeff L.


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