With more than 40 million people out of work, it is hard to feel sorry for those whose salaries range in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars each year.
The latest economic proposal by Major League Baseball owners was found by players to be “extremely disappointing.”
It’s still even harder to feel sorry for players, who complained even before the proposal was released Tuesday.
“If I’m going to play, I should be at the money I signed to be getting paid,” Tampa Bay pitcher Blake Snell said on a Twitch stream. “I should not be getting half of what I’m getting paid because the season’s cut in half, all on top of a 33 percent cut of the half that’s already there, so I’m really getting like 25 percent. On top of that, it’s getting taxed. So imagine how much I’m actually making to play, you know what I’m saying? Like, I ain’t making (expletive). And on top of that, so all of that money’s gone and now I play risking my life.”
Still, after looking at the owners’ proposal, it does seem draconian. The details are:
• A player at the $563,500 minimum would earn $262,217.
• A $1 million salary would be cut to $434,143.
• A $5 million salary to $1.6 million.
• A $10 million salary to $2.9 million.
• A $15 million salary to $4 million.
• A $20 million salary to $5 million.
• A $25 million salary to $6 million.
• A $30 million salary to $6.9 million.
• A $35 million salary to $7.8 million.
Baseball players appeared likely to propose more regular-season games this year while holding to their demand for full prorated salaries, people familiar with their deliberations told The Associated Press late Wednesday.
There are a few things to consider.
First, $7.8 million — and even $262,217 — would provide a more than comfortable living for the vast, vast majority of people, even without the pandemic.
Second, the owners are not paupers. Each of them is at least a multimillionaire, if not a billionaire.
Third, Major League Baseball has claimed teams would lose billions of dollars by playing with no ticket money and gate-related revenue. Welcome to the pandemic and join the airline industry, the retail industry, the energy sector and pretty much every other sector of the economy.
Washington pitcher Max Scherzer, among eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee, issued a statement late Wednesday night calling management’s proposal for more salary cuts a non-starter.
It’s beginning to look as if the entire season might be a non-starter, but probably not. Too much money is at stake.
• Dave Mathews