Potent quotables: Big-Z "done" after contract

Leave a comment

“After this contract, I’m done. I’m
serious. I don’t want to play. I want to help this team, I want to do
everything possible to win with this team, but after five years or four
years, or whatever I have left on my contract, I just don’t want to

– Carlos Zambrano, after being asked by reporters if he thought he had a shot at 300 wins. Just a reminder that the Z-Man is notorious for saying things one day and forgetting them the next.

“I think it shows zero class and zero
professionalism. When somebody says that, they know what they’re
saying, and they know it’s going to get out. He knows we’re not going
to be real happy about it. If you go and say that to your buddies, it’s
one thing. If you go to the media and make that public for us to hear?
Yeah, that’s no class.”

– Adam LaRoche, the self-appointed team leader, reacting to what Carlos Beltran had to say
after the Mets got swept in Pittsburgh this week. Should we expect
fireworks a couple days early when the teams meet again on July 2?

“We’ll see how it goes the next couple of days.”

– Bruce Bochy comments on the debate of who should bat cleanup
for the Giants. With a .306 batting average, .822 OPS and the
difference-making two-run homer against the Marlins on Friday night,
Pablo Sandoval is threatening to take the spot in the order from the
scuffling Bengie Molina.

“I just missed it. I’ve got nothing more to say.”

– Pedro Feliz, who uncharacteristically booted a groundball
with two outs in the ninth inning against the Dodgers on Friday night.
The error opened the door for a game-winning RBI double by Andre

“We’ve been trying to watch his pitch
count. I’m sure he would have liked to have a complete-game shutout but
we’re trying to take it easy on him a little bit.”

– Ken Macha on Yovani Gallardo’s two-hit, eight-inning effort
against the Braves on Friday night. He was yanked after throwing 110
pitches. Gallardo moved to 6-2 with the victory, and has compiled a
sterling 2.84 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 73 innings this season.

Spending bill could exempt minor leaguers from federal labor laws

Scott Olson/Getty Images
1 Comment

Mike DeBonis of the Washington Post reports that, according to three congressional officials familiar with current talks, an upcoming spending bill could exempt minor leaguers from federal labor laws. This is an issue we have spent some time covering here. A bill proposed in 2016, H.R. 5580, would have amended language in Section 13 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 which would have made it so minor leaguers wouldn’t be protected under a law that protects hourly workers. There is also an ongoing class action lawsuit over unfair labor prospects.

As DeBonis notes, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is among the representatives backing the measure. The provision specifically concerning minor leaguers didn’t appear in any of the draft spending bills, but DeBonis spoke to officials familiar with the negotiations under the condition of anonymity who said it was under serious consideration by top party leaders.

DeBonis got a comment from Minor League Baseball president Pat O’Conner. He said, “We’re not saying that [minor league pay] shouldn’t go up. We’re just saying that the formula of minimum wage and overtime is so incalculable. I would hate to think that a prospect is told, ‘You got to go home because you’re out of hours, you can’t have any extra batting practice.’ It’s those kinds of things. It’s not like factory work. It’s not like work where you can punch a time clock and management can project how many hours they’re going to have to pay for.”

O’Conner said as much in an interview back in December. It’s an extremely disingenuous deflection. O’Conner also said, “I don’t think that minor league baseball is a career choice for a player.” This is all about creating legislation that allows Minor League Baseball to keep money at the top, which is great if you’re a team owner or shareholder. If they could get away with it, every owner of every business would pay its employees as little as possible, which is why it’s important to have unions and people keeping an eye on legislation like this that attempts to strip laborers of their rights in the dead of night.

Minor league players need to unionize. Or, better yet, the MLBPA should open their doors to include minor leaguers and fight for them just as they would a player who has reached the majors. Minor leaguers should be paid a salary with which they do not have to worry about things like rent, electricity, food, and transportation. They should be provided healthcare and a retirement fund. And if anyone tries to tell you it’s not affordable, MLB eclipsed $10 billion in revenues last year. There’s plenty to go around.

The owners are banking on this legislation passing and labor still coming in excess due to young men holding onto the dream of making the major leagues. According to CNN, “far less than 10 percent of minor league players ever get the chance to make it to the major leagues.” Some of these players have forgone college to work in baseball. They arrive at the park in the morning and leave late at night, putting in far more than your standard eight-hour work day. Since their bodies are their vehicle for success, they have to exercise regularly and vigorously off the field while maintaining a healthy diet. (And teams are still reluctant to invest even the smallest amount of money to ensure their young players eat well.) Minor leaguers make tremendous sacrifices to pursue their dream and now Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying Congress to legalize taking further advantage of them.