The MLB has had quite the tumultuous offseason filled with public relations nightmares. The worst story, of course, was the massive sign-stealing scandal involving the Astros (and the Red Sox, to a lesser degree) that turned baseball upside down. Suspensions and punishments have been handed out, but the game is still utterly reeling. What this scandal also did, however, mask the other controversy on Rob Manfred's hands this offseason -- his ongoing battle with the minor leagues.
Players in the lower levels have had enough of the poor compensation and working conditions for their labor, and are increasingly turning to Twitter to vocalize their displeasures. After the Mets debuted their new Spring Training clubhouse in St. Lucie, it was also revealed that it wouldn't be used for the hometown Class-A St. Lucie Mets' regular season as a form of "motivation." Well former Mets player Ty Kelly was not a fan of that news, and blasted that mindset with a tweet that explained the sheer lack of accommodations minor-league players are forced to accept.
Ignore the ridiculous "sandwich" for just one second. It is much more infuriating that there were actual regulations against players preparing their own food because "lunch" was provided! I mean, really, MiLB? A multi-billion dollar enterprise is cracking down on minor-league players preparing more food for themselves even though it's more than evident that the stuff they're given isn't sufficient.
Thank goodness Go-Gurt and Nature Valley bards were provided, though! What a godsend. Praise be.
It should be appreciated that guys like Ty Kelly documented stuff like this, and then care enough to make sure fans and observers know the conditions so many players suffer through. Those guys are still professional athletes, not charity workers who perform solely for entertainment and "the love of the game."
Rob Manfred and Co. are not going to do the right thing in terms of the working conditions of minor leaguers unless sustained pressure is placed on them. Get these guys the pay they deserve, and at the very least, get these guys enough food to play the game at their full potential.