Among life’s many rules of thumb, like “when they say it’s not about money, it’s about money”, is the notion that when a politician promotes a bill as a “common sense proposal“, somebody’s pocket is probably getting lined.
Welcome to Congress’ latest stab at fixing prices.
You might have heard about the federal lawsuit that three former minor league players filed against MLB a couple years ago, alleging that minor league pay scales violate minimum wage laws. That lawsuit is still going through the courts, but MLB has found allies in Congress. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) and Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) introduced a piece of legislation called “Save America’s Pastime Act.”
That sounds like something we’d all approve of, right? I mean, who doesn’t want to save baseball? I bet you didn’t realize baseball needed saving! Here’s what the act would do: H.R. 5580 would clarify that minor league baseball players are exempt from federal wage laws. How does that affect MLB? If the lawsuit succeeds in increasing minor league wages, that’s money out of the pockets of MLB owners. MLB teams — not the minor league owners/operators — pay the salaries of minor league players.
On her website, Bustos issued a news release that stated, in part: “Minor League teams are critically important, not just to the players and their parent teams, but to the communities they serve like Peoria and the Quad-Cities. This common sense proposal will close a loophole to ensure the long-term viability of Minor League teams in communities across our nation and I look forward to working with Congressman Guthrie to get it done.”
That’s so great – except it’s not the minor league teams who are stuck with the payrolls. It’s the major league boys, who, last time I checked, aren’t exactly missing any meals.
You think Mark Emmert’s adding Reps. Bustos’ and Guthrie’s phone numbers to his Rolodex today? A “Save College Football Act” has a nice ring to it. Get that PAC moving!