Eskridge: Baseball’s decision to move the ’21 ASG could help minor-leaguers

If I were to tell you that the Georgia voting laws, and the subsequent Major League Baseball All-Star Game move, could possibly be the best thing to happen to baseball in quite a while you would probably look at me like I was a complete loon. Normally I don’t dip my toes in the rancid pool of politics. Then again, neither does baseball. Usually, we both stay in our lane and just go about our business.

Interestingly, this week, baseball shifted lanes into politics with the moving of the All-Star Game to Colorado. I’m not going to really go into the Georgia voting politics other than to say that both sides have legitimate gripes, as is the case in most of these issues. Neither side is doing things correctly, and there are much greater issues that are underlying that need to be addressed.

However, there is a possibility that something great could come of this whole debacle. With the moving of the ASG, it seems that MLB brass has alienated their former friends in the GOP. You might be celebrating it, you may be deriding it. Either way, this is a big deal as it pertains to baseball, and more specifically MiLB baseball.

If you follow me on Twitter (@IEskridge), you may have seen that I have talked about my disdain for MiLB pay structures, and Major League Baseball’s stance that paying yearly earnings equal to a 1930’s dust bowl farmer is ok. In 2018 MLB and the GOP worked to save the billionaire owners their “hard-earned” money. Two appeals to the exemption allowing MLB to continue being exempt from antitrust laws were thrown out by the Supreme Court.

As you’ve probably been told many times, it is not wise to bite the hand that feeds you. By moving the ASG, MLB may have inadvertently screwed themselves. According to an article in the Washington Post on April 5, “Republicans in Congress are signaling support for South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan’s move to draft legislation that would strip MLB of its antitrust exemption by arguing that baseball qualifies as interstate commerce.”

Regardless of political lines, this is great news. Teams expect 100 percent time commitment from their prospects and retain their services for far too long. The very least they can do, literally, is to pay them like employees. If they are unable to unionize, and the MLBPA is not going to stand on their behalf, they should be protected by the most basic of employment legislation.

Major League Baseball owners should prepare to find out the stiff cost of being selectively woke in the near future. Stay tuned.

Featured Image: Curtis Compton

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