THE MORALITY OF MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Diane Hendricks new baseball stadium showcases a lack of priorities.
There are few American workers that are exploited more harshly than the major majority of minor league baseball players. An anti-trust exemption contributes to the system of poverty wages and brutal working conditions. The lack of a collective bargaining agreement makes it a brutal permanent lifestyle for those trying to grind their way to the benefits that come with being a big leaguer. In one of the most extreme examples, the New York Mets upgraded their Spring Training site, which is also the home of their minor league St. Lucie Mets, and spent $57 million to upgrade their facility. The upgraded and renovated clubhouse, however, will only be used for Spring Training games. The minor leaguers were still forced to use the shitty clubhouse because this is America and centuries of the same capitalist system that only succeeded on the back of slave labor has warped our brains into thinking that poor people aren't humans. From the linked story, “'Tough to forget you’re in A-Ball when you’re rationing 2 plates of spaghetti for 25 guys after games but, sure, leather couches will go to their heads,' wrote former Mets player Ty Kelly on Twitter, referencing the furnishings in the new clubhouse."
The lack of rights as a workforce makes the partnership with noted hater of workers Diane Spendricks a perfect fit. Her newest pet project, the state of the art baseball stadium on the Rock River for the High-A Miami Marlins affiliate Beloit Snappers, is the all the buzz around town, as expected. The massive stadium lights are now visible on the southbound drive down Riverside Dr., yet another reminder of Beloit's Sim City status in the eyes of evil overlord Diane Hendricks. I'm happy for the players; they deserve state of the art facilities to eat their rationed spaghetti in. But personally, I'm excited to not support it.
As previously noted in this space, owner Quint Studer thinks we should shut our mouths and be grateful. For all accounts, Studer seems like a decent human being, something I'm consistently skeptical if you're as wealthy as he is. But the condescending tone he takes with Snappers fans who simply want to not be raked over the coals because the team wants to sell more merchandise by changing the name of a beloved local brand reeks of pompousness.
The addition of a luxury box at the new stadium further illustrates the local divide Diane is desperate to establish. The rich in Rock County have their own schools, their own hotels, their own steakhouses, and now their own segregated seats at the new baseball stadium. The poor get to wait in line for their rationed spaghetti plates at one of the many local food pantries, of which none are supported by Ms. Spendricks. The lack of support for social programs by a billionaire in a community desperate for strong versions of them is shockingly short-sighted. Said support is so vacant that when applying for their charter school status, there was so little evidence of community support that the Rock County oligarch group known as Beloit 200 included letters written by employees of Diane's, wives of prominent Beloit 200 members with no mention of the clear conflict of interest, and a letter of support from our overlord herself to bolster their application.
On the note of conflict of interest disclosure, I'm in the very unique position of being paid to watch every Snappers home game at Pohlman Field this season. It is my understanding that this employment is going to stop as soon as the Snappers move into their new stadium as the baseball analytics company I'm employed with will have all the data they need with the fancy gadgets at the new stadium. So congrats to Diane for putting me out of a job, a win for you in a one-sided battle taking place only in my head. This is facetiousness, of course. In reality, I'm a bit thrilled I won't be heading to the new stadium. I hate crowds and I despise billionaires, who I believe have no right to exist in an economic system that allows children to starve. Not being around for the first games in the new stadium, for what is sure to be an ensemble of Hendricks elite and a nauseating amount of ass kissing, is something I relish.
The Beloit community often rejects the Hendricks agenda (see: elections). There is a reason the charter for The Lincoln Academy was obtained not through the democratic process, via the decision of our elected school board, but through a backdoor loophole in the UW Office of Educational Opportunity. But this baseball stadium seems to have universal approval locally. The exact shiny object the community needed to distract us from the fact that our homeless population is rising, as are gun crimes, and the only thing the billionaire is going to do to help those problems is segregate herself into the local safe spaces she's built herself and her friends.
Thanks for reading.